Category Archives: Weekly South Shore Fishing Report

Sportsman’s Fishing Report – 5/14/21

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Sportsman’s Rainy River Lodge

It’s Opener Eve!!
Feels like Christmas! The day is finally here and the weather looks pretty favorable too. It’s time to finish up the boat work, string the last rods and enjoy the weekend.

Here on Lake of the Woods, the opener approach is pretty straightforward. Tie up a 3/8-1/2 oz gold or pink jig, tip it with a chub or shiner, and head to the shorelines and shallows for some jigging. 7’-16’ is a good start, anchoring or drift/slow troll. After you get done with walleye fishing try some trophy pike fishing. Lake of the Woods is known to have many trophy-sized pike in its waters. Dead bait in the bays is a great approach. You can also get in one more day of sturgeon fishing. Sturgeon catch and release is open through Saturday before taking a pause for six weeks.

Minnows are in the tank!

The bar and grill are open. Guided charter trips are full for Saturday and Sunday but we have openings next week and throughout the summer. Give us a call at 800-862-8602. Dock slips are all by reservation only. Please check with the front desk for availability. Good luck fishing and we look forward to seeing you!

The 15th Annual Sportsman’s Sturgeon Classic Tournament was held at the lodge this past weekend, May 7 & 8. 200 anglers and 60 boats enjoyed another year of beautiful spring weather and lake sturgeon fishing in a 1.2 mile stretch out in front of the lodge on the Rainy River.

Each day the participant with the longest measured sturgeon went home with $3,000 in cash, 2nd place $1,365 in cash, and the 3rd place winner a custom rod. Other priz-es were given away for the largest sturgeon caught by a youth, woman, largest eel-pout, largest sucker, and as well as many other door prizes.

Over a hundred sturgeon were caught and an unusual catch of a channel catfish over the two days. $12,000 plus in cash and prizes were awarded over the two-day catch and release event. Tournament participants also raised nearly $4,000 for the Lake of the Woods Take a Kid Fishing program. The monies will be used for lifetime fishing licenses that will be awarded at the event this year in June and for program expenses to continue to teach kids the lifelong sport of fishing. Many thanks to the gracious par-ticipants and sponsors who took part in this event. Your donation will make a big im-pact on many kids’ lives for a lifetime. Thank you!

This year the event was sponsored by Northwoods Bait & Tackle, RS Nets USA, Fat-head Guide Service and Promotions, Acme Tools of Bemidji, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, Log Cabin Bait & Tackle, Striker, Sunnyhill Distributors, D & D Beverage, Northwest Beverage, LaValley Industries, Upper Lakes Foods, Sports-man’s Lodge, and Ralph Christofferson Custom Rods. Additional lifetime licenses and money towards lifetime licenses were given by Acme Tools of Bemidji/Aaron Schmitz, Rodger and Kim Haugtvedt in memory of their son Justin, an anonymous donor, Two Rivers Sportsman’s Club of Karlstad, Hibbing Chrysler and, by Spencer Christianson in memory of his Dad, Scott Christianson.

We want to thank all of the participants, staff, guides, tournament co-director, and em-cee Bryan “Beef” Sathre and sponsors who once again made this year another huge success. Thank you!.

Congratulations to the 2021 winners!

Day 1
First Place-Dan Sheedy 63 1/4 x 21 inches
Second Place-Aaron Schmitz 61 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches
Third Place-Curt Howe 61 1/4 x 27 1/4 inches

Day 2
First Place-Chuck Hauble 65 3/4 x 29 1/4 inches
Second Place-Ben Cumber 65 3/8 x 30 1/4 inches
Third Place-Patrick Dunn 62 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches
Powder Puff -Hanna Hastings 57 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches
Largest Sucker- Brandon Dunn 22 inches
Largest Eelpout -K. Johnson 17 inches

We are looking forward to the 16th Annual scheduled for May 6 & 7, 2022. The tournament is full for 2022 but, we are taking a waiting list. To be added to the waiting list, contact us at [email protected] or 800-862-8602.

Sturgeon fishing continues to be very popular on the Rainy River. The catch and re-lease season runs Oct 1- April 23 and May 8-15, the keep one season runs April 24-May 7 and July 1-Sept 30.  If you are interested in learning more about sturgeon fishing click here.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Welcome Back!
We are glad to have you back for another season. We open at 2pm today and open at 11:30 tomorrow through May 17. Food, drinks, bait, gas, lodging is available. We will open up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks starting May 18 for the summer. Good luck fishing and we look forward to seeing you! Visit our website for menus, hours, and more www.mysportsmans.com

Shorelines and points are going to be hot spots for walleye. A 3/8 oz jig tipped with a minnow is all you need. An-chored or slow drift/troll. After walleye fishing try your luck at smallmouth and pike. Both species are very abun-dant in Lake of the Woods. We have some openings next week. Give us a call at 800-772-8411. Good luck fishing!

By Boat or Air
As of now, the Canadian Border is still closed but we have options for you to get here. Click here to learn more.

Sportsman’s Fishing Report – 4/28/21

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Sportsman’s Rainy River

Warming Up
The weather is warming up which brings about more opportunities to get out and do some pike and sturgeon fishing.

Sturgeon harvest season runs through May 7 then back to catch and release for one more week, May 8-15 before closing for 6 weeks. Deep holes in the river bed are excellent places to find these bottom feeders roaming. Anchor and set up a 3-4 oz no roll sinker, 18” snell 60lb with a 5/0 hook tipped with a pile of worms and even a shiner or two on the bottom. Anglers have been catching quite a few 50”-70” lately. Our 15th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is coming up next weekend. Stay tuned to Facebook for leader board updates and click here to learn more about the tournament. Check out these Sturgeon fishing tips from the Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau.

Trophy pike is everywhere in Lake of the Woods. We have endless bays to try. Dead baits, spinnerbait, spoon, and crankbaits are all good options to throw their way. Pike season is open all year on Lake of the Woods. Check out this video for some Pike fishing tips:

Spring Specials continue through May 26.
Click here to take advantage of our spring deals and contact us today to book your trip.

Stay 6 nights and get the 7th Night FREE this Summer
Check out all of our options.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

We are looking forward to opening up walleye opener weekend. Kick-off the summer with a trip to the island in May. The walleye opener is May 15. We open on May 14.

By Boat or Air
As of now, the Canadian Border is still closed but we have options for you to get here. Click here to learn more.

Give us a call to plan your summer fun at 800-772-8411 www.oakislandlodge.com

Sportsman’s Fishing Report – 4/22/21

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Sportsman’s Lodge

No more Ice

The lake is free of ice and the passenger service boats have started to run trips from the lodge on the south shore to the Northwest Angle.

Anglers have been catching some nice pike and sturgeon lately. Check out these pictures and video. We have guides available and dock slips if you want to bring your own boat.

Thanks to Jake and the crew from Adventure Travel Pros for capturing some of the action this week.

If you are looking to get into some sturgeon. Here are some tips. Anchor near or in deep holes with some current in the river or bays and use an 18” snell, 60lb test, 2-3 ounces no roll sinker, and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner. Sometimes it is a waiting game but once they hit, be ready!! For pike, bays are the perfect place to find them this time of year. Dead baits, spinnerbait, spoon, or crankbait are all going to be good options. We have miles and miles of area to explore.

Spring Specials continue through May 26.
Click here to take advantage of our spring deals and contact us today to book your trip. Summer on your mind? Our villas are the perfect place for the whole family. Check out our website for all of our summer offerings.

-Walleye Opener is May 15
-Sturgeon Catch & Release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15.
-Sturgeon harvest season runs April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30.
-The Sturgeon season is entirely closed May 16-June 30.
-Pike season is open all year.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

It’s beginning to look a lot more like spring around the islands. We are seeing more boats moving around the area. It’s that time of year, we are busy cleaning and doing maintenance to get ready for summer. We look forward to opening up on the walleye opener weekend, May 14. Do you have your reservations in yet? We look forward to seeing you this summer!

By Boat or Air
As of now, the Canadian Border is still closed but we have options for you to get here.
Click here to learn more.

Give us a call to plan your summer fun at 800-772-8411 www.oakislandlodge.com.

Sportsman’s Fishing Report – 4/15/21

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Sportsman’s Rainy River

It’s Sturgeon & Pike time!
It’s that time of year. While the walleye season closes for a few weeks, it’s time to get out and get into some monster sturgeon and aggressive pike action. Head out to the river bed holes and bays. For sturgeon, anchor near or in deep holes with some current in the river or bays and use an 18” snell, 60lb test, 2-3 ounces no roll sinker, and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner. For pike, bays are the perfect place to find them this time of year. Dead baits, spinnerbait, spoon, or crankbait are all going to be good options.

Spring Specials continue through May 26.
Click here to take advantage of our spring deals and contact us today to book your trip. Summer on your mind? Our villas are the perfect place for the whole family. Check out our website for all of our summer offerings.

-Walleye Opener is May 15
-Sturgeon Catch & Release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15.
-Sturgeon “keep” season runs April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30.
-The Sturgeon season is entirely closed May 16-June 30.
-Pike season is open all year.

Oak Island Fishing Report

More Water in our View
The bay in front of the lodge is now wide open and there is open water between the island to Young’s Bay at the Northwest Angle.

To the south, ice is still as far as the eye can see but it shouldn’t be too long. We are looking forward to opening up for the walleye opener weekend, May 14-16 for the season. If you haven’t made your soft water season reservations yet, give us a call at 800-772-8411 and be sure to ask about our spring deals going on in May.

Now Hiring for the season
Looking for a change of pace or know someone who is? Live where you love to play! We have seasonal and long-term openings for internships, housekeeping, cook, server, bartender, and front desk at our 3 locations. Visit our website to apply today. www.sportsmanslodges.com/apply

Sportsman’s Fishing Report – 4/7/21

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Hello from the Rainy River!

Walleye and sturgeon fishing continues.  Late last week the river got murky from tributaries and rivers that flow to the Rainy opening up but it has been improving by the day. This year’s opening was nothing like a normal year due to the low water level and minimal run off.  Water clarity is currently at 12”-14” on average now, improved from 3-4″, water temp is 42-45 degrees, current is slower than normal. The lake ice continues to deteriorate by the day but most of the lake still has ice.

Anglers have been finding walleye and sturgeon from areas just outside of Pine Island to Birchdale in various depths. A 3/8-1/2 ounce gold or glow-in-the-dark jig tipped with a minnow or plastic has been working well for walleyes.  Sturgeon have been nibbling on a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook with a gob of worms using a 2-3 ounce no roll sinker. Shorelines for walleyes and deep holes for sturgeon have been favored.

The walleye season continues through April 14 before taking a pause until May 15.

A few pics from guests last week. Thanks for coming!

Sturgeon catch and release season are going on now through April 23. Keep season runs April 24-May 7 and catch and release comes back for one more week May 8-15 before closing entirely for 6 weeks.

Pike season never closes.

Our spring dock work is nearing completion. Give our front desk a call for availability and to reserve at 800-862-8602.

Get out and reel in some fun.  We have the cure for your spring fever!
Check out our spring deals and come wet a line.

Sportsman’s River Update & Fishing Report – 4/1/21

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Sportsman’s Lodge

Few more weeks of walleye season
We are heading into the last few weeks of walleye season before it closes for a month. The Rainy River is open now and we have open water just past Pine Island as well.  Over 40 miles of fishable waters are available for anglers and 5 public boat ramps are open.

The bite heated up over the weekend. Anglers caught some nice walleye and sturgeon. The wind kicked up the last few days and our temps hit us like a yo-yo with highs in the 40’s to 60’s to back down to highs in the 20’s making the catching a little more challenging. I guess a little reminder from Mom Nature, it is still very early in the soft water season. The good news is the weather looks like it is on a warming trend starting today and the wind is looking better too.  Should be a nice weekend to get out and do some fishing. The water temp has been in the mid 30’s the last few days down from the upper 30’s. The big walleyes are roaming. Anchored or drifting with a bright-colored 3/8-1/2 oz jig and a minnow is working well along shorelines 13’-22’. The water level remains low.

More Species
It is not just about the walleye this time of year. Monster sturgeon are everywhere and as more bays are opening up, that means pike fishing is about to get fired up too. For sturgeon, a good approach is to anchor near or in deep holes with some current in the River or Four Mile Bay and use an 18” snell, 60lb test, 2-3 ounces no roll sinker and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner. Once you hook in, be ready! Some of these monsters take up to a few hours to reel in. It can be quite an adventure! The Daly group visited us this week and said the morning and early afternoon was slow but boy was it worth the wait. They caught 14 sturgeon between 2pm-6:30pm. Bait up they said, with lots of crawlers using a #5 hook  and a frozen shiner worked great for them. They also suggested eating at the lodge, tipping your server and having fun! 🙂 Thanks for coming guys! Be sure to check out some of their pictures in our slide show. For pike, casting spoons and jerk baits in shallow bays with structure should get you into some action.

Book your trip! Lodging and guided trips are available. Our bar, restaurant, pool, hot tub, and game room are open too. We have some fantastic spring deals.   Contact us today for availability and click here for our current restaurant and bar hours. Please note, we will be closed on Easter Sunday.

Fishing Seasons
Walleye open through April 14, reopening May 15
Northern Pike never closes. Open year-round.
Lake Sturgeon catch and release now through April 23, keep one season April 24-May 7, catch and release May 8-15, closed May 16-June 30, keep one season July 1-Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23. For more information about seasons, limits and licenses click here.

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge & Eagle Ridge

The landscape around the islands is still pretty icy but it won’t be long. Contact us today to book your summer trip! Our lodging, restaurant, and bar are currently closed but we are still here to take your call at 800-772-8411. We open back up in May. Check out our spring deals!

Sportsman’s River Update – 3/26/21

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Just like that, we have water at the docks.
The Rainy River is now open to the lodge and the Wheeler’s Point boat landing is open. There are now 5 public landings open along the Rainy River and over 40 miles of fishable waters by boat.  Wheelers Point, Timbermill, VIdas, Frontier and Birchdale. Click here for a map of the landing locations.  

Yesterday there was a channel of open water that extended through Four Mile Bay too. We expect the lake to open quickly this year too. 

Early fishing reports are good. Anglers are catching some nice walleye and sturgeon.  Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods, reopening May 15. On the river and Four Mile Bay, it is catch and release only through April 14. On the lake, the limit remains the same as the regular season, limit of 6.  Not more than 4 can be walleye; only 1 walleye over 28″; walleye 19 1/2″ through 28″ must be immediately released.  Once the season reopens in May the limit will be 6 again on the River, Bay, and Lake.  

Sturgeon right now through April 23 is catch and release only. April 24 – May 7 you can keep one per calendar year. Fish must be 45″-50″ inclusive or over 75″. May 8-15 is catch and release again before closing for 6 weeks. Pike season will be cranking up here soon as more bays open up. Pike season never closes on Lake of the Woods. The limit 3. Only 1 over 40″; all northern pike from 30″ through 40″ must be immediately released. 

A jig and minnow or plastics is all you need for walleye this time of year. So far this year all you need is a 3/8 oz jig. The current is slow and the water level well below normal right now.  For sturgeon, a few ounces of weight, 4/0 or 5/0 hook, and a gob of minnows works well. 

Lodging and guided trips available through the spring season. We have some great lodging rates starting at only $95 a night for 2 people plus tax.  Give us a call to book your trip 800-862-8602 or click here to contact us online. Happy Spring!

Sportsman’s River Update – 3/24/21

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A week left of March and the river is nearly open to the lodge already. What a year!
As of this morning, the river had opened up 4 miles overnight and was open within 5 miles of the lodge We expect to have open water in front of the lodge later today or early tomorrow. 4 boat landings are open now. Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas and Timbermill. Wheeler’s Point is next. The edges of the ice are looking pretty soft and gray in front of the lodge and Wheeler’s Point landing.

Anglers are reporting a great walleye and sturgeon bite so far. Water clarity is a few feet and the current is slower than normal. We do have not much of any runoff left and the river level is much lower than it has been in years. As far as we know the “forks” have not let out yet. Once they let out it usually impacts the current, fishing, and water clarity for a few days but with a very low water level and not much runoff we are wondering if it will really make much of an impact this year? Many experts don’t think so.

Spring is here to stay it looks like. Give us a call to book your trip. We have lodging, guided fishing, a bar and restaurant, an indoor pool and hot tub, nightly camping spots opening May 1, and our new seasonal campground opening in late May this year. Something for everyone.