Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing: An Angler&039s Guide

Video Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing: An Angler&039s Guide
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Proper on the tripoint of Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota, you’ll discover the magnificent Lake of The Woods (LOW). After the Nice Lakes, LOW is the largest freshwater lake within the US, and it additionally has extra shoreline than Lake Superior. All of this makes LOW a really productive fishing spot. In the course of the winter, Lake of the Woods turns into one of many premier ice fishing places in North America.

A view of an angler sitting alone on a frozen like with mountains in the back and snow covered trees on the right

Whether or not you’re after Walleye (the highest catch of the lake), Northern Pike, Crappie, or Perch, Lake of the Woods has all of them on the winter menu. The ice thickens mid-December, and that’s when anglers flock to the lake searching for their favourite fish.

High Three Ice Fishing Catches on Lake of the Woods

LOW holds a particular place within the hearts of many fishers. Lots of them journey throughout the nation for an opportunity to reel in a trophy-sized fish. Fishing is open year-round however, relying on the season, among the species are beneath strict laws.

Earlier than we go into particulars about prime winter catches on the lake, we now have to say which species you’ll be able to’t catch. Fishing for Sturgeon is closed between October and April, and all through the month of June. In the meantime, fishing for Muskies isn’t allowed from December by means of Might. Should you come throughout one, be certain that to launch them straight away to keep away from an uncomfortable state of affairs or pointless fines.

Now that we’ve acquired these particulars out of our approach, let’s discover out what you’ll be able to anticipate when ice fishing on Lake of The Woods.

Walleye – The Celebrity of the Lake

Should you’re touring to fish for Walleye on LOW, you’re not alone. A variety of anglers do that always of the 12 months, however ice fishing for Walleye is a must-do if you wish to expertise the magic of the lake. However, why is Walleye so common round these elements?

To start with, they like to eat, so it’s simple to get them to chunk. As soon as they do, the true enjoyable begins. They at all times put up an important combat and the most effective factor? They get fairly huge round right here.

We’re speaking about some document catches. On the subject of their common dimension, Walleye vary between 15 and 18 inches. However in case you’re fishing on LOW, it’s not so unusual to come back throughout a 25″ specimen, and even greater.

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They weigh normally someplace between 2 and 5 kilos, however right here you may come throughout a Walleye twice as huge. Limits for Walleye change seasonally, so ensure you’ve checked essentially the most up-to-date info.

Sauger – Walleye’s Smaller Cousin

LOW can be house to Walleye’s smaller cousin, Sauger. These two are very comparable and are sometimes mistaken for each other. To make the excellence even tougher, they eat the identical meals, so no matter you utilize for Walleye will work for Sauger too. Nevertheless, Saugers are quite a bit smaller, and so they have totally different markings. Their common dimension is 15 inches, and so they normally observe Walleye round.

Should you’re concentrating on Walleye and catch a Sauger, don’t be discouraged. That is really an important signal. The place there’s certainly one of them, you’ll most likely discover the opposite one too!

You’re most likely questioning the right way to inform a Sauger aside from Walleye. One of the best ways to take action is by their markings. Saugers have black dots on their fins, however they’re lacking black patches behind their dorsal fins, which Walleye have.

Should you’re nonetheless undecided the right way to inform them aside, try this text that can let you know all it’s good to find out about their variations.

There are various nice ice fishing spots for each Walleye and Sauger on Lake of the Woods. A few of the hottest searching grounds are NorthwestAngle, South Shore, Kenora, Witch Bay, Franz Jevne State Park, Clearwater Bay, Sioux Narrows, and Traverse Bay.

Northern Pike

Subsequent to Walleye and Sauger, ice fishing for Northern Pike is the subsequent huge factor on the lake. For anglers on the lookout for an acrobatic present and a feisty fighter, Pike fishing on LOW is the factor to do.

Not solely that, however they develop actually huge round right here. Catches that surpass 40 inches and weigh greater than 20 kilos have been reported beforehand. Each angler can dream a couple of catch this huge.

For many who aren’t so fortunate to come back throughout a monster Pike, most of your catch will most likely vary between 2 and 5 kilos. Don’t fear although, they’ll nonetheless combat for each inch of your line.

Trending: Anglers report strong walleye and sauger action on Lake of the Woods

Locals recommend utilizing useless bait in case you’re chasing a trophy, however you can too attempt your luck with reside bait. No matter you select as your lure, be certain that to purchase it from a bait store that’s licensed by the Minnesota Division of Pure Sources. This precaution prevents contaminating the lake with unknown illnesses.

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If Pike is your principal goal, areas like Fourmile Bay, Muskeg Bay, Baudette Bay, and Zippel Bay which have a sandy or muddy backside are your go-to spots.

Fishing Season and Circumstances

Ice fishing is a very talked-about exercise across the complete lake. Because of this, there are lots of fishing guides and resorts in virtually each small city. Because the ice begins to thicken, increasingly more anglers come to go to the world.

When the ice fishing season reaches its peak, someday in January, you’ll see tons of of ice shacks scattered throughout the lake, and anglers drilling new holes searching for their subsequent huge catch.

Relying on the climate, the season will begin round mid-December, and final till March. For ice angling to be secure, the ice cowl must be no less than 15 inches thick.

The Greatest Ice Fishing Methods on Lake of the Woods

Should you’re concentrating on Walleye and Sauger, the most effective time of the day to catch them is simply after dawn or earlier than the sundown after they come out on the lookout for tasty treats. On the subject of the most effective strategies, anglers say that they’ve had the most effective success with jigging minnows and utilizing rattle baits.

Apart from Walleye and Sauger, you may additionally come throughout a Whitefish, Yellow Perch, or Crappie on occasion.

For anglers who wish to catch Pike, darkish home spearing will be an fascinating approach to check out. You’ll need to drill an enormous gap within the ice as a way to see the fish coming nearer to your lure. Then, you’ll go into a totally darkish ice shack, and keep calm. From right here, you’ll hold your eye on the lure and wait for large Pike to get nearer.

As quickly as they do, you’ll come out of hiding and spear the fish. Whereas this system will be very enjoyable and rewarding, it additionally requires loads of talent and endurance.

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Should you’re undecided the place to go or which sort of approach to make use of, you’ll be able to at all times contemplate hiring a neighborhood information that can present you a very good time on the lake. Guides normally present tools together with a heated ice shack, transportation, and priceless ideas.

Getting a Fishing License

A picture of a badge with words Fishing License on it

The waters of the LOW are shared by two international locations and three states/provinces. The largest portion of the lake is inside Ontario’s borders, a very good a part of it lies in Minnesota, and a small portion belongs to Manitoba. Native charters, as a rule, don’t present fishing licenses. Nevertheless, in case you’re undecided what you’ll want in your fishing journey, guides may help you determine which paperwork you’ll want.

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For anglers from the US who plan to fish on the Minnesota aspect of the lake, you should buy a license on-line. Nevertheless, if you wish to fish in Ontario, you’ll most likely want a Distant Space Border Crossing Allow, an Ontario non-resident fishing license, and an Open air Card.

Anglers from Canada who plan to fish the Canadian aspect of the lake will want an Ontario fishing license and an Open air Card.

Maintaining Your Catch

While you plan to go fishing on Lake of the Woods, it’s crucial to remain up to date on the designated limits. These laws have a tendency to alter fairly often, generally even inside the identical 12 months. Some fish will be beneath strict catch-and-release laws in a single month, however the subsequent month you may be capable to harvest them.

Moreover, the quantity you’re allowed to maintain additionally depends upon the kind of license you have got – a Conservation License or Sport License. You may examine the most recent updates on these web sites to keep away from fines and uncomfortable conditions:

  • Minnesota Fishing Guidelines and Laws
  • Ontario Fishing Guidelines and Laws
  • Manitoba Fishing Guidelines and Laws

It’s Time to Plan Your Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Journey

Lake of the Woods is a paradise for ice anglers. Now that you just additionally know the way magical LOW is, you’ll be able to perceive the place they’re coming from. Should you resolve to attempt your hand at ice fishing, there are lots of guides that can present you the ropes and put you on some huge fish.

Nevertheless, in case you suppose that ice fishing isn’t actually your factor, you’ll be able to contemplate visiting the lake at another time of the 12 months. Fishing on Lake of the Woods is on fireplace, it doesn’t matter what time of the 12 months you resolve to go to.

Have you ever ever fished the Lake of the Woods? What’s your favourite catch? Do you have got some ideas for first-time anglers? Share your recommendation and enjoyable tales within the feedback beneath!

Through this article, we hope to help you understand more about Best ice fishing line for lake of the woods ranked by customer satisfaction.


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