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  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
IceHawk
55 minutes ago, jigginjim said:

Lake of the woods first time with a wheel house.  I would like to fish the east side, but Zipple bay looks interesting for the igloo bar, for New years week. Anybody fish this with a wheelhouse and what resorts would give a good report. Open to ideas, have not been there in the winter for 5 years.

Jim fished Zipple bay a few times. From my experiences  you will get a decent mixed bag in the basin. There always seems to be enough good sauger and eye action to keep you content with a occasional jumbo or tullibee thrown in. We always fished the basin area during the day and moved up in the shallower breaklines for the prime time bites  strictly for the eye action.  This could be a option if using your permanent for base camp day fish basin and using a hub or flip over for early or late shallow bite. Otherwise there should be steady action to keep you busy in the basin all day if you want to just sit back and enjoy the comforts of the house. Zipple Bay resort is well run and they have beautifull cabins and grub to boot. 

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My parents are hammering the big ones this week.  I don't know how deep or what tactic they are using, I only received the photos.  The top one is 30 1/4 inches.

Hey!! It's fun again on the south side of the lake! There are a lot of fish spread out from the south shore to mid lake. Some of the schools have been enormous. Small fish, big fish and in between. Od

Speaking of Border view had to dig a couple old photos up of the crazy bombardier we use to ride out in years ago. Maybe some of the old timers on here might of got to ride in it 😁

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Joshua Estreen
57 minutes ago, IceHawk said:

Jim fished Zipple bay a few times. From my experiences  you will get a decent mixed bag in the basin. There always seems to be enough good sauger and eye action to keep you content with a occasional jumbo or tullibee thrown in. We always fished the basin area during the day and moved up in the shallower breaklines for the prime time bites  strictly for the eye action.  This could be a option if using your permanent for base camp day fish basin and using a hub or flip over for early or late shallow bite. Otherwise there should be steady action to keep you busy in the basin all day if you want to just sit back and enjoy the comforts of the house. Zipple Bay resort is well run and they have beautifull cabins and grub to boot. 

What times of day and depth of water would you consider for the early and late bite?  Thanks!

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Sunset Lodge

Up in the Northwest Angle we are throwing back the 16s to keep the 18s! We have our houses in 16-24 feet, mostly on the bottom of the break. Twilight bites are fast and furious with some aggressive jigging. The ice road is not quite to us, currently ends on the North end of Flag island where we have a staked snowmobile trail and groomed runway straight to us. Happy Holidays!!

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  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
IceHawk

Joshua Welcome to the site. A lot depends on clarity. I Like to be set up rather early shallow, as these fish  can be  noise sensitive at times especially if there's no snowpack to insulate noise and prevent shadowing. . Preferably a hour before bite time holes are cut gear setup  and all movement comes to a halt. If there is a snowpack you can get away with a little more noise, But on glare ice  I've witnessed fish spooking from as much as a cleat scrapeing the ice. For LOW I like to fish the first breaklines from 10-20 foot but normally  15 foot  will be my starting point. Prime times are daybreak into first hour and a hour or so before sundown so I would consider being setup a hour before each of these bite windows to capitalize on any early action and holding in there until you quit marking or catching fish at closeing each time. 

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jigginjim

Thanks for the information, in past years wife and I would stay at a lodge resort to sleep go out each day.  I am thinking of setting up in 27-30 ft of water. Then bring my flip house for evening fishing, I may keep only two lines down between 8 pm and 5 am. Not need to just feed the pout.  Would like to get wife on a good sauger and walleye bite again.

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Fished in 30ft it was not fast but steady caught a lot of small ones. But did catch some nice 14&15 a inch saugers and a 16 inch walleye. There was 18 inches of ice.

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Fishing reports are good.  A nice mix of saugers and walleyes, with some trophy walleyes, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike, tullibees and a lot of sturgeon being caught.  During a typical day, there are flurries of activity mixed with some slower time.  It helps to put in a full day, keep your lines active and use electronics. Watch for suspended fish coming through on your electronics, often nice walleyes.  Most resorts have fish houses out in 25- 32 feet of water.  Best colors gold, pink, glow red and UV glow colors.  Use combo jigging line and deadstick with a live minnow.  Numerous ice roads are open, many allowing 3/4 ton trucks with wheel houses.  Every ice road is different, check ahead as ice road limits vary.  

On the Rainy River...   The river is frozen over but little traffic with higher than usual current.    Extra caution is always needed on the river, most sticking to lake so far.  No snowmobile trail on Rainy River as of yet with thin ice areas due to current.

Up at the NW Angle...  Fishing is excellent with a mix of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike and eelpout.  With over a foot of snow, snowmobile trails from south end to Angle are being groomed and will be in good shape.  Stay on trails as current is high and there are still some areas needing more inches of ice.  Fish houses on LOW on the ice through March. 

Carder with 29 inch walleye_Sportsman's Lodge_12.28.19.jpg

Mark Armstrong_Wigwam Resort_Big sturgeon_122619.jpg

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I fished 8 days with my wife and many friends over the past 10.  Some days, we were only out for 3 or 4 hours and some up to 6.  Where we fished, we found 19 to 22 inches of ice.  The resort was still reporting finding areas of only 7 inches.  The toughest challenges remain with heaves and cracks.  Navigating around the heaves and bad ice dictates the travel path.  The cracks are issues for wheeled vehicles and tracked SUVs and SxS, as the cracks grow wider than the length of the track.  Some bridges are in place.  Other crack areas are covered by snow.  We were out on snowmobiles.  

The bite was generally good.  We fished edges of reefs, 26 to 29 foot of water.  We even fished on Sunday during the blizzard.  Some of our guests left Saturday morning to beat the storm and the others left afterward.  Sounded like the best travel was on Saturday versus Monday after the storm. 

I had been out in bad weather before, but nothing like Sunday.  Heavy snow and wind made it necessary for double-teaming clam type shelters.  We were thankful that the temps were in the 20s generally and not -30 like prior years.  

Overall a great time during the Holidays.  This was a first for us.  We fished on Christmas Eve and Christmas Days.  We attended a local church on Christmas Eve and joined locals for appetizers and a gift exchange.  We did New Years at the resort with friends.  

Now back to more normal life for the next 10 days or so until the next trip.

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Sunset Lodge

Happy New Year from all of us here at Sunset Lodge! You can now follow the signs on the ice road right to our front door. Drive the center of the road as ice is thinner on the edges.
We continue to fish shallower (16-20’) houses early and late in the day with good success. Shacks at the bottom of the break are producing a more consistent bite through out the day. It has been a great two weeks for big fish with many Walleyes over 26”, a couple of 29” and a massive 31”. Rippin Raps and Buckshot are being used to attract active fish to the houses. Gold is a staple up here on a sunny day, glow red, pink or white work better for an overcast day.
Strong currents and mild weather make it important to stay to marked trails. The forecast looks good for ice making 😊

Sunset Lodge

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LoonASea

Good Info,,, We leave for Cyrus wed morning ,,, Hope they are still biting ,,, There will be 10 of us 

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Lots of ice fishing happening on the big lake this week.  Overall, good reports with a mix of saugers and walleyes.  Some very small fish, lots of eaters, some huge fish.  Most common depths 28-31 feet of water.  Best colors gold, pink, glow red and UV glow colors.  Use combo jigging line and deadstick with a live minnow.  Electronics very helpful.  Watch for suspended walleyes.  Rattles and noise within lures can be effective.

On the Rainy River...   The river is frozen over but little traffic overall.  We encourage working through a resort on river if ice fishing.  Current has dropped some, but still strong.  Extra caution is always needed on the river, most sticking to lake so far.  The snowmobile trail on the river was marked this week for snowmobiles, nothing heavier.  Stay on trail, still areas of thinner ice on parts of the river.

Up at the NW Angle...  Fishing remains excellent with a mix of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike and eelpout.  Snowmobile trails from south end to Angle are being groomed and in good shape.  Stay on trails as current is high and there are still some areas needing more inches of ice.  Fish houses on LOW on the ice through March.  

Border View Lodge walleye_010720.jpg

Big walleye, Sportsman's Lodge_010720.jpg

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Today was worse with the drastic weather change. Caught a bunch under 13" and only one slightly over. Didn't keep any. Cold and strong NW wind. We were on a newly plowed road last two days and I measured the ice at 18". Was good clear ice. Yesterday was 50/50 jigging vs deadstick. Today was about 75% deadstick. 

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Ten point

Fished yesterday 1/3 in 31 feet off the edge of a reef. Was slow in the morning with a lot of small fish. The afternoon was much better with more quality fish between 1:00 & 3:30 one slot fish 23 inch. Time to go back to work for a while.

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18 hours ago, Ten point said:

The afternoon was much better with more quality fish

That was a pattern we were seeing as well.  Although, one day, we did get out on the lake earlier, i.e. fishing by 930/10am, and I popped 2x16, a 17, and an 18 within the first 30 minutes.  It slowed for me after that.  

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In the past we have always stopped at the log cabin shop on the way out,

 Is there a better place to get bait in the area? 

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Bass Thumb

Group of 8 guys just came back, myself included. 4 of us are avid ice anglers. Adrian's road. Day houses. 10-14 miles out in deep water. 31-34' deep. Also tried a dusk run to 17' and that was a bust too. 

 

Very poor fishing. Occasional cigars, with the exception of one 26 and a 23" walleye in the group. Next largest fish was a 17", and those were few and far between. Average size fish was about 12". Caught about 5 dink saugers for every walleye.

 

Dawn and dusk bite was a waste of time. 'Best' bite was 12-2pm.

 

Worst bite any of us has ever had up there. I'm sure someone was nailing them, but it wasn't us. We'll be back.

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  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
IceHawk

Been hearing quite a few slow reports from up there so your group isn't alone . 

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IceHawk

I've always loaded up at Steve's Lucky Bait when fishing up there. 

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tacklejunkie

Went out of Sportsman’s Lodge Sat am and nothing. Then from 930 to after lunch, a flurry of small saugers and a few keeper walleye. And one big perch. Kept the walleye and perch and 8 keeper saugers. We put chubs on jigs that rattled and those what caught most of the fish. The walleye were caught on a jigging spoon baited with a chub head.

 

Nothing after 230 pm. Sunday Started out ok then dead. 

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IceHawk

Thanks hopefully things get going up there soon hearing some slow reports from anglers who have or are fishing up there. 

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Thursday was pretty good out of Zipple Bay. 2 of us caught and kept 1 short of a limit mostly sauger and only 2 16 inch walleye. Friday was pretty dead though.

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  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
IceHawk

Not sure haven't been up there yet this year but I would give him a call. We always used emerald shiners  and fatheads  and did well. If he doesn't have them the bait sore in Blackduck might be worth a shot to stop there also. 

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Ice conditions on LOW are excellent.  Some great walleyes and saugers caught this week.  Fishing was up and down with cold fronts, -31 air temps, etc.  Plenty of fish for fish frys, some trophy walleyes, big sturgeon, some jumbo perch, an occasional pike, crappie or tulibee and plenty of sauger in the mix.  Most anglers fishing 25 - 30' if on structure, 30' - 36' over mud.  Resort houses continue to follow fish and are moving constantly.   Best colors gold, pink, glow red and UV glow colors.  Both jigging line and deadstick with a live minnow producing based on mood of walleyes.  Electronics very helpful.  Watch for suspended walleyes.  Rattles and noise effective.

On the Rainy River...   The river is frozen over with some snowmobile traffic on marked trail.  Current has dropped some, but still strong.  Extra caution is always needed on the river.  Thin ice near International Bridge in Baudette and thinner ice on stretches of the river.  Work through resort if ice fishing for safety.

Up at the NW Angle...  Good fishing continues with a mix of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, pike and eelpout.  Cold fronts can affect bite from day to day, adjust to mood of fish.  Downsize if finicky, keep minnow active on deadstick.  Snowmobile trails from south end to Angle groomed and in good shape.  Stay on trails as there are ice chunks on lake.  Fish houses on LOW on the ice through March.  

Sunset Lodge walleye_01.08.20.jpg

Fish cleaning table of fish_Arnesen's Rocky Point_01.11.20.jpg

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Lucky's Bait gave us a bunch of large dog fish minnows just before xmas ,,, Wont buy bait there again ,,, There is a sporting store right in Baudette on the left hand side that should have bait ,,, Look for enclosed blinds by the road ,,, Good Luck when you go up there 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

From Mitch Bradshaw Outdoors

Screenshot_20200117-174759_Facebook.thumb.jpg.d6115e1c06deae0afd91350390d7b46e.jpgWe started the Annual Lake of the Woods trip off with a half day at Zippel yesterday. It didn't produce much for the group but small Saugers except for the 21.5" Walleye caught by the reigning "Mr. Walleye"!

 

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Mitch Bradshaw Outdoors

 

Yesterday was our first day out with Ballards Resort. We got out about 12 miles It started really slow for everyone until Mr. Walleye upgraded his fish (21.5") from the day before with a beauty 25.75" suspended Walleye.

 

The bite started to pick up and in about 30 mins I caught my personal best Eelpout and Walleye (28.5"). One more day to fish up here and to see who goes home with the Manley Cup and the coveted 2020 Mr. Walleye title.

FB_IMG_1579363144037.thumb.jpg.d370dab1b73ce1142fbafbc4bed5a711.jpg

 

For current Minnesota Fishing Reports - Click Here.

 

Show us your pics!

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Fished out of Zippel Bay Fri & Sat.  Friday was very slow, Sat was somewhat better but still below average.  Weather was pretty nasty on Sat, they could barely keep the ice roads open.  No real color pattern outside of the "normal" LOW colors/sizes we could figure out, Fri was all jigging, Sat it was 50/50 jigging to deadstick (plain red hook).  

 

I will say that it was an absolute zoo up there, and I think that definitely had an impact on the fishing.  It was obvious where all the wheel houses who couldn't go on Red Lake went, they were everywhere the eye could see.  I think LOW is getting absolutely hammered this year, IMHO - not good.  

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Five of us fished Fri and only three on Saturday due to the weather.  It was another tough breezy couple of days.  SE wind on Fri and NW on Saturday.  Our bite was slow, however I did carry the group on Fri.  They contributed 4 of these fish.  My bucket was full.  The others fished close by, less than 20 yards away in all directions.  Fish for dinner!!!

IMG_2032.jpeg.979849965e431fc3d0b869c43f65fc1e.jpeg

 

Saturday was a different story for me.  I was skunked and not keeping eyes under 15 nor sauger under 14.  My two guests that day ended up with 6 or so.   

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      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... The lake is still ice covered with big stretches of open water which is expanding daily.  Anglers fishing the lake are fishing in front of the Lighthouse Gap where the Rainy River enters LOW.  Anglers are allowed a limit of walleyes and saugers on the lake, but catch and release only on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River during the spring walleye season which lasts through April 14.  The walleye season opens again on May 15th.
      Pike Fishing.  Open water is available in the back bays such as various Four Mile Bay, Bostic Creek, Zippel Bay and backwaters on the Rainy River where pike spawn.  Some nice pike being caught in shallow water areas.  These areas are off of the main lake and perfect for small boats.  The pike season is open year round on LOW and the Rainy River.  3 fish per day, 30-40 inches must be released, one over 40" allowed.  
      On the Rainy River...   This past week was nothing short of incredible for walleye fishing on the Rainy River.  Large numbers of big walleyes were caught and released.  Many fish 30 - 33+ inches in the mix.  Exactly why anglers love the Rainy River in the spring.  
      Good reports up and down the river including Four Mile Bay.
      A 3/8 - 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic.  Bright plastics and frozen shiners working best on jigs.  Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success to cover water.  
      Sturgeon fishing continues to be good with good numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Most anglers targeting holes in the river.  Some sturgeon being caught on rolling sand dunes with fish laying in the depressions. Wherever there is food and a bit of slacker water!
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs and bait available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Locals are able to get their boats from the mainland (Angle Inlet) to most areas of the islands.  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  



    • leech~~
      By leech~~
      Whats your guess? 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Most of the lake is still ice covered with the exception of large areas adjacent to inflowing water such as the Lighthouse Gap (Rainy River) and Morris Point Gap (Bostic Creek) areas.  Open water is expanding daily.  Anglers are allowed a limit of walleyes and saugers on the lake, but catch and release only on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River through April 14. 
      Open water is becoming available in many of the back bays around the lake where pike spawn.  The pike season is open year round on LOW and the Rainy River.  3 fish per day, 30-40 inches must be released, one over 40" allowed.  
      On the Rainy River...   River fishing started out strong, slowed down with cold weather and the Big Fork and Little Fork Rivers spilling mud into the Rainy River and now is picking up again.  The water is clearing and water temps are on the rise.
      A 3/8 - 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic.  Bright plastics and frozen shiners working best on jigs.  Walleyes caught in various depths down to 35 feet.  
      Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success to cover water.  Walleye season is catch and release only on Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
      Sturgeon fishing continues to be good with good numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Sturgeon aren't as affected by dirty water as they feed by scent.  Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21.  Keep season 4/24/21 - 5/7/21, (45-50", or over 75")  Catch and release 5/8/21 - 5/15/21.  Closed 5/16/21 - 6/30/21.
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs and bait available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Various areas are starting to open up.  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
       


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