In the southern end… Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods continues to be strong with cool temperatures, especially overnight, keeping the ice in good shape. Through March 31st, the fish stay until April 14th and the pike season never closes.
Some very good fishing reports this week, the best we’ve heard in weeks. Success varies from fishmonger to fishmonger, but some fishmongers report catching quite a few. Most are catching plenty for a fish fry in the evening.
Electronics came in handy this week as lots of suspended walleye are being caught. If you see a suspended fish pass your electronics, reel it in quickly, but as you get within a couple of feet of the fish, slowly bring your bait to the fish so as not to spook it.
Cast a line, hook the second line with a live fish 6″ – 1′ off the bottom. Simple glitter, pink or orange hooks have worked well.
Huge pike have continued to be active with some very good reports this week. Everyone does it a little differently, but suggestions with a quick strike rig and live suction, dead baits such as smelt, herring, alewife or a hot dog have been the best. (Yes, hot dog, the cheaper the better!)
Remember, new fishing licenses are required on March 1st in Minnesota waters.
In the Rainy River… Morning and evening are still the best on the river for walleye anglers. Hitting a template with a neck on the bottom combined with a dead center right on the bottom working well.
Remember, in Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River, catch and release for walleyes and saugers only until April 14th. The big lake is still open for walleye harvesting and jumping until April 14th.
Up in the NW Angle… Some nice walleyes caught this week in the Angle. Jigging a small tipped spoon with a fish head or being more aggressive with a lipless crankbait with rattles has been effective jigging.
A simple hook or a small jig of shiny or bright red sticks with a fish has worked well.
A mixed bag is being caught in addition to walleyes including walleye, jumbo perch, pike and eelpout in the mix.
Some anglers fishing the Ontario side for fish are reporting good catches. We recommend using a guide as ice conditions between islands vary greatly with current etc.
For those looking to access the NW corner while avoiding customs, snowmobiling across the lake on the marked trails is in good shape or using the Lake of the Woods passenger (bomber) service keeps you in Minnesota.
A complete list of accommodations, fish house rentals, and fish house rentals to sleep in www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.