It’s not called The Walleye Capital of the World for nothing! The walleye fishing this fall continues to be excellent, both on the lake and in the Rainy River. There has been a robust shiner run this fall and the walleyes from the lake have certainly followed, as anglers are reporting good catches for all 40 miles of navigable waters from the mouth up to Birchdale.
Roger Nielson of Baudette caught this 32″, 14.015 lb walleye on a jig and minnow on the Rainy River in a row boat with no motor. Although he tried to release this monster, it wasn’t going to make it so he is getting it mounted to enjoy the memories for years to come.
Other big fish have been coming in all fall, both from the lake and river. There are excellent reports of walleyes up and down the south shore of the lake from Arnesen’s Rocky Point to the west all the way to the Lighthouse Gap to the east. Most anglers reporting having a variety of sizes in their catch. From very small up to trophy fish, which speaks to a very healthy fishery and is setting up for a great winter.
There are many reports of jumbo perch coming in mixed with the walleyes. Usually, there will be a few monster perch mixed in but some reports are 30 jumbos, which is unusual, but welcomed. The perch on Lake of the Woods get huge, sometimes reaching 15 inches. Anglers love the hump backs, huge shoulders and brilliant green sides and orange fins.
The NW Angle has also had a great fall. Big walleyes, big number of walleyes and in NW Angle style, a mixed bag. Most anglers are fishing with a jig and minnow this time of year.
The crappies bite has also been robust this fall, as is typical. Most fish are being caught in 20-30′ of water near brush or points.
Muskie anglers reporting great success as well. Trolling big lures has proven effective and allows the angler to put on some miles along key shoreline structure.
Fall fishing this year has received few complaints and is still here for the die hards who don’t mind colder temps. If you head out fishing this time of year, safety first. Make sure you wear your life preservers, dress warm and fish with a partner. It can also be helpful to bring along some sand in the event it is a very cold day and water freezes on the boat ramps.
It won’t be long and we will have ice and be talking about ice fishing, but until then, there are some big girls hanging around the river. If your idea of fun is a 14 lb walleye, maybe you should think about another quick fall adventure. It might lead to your walleye of a lifetime!