Tag Archives: lake of the woods mn

Sportsman’s Lodge Lake of the Woods Sturgeon Tournament & Walleye Opener Report 2016




Sportsman’s Lodge Lake of the Woods Sturgeon Tournament & Walleye Opener Report 2016

The 10th Annual Sturgeon Tournament is in the books & Walleye Opener is this weekend!
What a year! Over 200 sturgeons were caught over the two day, 50 boat tournament including an unofficial state record sturgeon! The two day tournament started Friday, May 5 running 8:30am – 4pm and Saturday 8:30am – 3:00pm. The weather was warm and a little breezy but the wind was in our favor keeping the river nice and calm.   The tournament is a catch and release tournament spanning over 1.2 miles just in front of the lodge on the Rainy River and just around Wheeler’s Point. Check out this hog! The recorded largest sturgeon on record with the Minnesota Department of Natural resources is 70 inches in length and 26.5 inch girth. On day one of the tournament this 70.5 inch length and 28 inch girth whopper was caught by Joe Anderson and his boat mates. What a catch!

Joe Anderson 70.5 inch, 28 inch girth lake sturgeon caught on the Rainy River Lake of the Woods, MN at Sportsman's Lodge 5-6-2016

Joe Anderson 70.5 inch, 28 inch girth lake sturgeon caught on the Rainy River Lake of the Woods, MN at Sportsman’s Lodge 5-6-2016

Musical entertainment, lots of fish stories and a banquet rounded out the festivities on Saturday. Thanks to all the participants it was another great year. We are looking forward to 2017. May 5 & 6. The tournament is already full but you can always contact us to be added to the waiting list or just come up and give sturgeon fishing a try. It is a lot of fun!

Check out some of the action and for more action click here. Congratulations to all the Winners!

Lake Sturgeon Lake Sturgeon Fishing for Sturgeon

10th Annual Sportsman’s Sturgeon Classic Tournament Results
Day 1 1st Place and the unofficial Minnesota record sturgeon 70.5 inch length, 28 inch girth Joe Anderson from Murphy Lake, MN – $2,150 cash plus $500 bonus for the record breaker. Day 1 2nd Place 64.75 inch length, 25.5 inch girth Mike Denuccie from Nashwauk, MN – $925 cash
Day 1 3rd Place 64 inch length, 26 inch girth Joe Lorenzen from Felden, MN – Sturgeon Rod
Day 2 1st Place 63.5 inch length, 23 inch girth Dave Clement from East Grand Forks, MN – $2,150 cash
Day 2 2nd Place 62 inch length, 22.5 inch girth Mark Sage from Grand Forks, ND – $925 cash
Day 2 3rd Place 59.5 inch length, 21.5 inch girth Brandon Lunski Grand Forks, ND – Sturgeon Rod

Other Prizes over Two Days Longest Eelpout 19.5 inch Danielle Denny from Blufton, MN – Prize Pack
Longest Bullhead 12.5 inch Joe Lorenzen from Felden, MN – Prize Pack
Longest Sucker 24.5 inch Jill Strom from Eveleth, MN – Prize Pack
Powder Puff 58 inch length, 23.75 inch girth Cindy Hunter from Grand Forks, ND – Prize Pack
Kid Division – Largest Sturgeon caught by a kid 29 inch length, 12 inch girth Prize Pack
Best Boat – Zach Omdahl – PowrTran Kicker Steering

Over $7,000 worth of cash and prizes were awarded.   Thank you to the contestants, staff and sponsors for making this such a successful event. Bryan “Beef” Sathre, Icatchandrelease.com, Rapala, Northland Tackle, Fish Addiction TV, 13 Fishing, Glacier Fish Houses, Lake of the Woods Tourism, St Croix Rods, SpeedyWorms.com, PowrTran, Fibertech, Dak Shack and Airwave Pedestal Seats.

Sturgeon catch and release season is open through May 15 and then re-opening July 1.


Walleye Opener is this Saturday May 14
Walleye Opener 2016
It’s that time of year again! Time to start reeling in the walleyes again! The river and the bay are full of fish and we think it is going to be a great opener. No boat, no equipment? No problem! We have charter trips available starting at just $112 per person per day including a full day trip aboard a 27’ Sport Craft, experienced guide, us of poles, bait, tackle, assortment of pop and water and fish cleaning. Lunch? Sure we can take care of that too! Ask about our shore lunch and box lunch options.

The bite
Shallow shorelines between 6’-20’ are going to be the best using a jig and a minnow or a jig and a spinner. Gold is always good as well as pink and orange in the stained Lake of the Woods waters. Drifting or trolling is going to work well. If pulling crankbaits is more your style that should produce some nice fish too. The current water temperature is 55 degrees and the current is normal.   Northern pike season is also open and Lake of the Woods has a huge population right now of trophy pike. Pitching dead ciscos with a bobber on a quick strike rig on bottom or just 6 inches off bottom are great ways to lure in these monsters along shorelines in weedy bays. Get your fishing buddies together and get ready for some fishing! Lodging starting at only $45* per person per night and guided trips are available. Call 800-862-8602 or book online here.

*plus tax and based on double occupancy Sportsman’s Rainy River location
rainy river weather 5-10-2016
Spring Specials through May 26!

Up to 20% off summer lodging and charter fishing packages May 13-May 26 and lodging packages starting at only $40 per person per night now through May 26.  It’s fishing time!

The river is open in front of the lodge!



The river is open in front of the lodge!

What a year!  The river opened quickly!  Over the weekend the Rainy River opened in front of the lodge.  It is now wide open to Wheeler’s Point and there is a channel open through Four Mile Bay that is within ½ mile of Lighthouse Gap where Lake of the Woods starts.  All boat ramps on the Rainy River are to all boats except for Wheeler’s Point. Wheeler’s Point has about 15 feet of shore ice this morning but we expect that to be gone in a couple of days.

Wheelers Point Access 3-21-2016

Wheelers Point Access 3-21-2016 Shore ice should be gone in a few days! All other ramps on the Rainy River between Birchdale and the lodge are open to all boats now.

View from the lodge looking onto the Rainy River 3-21-2016

View from the lodge looking onto the Rainy River 3-21-2016

Looking towards Wheeler's Point on the Rainy River from Wheeler's Point Public Access 3-21-2016

Looking towards Wheeler’s Point on the Rainy River from Wheeler’s Point Public Access 3-21-2016


Last week the tributaries opened up and muddied up the water making the walleye bite tough.  The water is starting to clear and should be much better by this weekend.  Jigging with 3/4-1 oz ounce jigs tipped with a chub or shiner minnow does the trick!  In the meantime the sturgeon bite is good!  Anglers have been reeling some nice 30”-65” monster sturgeons.  Anglers are anchored in deep holes around current using a size 5/0 hook, 2-3 ounces of weight and a gob of worms.  Sturgeon catch and release season is open until April 23. April 24-May 7 you can keep one within 45”-50” inclusive or over 75” with a sturgeon tag.  Sturgeon tags are $5 and available online or at the lodge. May 8-15 is catch and release again. The season is closed May 16-June 30.

The current water temperature is a cool 33 degrees.  The current is quick and the water level is low.

Check out this dinosaur! Lake Sturgeon caught and released this past weekend. Guided by JP Book your spring guided walleye, sturgeon and northern pike trip today!

Check out this dinosaur! Lake Sturgeon caught and released this past weekend. Guided by JP Book your spring guided walleye, sturgeon and northern pike trip today!

Monster Sturgeon being caught! Guided by JP. released

Monster Sturgeon being caught! Guided by JP. released


Lodging, Guided trips & Dock Slips available!
Lodging starting at only $40 per person per night plus tax Sun-Thurs and $45 on weekends in our lodge rooms and cabins. $59 in our new villas.  Guided trips for up to 4 people including guide, boat (18’-20), use of poles, bait and fish cleaning is $450 per day.  Dock slips $10 per night.  Book by calling 800-862-8602 or book online here.

The lodge will be closed Easter Sunday but lodging is still available!
Book by calling 800-862-8602 or book online here.

Lake of the Woods Fishing Seasons
Walleye open through April 14. Reopening May 14
Northern Pike – always open
Sturgeon catch and release open now through April 23. Keep one within size limits April 24-May 7, catch and release May 8-15. Closed May 16-June 30. Keep one within size limits July 1-Sept 30. Catch and release Oct 1-April 23.  For limits and more information click here.

Check out the cool drone footage from Bryan “Beef” Sathre from Fathead Guide Service shot on March 19!!

Spring is here! Time to get your fish on!

Rainy River Open Water Update! 3-16-2016


Rainy River Update!

Vidas landing (8 miles east of Baudette) and Birchdale landing (30 miles east of Baudette) are now both open. Frontier has about 30 feet of shore ice so that will be a few more days. The river is open shore to shore 5 miles east of Baudette and open spots showing up 2 miles east. At this rate we should have open water at our docks with the week.

Vidas Landing 3-16-2016

Vidas Landing 3-16-2016

Angler’s are catching some nice fish on jigs and minnows. Water temperature is 36.5 degrees.

Check out some of the nice walleyes the Lyman Group caught 3-15-2016. Guided by JP

Spring Walleye 2 3-15-2016 Lyman Group guided by JP
Spring Walleye 3-16-2016 Lyman Group Guided by JP

Lodging available $40-$59 per person per night! (plus tax and based on dbl occupancy)
Guided trips available too!

Time for spring fishing! www.sportsmanslodges.com 800-862-8602

Bar and Reataurant is open! Mardi Gras Party Saturday!

Weekly Fishing Report


Another ice fishing season is in the books! Thanks for another great season!
The first day on the river went well! Anglers reeled in several nice walleye and sturgeon. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Jigging with jigs tipped with chubs or shiner minnows worked best.
26 inch walleye
Caught by Todd Labine 3-14-2016
Guided by Shane.
27.75 inch walleye caught and released by Andy Labine. Guided by Shane. Nice catch!
The boats are shined up and ready to go! 
The Rainy River is open at Frontier Landing 16 miles east of Baudette (28 miles east of the lodge) as of yesterday.
Crews worked hard to clean out the shore ice at Birchdale Landing, 26 miles east of Baudette (38 miles east of the lodge) yesterday morning and it is ready to go! Only snow and salt remain on the ramp. We anticipate Frontier landing to be open in a few days and Vidas Landing 8 miles east of Baudette (20 miles east of the lodge) a few days after that. Time for river fishing!!!
Birchdale Landing is open! 3-14-2016
Just snow and salt on the ramp remain
Crews started early in the morning March 14 to get the ramp ready for fishing! Thank you for the help!
Birchdale 3-14-2016
Lodging as low as $40 per person per night now through May 26. Guided outfitter trips available now! $450 for the boat for up to 4 people for a full day including guide, bait, use of rods and reels, fish cleaning and soft drinks/water assortment. *plus tax and based on double occupancy
Fishing Seasons
Walleye season is open until midnight April 14. Northern Pike season never closes and lake sturgeon catch and release is open now through April 23, keep one within size limits April 24-May 7, catch and release again May 8-15. For limits and the complete Minnesota DNR regulation guide, click here.
For directions and information about the Rainy River boat access ramps, click here
Join in on the fun 8pm-1am! Entertainment, great specials, wear your favorite costume, FREE Hurricanes 8pm-9pm, stay and play packages and more! You won’t want to miss it!


Lake of the Woods South Shore Ice Conditions & Fishing Report



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.
Ashley from the Iron Range reeled in this nice 18 inch walleye this past weekend. Nice catch Ashley. Guided by Beef Nice catch Jim Fuschetto!  25 inch walleye, 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.

For a Rainy River Boat Access Map and directions click here



Fishing has begun and the lodge at our Rainy River location is open!


Fishing has begun and the lodge at our Rainy River location is open! Click here for our rates and packages http://sportsmanslodges.com/…/winter/winter-fishing-packag…/

We hope to have the sleeper houses out in a few days and Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge open in a few days as well. Stay tuned for updates. Waiting on the ice.

Click here for daily dining and bar specials

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Sportsmans Lodge

Fish House Sportsman's Lodge

Sportsman’s Lodge Lake of the Woods South Shore Ice Report



Sportsman’s Lodge Lake of the Woods South Shore Ice Report


ICE ICE ICE BABY!!!  We’re getting really close to fishing on the big lake.  We sent out the guides out today and we are getting reports of 4”-6” in the bay and on the lake side of Pine Island we are seeing 6” out to 25 feet of water in the areas we fish and travel.  We have made good progress the past few days.

We will be checking ice again on Wednesday. At this point we are hoping to start fishing on Dec 26 in our day houses based on the forecast but will know for sure on Wednesday, Dec 23.   Our sleeper houses will take a few days longer to get ready as they are a little heavier, looking at Dec 29 or 30 at this point.  We are eager as many of you to get out fishing, but safety is our #1 priority.  We need to gain a few more inches of ice to be safe.  The forecast looks great with lows in the single digits to below zero.  Their is minimal, if any snow cover on the lake right now. We are forecasted to get a few inches of snow in the next few days which should not affect ice making at all.

If you decide to venture our on your own.
Our report is based on the areas we travel. No ice roads or trails are open at this time. As we ramp up, please stay on marked trails and don’t venture out on your own.  Ice can be good on the trail and not good in other spots. The Rainy River like every year and high current areas are the last to get a good base of ice. We don’t travel these areas until mid to late season if at all depending on conditions. At this time 1-4 inches is reported in these areas. Stay tuned for another report in a few days.

Book your stay
Winter is here! Lodging and Fishing packages available! Click here to book now or call 800-862-8602.

The lake has sealed up!


The lake has sealed up!

It’s almost time.. These photos are from Saturday, Dec 19 at 11 a.m. Lake of the Woods is locked up and solid ice.  Won’t be long till we are rocking at Sportsman’s Lodge.There is very little snow as of now on the ice, ice season on the big pond is fast approaching Last minute prepping and soon we will be ice fishing. As of now we are tentatively looking at day houses Dec 26th and sleeper houses on the 29th.. With Oak Island hopefully be ready on the 26th…. Bombers, fish houses, and guides are ready… Book now at Sportsman’s Lodge. 800-862-8602. Looking forward to an awesome year! 

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New Year’s Eve Party Sportsman’s Lodge


New Year’s Eve Party Sportsman’s Lodge


It’s a New Year Celebration at Sportsman’s Lodges

Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River Riverside Dining Room will feature a special on night only menu including these delicious selections and a complimentary glass of champagne with each entree.

Appetizers: Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Onion Rings, Walleye and Steak Bites

For the main entree: Shrimp Scampi, Walleye, Crab Legs, Ribeye Steak, Prime Rib, Whiskey Sirloin and Stuffed Shrimp Combo, Stuffed Shrimp, Fall off the bone BBQ Ribs, Seafood Pasta, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Pork medallions and Chicken Tetrazzini.

Don’t forget dessert! Indulge in Cheesecake, Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, Cheesecake and Sundaes.


Serving Dinner from 5pm til 10pm – Dinner reservations are suggested

Enjoy your entrée with our soup and salad bar and favorite
cocktail or wine from our bar.

Looking for a lighter fare? The Sandbar will be serving appetizers, sandwiches and burgers all day until 10pm.

  • Dancing & Entertainment
  • Live Entertainment by Fireline
  • Party Favors
  • Champagne Toast
  • Good Friends & Holiday Cheer!

How about New Year’s Island Style at Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge

Succulent King Crab & Slow Roasted Prime Rib Special

Serving Dinner from 6pm til 9pm – Dinner reservations suggested.

Party Favors • Champagne Toast!

Lodging & Fishing packages available. Space is limited so click here to book your trip today or call (866) 533-8998!

P.S. Christmas gift idea! Always the right color, size and price! Sportsman’s Lodge gift certificate.