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In case you’re searching for an enormous physique of water to discover and numerous angling alternatives to get pleasure from, then fishing on Lake of the Woods needs to be your subsequent journey! This spectacular watershed has extra shoreline than Lake Superior, and after the Nice Lakes, it’s the most important freshwater lake within the US.
With over 14,000 islands, Lake of the Woods (LOW) places a brand new perspective on fishing. You’ll discover LOW proper on the tripoint of Minnesota, Ontario, and Manitoba, and every of those states is thought for its excellent motion on the water. Whether or not you’re coming for some ice fishing pleasure or typical fishing enjoyable, Lake of the Woods will change your life.
Lake of the Woods Prime Catches
For passionate anglers, going to LOW is like youngsters going to a sweet retailer – the joy is actual! The lake’s waters are teeming with freshwater superstars and trophy-sized catches are frequent. Fishing is open all 12 months, however keep in mind that some species are underneath strict rules. In case you’re a first-timer, there are fishing resorts everywhere in the lake’s in depth shoreline that can assist you discover your manner.
Let’s speak about all the attractive fish that you could possibly discover in your line. From feisty Walleye, jumbo Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Crappie, and Musky to Bass and Lake Sturgeon, the lake boasts one thing for each caliber of angler.
Right here’s a brief overview of what you’ll be able to count on.
The Story of the Mighty Walleye
The lion’s share of anglers come to LOW to seek out their subsequent Walleye document. These hard-fighting fish are by far the most well-liked catch on the lake and often the principle goal. Angling motion is unbelievable year-round and within the winter, Walleye ice fishing is THE factor to do. Limits for each Walleye and Sauger change seasonally, so it’s essential to be within the loop about these adjustments.
These fish like to eat, at all times put up a powerful battle, and the very best half is, there are some actual whoppers on the market. The typical Walleye often ranges from 15–18 inches, however you’ll be able to simply hook specimens pushing 25 inches and extra. In relation to weight, something from 2–5 kilos is typical, however yow will discover hogs within the double digits.
In case you’re coming to LOW to focus on Walleye, the setup you employ will largely rely upon the season. Native anglers usually make a distinction between lake Walleye and river Walleye. Whereas lake Walleye keep within the huge lake waters their complete lives, river Walleye are extra adventurous. These guys observe their meals (minnows) to the Wet River, then return to the lake.
Springtime gives not solely unbelievable Walleye fishing, but in addition honest climate and exquisite surroundings as your backdrop. You could find your prey round sandy areas in shallow waters, searching for their subsequent meal. As they’re getting ready to spawn, Walleye received’t give you the option to withstand stay bait, and trolling leeches on the underside is a recipe for achievement.
Come summer time, Walleye will transfer to deeper waters (20–35 toes) to hang around round reefs and areas with all-time low. That is the time to get your plug baits out and use gold spinners, also referred to as Walleye magnets. By the tip of August, yow will discover Walleye on the mouth of the Wet River, often near the Lighthouse Hole.
A Few Phrases About Sauger…
In relation to Sauger, one other plentiful LOW fish, they’re usually mistaken for his or her cousin Walleye, although Sauger are considerably smaller. They common out at 15 inches and often observe Walleye round, so the place there’s one, you’ll discover the opposite.
The easiest way to inform a Sauger from a Walleye is by their markings. Sauger have black dots on their fins. Nevertheless, they’re lacking black patches behind their dorsal fins, which Walleye have. Typically, Sauger aren’t as nomadic as Walleye and like to spawn within the lake. In relation to setups, no matter you employ for Walleye works for Sauger as a result of their weight loss plan and temperaments are comparable.
There are numerous terrific Walleye and Sauger fishing spots on Lake of the Woods. A number of the hottest and productive spots embody Northwest Angle, South Shore, Kenora, Witch Bay, Franz Jevne State Park, Clearwater Bay, Sioux Narrows, and Traverse Bay.
Let’s Speak About Northern Pike
Walleye could be all of the craze on LOW, however the excellent Northern Pike is simply as engaging and promising. The lake is stuffed with these toothy fellas that may surpass 40 inches and weigh over 20 kilos. Not solely are they massive, however they battle like there’s no tomorrow. In case you’re searching for acrobatic leaps and a cussed fighter, Pike fishing on Lake of the Woods is not going to disappoint.
You possibly can goal Pike all 12 months, and locals declare that the very best time to focus on them is in early spring. That is after they’re getting ready to spawn, which makes them very aggressive, to not point out ravenous. Most of your catch will most likely be within the 2–5 lb vary, however they’ll battle you relentlessly for each inch of the road.
After we speak about Pike fishing, the outdated, however gold – massive bait attracts massive fish – works like a allure. In case you’re chasing a trophy, locals counsel utilizing useless bait, however stay bait may appeal to one thing bragworthy. No matter your selection, you’ll want to purchase your bait from a bait store licensed by the Minnesota Division of Pure Sources. This can be a precaution that stops the contamination of the lake with unknown illnesses.
You’ll discover your prey in shallow waters, wherever there are underwater constructions with muddy or sandy backside. Bays are Pike’s most well-liked habitat, so areas like Fourmile Bay, Muskeg Bay, Baudette Bay, and Zippel Bay are all wonderful fishing spots. Once they’re spawning, Pike like to hang around close to streams and again sloughs. Make it possible for they spot your providing, gulp it down, after which it’s time for a Pike battle!
A Bass Shock
One of many predominant the reason why Canadian freshwater anglers love Lake of the Woods is Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. This is without doubt one of the finest locations in Southern Canada the place you’ll be able to go Bass fishing and have a really productive journey.
Search for Bass within the waters which might be about 10–20 toes deep, round reefs and rocky constructions, the place smooth muddy backside is prevalent. You could find each Smallies and Largemouth in all elements of the lake, in addition to on the mouth of the Wet River, near Baudette, MN.
Bass spawn in spring months, for which they like shallow waters across the shore. After spawning, because the water will get hotter, Bass cling round rock piles, the place they’ll ambush their meals. This is a superb time for jigging leeches or utilizing crankbaits, however smooth jerk baits may also do the trick. Through the fall, Bass like to cover in elements of the lake with lots of vegetation.
Bass hotspots are too many to depend, however a few of the finest ones embody Rocky Level, Clementson Rapids, and Traverse Bay. Right here, yow will discover Smallies and Largemouth Bass that aren’t that widespread to seek out on this a part of Canada, which solely makes them extra enjoyable to catch.
LOW is wealthy in Bass and the fishery is open all 12 months, although rules change from state to state. There are elements of the 12 months when Bass is completely catch and launch, which permits for these beauties to thrive. This, in flip, attracts anglers from each the US and Canada to return out right here and check their Bass luck.
Add Some Musky for Good Measure
One other species in LOW stardom is monster Musky. These temperamental fellas will be discovered anyplace from Kenora to Whitefish Bay they usually’re lots of enjoyable to catch. Although fishing for them is strictly regulated, that doesn’t restrict the exhilaration of getting a Musky in your line.
Musky fishing often begins in late June and anglers love to assemble for the season-opening. Round this time, you’ll discover Musky aficionados prowling shallow bay waters with lots of weeds floating round – the identified hideout of jumbo Muskies.
Additionally they prefer to lie low in slim areas between islands, which could be a bit tough to navigate, however well worth the effort. You by no means know once you’ll come upon a 30 lb big. Keep in mind that Musky fishing is usually catch and launch. It is because these fish want effectively over a decade to succeed in their full dimension. It’s necessary to deal with them with nice care and put them again into the water as quickly as doable.
One other essential issue for Musky fishing is climate – the chunk is often finest on cloudy days, when the barometric stress is decrease. A number of the favourite treasure troves are Northwest Angle, Huge Island, Monument Bay, and the lesser-known Steven’s Bay.
Did Somebody Say Sturgeon?
For freshwater anglers trying to battle a monster it doesn’t get higher than Sturgeon fishing. Lake of the Woods has a wholesome inhabitants of Lake Sturgeon that are available all styles and sizes. They’re often 20–50 inches lengthy and might weigh round 35 kilos, however yow will discover gigantic specimens that weigh tons of of kilos.
Sturgeon are plentiful within the Wet River, as a result of they’ve acquired loads of meals and optimum residing situations. For this reason the very best space to focus on these prehistoric fish is Fourmile Bay, proper subsequent to the river’s mouth. These waters disguise large fish and also you’ll want sturdy gear to battle them and get them near the boat.
Lake Sturgeon is not going to give in frivolously after they’re hooked, and their torpedo form offers them agility and pace. Once you do win the battle, be additional cautious dealing with the fish. They’ve plates (scutes) as a substitute of scales which will be very sharp, so utilizing gloves when selecting them up is very really useful. If you wish to measure your catch, calm it down by placing a moist towel over its head to attenuate hurt.
The seasons for Sturgeon fishing are decided yearly and cut up between the free harvest and catch-and-release durations. It’s essential to know what guidelines apply once you’re occurring a Sturgeon hunt, so ensure you’re well-informed.
Sorts of Fishing on Lake of the Woods
Whether or not you determine to go fishing by yourself or rent an expert information, you’ll benefit from the immense fishing alternatives that LOW has to supply. A lot of the lake’s hotspots aren’t reachable from shore, which is why boat fishing is so widespread. One other perk now we have to say about Lake of the Woods is its spectacular ice fishing.
Right here’s what you’ll be able to count on on LOW even when there are inches of ice between you and your catch.
Ice Fishing: The Favourite Winter Pastime
With December comes the time to mud off your ice fishing gear and hit the lake for some first-class motion. The ice needs to be at the very least 15 inches thick to be secure in your angling escapades. Relying on the climate, there’s loads of secure ice by mid-December, and issues solely get higher as time goes by. The season is often open till March, climate allowing.
As a result of that is such a well-liked pastime each in Minnesota and southern Canada, there are many guides and resorts that cater to passionate ice fishermen. Mid-season, you’ll see tons of of ice shacks on the ice and anglers drilling holes, searching for their subsequent massive fish.
Similar to throughout the remainder of the 12 months, ice fishing for Walleye is nothing in need of unbelievable. These hungry fish don’t cease feeding in winter, and also you’ll usually discover them in 25–30 toes of water. The chunk is often finest simply after dawn and round sundown. Jigging minnows and utilizing rattle baits may land you your restrict.
However Walleye are only the start – Sauger, Whitefish, Yellow Perch, Crappie, and Northern Pike are all within the playing cards. Fishing for Pike could be very widespread, particularly should you’re within the temper to attempt darkish home spearing. For this explicit methodology, you’ll wait in your lure to draw large Pike in a very darkish ice shack. You’ll must drill a giant gap within the ice, as a way to spot the fish and spear it when it comes shut. This system is thrilling and will be rewarding, however it additionally requires some ability and endurance.
Whether or not you’re within the temper for a calming day on the ice otherwise you’re a thrill-seeker, LOW is the proper place for you. For any make it easier to want, flip to skilled native guides who know all of the most secure ice paths, in addition to the best spots. They often present all the required gear, heated ice shacks, transportation, and recommendation.
If you wish to get your adrenaline pumping and you like chilly climate, ice fishing is nearly as good because it will get.
Fishing on Your Personal
With its hundreds of islands, navigating Lake of the Woods may seem like a frightening activity, however it’s doable. In case you’re coming right here for the primary time, beginning out in cities dotted alongside its shores is an efficient solution to go.
Kenora is without doubt one of the extra widespread locations for solo anglers. It’s situated within the southwest of Ontario province, on the very coronary heart of the lake. Native anglers who don’t have a ship like to fish from Norman Park and Anicinabe Park. Each spots maintain good numbers of Walleye and Bass, and have docks which might be widespread haunts of fishermen.
Nestor Falls is one other widespread location, particularly if distant fishing is your factor. The city could be very effectively related to Minnesota and you may fly in each time your fishing want kicks in.
There are sufficient little cities and resorts on Lake of the Woods to write down a e-book about them, and Kenora, Nestor Falls, Morson, and Sioux Narrows are only a drop within the sea. Be sure to do your analysis earlier than you head out to make sure the absolute best time on these attractive waters.
Fishing on a Constitution
In case you determined to make your life simpler and rent a fishing information, it’s time to choose. Lake of the Woods fishing charters are as quite a few because the islands within the lake, and your selection is determined by various factors. The place you’re coming from, what you’d prefer to catch, and the way lengthy you’d prefer to fish are all of the questions you need to reply earlier than reserving a visit.
Guides often supply a wide range of journeys of various lengths, so there’s one thing for all ranges of anglers. You possibly can simply e-book lodging in lodges and cabins should you plan on staying for a number of days. Generally meals and pickup is included within the worth, however double-check the small print together with your host.
Whereas LOW guides often present all of the gear, it’s as much as you to deliver acceptable clothes and, if obligatory, meals and drinks. You’ll additionally must deal with your individual fishing license, which is generally not part of the package deal.
The fantastic thing about fishing with professionals is that you simply don’t have to fret about stretching your self too skinny. With a constitution, you’ll discover extra hotspots, find out about native angling practices, and have a well-organized fishing getaway.
Guidelines and Laws on Lake of the Woods
Seeing that the waters of LOW are shared by three states/provinces, determining fishing rules will be, effectively, difficult. A lot of the lake is inside Ontario borders, although a part of it lies in Minnesota, with a small portion belonging to Manitoba.
Although native charters, as a rule, don’t present fishing licenses, they might help you determine what documentation you want. In case you’re from the US and plan to fish on the Minnesota aspect of the lake, you’ll be able to simply purchase a license on-line. In case you’re a US citizen and need to fish in Ontario, you may want a Distant Space Border Crossing Allow, an Ontario non-resident fishing license, in addition to an Outdoor Card.
It’s additionally necessary to remain up to date on the designated limits, as a result of they generally tend to vary usually, typically even throughout the similar 12 months. Some fish have each a harvest and a catch-and-release season in a single calendar 12 months. The quantity of fish you’re allowed to maintain additionally is determined by the kind of license you select – Conservation License or Sport License. Ensure you’re acquainted with the principles and rules to keep away from fines and uncomfortable conditions.
Lake of the Woods and All Its Riches
Lake of the Woods is each angler’s promised land. Coming right here is equally thrilling for novices going after their restrict and seasoned execs who’re all about trophy catches. Need to go fishing in winter? No drawback, ice fishing right here will make for a unbelievable journey.
With its untouched nature and areas with crystal clear water, the lake will shortly turn out to be a spot you’ll need to return to. When you attempt fishing on Lake of the Woods, your angling requirements won’t ever be the identical.
Have you ever been fishing on Lake of the Woods? Do you’ve got any recommendation? Are there any enjoyable tales you want telling? We love to listen to from you, so share your experiences within the remark part!