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2020 Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports & Info


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Are wheelers still going out? I want to come Wednesday, just a little concern about the ice road condition.

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5 hours ago, Bill Johnson said:

Are wheelers still going out?

Mr. Johnson - welcome to Fishing Minnesota and this forum.  I just got back yesterday and the roads all seemed to be fine.  I suggest calling ahead to the resort to confirm.  We were out on snowmobiles and saw 4-wheelers just about everywhere with no problem.  

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Ice fishing is still happening on Lake of the Woods.  Some resorts / hotels / outfitters are open and have adjusted their business model to adhere to the new rules with COVID - 19.  Additional cleaning and disinfecting is in place.  Fish house rentals, lodging, ice roads and take out or delivered meals are available by some resorts.  Contact resorts directly or look at their Facebook pages for helpful info.

On the south end...  Some great March ice fishing continues. Anglers fishing anywhere from 27 - 33' of water.  Ice conditions on LOW remain excellent with freezing temps keeping ice firm.  Some good colors overall, pink / gold, glow, red glow, green glow.  Work lures on jigging line with a live minnow on an ice jig or plain hook on second line.  Electronics a big plus.  Try mixing it up with small lures, swim baits, rattle baits.  Keep baits active for best results.  Pike fishing very good this week with many fish over 40 inches.  Tip ups with big baits on quick strike rigs the norm.  Fish houses can be left overnight on the ice through March 31st, walleye and sauger season is open through April 14th and pike season never closes.  

On the Rainy River...   As spring approaches, extra caution needed on the river.  Thin ice around the International Bridge in Baudette.  We are watching open water line progress from east to west.  No open water fishing as of yet due to colder temps.  

Up at the NW Angle...  A good week of ice fishing reports up at the Angle.  A mix of nice walleyes, big jumbo perch and pike in the mix.  Resorts in 20 - 32' of water targeting both structure and mud.  Glow colors, gold and pink effective.  Plain hook on the deadstick.  The snowmobile trails groomed and are still in good shape.  

 

Arnesen's Rocky Point pike_031520.jpg

Sunset Lodge_031120.jpg

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators
On 3/16/2020 at 7:12 AM, Bill Johnson said:

Are wheelers still going out? I want to come Wednesday, just a little concern about the ice road condition.

Welcome to FM.

 

Please stop back and let us know how you do Bill.

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Rick

Daughter and i were out this past weekend, adrains road was in good shape little rough but manageable. I've still close to 3ft thick. 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

This is a good way to enjoy your time if Covid 19 has had you cooped up.

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I too enjoy ice fishing just as so many others do also , and yes it does sound as a great way to pass time during this epidemic , but given the covid19 pandemic we ALL need to do our part to eliminate or lessen new cases from occurring . Given the fact that so many people can be infected without showing symptoms is a very scary situation to this whole story . One must remember that every trip into a gas station ,or punching buttons on the pump can pass on potential germs in one way or another for somebody else to catch . The trip into the bait store itself presents possible transmission of germs onto others . People are not taking this all seriously enough , especially the younger generation . We will all get thru this eventually , but once again we ALL need to do everything and anything to get to that end .. Please wise up ALL and do YOUR part as this ain’t no joke . The longer things go on , the more people will indeed become infected and the more people will die , and the more economic issues will happen , 

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2 hours ago, Bigfatbert said:

I too enjoy ice fishing just as so many others do also , and yes it does sound as a great way to pass time during this epidemic , but given the covid19 pandemic we ALL need to do our part to eliminate or lessen new cases from occurring . Given the fact that so many people can be infected without showing symptoms is a very scary situation to this whole story . One must remember that every trip into a gas station ,or punching buttons on the pump can pass on potential germs in one way or another for somebody else to catch . The trip into the bait store itself presents possible transmission of germs onto others . People are not taking this all seriously enough , especially the younger generation . We will all get thru this eventually , but once again we ALL need to do everything and anything to get to that end .. Please wise up ALL and do YOUR part as this ain’t no joke . The longer things go on , the more people will indeed become infected and the more people will die , and the more economic issues will happen , 

 

Agreed. So please:

1. be sure to wash hands with viral disinfectant towels before and after touching any surfaces while out.

 

2. Wear a mask when out as to avoid spreading droplets from yourself.

 

3. When you buy bait be sure to wipe the outside of any containers, with said viral disinfectant towelettes,that have been touched or better yet....just use plastics.

 

This applies to anytime you are out.

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12 minutes ago, Rick said:

 

Agreed. So please:

1. be sure to wash hands with viral disinfectant towels before and after touching any surfaces while out.

 

2. Wear a mask when out as to avoid spreading droplets from yourself.

 

3. When you buy bait be sure to wipe the outside of any containers, with said viral disinfectant towelettes,that have been touched or better yet....just use plastics.

 

This applies to anytime you are out.

 
I agree totally with number 1 and number 2 Rick , and to your statement that this applies to any time you are out , but your number 2 statement is wrong as the CDC has recommended that only known sick people are suppose to be wearing masks at this point to help prevent the spread of bugs , because of the concern that masks are in short supply and are  much more needed to be worn by the sick . At this point in time with the Covid19  issue going on reality is that ONLY necessary travel is recommended at ALL . Going to and from work , buying groceries and much needed supplies , emergency Dr visits , pharmacy visits are really all things we as people of our great country of USA should be doing to slow down the spread of this Covid19 virus and for that matter other known circulating bugs we all deal with . Going fishing , at least at this point is far from a necessity...

 

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On 3/18/2020 at 12:17 PM, Bigfatbert said:

 
I agree totally with number 1 and number 2 Rick , and to your statement that this applies to any time you are out , but your number 2 statement is wrong as the CDC has recommended that only known sick people are suppose to be wearing masks at this point to help prevent the spread of bugs , because of the concern that masks are in short supply and are  much more needed to be worn by the sick . At this point in time with the Covid19  issue going on reality is that ONLY necessary travel is recommended at ALL . Going to and from work , buying groceries and much needed supplies , emergency Dr visits , pharmacy visits are really all things we as people of our great country of USA should be doing to slow down the spread of this Covid19 virus and for that matter other known circulating bugs we all deal with . Going fishing , at least at this point is far from a necessity...

 

 

Agreed. But for #2, when you go out, how do asymptomatic people who don't feel sick know if they are spreading it or not. Hence, #2 as stated is valid. Health care workers should be the priority.  Pretty sure Trump just took care of that with his emergency declaration. 

 

So, if you can't wear masks you  at least should not come closer than 6 feet to anyone.

 

Sunlight and fresh air are also needed. There is no shelter in place order and what is necessity for one may not be for another.

 

In fact, ice fishing could indeed be a necessity for some even though you don't agree with that.

 

Those that do, should initiate social distancing and appropriate hand and surface washing. Soap and water is best. Next best are viral disinfectant wipes. Wear a mask to avoid spreading Communist China Coronavirus or CCCVirus or stay at least 6 feet away from others.

 

If you are coughing or sneezing, DO NOT GO OUT.

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4 hours ago, Rick said:

 

Agreed. So please:

1. be sure to wash hands with viral disinfectant towels before and after touching any surfaces while out.

 

2. Wear a mask when out as to avoid spreading droplets from yourself.

 

3. When you buy bait be sure to wipe the outside of any containers, with said viral disinfectant towelettes,that have been touched or better yet....just use plastics.

 

This applies to anytime you are out.

 

Good advice brother, 

 "Just use plastics" ? ?

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16 hours ago, Rick said:

 

Agreed. But for #2, when you go out, how do asymptomatic people who don't feel sick know if they are spreading it or not. Hence, #2 as stated is valid. Health care workers should be the priority.  Pretty sure Trump just took care of that with his emergency declaration. 

 

So, if you can't wear masks you should not come closer than 6 feet to anyone.

 

Sunlight and fresh air are also needed. There is no shelter in place order and what is necessity for one may not be for another.

 

In fact, ice fishing could indeed be a necessity for some even though you don't agree with that.

 

Those that do, should initiate social distancing and appropriate hand and surface washing. Soap and water is best. Next best are viral disinfectant wipes. Wear a mask to avoid spreading CoronaV or stay at least 6 feet away from others.

 

If you are coughing or sneezing, DO NOT GO OUT.


  Rick I agree with the great possibility that carriers showing no symptoms or at least not yet showing symptoms that wearing a mask sounds like a good thing to be doing to protect others  , but masks are still in short supply and as of today the CDC is still only recommending only the sick wear them .

 Also your correct about it’s good to get sunlight and fresh air . Also your correct that we are not in a shelter in place order , but the CDC is saying to stay put at home if at all possible and to avoid any unnecessary travel . You can get sun and fresh air by just standing in your yard or by taking a walk down the street or road and by doing such your your also getting some great exerting in  and great stress relief also . No trips for gas ,bait stores for bait ,plastics ,tackle are a necessity.
  By advocating to go fishing now is poor judgement on your part as by no means is it a necessity for anybody at this point . The upcoming rainy river early open water season should be canceled also . Who in there right mind would think that with all the mass travel , gathering and all that goes on with this event that it is a good thing given the circumstances and would fall into a necessity of life ..

Also the resorts should be doing there part to temporary shutdown .. 

We are ALL in this mess together and it’s going to take ALL to do their part at getting us ALL through this . We ALL must make sacrifices in our lives  now to some degree ..  I am trying to do my part and I would hope All do there part , because believe it or not it is a matter of life or death . I for one was very much looking forward to some late icefishing  , it happens to be my favorite time all season to get out and get it done , as was I also looking forward to the river fishing .Love yourself and love your neighbor ! 

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3 hours ago, Bigfatbert said:


  Rick I agree with the great possibility that carriers showing no symptoms or at least not yet showing symptoms that wearing a mask sounds like a good thing to be doing to protect others  , but masks are still in short supply and as of today the CDC is still only recommending only the sick wear them .

 Also your correct about it’s good to get sunlight and fresh air . Also your correct that we are not in a shelter in place order , but the CDC is saying to stay put at home if at all possible and to avoid any unnecessary travel . You can get sun and fresh air by just standing in your yard or by taking a walk down the street or road and by doing such your your also getting some great exerting in  and great stress relief also . No trips for gas ,bait stores for bait ,plastics ,tackle are a necessity.
  By advocating to go fishing now is poor judgement on your part as by no means is it a necessity for anybody at this point . The upcoming rainy river early open water season should be canceled also . Who in there right mind would think that with all the mass travel , gathering and all that goes on with this event that it is a good thing given the circumstances and would fall into a necessity of life ..

Also the resorts should be doing there part to temporary shutdown .. 

We are ALL in this mess together and it’s going to take ALL to do their part at getting us ALL through this . We ALL must make sacrifices in our lives  now to some degree ..  I am trying to do my part and I would hope All do there part , because believe it or not it is a matter of life or death . I for one was very much looking forward to some late icefishing  , it happens to be my favorite time all season to get out and get it done , as was I also looking forward to the river fishing .Love yourself and love your neighbor ! 

 

You can get to the lake without any close interactions with humans, omg. Pull out your credit card and pay at the pump, sanitize your hands when done. 

Or sit on your couch ?

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2 hours ago, Tom Sawyer said:

 

You can get to the lake without any close interactions with humans, omg. Pull out your credit card and pay at the pump, sanitize your hands when done. 

Or sit on your couch ?

 

2 hours ago, Tom Sawyer said:

 

You can get to the lake without any close interactions with humans, omg. Pull out your credit card and pay at the pump, sanitize your hands when done. 

Or sit on your couch ?

My what good suggestions you have there TS , if your only thinking about yourself that is . Hmmmm what did you leave out with such advice , well how’s about you wash/sanitize your hands and sanitize your card that you just pulled out before you put in into the pay at the pump . .   Any sanitizing you do after the fact does nothing for the next soul to come by and catch what you may of left him . Oh I know the next person that comes along should sanitize before he uses the pump.. probably so in fact , but maybe he forgot his sanitizer at home , or is just out  of it and can’t find any at a store because of hoarding , or worse yet maybe he just can’t afford a bottle because he is out of work due to the circumstances. . It’s not just about your self at this time , we all need to think about our brothers and sisters and fellow Americans to slow the spread and get beyond all of this . . My suggestion to you is to sit on the couch . 

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I mean are we really to the point of not going fishing because of covid I mean I know how serious it is and I am all for helping stop the spread but at the same time I diffently dont want to one of those pepole obbsessed and completly dwell over covid and I think we should just go out there for some peace and quiet and away from all the covid talk. 

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4 hours ago, Bigfatbert said:

 My suggestion to you is to sit on the couch . 

 

Not a chance brother! But I'll hose down the pump with my garden sprayer, mixed gallon of hand sanitizer for under 5 bucks when I'm done ?, great suggestion 

 

Edited by Tom Sawyer
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Bert, I respectfully disagree with your statement that I am using poor judgement. My judgement may be different than yours but that does not make it poor. You base yours on your beliefs and ability to gather accurate information as do I. I'm sure we are different on both aspects. That being said...

 

If you are over 70 or over 50 with an underlying condition you should consider strongly doing exactly as Bigfatbert suggests...stay home and be very diligent hand washing with soap and water( best), washing surfaces after use or touching and practice extreme social distancing if you must go out.

 

Otherwise, extreme social distancing and wiping of hands and surfaces with a viral disinfectant prior to and again after touching said surfaces will keep you in a very low risk category. Wear a mask to prevent the spread.

 

Expect our Government to be in high gear ensuring high production of those masks. There is no excuse whatsoever to be short on these. It's not like the CDC and our Government hasn't known the probability of this type of occurrence for decades. It's a National Security issue plain and simple.

 

Obviously we will need to follow Government orders as they come down.

 

Be safe and be extremely considerate. Be aware that you could be spreading the CCP Virus and not know! So take every precaution not to do that.

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Having been in healthcare for over 12 years now I can honestly say that I am concerned.  I worked inner city as a paramedic during the H1N1 flu pandemic and also got it.  I think common sense should be used and yes it is not that common anymore.  I agree with Rick that depending on your health status should guide you on your current public activity.  I have been home the last four days studying.  I am 33 so I am considered a millennial but I do have health issues of my own.  If you have any autoimmune diseases, chronic lung diseases or heart disease I would stay in.  I will be going fishing more than likely next week on LOTW.  I will be going with the guy i rent from so no additional exposures.  I have frozen shiners here at home in the freezer and will fuel and pay at the pump and use hand sanitizer while fueling.  I have a seasonal road pass.  I do not foresee any additional individual contacts.  If I do I will stay six feet away.  This takes a group effort there is no doubt about that and yes there are instances where asymptomatic individuals pass it on.  Currently I acknowledge that and will do my part to avoid contact with anyone healthy or not.  I do hope this fades by May.  One has to take care of their mental health as well and staying inside for extended periods of time is not healthy either.  Get outdoors and maintain a healthy distance from others and wash your hands

Kettle 

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Wife is a teacher and is at home working. Private school so working online with students. I wanted to go to Scheels Monday to order a kayak. She asked me not to cuz she has a lot of health issues and is 62. I wined a bit but realized it would really suck if I brought something home and she ended up in trouble. So we decided we really don’t need to go out for anything for a while. I have therapy at the VA the 23rdand will sneak out for that. Everyone will do as they please cuz this is America but it’s a good time to think about how you might screw up somebody else’s life. 

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...and if any of you do go out fishing, here's music tips to comply with the COVID19 guidelines:

 

Good choices:  "I Drink Alone"--George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Bad Choices:  "Come Together"--the Beatles.

Grey Choices:  "Fishing in the Dark"--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.   (that whole "you and me going fishing in the dark..." must be more the 6 feet apart of course.)

 

(*I have a personal suspicion that if my hands are covered in good ol' Northern slime that will neutralize any coronavirus better than purell, but until that's tested and proven, I'll still follow the government guidelines...)

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I plan on heading up to the cabin and getting out on the lake next week.  I can walk out, so I won't come in to close contact with anybody.  I will either use the bait I already have or plastics, so I don't have to come in contact with anybody to go fishing.  I am going a little stir crazy so being outside will do me some good.

 

If you have health problems, stay home or go somewhere isolated like I will.  Good luck and God Bless!

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19 hours ago, Tom Sawyer said:

 

Not a chance brother! But I'll hose down the pump with my garden sprayer, mixed gallon of hand sanitizer for under 5 bucks when I'm done ?, great suggestion 

 

Yes I agree TS it was a great suggestion , but a ridiculous come back IMHO .Just please try to remember that what goes around comes around . Myself being a person that falls into the category of over 60 and with possible underlying conditions I see your attitude and thoughts about this all as one that just doesn’t totally get it , I can only hope I’m wrong for the sake of all others who either fall into the same category as myself or anybody else who may not have good outcome with this virus at any age . Oh I almost forgot to say that if your putting a gallon of sanitizer into the sprayer each time you go to the pump I hope you realize that would make you one of those hoarders don’t ya know , that probably wouldn’t surprise me either at this point . Have a good day and I hope the best for you brother weather your on that couch , or not !!  

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

In my opinion,  we all need to be looking out for each other.

 

If you go about your business as if you have the virus and you know it's very serious. Do what you can to:

 

1. Not spread it

2. Not contract it.

 

Soap and water is the best killer of this virus. Viral disinfectant towels are 2nd best.

 

Maintain a safe social distance of at least 6'.

 

Surfaces need to be virally disinfected before and after you touch them.

 

A mask when you are out and about is a good idea once they are mass produced here 

 

Be aware of and very considerate of others to the max!

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I planned ahead and bought extra gas to keep around in case I want to take a jaunt in the woods by myself. Same deal with ammo. I stocked up along time ago and keep it stocked because I like to shoot. I'm not a hoarder, just buy it in quantity on sale like you would with any other household product.

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My wife and I fished Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday was somewhat busy with folks around the resort and traveling about the lake.  Sunday was much quieter, with only 4 to 5 groups within eye-sight.  We talked to a few of resort staff on Friday night when we arrived, but then no one until we stopped for fuel on the way home on Monday.   

 

Saturday we setup in 20 fow near rocks along a shoreline break, targeting walleyes, sauger, and perch.  It was slow.  We could have kept a number of jumbos and 13" sauger, but ended up with only one 15" eye for dinner snack.  

 

Sunday we setup in 10 fow targeting pike.  We picked up one fat 38" pike rather early.  It was textbook as I watched the pole bending, the flag pop up, the line spooling out, and a perfect circle hookset, right in the jaw hinge.  We had one other flag that only left teeth marks on the sucker.  CO Johnson stopped by to check us out.  He indicated that those fishing in 6 fow were doing pretty well.   

 

Both days the weather was beautiful too, 50s with little wind, and a clear sky.  Fished outside with sunscreen and wished we had reapplied as we were both wind/sunburned.  The ice was still solid with no sign of sun deterioration.  The snow pack has shrunk considerably, with only 3 to 5 inches of snow/ice crystals remaining and areas of water on the surface.  

 

It was odd that there were actually a few flies out on the lake.  The big black ones.  There was also small black rice shaped bugs flying in and landing on the surface.  These guys then would burrow down into the snow.  Never seen the flies like this nor the bugs before.    

 

At this time we are looking forward to wrapping up the ice season, getting all the gear sorted and stored for the summer and getting summer gear and equipment out and ready to rock-n-roll, hopefully post COVID-19!!!!

 

IMG_0673.jpg.533ec2c9313055edd8c1f6562da0a707.jpg

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Perhaps we should call this the COVID - 19 fishing report.  As you can imagine, some really cool annual traditions with Mother Nature are happening right now around Lake of the Woods.

With the current times, other than some local anglers fishing in their own backyard where they have private access, things are pretty quiet.  Let's get through this chapter and look ahead as the walleyes are definitely waiting, willing and able!

As many of you have read, in response to the COVID - 19 situation, the City of Baudette has closed it's two public access points on the Rainy River, Koochiching County has closed their four access points to the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods County has also temporarily closed their access points.  These closures are temporary in nature and are being reviewed often.  Kooch County will review again April 14th which is the last day of the walleye season on LOW and the Rainy River. 

We want to express our sincere appreciation and thanks for all who come up to the Lake of the Woods area throughout the year.  Our community and small businesses are very tourism focused and dependent.  This is a tough time for many for a variety of reasons.  We look forward to getting this chapter behind us and creating wonderful memories with you again in the near future.  Be safe and thank you.

On the south end...  Ice conditions this March have held very well.  As mentioned, low amount of traffic due to the times.  Anglers out have been catching big pike as is traditional this time of year as well as walleyes and saugers.

On the Rainy River...   The Rainy River is starting to open with a few local anglers with private access getting on the open water.  As you can imagine, some big walleyes in the river.  The spring walleye season goes through April 14th and will not be available to most this year.  Looking forward to sturgeon season and the MN fishing opener May 9th!

Up at the NW Angle...  A few locals still ice fishing.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch and an occasional pike or eelpout in the mix.  Looking forward to open water.  

international drive billboard.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

This past week, MN Governor Tim Walz began allowing resorts and hotels to open with numerous guidelines for safety.  Many Lake of the Woods resorts and hotels are welcoming guests back.    

Properties are taking a variety of safety measures in many aspects of their businesses to ensure guest and employee safety.  

The US and Canada have agreed to keep the international border shut until May 20th.  Residents of the NW Angle and necessary supplies can travel across, others including visitors and land owners for the time being cannot.  Some resorts are offering transport service via boat across the lake in MN waters to the Angle prior to the border opening.

On the south end...  The majority of Big Traverse Bay is still ice covered, which is quite typical of this time of year.  Warm weather is in the forecast and more and more open water is showing up daily.  Things are looking very good for the opener May 9th.  Some big pike are being caught in the open water of bays.  The pike season on LOW never closes.  

On the Rainy River...   The Rainy River is open into Lake of the Woods.  The sturgeon bite has been strong with many boats out and successful this weekend.  Find a hole in the river, anchor up with a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers or combo of crawlers and frozen emerald shiners.  The sturgeon "keep season" continues through May 7th.  May 8-15 is catch and release only.  May 16th the sturgeon season closes until July 1st.

Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is melting and open water is expanding quickly.  The larger basins are still ice covered.  Resorts are preparing and looking forward to the open water season.  

Andrew Kraft_sturgeon on Rainy River_042520.jpg

Zippel Bay Pike_042620.jpg

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      As the ice gets thicker in December, a snowmobile trail will be staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point offering travel on the river, Mother Nature dictating of course.  When it opens, stay on the trail for safety.  No trail is marked yet.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is progressing nicely up at the Angle.  Some local snowmobile travel has been happening in marked areas with good ice conditions.  Like every year, there are areas with cracks, current, etc.  Stay on marked trails when things open up.  Ice fishing for some will begin next week.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for specifics.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Plan ahead with testing or rapid tests are available in Baudette and soon in Warroad.  Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada. 
      Want to avoid crossing the border?  Snowmobilers can take the groomed and staked trail across the lake.  Charter transport via bombardiers on the ice trail or flights over the lake landing on an ice runway are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air this winter.  
       


    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Ice is forming across the lake, river and bays.  We are moving in a good direction, but need some more time before ice fishing begins.  
      The first spear houses are out on back isolated bays looking for pike.  Some resorts offer spearing packages on Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay.  Work through a resort as ice conditions vary.  One resort reports 5-7 inches on their marked trail but they went around an area with only 1 inch of ice caused by springs.  Safety first.
      Our resorts and outfitters are on the ice daily checking thickness, avoiding springs, cracks, shifting ice, unclear and weak ice, etc.  When the time comes they open their ice trails, stay on the trails for safety.
      The main basin, Big Traverse Bay, is ice covered in most areas.  As most years, some of the shoreline ice is made up of slush that has blown in and frozen.  When resorts / outfitters start grooming, they will smooth the ice out for good ice travel.  We have a good start!
      Many LOW resorts / outfitters are providing ice reports on their Facebook pages this time of year.  These are the experts on the ice and they will let you know when the part of the lake they fish is ready for travel.
      On the Rainy River...  The Rainy River is ice covered.  With the current of the river throughout the year, knowing when, where and where not to travel on the ice is a must.
      Typically, later in December, a snowmobile trail will be staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point offering travel on the river, Mother Nature dictating of course.  When it opens, stay on the trail for safety.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Angle Inlet and various areas throughout the islands of the NW Angle are ice covered.  A bit of local snowmobile travel in a few areas but no ice fishing as of yet. Things are coming along nicely with little snow.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Plan ahead with testing or rapid tests are available in Baudette and soon in Warroad.  Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada. 
      Want to avoid crossing the border?  Snowmobilers can take the groomed and staked trail across the lake.  Charter transport via bombardiers on the ice trail or flights over the lake landing on an ice runway are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air this winter.  
       


    • opsirc
      By opsirc
      Has anyone been out on lakes around duluth and how was the ice.
    • opsirc
      By opsirc
      Has anyone been out on the local lakes checking ice? Ie: fish, Nichols, grand so forth. 
    • CigarGuy
      By CigarGuy
      Looking at possibly getting a new 8" StrikeMaster electric auger. Everyone has them advertised at 549.00.  Anybody getting a better price or extras thrown in? Reeds has a sale if you spend over $400.00, they give you a $100.00 gift card, can't tell if it applies to augers??
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  The few anglers who got out this week on the open water had good success but most have put their boats away and are hunting or looking ahead to the ice fishing season.  
      Ice is starting to form but is not safe yet.  As of the writing of this report, bays such as Four Mile Bay, Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay have varying thicknesses of ice.  Ice guides are monitoring conditions daily and make the call when it is time.
      The first houses out will be spear houses on back bays looking for pike.  Some resorts offer spearing packages on Zippel Bay and Bostic Bay.  
      Please exercise safety and caution as ice thickens.  Our resort and outfitter ice guides are on the ice daily checking thickness, avoiding springs, cracks, shifting ice, unclear and weak ice, etc.  
      In some cases, they are actually flooding the ice to thicken it quicker.  The bottom line, we encourage you not to go off on your own but rather use ice guides and the marked trails they have created.
      Ice has also started to form on the big waters of Big Traverse Bay which is a good sign.  Cold temps, wind and snow can all affect progress.
      Many LOW resorts / outfitters are providing ice reports on their Facebook pages this time of year.  
      On the Rainy River...  The Rainy River is ice covered with pockets of open water.  With the current of the river throughout the year, knowing when, where and where not to travel on the ice is a must.
      Typically, later in December, a snowmobile trail will be staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point offering travel on the river, Mother Nature dictating of course.  When it opens, stay on the trail for safety.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Angle Inlet and various areas throughout the islands of the NW Angle are ice covered with random areas of open water as ice continues to form.  Things are coming along nicely but are not ready yet.
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Plan ahead with testing or rapid tests are available in Baudette and soon in Warroad.  Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada. 
      Want to avoid crossing the border?  Snowmobilers can take the groomed and staked trail across the lake.  Charter transport via bombardiers on the ice trail or flights over the lake landing on an ice runway are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air this winter.  
       


    • BobT
      By BobT
      This forum has been pretty quiet lately so I thought I'd start a discussion to see where it takes us. Is it just me or have others had a similar experience this past year? Quite honestly my fishing success this year was not something to write home about. I'm primarily a walleye fisherman and my main mode of attack is a jig and minnow or jig and leech. About two weeks before the MN fishing opener in May, a friend and I did visit Lake Traverse on the SD/MN border and did quite well. That gave me a pretty good feeling going into the open water season but alas it was cut short rather quickly. I struggled to connect with walleyes all summer this year. Was on Vermilion for the opener and we struggled to find enough for a fish fry. Spent the next two weekends on Leech and got the same results. Then we took a trip to Rainy and again we really had to work to put together a fish fry. After that a friend and I went to Winnibigoshish and caught one fish all day, a 23-1/2" walleye but that was it. Couple weeks after that we tried West Battle lake and although we did find a few fish (couple rock bass, small mouth, couple northerns, and a couple sunnies), walleyes were not being cooperative at all. Add to that a few trips to my local Lake Osakis and other area lakes and I really struggled. I did get a couple here and there but they were definitely sparse to say the least. I even tried pulling cranks and Lindy rigs and even tried artificials with virtually no success. 
       
      Anyone else have similar experiences or is it just me? Any thoughts? Was it weather, low water conditions, water temp, other?  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  The fish are there, the anglers this time of year, not so much.  Some are deer hunting, some have put their boats away and are getting the ice fishing gear ready.  For those who have not winterized their boats, there are plenty of walleyes and saugers to be had.
      Those who hit the water this week were rewarded.  Schools of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and are active.  Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the most common method of fishing.  
      Most anglers report good fishing in 17-27 feet of water.  Gold, pink and glow continue to be hot colors in the stained waters of LOW.  
      Pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon, crappies and eelpout are also being caught by walleye anglers.
      Looking forward to ice fishing!
      On the Rainy River...   A great week of fishing on the Rainy River with good numbers of walleyes.  Most are jigging with emerald shiners.  Gold, glow and pink, gold / orange have been strong colors.
      Sturgeon are still being caught, many by unsuspecting walleye anglers jigging with minnows.  
      Up at the NW Angle...  Back harbors and bays are just starting to ice up.  For the few anglers out fishing, the bite continues to be really good.  Most anglers are jigging.  
      Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs are doing well.  Anglers fishing the U.S. side are tipping with a fathead or frozen shiner.  Those fishing the Ontario side tipping with various plastics.
      Points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish.  12 - 24 feet depending upon the spot.  
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Rapid tests available in Baudette and soon in Warroad.    
      Want to avoid crossing the border?  Charter transport via bombardiers via the ice trail and flights over the lake delivering you to your desired resort are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air this winter.  
       
       


    • NIGHTSTRIKE
      By NIGHTSTRIKE
      Has anyone tried lighted plugs trolling at night ? Like we use for fishing salmon , steelhead and bass the list goes on here on west coast  , can they be used in great lakes area? 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Unseasonably warm temps are prolonging anglers' appetites to continue open water fishing and it is paying off.  The late fall bite is very strong!  
      As many anglers are focused on deer hunting, those who hit the water were rewarded.  Schools of walleyes and saugers are set up along the south shore and are active.  Looking ahead, these fish are set up nicely for first ice.  
      Anchored up and jigging with a fathead or emerald shiner is the go to method.  Live shiners are available and effective.  
      Most anglers report good fishing in 17-27 feet of water.  Gold, pink and glow continue to be hot colors.  
      Mixed in with the walleyes are pike, jumbo perch, sturgeon, crappies and eelpout. 
      Some back bays iced up on cold mornings!
      On the Rainy River...   More and more walleyes are being caught in the river each week.  Mother Nature appears to be a couple of weeks behind this fall.  To no surprise, most are stuffed with emerald shiners.  Jigging with a frozen or live shiner has been the go to method, however, those trolling crankbaits also producing.
      Sturgeon activity continues to be good with some big fish caught and released.
      Up at the NW Angle...  For the few anglers out fishing, the bite continues to be really good.  Most anglers are jigging with big numbers of fish are being caught.  
      Gold, pink and/or glow colored jigs are doing well.  Anglers fishing the U.S. side are tipping with a fathead or frozen shiner.  Those fishing the Ontario side tipping with various plastics.
      Structure such as points, reefs and sandy areas in neck down areas continue to hold good fish.  12 - 26 feet continues to be the range depending upon the spot.  
      Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Rapid tests available in Baudette.  Boating into Canadian waters is now open.  
      Want to avoid crossing the border?  Charter transport via water and ice and flights over the lake delivering you to your desired resort are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air both this fall and into the winter months via ice.  
       

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      Nothing is perfect for everything.
    • CigarGuy
    • Rick G
      Shopped around the end of last season for a new case. Have had the Eagle claw  case for a couple seasons, and still use it quite a bit. Nice box for the $50 price range.  Like I said, shopped around....looked at the Otter 40  and 40deep series. Ended up getting the big Scheels 42 case. This thing is a beast...room for all but the longest rods, and lots of storage boxes to stuff goodies into.  My only complaint is the overall size...it's really too big when your trying to pack light....lol
    • JerkinLips
      I heard there was a few open spots still last weekend.  Somebody walked out from McKinley Park on Saturday and found only 2-3 inches in the bay.  Now they got heavy snow and then very cold weather so all bets are off.  I delayed my first trip up until this Thursday to give the cold weather more time to work.  Hope to report decent ice then but I wouldn't bet on it.
    • smurfy
      well we are 11-12 miles from marcell... some day mayhaps hook up at the timberwolf!!!!!!👍 good luck paying off loans!!!!!!! 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Let's get an ice thread going.   I saw on the fishing thread that someone said that Head O Lakes had open water prior to the most recent snowfall. Unless we melt off a lot of this snow, we are going to have a bad ice year. Is Big Bay completely frozen over?
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Ice has covered Lake of the Woods and in some areas of the lake, ice fishing has begun!  Other parts of the lake need a bit more time but things are moving along nicely.  It is always a good idea to work through your favorite resort or outfitter as ice thickness and conditions vary from one area to another. When ice roads / trails open up, it is normally snowmobiles, ATV's and side by sides with collapsible fish houses initially.  As the ice thickens, each ice road operator will announce when weight limits increase. Some resorts are getting fish houses out and fishing is beginning this week.  This is happening in areas of good ice that has been checked and marked.  The initial word is fishing is very good! Spearing and tip up fishing for pike on back bays has been going well with a nice variety of eaters along with the trophies at over 40".  Extreme safety is always important, especially so with early ice conditions.  Each resort / outfitter will share info as it is available.   On the Rainy River...  The Rainy River is ice covered.  With the current of the river throughout the year, knowing where and where not to travel on the ice is a must.  Work through resorts / outfitters for safety as some areas are not safe.   Pike, walleyes and sauger are being caught in areas where ice conditions allow, back bays and areas with low current that have been checked and marked. As the ice gets thicker in December, a snowmobile trail will be staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point offering travel on the river, Mother Nature dictating of course.  When it opens, stay on the trail for safety.  No trail is marked yet. Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is progressing nicely up at the Angle.  Some local snowmobile travel has been happening in marked areas with good ice conditions.  Like every year, there are areas with cracks, current, etc.  Stay on marked trails when things open up.  Ice fishing for some will begin next week.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for specifics. Travel to and from the Angle via vehicle through the 40 miles of Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test. Plan ahead with testing or rapid tests are available in Baudette and soon in Warroad.  Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada.  Want to avoid crossing the border?  Snowmobilers can take the groomed and staked trail across the lake.  Charter transport via bombardiers on the ice trail or flights over the lake landing on an ice runway are available through the LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air this winter.    
    • Kettle
      Smurfy, just finishing up residency. I move up Dec 21st. Not sure how much ice fishing I'll do this year, likely some. Trying to pay off the school loans before I buy a ton if toys. I should be able to provide some weather reports and some ice reports as I can walk out and always check with the hand auger. I'll be renting a cabin on little bass but my sister is up by Marcell so I'm sure I'll get up there weekly 
    • smurfy
      awesome picture!!!!!!! not really liking the 8 inches of snow, but if bowstring had 4 inches.......lakes i will be visiting should have a good 8!!!!!!!!! 👍
    • Austin12345
      Picked up the eagle claw one two weeks ago at the Blaine ice show can't say enough about it has room for 6-8 rods and all my tackle, bait pucks, Plastics and line. 
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