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Minnesota Opener This Weekend

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On the south end... Open water on Lake of the Woods, just before the MN Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 13th.  Good timing on Mother Nature's part.  A combination of hot sun, rain and a strong north wind was too much for the rotten ice.  Open water as far as the eye can see is a welcome sight for many.  


The prediction is for some great walleye and sauger action.  Most anglers will be going after the walleyes anchored up and vertically jigging with a jig and minnow along the south shore of Lake of the Woods.  


Jig colors... gold, orange, chartreuse, pink or a combination of these colors in the stained waters of LOW will be the ticket.  


Plenty of bait for the opener.  Some anglers will go with live minnows, some frozen emerald shiners.  


Once again, it is a combined limit of 6 walleyes and saugers on the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods.  Of those 6 fish, up to 4 can be walleyes.  All walleyes 19.5 - 28 inches must be released.  One fish is allowed over 28 inches.  


Walleyes will certainly get the attention this coming weekend, but don't forget about some wild pike action.  The pike fishing this past week has been excellent.  Good numbers of big pike are coming from various bays.  


Dead bait, either under a bobber on a quick strike rig, or simply laying on the bottom, has been the go-to bait.  As the waters continue to warm, lures such as inline spinners, spinnerbaits and crankbaits will start to produce more fish.

On the Rainy River...   A great week of sturgeon fishing.  Hundreds of fish caught this past weekend with some absolute giants over 70 inches, with weights estimated at over 100 lbs.  The sturgeon season continues through May 15th, and reopens again on July 1st.


Walleye anglers are excited to hit the Rainy River for the opener.  With a late spring, there will be good numbers of walleyes still in the river and in Four Mile Bay.  There are 42 miles of navigable Rainy River from Wheeler's Point to Birchdale with a number of boat landings in between.  Perfect for smaller boats.


Up at the NW Angle...  Open water up at the Angle with some lingering ice anticipated to disappear by week's end.  The excitement is building for the fishing opener with lots of walleyes around during the late ice period lending promise of good fishing come Saturday.


Points, neck down areas and shoreline rubble will be areas to pay attention to with the cold water.


Pike anglers will be working shallow bays and neck down areas.  Expect a mixed bag of fish if casting bays and shorelines this time of year.


Crossing the border as you pass through Canada to reach the Angle is back to normal, or, pre-COVID status once again.  There are few ways to travel to the Angle...


1.  Drive 40 miles through Canada and re-enter back into MN at the NW Angle.  

2.  Avoid customs by riding the Lake of the Woods Passenger (charter boat) Service which transports you across the lake to your favorite Angle resort and keeps you in Minnesota.

3.  Take your own boat 42 miles across the lake.  


Graceton Beach open water 050723.jpg

Two big pike Zippel Bay Resort 050623.jpg

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