Fishing Report 4.4.2023
On the south end… Most resorts have pulled fish houses off of the lake for the season. There is still good ice in most areas of the basin and some ice anglers are still getting out ice fishing. Safety first as ice roads and trails are not being monitored.
There are a few still fishing walleyes, but the attention of many ice anglers this time of year is big pike. Even though it still feels like winter, the longer days and Mother Nature have the pike gearing up for the spawn. That means fish are being found in pre-spawn areas and are putting on the feed bag.
A lot of big pike have been iced this week and it should only get better. Most fish are returned to the water after a few pics.
The limit of pike is 3 fish per day. All pike between 30 – 40 inches must be released. One fish over 40″ may be kept per day. This slot limit, combined with the right gene pool and strong forage base make LOW a trophy pike lake.
Most pike anglers are setting up in 5 – 15 feet of water. A quick strike rig with a live sucker, dead smelt, tullibee, herring or fatty hot dog has been catching pike.
The walleye and sauger season extends through April 14 and the pike season never closes. Perch, eelpout, tullibees and crappies are also in season.
On the Rainy River… Open water fishing is going strong on the Rainy River. Walleyes, saugers, pike, sturgeon, lake trout, muskie, suckers and most likely other species we didn’t hear about all caught on the river this week.
The Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale and the Frontier boat ramp are open to all boats. Open water on the river extends close to Clementson.
For walleyes, jigging with a plastic or with a minnow is the goto technique for catching spring walleyes. Bright colored jigs and larger plastics with twister tail or paddle tail this time of year are effective.
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.
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.
The MN Fishing Opener is Saturday, May 13th. Normal walleye and sauger limits will then apply to both the lake and river. With a late spring, the prediction is for good numbers of walleyes in the river on the opener.
Lots of sturgeon being caught. Many walleye anglers hooking up with sturgeon unintentionally while fishing walleyes. A great time to catch sturgeon is now through May 15th.
The sturgeon harvest season runs from April 24th – May 7th and July 1 – Sept. 30.
The catch and release season runs May 8th – May 15th and Oct. 1 – April 23rd.
Up at the NW Angle… Resorts have removed fish houses from the ice for the season. Anglers getting out ice fishing on their own are catching good numbers and some big fish. It looks like winter is still up at the Angle but warm weather is in the forecast. Safety first for those ice fishing on their own.
For those looking to access the NW Angle this summer 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/