Fishing Report 3.28.2023
On the south end… Fish houses can be left overnight on Lake of the Woods through March 31st. This year, ice is holding nicely. A few ice roads are still open, some have closed for the season. There is still some good ice fishing to be had if you have the bug, but contact the resort or outfitter operating the ice road prior to travel.
The walleye and sauger season extends through April 14 and the pike season never closes. Perch, eelpout, tullibees and crappies are also in season.
Varied reports this week for walleyes. It seems the fish are on the move. For those who moved around and got on fish, they caught. Some good reports off of Pine Island in shallower water, 14 – 20 feet. Also good reports from the Rocky Point, Long Point, Zippel Bay and Morris Point areas.
Huge pike continue to be active with good reports this week. Setting up in 5 – 15 feet of water is the depth most anglers are targeting. Using a quick strike rig with a live sucker, dead smelt, tullibee, herring or fatty hot dog have been catching some big pike.
On the Rainy River… Open water fishing on the river has begun. The Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale is open to all boats. The next access downstream is Frontier and as of Tuesday morning (3-28-23), the open water was almost there.
A big thanks to Koochiching County for doing a nice job of clearing the accesses of snow and ice at the boat ramp. It extends the short window of spring fishing on the river and makes dropping a boat into the river safer.
Mainly three techniques being used to catch walleyes on the river. Jigging with a plastic, jigging with a minnow and trolling crankbaits slowly upstream.
Bright colored jigs and larger plastics with twister tail or paddle tail. Best colors chartreuse, orange, pink and white.
Halfway across the river is Ontario. Boaters can navigate into Ontario waters for safety reasons, such as avoiding hazardous structure, a pack of boats, etc.
If you plan to fish Ontario waters, many different rules apply. Must have an Ontario fishing license, no live, dead or frozen bait, no alcohol, etc. Anglers can boat into Ontario waters without checking into Canada Border Services Agency if they don’t touch land, a dock, another boat, or exchange goods or services. No walleyes or saugers from the Ontario side of the river are allowed to be transported across U.S. waters as it is a catch and release season only in the U.S. side. This is for informational purposes only, please check official regs.
Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River, catch and release only for walleyes and saugers through April 14th. The big lake is still open for harvesting walleyes and saugers through April 14th.
Please take good care of the walleyes. Have a camera, needle nose, etc ready to go. Be quick on taking pics. Handle walleyes with care and release quickly.
Up at the NW Angle… Ice fishing is winding down up at the Angle. The fish are biting and those who are still getting out are being rewarded. With fish houses having to be off the lake by March 31st, some locals and those with their own equipment are taking advantage of the late season ice.
This is the time of year fish houses get put away for the year, bombardiers and other winter equipment gets summerized and stored. Most operating resorts take a well deserved break and start gearing up for the MN Fishing Opener May 13th.
For those looking to access the NW Angle while avoiding customs, the Lake of the Woods Passenger (charter boat) Service transports you to your favorite Angle resort and keeps you in Minnesota.
A complete list of lodging, fish house rentals and sleeper fish house rentals at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/