The weather forecast looks great and we expect to start our ice fishing season soon. We are unable to get out on the lake right now to check the ice due to wind conditions and poor visibility. It sounds like the wind is going to settle down tonight and we should be able to get out tomorrow to see how things are coming along. We will post a report tomorrow as soon as we can! Stay tuned! We have trips available December through March. Make plans to join us for some winter fun today.
Water temperatures continue to climb, currently we are at 56 degrees and walleyes are beginning to get more aggressive. Jigs tipped with a minnow still are producing good numbers of quality fish. 20’ to 26’ seems to be the best depth to be in. Gold jigs continue to be the best color, but chartreuse and orange have put some good numbers in the boat as well!
Jigging isn’t the only tactic that has produced though! As those water temps keep getting warmer and warmer, drifting spinners will produce great walleyes. That time of year is vastly approaching and I am beginning to hear of a few fish being caught on spinners. If you do decide to experiment and try drifting, gold spinners from 12’ to 20’ is a great place to start! Leeches, crawlers, or minnows can all work on spinners, and especially this early any one of them could be the hot bait that day! The spinner bite will only get better through this next month of the season so don’t be afraid to try it! Good luck and we will see you out there!
Treat dad to a getaway this June at Sportsman’s Lodge. Lodging and charter packages starting at only $249 per person plus tax. (Based on double occupancy) Contact us today 800-862-8602.
A wonderful day on Captain Darryl’s boat with slot fish and limits of fish! Awesome job guys!
It looks like the brief winter warm up is finally going to end after today and boy are we excited! Enough of the warm weather, what was Mother Nature thinking we still have a month of ice fishing left! LOL!
Currently we have 23-27 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish. We have made some changes to where we are accessing the lake and have been playing in some sloppy conditions the past few days but other than that we are still fishing, checking ice often keeping safety #1 and looking at the forecast we plan to keep fishing until late March.
If you are looking to venture out on your own we can’t stress enough to please work through resorts and outfitters. Check conditions before going out and stay on the trail. The conditions are not the same over the entire lake and now with very little snow left on the lake many people may think they can go anywhere. That is not the case. That is not the case even in the coldest of winters and the winters when we have 4’ of ice. On a good note once we start to cool down we should build ice quicker without the snow. So stay safe and come join us for some great late season fishing!
Gold and pink spoons jigging or dead sticking with a plain hook tipped with a minnow has been working the best in 26-32’. Overall some anglers doing better than others depending on the day, hour, weather, depth, approach and mother nature. Electronics users seem to do better than those without. Still seeing some suspended fish in various depths from a foot off bottom to 15 feet. Bite has been mainly made up of walleyes and saugers for the pan or throwback with an occasional slot walleye (19.5”-28”) or larger. Best tip is to try some different techniques and talk with your guide for the best approach for the day. March usually considered an active month for fishing. Come visit us!
Check out what some of the guests have been reeling in this week!
Due to the warm weather we recently been having most of our snow has melted. Trails are marked and groomers will fire back up as soon we get another shot of snow!
The afternoons have been favoring the mornings this week. Gold and pink jigs and spoons have been working well tipped with a minnow. Anglers have been having good luck in 23’-29’ on and off the reefs. It has been a 60% walleye/40% sauger bite. If you are looking to increase your catch rate we highly recommend using a fish flasher. They really help you pin point at what depth the fish are at. If you don’t have one, call us ahead of time to reserve one to rent.
Currently we have 20-24 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run a groomed trail to our houses. Forecasted highs this week are a little warmer than we like to see this time of year but with the lows below freezing we should only lose some snow. I am sure Mother Nature will be blowing in some subzero temps again soon.
Area lake and land trails are being groomed weekly. For more information on the NW Angle & Islands area click here. For the Baudette area click here. The NW Angle club will be hosting their annual Snowmobile Rally March 4 in the NW Angle area. Check out their Facebook page for more information.
The ice road is open. Take the 9 mile drive out from Young’s Bay to the lodge. Signs are posted.
Here it comes!
The thermometer is dropping and the landscape is about to change! Ice making is happening now! Stay tuned, we should have lots to report next week! For now, get your reservations in and put that new line on your favorite rod you have been thinking about doing for the last two months! Lodging and ice fishing openings available through late March. Get your gang together and make plans! It’s almost fishing time!
Make it a New Year’s Eve to remember.
What a better place to ring in the new year than at Sportsman’s Lodges on beautiful Lake of the Woods. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, indoor pool, 3 restaurants, bar with entertainment, game room and more! Sportsman’s Lodge will be featuring many dinner specials, musical entertainment, party favors, champagne and lots of holiday cheer. Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge will be featuring dinner specials, party favors, a midnight wine toast and lots of fun island style. Reservations required. Space is limited. Book your trip today!
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It looks like we should start to make some decent ice starting next week! Bring it on! A good week of cold temperatures and light wind is what we need! A lot can happen in a week. Get your fishing buddies together and make your plans, ice fishing season is coming soon!
Ice fishing season runs longer on Lake of the Woods than most lakes in Minnesota. It starts in December and we have to pull our houses off by March 31. Openings available, give us a call Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River/Baudette 800-862-8602, Sportsman’s Sleepers 218-634-1589 and Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge/Eagle Ridge 800-772-8411 or email us by clicking here.
Ice Fishing Update
Right now we still have 15-25 inches of ice and plan to fish through this weekend in our day houses. The bite has been improving this week. Anglers have had the best luck in depths outside of Pine Island in 21’-33’ using bright colored small lures and jigs tipped with a minnow. Jigging aggressively 3-6 inches of bottom has been the best approach. Electronics really help pin point the fish. If you do not have one, we suggest trying one, we do have rentals available but be sure to call ahead to reserve, they go fast. We currently have openings every day this week except Saturday. Give us a call to make one last trip 800-862-8602!
Check out some the latest catches!
Ashley is on the left with a nice 18 inch walleye she caught this past weekend, guided by Beef and Jim Fuschetto is on the right with his 25 inch walleye he caught and released.
River Soft Water Fishing Update
It’s that time of year! To many, it seems strange for ice fishing and boat fishing to be going on at the same time, but this is very common in our area due to the difference in the lake and river conditions. This year it is certainly starting much sooner than normal but nonetheless, it appears spring is showing up early this year. 40 miles to our east, the Rainy River is starting to open up. There is open water 10 miles east of Birchdale landing right now. Birchdale is a small town east of Baudette. Due to the current in the river, this body of water opens before Lake of the Woods. As of right now we anticipate the Birchdale landing to be open after this weekend. We are now booking guided boat trips aboard an 18’-20’ boat equipped with a guide, poles, bait and fish cleaning. Hook into a mighty walleye, a monster lake sturgeon (the dinosaurs of the lake) or an aggressive northern pike!
Walleye fishing is open on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods until April 14, closing for a short time and then re-opening May 14. Lake sturgeon season is catch and release now through April 23, keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and catch and release again May 8-15. Northern pike season is open year round. Spring is one of the best times of year to get into an aggressive bite! Take advantage of the early spring and get into some fun fishing action! Book your trip today 800-862-8602.
Mix of Walleyes & Saugers
Anglers reeled in a mix of walleyes and saugers this week. Mostly 11-18 inch but a few nice slot size walleyes too. (19.5-28 inches). On Lake of the Woods all walleyes between 19.5-28 have to be thrown back and one over 28 inches may be kept. Plain hooks tipped with a minnow head in 20’-26’ of water has been working well. A combination of dead sticking and jigging the bottom and up to 6-8 inches off bottom is your best bet. If you have a vexilar, that helps. If you don’t, we have a few to rent. Give us a call ahead of time to reserve.
The ice road is open to vehicles from Young’s Bay to Oak Island. Conditions are good.
We have 10-15 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel right now.
Snowmobile Trail Report
The snowmobile trail on the lake from Pine Island to Oak Island is marked and groomed. Another fresh grooming will be done before the weekend. The trail from Pine Island to Warroad is marked and being maintained as best as possible. The crew is checking ice tomorrow to see if heavier equipment can be used yet for grooming. These trails are marked with black stakes.
For the NW Angle and Islands land trails – check with the Northwest Angle Edge Riders Club
For land trail updates for the south shore, check with the Lake of the Woods Drifters Club