Tag Archives: sportsmanslodge

“We had another excellent trip up at Oak Island”


We had another excellent trip up at Oak Island on Jan. 25-28, 2018. Wack and all the guys took great care of us, getting on the fish and cleaning them for us. We sure appreciate their hard work. The meals at the Lodge were fabulous as always.

Each of us caught some nice note-worthy fish.

Group: Kusilek
Name: Mike DeMarce
Fish: 22.5” Walleye
Date: 1/27/2018

Group: Kusilek
Name: Mark Stenseth
Fish: 20” Walleye
Date: 1/27/2018

Group: Kusilek
Name: Chad Young
Fish: 18.5” Walleye
Date: 1/27/2018

Group: Kusilek
Name: John Balk
Fish: 13.5” Perch
Date: 1/26/2018

Group: Kusilek
Name: Jim Kusilek
Fish: 13” Perch
Date: 1/26/2018

We hope to make it back up again next year, and look forward to seeing you all then.

Kusilek Group

Hey Ice Fishing Fans!


ice update

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.


Fishing continues to be hot!


Fishing continues to be hot!  Walleyes are being targeted and caught using a variety of tactics.  Gold and pink jigs tipped with a frozen shiner are still producing very well.  27’-30’ has been the best depths the past few days.

Like I said last week, the spinner bite will be picking up and that has held true!  8’-20’ with a hammered gold spinner tipped with a minnow, leech, or crawler produced good numbers of quality walleyes!  Drift speed is very important when spinner fishing. The best speed right now is .7-1.2 mph.

The third bite that has been producing is pulling plugs.  This is a method that doesn’t usually pick up steam until the dog days of summer but there has been a few boats doing well.  If you look to try this tactic look shallow.  Troll the breaks from 5’-10’.  Since the water is still warming up, the slower you can run your plugs and keep them in the strike zone the better!



Captain Matt and the Neimi Group had an unbelievable day filled with a ton of multi-species action!






Looking for a place to have a bachelor or bachelorette party this summer?
Sportsman’s Lodge is a great place! Lodging, fishing (no experience or equipment required), musical entertainment, indoor pool, hot tub, camping and relaxing await you. Make it just a day or weekend trip!  Contact us today for a free quote!

Celebrate Dad the month of June at Sportsman’s!
Lodging & Charter Fishing packages available starting at $249 per person or make it a gift card. Gift cards are always the right color, size and price.  Click here to contact us about a trip and click here to order a gift card online now.

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.

Opener is right around the corner!


Temperatures are up and the fishing is heating up too!  With water temps scratching 50 degrees, pike are in full swing and aggressive.  Casting spoons and spinnerbaits in the tributaries and at any shallow weeds that may be beginning to grow is the best and most efficient way to target them.  Sturgeon have begun to spawn and are stacking up in rapids and fast flowing shallow water. Best areas to target these monsters is to concentrate on deep holes adjacent to these spawning areas.

Walleye Opener
With the walleye season beginning this weekend, great places to begin the season is just outside the Lighthouse Gap, the north side of Pine Island and Four Mile Bay.  A jig tipped with a shiner is always the best bet to kick the season off.  As far as colors to start with, chartreuse, pink and gold are great choices!



Sturgeon fishing has been hot! 3 days left of the season until July. Get into the action!







Unreal! Two hours into these gals sturgeon careers they haul in a 68″ monster!


Take a Mom fishing
Mother’s Day is May 14.  Treat mom to some great fishing, relaxation and Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Sportsman’s next weekend.  She will love our cozy accommodations, indoor pool, hot tub, beautiful views, excellent fishing and delicious food.  Click here for our spring lodging and fishing packages and here to check out our Mother’s Day menu.

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.

The ice is moving on out!


The ice is moving on out. We can now get from the Northwest Angle/Young’s Bay to the island. The main lake still has ice but it is melting fast. Click here or give us a call 800-772-8411 to book you summer stay.

Check out our spring deals here.

For summer packages click here.

Fishing Dates to Remember

Minnesota Fishing Dates…..

Walleye opens May 13

Northern Pike open all year

Muskie opens June 17 thru Nov 30.

Bass, Crappie & Perch open all year.

Ontario Fishing Dates…..

Walleye season opens May 20

Muskie opens June 17

Northern Pike, Bass, Crappie & Perch open all year

Get your reservations in early for the upcoming summer season, prime dates are filling up.


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.

Spring Thaw


Most of last week the Rainy River clarity was up to 3’ and the current was mild. Walleye and sauger fishing was on fire! It wasn’t hard to catch 100+ fish in a day. Late last week the tributaries started to thaw, the river dirtied and the current sped up pushing anglers to change up their strategy to find the fish willing to bite.  It was a mixed bag of success. Some anglers continued to do well and some didn’t. Some switched over to sturgeon fishing.  Yesterday and early this morning the Little Fork and Big Fork opened up, a sure sign of spring.  As we look towards this week we should start seeing the river clean up and the lake open up further making available more fishing opportunities and clearer water.  As of today the lake is open about a mile and a half past Pine Island. The water temperature is starting to go up again, currently at 38.5 degrees after dipping to 35 degrees a few days ago.   All boat landings along the river are open.  The weather forecast looks dry and beautiful.

Yesterday, Guide Travis Madrazo and the Carisch group of 2 were out and did awesome. Late afternoon bite was best reeling in over 100 walleyes.

Carisch Group Guide Travis Madrazo Carisch Group Fish Carisch Group

Nate Sailor reeled in a nice 28.5 inch walleye and some nice sturgeon caught by the  Thomsen and Oelrich Group. Guided by Wes Harder.

Thomsen Group Wes Harder Guide

Oelrich Group Guide Wes Harder Sturgeon

28.5 inch walleye Nate Sailor Guide Wes Harder

29.5 inch walleye Christensen Group and some nice walleyes including a 29 inch with the Egan group. Guided by Baihly Hontvet

Egan Group Guide Baihly Hontvet Christensen Group Guide Baihly

Fishing Seasons Tips for the week
Walleyes & Saugers – River shorelines, 13’-22’, lake 10’-20’jigging brightly colored 1/2 oz. to ¾ oz. jigs tipped with rainbows, shiners or chubs or pitching soft plastics towards shore.

Sturgeon – Anchor near or in deep holes in the River or Four Mile Bay with some current using a 3-5 ounces of weight using a 4/0 or 5/0 hook tipped with a gob of worms and a shiner.   Lots of big sturgeons have been getting caught this week.  Once you hook in, be ready! Some of these monsters take up to a few hours to reel in. It can be quite an adventure!

Pike – With more bays opening up the soft water pike season should start heating up as well. Cast spoons and jerk baits in shallow bays  with structure.
Take a guide – A guided trip is relaxing, less hassle and it is a great way to learn new tactics. Contact us a for availability.

Walleye open through April 14, reopening May 13
Northern Pike open year round
Lake Sturgeon catch and release now through April 23, keep one season  April 24-May 7, catch and release May 8-15, closed May 16-June 30, keep one season July 1-Sept 30, catch and release Oct 1-April 23.
For more information about seasons, limits and licenses click here.

Lodging Specials, Guided Trips, Boat Rentals, Dock Slips, Rainy River Boat Access Map click here!

Forecast 4-4-2017

Curious about the water temperature and flow? Here are some resources to check out.
Rainy River Wheeler’s Point Water Data
Lake of the Woods Control Board Basin Data

From one season to the next! The river bite is on!!


Spring is in the air. Our ice fishing season closed Sunday on the lake and the river bite started with a bang on Monday. The Pelland and Birchdale landings are now open and the Frontier and Vidas landing are not far behind.  There is open water 4-5 miles west of Frontier landing. Frontier landing has 25-30 feet of shore ice and rumor has it may be open tomorrow. Vidas landing should be open by the weekend and possibly even Timbermill (east side of Baudette) by the weekend at this rate. The bite has been hot!  A few of our guides were out and landed and released a pile of walleyes yesterday, over 50% in the slot. Drift jigging gold/pink and gold ¾ oz. jigs tipped with a rainbow was the hot ticket.  Clarity was 6-8’ and current speed was .7-1mph.  Best time was in the late afternoon in depths of 13’-18’. Lodging specials and guided trips available now! Boat rentals and dock slips will be available soon! Time to book your spring trip! 800-862-8602

Click here to view the Rainy River Access Map


Pelland Landing 3-20-2017

Pelland Landing 3-20-2017

Birchdale Landing 3-20-17

Birchdale Landing 3-20-17

The spring river bite is on! Over 50 walleyes & over 50% of them slot size.

IMG958144 IMG958151

IMG_4502 IMG958157 IMG958158

Open Season
Walleye season is open through April 14 on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Pike season never closes and sturgeon catch and release is open now through April 23. Sturgeon keep one is April 24-May 7 and catch and release again April 8-15 before closing for a short 6 weeks.

Spring Specials
$99 Lodge Rooms & 20% off Cabins and Villas now through March 31. Lodging starting at $42 per person April 1-May 24 and up to 20% off lodging/charter packages May 12-May 24.  Don’t miss out on these hot specials! *rates plus tax and based on double occupancy

Sportsman’s 20th Annual Mardi Gras Party is this Saturday, March 25!
Free Hurricanes 8pm-9pm, $100 cash for best costume, $100 cash for best lip sync, $2 beer specials,
entertainment and a whole lot more! You won’t want to miss it! Book your lodging now.

Sportsman’s Lodge Oak Island Fishing, Trail & Ice Report 3/9/2017


The latest…..
Crazy weather week with wind, a few warm days and now subzero temps. I guess that is the way Mother Nature works sometimes. We currently are still maintaining 24-26 inches of ice in the areas we fish and travel. Not much snow cover on the ice right now so be sure to bring along your cleats or traction shoes.   It has been a decent morning and late afternoon bite this week. The bite has mainly been nice eater size walleyes along with a few 22”+ walleyes, few pike, perch and some little ones to keep you paying attention. J  A 35 inch northern was caught by a guest earlier this week. Plain hooks with a split shot using a whole or half minnow has been working well. Some days have been a finicky bite. Lots of fish showing up on the electronics.   Guides suggest using a mix of dead sticking and jigging techniques, changing up bait techniques and lures for best results. Electronics have worked well to entice the suspended fish. If you are planning on venturing out on your own, we strongly suggest checking with local resorts and guides before going out and stay on the marked routes.  Conditions change this time of year and the entire lake never freezes equally.


Ice Road Conditions from Young’s Bay to the Island
The ice road from Young’s Bay is open but we suggest calling out for the latest conditions and information before venturing out 800-772-8411. Due to the lack of snow and changing conditions our signs are no longer standing up along the road and some routes have changed.  Give us a call!

Trail Report
Minimal snow cover on the ice right now.

At Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge & Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge we plan to be open through March 19 for the winter season and then re-open early May for the summer season. Sportsman’s Lodge on the south side of the lake near Baudette will be open through the spring. Walleye season runs until April 14 and excellent pike and sturgeon fishing can be had during April on the Rainy River and south shore. For reservations at Sportsman’s Lodge click here or call 800-862-8602. To make your last minute ice fishing and summer reservations for Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge and Sportsman’s Eagle Ridge click here or call anytime 800-772-8411. Our office is open year round.