Lake of the Woods is well-known for its array of fish, and it’s no mystery why so many anglers have a trip to LOW on their bucket list. Teeming with multiple species of game fish, every outing offers an abundance of catches. However, there is one fish that steals the spotlight – especially during the ice fishing season – and that fish is the walleye! We want to share a few tips and tricks on how to catch walleye on Lake of the Woods to help you hit your limits and have one of the best Northern MN ice fishing trips yet.
Fishing Must Haves – Filling Your Tackle Box
Many anglers end up with quite the eclectic collection of lures in their tackle box, but what gear is going to help snag walleye? Well, the best way to decide if what you have will work is making sure it is either flashy or loud to get their attention. Unlike northern pike that wait for their food to mosey on by and strike out at the movement, walleye tend to go for what grabs their attention.
A couple of fishing must haves to toss in your tackle box are rattlers and shiny spoons with rattles. Most anglers have good luck with the smaller glass bead rattlers that resemble an eye in bright colors. They make plenty of noise and vibrations, sink to the bottom, and are flashy enough that walleye won’t have a hard time seeing them. Heavier lures tend to also be better when picking out ones for walleye. Something that will sink further to the bottom and allow you to bop it up and down for that jigging action that walleyes love so much. You can check out one of our other blogs for a more detailed list of popular lures and their uses.
Where to Find Walleyes
Open water fishing for walleye and heading out onto the ice are two very different styles of fishing. So, let’s dig into where to look and how to catch walleye on Lake of the Woods when the water freezes. With colder temperatures, walleye are far less likely to venture anywhere near the surface of the water and will tend to sit down in pockets at the bottom of the lake floor.
Walleye will hang out in depths closer to the 30 foot mark but could come up to about 15 ft, so don’t be afraid to let that line run down. Typically the best spots to drill are going to be near these underwater structures:
- Shoreline Extensions
- Pockets from rolling hills and saddles
- Drop offs next to mud flats (if there are weeds, your chances of seeing walleye will be better)
In earlier winter months and as it warms up, walleye will venture out of these holes and closer to shore, but they still like to sit further down than other catches like panfish would.
Best Time to go Fishing in Minnesota for Walleye
Anglers that enjoy ice fishing tend to leave their sleep schedule at home when they leave to hit the lake. This is because the best time to go fishing in Minnesota for walleye is during the early morning hours and at dusk. This has to do with their eating patterns and where the prey move. Overnight hours are great for eelpout, so many anglers drop in their lines at dusk for walleye, keep the same rigging on their lines for eelpout all night, and snag the early bird walleyes for their second wave.
Finding the Best Lake of the Woods Fishing Resorts
Now that you know some of the most important factors on how to catch walleye on Lake of the Woods, it’s time to find the perfect resort to stay at for the ultimate all-around experience. One of the best Lake of the Woods fishing resorts is River Bend Resort. There is an array of accommodation choices and a lineup of ice fishing sleeper house rentals available so that you can get the exact experience you are looking for. Want to go the all-nighter route? Stay in one of our ice houses with everything you need to stay warm and comfortable the entire time! Or if you prefer to sleep with solid ground under you, there are plenty of cabins available with the Miles Lab Bar and Grill on site for a hot meal and a beverage or two. There are also bath houses and fish cleaning houses available for all guests to use at their convenience and a team of helpful staff at the ready to make sure you are having the time of your life. Check out the River Bend Resort ice fishing page for packages and keep up with what is happening with the weekly Lake of the Woods fishing report! Enjoy a one stop shop and experience one of the best Northern MN ice fishing trips you can find on Lake of the Woods.