Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report 1/23

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report 1/23

On the southern tip… subzero temperatures cause ice to thicken and icy roads to advance. Ice conditions vary based on the icy road. Some icy roads now allow trucks and motorhomes. One was a 1 ton ice roader, another a 3/4 ton with no wheelhouse or a 1/2 ton towing wheelhouse. Check with each resort’s outfitters for weight restrictions on their glacier route.

If you are driving on an icy road, stay on the road and do not venture past the end of the road. There are still areas of ice, cracks, etc. far from the roads that are not suitable for vehicles.

Most ice fishing on the south end of the lake is done in 28 to 32 feet of water. Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line on a regular hook or ice fishing jig has been effective.

On jigging line, spoons with rattles topped with a whole fish or the head or tail of a fish are a good choice. Colors such as gold, glow red, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combination of these colors are effective in colored water.

On a dead stick, live minnows on a standard No. 4 or No. 6 hook or a small six-inch ice jig – one foot from the bottom are great for a dead stick. The dead stick jiggles sometimes. If fish are passing by, change something. Place it about 2 feet from the bottom. Try a different type of minnow. Hook your minnows differently.

Electronics help figure out how fish react. Many resorts and bait shops rent them by the day if you don’t have your own and want to try it.

As in LOW, it’s a mixed bag, but pickles and walleye are the most popular catches. Jumbo perch, pike, crappie, eelbut and tulips with some sturgeon also in the mix.

On the Rainy River… Most anglers fish the lake during the winter months. There are two resorts with fish houses for rent on the Rainy River. Learn about ice conditions or work with a resort or clothing store for safety.

The best bite is still in the morning and evening. Using a jig and a bright emerald rig has been the most consistent presentation of walleye and oysters.

Sturgeon fishing is a unique development across the ice. The bigger holes, heavier tackle and the thrill of catching a fish that size through the ice is unique. Many lake and river walleye anglers will catch random sturgeon as well.

Above in the northwest corner… I caught some walleye around the corner this week. Walleye, hawks, jumbo perch, walleye, pike and some big crappie are in the mix. The resorts are spread across a variety of good fishing areas. Some fish houses at the resort target structure while others target the deep clay adjacent to the structure. Both can be good.

Again, jumping on one line and sticking to the second is the way to go.

The snowmobile trail from Four Mile Bay and Pine Island near the mouth of the Rainy River to NW Angle Resorts is discontinued. Please stay on the road for safety.

Lodging, fish house rentals, ice fishing and meal packages at

Do you need immediate accommodation, have a large group or want to know if there is room for just one angler? Email a number of resorts at once using our lodging availability finder. for housing availability/

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