Lake of the Woods Tourism Fishing Report 4/24

Category: fishing reports

 Apr 24th, 2023 by sworrall 

Modified Apr 24th, 2023 at 12:41 PM


On the south end… Big Traverse Bay, the big basin of Lake of the Woods, is still ice covered.  Mother Nature is chipping away at the thickness and durability of the ice, but as is normally the case this time of year, ice still covers the vast majority of the basin.

The open water so far on the basin continues to be the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap and various bays.
This time of year, pike are running in some cases, under the ice in the bays, often in ditches flowing into the bays and backwater areas of the bays themselves.  Open water is expanding in Four Mile Bay, Bostic Bay and Zippel Bay.
Pike season is open year round.  Now to ice out is a great opportunity to get in the back bays for some great pike action.  Baits for pike this time of year…  a live minnow under a bobber, dead minnows laying on the bottom, slow moving spoons, spinner baits and crankbaits.

On the Rainy River…   The Rainy River is completely opened up into Lake of the Woods.  The Little Fork River let loose early last week and the Big Fork followed about two days later.  The majority of ice and debris from these tributaries letting loose has flushed through the Rainy River.

Sturgeon fishing has been good overall.  The cold spell didn’t seem to help, but anglers are still catching plenty of fish.  Four Mile Bay at the mouth of the Rainy River is producing good numbers of fish, with various spots along the river producing as well.  Warmer weather will fire up the bite even more.
The sturgeon harvest season runs from April 24th – May 7th and July 1 – Sept. 30.
The catch and release season runs May 8th – May 15th and Oct. 1 – April 23rd.
If you fish during the harvest season, purchase a sturgeon tag ahead of time for $5.  One sturgeon per calendar year 45 – 50 inches or over 75 inches may be kept per angler during the harvest season.  The sturgeon must be tagged immediately and registered within 48 hours.
Birchdale, Frontier, Vidas and Wheeler’s Point boat ramps are all open.
As mentioned, pike season is open.  There are various tributaries and backwater areas of the river to target pike with some big fish around.
Up at the NW Angle…  Open water is expanding amongst the island areas of the NW Angle.  Current areas show up well on aerial maps this time of year as that is where the open water shows up.  Anywhere there is current will break first with other areas to soon follow.
Water flows into Lake of the Woods from the Rainy River and other tributaries, flowing north through the dam at Kenora, through Lake Winnipeg, and eventually reaching Hudson Bay.
The MN Fishing Opener for walleyes is May 13th, traditionally this is a jig bite and fishing should be excellent.
To travel to the Angle, drive 40 miles through Canada and re-enter back into MN at the NW Angle, or, the Lake of the Woods Passenger (charter boat) Service transports you across the lake to your favorite Angle resort and keeps you in Minnesota.

A complete list of lodging, fishing charters / guides and info about the area at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.

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