Spring Fishing on the Rainy River has Begun

Category: article

 Mar 17th, 2021 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Mar 17th, 2021 at 9:00 PM

Spring Fishing on the Rainy River has Begun

The Rainy River boat ramp at Nelson Park in Birchdale, MN is open as of March 17, 2021 and spring walleyes are being caught!! It is a rite of passage for many anglers in the spring to pursue big females moving up river to spawn.
This is a catch and release only season on the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th. Check out this video of a fun spring day on the Rainy River.

Spring Fishing on the Rainy River is an experience of a lifetime. Walleyes swim upstream to take part in their annual spawning ritual. Lunkers galore show up on angler’s lines for the thrill of landing a trophy fish. During this early “ice out” season, timing only Mother Nature knows, anglers come dressed in their snowmobile suits sometimes having to push their boats over iced landing areas. It’s not unreasonable to see giant ice formations along the shores on both sides of the river. A sight to behold!

Rainy River Ice Chunks

Spring Fishing on the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay for walleyes has some new limits though. During this season anglers must practice Catch and Release. The MN DNR imposed these limits so that the population of walleyes and saugers is sustainable.

Previous studies showed a decrease of mature male walleyes in the river. This is believe to be from the previous regulations which allowed anglers to keep two walleyes or saugers under 19.5 inches. Naturally, a high percentage of these fish were mature male walleyes.

As most anglers go to the Rainy River in the spring to pursue big walleyes, splash their boat for the first time of the year and simply for the incredible experience, giving up the two fish limit for catch and release is understood by most.

Another feature of the Rainy River is the incredible sturgeon. Anglers come from all over the world to catch one of these prehistoric monsters, at times over 100 lbs! The sturgeon fishery is healthy and anglers often boat multiple fish per day. Check out spring fishing regulations on the MN DNR’s website. Check out more information on catching sturgeon on the Rainy River here.

Here is some helpful info.
-2021 MN DNR Rainy River info and regs. https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/…/low_rr/rr_spring.pdf
-Lodging options in the area. www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
-Info on fishing the Rainy River. https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/rainy-river/
Please be patient and respectful of others. Practice safety on both the roads and water. No parking signs are up but please be respectful of blocking others in, approaches to fields and safely parking on roads.
With the Canadian border closed, U.S. citizens must fish in American waters.
This is a catch and release season only for walleyes and saugers on the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
Walleyes and saugers can be kept on Lake of the Woods through April 14th.
Pike season is continuous and pike can be kept on the Rainy River and LOW. Pike 30-40 inches must be released. Daily limit is 3 fish with one over 40 inches allowed.
Sturgeon is catch and release through April 23rd. April 24th – May 7th is the sturgeon keep season.
This is a special time of the year and it is a short window. Be safe and have fun!
More info about the Lake of the Woods / Rainy River Area
Info on accommodations, guides, etc.

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