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cfwaterHeader2ecfm443092612$funcCOUNTYNAME@c1e910a County
FISHING REPORTS

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 1,364 posts
TODAY @ 8:33 AM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Sunny 37°
Water: 34°
Baitfish
On the south end...   Lots of ice on the main basin, but it is definitely deteriorating.  Some anglers have been fishing the open water at the mouth of the Rainy River in front of the Lighthouse Gap.  The rest of the basin is still iced over.

Pike enthusiasts caught some big pike earlier last week tip up fishing in pre-spawn areas adjacent to traditional spawning areas.  8 - 14' of water using tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring has been the ticket.  Ice fishing for all practical purposes is done for the year.

The focus for the basin moving forward will be pike transitioning into back bays to spawn,  This is open water fishing and an opportunity available as the pike season is open year round on Lake of the Woods. The limit is 3 pike per day with one being able to be more than 40 inches. All fish 30 - 40 inches must be released.With both the ice fishing and spring fishing on the Rainy River being so good, many are looking forward to the MN Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 11th.  It should be epic.On the Rainy River...  An absolutely incredible week of walleye and sturgeon fishing on the Rain Rainy River.  

Walleye anglers, as a rule, caught good numbers of fish and lots of big fish.  This spring was one for the books.

To follow that up, the sturgeon season is currently underway and although every day can be different, many boats have caught 30 - 40 sturgeon in a day!  We have heard of fish measuring into the low 70 inch range.  Lots in the 60 - 70 inch range as well.

The sturgeon season continues through May 15th and resumes again July 1st.  
Oct 1 - April 23, Catch and ReleaseApril 24 - May 7, Harvest SeasonMay 8 - May 15, Catch and ReleaseMay 16 - June 30, Sturgeon Fishing ClosedJuly 1 - Sep 30, Harvest Season
If you fish during the sturgeon harvest season and you want to keep a sturgeon, you must purchase a sturgeon tag for $5 prior to fishing.    One sturgeon per calendar year (45 - 50" inclusive, or over 75").Most sturgeon anglers are either a glob of crawlers or a combo of crawlers and frozen emerald shiners on a sturgeon rig, which is an 18" leader with a 4/0 circle hook combined with a no roll sinker.  Local bait shops have all of the gear and bait.Up at the NW Angle...  Open water is continuing to expand in areas with current.  The sight of open water simply is wetting the pallet of those eager for the MN Fishing Opener on May 11th.

A few locals were on the ice this week, targeting pike.  Some big slimers were iced along with some muskies as well.  If you like fishing for predators, LOW is healthy!
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
4/9/24 @ 11:05 AM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Cloudy 42°
Water: 34°
Baitfish
On the south end...   This is the time of year some are still ice fishing on the main basin of Lake of the Woods and others are open water fishing out of boats on the Rainy River.  It's nice to have options!
Ice anglers targeting walleyes are being rewarded with good catches of walleyes, saugers, and some jumbo perch.  Most action is in 18 - 25'.

Pike enthusiasts are finding big pike tip up fishing in prespawn areas adjacent to traditional spawning areas.  Tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring in 8 - 14' of water has been the pattern overall.

Soon, pike will be sliding into back bays to spawn, which creates an entirely different fishing opportunity.  The pike season on Lake of the Woods never closes.  The limit is 3 pike per day with one being able to be more than 40 inches.  All fish 30 - 40 inches must be released.

Anticipation is high for the MN Fishing Opener, which is Saturday, May 11th.  Good numbers of walleyes and saugers are currently staged in many locations along the south shore.

On the Rainy River...  Open water has made it all the way to Four Mile Bay.  Walleye fishing and sturgeon fishing has been excellent.  The water clarity is still very good and there are a lot of fish in the river.  

Boat ramps are open all the way to Wheeler's Point.  Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas, Timber Mill Park in Baudette, and the Wheeler's Point boat ramp at the mouth of the Rainy River are all open.

Jigs with brightly colored plastics or jigs with a frozen emerald shiner have been the ticket for most spring walleye anglers.  Don't forget about slow trolling crankbaits against the current as this is a very effective technique this time of the year.

Sturgeon are active and being caught on the river as well by both walleye anglers and those targeting sturgeon.  Most sturgeon anglers are either a glob of crawlers or a combo of crawlers and frozen emerald shiners on a sturgeon rig, which is an 18" leader with a 4/0 circle hook combined with a no roll sinker.  Local bait shops have all of the gear and bait.

Up at the NW Angle...  Open water is appearing in some of the areas with current such as Flag Island Flats, Minnesota Point and Million Dollar Rock, just to name a few.  The sight of open water simply is wetting the pallet of those eager for the MN Fishing Opener on May 11th.




Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
4/9/24 @ 11:04 AM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
42°
On the south end...   This is the time of year some are still ice fishing on the main basin of Lake of the Woods and others are open water fishing out of boats on the Rainy River.  It's nice to have options!
Ice anglers targeting walleyes are being rewarded with good catches of walleyes, saugers, and some jumbo perch.  Most action is in 18 - 25'.

Pike enthusiasts are finding big pike tip up fishing in prespawn areas adjacent to traditional spawning areas.  Tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring in 8 - 14' of water has been the pattern overall.

Soon, pike will be sliding into back bays to spawn, which creates an entirely different fishing opportunity.  The pike season on Lake of the Woods never closes.  The limit is 3 pike per day with one being able to be more than 40 inches.  All fish 30 - 40 inches must be released.

Anticipation is high for the MN Fishing Opener, which is Saturday, May 11th.  Good numbers of walleyes and saugers are currently staged in many locations along the south shore.

On the Rainy River...  Open water has made it all the way to Four Mile Bay.  Walleye fishing and sturgeon fishing has been excellent.  The water clarity is still very good and there are a lot of fish in the river.  

Boat ramps are open all the way to Wheeler's Point.  Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas, Timber Mill Park in Baudette, and the Wheeler's Point boat ramp at the mouth of the Rainy River are all open.

Jigs with brightly colored plastics or jigs with a frozen emerald shiner have been the ticket for most spring walleye anglers.  Don't forget about slow trolling crankbaits against the current as this is a very effective technique this time of the year.

Sturgeon are active and being caught on the river as well by both walleye anglers and those targeting sturgeon.  Most sturgeon anglers are either a glob of crawlers or a combo of crawlers and frozen emerald shiners on a sturgeon rig, which is an 18" leader with a 4/0 circle hook combined with a no roll sinker.  Local bait shops have all of the gear and bait.

Up at the NW Angle...  Open water is appearing in some of the areas with current such as Flag Island Flats, Minnesota Point and Million Dollar Rock, just to name a few.  The sight of open water simply is wetting the pallet of those eager for the MN Fishing Opener on May 11th.

4/3/24 @ 10:16 PM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
46°
On the south end...   Cold spring weather the past couple of weeks dispelled the predictions of even the greatest of weather and ice predictors on social media.  The bottom line, after an early warm up, conditions turned to winter again preserving ice conditions for those wanting to take advantage of March ice fishing.  

March ice anglers were rewarded with good catches of walleyes, saugers and of course this time of year, monster pike.  Resorts have now pulled fish houses from the ice as the last day fish houses could be overnight on the ice was March 31st.  Although the walleye season continues through April 14th, for the most part, ice accesses are closed for the year.Monster pike are staged in pre-spawn areas.  Soon, they will make their way to back bays and ditches to spawn.  This creates some great pike fishing as the pike season on LOW never closes.Anticipation is high for the MN Fishing Opener, which is Saturday, May 11th.  Good numbers of walleyes and saugers are currently staged along the south shore.On the Rainy River...  Open water is expanding nicely again after thin ice formed over already open water due to cold overnight temps.  With daytime temps in the 40's and 50's over the next couple of weeks, things are looking good.  The Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale, the Frontier boat ramp and Vidas boat ramp are all open.  Very good numbers of walleyes are in the river.  Most fish being caught are 16 - 26 inches with a few giants over 30 inches being caught.  The hope is the big female walleyes will be making their way up the river from the lake once water temps rise a bit.  Be ready!Jigs with brightly colored plastics or jigs with a frozen emerald shiner have been good for walleyes.  Slow trolling crankbaits is a very effective technique this time of the year.Sturgeon are being caught on the river as well by both walleye anglers and those actually targeting sturgeon.  Most sturgeon anglers are using a sturgeon rig, which is an 18" leader with a 4/0 circle hook combined with a no roll sinker.  Local bait shops have all of the gear and bait.Up at the NW Angle...  Ice fishing is finished up for the most part, with the focus now on May 11th and the fishing opener.  The bite finished strong and there is great anticipation for the open water season.
3/27/24 @ 9:19 AM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Snowing 14°
Baitfish
On the south end...   Thanks to some cold spring weather, ice fishing continues strong for those still ice fishing.  The bite remains very good.  Most resorts have pulled their fish houses off for the year, however, some still have fish houses out and others are allowing ATV and side by sides.  Check social media or call ahead to your favorite resort for specifics.

Reports this week for walleyes and saugers remain excellent.   A nice mix of jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, and an occasional crappie, tullibee or sturgeon being reported by anglers.

Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Green, glow red, pink and gold were good colors this week.    

Monster pike are on a tear!  Good number of pike, some reaching over 45 inches long, being caught using tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring in 8 - 14' of water.  

As always, work through a resort or outfitter for ice road conditions.  Safety first always.

Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.

On the Rainy River...  The river is opened up along the Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale, the Frontier boat ramp and Vidas boat ramp.  This past week, much of the open water skimmed over with the single digit overnight temps.

Areas of the river have popped open again and with temps getting warmer, things are shaping up for the last stretch through the rest of the spring season, which continues through April 14th.Very good numbers of walleyes are in the river.  Reports this week, even with fewer anglers, have been good.  When temps warm up and the sun shines, things will fire up again.Jigs with brightly colored plastics or jigs with a frozen emerald shiner have been the desired bait on the river.  Don't overlook slow trolling crankbaits upstream as well.Good reports of sturgeon being caught on the river as well.  Sturgeon put the feed bag on in the spring.  The bite has been very good.  Most are using a sturgeon rig with a circle hook loaded with crawlers or crawlers / frozen emerald shiners.Up at the NW Angle...  Ice fishing is winding down up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, and a number of various species in the mix again this week.  The bite is still very good with good numbers of fish. The one two punch of jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is working well.  Check with Angle resorts on transport options from Young's Bay.
3/9/24 @ 11:00 PM
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02
Are there any decent pike spots to simply walk on and fish?
I’m thinking late ice when all the roads are shut down, but the base ice is still safe for foot traffic? Thanks for any help. . 
3/5/24 @ 12:46 PM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Sunny 21°
Water: 32°
Baitfish
On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong.  With some -15 temps this past week and single digit temps this week, it is still winter on the border.    Resorts are monitoring ice conditions multiple times per day and fishing continues to be excellent.  

Although every ice road makes their own decisions based on ice conditions in their area, pickup trucks with wheelhouses are still able to drive out and fish on most ice roads.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.

This has been a different year with temps up and down.  This year, and every year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move as some areas have less ice, cracks or ice upheavals. Resorts and outfitters keep their roads marked on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.

The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is still taking place in 24 - 32 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Gold, glow red, glow white, and pink are still good colors.  

Small jigging spoons tipped with a piece of minnow and a lipless crankbait such as a Rippin Rap are working well for walleyes and saugers.Pike activity has been increasing. Fish the shoreline breaks near spawning grounds in 8 - 14' of water.  
Setting tip ups in various depths until you figure out where most of the pike are traveling is a good strategy.  Once you figure out a pattern, you can set tip ups accordingly.  Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well.Reminder, a new MN fishing license for 2024 is required as of March 1st.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.On the Rainy River...  The river has small patches of open water opening up near the Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale.  The river opened up a bit last week but froze over again with cold temps.  Once it goes with the thinner ice conditions on the river, it should open up quickly. Watch social media for updates.Up at the NW Angle...  Another good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix again this week.  Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  The morning and evening bites have been very productive as water clarity is better than most years.  Anglers are still picking up fish during the day as well.Ice fishing is in full swing on Lake of the Woods and it has been excellent.  Lodging, fish house rentals, ice fishing, and meal packages are available this week.  Go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging for more info.  
On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong.  With some -15 temps this past week and single digit temps this week, it is still winter on the border.    Resorts are monitoring ice conditions multiple times per day and fishing continues to be excellent.  

Although every ice road makes their own decisions based on ice conditions in their area, pickup trucks with wheelhouses are still able to drive out and fish on most ice roads.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.

This has been a different year with temps up and down.  This year, and every year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move as some areas have less ice, cracks or ice upheavals. Resorts and outfitters keep their roads marked on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.

The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is still taking place in 24 - 32 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Gold, glow red, glow white, and pink are still good colors.  

Small jigging spoons tipped with a piece of minnow and a lipless crankbait such as a Rippin Rap are working well for walleyes and saugers.Pike activity has been increasing. Fish the shoreline breaks near spawning grounds in 8 - 14' of water.  
Setting tip ups in various depths until you figure out where most of the pike are traveling is a good strategy.  Once you figure out a pattern, you can set tip ups accordingly.  Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well.Reminder, a new MN fishing license for 2024 is required as of March 1st.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.On the Rainy River...  The river has small patches of open water opening up near the Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale.  The river opened up a bit last week but froze over again with cold temps.  Once it goes with the thinner ice conditions on the river, it should open up quickly. Watch social media for updates.Up at the NW Angle...  Another good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix again this week.  Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  The morning and evening bites have been very productive as water clarity is better than most years.  Anglers are still picking up fish during the day as well.Ice fishing is in full swing on Lake of the Woods and it has been excellent.
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
2/27/24 @ 10:09 AM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
15°
On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border.    Resorts are monitoring ice conditions multiple times per day and fishing continues to be excellent.  

Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available.  Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.

As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year.  Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.

Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.

The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is still taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Gold, glow red, glow white, and pink are good colors.  

Pike anglers are reporting increased activity.  Most fishing the shoreline breaks near spawning grounds.  Pike activity will only increase as we roll into March.  

Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well.On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.The river is open east of Birchdale.  We expect some open water to start creeping in a bit near Birchdale, but not yet.  We will keep you posted.  Up at the NW Angle...  A good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.  Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  The morning and evening bites have been the most productive, with anglers picking at fish during the day.There may not be snow or good ice where you live, but ice fishing is still happening on Lake of the Woods and has been excellent.  
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
2/20/24 @ 2:55 PM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Sunny 41°
Water: 32°
Baitfish
On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border.    Overnight temps in the teens and twenties are maintaining ice nicely.  Fishing continues to be excellent.  It has been an incredible year for walleyes and saugers with both numbers and size.    

Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available.  Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.

As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year.  Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Pike anglers fishing shallower shoreline breaks and reporting good activity and big fish.  Pike activity will only increase as we approach the month of March.  Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well.On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety. The river is open east of Birchdale.  Those who enjoy the spring open water season on the river are optimistic the river will open early.  Is your boat and fishing gear ready when it does?Up at the NW Angle...   Another very good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.  Water conditions are clearer this winter compared to most.  For that reason, the morning and evening bites have been stronger than midday overall.Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  Electronics help in determining what the fish want that given day and will up your catch of fish.  Ice fishing has been excellent, come on up.  It's still winter on the border!  
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
1/30/24 @ 12:40 PM
FISHING REPORT
Joe Henry
Joe Henry
User since 2/8/12
Cloudy 36°
Water: 32°
Baitfish
On the south end...   A great week of ice fishing for most.  Good reports from a number of areas for some nice sized walleyes and saugers.

Resorts with day houses and sleeper fish houses will either transport you to the fish house or offer an ice road you can drive yourself.  Make sure you communicate with the resort or outfitter you are fishing with to understand weight restrictions of their ice road.  Each ice road can be different and have varying restrictions.  

Most ice fishing on the south end of the lake is in 28 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second on a plain hook or an ice fishing jig has been effective.  

On the jigging line, jigging spoons with rattles and lighted lures tipped with a full minnow or piece of a minnow have been catching good fish.  Colors such as gold, glow red, glow white, pink, and chartreuse, or a combo of these colors, have been good.
On the deadstick, a live minnow on a #4 or #6 plain hook, colored hook or a small ice jig six inches - one foot off of the bottom is effective.  Jig the deadstick on occasion to keep the minnow moving and to attract fish. 

Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike, crappies, eelpout, tullibees and sturgeon in the mix.  

On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that have fish houses out for rent on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.

The best bite is still morning and evening with a jig and emerald shiner for walleyes and saugers.  

Sturgeon fishing is a unique twist through the ice.  Larger holes, heavier tackle and the thrill of catching a fish of that size through the ice is unique.  

Sturgeon seasons...
-Oct 1 - April 23, catch and release only, no tag needed
-April 24 - May 7, 1 per calendar year (fish must be 45-50" inclusive, or over 75")
-May 8 - 15, catch and release only
-May 16 - June 30, closed
July 1 - Sep 30, 1 per calendar year (fish must be 45-50" inclusive, or over 75")
 
Up at the NW Angle...   The walleyes were snappin up at the Angle this week.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.

Resorts are targeting structure in some areas and deeper mud flats in others.  One day the structure is better, the next day, deep mud.  

Again, jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  The fish are down there and some days, if they are finicky, they really want the deadstick still.  Electronics will help see what their mood is each day.

The snowmobile trail from Four Mile Bay and Pine Island near the mouth of the Rainy River up to the NW Angle resorts is staked.  Please stay on the trail for safety.
 

Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
Lake of the Woods photo by MNJoe
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