Starting with lake… ice took a beating by Mother Nature this weekend. Large cracks on the lake with thin and soft ice near shore. Lots of ice on the lake once out. Safety first. Ice roads closed, travel at your own risk. Big pike are being caught in pre-spawn areas and shallow bays. Live suckers, big smelt, or hot dogs working. Minnows of all kinds must be authorized through bait dealers. Auger extensions still needed.Rainy River sturgeon fishing… anglers who stayed mobile to search out good holes fared better. Many 60+ inch fish caught. Finding deeper holes and laying a sturgeon rig (18″ leader of 60 lb test with a 5/0 circle hook) with a crawler/shiner mix and a 4-5 ounce no roll sinker is the ticket. All Rainy River Landings (including Wheeler’s Point) are now open to all boats. Landings in bays away from current will take a little longer.Around the lake, pike being caught through the ice in back bays and areas adjacent to spawning areas. As ice is off of bays, anglers will target them by boat. If venturing on ice, have a partner, take precautions and have necessary safety gear. Ice deteriorating very quickly. A complete list of lodging, fishing packages, how to’s, and info for spring fishing are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.