Is spring coming early or are we just being teased?
Like much of the state we have received some warm weather this week too. What does this mean for ice fishing? Safety first! At this point we have only lost snow. We still have 33 inches of ice on the river, 38 inches on Four Mile Bay and nearly 4 feet on the lake. The forecast is calling for highs in the forties through the weekend and lows in the upper twenties/lower thirties. Mostly overcast skies (this helps!). Next week’s forecast cools down with highs in the thirties and lows in the lower twenties. We see no problem fishing through this weekend and possibly next week. It all depends on how much sun and warm temperatures we get through this weekend. We check ice conditions daily and will keep you updated! Daily reports can be found on our Facebook page here.
We have a variety of houses in the mud and reefs in 25-32 feet of water. The ride out to the fish houses takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes. If we had it our way, the shorter the ride the better however, the fish aren’t agreeing this year. That’s fishing! Our goal is to give you the best fishing experience possible so we go where the fish are. A mix of walleyes, saugers, tulibees, a few perch and pike have been reeled in this week. Bright colored jigs orange, pink and gold have been working well tipped with a minnow. Buck shots have also done well. A little jigging and using a vexilar helps your fishing success!
Walleye fishing open until April 14, re-opening May 9. Limit change on the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay March 1-April 14. Pike season never closes and sturgeon fishing 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.
Grooming has ended for the year. Trails are being maintained by local resorts with drags. Use caution around the pressure ridges. Pressure ridges pull apart and push together when the temperature warms and cools.
Won’t be long and we will be back in the boats. The river is open 58 miles east of the resort right now. The first landing near us that will open will be at Birchdale, 38 miles away. When? Good question? My guess is 10-14 days at this point. Lots of factors come in to play of course, stay tuned! Lodging rates as low as $40 per person per night (plus tax based on double occ) April 1-May 20! Get your reservations in now!
Warm weather has been in the area, but we are still freezing at night and the 10 day forecast is calling for much of the same. We have lost some snow but ice is good, no loss. As long as we don’t get a stretch of nights not freezing we see no problem continuing to ice fish through our season. Here at Oak Island we will be for ice fishing through March 21 and the lodge open through March 22. The main lodge near Baudette does not close during ice out.
Anglers have been reeling in 30% walleyes, 60% saugers and the balance in perch and northern pike. The catching success has increased over the past week. Depths ranging from 17’-27’ have been doing the best. As far as big fish, a few nice 38” and 41” pike have been caught as well as some nice walleyes in the 22”-27” range. A good run from 8am-10am and 2pm-5pm have been the most aggressive times of the day. Gold jigs tipped with a minnow are the hot ticket and keeping your jig really tight to bottom.
|Grant with one of his nice walleyes he caught!
Way to go Grant!
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge
38+ inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish.
Ice Road from Young’s Bay to Oak Island
Open and in good shape. This could change based on the weather conditions so please call before coming out.
Trails are in fair condition. A little slushy depending on the daily temperature.
Summer is just around the corner!
Get your reservations in now! 800-772-8411 or click here.
Last month of ice fishing
Here we are in the last month of the season. More sun, warmer days and active walleyes are what we have in our sights. It will be a fun month of fishing! Currently we have houses scattered anywhere from 25’-31’ in the mud and on the reefs, 5 to 18 miles away. The action has been hit and misses. Some days the catching is real good and the others a little less, all in all the fishing is good. Vexilar/Fish Finder users tend to have the best success. The good old gold jig, chartreuse jig and spoons with some shine to them tipped with a minnow are doing the best right now. Vertical jigging a few inches off bottom is a good approach. We are seeing a 75% sauger, 25% walleye mix this week. The walleyes are nice size and many 20” plus.
We have 38 inches plus of ice right now in the areas we travel and fish. Nice week of weather in the forecast. Highs in the teens early in the week and 30’s by the weekend. Lows in the single digits to keep our ice nice and safe.
Trails are in the best shape they have been in all winter. Grooming continues weekly and as needed.
Late season openings
We still have openings in March. Come on up and get your fish on! www.sportsmanslodges.com 800-862-8602
Sturgeon, Pike & Walleye Soft water Fishing Anyone?
April is just around the corner and that means excellent river and bay fishing. Walleye season is open until April 14, reopening May 9. Pike season never closes and sturgeon season is open until May 15. Spring fishing is action packed! You won’t want to miss it! Lodging, Guided Trips, Boat Slips, Boat Rental, Restaurant, Indoor Pool, Camping available. Lodging as low as $40 per person per night! *plus tax based on double occupancy.
Get in on the late season action!
The best action has been between 8am-10am and 2pm-5pm this week. Anglers are reeling in a 50/50 walleye and sauger mix along with a few perch. The white gemini tipped with a minnow has been the hot tackle this week in 22’-26’ of water on hard bottom. Combination of a little jigging but mostly dead sticking has worked well.
38+ inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel right now.
Trail & Road Conditions
Snowmobile trails are in good shape. Ice road from Young’s Bay to Oak Island is in good shape too.
Snowmobile Rally is this weekend!
Come on out for the day, Saturday March 7 and join the Northwest Angle Edge Riders and us for this fun annual event. Events, prizes, enter for a chance to win a Polaris Ranger, food and fun! For more information click here.
Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge last day of ice fishing will be March 21 and the last day of the lodge will be open will be March 22. Sportsman’s Lodge Rainy River location will continue to ice fish until March 31 and the lodge will remain open through ice out.
Reeling in the fish!
It has been a decent week of fishing here on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are catching more walleyes than saugers in a variety of sizes. Best depth has been 25’-32’ of water right now. We have some houses located right outside Pine Island a short 15 minute ride and some farther north on the reefs about a 45 minute ride. We scatter the houses to find the best fishing for you! That is our goal! Popular tackle has been macho minnows, gold and chartreuse jigs tipped with a minnow. Vexilar users tend to do better than those who do not use them. Rentals are available at the front desk. Weather forecast is calling for a cool start to our week below zero and single digits but the weekend looks warmer in the twenties above zero.
|26 inch walleye released
Fish Houses available until March 31!
We can have our fish houses out until March 31 mother nature willing and at this point with over 38 inches of ice, it is looking pretty promising! Give us a call 800-862-8602 to make your late season hard water trip.
|22 inch walleye released
38 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish.
The trail conditions have really improved the past week. We received a little more snow and the groomers are out. Snowmobilers are smiling! Take a ride!
18th Annual Mardi Gras Party March 28!
Come for the fishing and stay for the party! Entertainment, drink and food specials, free hurricanes 8pm-9pm, crowning of the king and queen, beads, beads and more beads! Always a good time! Don’t forget your costume!
Anglers have been enjoying some pretty good fishing action this week. Jigging and using a vexilar using spoons, gold and glow in the dark jigs are working well tipped with a minnow or minnow head. The best fishing have been found deep in the 25’-34’ range. Nice healthy sized walleyes 14”-18” and 25”-30” along with a mix of saugers and perch have been reeled in. Houses are scattered outside of Pine Island right now. The guides continue to move houses to get you the best fishing action. The ride out to the houses takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the house location. Weather forecast is calling for temps below zero for the week ahead and a possible up to an inch of snow on Friday.
25.5 inch walleye, released
|Another nice catch!
30.5 inch walleye
Hook it up
Time to check those hooks. As move towards the tail of the season, now is a good time to check through your favorite hooks you have been using over the winter to be sure they haven’t dulled. Another good tip is to do a little hook bending to increase your hooking power. Bending the hook out to give it an offset and up to increase the hook gap. This will increase your hooking power and help you to miss fewer fish.
A look ahead….March = More Sun, Less Snow & Active Walleyes!
Don’t forget we ice fish until March 31 on Lake of the Woods and March fishing usually is one of the best times of the year! March has a track record of being an awesome month for walleyes. Warmer temps and more sun really seem to rev up the fishing action. We still have openings, so give us a call to get in on some late season hard water fishingbefore it ends!
We are currently maintaining 36”-38” of ice on the lake right now in the areas we travel andfish. The weather forecast continues to look cool for optimum ice making.
Lake trails are in good shape. Land trails are hit or miss. Where is all of the snow? The snowmobile trails continue to be groomed weekly and as needed.
Mardi Gras Party is March 28!
Join us for our end of the season bash. Enjoy entertainment, food and drink specials, lodging and fishing package deals, beads, beads and more beads. Book your stay today!
The Fishing Scoop
The guides on the island report a nice mix of walleyes and saugers and good catch rates lately. We are currently seeing the best results along some structure in depths between 20’-26’ of water just outside of Oak Island. The best presentation has been gold, pink and orange jigs tipped with a chub minnow. Jigging and feeling for the optimum time to set the hook is the trick!
|Bob Anderson from Bloomington MN
39 inch northern pike caught and released this on his 67th birthday
Way to go Bob! What a nice birthday surprise!
Biggest fish he has ever caught.
Hot Lunch delivered to you
We may be on an island, but we don’t believe in “roughing it”. Ask how you can enjoy a hot lunch prepared and brought right to your fish house midday when you join us for your nextfishing trip.
The fun hasn’t stopped, it has really just begun! March is usually one of the best times for ice fishing! Warm weather, lots of sun and walleyes! Come on up! We are open until mid-March.
Ice Condition Report
We currently have 3 feet of ice, plenty of ice for lots of winter fun.
Snow & Trail Report
We received six inches of snow this week. Lake trails from Baudette to Oak Island & ice road from Young’s Bay to Oak Island are in good shape. Take a cruise out!
Mix of 10”-15” saugers and 12”-18” and 28”+ walleyes along with a few perch this week.
A plain hook tipped with a minnow has been one of the most successful approaches. Spoons, gold and glow in the dark jigs have also worked well. Best depth has been in 25’-34’ of water both in the mud and on structure. Vexilars seem to help angler’s success rate. We received a few inches of snow yesterday, temperature in the 20’s. Tomorrow it is supposed to start cooling off for the weekend, overcast skies. No precipitation is in the forecast at this time.
|James and Cassandra Baas
27 inch walleye, released
Caught on a plain hook and minnow rig on bottom
27.5 inches, released, 2-7-2014
Caught on a firetiger buckshot lure
Currently we have 36-38 inches of ice in the areas we travel and fish right now. Lots of ice to get us through March!
Lake trails are groomed, packed well and in decent shape. Land trails could use some more snow but are open.
Make your Valentine’s Day Dinner Reservations
Check out specials and make your dinner reservations today. Snuggle up early; we have lodging and fishing packages available Feb 11, 12 & 13.
Variety of walleyes, saugers, perch and pike have been caught this week. Jigging with plain hooks or glow in the dark jigs right on bottom has worked best. It has been a light bite so make sure you are jigging and set the hook! Best depth has been in 23’-29’. Vexilars really help the success rate.
Currently we have three feet of ice in the areas we fish and travel
Ice Road from Young’s Bay to Oak Island
The road is in good shape. Take a drive out!
Lake trails are groomed, packed well and in decent shape.
Check out our new lake home available to rent!
Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, awesome views, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, private dock, full kitchen and wrap around deck.