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LakeofthewoodsMN

Lake of the woods fishing report

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LakeofthewoodsMN

Ice fishing on the lake heated up this week. Reefs to the west produced some nice fish as did areas adjacent to the south shore. Shallows overall producing nicely for the morning / evening bite.  Fish deeper in the afternoon. Rippin Raps hot this week along with plain hook and live minnow.  Some ice roads open to trucks some only atv/sleds, and some closed.  Call ahead and work through a resort / outfitter who is monitoring their road. Big pike being caught in pre-spawn areas and on top of reefs.  Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs have been producing best.  Pike bait must be through authorized bait dealer to prevent VHS.  Auger extensions still needed.

 

Rainy River spring fishing in full swing.  Birchdale and Frontier landings are open to all boats with the open water line moving west more every day. Nice walleyes being caught despite chilly temps over weekend. Safety first. 

The NW Angle walleye bite will continue to be good until the end of the season, April 14. Walleyes and saugers in traditional areas in 15-20 feet during morning/evening and 21-25 feet during the day. Pike in shallow bays.  Make sure to get your new fishing license.  

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Handsonthepole

Not sure about the previous post.  Rainy river access is difficult due to refreezing of areas around the accesses.  Lots of issues with frozen motors and difficulty getting in and out of the water.  Was on the river twice and not going back until the weather warms up.  Not sure on the ice fishing but do know there are many places with over 50 inches.  Give the river some time.  With the forecasted cold temps for at least a week the river might be a bust this year.

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CANOPY SAM

Couldn't agree more with Handsonthepole.  Does anyone here have an actual "firsthand" report of current icefishing success?

Our 10-day forecast doesn't look promising in terms of melting....either ice, or even much of the snow that remains on the ice.  With the current ice thickness over much of the lake I'm actually a bit concerned about how close we'll be to the opener and open water!  That ice sheet is THICK!!!!!

Anyone seeing the ice bite pick up at all?  Last time I was up it was disappointingly slow.  Typically really starts to pick up this late in the spring, but most springs we see a LOT more melting and sun penetration by now.

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Kettle

Fished this past Sat and Sunday on the South end.  Most places are between 46-48+ inches of ice, the auger we were using maxed out at 48 inches and there were a few places that we couldn't get through.  Cold front shut down fishing for us at least.  Sat we got 5 keepers for two guys on red small spoons and frozen shiner heads.  Sunday caught a few but they were small.  Caught several tulibee but I would correlate that to the depth we were fishing.  31-35 ft of water off structure is where we found the most fish.  Marked fish but they didn't want to play.  In front of the gap there is about 3 feet of ice and the current is quite strong didn't catch any there.  I think we might have done better with set lines and live bait since the fish were finicky.  In regards to travel we were in a side by side.  There are definitely some rough areas.  It was easily noticeable that prior to last weekend there was ample slush and a few sketchy areas but these were froze for us.  We fished the river last Friday and it was a bugger with floating ice chunks and we only caught two around 18" jig fishing.  Opener could be iffy to say the least......  

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PRO-V

The first post is all bluster and promotion. I don't usually even read their reports. It's just area advertising.

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CANOPY SAM

Thanks Kettle.  That's kind of what I expected to hear.

We usually see the bite pick up quite a bit around this time of year, but this year is obviously quite a bit different than most!  Last night (April 5th) we were in the midst of a full-blown winter blizzard here!  Fairly hard snowfall.  Wind was blowing 25-35 mph.  Visibility darn near zero for several hours.  And this morning, as per our typical weather patterns, we've dropped back down to single digit temps, with wind chills pushing -15 to -20 below!!!  Someone has obviously forgotten it's supposed to be Spring!!!

I honestly don't know if it's a lack of sun penetration due to extremely thick ice (and some remaining snow cover), seemingly constant weather changes, or perhaps very cold water temps that are just NOT changing, or maybe very low oxygen levels below that thick ice sheet, or perhaps it's a combination of all these factors, but it seems that dynamite late ice bite just isn't kicking off yet.

They gotta be preparing for the spawn, and one would normally expect these fish would start putting on the feedbag, but for whatever reason they are still very neutral.

Your latest report, Kettle, sounds identical to our experience from a few weeks ago.  A few keepers, a few whitefish, and lots of lookers.  I did have a little better success by downsizing my baits....ie., very small jigging spoons, and very small live minnows on a plain white, pink, or orange hook.  For all intents and purposes, we're still stuck in the midst of a late winter (dog day winter) bite.

At this point it's going to take a major weather change to get this lake ice free by mid-May, and right now we're not seeing anything on the extended weather forecast that will bring about hope for an ice-free opener.  I think I can speak for most of us who live in the northern tier of Minnesota when I say we're more than ready for warmer weather. :(

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Bigfatbert
On 4/6/2018 at 11:43 AM, CANOPY SAM said:

Thanks Kettle.  That's kind of what I expected to hear.

We usually see the bite pick up quite a bit around this time of year, but this year is obviously quite a bit different than most!  Last night (April 5th) we were in the midst of a full-blown winter blizzard here!  Fairly hard snowfall.  Wind was blowing 25-35 mph.  Visibility darn near zero for several hours.  And this morning, as per our typical weather patterns, we've dropped back down to single digit temps, with wind chills pushing -15 to -20 below!!!  Someone has obviously forgotten it's supposed to be Spring!!!

I honestly don't know if it's a lack of sun penetration due to extremely thick ice (and some remaining snow cover), seemingly constant weather changes, or perhaps very cold water temps that are just NOT changing, or maybe very low oxygen levels below that thick ice sheet, or perhaps it's a combination of all these factors, but it seems that dynamite late ice bite just isn't kicking off yet.

They gotta be preparing for the spawn, and one would normally expect these fish would start putting on the feedbag, but for whatever reason they are still very neutral.

Your latest report, Kettle, sounds identical to our experience from a few weeks ago.  A few keepers, a few whitefish, and lots of lookers.  I did have a little better success by downsizing my baits....ie., very small jigging spoons, and very small live minnows on a plain white, pink, or orange hook.  For all intents and purposes, we're still stuck in the midst of a late winter (dog day winter) bite.

At this point it's going to take a major weather change to get this lake ice free by mid-May, and right now we're not seeing anything on the extended weather forecast that will bring about hope for an ice-free opener.  I think I can speak for most of us who live in the northern tier of Minnesota when I say we're more than ready for warmer weather. :(

Hey CANOPY SAM ,   in response to your statement of lack of a  "dynamite late ice bite" ,  In my opinion , i would say that a late ice "dynamite bite" is brought on on by warmth that's producing a melt , and there has been virtually no warmth , so no melt , thus the lack of a dynamite late ice bite ...   

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tipupsonly

Anyone been out? We were up a couple weeks ago and drove off road all over. Hasn’t been real warm since. Wondering if I should leave the atvs at home. We went out of Springsteel and fished around south tip. The access was taking a beating then but I’m guessing if that’s not too terrible should be ok to drive still off the roads. Be nice to leave the trailer at home. I’m not afraid of driving off road, but the first 1/4 mile by shore always worries me when it’s so beat up.  Any info would be appreciated. 

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DP

Fished 4/7/18 8am to Sunday 4/8/18 10am in my wheelhouse, we were out of Long Pt in 28', there was 41" of ice.  Saturday started slow, we kept 6 saugers/2 walleyes (2 of us),  rattle reels went off at midnight, one keeper walleye and one keeper sauger, then nothing til 6:30am, but then it was busy, we had our limits by 8am.  Nothing over 17", we threw back 25 small ones overall, most of our keepers were 13-14" sauger, with a few walleye 15-17".  Most fish came on set lines with a plain red hook, did manage a few jigging small spoons.  They were not as shy as previous trips this year.  Travel was good, not much snow, but lots of ice heaves in the area to avoid.  

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northspear

Was wondering if you need to check in with the border when crossing into buffalo bay? I know in Ontario you don't need to call in anymore. 

 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • meerkat
      18 days to opener,  I hope there is some open water we can fish.  our group can't reschedule due to work issues.  Come on Sun/Rain!!!  Our golf courses are just opening up today!!  smh
    • smurfy
      I see this is an ice report but not I caught fish report!!
    • mrpike1973
      Did real good on cats today got 4 wife 4 and I got a huge sucker that was fun. Horseshoe sure opened up today.
    • eyeguy 54
      Sure glad you had some help moose and all turned out well ! 
    • Rick
      Impressive, both Tom and Jeremy
    • eyeguy 54
      Almost time but maybe not quite... Although I did get the yak out of the backyard today, on to the trailer and up front to spend some time prepping it for time on the water soon.  Indeed it was fun getting out with you and the gang a few times this winter and looking forward to the next outings whenever they may be. WIll share what worked for me and look forward to reading some more info from others. Panfish is what I love going after and I had great fishing with gold jigs almost all winter. Did use a few other colors that worked also but that gold was hard to not use. Tear drop style tungsten in and 4 mm from Widowmaker Lures. Tried some from sportsmens direct also the last couple outings and liked them also. For plastics, the wishbone was good and also impulse mayflies and slug bugs. Tried and bought too many different things to try... LOL. Fished with shrimp for the first time ever this winter and that was a challenge and fun to try something different.  Started out with my good old ultralight gander mountain rods with the frabil titanium spring bobber and then bought a couple of the TUCR Inferno with the orange tip. I really like them for the 4mm and prefer the old ganders with a 3mm. Won a custom 32 inch power noodle from Kichler Custom Rods in Elk River at an event in Wisconsin and used it a few times yesterday. Very nice and looking forward to playing with it more. CGI inline reels still doing their job fine and I did grab one of the new Descent inlines and it worked sweet also. Nice that it now has a pop off spool instead of the gold screw off knob. 10 1/4 was my biggest gill and 14 for the crappie. Even went after catfish 3 times. Saw my first catfish tornado on the vex and iced a lot of fish after being taught how to use a bobber right for those super light biters. thx RickG   My highlight of the winter was getting a PB northern on a tip up up on Mille Lacs with stick in the mud. Fun City! My good old FL 18 is still working dandy and although I am tempted to upgrade, not sure if I will. Nills 6 inch saved my back from the hassles of the gas and when I put the Milwaukee on it life got even better. All in all a fantastic winter fishing with great guys and learning how to be a better fisherman.   Fish On! 
    • monstermoose78
      Well monstermoose78 is done ice fishing around here for the year. Why you ask I fell through yes there was 28-30 inches of ice on the lake, but the shoreline nope. Went fishing with @Cret Jigs and we had fun fishing. I cut lots of holes and we got some good ones for the knife. Cret jigs brought a plank for the way out but on the way in I did not make it to the plank. Cret jigs helped me get my stuff to the shore and out. I worry about the guy on the wheeler and they guy who used the plank to get out too. Thanks Cret jigs for a fun day. 
    • redlabguy
      To all you guys who’ve been keeping us posted, thank you. I’m an islander so I don’t have much hope for the opener, but I’ve been reading all the posts (read them year around), including entertaining posts on new gear, and, again, thanks for letting a lot of guys know what’s going on there. The current weather, forecast and web cams, give me hope! I’m thinking I may get back home in three weeks, maybe four. Keep the sun shining, Dick
    • jkrash
      What a difference a day makes, yesterday the dam was locked up tight and today it's roaring. Walleye should be running this week...
    • IceHawk
      Well this morning was officially the end of the ice season for me.   Its been a lot of days on the ice this winter and I have to admit I'm  a little burnt out.   It wasn't easy but it was time to end it.  Have to admit It was a sad moment putting the gear away but it was time as needed space today to put the boat in the garage   Learned a lot of new water and reacquainted myself with some old standbys. Fished 10 different counties this winter so definitely fished a lot of different areas.  Fished many species on the ice this winter so there never was a dull moment. Didn't take a ton of pics just a few need to take more just have never been a pic type of guy LOL.   Iced 7 walleyes between 26-28 3/4 all on local lakes.  So just a tip if you dedicate some time locally big eyes can be found. Fished panfish everywhere in the state highlight area for big fish being Becker and Ottertail Douglas counties. Biggest gill this winter was 10 3/4    many 10's came topside but couldn't break 11 this winter. Craps 15 inchers were tops. Good fish but had goals set at a 16.  Some things learned this ice season where number one lure for the eyes was a old school hammered silver Swedish pimple. It far out produced anything else.   Kenders tungsten where my mainstay for gills and crappies. The plastics of choice were power bait wishbones,  chigger frys, and Northland impulse mayfly's.  The catfish were a hoot and a  change of pace did well on Maynards slammers Glow red. The equipment and gear I was running and never failed me all season were Thorne Bros Rods- For eyes Perch sweethearts. For the Panfish I was running  Power Noodles, panfish sweethearts,  and my favorite the Tripwire. Reels Pflueger Presidents, Prestige ,and Supremes.. Did use some inlines also from 13 fishing The free falls where worth every penny. Ran a K-Drill 8 inch early and late and During the thick ice Ran my strikemaste Lazer.  Vexilar Electronics the old trusty FL18 my eyes underwater, Please Don't  think that I'm pushing these products because I'm sponsored by them, I'm Not. Just want to give a thumbs up and honest opinion on  some top notch equipment that has worked and weathered the storm of a good hardwater season. Realize we all work hard for our dollars and I can honestly say these products where worth every penny and never let me down!  Well Off to the Garage to start getting the boat ready for the Next season  By the Way big Shout out to some of the best Anglers I had the chance to share the ice with this season from FM.  Thanks  Borch,  Bass Thumb,  Moose,  Eyeguy, Rick G , Tom Sawyer for shareing some ice time with me.  Hopefully I get to meet and fish with a few other FMer's this summer or next hardwater.  We had some great Times great laughs and managed to even ice a few fish   Looking forward to having a few summer outings in the future.  BYE BYE Ice Hello open water