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Rainy River and the Opener


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Thank goodness GH is on the cover of the
rulebook and Canopy Sam found Hootie or
this place would have died this month.

A couple of questions for the locals ok?

Do you make the trip to the Rainy River for
the spring big fish run? (and why or why not)

Will you fish in town for the opener or
venture off elsewhere (and where)?

Thanking you in advance

Curt Quesnell

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still undecided as of now.

i have never made the trip north for the run. mostly cuz i do not have a boat. 99.9% of my fishing is done from shore. last summer we spent a weekend out on a boat at Round lake by detroit lakes. that was a blast. then again who i went with had fished that lake for years and years. so they knw where the fish were at.

as for where i will wet a line on opener.
as of now the choices are TRF or Maple. other options are Crookston, GF.

most likely will be here in town or Maple.
then again who knows it is still some time away.

Monty

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blackduck for opener for the last 5-6 years,
we have a cabin at waskish so if no eyes well try for crappies. good fishing all.

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curt

have been dedicated rainy rats for 12 years now, many great days and bad years. opener usually spent getting field machines ready then a quick trip somewhere. still most days of year spent on red lake river for above average fish.
K2

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Curt, from the sounds of things on this forum, I'm going to spend the opener looking for Matt's "Hole" smile.gif

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Curt, Have been going to the Rainy since the eary 70s. I plan to go this year also. You ask why? it is because it is usually the first trip of the year in the boat and there is the chance of catching and releasing a quality walleye or sturgen. as to where i will be fishing on the opener. The Red Lake River will be my first choice,the Pine Island area on the L.O.W. will be my other choice. The weather and ice out will dictate where i go. I WILL GO SOMEWHERE.

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The new jointed #5's in all colors will be being trolled with verocity on opening weekend...right down the guts of the Red Lake River on opening day 2002 in my boat. Not only do tons of big eyes love to chomp #5's, 10-12" crappies can't seem to resist smashing them either.

Troll on, troll on...

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Sorry to eat up all the byte time Curt. Just havin' a bit of fun!
I like to go to the Rainy in the spring just because it's such a beautiful place! I try to aviod the crowds - which is getting a little easier now that the DNR is controlling the harvest a little better. Mostly though, the draw of a potentially huge fish, the really fresh Canadian air, the migrating bird life - it's really just a great place to spend a couple days in the spring.

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Hey Sam,

Like I said, you saved our March quota. Thank
you for your posts.

I used to fish the Rainy every spring. I guess I started in the mid 80s.

It is one of your best chances to catch a real big fish. The odds are really really good.

Then, one year we waited 3 hours to put the
boat in the water. The last year I went I
saw a brand new Ford Ranger and boat trailer
back down the ramp into the water and sink.
Gone.

For me, the weather is bad, conditions are
bad, peoples boats arent ready, lots and lots
of drunk people messin the crowd up even more
than they already are. Someone else can take
my place in the zoo.

Im gonna wait till opener when more boat
ramps are available.

Fall fishing the Rainy and Lake of the Woods
is very nice and peaceful...I fish till ice
up now, well into December this year.

The Thief and Red Lake Rivers are outstanding
Walleye, Northern, Smallmouth & Crappie
fisheries. It is not big water and I think
huge numbers of fisherpeople would put some
hurt on it.

I like lakes, the bigger the better, but I respect the ability required and the work that goes into fishing rivers.

Good luck to all where ever Opener takes you.

Curt Quesnell


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Curt, when it comes to the Rainy I guess we are in the same boat. smile.gifHow can a nice spring day feel so cold when you are on the water?Then again it seemed like we picked the coldest windiest days to go.Have seen a couple guys fall in from the shore ice when gettin in the boat.I didn't feel as cold then.
We only went 3 or 4 years but it seemed we should have always been there the day before! If the Ford you are talkin about was in 97 or 98 I was there then too.We were loading a couple after him and ended up waiting a long time.I was suprised how long the thing floated.If I remember right they had to cut the boat loose from the trailer so it didn't go down too.
As for opener,Probably Union or LOW.I haven't fished the river here much but plan to explore it more this year. Hope to find some of those crappies this spring.
When does fishin the wildside start again?

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The Rainy is a fantastic fishery but I quit the spring thing a few years ago due to the crowds. Before they opened the Pelland ramp a couple of years ago, my relatives from Littlefork had exclusive rights to a private ramp in that area and we had great fishing with virtually no one around. The year it opened was a zoo. That ended it for me.
I will be fishing Devils Lake at the end of April with Kevin N. for my first boat action of the year. Minnesota opening will find me on Kabetogama. Good luck to everyone and remember C&R!!!!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Bobberwatcher
      I don't see ice going out til April. Some more 50 degree temps on the way, but still getting near or below freezing most nights and an extended forecast I saw is showing highs around 30 and even some single digit lows at night for the last couple weeks March. Little if any rain too. 
    • Bobberwatcher
      I don't see ice going out til April. Some more 50 degree temps on the way, but still getting near or below freezing most nights and an extended forecast I saw is showing highs around 30 and even some single digit lows at night for the last couple weeks March. Little if any rain too. 
    • CigarGuy
      Looks like there's plenty of ice still in Spring Bay! Kids snowmobile racing.
    • BWpineisland
      My wife is in total agreement with yours. I love the quiet and remoteness, my wife hates the ice travel!
    • SkunkedAgain
      There aren't a lot of cabins in the bay to begin with, a whole other bonus! For the folks on the south side of the bay, it's an access issue as well. People in general are less likely to go in the winter when you don't have road access, because now you introduce ice conditions, snow depth, darkness, cold, and other factors into the trip. While I have always enjoyed those challenges, it is much different to drive up on a Friday night and pull up to your place versus get there at 10pm, unload machines and gear, and go across the lake at night with gear in tow. I love it. My wife hates it. My daughter is in the middle.   Enjoy it up there.
    • smurfy
      yea that ice looks like its about on its last leg!!!!
    • Rick G
      Being we had a few hours of weather cold enough to make ice I decided to check out one of the small shallow lakes in the St Cloud area.  Ice was in surprisingly good shape this morning, had about 6-7 inches of hard ice again.   Found a pretty decent bite in 8-11 ft of water.  Crappies were riding high in the water colom while sunfish remained close to the bottom for the most part.  Best bait for me was a 3mm motoroil/chrome with a impulse mayfly. By mid afternoon we could definitely tell the ice wasn't as firm as it was in the morning. By the time we left at 4pm I had put all thoughts of returning tomorrow morning out of my mind.  At no point did I feel unsafe, we were prepared for whatever, floatation suits, ropes and ice picks at the ready😏😁.  Today was definitely my last day on the ice for the yr...next stop, spring carp/suckers😁   VID_20240229_150704553.mp4
    • Rick G
      Just trying to make as little noise as possible once holes have been drilled.  
    • CigarGuy
      I take my sxs all the way down Phillips Rd. road to Cains driveway and turn around at the entrance to Laura's and her son's Brian's driveways, Brian bought Davey Crockett's old place.(I think that was his name). You see them fishing on his dock at the beginning of the narrow part of the channel heading in Black Bay. They have the only 2 driveways that are plowed during the winter down Phillips Rd. My neighbor, whom you met, used to plow his boat house road so we access the lake easier in the winter for ice fishing, but he doesn't ice fishing much anymore, so just sleds down that road. I think I know who lets you access the lake, nice of him. I'm surprised more people in Black Bay don't use their places in the winter. I'm heading up in the morning!
    • chucker1101
      I drove on I-35 over Albert Lea Lake on Jan 5. It wasn't even partially frozen, and it's like 6-8 ft average depth or something like that. Those lakes in Sourthern Minnesota didn't even get 2 months of ice this year.
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