Tag Archives: lake of the woods fishing

Sportsman’s Ice Fishing Update – 3/11/20


Sportsman’s Lodge


Cool temps! 20 days of ice fishing left, you still have time!

A decent bite this week. Catching a variety of walleyes, saugers, and few eelpouts. Anglers trying some different things if the bite isn’t hot for them are getting the best results like different lures, jigging speed, dead sticking, on bottom vs a few inches off the bottom, minnow head vs full minnow and using electronics like a Vexilar. The bite continues to be in 29’-34’ out about 45-55 minute ride from the lodge. Hot jigs have been 1/4 oz gold, pink or chartreuse or a plain hook tipped with a minnow. Come have some fun!

If the weather starts to warm up we will be moving our houses to stay away from the slush and to allow a longer season with safe ice. With the bombardiers and groomed trails, we have many areas to fish. Check out the pictures of the week and make plans to come wet a line.

Trail Report
Trails are open. For more information check out these links.
South Shore Lake of the Woods
Northwest Angle Lake of the Woods

23rd Annual End of the Season Mardi Gras Party is March 28
Our end of the season bash is coming up! Visit us for great fishing and a whole lot of fun! Entertainment, beads, free hurricanes, food and drink specials, costume contest win $200 CASH and much more. Click here to check out all of the fun we have planned and book your stay and play package today!


Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Fishing Away

This week depths in 22’-27’ around structure using plain hooks, gold jigs s and small spoons tipped with a minnow has been the best approach for catching walleyes and saugers. An occasional perch, tullibee, perch, pike, and eelpout too. A mix of vertical jigging and dead sticking has been the best approach and electronics help! We have 30-32 inches of ice.

The trails are open. Click the links for the latest reports.

South Shore Lake of the Woods
Northwest Angle Lake of the Woods

Ice Road from Young’s Bay to Oak Island
The ice road is open. Follow the signs and take a ride. It is about 10 miles out.

Time to book your spring and summer trip.
It is never too early to start planning your spring trip! Come visit the islands this spring and get into some hot soft water action. Spring lodging specials available May 8 -25! Contact us today 800-772-8411.

Sportsman’s Ice Fishing Update – 2/29/20


Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River

A little Over A Month Left Of Ice Fishing Season

The best bite this week continues to be 29’-34’. A notable more aggressive noon – 2 pm bite has been going on the last few days. A mix of 3/4 sauger, 1/4 walleye, and a few tullibee.
Stop sign lures or jigs with glitter, pink/gold or chartreuse/white tipped a minnow has been working. For the best catch rate, a little work can go a long way. It doesn’t hurt to switch up tackle, try one-rod dead sticking and jigging the other, use electronics and test right on bottom vs a few inches off the bottom to grab the attention of the fish as they are swimming by.Ice Conditions and Rally Weekend
We have over 3’ of ice and the snowmobile trails are in good shape. Trails are freshly groomed. The Annual Northwest Angle Edge Riders snowmobile rally is planned for this weekend hosted at our sister resort, Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge on Oak Island at the Northwest Angle 40 miles north of Baudette. This event is always a great time! For more information about the event, click here.Visit us in March for a fun getaway. Click here to learn more

Trail Report
Trails are groomed and staked. For more information check out these links.
South Shore Lake of the Woods
Northwest Angle Lake of the Woods

Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

The Bite
20’-27’ on reefs and edges of reefs using pink, gold, red and white jigs tipped with a minnow has been working well. Anglers have been reeling in a nice bag of walleyes and saugers for supper along with an occasional trophy. We have 30 – 32 inches of ice where we fish and travel. Last chance openings available March 1-4, 15-22 and one 3 bedroom cabin 8-22.
Hosting the Northwest Angle Edge Riders Snowmobile Rally this weekend!
We are excited to be hosting the annual snowmobile rally Feb 29. Click here for all the info and make plans to head out on the trails or take a cruise on the ice road to join in the fun. The trails are in great shape. Click the links for the latest reports.

The sturgeon are biting!


Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River

The sturgeon are biting! Check out what the Johnson Group reeled in with Captain Wes yesterday!
Bill reeled in a 60” and 52” and Vance,  a 50”. All fish were released.

We are warming up!
Slow but sure, the ice is melting. The Rainy River is completely open and there is open water just past the gap right now on the lake. We received a little shot of rain early this week but could use a good rain to soften more ice up, nonetheless there are over 40 miles of fishable river and bays right now and more warm weather in the forecast.  Current river temp is 47 degrees, the water level is low, not much debris but it is dirty, clearing more by the day. It should be cleared up nicely by walleye opener. Luckily, the sturgeon feed by smell in the dirty water so it doesn’t have much of effect on the sturgeon fishing going on now.  The current is average speed. For more information about the river or if you like to keep tabs on it, click here for water data. This data is measured right off our dock.

The Best Sturgeon bite has been in the deep river bottom holes. Two to four ounce no roll sinker, 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook tipped with a gob of night crawlers and a few shiners works well. Spring is prime time catching time.  Come enjoy the weather and reel in some monsters!

Did you know? Lake Sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old and exceed more than 150 pounds!

Bays and creeks and the river are hot spots. Smelt lying on the bottom works well. Make sure to hook all the way through the body of the bait to keep it nice and secure.  Long shaft jigs work the best.

Walleye Opener is next weekend, May 12.
It has been a slow warm up this spring.  Predictions are the river and bays will be full of walleyes on opener.

Sturgeon – Keep one within size limits going on now,  April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23 and May 8-15
Northern Pike open year round
Walleye currently closed, reopening May 12

Our 12th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is this weekend
Stay tuned to our Facebook page Friday & Saturday for some great action. We will be posting leaderboard results and pictures. The tournament is currently full for this year, but there are still lots of fun that can be had watching the action.  The tournament runs 8:30am-4pm Friday and 8:30-3pm Saturday wrapping up with a banquet Saturday night.  All of the fishing takes place in front of the lodge. So, grab a chair and watch the excitement right from the bar and dock.  Join us!  Happy hour and dinner served in the Sandbar.

Come have some fun this spring. Spring Specials!
Lodging starting at only $43* per person per night now through May 23. Guided Sturgeon and pike trips going on now  and up to 20% off summer lodging and charter fishing packages May 11-23. Click here to start planning your trip.
*plus tax and based on double occupancy

River Update!


River Update!

This morning, April 10, from Frontier and Birchdale Landings:

Yesterday afternoon, April 9, from Frontier and Birchdale Landings:

The river is open up to a few miles west of Frontier landing as of today. Approximately 15 miles west of Baudette. Weather forecast although not nearly as warm as last year at this time, is warming up. We will be doing another update Thursday. Stay tuned!

The River Bite
Some getting into a great bite with reports of 50+ fish in a few hours most ranging from 19″-30″ walleyes and 30″+ sturgeon to others struggling to get a dozen. Water is cool hovering around 33-35 degrees and the current is still slow. Walleyes – Gold, pink and orange jigs and plastics have been tackle of choice and shiners. Mix of vertical jigging vs dragging bottom depending on day. Some having the best luck drifting and others anchored. Sturgeon – Gob of worms, on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook and few ounces of no roll sinkers. An added shiner works sometimes too. Sturgeon are being found in deep holes and at the incline of holes along the river.

Walleye open through April 14, reopening May 12
Northern Pike open year round
Sturgeon catch and release open through April 23
Keep one within size limits April 24-May 7 and July 1 – Sept 30
Catch & release May 8-15 & Oct 1 – April 23

Ice Fishing
Due to the cool spring, we still have lots of ice on the lake. Extensions are still needed. We don’t have any houses out but if you are interested in venturing out on your own, Morris Point road is open to ATV’s and snowmobiles. For the most to up to date conditions they can be contacted at  218-634-2570.

Join us this spring!
Openings available this weekend and throughout the spring. Lodging starting at $43* per person per night and guided trips available. Charter fishing packages up to 20% off May 11-23. Click here to learn more: www.sportsmanslodges.com/spring

*Plus tax. Minimum rates may apply.

River Update Coming Soon


River Update Coming Soon


Hey Everyone!

What a crazy spring so far. We have gone from two of the warmest spring season’s to now one of the coldest. I guess that is Mother Nature for you, unpredictable. We are going to head out this afternoon and tomorrow morning and snap some pictures of what the river looks like and how far it is open to share with you tomorrow morning. We also will post another update Thursday afternoon too.

Over the weekend, the morning bite on the river was a struggle.  Temps dipped down causing some of the accesses to freeze up and then thawing late morning/early afternoon.  Some anglers went ice fishing on the lake for morning and headed to the river for the afternoon/evening soft water bite.  Still lots of ice on the lake.   Although it doesn’t appear to be time to break out the shorts yet, the forecast does look warmer for this week.  Warmer temps should help navigating the river and the increase the bite for the last few days of walleye season. Walleye season runs through April 14, re-opening May 12. Spring sturgeon catch and release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15, keep one (within size limits) April 24-May 7. Pike season never ends.  If you haven’t experienced reeling in a monster sturgeon or trophy pike, spring is one of the best times to do it. It is a blast! Give us a call, lodging and guided trips are available. 

The bite over the weekend was hit and miss. Some of those who did the best were jigging with 3/8 oz or 1/2 oz jigs on the river and small jigs/spoons on the lake in 16′-24′ tipped with a minnow. Sturgeon anglers were using a gob of worms, on 5/0 hook and a few ounces of no roll sinkers in deep holes of the river.   Pike anglers using live suckers and big smelt in pre-spawn areas.  The current is slow right now. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow and Thursday.

Few more days of ice fishing


Few more days of ice fishing
We have 40-50+ inches of ice on the lake in the areas we fish and travel right now.  Ice fishing trips available through Saturday.  Give us a call if you are interested in getting one last blast in! If you are planning on venturing out on your own, some of the public ice roads are getting pretty beat up so be sure to call ahead for current conditions. Adrian’s, Morris Point and Zippel are some of the ice roads near us.

Check out these pictures!

The Bite
Not too many changes from last week. Mix of jigging and dead sticking in variety of depths between 16’-31’ using gold and pink jigs,  Glo Shots, red hooks, Buckshots tipped with a minnow has been working the best for walleyes and saugers. Big pike are coming up the holes in shallow waters on the lake and bays using live suckers.  Log Cabin Bait just a mile away from us has suckers for sale.

Ice Conditions
We have  40-50+ inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run off of our private access.   If you are looking to venture out on your own, there are a number of plowed roads in the area. Be sure to stay on marked trails and roads and check current conditions/what they are allowing out with the road maintainer before venturing out.

Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods.
When walleye season closes for a few weeks, pike and sturgeon fishing heats up in the river and bays. The Rainy River and Lake of the Woods is home to an abundant amount of trophy size lake sturgeon and northern pike.

River Report
We have plenty of ice on the lake to keep us fishing safely for the next week and there will probably be quite a bit of ice on the lake for a while after March 31 this year.  Despite the cool temps there are signs of spring popping up.  The Rainy River is starting to open up to tour east.  Currently the river is open at Birchdale 36 miles east of us and the Birchdale landing opened yesterday for boats.  Frontier landing will be the next landing to open. I would expect that to open within the next week at this rate, then Vidas Landing near Clementson (6 miles east of Baudette (18 miles east of us)) Timbermill in Baudette and then Wheeler’s Point shortly after. Click here for more information about spring river fishing and stay tuned for updates.

Spring Specials
Lodging starting at $43 per person per night and guided river trips available April 1-May 23! Come see us!

*plus tax and based on double occupancy

Fishing Away!


Check out the pictures of the week!

The Bite

Single red hooks,  gold jigs, pink/blue Clam rattle spoon and red Glo Shots tipped with a minnow or two some guests said worked well for them mainly dead sticking was the best approach this week.  Although, I wouldn’t count out jigging.  It is always a good idea to do a mix of jigging and dead sticking and see what works for you.  Lots of saugers,  nice 15”+ walleyes, few eelpout, perch and more tullibees and pike this week than we have been seeing in previous weeks.  Best depth has been 17’-30’. The guides have been running and gunning chasing after active schools.  Electronics help!  This is the last weekend for our sleepers but we will continue to have day houses out for a few more weeks, give us a call 800-862-8602.

Walleye season is open through April 14 on Lake of the Woods. Once we end our ice fishing season we will be getting ready to hop in boats on the river. During the time walleye season is closed, there is an abundant amount of trophy size lake sturgeon and northern pike moving around in the river and bays. Fun time of year!

Ice Conditions
We lost some snow this week, but not changes in the ice conditions. We have 40-50 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. We run off of our private access.  If you are looking to venture out on your own, there are a number of plowed roads in the area. Be sure to stay on marked trails and roads and check current conditions with the road maintainer before venturing out, conditions vary.

Trail Report
For more information check out these links:
Northwest Angle Lake of the Woods
South Shore Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods Trail Information

21st Annual Mardi Gras Party is March 24
Visit us for great fishing and a whole lot of fun! Entertainment, beads, free hurricanes, food and drink specials, lip sync and costume contest win $100 CASH and much more. Click here to check out all of the fun we have planned and book your stay and play package today!

25% off all Lodging March 25-31
Give us a call 800-862-8602 or click here to book.

Spring River Fishing
It’s just around the corner. Lodging specials and guided trips available.
Click here to learn more.

Off and Running!


Walleye season is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited!  We had an awesome first weekend with boats pulling in a lot of nice fish!  Fish are being caught all the way from 14’ to 23’.  Do not be afraid to move around and look for fish!  Jig tipped with a shiner seemed to be the best way to target them with the hot colors being Lake of the Woods classics, pink and gold.  With temps remaining in the high 50s low 60s fishing is looking to stay good this week!  Hope to see you out there!


What a tough day for Captain Mike.  Trying to take a nice picture but cannot seem
to keep people from catching fish in the background!


Captain Wes off to a hot start this year with a cooler of nice fish!


Nice Catch!



Many of you know Mike Vanstrom, a guide who has been with us in the fall and winter seasons for the past 3 years. When Mike is not at Sportsman’s, Mike can be found in the southwest region of Alaska.

Mike has a love for the outdoors and in the summer season guides outdoor enthusiasts brown bear and moose hunting and king salmon fishing 300 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska on the Nushagak River the world’s largest run of king salmon. You may have recently seen the 9′ bear that is in our lobby Mike guided a customer to bag recently. If you are looking for an Alaska adventure check out Mike’s website.

Sturgeon and pike fishing is heating up!


We have already seen some huge sturgeon and nice pike reeled in this year and this is only the beginning! Sturgeon seasons run through May 15 and pike season is open year round. The spring sturgeon catch and release season runs through April 23 and May 8-15. You can keep one sturgeon per calendar year April 24-May 7, between the size of 45”-50” inclusive or over 75” with a sturgeon tag.  Sturgeon tags can be purchased at the lodge for $5 or at any place that sells Minnesota fishing licenses.

Come and get in on the fun
Water temp is 45 degrees today.  Some of the best sturgeon fishing is just minutes away from our dock. Sturgeon like to hang out in deep holes of the river bottom. One of the best techniques to hook into one is to set up anchored just in a hole or outside of a hole using a 4/0 or 5/0 hook, 2-10 oz. no roll weight depending on the current for that day and tip it with a gob of minnows. The best places to find pike this time of year is in the bays. Throwing dare devils or jointed rapalas usually do well. Hundreds of bays along the river and lake are open now. Guided trips also available too. The lake continues to open up more every day. As soon as the cloud cover clears we will post a satellite picture on our facebook page, stay tuned.

Check out what others have caught this week!

Get on the fish with a Guided Trip
Whether you are looking for sturgeon, pike or walleye we have trips available this spring. Contact us for more information 800-862-8602.

11th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is May 5 & 6. The tournament is full this year but everyone is welcome to stop in and check out the action from our docks or in the bar. The tournament takes place right out in front of the lodge over a 1 mile stretch. Annually we see over 100 sturgeon caught over the two day tournament. Stop by for great fishing stories, food, drinks and entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings. The tournament runs from 8:30 to 4pm Friday and 8:30 to 3pm Saturday.

Walleye Opener is just around the corner
May 13 is walleye opener. Lodging starting at $46 per person and lodging/charter fishing packages starting at only $249 per person. Click here to choose your package. *plus tax and based on double occupancy

Mother’s Day Brunch
Treat mom to some great fishing, relaxation and Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Sportsman’s May 14. From walleye, to salads to mimosas and more click here to check out the menu we have planned and make your reservations today.

Record Breaking Catch & Release Sturgeon


When you are fishing for walleye and you reel in a record breaking sturgeon!!

What an experience!
When three friends, Taylor Schroeder, Tyler Hill and Paul David from Virginia, MN area set out March 30, 2017 on the Rainy River to get into some walleyes, they had no idea what was going to be in store for the that day.

Check out Taylor’s story……Two friends and I set out to catch some walleyes last Thursday morning. We started the day with a nice 25″ fish, but then the fishing slowed, so we decided to move. We anchored in a new spot and soon after I hooked into a sturgeon. The sturgeon decided to bolt down river. I had to put a little pressure on my drag to make sure I had line left to fish with for the rest of the day. Of course, that resulted in my line breaking. I retied, and started fishing again.

Meanwhile, my friends, Tyler Hill and Paul David, started to catch some walleyes. I then felt weight again, so I set the hook, another sturgeon. This time, we pulled up anchor and went for a ride. Having only six pound test and a medium light rod, I didn’t know how long the fight would last. I assumed it would end with me tying on another jig. That was not the case!  It ended up taking around an hour of boat work and drifting to eventually get the fish off the bottom. When we first saw the fish, it became clear we had a BIG one. After wrestling with it at boat side, we found it impossible to lift the fish out of the water by hand, so we grabbed some rope and lassoed the tail. It took two of us to get the fish up and into the boat. When the chaos was somewhat over, we looked at the fish and noticed that it had two of my jigs stuck in its mouth. It was the same sturgeon that broke me off half an hour earlier!

Taylor Schroeder 69 inch sturgeon

After a few pictures and a good measurement, which required all three of us to accomplish, we released the fish. It was about an hour later, when my curiosity caused me to look up the state record (catch & release). I couldn’t believe it when I saw the numbers. Our fish topped the current record by an inch and a half. Unfortunately, we lacked one of the pictures required for it to be considered as a state record fish.  One picture away from a state record, will probably haunt me for a while but in reality, we were just fortunate to have experienced it. In the end, it’s a story of what could have been, but an amazing story nonetheless.

Taylor Schroeder 69 inch sturgeon March 2017
What a catch! 69 inch sturgeon caught on medium light rod, 6lb test, pink and white jig tipped with a rainbow minnow by Taylor Schroeder and assisted by Tyler Hill and Paul David.

Sturgeon season catch and release season is open on Lake of the Woods Oct 1 through April 23 and May 8-15. You can harvest one 45″-50″ inclusive or over 75″ May 8-15 and July 1-Sept 30 with a sturgeon tag purchased from the DNR.