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Lake of the Woods Fishing Reports & Info

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Ballyhoo

State record whitefish caught off of Springsteel.

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Hoey

Here is the text of the article.

An Oklahoma noodler caught a 13-pound, 9.1-ounce whitefish on his first ice fishing trip. 

By Tony Kennedy Star Tribune

 

APRIL 9, 2019 — 8:16PM

PHOTO PROVIDED BY LYLE ERICKSON

Billy King of Pryor, Okla., caught a 13-pound, 9.1-ounce whitefish — a potential new Minnesota state record for the species — his first time ice fishing Saturday.

 

 

 

Billy King is an Oklahoma catfish noodler, not an ice fisherman.

But he made good with his hands Saturday on his first-ever visit to a frozen lake.

Reaching into an ice hole on Lake of the Woods, he pulled up a 13-pound whitefish that could be a new state record. The broad-backed fish broke his line, but was wedged in the hole.

“We took it to the taxidermy shop in Warroad and their jaws dropped,’’ said Dave Erickson, King’s host for a weekend of fishing on Whiskey Flats, 14 miles from shore.

Phil Talmadge, a supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Baudette, said King and Erickson visited his office early Monday morning to receive verification from a state fisheries biologist that the lunker was, indeed, a “lake whitefish.’’ Now DNR officials in St. Paul will judge whether the fish meets all other criteria necessary to surpass a 12-pounder caught in 1999 on Leech Lake.

“The whole thing is just really overwhelming to me,’’ King said Tuesday. “I’m just an old fisherman who wanted to go fishing. I can’t even catch a state record fish in my own state.’’

King, 47, of Pryor, Okla., is a foundry superintendent who met Erickson years ago during business travel. Erickson, who lives in Motley, Minn., brought a group of Minnesota anglers to Oklahoma about four years ago for hand fishing thrills delivered by King.

He took them for a pontoon cruise on the Lake Hudson reservoir, teaching them how to grope with their arms underwater, feeling for monster flatheads. The Minnesotans took turns getting their fingers nipped. Erickson remembers a lot of squealing and laughing: “We all had a blast. He’s a huge noodler.’’

Erickson and his buddies wanted to return the hospitality, but life got in the way for several years. When the opportunity arose this winter to take King fishing, Erickson chose Lake of the Woods. The native Oklahoman had only caught a handful of walleyes in his entire life. In addition, he had never caught a yellow perch, tullibee or northern pike — all catchable species on the big border lake.

Like a frozen pasture

King won’t lie. He was flat out scared to drive onto the frozen, slushy abyss that is Lake of the Woods in early April. But he cracked a joke as he boarded Erickson’s side-by-side ATV.

“In Oklahoma, we back down our boat ramps,’’ he quipped. “We don’t drive down going forward.’’

The two were joined by Lyle Erickson of Warroad, a friend who knew where to fish.

King said his fears eased as they drove further from shore. “I didn’t expect it to be so stable,’’ he said. “I might as well have been driving over a snow-covered pasture until I started boring holes.’’

The trio parked above a reef, with Lyle on a snowmobile. At varying depths, they lowered small spoons tipped with live minnows, detached minnow heads or frozen shiners. As daylight began to fade, the walleyes got hungry. King landed a beautiful 19-incher on a pink-colored “buckshot’’ spoon.

He returned to fishing and instantly fooled the whitefish. It tugged like a walleye and felt similar on the retrieve.

“It was bigger and pulling a little drag and then I couldn’t get it through the hole,’’ he recalled.

Lyle and Dave Erickson largely ignored King as he tried to explain his predicament. They were too busy catching walleyes.

“Dave wouldn’t get off his bucket,’’ King said.

King guessed he landed some kind of carp. It had big scales and a familiar shape but was white instead of golden. Eventually they all figured out it was a big whitefish — worthy of a picture and perfect for the smoker.

On shore, they showed the fish to an “old codger,’’ Dave Erickson said. The senior angler told them he had never seen such a big whitefish, prompting them to quickly visit Rick Thompson at Thompson Taxidermy in Warroad.

The group weighed the fish using a bathroom scale and concluded it was potentially a pound heavier than the state record whitefish caught by Darryl Peterson of St. Paul.

They wrapped the fish in a towel and raced to Doug’s Supermarket. The store’s deli was about to close and it possessed the only certified scale available in Warroad on a Saturday night. The manager was locking up, but agreed to give the fish an official weigh-in: 13 pounds, 9.1 ounces. It was 29.5 inches in length with a 22-inch girth.

“The rest of the night was pretty much a party,’’ King said. “It was a marvelous trip. Everyone I ran into was extremely courteous.’’

King said he made a deal with the taxidermist before he left. Mount the fish, accent it with a fake piece of ice and deliver it to Oklahoma ... during noodling season.

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Bear 55

A buddy and I fished Warroad yesterday, 730-400 5-fish biggest 39. We talked with a local guy who lives on the river said they have not came in hard yet. The 39 and 36 we caught were not spawned out. So we will give it another try next week. Also the ice seems to be going pretty fast  open I would say pretty close to a mile out, when it opened up in front of the docks 4-days ago, and its gonna get better.  Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55

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ifishwalleye

Just wondering how much ice is left?

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Bear 55

There is still a lot of ice out there, my best guess is that it should be pretty much ice free by the opener. Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55

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Hoey
10 hours ago, Bear 55 said:

ice free by the opener

Last year, we arrived for the opener on Friday afternoon.  There was some ice still out there, but not much.  My wife was shocked - because now she'd have to go fishing.  The day before, all you could see on the webcam was ice. 

Saturday morning all the ice was mostly gone.  We had to break a half inch of harbor ice to get our minnow bucket in.  We also had to push ice out of the way in the harbor to launch.  The water temp was like 38F, bite was tough, weather was perfect, 70F, sunny and very little breeze.  

Reports are that the state is two weeks ahead of last year ice out dates.  The webcam has been down, so I have no idea of the conditions.  I plan to be there this next weekend to clean-up and pack-up winter and cut-over to summer ops. 

Good Luck and Be Safe!!!

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Bear 55

I am just guessing at the lake being ice free by opener, have been known to be wrong before. Going up tues. and weds. next week and will have a better guess. Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55

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PRO-V

Look at Modis website. It shows open water in 4 mile bay and way out both gaps.

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BlackLabGuy

Check out Morris Points Camera this morning, will be gone soon!

(Sure wish they would adjust the camera to be straight across the horizon!)

 

MP 042919.jpg

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Hoey

image.png.cde9b2a6b6cddd8a73cf1d4c9404b070.png

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ifishwalleye

Geez, it sure is quiet on here. Usually with it being this close to the opener everyone is getting excited and posting like crazy. I know there is nothing that we can do about the weather but this sucks!  I woke up to more snow. Grrr

Anyways, I’m looking for a current open water report. 

BTW...Hoey, what app did you use for the image that you posted?  Is that google earth?  

Thanks

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kaparzo
Posted (edited)

You can get to those satellite images from the MN DNR ice out page. The teal ice color is one of the radio button options. 

 

Yesterday’s image looks promising. Lots of sheets breaking up. 

 

Admin - Is to acceptable to share links here?

Edited by kaparzo
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ANYFISH2
2 hours ago, kaparzo said:

You can get to those satellite images from the MN DNR ice out page. The teal ice color is one of the radio button options. 

 

Yesterday’s image looks promising. Lots of sheets breaking up. 

 

Admin - Is to acceptable to share links here?

Kaparzo, share away with a ice out or satellite link.

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Bear 55

Was in Warroad tues.&weds. tues. ice was white weds. it was pretty black looking there was a nne wind the two days we were there. When we left weds. truck temp said 32 at 100. As for fishing tues. we landed 16-biggest 39 most were mid 30-s weds. was much slower 4- biggest-39-38-2-sms. Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55

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fisherjmb

This is a picture from near Long Point this morning. Quite a bit of open water. Should all be gone by opener I would think.

0A0D578F-E8FC-4C3D-9201-8EEA2CC904F9.jpeg

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Hoey

From May 5th.

image.png.a77362dde0ada494ee35f7c33d2d22df.png

We were at the lake Thurs to Sunday.  There was a mile or so of open water when we arrived.  On Friday, it was down to a half mile.  Sat and Sun the wind and the current pushed the ice against shore and we could not see any open water.  Most of the ice is busted up chunks and ready to go away.  However there are large spans of ice out there that have not busted up yet.  I am hoping for an ice free opener for other fisherman, as I will not be able to - Got a Saturday wedding, Sunday Mother's Day, then my Son's graduation from the UofMN the following weekend.  Good Luck and Be Safe!!!!  Cold water is a killer.   

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kaparzo

Making good progress... today’s satellite image:

56598C20-F62D-4ABF-88C0-72634FAD8322.png

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Bigfatbert

Yes making progress , but with floating ice and any wind changes, extreme caution should be used to not get trapped in between any potentially large icebergs , or chunks , as this could make a return trip back to the docks or landings a large problem on a large body of water ..

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Bear 55

Was in Warroad yesterday no ice as far as you can see. You can see that in kaparzos post. As for fishing landed 6-41-39 were the biggest.  Stay Safe Good Luck   Bear55

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srj

Kind of sad...….Monday eve and not a report. Where has everyone gone?  Well, I fished today from 11 to 5. Good bite for me in 15 - 17 feet. Two big fish, some quality eaters and LOTS of dinks. Bring lotsa bait. Water temp was 48 on the east side. There were some guys fishing shallow but it didn't work for me. The charters were moving around quite a bit.

Anyone else?

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PRO-V

We've been all over the Morris Gap area and Pine Island. Fishing sometimes good, sometimes slow. Caught fish from 6' to 21'. So far my biggest are 27 1/4", 27", 25 1/2" and a 25". Lost one close to 30" at the boat. Lots of nice eaters. Not a lot in the slot. Also about 10 northerns, some sauger and 2 tulibee.

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Hoey

Todd and Jim,

It was good seeing you all this past week.  I ended up jumping in Byron's boat on Thursday afternoon, after the wind settled down and the clouds cleared off.  We fished the islands from 2 to 6pm or so.  30 fish total.  Many slots,  biggest was 28.  We kept 3 eyes and a sauger. 

 

On Friday i was able to get my boat in the water, 2 to 5pm.  I went south, started off in 4 ft and worked outward.  Found milting males in 19 ft, got a couple keepers.  I found females out a couple feet deeper.  Biggest was 26.  Caught 20 or so for the day. 

 

Looking forward to fishing Thursday to Monday of this coming weekend.  The water remains cold at 48 to 49 degrees F.  Talk was the wind will help mix the water to get the temps rising.  

Hoey!!!

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