With ice as thick as 24-30 inches and long range forecast for freezing temps, ice fishing season through March in good shape. Roads have smoothed out from the warmer weather and now freezing again. Some snow still remains on the lake. A very active bite continues with many good sized walleyes and saugers. Working every fish with electronics is helpful. Some walleyes are suspended. The anglers working a jigging line with jigging spoon tipped with minnow head or tail and a dead stick with a plain hook or small ice jig and minnow are doing good. Key depth 29-33 ft in the morning/ early afternoon and 17-24 before nightfall. Best colors glow pink/red or chartreuse.
The Rainy River morning and evening bite has been spotty at times. Know the river or use a resort or guide for safety. The river is open from Birchdale to the east. Only some shore ice remains and some reports say anglers have already started pushing boats over the ice. The snowmobile trail is staked from Wheeler’s Point to Baudette on the river. Do not deviate from trail unless you are familiar with ice conditions.
Up at the NW Angle, ice conditions are still favorable with 20-24 inches of solid ice in non-current areas. Snow cover is minimal on snowmobile trails but are still being groomed and in good condition. On the Minnesota side, walleyes are being caught on shallower rock points between 20-24 feet as well as deeper mud between 28-30 feet. A good number of saugers and perch are also being produced. Black and gold have been performing very well using a variety of baits. In Ontario the crappie bite has been hot and cold as of last week. Walleyes are are most active on rock humps with successful colors being, blue and white, pink and gold. Remember to move on to another species after you have your limit of crappies as these fish have a high mortality rate over 25′ of water. Work through resorts and stay on ice road. Fish houses can stay on ice through March, walleyes/saugers through April 14th. Pike and crappies open all year for LOW MN. Resorts and ice fishing reservations at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging. Please remember to “Keep It Clean” and remove trash from ice.