Ice Fishing Still Going Strong on Lake of the Woods

What a crazy ice fishing winter it has been.  Starting out the year, the end of October showed cold temps and about 6 inches of snow to start the winter out up at Lake of the Woods.  At that time, it appeared it was going to be a cold winter.  Never could we have imagined what an unseasonably warm winter was ahead.  For those who enjoy ice fishing, we welcomed the stretches of below zero weather that helped to create some good ice earlier in the year.  With the constant monitoring of ice by ice guides, outfitters and resort owners, ice fishing is still going strong on Lake of the Woods.

Resorts and outfitters look at safety first.  Even the experts working the ice will tell you it has been a weird year.  With that being said, thankfully, ice fishing is still in full swing up at Lake of the Woods.

Every day, many times per day, the ice is being checked.  Ice guides from resorts will post videos sharing conditions on their ice roads from time to time.  The bottom line is work through a resort or outfitter, adhere to the weight limits of that ice road and do not go off the beaten path.

Work Through a Resort or Outfitter

sunrise lakeroad lodge 013124It is important to work through a resort or outfitter as ice thickness varies.  One resort posted they have good ice where they are fishing and where they travel, but don’t go past where the roads end as ice conditions are not nearly as good.  Good info to know.  Some of this is because of stretches of water that stayed open later and hasn’t had the same amount of time to gain thickness.  Another reason

Some resorts who operate ice roads have cut back weight limits from the real heavy rigs, just to be safe.  Some have said no 1 ton or 3/4 ton pickup trucks pulling a wheelhouse, as an example.  Each ice road has it’s own rules and restrictions and they can change based on current conditions.  This is for everyone’s safety.  Thankfully, there are ice guides watching the ice each and every day.

For Most Visitors, it is Ice Fishing Like Any Other Year

When it comes to a visitor coming up to ice fish with a resort, rent a day house or sleeper fish house, most everything will be the same.  The resort or outfitter may resort to a different form of ice transportation or perhaps make some tweaks on fishing grounds, but for the vast majority of folks, the reasons so many enjoy coming up ice fishing are there.

For those who use wheelhouses, it is important to check social media or give the resort / outfitter whom you are booked a call to make sure the vehicle and length of wheelhouse you have is being allowed on the ice roads.  As mentioned earlier, some of the ice roads pulled back weight limits in a reaction to the warm weather as a safety measure.

Best Ice Fishing Many Have Seen for Years

bucket of fish with rods sunset lodge 012024Mother Nature is interesting, and also unpredictable.  We have heard from many resort owners with decades of experience on the water from across this big lake that this is one of the best ice fishing years, from a fishing perspective, they have seen.

It is fun to hear some of the comments.  “Where were these fish last year,” or “what about the social media trolls who said the lake was fished out, what is the problem this year?”

Well, if you are one of those social media trolls, we mean no disrespect.  We are just pleased that the lake is healthy and this winter, Mother Nature, thought she would give us, once again, a taste of what Lake of the Woods is made of.


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