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Woollman99

Virgin Trip - Areas to check out

7 posts in this topic

Hey All, me and two of my sons are heading up to Rainy for our first ice fishing experience this weekend. We normally head to URL/LOWs trip this time of year, but decided to try something different (at least for us). We booked a place to stay with Woody and plan on taking our portables around the big lake. With that said, I have a couple of questions:

1. We are planning on bringing our four wheelers up. Any issues with moving around the lake on four wheelers (not sure of any snow depth issues)? Can a person drive around with a 4x4 pickup with few issues? Are there plowed roads to use (with a fee)?

2. What type of live bait do the walleyes prefer this time of year?

3. What lake areas can we expect to start out at? I would like to target both eyes and crappies during our first trip. Are there certain crappie areas and certain eye areas, or can one expect to catch them both in approximate vacinities?

4. Are there areas to avoid because of bad ice conditions or heaves?

The weather outlook looks good for this weekend....can't wait. If this trip turns out to be special, we plan on coming back up the next weekend (cancelling our LOW's destination) with some different guys. Thanks for any help and assistance.

Woollman

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I'm sure Woody will have a bunch of good info to give you guys as well as far as where to fish and what to use, but here's a few things:

I just got done giving the lake travel conditions in the "lake travel" post so you can look at that for what transportation you want.

For walleyes you will want the usual jigging spoons, pimples, jigging raps, 1/8-1/4 oz jigs (glow for low-light periods.) You can try chubby darters as well. I would tip any one of these with a small minnow or minnow head (shiner or chub.)

You will most likely be fishing breaklines, flats, and possibly some reef structure in the 28-40 ft range. These areas can be found on the very western end of the lake to as far east as you want to go.

Very few of the places you'll fish will have crappies, but there are some. I don't fish them on the U.S. side of Rainy so I will leave that part for someone else.

There are bad areas for ice (American Narrows, Brule Narrows, Dr. Mary's Point) but I doubt you will come into contact with the areas. This year most of the areas that can be bad are fine because of less current and little snow cover. No real big ice heaves anywhere until you get quite a ways east.

And yes it sounds like you guys hit it right for weather. I am looking forward to the warm up to get some snow melting and fish outside.

Good luck fishing and don't forget the sunscreen cool.gif

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Thanks for the reply.

I also forgot to ask another question; is there any kind of a night bite on the lake?

Woollman

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Unless you're targeting the elusive burbot (smiley, lawyer, eel pout) you won't have much for night activity. Rainy is just not one of those lakes that has a night bite. I have caught walleyes at night in much darker water on other lakes on occasion, but never on Rainy.

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Quote:

Unless you're targeting the elusive burbot (smiley, lawyer, eel pout) you won't have much for night activity. Rainy is just not one of those lakes that has a night bite. I have caught walleyes at night in much darker water on other lakes on occasion, but never on Rainy.


If you could find a bay with a concentration of perch that was adequate enough to replace smelt as the primary forage I think you'd find a night bite. But I don't know if that exists on Rainy. I definitely don't buy the "stained water" theory as there are good night bites on water with much less clarity than Rainy.

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My best crappie bite in the winter happened at night in Little Black Sturgeon. One of my all time walleye bites on Rainy happened on a full moon evening in June. In fact I look at the calender every year to see when that will be.

smile.gif

Those that say there is no walleye bite on Rainy can only say they have never experienced one and thats it!

Reality sucks some time!

R_D

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I'm glad to hear someone had a breakthrough on Rainy's night bite. Just too hard to believe it's nonexistent. I've had very limited success but not enough to trade fishing with daylight for fishing with flashlights on a consistent basis.

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