Spring Rainy River Fishing Fast Approaching

Category: News Release

 Mar 16th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 16th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Spring Rainy River Fishing Fast Approaching
    by Joe Henry

It won’t be long now.  With the first days of 40 degree weather, the open water reports are already coming in.  It’s a tradition for many that if timing works out, can yield good numbers of monster walleyes.  It is spring open water fishing on the famous Rainy River.

A good number of walleyes make their way up the Rainy River in the spring to their annual spawning grounds.  With the river locked in ice all winter, the melting snow and spring rain will begin to erode the ice and expose open water.  The open water begins east of Baudette and begins making it’s way towards known access points.

Hard core anglers will actually push their small boats over shoreline ice to access the open waters which can be filled with walleyes.

The MN DNR has a special spring fishing regulations for the Rainy River.  Walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods and the river goes through April 14th.  On the river and Four Mile Bay (which is at the mouth of the river before it enters Lake of the Woods) two walleyes under 19.5 inches may be kept per day.  No fish over 19.5 are allowed for this special spring season.

Sturgeon can also be fished for during this catch and release season only through April 23rd.  On April 24th – May 7th, the sturgeon “keep” season takes place (see DNR regulations for length limits and how to tag a sturgeon).  May 8 – 15 is a catch and release season again.

The go to presentation in this cold water for walleyes is a jig and minnow.  If you time it right, 100 fish days are possible with fish over 30 inches in the mix.

If you come spring fishing, please do your part.

-Things can get busy, practice patience.

-Be safe on land! Hwy 11, many trucks and boat trailers, lots of excitement to get your boat into the water, please be careful and courteous.

-Be safe on ice and water!  Wear a life preserver.  Don’t take chances on shoreline ice.  Help out your neighbor.  Practice patience and safety first.  This water is ice cold, please treat it with the utmost respect.  If you are anchored up, watch for ice bergs floating down.  Have a way to remove or cut the rope.

-Make sure you are practicing the proper trailering rules concerning AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species).  Drain all water from boat including live wells, pull drain plug, remove any aquatic vegetation and use bottled water to transport left over bait as river and lake water cannot be transported.

There are a number of organizations that work hard to make sure things go smoothly for this relatively short but busy season.  We want to thank Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, the MN DNR, site managers, the Sheriff’s Department for both counties, local residents and the anyone else involved in assisting with this tradition.  We want to enjoy this right of spring in a safe and respectful manner.

For more info on fishing the Rainy River, go to http://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/rainy-river-fishing/

To keep abreast of where the open water is on the Rainy River, keep in touch with Lake of the Woods Tourism via social media.  Facebook and Twitter will give daily updates.  The fishing report on our website will give updates as well.  Links to places to stay, social media and the fishing report can be found at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.

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