Category Archives: Weekly South Shore Fishing Report

Sportsman’s Fishing Report & Ice Conditions Update – 12/23/20

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Merry Christmas!

First off, we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday. It has certainly been a different and trying year for everyone as we all know but as we reflect, we here at Sportsman’s are grateful for all of the great employees, supportive guests, and fans that have stuck by us this year and continue to allow us to provide a place for guests to visit and enjoy the great outdoors. Thank you for your continued patronage! We really appreciate it and are looking forward to 2021.

An update from the lake at Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River

Our season started a little over a week ago. We now have 10-13 inches of ice and 1-5 inches of snow in the areas we fish and travel.  The temperature gauge is dipping today. Sounds like it is going to be lows below zero for a while along with some fresh snow.

The best fishing depth has been in 23’-27’ in the mud. We have seen a strong run of saugers this week along with some walleye, and occasional sturgeon and eelpout. The best tackle has been a plain hook and a minnow or gold or pink jig tipped with a shiner. The average ride out to the houses is 15-25 minutes. Masks are required during the ride out so please remember to bring one. We have reduced load sizes, increased ventilation in the bombardiers, and doing everything we can to keep you safe.

Venturing out on your own?
Check out Adrian’s or Morris Point for public road access. As always please remember, ice conditions vary throughout the lake. Check with the road maintainer for the current conditions and stay safe.  As of 12/22, Adrian’s reported they have 10 1/2 to 13 inches of ice. Their access is closed today due to blizzard conditions but will open sometime on 12/24.  After Christmas, allowing small to mid-size vehicles not pulling anything. No half-ton trucks. Plan to let four wheelers and side by sides pulling out wheel houses up to 18′.

Trail Update:
We once again helped out the local snowmobile club and assisted in the marking of the snowmobile trail from Baudette to Oak Island this week. The trail is marked and ready for snowmobile travel. Grooming will begin as soon as ice conditions will allow the equipment to safely be on the ice. Snowmobile travel only is advised until we can gain some more ice. The trail had 7-15 inches as of yesterday. Ice conditions vary off the trail.  For your safety stay on the trail and follow the black stakes.

An update from the lake at Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge on Oak Island

We open on December 26!

The ice is progressing nicely. We now have between 9-13 inches of ice and 4-5” of snow in the areas we fish and travel. Some snow and cold temperatures are blowing in today.
The weatherman says it is going to be pretty cold for a while.  We aren’t complaining. Bring on the ice! 

The staff has been busy getting everything ready. We are excited to kick off another season.

Options to get to the island this winter

Bombardier Transportation from Baudette
Will begin soon, the forecast is looking favorable. More ice checks will be done this weekend. Stay tuned for more information or contact Lake of the Woods Passenger service or us anytime at 800-772-8411.
Have a reservation arriving soon? Please give us a call if you have any questions, we have options for you at 800-772-8411.  

Snowmobile to Oak Island

Trail Updates:

Baudette to Oak Island
We once again helped out the local snowmobile club and assisted in the marking of the snowmobile trail from Baudette to Oak Island this week. The trail is marked and ready for snowmobile travel. Grooming will begin as soon as ice conditions will allow. Snowmobile travel only is advised until we can gain some more ice. The forecast is looking favorable. The trail had 7-15 inches as of yesterday. Ice conditions vary off the trail.  For your safety, stay on the trail and follow the black stakes.

Warroad to Oak Island and NW Angle Trails
Waiting on a few spots to gain more ice until the club can get it staked from Warroad to Oak Island. Hoping by sometime this weekend. For more information on the trails and updates click here.

New Ice Road from Warroad to the Northwest Angle

Set to open in January as another way to get to us. Click on the link for more information.

Sportsman’s Fishing Report & Ice Conditions Update – 12/18/20

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Sportsman’s Lodge

Ice fishing season has begun!  We have gained a few more inches of ice this week and we are catching some nice fish.  We now have 9-11 inches of ice and just a few inches of snow in the areas we fish and travel.  The best bite has been found in the mud in 17’-25’ using gold, pink, chartreuse jigging spoons and jigs tipped with a minnow. 70% of the fish caught have been walleye and 30% sauger which is pretty typical for this time of year.  Average size has been between 12”-19” with an occasional 22”-30”.  

Check out some of the fish caught this week! We have a few openings Sunday – Wednesday before Christmas and December 26 for a one night/one or two day in the short term as well as days throughout the season through March if you are looking for a good time. Give us a call 800-862-8602 or click here.

Venturing out on your own?
Check out Adrian’s or Morris Point for public road access. As always please remember, ice conditions vary throughout the lake. Check with the road maintainer for the current conditions and stay safe.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

We are gaining ice!
 Currently we are now finding 9-11 inches of ice and 1-4 inches of snow in the areas we travel around the islands and will start fishing for the year.  The guides are busy moving houses and getting the trail ready for you. We are looking forward to a December 26 open date.

On the big lake, ice is not quite ready for travel yet but it is getting better. The guides will be checking ice again Sunday. Stay tuned for more information.

Ice Update 12/13/20

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It’s time! The guides have been working hard checking ice, prepping the trail and getting houses ready.  We have some day houses ready now and will continue to pull more out as the week goes on.  All of our house rentals include transportation off a private trail.  We currently have 8-10 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel and the forecast continues to look favorable for ice making to continue. Give us a call 800-862-8602.

Going out on your own? For your safety, it is always a good idea to check with local resorts or outfitters for the latest conditions as ice conditions vary and change across this large lake. Some of the local ice roads near us are currently allowing ATV’s, snowmobiles and portables out at this time. For the most up to date information, it is best to contact the road maintainer of your choice for the latest conditions. Stay safe and fish on!

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Ice continues to thicken in the islands.  The forecast is looking good for a December 26 open date.  Give us a call to make your winter reservations 800-772-8411.

Ice Update 12/8/20

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Good Afternoon from Sportsman’s Lodge!

We headed out today to do more ice checking. We are making progress but need a few more days. Based on how the forecast looks we are eyeing up Sunday, Dec 13, or soon after to kick off our season on the lake with our day houses.  Safety first! Today we found 5-9 inches of ice.  As soon as we have 8-12 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel and have the right conditions to do some flooding/freezing of some areas, we will get started.  It is getting close. Do you have your reservations in yet?

Our sleeper houses will need some additional inches of ice. Stay tuned for an update on a possible start date Friday.

We will start checking ice further out and across the lake next week. The trail will get marked as soon as ice conditions allow usually within 7 to 10 days after we kick off our season on the south shore. Our Oak Island locations due to the more areas of current in their neck of the woods and based on the forecast will start their season right after Christmas. 

We provide transportation to all of our fish houses on a private road and groomed trail. If you are venturing out on your own please remember not all areas of the lake have the same ice conditions and conditions can change. For your safety, please check with local resorts and outfitters before heading out and always stay on the marked trails. 

We are looking forward to another fun year of ice fishing! We hope you can join us.

Ice Update 12/7/20

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Sportsman’s Lodge
Good News! We are gaining ice. We are now finding 6.5-9 inches of ice in most areas we will fish and travel once our season starts but still have some areas we want to take a closer look at. We fought fog today so we will be doing more checks tomorrow once it clears. For snow, we have a dusting of snow on the lake and a couple of inches on the shore. Stay tuned for more information! We are excited to see the forecast is looking colder! Please remember not all areas of the lake have the same ice conditions. Always check with local resorts and outfitters before venturing out. We are looking forward to another fun season! Get your reservations in call 800-862-8602 or click here

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge
We are gaining ice at the Northwest Angle too. In our travels between the mainland and Oak Island, we are now finding more areas with 5-7 inches compared to the 3-6 inches last week. Still, areas of less, and we haven’t ventured south yet but we are gaining! Snow, we have just a few inches and haven’t had any measurable precipitation within the last few weeks which we are very happy with at this time of year since it helps the ice making. Stay tuned for more updates! For reservations call 800-772-8411 or click here.

Sportsman’s Lodges Ice Update – 11/30/20

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Sportsman’s Lodge
On Four Mile Bay, the bay we use to access our fishing spots on the lake, we found 3-6 inches of ice Sunday where we checked. On the lake, we have areas with ice and areas of open water too. The wind kicked up over the weekend and chewed up some areas that had thin ice. Last night the winds calmed down and the temperature cooled into the single digits which did help but more progress needs to be made. Ice making process continues….. For now, bring on the cold temps, light winds, and stay tuned for updates!   

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge & Eagle Ridge
Making Progress
We are finding 3-6 inches of ice in the areas of low current and bay.  Still some areas of open water on the lake and less ice where there is more current, but it is moving along. Stay tuned for updates!

Ice Fishing season will be kicking off before we know it. Contact us to plan your trip by calling 800-862-8602 or clicking here! Trips available from December through March.

Sportsman’s Lodges Ice Update – 11/23/20

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Making Ice!

We woke up to more ice today. At our Sportsman’s Lodge location, we can see ice as far as the eye can see on the river in front of the lodge, 4 Mile Bay (the bay we drive out on to get to the lake) as well as the view from Morris Point of the lake. Once the clouds clear we will share a satellite photo on our Facebook page and blog to give everyone a glimpse of what the entire lake is looking like at this point. It won’t be long and Gregg will be taking his annual early-season flights to get a better view of how things are coming along. Watch for those photos to come in the days ahead too.

Four Mile Bay
The View of the lake from Morris Point
View in front of the Lodge of the River towards Wheeler’s Point
The view of Bobbie’s Bay in front of the lodge at Oak Island

Up at our sister resorts, Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Eagle Ridge, a sheet of ice stretches from Young’s Bay to Oak Island and to the south of Oak Island as far as we can see except for an open pocket around Little Oak Island. The airboat broke through in many spots between Young’s Bay and Oak Island the past few days but the open water spots that were seen before had iced over. 

 What’s next? We need calm winds and cold temperatures. No ice travel is advised by any means at this point. This is just a thin sheet that can move and open up within a few hours, but it is progress and one step closer to the beginning of the 2020-2021 ice fishing season kickoff. Exciting news for sure! Stay tuned for more reports to come. If you haven’t booked in for winter yet, give us a call at 800-862-8602, and come have some fun this winter.

From the Sportsman’s Family to your family, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sportsman’s Lodges Ice Update – 11/20/20

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We are making ice!
At Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River a thin layer of ice in front of the lodge has been coming and going this week. Many small bays have a sheet of ice and the larger bays have ice too along with open water pockets.

At Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Eagle Ridge, we have a thin layer in the bay and in many areas where there is no current.

Will it stay and continue to build or will it go? Only time will tell, but we know for sure the weather is changing and it won’t be long before the ice fishing season will begin.  Once the temps start dipping and the wind is calm it doesn’t take long to build ice pretty quick in our neck of the woods. 

Here at Sportsman’s, we start our ice fishing season with our day use houses at our Sportsman’s Rainy River location, typically in the first few weeks of December. Our sleeper fish houses are next, a week or so after, and at our Sportsman’s Oak Island and Eagle Ridge locations, we start just after Christmas. Once we have 8-12 inches of good ice in the areas we fish and travel, it’s game on.

What is open?
Lodging in our cabins and villas are open year-round. We will open our lodge rooms back up in early December when the ice roads and trails open up. In accordance with the Governor’s new COVID guidelines, we will start our season with lodging, fish house rentals, take out food, and off-sale with on-property delivery, and our gift shop will be open.  Our pool, dine in services, and game room will be closed until December 18. We are continuing to follow guidelines to keep everyone safe. For more information on our procedures, please click here.  

Lodging & Ice Fishing Packages Available
3 nights lodging and 2 full days of ice fishing starting at $373 per person.
Click here to start planning your trip.