Licensing and Limits on Lake of the Woods

You’ve probably already heard that ice fishing on Lake of the Woods is in full swing. Here’s your invitation to come and enjoy some great days on the ice. One of the most frequently asked questions at the Tourism Bureau is about obtaining that fishing license. That’s no problem because we have various businesses that have them ready to sell.

Driving into town you’ll find a great bait store called Steve’s Lucky Bait. They have a great variety of fishing tackle and will accommodate you  any time you drive into town to insure you get your license and all the tackle and bait you need  They are open 24 hours per day.

Another great fishing store in Baudette is located also on Hwy 11, the main highway through town. Outdoors Again built an enormous building where you can find all your lake maps, tackle, bait, clothing, hunting blinds, guns, and permanent and portable ice shacks. Wow!!

In addition to places in Baudette to get your fishing license, there are also bait shops up near Wheeler’s Point such as Log Cabin Bait and Border Bait who do a great job.  Both have a full line of fishing equipment and a variety of bait.

Holiday Station store and our Cenex Coop also sell licenses and as an added plus, most resorts carry them also. Some resorts furnish customers with poles and bait for ice fishing and others assume you will bring your own. It is best to check with the resort you are going out fishing with.

For those who like to plan ahead, the MN DNR now sells licenses online.  This is a convenient way to make sure you are prepared.

Some of our NW Angle resorts will actually guide you into Ontario waters in addition to MN.  If you are fishing in Ontario, they too have an online portal to order your license.  Consult with your resort if you have any questions on Ontario licenses.

Overall, the ice fishing limit for walleyes and sauger is a combined limit of 8 fish.  Up to 4 of those 8 can be walleyes, the rest saugers.  The slot limit for walleyes on Lake of the Woods MN is 19 ½ to 28”, meaning walleyes between this slot must be immediately released. Anglers are allowed to keep one walleye per day 28″ or over.

Most anglers will keep the walleyes under 19.5″ for the fry pan and if you happen to catch a trophy over 28″, most take a pic and release it or keep it for a mount.  Some anglers are now taking a pic and releasing the fish as graphite mounts are very quality, have come down in price and allows the fish to live.

The possession limit in MN is the same as your daily catch.  Hence, anglers who are fishing for two or three days usually have a meal of fresh walleyes or two while up.

Northern Pike is continuous fishing with the limit being 3 (all from 30-40” must be released. Only one over 40” allowed in possession). Crappie season is continuous with a limit of 10 and Yellow Perch is continuous and you may keep 20 fish per day.

For a complete list of fishing regulations for Lake of the Woods, consult the MN DNR.

Another added plus is that ice houses may remain on our waters through March 31 each year. That’s the news, so plan your trip now because the fish are BITING!!!

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