On the south end… Ice fishing has begun for a number of resorts and outfitters across the south end of the lake. The bite is excellent in most areas. Widespread reports of limits of fish and then some.
There are still areas of thin ice and areas to stay away from. It is super important to work through a resort or outfitter who has marked, and is constantly maintaining, a trail. Follow their guidelines. Most offer heated shuttle service to their heated fish houses that are set up and ready to fish.
Some are allowing travel using your own ice transportation (snowmobile, ATV, side by side) with collapsible fish houses on their staked trails. Again, it is very important to adhere to weight restrictions, stay on the marked trails and do not venture off course. Do not travel past the end of the trail as there is still some very sketchy ice in areas.
17 – 23 feet of water is where most fish houses are set up.
Limits of Fish
Using the one-two punch, a combo of a jigging line in one hole and a deadstick in the second hole with a live minnow 6 inches – a foot off of the bottom. Two lines are allowed per person ice fishing in Minnesota.
Multicolor jigging spoons tipped with a piece of minnow, emerald shiner or fathead, have been hot. Popular colors, gold, glow red, chartreuse, glow white, pink or a combo. Rippin Raps and other aggressive presentations working at times also.
A mixed bag for walleye / sauger anglers with jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, and even an occasional crappie or sturgeon in the mix.
Anglers fishing LOW MN are allowed a combined limit of walleyes and saugers of six. Up to four of the six can be walleyes. All walleyes 19.5 – 28.0 inches must be released. One walleye over 28 inches is allowed. The MN possession limit is one limit of fish.
On the Rainy River… The Rainy River is ice covered with some local resorts offering ice fishing. Great reports for walleyes, saugers and sturgeon.
Varying ice conditions on the river that can change quickly due to current. What ice conditions are in one area can be very different right next door. Again, work through a resort for safety and do not venture out on your own.
Up at the NW Angle... Ice fishing has begun for some resorts up at the NW Angle and initial reports are very good. Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch and pike in the mix.
Much like the south shore, use one jigging line, one deadstick and rotate colors until you figure out what they want, but certain colors mentioned in this report are great in stained water.
Many resorts on both ends of the lake / river have immediate openings. The bite is definitely on!
Lodging, fish house rentals, ice fishing, and meal packages at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.