Fishing Report 5.2.2023
On the south end… Rain, sun and wind are all putting a beating on the Lake of the Woods ice. Open water progress is being made, ice is getting darker, things are progressing. The open water so far on the basin continues through the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap and amongst various bays.
Various reports of pike in the bays. Most bays are now open or almost open for open water pike anglers.
Pike season is open year round on Lake of the Woods providing anglers with a unique chance to fish pike before the MN Fishing Opener. Big numbers of trophy pike over 40 inches are available to anglers. Try a live minnow under a bobber, dead minnow laying on the bottom, slow moving spoons, spinner baits and crankbaits. With the cold water, work these baits slowly.
On the Rainy River… This week was a great week for sturgeon fishing. With the weather forecast ahead showing warm temps, fishing will only get better. Boat ramps are open up and down the Rainy River including the mouth of the river at Wheeler’s Point.
Most anglers are using a sturgeon rig with a no roll sinker. Basically, a 4/0 circle hook loaded with crawlers and/or frozen emerald shiners on a 18 inch length of 60 lb test leader material or line teamed up with a 4 – 6 ounce no roll sinker.
Four Mile Bay (the bay that separates the mouth of the Rainy River and the big lake) continues to produce good numbers of sturgeon. In addition, nice sturgeon are being caught at various spots up and down the river. Most anglers are targeting holes or flats adjacent to the deeper water in that particular stretch of the river.
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.
If you fish during the harvest season, purchase a sturgeon tag ahead of time for $5. One sturgeon per calendar year 45 – 50 inches or over 75 inches may be kept per angler during the harvest season. The sturgeon must be tagged immediately and registered within 48 hours.
Up at the NW Angle… Open water areas continue to grow and the remaining ice is getting very dark. Areas with current are opened up as are many bays and marinas.
Resorts continue to prepare for the MN Fishing Opener on Saturday, May 13th. Based on late ice fishing success, the jig bite for walleyes should be excellent.
Crossing the border as you pass through Canada to reach the Angle is back to normal, or, pre-COVID status once again.
There are many different ways to travel to the Angle.
1. Drive 40 miles through Canada and re-enter back into MN at the NW Angle.
2. Avoid customs by riding the Lake of the Woods Passenger (charter boat) Service which transports you across the lake to your favorite Angle resort and keeps you in Minnesota.
3. Take your own boat 42 miles across the lake.
4. Private pilots fly up and land on the lake.
A complete list of lodging, fishing charters / guides and helpful info about the area at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.