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Rick

2020 Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports & Info

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Strong walleye bite this week.  Water temps cooling off, migration has started and walleyes are putting on the feed bag for winter.  Walleyes in good numbers along south shore with a big school still in front of Lighthouse Gap (mouth of Rainy River) in 28' - 30'.  Various schools of walleyes along south shore and also holding to structure areas.  Emerald shiners continue to run in some bays and Rainy River, but not heavy.  Anglers having success trolling crankbaits, drifting spinners and anchored up and jigging.  The fall jig bite is coming on strong.  Some live shiners are available at local resorts and bait shops.

On the Rainy River...   Emerald shiners in the river, not a huge run, but it has started.  Continued Good reports of walleyes in Four Mile Bay as well as up river east of Baudette.  Most common depth, 14-16'.  The fall run has definitely started.  Snelled spinners and jigging the go to method.  Sturgeon anglers also reporting good success as well.

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleye fishing excellent.  Walleyes being caught in various spots around Garden Island and around islands and in funnel areas between islands.  Jigging around structure and pulling spinners or cranks over flats all effective.  Crappies and perch activity continues to pick up as water cools. 

50 inch muskie, Sunset Lodge, 091019 (1).jpg

Sturgeon_Sportsman's Lodge_091219 (1).jpg

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Rick

Great report and photos.

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Tom55

Any updates on the shiner run by Birchdale or Klemmentson on the Rainy River in Baudette, MN??

 

 

 

Edited by Tom55
added more to it

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Hoey

This past weekend was cool and breezy.  Spent most of the weekend attending to seasonal cut over of cabin related items like filling the winter water tank, disconnecting resort water, blowing out water lines, cleaning out summer flower gardens, etc... having fun, and even a few hours of catching.  Our catching occurred on Saturday.  Put in at 10am, winds were brutal out of the NW.  Many boats were coming in due to the wind and others looking and leaving the ramp.  It took a hour or so to get up near the Angle.  We pulled spinners with fatheads, hoping to find fish to jig on.  We never got to jigging as spinners were working for us.  By 2pm we had a nice limit of 16 to 19s for dinner and some to take home to share.  We started out in 28 foot, moving toward shore, and found fish in the 8 to 12 foot shoreline break.  The 14 mile trip back was much easier, since the winds backed off a bit.  We ran into, Joe (if I recall correctly) at the lodge who is a viewer here, but not a card carrying member.  Next trips will be for getting the boat prep'd for winterization or possibly to trade-in, IDKY, getting the sleds out a ready along with the fishing shelters.  Overall a very good year.  

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ifishwalleye

I’ve been fishing the past two days with little success. I’ve been try various spots and depths. Catching some small fish and no slots. Using jig and minnows. It’s been very frustrating!  Sounds like I need to try some blades. I can’t believe how high the lake is. Definitely enough rain up here. I’m guiding for the Veterans fishing outing on the 12th which is out of Wheelers. I’m hoping to get them on a good bite! I’m really looking forward to that event!

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Tom55

Have the shiners reached Nelson Park ( Birchdale) or Vidas Landing (Clementson)yet? Going on a fishing trip to Rainy Rivere at the end of the month and would like to know how the fishing there is.

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Fall fishing is strong with good numbers of walleyes being caught. Walleyes are staged in front of the Lighthouse Gap (mouth of Rainy River) in 18' - 24'.  Anglers on fish in front of Zippel Bay, the Fields, Long Point, Rocky Point, Knight and Bridges and Garden Island.  Anglers having success anchored up and jigging with live and frozen shiners.  Gold, pink, glow and a combo working well.  Anglers sorting through all sizes of walleyes and fish cleaning houses are busy.  Some big pike being caught this past week as well.

On the Rainy River...   Anglers are reporting catches from Four Mile Bay in 12-16' of water.  Mixed pods of fish from the mouth of the river at Wheeler's Point and at various key spots up river all the way to Birchdale.  Lots of current, have big jigs, 3/4, 1, and in some areas, 1.5 ounce.  Some big fish caught this week in the river. Sturgeon anglers continue to do well.

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleyes fishing remains good. Neck down areas, points and mouths of bays holding good fish.  Jigging continues to be the go to method.  Crappie fishing very good.  Muskie fishing remains strong.  

Big pike_Ballards-10-8-19.jpg

Fall walleye_River Bend Resort-10-8-19.jpg

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Rick

Nice 👍💥

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Fall walleye fishing remains very good.  Walleyes are staged in front of the Lighthouse Gap (mouth of Rainy River), Morris Point Gap, Zippel Bay area and Long Point in 16' - 24'.  Best method is to anchor up and jig with frozen shiners.  Jig colors in gold, pink, glow, orange or a combo of these colors working well.  Limits of eater walleyes and saugers common with small, slot and trophy walleyes mixed in.  Jumbo perch in the mix as well.  Anglers targeting pike finding good success with some big fish.

On the Rainy River...   Nice walleyes and saugers still coming out of Four Mile Bay in 12-16' of water.  Up river from Wheeler's Point strong current, fish congregating in areas with current breaks, often closer to shore or holes in river.  7-16' depending upon the spot.  River anglers finding walleyes.  If fishing in current, have big jigs, 3/4 oz -1.5 oz if in the main channel.  Some slot and trophy walleyes caught this week. Sturgeon anglers reports are good also.

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleyes have the fall feed bag on.  Neck down areas, points and mouths of bays continue to hold good fish.  Jigging continues to be the go to method.  Crappie anglers being rewarded with good slabs.  Muskie fishing remains strong as is typical with fall.  

Muskie_Sunset Lodge_10-14-19.jpg

28.5 inch walleye_Cyrus Resort_10-08-19.jpg

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Kettle

Cold, windy and few fish today. Tried different depths and moved around with minimal luck.

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  A fantastic week of fall walleye fishing.  Walleyes in good numbers across the south shore of Lake of the Woods.  Most popular depths are 14 - 24'.  Anchoring up with a jig with frozen shiner is the ticket.  Jig colors in gold, pink, glow, orange or a combo of these colors working well.  Strong numbers of walleyes and saugers being caught.  Jumbo perch and pike in the mix.  Walleyes also being caught around Knight and Bridges islands and structure off of Long Point and Rocky Point.

On the Rainy River...   Strong reports this past week and weekend of good numbers of walleyes along with some big walleyes taken.  Fish in spots with current breaks from mouth of river to Birchdale.  There is still a strong current and fish are congregating in areas with current breaks, often closer to shore, behind points or holes in river.  7-16' a good start depending upon the spot.  Very good reports this week.  Have jigs up to 1.5 oz if in the main channel, lighter jigs in slack water.  Many personal best walleyes and sturgeon this week.

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleyes in traditional fall spots.  Neck down areas, points and mouths of bays continue to hold good fish.  Jigging continues to be the go to method.  Big black crappie and jumbo perch bite happening also.  Traditional fall muskie bite continues strong, lots of fish boated.  

Big October Rainy River Walleye_101919.jpeg

COOLER OF WALLEYE 10-1-19.jpg

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Tom55

Any new updates on the shiner run by Birchdale or Clementson??

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Great fall walleye fishing continues for those willing to bundle up and fish.  The south shore of Lake of the Woods holding lots of walleyes.  Most popular depths are 12 - 24'.  Anchoring up with a jig with frozen shiner is the go to method.  As the fall continues, walleye fishing only getting better.  Nice mix of walleyes and saugers.  Setting up nicely for early ice.

On the Rainy River...   The river has been on fire with big numbers of fish and trophy walleyes in the mix.  Fish in spots with current breaks from mouth of river near resorts at Wheeler's Point to Birchdale.  There is still a strong current and fish are congregating in areas with current breaks, often closer to shore, behind points or holes in river.  7-16' a good start depending upon the spot.  Have jigs 3/4 oz to 1.5 oz in your arsenal.  A week of many big walleyes in the river.  

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleyes fishing is good for those still fishing.  Fish are staged in traditional fall spots.  Neck down areas, points and mouths of bays holding good fish.  Jig and minnow still effective and the go to.  Fall crappie and jumbo perch bite.  Muskie bite continues very strong, lots of big fish being caught.  

Nicole Stone_big fall walleye_Rainy River_102719.jpg

Fall walleye on charter_102219.jpg

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Late fall walleye fishing continues for those willing to dress up in warm gear and fish.  The south shore of Lake of the Woods continues to hold good numbers of walleyes and saugers.  These walleyes will remain through ice up.  Anchoring up with a jig with frozen shiner is still the best method.  Nice mix of walleyes and saugers for those few out on the water.  Some small chunks of ice starting to appear.  Small bays and some harbors iced up.

On the Rainy River...   The river was good this past week, with numbers of walleyes.  Not the numbers of trophy walleyes as the week before.  Fish caught in spots with current breaks mainly jigging with minnows or in some cases, plastics.  There is still a strong current.  7-16' a good start depending upon the spot.  3/4 oz to 1 oz jigs the most common with strong current and higher water.  Small back bays icing up.

Up at the NW Angle...  Walleyes fishing remains good but few anglers on the water.  Fish are staged in traditional fall spots.  Most looking ahead to ice fishing.  Jig and minnow still effective and the go to.  Muskie bite has been great all fall.  

Andrew Kraft_Fish Addictions_walleye_110219_Rainy River.jpg

NCOR Fishing Guide Service_walleye_110319.jpg

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Hoey

Zebs

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Most open water anglers put away the boats and are looking forward to ice fishing.  Ice forming on back bays and on different parts of the big lake.  With the cold snap, things are coming along nicely.  When the time is right, resorts will communicate when initial ice accesses will be available.  That time is not yet, but it won't be too long! 

On the Rainy River...   A few anglers out braving the elements with good success, but for the most part, anglers have boats put away for the year.  Some anglers fished last week with decent success and some big walleyes.  With increased current this fall, river ice will be suspect.  Back bays iced up.

Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is forming throughout the Angle.  Some reports around the inlet of 3 inches of ice, but no ice travel is recommended.  Most bays and some areas throughout islands iced up.  NW Angle resorts will communicate when ice fishing begins. 

Brett Loeb_Rainy River walleye_110519.jpeg

LOW Ice_111119_Arnesen's Rocky Point.jpg

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opsirc

I have not see anything reports on ice forming on the big lake.  People walking or is it thick enough for sleds and wheelers?

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Kettle

Looks to be super unpredictable still, I heard a few brave souls walking out of Warrod but Arnesens just posted online that they had ice but now gone with the wind. I would imagine it's a few weeks out as it's a huge body of water

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  The big lake is ice covered with scattered areas of open water.  We have a nice start to making ice so when colder weather hits, things will get locked up fairly quickly.  Mother Nature gave us a cold blast to get things started but with milder temps this week, things are on hold.  There is some spearing taking place for pike this week on back bays such as Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay.  Resorts have spear houses available.  Regardless of where you fish, work through a resort for safety.

On the Rainy River...   Most areas of the river are covered with a thin layer of ice with some areas of open water.  There is no traffic on the river at this time while ice is forming.  Extra caution is always needed with current and this year the current is stronger than most years.  Back bays of the river are also iced up.

Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is forming nicely throughout the Angle.  Locals have been out monitoring ice conditions and progress is being made, but no ice travel is recommended yet.  NW Angle resorts will communicate when ice fishing begins. 

ice from air 11-15-19.jpg

Oak Island ice 11-15-19.jpg

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Hoey

Satellite shot shows some ice that is moving around.  The lake is not locked up as of Sunday, Nov 24th.  I was hoping to get out after Thanksgiving, but that does not look safely possible at this time.

 

image.thumb.png.3a8cce0b706526b6aa864df3375f0334.png

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  The big lake is reacting to Mother Nature when it comes to ice.  With temps reaching as high as 41 degrees this past week, some areas of the lake have opened up with the majority of the lake still ice covered.  There are single digit temps approaching which is good news.  Spearing is taking place for pike on back bays such as Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay.  No ice fishing by resorts is taking place on the main lake at this time.

On the Rainy River...   With the recent warmer weather, there are some areas of the river that opened back up.  There is no traffic on the river at this time while ice is forming.  Extra caution is always needed with current and this year the current is stronger than most years.  Back bays of the river are iced up.

Up at the NW Angle...  Ice was forming nicely throughout the Angle, but came to a stand still with recent unseasonably warm weather.  No ice fishing as of yet and no ice travel is recommended for now.  NW Angle resorts will communicate when ice fishing begins.  

Satellite view of ice_11-22-19.jpg

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  The majority of the big lake is iced over.  The forecast looks optimistic with the daily low temps forecasted in the teens and single digits.  Resorts are monitoring ice conditions closely.  The area was missed by heavy snowfall in this weekend's snow storm which will help ice creation.  Resorts have been out checking ice and in some cases starting to mark trails.  No ice fishing by resorts is taking place on the main lake at this time. Spearing is taking place for pike on back bays. 

On the Rainy River...   Areas of the main channel have open water with edges and bays iced up.  There is no traffic on the river at this time while ice is forming.  Extra caution is always needed with current and this year the current is stronger than most years.  

Up at the NW Angle...  Ice is forming nicely.  With that being said, there is higher than normal current this year so working through a resort or outfitter is always a good idea as they will keep you away from areas that are suspect.  With the many islands in the Angle, there are neck down or shallow areas causing unsafe ice conditions throughout the entire winter. Knowledge of the area is important.  No ice fishing as of yet.  NW Angle resorts will communicate when ice fishing begins. 

Weather Forecast_12-01-19.JPG

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  Ice fishing has begun!  Many resorts have fish houses out with others watching ice conditions in the area they fish for the right time.  Below zero temps this week will help.  Some ice roads are open to ATV and snowmobile traffic.  Check with your resort / outfitter prior to coming up.  Fishing has started out excellent as expected.  Most finding walleyes and saugers in 21 - 26 feet of water.  A shallow bite happening in 18-20' morning / evening.  The norm of jigging one line and dead sticking the other line working well.  Good numbers of fish being caught with some trophies mixed in as well as pout, perch, tullibees, sturgeon and an occasional pike.  Very little snow on the ice.  

On the Rainy River...   Most of the river is frozen over with a few random spots still showing open water.  There is no traffic on the river at this time while ice is forming.  Extra caution is always needed with current and this year the current is stronger than most years.  

Up at the NW Angle...  Some resorts have a few fish houses out and initial fishing reports for walleyes are excellent.  Some areas still need time with high current this year.  Forecast is favorable with sub zero temps this week.  The majority of ice traffic is snowmobiles thus far.  It's a must to stick to resort marked trails or know the area you are traveling.  

Nice walleye_Zippel Bay Resort_120819.jpg

Dave Levi_120719_29 inch walleye in fish house.jpg

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Hoey

Hey - She looks to be locked up.  Let the fishing begin!!!  From today the satellite shot.  This is no indication of ice thickness.  Have fun and be safe.  Reports of ice only 2 inches thick in areas.  

image.thumb.png.20dcaada24922175344e883c3ab38805.png

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Sculpin

I was on the lake last week Wed. and Thurs, out of Morris Point, fishing in their rentals, they slid 3 out just for our group. Very few houses on the lake when we left on Fri. but ATV's were beginning to move about. Ice was a solid 6/8" where we were in 22 ft water. We caught ALLOT of fish, lot of saugers, and 5 nice bonus pike, (released) Never had a walleye over 16.5" but it was steady all day. Water clarity was pretty good, so with the high water in the river, that was nice to see.

Arnesons will start their season on Thurs. the 12th, and they report 10/12' but they caution there are still areas of 4" or less. 

I should think by the weekend, it'll be game on just about everywhere. But be very cautious, and check continuously.

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LakeofthewoodsMN

On the south end...  A great walleye and sauger bite continues!  Most resorts have fish houses out in 23 - 28 feet of water.  Nice mix of walleyes and saugers.  Best colors, gold, pink, gold/pink, orange/chartreuse, white.  Jig one line and dead stick the other with a live minnow.  Good numbers of fish being caught with some trophies mixed in as well as eelpout, perch, tullibees, sturgeon and pike.  Very little snow on the ice. Various ice roads are open.  What can be driven out varies.  Some ice roads up to light SUV's or ATV / side by sides pulling small houses, others still just ATV / side by sides.  Check with your resort / outfitter prior to coming up. 

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.

Up at the NW Angle...  Most resorts have fish houses out and initial fishing reports for walleyes are very good.  Some areas still need time with high current.  It's a must to stick to resort marked trails or know the areas you are traveling.  The snowmobile trail from the south end up to the Angle is set to be staked this week.  

Arnesen's_12.13.19_28 inch walleye.jpg

Wigwam Resort_walleye and saugers_12.15.19.jpg

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Hoey

I was out on Sunday for 3 hours.  Ice was 16" thick.  The water clarity seemed to be surprisingly clear.  The fish were aggressive.  Caught about 15 or so.  Kept a 17" er for dinner.  Lots of 10 to 12 inchers.  

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jigginjim

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.

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Kettle
26 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.

Definitely way more ice roads these days as wheel houses are common. Zipple has a road. Farther east you have Morris point and Cyrus with roads. Cannot go much east of there unless you are going into Ontario 

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    • eyeguy 54
      I use them to bone out and trim venny also.  Perfect knife for it. The electric I have found works nice on ribs. I think the cutco is probably about 35 years old also. Not 30. Had it sharpened a few years back by the rep here. Cool knife she said. 😁
    • Tom Sawyer
      Second, but would be willing to change if I owed a skins zit. Most of my fish are cleaned with a 6" rubber handled rap. Use a 4" for walleye cheeks, and also have a larger one for big northerns.    Mmmm, those gills were good tonight. I did get a Cutco, for a gift a while back, decent knife. Just comfortable with the newer Raps, prefer rubber over the wood for handles.  I know I must have quite a few fillet knives, but none as old as that cutco eyeguy has.... That adjustment comes in handy for large gators on the Cutco.   
    • smurfy
      I fillet around the rib bones right away. And I have my own unique way of doing pike. Don't ask.😊
    • Rick
      I'm same as you Icehawk
    • Xplorer
      I have a Cutco and a Rapala electric that I use 99% of the time.   If I use the electric, I do it the first way, but I leave it attached to the tail to take off the fillet.   When I use the Cutco I usually do it the second way.  I also have 2 regular rapalas.  One old wood handled 5” and a rubber handled 7” that I got my son to learn to fillet with.  The 5” gets used a ton in the house for all kinds of things. Used it last weekend to slice a veni roast up for making jerky.  It’s a sweet little rig that can get in all the tight spots.  
    • Huntin&Fishin
      Sent you a PM IceHawk
    • eyeguy 54
      Bottom one is 35 years old. Cutco I got about 30 years ago. Still a great knife. Can’t throw the old ones away lol
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