March Ice Fishing on Lake of the WoodsMarch is an excellent to ice fish Lake of the Woods. Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st which is longer than other parts of MN. In addition, the walleye and sauger season lasts through April 14th and the pike season never closes.
Pike anglers flock to these waters for big numbers of trophy pike in March. Pike put the feedbag on as they congregate near spring spawning grounds making tip up fishing very effective.
Lake of the Woods is home to a large population of trophy pike in excess of 40 inches long.
Resorts offer many lodging and ice fishing options. More info at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
NW Angle Guest Ice Road is OpenThe Northwest Angle. It is the northernmost point of the contiguous United States, it is where the 14,552 islands of Lake of the Woods begin and it is home to some of the best ice fishing in North America.
In March of 2020, the U.S. / Canada border was closed due to the pandemic. As most guests drive to the Angle, which takes them 40 miles through Canada, the normal route of getting to their favorite resort has been shut off.
The area relies on tourism as their main industry and resorts have struggled consequently all year. With their backs against the wall, the area has come together to create the first ever NW Angle Guest Ice Road.
The ice road stays in MN and is 30 miles long, providing a way to drive to a NW Angle Resort.
More info on NW Angle Resorts at https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/northwest-angle-lodging/
More info on Lake of the Woods at LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
More info on the NW Angle Guest Ice Road at Facebook.com/nwaiceroad
Ice Fishing... The One - Two PunchLake of the Woods is a world class ice fishing destination. Known as The Walleye Capital of the World, anglers come to catch walleyes, saugers, pike, perch, eelpout, crappies and tulibees through the ice.
When ice fishing for walleyes and saugers, using the one - two punch is a very effective technique.
In Minnesota, anglers are allowed two lines for ice fishing. Use one line to jig for walleyes. This jigging line will attract fish from a wide area. It will also catch the more active fish.
The second line is called a deadstick. Basically, it is a live minnow on a plain hook or ice fishing jig 6 inches to a foot off of the bottom usually with a bobber. The deadstick will tend to catch the more neutral fish in the system.
To learn more about Lake of the Woods, check our our website at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
For resorts, lodging and fish house rentals, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsmn.com/lodging
Follow Lake of the Woods Tourism on Facebook.
Ice Fishing has Begun on Lake of the WoodsIce fishing has begun for most on The Walleye Capital of the World. Some resorts were fishing late last week with others starting up this week.
Lake of the Woods is a big lake, consequently, not all areas of ice are the same. It is important to work through a resort or outfitter and stay on their marked trails.
It is also important to keep speeds below 15 mph and make sure you abide by the weight limits imposed by those running each ice road.
Ice fishing is a special activity up at Lake of the Woods. With walleye and sauger populations healthy, it should be a good year.
For more info on resorts and ice fishing Lake of the Woods, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
Keep It CleanEach year, thousands of ice anglers flock to The Walleye Capital of the World, Lake of the Woods, to enjoy some of the best ice fishing the Midwest has to offer.
With big numbers of ice anglers comes a lot of potential garbage. Keep It Clean was created to protect, maintain and promote cleanliness for the beautiful landscape, water resources and shorelines of Lake of the Woods as a special place for everyone to visit and enjoy.
Through education, promotion, awareness and enforcement, the Keep It Clean group made up of stakeholders from the Lake of the Woods area is asking for everyone's help in keeping this natural resource clean for generations to come.
How to Hold and Release a Big WalleyeWhether you are fishing a body of water that has a slot limit which it is mandatory to release fish or you simply want to practice good conservation, understanding how to hold and release fish effectively is important.
In this video, Joe Henry with Lake of the Woods Tourism catches a big walleye and shares some tips on how to quickly and effectively get the fish properly released.
Being prepared with a needle nose pliers, jaw spreader, measuring board and camera will speed up the time of getting the fish back into the water which is crucial to survival.
More info on fishing Lake of the Woods at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.
Create a Crawler Harness Storage SystemJoe Henry demonstrates how to create a crawler harness storage system with an everyday container and swimming noodles.
The key is to purchase a container that fits the boat compartment or other area you plan on keeping your harnesses.
Once a container is purchased, use a knife to cut the noodles in lengths to fit the container.
Then use a filet knife to make one inch grooves about one inch apart across the noodle. Harnesses can be safely and easily wrapped into these grooves.
The noodles are inexpensive, have a wide diameter for fast wrapping and float if they fall into the water.
Whether you purchase your harnesses or tie your own (check out the video on How to tie Crawler Harnesses), this is an efficient yet inexpensive way to create your crawler harness storage system.
How to tie a Crawler HarnessJoe Henry shows how to properly tie a crawler harness, otherwise known as a snelled spinner. In this video, Joe ties a two hook harness typically used with a nightcrawler. It is just as easy to tie a one hook harness for minnows or leeches as well.
Joe prefers to use fluorocarbon line as it disappears in water. Because of these properties, he feels he can get away with heavier line and in the video, suggests 15 lb fluorocarbon.
The hooks are octopus style hooks. He normally uses size 2, 4 or 6 hooks for harnesses, with size 4 being the most popular.
As far as length of harness, longer harnesses typically do better in clear water conditions. As you can always trim down the length of a harness, he starts out by using 6 feet of line. The finished product ends up being around 5 feet long.
Crawler harnesses are extremely effective in catching walleyes but will basically catch most any fish in the body of water you are fishing. It is suggested to use a two ounce bottom bouncer and as a rule, drift or troll at about 1.25 mph and try to maintain a 45 degree angle with your line. This gives maximum control.
Advantages of Jigging a Rapala Rippin Rap or other Flashy/Noisy Lure for Walleyes while Ice FishingA very effective strategy while ice fishing is the one - two punch of jigging one line and deadsticking (a live minnow just off of the bottom) the other.
Using an aggressive lure, such as a Rapala Rippin Rap, or other flashy/noisy lure has advantages.
-It attracts fish to the area. Even if they are in more of a neutral mood and would prefer not chasing down a lure, but the easy meal of a live minnow on a hook (deadstick), it attracts them to your baits.
-It causes reaction strikes. Some fish, even if they aren't intending to eat, will strike at an aggressive lure out of instinct.
-It can be fished quickly with no bait. Whether you just caught a walleye and see another mark on your electronics, or you see a suspended fish on your electronics or you want to hole hop or ice troll looking for fish, this technique doesn't require bait and fishes fast.
Deadsticking Walleyes While Ice Fishing With a Flexible Rod TipUsing the one - two punch of a jigging line and deadstick (a live minnow just off of the bottom) is a very effective strategy. In this video, Joe Henry will share a deadsticking technique to catch more walleyes and saugers while ice fishing.
There are nuances anglers can take with a deadstick that will put more fish on the ice. One nuance is to use a flexible tip rod vs a bobber to detect the very light biters. There are times a walleye bite can be so subtle, it would be hard to detect with a bobber. Noticing very small changes such as the tip of the rod bouncing from the minnow swimming to nothing or simply an ever so slight pull down on the rod tip can be tell tale signs of a nice walleye.
To find out more about fishing Lake of the Woods, check out our website at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
Angler Catches 31.25" Walleye on Lake of the Woods MNAs the saying goes, "you never know what you will catch on Lake of the Woods." This time on the water, this angler caught a walleye of a lifetime!
Kayak FishingJoe Henry fishes Lake of the Woods in a Hobie Kayak.