It continues to be very important to work through a resort or outfitter. There are still areas of ice that are not ready, some cracks to be avoided and generally areas to stay away from. The bottom line, ice conditions vary.
Most ice fishing on the south end of the lake is in 17 – 28 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, try something aggressive such as a rippin rap with rattles and vibration. Gold, blue / chrome and pink uv firetiger are good colors.
The most common jigging lure is a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow or piece of minnow. Colors working well in the stained waters of LOW. Gold, gold / glow red, gold / pink, chartreuse, glow white or a combo of colors.
On the deadstick, hook a live minnow just under the dorsal fin 6 inches – a foot off of the bottom. Some days, emerald shiners are helpful to catch walleyes, other days it isn’t so crucial.
It’s a mixed bag of fish with walleyes and saugers the norm. In addition, jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, sturgeon, tullibees and even a muskie in the mix.
On the Rainy River… Some walleyes, saugers and a few sturgeon are still being caught on the river. A heavier jig to match the current tipped with an emerald shiner is a good choice.
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.
Up at the NW Angle… Ice fishing continues to be good for resorts up at the NW Angle. Good reports of walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.
A variety of depths are being fished. Some resorts are on shallower structure, which merits more action during the mornings and evenings. Other fish houses are set up deeper off of structure or in deeper mud which is more of a midday bite.
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.