Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report 7/17

Category: article

 Jul 18th, 2023 by sworrall 

Modified Jul 18th, 2023 at 9:00 AM

On the south end…  A great week of fishing on Lake of the Woods.  Some anglers are targeting the deep mud on the big basin, while other anglers are targeting rock reefs.

The two most common presentations to catch walleyes right now are drifting spinners and trolling crankbaits.  Both do a nice job of covering water and are producing nice fish.

With Big Traverse Bay being a big expanse of water, it is really helpful to use your electronics to search out schools of bait and walleyes.  Once you find some signs of life, start fishing.

Try a two hook harness with a hammered gold blade and a nightcrawler.  It is helpful to pinch off long crawlers and have just a few inches of crawler off of the back hook.  The fish will still hit the crawler and your hooking percentages go up.

If you are trolling crankbaits, part of the fun is figuring out the walleyes that day.  What color?  Do they want a shad style or minnow style?  How fast do they want the lure?  Most anglers are trolling from 2.5 – 3.5 mph.  Try turning the boat occasionally when trolling to speed up or slow down baits causing reaction strikes.

Jigging with a frozen emerald shiner is still effective, particularly when on a good school of fish or fishing on structure.

Most walleyes are being targeted in 26 – 34 feet.  There can always be a shallow bite when forage is present or very early or late in the day.  Trolling crankbaits in the evening along Pine Island and areas along the south shore can produce nice fish at times all summer.

On the Rainy River…   Walleyes and saugers are being caught with the morning and evening bite the best.

Target high probability spots such as deep holes, current breaks and flats with bait.  Trolling crankbaits and crawler harnesses is effective and catching a variety of species.
Target smallmouth bass around docks, river mouths, rocks and bridges.  Pike on weed edges into the river and the edges of current breaks.
Up at the NW Angle…  Great fishing reports this week up at the Angle.  A variety of techniques are being used to catch walleyes.  With so many rocks and areas with structure, some anglers stick with a jig and minnow or jig and plastic all year long with great success.
Covering water trolling crankbaits and crawler harnesses is very effective in locating and catching walleyes during the summer months.

Working shoreline structure casting crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swim jigs has been good for a variety of fish.  In addition to the most sought after walleyes and saugers, smallmouth bass, pike, jumbo perch, crappies and the predator of predators, muskies, are showing up regularly.

The summer bite is on!  A complete list of reasonable lodging, fishing charters / guides and helpful info about the area at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.  

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