Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report 2/21

Category: fishing reports

 Feb 21st, 2023 by sworrall 

Modified Feb 21st, 2023 at 10:07 AM

On the south end… Lake of the Woods ice fishing is still going strong as fish houses out through March 31st, walleye and sauger season through April 14 and the pike season never closes.

A good week of ice fishing for most.  The walleyes and sauger are spread out this time of year, so it is important to fish each fish.  Electronics really help to see fish when they are coming through, understand where in the water column they are and how they are reacting to your lure and presentation.

If you are seeing fish come through and they are not reacting, oftentimes downsizing will help.  Try a small spoon tipped with a small minnow head or piece of minnow tail.  

Another tip is to use a noisy lipless crankbait.  There are many brands on the market, an example is the Rippin Rap.  They have vibration and rattles that will draw fish in.  Some will hit the lure, depending upon mood, others will be more interested in your deadstick.

On your deadstick or set line with a live minnow, try a small ice jig or plain colored hook with a live minnow 6″ – 2 feet off of the bottom.  Experiment to see what the fish want.  

As happens each ice season, some anglers who have been fishing 20 plus miles out have started finding fish a bit closer to shore.  There are pods of walleyes and saugers in various areas.

Glow colors are popular in these waters due to the stained waters.  With the darker color, the fish bite well during the day.  The morning and evening can still have a bite window.  If you are staying on the ice at night, not as much of a night bite, but it does exist.  Good chance at an eelpout as well.

Huge pike have been active for pike anglers using tip ups.  With the longer days, the fish instinctively start gravitating to the next chapter, which is the spawn.  This means putting the feed bag on as well as moving to pre-spawn areas.

On the Rainy River   The golden hours of the morning and evening have been when the walleyes have been the most active.  A traditional jig and minnow in one hole, deadstick with a plain hook in the second hole have been the best.  

If you are fishing Four Mile Bay or the Rainy River, remember March 1st, it is catch and release only.  The big lake is still open for harvesting walleyes and saugers. 

Some nice sturgeon showing up for those few that are targeting them.  As always, use extra caution as there is current in the river.  Open water and spring fishing on the river is around the corner, are you ready?

Up at the NW Angle… A great week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Resorts are in many different areas working at staying on schools of walleyes.  Along the way, huge pike, jumbo perch, saugers and tulibees are in the mix.

Using gold on sunny days and glow colors on cloudy days has been a trend, but not a “set in stone” rule.  Downsizing lures and using some rattles in your lures to attract fish has been helpful.

Nice walleyes caught this week with a mixed bag for most.  Anglers fishing the Ontario side for crappies continue to find some nice slabs.

For those looking to access the NW Angle while avoiding customs, snowmobiling across the lake on the marked trails or utilizing the Lake of the Woods Passenger (bombardier) Service keeps you in Minnesota.

A complete list of lodging, fish house rentals and sleeper fish house rentals at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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