On the south end... Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border. Overnight temps in the teens and twenties are maintaining ice nicely. Fishing continues to be excellent. It has been an incredible year for walleyes and saugers with both numbers and size.
Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available. Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well. Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.
As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads. It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year. Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.
Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year. Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.
The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water. Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.
Pike anglers fishing shallower shoreline breaks and reporting good activity and big fish. Pike activity will only increase as we approach the month of March. Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well.
On the Rainy River... Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake. There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River. Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.
The river is open east of Birchdale. Those who enjoy the spring open water season on the river are optimistic the river will open early. Is your boat and fishing gear ready when it does?
Up at the NW Angle... Another very good week of ice fishing up at the Angle. Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.
Water conditions are clearer this winter compared to most. For that reason, the morning and evening bites have been stronger than midday overall.
Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go. Electronics help in determining what the fish want that given day and will up your catch of fish.
Ice fishing has been excellent, come on up. It's still winter on the border!
There's only one Waterfowl guide in the country that I went to. He runs about 20 trips a year. So he harvests about 185,000 less teal a year than some of the individual southern states. In MN, lots of the teal are gone before the early teal season
I only duck hunted this trip. Definitely going back next year. Winter gets too long for me. I met some amazing people and might help with guiding for them in the future. Would love to escape a month or two every winter