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Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports & Info

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Hoey

I was planning to fish Fri and Sat this weekend, but looking at the forecast, I am now looking to fish Thur and Fri, and possibly Sat.  Sat forecast is snow and breezy.  Thur and Fri looks to be nice, warmer and low winds.  I will report back.  I do have a new license - Thanks.

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seifjr

Thanks Hoey, anxious to hear your report, as a group of us are coming up next weekend to hit it hard.  Appreciate any information you can provide.

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PRO-V

A buddy of mine just got back. Was on Adrian's road out by Bridges in his sleeper. Caught 58 fish in two days. Lot's of nice eaters.

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Hoey

We have a 6 hour drive, so we left home Thursday at 5am, arrived 11am, on the sleds and out the door at noon, all lines down and fishing by 1pm.  With the sunset getting later, i.e. after 6pm, it felt like a regular day of fishing.  It was a beautiful day, fishing was great, catching was, slow.  Between the two of us, probably only 20 fish with no keepers.  Our standard is 14 inch for sauger and 15 for walleyes.  This was in the mud off a reef in 32'.  Many of the fish were coming into our area at 3 to 8 foot off the bottom.  Once they sniffed out bait, they'd drop to the bottom and disappear.  

Friday was a different story.  We were setup and fishing by 11am, up on the fishable edge of the same reef in 27'.  Probably around an 80 fish day.  Size got better 2pm to 4pm.  Felt like we were going to run out of bait.  Ended up with 3 nice sauger and our limit of eyes, 16 to 19 inchers.  Ate one sauger and two eyes for dinner.  The fish were full crayfish hatch and 1/2 inch minnows.  Talked to one of the guides who agreed to what we found in their bellies and added that "once they clean up that forage, look out!!!"

On Saturday we went to the same spot, we were setup and fishing by 930am.  Bite was slower again.  Lots of small ones.  We ended up one sauger short of our limit.  One sauger was an 18 incher too.  This was probably a 40 fish day for us.  

The weather had eveyone's attention.  We were expecting to drive home on icy roads.  Oddly enough, dry roads and some light rain at times nearer the Crosby area to the Cities.  

Another trip this weekend with our college swimming son and three of his teammates.  

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seifjr

Great report Hoey, thanks for sharing.  Were you fishing structure to the west of Pine, or did you head north a ways?  Where do you normally stay?  We're at Wigwam for this trip, so it would be great to share reports through the weekend if your in the area.

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Hoey

I have a place at Arnesen's Rocky Point - please do not share this with everyone, because we like the smaller crowds.

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Hoey

I fished Sat to Tues of this past week.  Saturday with my wife.  Sun to Tues with wife, son, and three of his teammates on spring break.  

Overall the bite was slow, but steady.  That is a true fish story.  Seemed like the fish were 60 to 70% not interested in our baits.  There were many small fish to sort through.  We ended up with enough for one large meal, plus our limit of very nice eyes 17 to 19 inchers.  Nice sauger were hard to come by due to size.  We had probably 6 slots with 24" being the largest.  Worth mentioning were the eel pout.  I had one everyday and three in one day, plus those caught by my guests.  We are slow starters and were typically fishing by 1030-11am each day.  It seemed like our bite was on 11am to 2 to 3pm each day, with the bite tailing off quickly each evening.  No sunset rush like we are used to seeing.  

We had others around us that must have been expecting a better bite, as they setup, fished, ventured out, moved, setup, moved again, etc...

We had beautiful weather each day, some started off overcast while other ended overcast.  My wife commented that it was 70 some degrees warmer than the last time she was fishing when it was more than 30 something below zero.  

There remains plenty of ice.  There was over 4 foot where we were fishing and also heard that some areas were at or more than 5 foot.  Got to wonder what the opener has in-store for us.  

My next trip is planned for next weekend.  This time of the year gets interesting, not knowing if sleds are still an option or needing to use wheeled units to get from the cabin to shore and then on the lake. 

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Hoey

I was able to get my ice to boat equipment and gear cut-over completed.  Only problem was the electric golf cart was a no go.  Finally got it charged enough to move.  I just found out that the charger needed to be replaced.  Over $300 - ouch.

There were many out chasing pike.  Those fishing on the reefs and in deeper water were not doing as well as those fishing in one foot of water below the ice.  Sounded like you need to be willing to run your auger into the sand.  

I put new blades on my auger and went out to see how well they cut.  Well, I drilled down 2 feet in less than 3 seconds as the ice was on the hard side of slush.  I did not drill any further.  The hole filled immediately with water.   The pike chasers indicated they found little to no hard ice remaining.  That is encouraging since hearsay from the DNR indicated we need 4 weeks of 70 degree days with above freezing temps over night to get the ice out.  

Come-on 70s!!!!

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srj

Busy lake on the east end. Success was mixed as usual...some caught lots and some didn't do well.  We caught fish from 6 to 25' with lots of saugers deeper. DNR was right about a big year class of 10" saugers...couple more years and there should be some banner years for them.Guys were fishing as shallow as 4'. First fish of the day,  my lady caught a 30 incher, her best ever. Only a few others over. Our neighbors caught quite a few 21 to 26. Water temp was around 47 in frint of the gap and several degrees warmer to the west. Ice sheets were moving in late afternoon, should be heading north today.

A little cool but nice on the lake for opening day. The lake is way low. Had to use my neighbors dock as I was about 6" short on water.

Anybody else?..Good luck to all.

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Hoey

My wife and I got out for 6 hours on Saturday.  First two spots, we marked no fish, caught no fish, and saw one caught.  We started off on a 17' to 25' mid-lake reef, nothing.  Then went to shallower rocks, 15' to 20', nothing.  Proceeded to work 18' all the way into 4'.  Picked up a couple of ripe males, one of them a slot.  Then back out 10" to 16' were we seemed to have the most marks and bites.  The fish seemed to very hungry and scattered.  If you got a bite and missed, they'd be back.  We ended up with 4 for a meal.  One released female, 14" was the size of a smallie, fat and deep and she had un-finished business.  Seemed half caught were ripe and others showed signs of spawn completed.   Water temps ranged from 38 to 42.  Weather-wise, it was probably the finest opener you could imagine. 

Happy Mothers Day!!!  We stopped to have lunch with my Mom on Sunday.  

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PRO-V

Bite was real slow and spotty today on the south side. Finally went out to 32' and caught 6 sauger and 3 walleye in the afternoon. Surface temp out there was 35 degrees. Saw the last of the floating ice NE of us.

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PRO-V

Resorted to searching with crank baits today. Real poor. A 17.5" smallmouth, 23.25" walleye, 12.5" perch and a 12" snot rocket. Our other boat got 2 walleye off Pine. Got blown off the lake in the afternoon.

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Hoey

SRJ - Thanks for the report.  I heard the bite was very-good to excellent, off the rocks/reefs, in the mud/sand.  I will be at the lake fishing this weekend.  

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DRAGFOOT

Sweet! Heading back up tonight through the weekend. Bringing the wife and little one this time instead of my buddies, hopefully the weather cooperates.

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srj

Once again incredibly  nice weather...especially the light winds. Is this really Lake of the Woods? Our annual family get together produced lots of fish in several locations from the gap to way north. Lots of nice fish but no big girls, a 25 was the largest with 4 boats fishing. Mostly jig and minnow, some on crankbaits. The water is up 6 inches or so and really warm-as high as 74 in Bostic and 60's in the lake. There were even some mats of green stuff floating around. Not sure what that stuff was, seems way early for a signicant algae bloom.

Other reports?

Good luck.

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Hoey

SRJ - I have one, a report.  Wife and I fished 3 hrs on Friday afternoon off a nearby reef.  Reports were hot and heavy.  Not for us.  Fish seemed to be scattered and hesitant to bite.  Lost many at the bottom and on the way up.  We released everything.  On Saturday, we traveled to the south shore of the angle and ended up with our eight, nice 17 to 18 inchers, plus many slots, 22, 23, 25, 26, etc...  We got better at hooking the fish towards the end of the day.  We were fishing jigs with chubs/fatheads and some shinners.  The hard hookset was not working.  Just lifting the pole tip upward after the initial bite worked much better.  And we were traveling back by 4pm.  Fish for dinner.  On Sunday, looking for three fish, we headed out to another local reef with some threats of weather.  Found nothing and headed back up to the angle.  The low winds made it possible for long travel runs.  We found out the fish have tails, and they used them.  They were not where they were.  We ended up finding some to complete our limit.  

The white/yellowish stuff floating on the surface was pollen.  The fish were off the reefs and in the mud feeding on various hatches, small bugs, gnats, and the beginning of the muffle head hatch.  

Other reports included other, off-reef-bites that were productive and  some were doing well pulling spinners in 10 foot with leeches and fatheads, while the pile of 60 to 70 boats off Twin Island did well early in the day and later in the afternoon.  I am looking forward to another meal or two and the next trip!!!

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Hoey

SRJ - If I recall correctly, you run a Stratos.  Was that you that stopped and talked to us?  

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srj

Hoey, sounds like you had a good time. I no longer have that Stratos-I love most all boats but that 326 and I did not get along although it did a great job during the Streiff tourney in the big blow. I have a black with silver Lund 189 GL now and hopefully for a long time. What are you in...I would enjoy running into you on the lake. Was the Stratos dark blue with a Yamaha 150? Our family had one on the water this weekend and on Sat we all were north. Most of our fish up there were caught in 6' or so pulling cranks in the sand/rubble. Some on jigs deep. Most of the south side fish were on jigs.

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DJ_Slick

Fished out of the gap on Saturday as it was only a half day for us.  Bite was slow.  Nothing at all drifting, even though it was a dang slow drift.  Moved a half mile, anchored, and ended up with enough for dinner, but that was it.  Launches (and lots of other boats) were running to Knight and Bridges.  Heard the launches were on the move to other parts of the lake by late morning, so we assumed the bite there had slowed compared to earlier in the week.

Sunday we went west to Long Point.  Again the bite was slow for us.  Saw the floatilla by Twin Islands, but didn't keep moving west.  Just sat it out by the green buoy until mid-afternoon and headed back with enough for dinner and a couple for the freezer.  At least the rain went around us and the clouds knocked a little of the intensity off the sun.

Nothing big either day.  Bites were generally light both days.  From what we heard, the bite was scattered and moved around.  If you got lucky and happened upon a school, you were able to do alright, but it was a crap shoot.  In the past, days without wind have always been a slow bite for us.  In 20+ years of fishing LOW, the number of good days we've had when the lake is that still is in the single digits, and usually involves mid-summer downrigging.

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srj

DJ, there were a pile of Sportcrafts and other boats on the shoals at Knight on Sat. Also on the west end of Bridges and up at Little Oak. They did move around quite a bit. It is kind of a bummer that there are not enough fish on the south shore to keep the charters happy. It seems the charter fleet heads north earlier every year. It sure was a lot more fun and cheaper when the south shore bite lasted all summer...…...tho you had to move deeper as the year progressed. The new LOW DNR Large Lake Specialist will have his plate full...hope he comes up with some answers to the changing bite.

Good luck.

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Hoey

SRJ - The visiting Stratos, what you describe 

On 5/30/2018 at 9:18 AM, srj said:

he Stratos dark blue with a Yamaha 150?

sounds about right.  I do not really recall.  The driver had dark hair, demonstrated extroverted characteristics, and did not hesitate to drive up to us and ask questions.  

 

On 5/30/2018 at 9:18 AM, srj said:

What are you in...I would enjoy running into you on the lake.

621 Ranger, 300 Yamaha, red, gray, and black if I recall correctly.  

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srj

Hoey, not our Stratos guy, for sure.

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Hoey

Fished Thur, Fri, Sat.  Thur started off around mid depth, mid lake humps/reefs.  Nothing there.  Moved towards shore and found the bottom full, carpeted with fish in 14 to 16 foot, no bitters for jigging, and continued into 5 foot.  Moved 3 miles down, out from a creek mouth.  Found fish in 7 to 8 foot on spinners and fat heads.  Ended two short of our eye limit.  

Fri - Drifted across a large, mid lake, deep basin reef, three times with spinners, marked very few fish, no bite to remark upon.  

Sat - Hit some shallow areas on the way to the creek where there were many boats.  We were only catching 12 to 14 inchers.  Then back to the 7 to 8 foot out from creek.  Got our last two.  Many of the 12 to 14 inchers were here too.  Towards the end of the day, the 17 to 19 inchers moved in.  

Heard that Sat bite on the reefs was rockin.  We missed by one day.  Reports of unlimited slots and upper range keepers.  Father's Day coming up and I will be hosting my FIL and BIL.  Fish have tails and they use them.  I wonder where they will be?

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