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Why we drive 4 1/2 hours to fish with Woody

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My wife and coworkers ask why I drive 4 1/2 hours to Rainy Lake when there are lakes closer. This is why:

Fish on left = 15 1/2 inch Rainy Lake crappie

Fish on right = typical metro lake crappie

Call Woody's Fairly Reliable Guide Service in Ranier, MN and he'll help you fill a bucket full of nice fish. Money well spent. He put me on fish all weekend and was a lot of fun to fish with. Woody and his wife LeeAnne are rock stars.....

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I totally agree.

I fished at Woody's the first time I believe like 4 years ago and try to make it up every year a few times if I can.

They simply go out of thier way to try and make every trip the trip of a lifetime.

Great people and the serve is even better.

I told Woody once that I have caught about everything there is to catch except a 20# plus pike. Woody said, we will get you a nice gator. Well, I caught caught 2 of them there now and many over 15#'s.

Woody knows Rainy lake as well or better than many.

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Thanks for the kind words fellas.

The best part of winter is ahead of us.

There will be many fish coming thru the hole yet!



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  • 1 month later...

are woodys house rentals set up for crappie or is that more by sled and portables far out?

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Suggest you give him a call. I've only used one of his houses once and it was in February. That trip/year it was 25 below and the lake was a slushy mess so travel was out of the question.

That day we only caught walleyes and purch. Trips I've been on with him we're using portables but that's by my choice. I'm not sure where all of his ice houses are.

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thanks fishhound

looking for a place that i can take my dad who has a hard time getting around so a sled ride would be out of the question.

been to lake of the woods for walleye and winni for perch in the past and looking for a lake to get some crappie.

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After I wrote my last post I thought about this more. My dad's situation was very similar to yours. Unfortunately he's no longer with us, but had I known about Woody's Resort back then it would have been a perfect fit. Woody should definitely be able to help you.

I don't think his ice houses are built for overnight use, but his rental units on shore are perfect for getting in and out of. He's got some ground floor units that would be perfect for you and your father. The units have kitchens. Plus there's a restaurant right across the street if you don't want to do your own cooking. If you’re dad is like my dad was and enjoys a cold beer to finish off they day I’m sure he’ll like the frosted glass in the pub.

Woody's place is in Rainier which is only a few miles from the Falls, so medical services are close by.

There are more ice roads this year than usual. So depending on when you want to go I'm sure Woody can rig something special up for you if his regular ice house set doesn't fit the bill. He knows the lake better than anyone. He can’t guarantee crappies, but will should be able to give you a fair chance at them. All I can tell you is that all the times I’ve been up there he hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Good luck.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Luckily we don't have large open areas of ice that break away, such as on Red Lake.   Stay safe and warm.
    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
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