Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report

Category: fishing reports

 Mar 12th, 2024 by sworrall 

Modified Mar 12th, 2024 at 5:28 PM

On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong for some resorts and the bite is excellent.  Other resorts decided to pull fish houses off for the year.  There is still ice fishing happening and available.  Fish houses are available at some resorts.  At other resorts, they are allowing guests to bring collapsible fish houses only.  Check social media or call ahead to your favorite resort for specifics.

Daytime temps this week in the 40’s with overnight temps in the high 20’s.  Next week’s forecast shows thirties during the day and teens at night.  That will hold ice on many areas of the lake for those who don’t want to be finished ice fishing quite yet.
The bite this past week was excellent.  Great reports across the south shore.  Walleyes and saugers in good numbers with mixed in jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, and an occasional crappie, tullibee or sturgeon in the mix.
The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is still taking place in 20 – 28 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.  Green, glow red, pink and gold were good colors this week.
Small jigging spoons tipped with a piece of minnow or a small lipless crankbait such as a Rippin Rap are working well for walleyes and saugers.  On the deadstick, a small jig head or a plain hook with the minnow hooked in the dorsal fin have both been effective.

The big pike have the feedbag on!  Great reports of pike up to the mid 40 inch variety being caught using tip ups with live suckers or dead bait such as smelt and herring in 8 – 14′ of water.

Work through a resort or outfitter for ice road conditions.  Safety first always.

Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.

The outlook for the May 11th MN Fishing Opener along the south shore looks very optimistic.

On the Rainy River…  The river has opened up along the Nelson Park boat ramp in Birchdale.  As of Monday, some anglers were pushing small boats over shore ice.  It is anticipated that in the next day or so the boat ramp will be cleared of ice and ready for trailers with boats.  Watch the Lake of the Woods Tourism Facebook page for updates.

There is also a good stretch of open water already down the middle of the river in front of the Frontier boat ramp, which is about 8 miles downstream from Birchdale.  The river is opening up quickly.
The Rainy River opens up from the east moving west.  The order in which boat ramps open up…
1.  Nelson Park in Birchdale, MN, 26.4 miles east of Baudette
2.  Frontier Boat Ramp, 18.9 miles east of Baudette, MN
3.  Vidas Boat Ramp, 9.8 miles east of Baudette, MN
4.  Timber Mill Park in Baudette, MN
5.  Wheeler’s Point Boat Ramp, 12 miles north of Baudette

Up at the NW Angle…  Another good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix again this week.

Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  The general theme is picking away at them during the day and normally a very productive evening bite.

Check with Angle resorts on transport options from Young’s Bay.  Truck traffic is winding down in favor of smaller vehicles, side by sides, snowmobiles, etc.  Call ahead for ice road guidelines.

Lodging, fish house rentals, small boat guide trips on the river and meal packages are available.  Go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging for more info.  

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