Duck Hunting The Walleye Capital of the World
Sep 20th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 20th, 2022 at 10:29 AM
It often gets overlooked. After all, this is The Walleye Capital of the World and the fish are biting excellent both on the lake and in the Rainy River. There are also hundreds of thousands of acres (no exaggeration) of public hunting land available to grouse hunters with plenty of birds around. With all of those possibilities, the great waterfowl hunting, and in this case, duck hunting gets overlooked by many. If you are a waterfowl hunter, you may want to consider a trip to LOW.
Water is everywhere, which means there are so many places to hunt. Growing up in central MN, some of the better public hunting spots could be taken or crowded in many cases. That problem does not exist in these parts. In fact, having a few extra hunters on a huge bay can actually make hunting better as it pushes the birds around a bit more rather than them rafting up in the middle.
Some “go to” spots.
1. Four Mile Bay. This bay is long and sits between the mouth of the Rainy River and Bostic Creek and the big water of Big Traverse Bay. In addition to a good population of local birds, the northern flight will use Lake of the Wood on their migration and often stage here until the very cold weather kicks them farther south. With access points at the mouth of the Rainy River (Wheeler’s Point) and various resort access spots on Bostic Creek, access is good.
2. Bostic Creek. This area of back water extends from Hwy 11 near Ken Mar Ke Resort all the way into Four Mile Bay. There is plenty of backwater, cuts in the reeds, and area to set up decoys. Some hunt the mouth near Four Mile Bay to get the birds coming off of the lake. After a hunt or two, you will discover the key spots in this area.
3. Zippel Bay. About the size of an inland lake, long and narrow extending off of the main lake with plenty of duck friendly vegetation and cover, Zippel Bay is a favorite amongst many waterfowlers. The bay splits into two branches when you get towards the back of the bay with many fingers and reed points to set decoys. Zippel Bay Resort and Zippel Bay State Park both have boat accesses.
4. Swift Ditch. Again, a backwater coming off of the main lake with plenty of cover and a favorite place for ducks to stop on their way through. Located west of Arnesen’s Rocky Point, this area bodes great habitat that waterfowl love.
5. The NW Angle. With thousands of ducks migrating through the area, the NW Angle can offer, if you hit it right, some of the most memorable duck hunting available. Often times, some of the best hunting takes place off of a rock point or island sticking out into the lake. You might find yourself huddled amongst the rocks for cover. If it works out, a variety of diver ducks will whistle by offering the opportunity for a memorable shoot. There are backwater spots as well, but most hunt the more open water with decoys.
One of the unique things about duck hunting this area is the wide variety of ducks. Puddle ducks, divers and even a few sea ducks show up each year. If you are an avid waterfowler, you recognize the enjoyment of identifying ducks in the area, listening for their different sounds and harvesting a wide variety that perhaps you don’t see back home.
Layout Boat Hunting. Lake of the Woods is actually one of the few lakes in Minnesota where layout boat hunting is legal. Imagine, laying back in your small boat designed for this type of hunting out in the open water with decoys all around you. Groups of diver ducks are buzzing you and your decoys from different directions. If you haven’t done it, it is one of those hunts that you won’t forget. There are actually duck hunting guides with layout boats up at the NW Angle.
This is a great opportunity for a cast and blast. Many will shoot their ducks in the morning, come in for breakfast and chase walleyes in the afternoon. Not a bad day if you enjoy fall and enjoy the outdoors.
To give you a flavor of what duck hunting can look like on Lake of the Woods, check out this Midwest Outdoors segment in which we duck hunted Four Mile Bay. Despite a “bluebird” day and south winds (which don’t encourage the migration south) the hunt was great and memorable. The best duck hunting of the year is still to arrive. Take advantage of it.
To learn more about Lake of the Woods, check out the Lake of the Woods Tourism website.
To find a guide, charter boat or lodging, check out our lodging page.