Fishing Report 1.15.2024

On the south end…   Some below zero and single digit temps this past week have ice thickening.  In areas where ice is making progress, so are the weight limits and ability on some ice roads to use light vehicles and wheelhouses.  Every ice road has their own rules and restrictions based on ice conditions, follow resort / outfitter updates on social media or contact them directly.

If you are fishing with a resort, they will either allow you to drive out or they will transport you out to the fish house depending upon ice conditions and how they operate their business.

Most ice fishing on the south end of the lake is in 24 – 32 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second on a plain hook or an ice fishing jig has been effective.

On the jigging line, aggressive lures such as a rippin rap with rattles and vibration can be good at times.  Otherwise, a jigging spoon tipped with a piece of minnow is a staple for the jigging rod.

Vary presentation until you figure out what they want.  Some days, if the fish are in a negative mood, go small.  Small jigging spoon with a small piece of minnow or even a wax worm.  A live minnow on a #4 or #6 plain hook or ice jig six inches – a foot off of the bottom is great for the deadstick.


5 guys holding a sturgeon

When fish are more active, the aggressive baits, larger jigging spoon and larger minnow may be helpful.  Let the fish tell you what they want by watching electronics.

Saugers and walleyes are the most common catch.  As a bonus, jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, tullibees with some sturgeon in the mix.

On the Rainy River…  Although most anglers fish the lake, some anglers fish through resorts who ice fish the river and locals fish it as well.  The best bite has been morning and evening.
Using a jig and emerald shiner has been the goto for walleyes and saugers.  Sturgeon anglers using crawlers if available or emerald shiners with heavier tackle and larger holes.

Ice conditions vary greatly, especially with the current of the river.  Again, work through a resort for safety and do not venture out on your own unless you are certain of ice conditions.

Up at the NW Angle…   Some good fishing up at the Angle this week.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.

Resorts are fishing a variety of structure and non structure.  Some fish houses are set targeting goto areas either on top, on the slope or at the base of structure such as reefs, underwater points, etc.

Other fish houses are placed in the deep mud adjacent to the structure.  Where you are fishing often dictates what kind of fish you catch and when the best bite takes place.  Both areas are having success, but in different ways.
On both ends of the lake, the one – two punch of a jigging line and deadstick combined with ice fishing electronics is the way to go.  Electronics can be rented by many resorts and local bait shops.
The snowmobile trail from Four Mile Bay and Pine Island near the mouth of the Rainy River up to the NW Angle resorts is staked.  Please stay on the trail for safety.

Lodging, fish house rentals, ice fishing, and meal packages at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

Need spur of the moment lodging or fish house rentals?  Try our Lodging Availability Finder.  https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/lodging-availability-request/

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