Pike Season Open All Year Long
With the closing of walleye season April 14 anglers are left with a void of fishing until May 14(fishing opener). Well that’s not entirely true, we still have pike fishing up on Lake of the Woods because we are a border water . Pike fishing may be one of the funnest and easiest forms of fishing. The fish can grow to huge lengths and weights and put up one heck of a fight. Northern’s will eat just about anything you put in front of their face which makes them an easy fish to target to get a lot of action. Our pike season never closes unlike inland waters which are closed until May 14. The daily and possession limit is 3, all northern pike from 30-40″ must be immediately released. Only 1 northern pike over 40″.
Typically the best areas to locate big pike are shallow bays and near feeder streams. Jerk-baits, spinners, and plastics work well. Ice-out pike gravitate to secondary coves, areas that warm before the main bay. Fish the flats at the mouths of these coves within-line spinners. The Rainy River and Zipple Bay offer some great pike fishing. During the spawning season, pike head to shallow bays, ditches and streams to find the right conditions to lay and fertilize eggs. There are many areas around the lake and on the Rainy River pike spawn, and one of them is Zippel Bay.
MN DNR info from a 2013 fisheries lake survey verifies the presence of a healthy trophy pike fishery. Lake of the Woods is managed for a high-quality northern pike population, with a significant component of “trophy” northern pike over 40 inches long. To monitor the size structure of the northern pike population, it is sampled every 5 years using trap nets at known spawning sites. The northern pike population continues to be one of high quality, with 19% of the adult population at least 35 inches long, and 5% of the adults 40 inches long, or longer.
Zippel Bay Resort has an annual pike tournament the last weekend of April. This year’s tournament will take place April 30th and May 1st. The tourney is made up of two person teams and is a two day tournament based on weight.