Pike and sturgeon report Lake of the Woods


Ice continues to melt and travel on the lake is very unsafe now but the fishing report from the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods is good for pike and sturgeon.

Pike season is open all year as LOW is a border water.  Big pike are close to coming into bays for boat anglers. A big smelt laid on bottom catches the toothy ones as does trolling crankbaits or casting buzzbaits or other topwaters. 

Minnows of all kinds must be authorized through bait dealers. 

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Rainy River Sturgeon

Rainy River sturgeon fishing harvest season lasts through May 7.  Catch and release is May 8-15. 

Mobile anglers fared better last week as the Little and Big Fork Rivers opened up. Water clarity increases daily and the river should be clear by the opener. Luckily, sturgeon feed by smell in dirty water.  Anglers have caught many big 60+-inch fish and many smaller sturgeon.  Finding deeper holes and laying a sturgeon rig (18″ leader of 60-pound test with a 5/0 circle hook) with a crawler-shiner cocktail and a 3- to 5-ounce no roll sinker is the ticket.  All Rainy River Landings (including Wheeler’s Point) are open to boats. Most landings in bays are open as well.  Predictions are the Rainy River will be full of walleyes for the Minnesota Fishing Opener May 12.

Up at the NW Angle, as ice disappears, anglers can target pike by boat. The calendar says were are close to prime time for pike. The ice is deteriorating very quickly here because of more current among the islands. A complete list of lodging, fishing packages, how to’s, and info for spring fishing are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.