Best Fishing by Season in Minnesota

Spring Fishing in Minnesota

          The extended walleye season we enjoy on the Canadian border allows for a phenomenon not available for much of the state. The warming weather and increased currents at the beginning of April work to open the RainySpring Fishing in Minnesota River just as the walleyes are beginning their spring run. The action is fast, and the fish are huge, pulled up one after another. Most fishermen prefer jigging with minnows this time of year.  Walleye season closes from mid-April to mid-May, giving anglers an opportunity to try their luck with Minnesota's largest fish - the mysteriously prehistoric lake sturgeon and the frisky fighting northern pike. Lake of the Woods is proud to be one of the top ten lakes in Minnesota offering the best catch opportunity for you to catch a trophy sized sturgeon or pike in the whole state.

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2014-2015 Season Dates

  • Walleye Season May 11, 2013 - April 14, 2014 & May 10, 2014-April 14, 2015
  • Northern Pike - Continuous does not close
  • Sturgeon Oct 1, 2013-April 23, 2014 catch & release only
  • April 24, 2014-May 7, 2014 keep 1 (see regulations)
  • May 8-15, 2014 catch & release only
  • May 16-June 30, 2014 Closed
  • July 1, 2014-Sept 30, 2014 keep 1 (see regulations)
    Oct 1, 2014 - April 23, 2015 catch & release only

For all of the fishing regulations Click Here.

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Summer Fishing in MinnesotaSummer Fishing in Minnesota

Check out a summer catch here

          The warming waters of early summer show walleye in the shallow waters and sandbars of the South Shore. Anglers at the beginning of the season drift and troll with spinners. As Lake of the Woods continues to warm and clear, the walleyes move deeper towards the mud flats and rock reefs. Controlled depth fishing, more commonly know as “down rigging” is the method of choice during the hot months of July and August, bringing in monster walleyes with plugs and shad raps. If traditional bait fishing is more your style, quality eating fish can still be found along the shallower reefs during the cooler summer mornings and evenings. While minnows start out the summer, leeches and crawlers are the bait of choice in the later months.

Click Here to request more information about fishing at Sportsman's Lodge or call us today at (866) 533-8998.

Fall Fishing in Minnesota

          Fall at Lake of the Woods is best known for the emerald shiner run that hits the Rainy River in the mid fall, typically the end of September/beginning of October. Walleye fishing during the run has been compared to the frantic spring action of first ice-out! But if you're looking for multiple species in one trip, the lower fall levels on the Rainy offer unbeatable action for northern, crappie, perch, lake sturgeon, even small mouth bass!

          Jigging is the presentation of choice, with pink typically finding success for crappie and perch, and green usually bringing in small mouth. Red and white or silver spinners traditionally show well with northern. Anglers are welcome to bring their own boats, or take advantage of the great package deals for fall.

 Winter Fishing in MinnesotaWinter Fishing in Minnesota

          Winter fishing on Lake of the Woods is the best you can find. According to DNR studies, the catch rate is better than any place in the state and no one does it like we do!

          Early December through early January at first ice is always an excellent time to enjoy active fishing and trophy walleyes and northern pike. We start our season as soon as we have 12 inches of ice typically the first week in December.

          The end of January through mid February good eating saugers are eager to bite your line. Right now we are currently experiencing one of the highest population of good eating size 10"-14" saugers so your odds of catching a nice limit and enjoying an active day of fishing are very good. We also usually start seeing a lot of suspended trophy walleyes during this time. Renting or bringing along a fish finder like a Vexilar is a great way to find some of these walleyes.

          The end of February and on into the end of March when the sun is out longer and the temperatures start to warm really get the walleyes, saugers and northern pike active in the winter.

          Jigging with jigs or flashy tackle and minnows is the technique and tackle of choice here on Lake of the Woods during the winter. Our water is murky so the bright colors really work well and fishing during daylight hours is best. We can have our fish houses out until March 31 unlike many lakes in Minnesota so you have lots of time in the winter months to join us and get in on some excellent fishing.

Click Here to request more information about fishing at Sportsman's Lodge or call us today at (866) 533-8998.