Lake of The Woods Fishing Report

Lake of The Woods, Minnesota. The ice gods have smiled upon all of us once again. The 2021 – 2022 Lake of The Woods ice season has officially begun! Good ice is being found in the bays across the southern shoreline all the way from Rocky Point eastward to 4 Mile Bay. Venturing out on the big waters of the lake, we are finding 8 to 12”. We have begun to pull our houses today and will continue throughout the next couple of days. Give us a call to check our availability. First ice is always fun be we encourage safety first.

Speaking of safety first, we asked our good friend and walleye champion Mark Martin for his advice for those venturing out on the first ice of the season. This is what he had to say. 

Gary Roach and I have spent thousands of hours on the water learning how to catch walleye. We have fished Inland lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and the great lakes. Making mistakes along the way was of course inevitable and understandable. Learning from those mistakes has been key in our combined success over the years. For over 32 years Gary and I have held the Ice Fishing Vacation School on Winnibigoshish, MN and most recently in Michigan. We have taught thousands how to fish, where to fish and how to avoid the mistakes we made in order that they are not only successful but also safe right out of the gate.

Brian at River Bend Resort gave me a call and asked “Mark, we are seeing very good ice and should be fishing within the next few days. Got any advice for our guests?” Here’s my response.

First Ice is first ice anywhere you go, always approach with caution as there are many different reasons for unsafe ice. Moving water, wind, snow depth, how far out you go will all dictate not only the thickness but also the condition of the ice. Just because one body of water (or one section of a body of water for that matter) is safe doesn’t mean the next one will be. Always go with a partner when checking ice conditions and if possible, wear the new Float Suit. An ice spud is your best friend at this time. Augers are great when you are confident of the ice conditions, but with first ice you must test the thickness with a spud. Please remember that you never want to be Christopher Columbus on new ice. If you see a trail or machine tracks stick to it. If you must get off the trail, grab your spud and proceed with caution once again. 

If you have GPS waypoints of where you caught fish during the open water season, use them. Many fishermen overlook this. For the most obvious of reasons this is the best way to start your ice fishing season. If you do not already have waypoints on a specific body of water, get the Navionics app for your phone. This is a great app with clear graphics that will help you find rock piles, weed edges, mud flat, slight as well as big drop-offs – all areas fish love to be. In addition, make sure to maximize the number of rods you us to increase your success. On Lake of The Woods, we can use two rods. I recommend setting one up for jigging and the other up as a deadstick. The deadstick is set with a jig or bait and is intended to just be left alone. This will give the fish two presentations. One is bound to land em!  See you soon on the ice. Until then, Good Luck Fishing!  – Mark Martin

Thank you Mark for the early ice advice. We all are very excited about getting out and pulling limits as soon as possible. But we want you around for season to come, so please be safe and follow Mark’s advice. In addition, give any of the resorts a call so they can fill you in on the most current conditions.

Now is the time to book your ice fishing trip! River Bend Resort can set you up easily with just one call to our booking agents. We offer a variety of ice fishing packages that will suit any level of ice fishing experience and will fit any budget. You can find our offerings as well as pricing by clicking this link

Until next week … Keep a Tight Line! Bugs & Fishes ≤º))~{


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