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Rainy River Conditions


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I was wondering if you had access to get on the river there. Also wondering if March 20,21 will be to early to get on the river. Debating on fishing the river if I can or going to red those days for some slabs. If you could post back as soon as you can that would be great.

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eyes54,

The 20th sounds a bit aggressive but your guess is as good as mine. My notes show open water at Birchdale on March 24th last year. Ramp cleared on 26th. Forecast is for mid to upper 30's this week. But could be 20 below next week.

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Thanks for the reply. I am going to keep watching the reports. If we can get on the river I'll give ya a call will need a place to stay for a couple of nights. I was wondering how small of a boat can you get by with. We have an old 14'' lund with a 15 hp motor thats is real light if we have to get around some ice.

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That will do just dont take a sheet of ice with it. I saw a lot of 14'ers and smaller motors than yours. Bring a good anchor and lots of rope to tie off with at shore.

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eyes, thats all I ever bring up is my duck hunting boat -14ft grumman 15 merc. One year we carried this boat over 30ft of shelf ice for 3 days while the big boats just watched from shore. I never really go that far from the landings anyway.

Don't forget your trolling motor, works great for slip drifting.

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Couple of good bait shops right in Baudette.

Slip drifting is the most productive method for me to fish the Rainy from March to November. I like to use the trolling motor to match the current and keep my line straight up & down, bouncing the jig on the bottom with a 4-6" lift and a 2 or 3'lift & free fall every now & then. It's important to contact the bottom but only long enough to know you are there or risk increased hang-ups.

The wind can mess with you sometimes and it takes some fair boat skills but well worth the effort.

Great article on river jigging in last months In-Fisherman.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the info. I was wondering what your opinion was on fishing farther down river when the ice goes out. I know the eyes are moving up river to spawn. Is there a general time line on how fast they move up the river? We have mainly fished out of Birchdale, but I am wondering if we shouldn't be moving farther down by Frontier or Vidas? Have you fished the Canadian side much? I have a few times and the bottom seems like it has more sand and muck.

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There are some "traditional" favorite spots for a lot of people but the bite can vary for so many reasons. Sometimes I think areas are popular simply because they have easily identifiable landmarks.

Some think that right up next to the breaking ice is the best fishing & we have done real well there at times. Definitely need to keep your eyes open and not get trapped when the shore ice swings across the opening like it did for us. Longest hour of my life waiting for it to open up again.

We have had great fishing from the Birchdale ramp all the way down to us. There does seem to be a point when more fish are upstream than downstream.

Haven't felt the need to fish the other side. Haven't fished all of this side yet.

Good Luck

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I seen that happen 2 years ago up by Birchdale. Shut off the whole river, That one was there at least 3-4 hours. We saw it coming and got on the ramp side just in time.

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This one was down below the Island. River takes a hard right and the Canada shore ice broke loose. We played "Soviet ice breaker" & finally got through but there was a big jam above that, that we couldn't pass. Were able to get to the Canadian shore with 30 min. of light & were ready to start gathering firewood when the jam above broke loose. Only had 3 beers left so spending the night didn't look that good and made the ramp right at dark. Note to self: Find out if RCMP or OPP will make beer air drops.

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A buddy and I experienced the same thing. We were in a small 12 foot john boat jigging down stream from Birchdale when I suddenly noticed that the river was completely blocked with a sheet of ice. We couldn't get out the American side because of the steepness of the bank, so we headed to the Canadian side and pulled out. We had to pull our boat up the shoreline a fair distance before we could put back in the river. You never know what the ice floats are going to do when the ice is going out. I find it quite amazing at times.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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