Our 49th soft water season is coming to a close. We want to THANK EVERYONE who was able to visit us this season and to those who couldn’t, we can’t wait to see you soon. We are now sliding into “freezing season” and fall cleaning and projects for in full swing. If you are still interested in coming up and wetting a line or just relaxing in a cabin, we welcome you with lodging available. The public ramp will continue to be open as long as mother nature allows. Our dining rooms, guide service, bar, pool, and lodge rooms are closed until ice fishing season kicks off in December. For lodging reservations for fall or the upcoming seasons give us a call at 800-862-8602 or click here to contact us online.
The river bite has been hit and miss. It has been a different fall this year. Many reports of anglers seeing fish on the graphs in the river but a light bite. Anchored using a jig or minnow in 8’-25’ on the lake or river has been the go-to approach. Gold and pink have been the best-colored jigs.
For sturgeon, deep holes in the river and bays are good spots using a sturgeon rig tipped with crawlers and shiners. The best pike bite is in bays trolling along shorelines with a crankbait.
Thanks again for a great season! Good luck to all the hunters and we look forward to seeing you this winter!
Last Weekend of the Season! Sturgeon Tournament starts tomorrow. Our regular spring tournament rescheduled to this fall will kick off tomorrow morning and run for 2 days Friday and Saturday to close out our 2020 softwater season. The spring tournament usually produces lots of monster fish. What’s in store this fall? Stay tuned! Good luck anglers, stay safe, and have fun!
Looks like we are in for a warm-up for a while starting tomorrow. The walleye bite has been up and down lately. Anglers have been chasing walleyes in a variety of spots including outside of the gap, bay, and river in 7′-15′ and 16′-24′ anchored with a jig and a minnow.
The water temp is in the 30s, the level remains low and the current slower than normal. We received a couple of inches of snow yesterday and have accumulated some shore ice in the bays. There is minimal shore ice on the river in front of the lodge. The dock stalls are all open. Wheeler’s Point landing continues to be open with a dock and no shore ice. Sand has been put down on one side of the landing after the snow and the sun is peaking out. The warm weather should melt off the packed snow soon.
Dining, Bar & Lodging After breakfast on Sunday, we will be closing our dining, bar, lodge rooms, and pool during the freezing season. Cabins and villas will remain open.
A mix of anchored while jigging with 3/8 oz jigs and a minnow, drifting with spinners and a few ounces of weight tipped with a leech or crawler and trolling with crankbaits are all methods used this week in 18’-25’. Pink, gold, and orange have been notable colors. One method over another did not necessarily mean a better catch rate but drifting and trolling at a slower speed did help.
Water temp is currently 55 degrees. Tip of the Week ~ Make sure to give the fish a good taste of the bait and then set the hook! Tight lines everyone!
Charter trips available for groups up to 6!
Come have some fun this summer. Two nights lodging and a full day of charter fishing including the guide starting at only $241 per person based on 6. Give us a call 800-862-8602 orclick here, Let’s go fishing! *Plus tax and based on double occupancy.
Outdoor Dining is now available and our Rooftop Deck is complete!
Oak Island Fishing Report
A good bite is close to Oak Island and the surrounding islands on the Minnesota side. The flats have been a popular spot. Jigging with an orange or gold 3/8 ounce jig tipped with a chub minnow along points 12’-20’ of water is bringing in nice walleye and saugers. Anglers are finding good success drifting with spinners in 8’-17’ of water tipped with a crawler or leech too. Water temperature is hovering between 55-60 degrees. The catch has been mainly 13”-18” walleyes and a few saugers in the mix.
We have openings available this weekend and throughout the summer. Give us a call 800-772-8411 or contact us online here.
The Summer Season has begun and the bite has been great! So nice to see guests out enjoying the great outdoors. Many guests who headed out on the lake found a great bite the past week. Plenty to eat and some lunkers for some added excitement!
Water temperature is on the rise, 59 degrees now. Drifting and jigging with a white or gold jigs tipped with a frozen shiner or chub minnow is working well in 20’-24’. Tip of the Week ~ Don’t forget to set the hook!
Check out the pictures of the week! The Kimm group reeled in 17 trophy walleye over 28”!
$99 Lodge Rooms are back, all summer long and charter trips are available! Charters available for groups of 2 plus the guide through May 31 and starting June 1, up to 6. All boats and equipment are thoroughly sanitized and our guides are wearing protective gear. Give us a call 800-862-8602 or click here, let’s go fishing!
Oak Island Fishing Report
Fishing is heating up! Lots of nice walleyes were caught this past weekend. Shorelines and points in 12’-22’ were hot spots using gold or pink jigs tipped with a minnow. Some had success anchored and others drifting. Pike, bass, crappie and perch season is also open. We have lodging and guided trips available. Come enjoy some island time!
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge opens up Thursday, December 26!
The fish houses are ready! Tim and Josh fished for a few hours yesterday afternoon and kept some nice fish for supper and caught a northern too. Gold, red and orange are hot colored jigs right now. Right now we have 10-16 inches of ice in the areas we travel. Apps, pizzas, and cocktails will be available starting at 11 am Thursday and the full dinner menu starting at 5 pm. We will start serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily starting Friday. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Road from Young’s Bay to the Resort
The main ice road from Young’s Bay to the island is not quite ready yet so we will be using an alternative route for now. Guests, please give us a call ahead of time to be led out.
Trail from Four Mile Bay/Sportsman’s Lodge
The lake trails are marked with black stakes from Four Mile Bay near Sportsman’s Baudette location to Oak Island and Young’s Bay at the angle to the lodge. We don’t have much snow, 0”-6” right now, so if you head out, be sure to watch for bare spots and ice chunks. The Lake of the Woods passengers Service will be running from Sportsman’s Lodge to Oak Island starting December 26.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Sportsman’s Family to yours!
7 Days left! The ice is good on the lake, 40-50+ inches in the areas we fish and travel right now. We have just lost snow up to this point and evening temps remain below freezing. Guests have been catching some nice fish. We have some openings available this week. Come have some fun!
Check out the pictures of the week!
Mix of jigging and dead sticking in variety of depths between 17’-31’ using Hyperglides, gold jigs, Glo Shots, red hooks, glow green and glow red Buckshots have been catching some walleyes and saugers this week. A lunker 15lb eelpout was caught on a buck tail. Big pike are coming up the holes in shallow waters on the lake and bays using live suckers. Electronics help catch rates! Bring them a long or call ahead to rent.
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.
Zero to a foot of hard packed snow is on the ice right now, more the farther north you go and varied amounts on the land trails.
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 for a few weeks of walleye fishing. When walleye season closes, 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.
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 to nearly Birchdale, 38 miles from the lodge and 26 miles east of Baudette. I would suspect in a few days the first boats will start sliding over the ice chunks into the water. After Birchdale, it will only be a matter of days before the rest of the landings start to open up. There is a public landing at Birchdale, two between Birchdale and Baudette, a couple in Baudette and one at Wheeler’s Point. Click here for more information about spring river fishing and stay tuned for updates. We will start checking landings on a regular basis next week and post updates on our website and Facebook pages. Stay tuned!
Some people fish a lifetime hoping to catch one of these monster walleyes. Ashton Nills caught two in one day on March 16, 2018 at Sportsman’s Lodge. A 27 inch and 28.5 inch walleyes. What a day! Awesome angling Ashton and excellent release. Thanks for visiting!
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!
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.
Check out one of our long time guests, Fran 90 years young. Fran has been coming to Lake of the Woods since 1950 and to Sportsman’s since it was built in 1971. Her first trip was on her honeymoon. Fran doesn’t miss her annual fishing trip with guide Tony Beckel and she still has the touch to real in the walleyes. We can’t wait to see you again next year. Nice catch Fran!
The bite on Lake of the Woods continues to be good despite a few storms that passed through last week. The current water temperature is 66.5 degrees. Drifting with a spinner and 2-3 ounce sinker in 18-26 feet of water around Garden Island and Graceton Beach has been good. Plenty of 17-19 inch walleyes are being caught along with some larger walleye. Worms are being favored but leeches and minnows are not a bad idea to bring along too depending on the day. Guided trips available. Enjoy your summer and wet a line today.
Rob Close from Ellsworth WI reeled in a nice 23 inch walleye released. Guided by Captain Cam
Fran Wittfoth from Holland, MN 27 inch 8.5 lb walleye released Captain Tony Beckel