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Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report

Starting with lake… ice continues to melt in a big way. Travel on the lake is very unsafe at this time. Pike season is open all year as border waters.  Big pike are close to coming into bays for boat anglers.  A big smelt laid on bottom, trolling crankbaits and buzz baits are all options to catch this big girls.  Minnows of all kinds must be authorized through bait dealers. 
Rainy River sturgeon fishing… The keep season lasts through May 7.  Catch and release May 8 – 15.  Anglers who remain mobile fared better again this past week as the Little and Big Fork Rivers opened up. Water clarity already clearing and will be cleared up by opener.  Luckily sturgeon feed by smell in dirty water.  Many big 60+ inch fish caught along with many smaller sturgeon.  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 3-5 ounce no roll sinker is the ticket.  All Rainy River Landings (including Wheeler’s Point) are open to all boats. Most landings in bays open as well.  Predictions are the Rainy River will be full of walleyes for the MN Fishing Opener May 12.
Up at the NW Angle… As ice disappears, anglers will target pike by boat. We are very close to prime time for pike. Ice deteriorating very quickly as there is more current amongst islands.  A complete list of lodging, fishing packages, how to’s, and info for spring fishing are available at

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