Rainy River Accesses Open and Spring Fishing has Begun!

The season has begun!  The first open water fishing reports started trickling in on March 12th.  The majority of the reports showed blue waters with floating white ice bergs, big smiles and nice golden walleyes.  The season has started out great.

Steve, Steve's Lucky Bait, March 12, 2016, Rainy RiverBig spring walleye, Rainy River, March 12, 2016, Lucky Bait

Since the first anglers pushed their boats over shoreline ice into the frigid waters of the Rainy River, the Birchdale access (with a little bit of help from a Koochiching County backhoe) and Vidas landing (only 8 miles east of Baudette) have opened up and big boats are able to access the river.  This is early for the river to open but anglers are not complaining.  The fishing during the first days of the season has been excellent with good numbers of walleyes with some nice trophy fish to boot.

Backhoe, March 14, 2016_ Birchdale

Keep track of open water progress on the Rainy River.  The current open water report on the Rainy River (as of 3-16-16) has open water all the way to the west of Clementson, about 8 miles east of Baudette.  Open water progress is being made each day.  To follow the progress of ice out, we created a map of the Rainy River to show open water areas as well as access points for boats.  This info and more is on the Rainy River section of our website.

Vidas landing_031516 Spring walleye_Sportsman's Lodge_031516

Click Here to see the approximate ice line as of March 16, 2016.  

Remember, the spring walleye season is open to April 14th.  Two walleyes per day less than 19.5″ are allowed.  For more details on spring fishing regulations on the Rainy River, check out our recent blog or check out the MN DNR Regulations.

If you catch a walleye to be released, take good care of the walleye during the release.  Do not touch it’s eyes or gills.  Keep it out of the water a short time and hold the fish steady in the water moving it slowly back and forth sideways until it is ready to swim off.  Do not move it forward and backward as the fish could actually drown.

For landing and releasing larger fish, more care is needed.  Hold the fish horizontally, support it’s belly weight and don’t hold or lift it by the gills.  More details are provided in a recent blog.

Steve Pennaz, Mitch Petrie, sturgeon on the Rainy River

Spring fishing on the Rainy River is an opportunity to splash your boat a little earlier than normal, catch more fish than is typical and certainly are in the running to set the hook on a fish of a lifetime.  Bring your own boat or local guides are available.  For info on local guides, contact your favorite resort or certainly, Lake of the Woods Tourism.

Now is the time and the season is short.  Dress warm, bring a camera and and rekindle your spirit for adventure.  Be safe and make some memories!

Click Here for a list of Lake of the Woods Lodging.    

Click Here for the Lake of the Woods Tourism Facebook Page.


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