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Preparing for Winter Ice Fishing on Lake of the Woods

River Bend resort has a long history of providing unique experiences on lake of the Woods during the ice season. Our Ice House Rentals deliver a unique experience under the vast horizon on the very large lake. 

Below is a list of our frequently asked questions relating to ice fishing:

Are cooking facilities available inside the fish house?

Yes, in our sleeper houses only. However, you'll want to bring your own food, seasonings, and any cooking items such as pots and pans, plates, utensils, etc. Our day houses do not have cooking facilities in them, as they are for day use. You are welcome to bring cooking items out with you when driving out to the day houses.

Do I need to bring my own fishing gear for the ice cabin?

Yes. Our ice fishing cabins on Lake of the Woods are equipped with basic fishing essentials, bait bucket, ice scoops, garbage bags, etc. Please bring your favorite rods, reels, or jigs. Fishing gear is also available for rent if you do not want to bring yours, or do not have any, but want to get out fishing.

Can I purchase bait nearby the ice bungalow?

Absolutely! We have a nearby bait shop that offers a selection of live and artificial baits suitable for winter fishing.

Do the ice lodges have heating facilities?

Definitely! All our ice houses are equipped with heaters to ensure you stay warm and comfortable during your fishing trip. They will be preheated and warm before your arrival.

How thick is the ice, and is it safe?

Safety is our top priority. We monitor ice conditions on a daily basis. Generally, the ice is 8-12 inches thick before we venture out on it. The Minnesota winter gets COLD and the ice on Lake of the Woods stays thick. However, always heed local advisories and posted signs.

What fish species are active during the ice fishing season?

Winter on Lake of the Woods is great for targeting Walleye, Sauger, Northern Pike, Burbot, Tulibie, and sometimes even Crappie and Perch.

Is there a dedicated area to clean and store fish in the ice shanty?

No, but fish cleaning is included in our ice shanty rentals. Our guides will clean them back at the lodge, and deliver them to you when completed. Per DNR regulations, no cleaned fish are allowed on the ice unless being cooked for immediate consumption.

Do I need a special ice fishing license?

Your regular Minnesota fishing license covers ice fishing. If you don’t have one, you can obtain it locally or online before your trip.

Can I move the fish house if I want to change locations?

Our stationary ice houses are set in prime locations. If you wish to be mobile, inform us, and we can discuss options.

Are there safety measures in place in case of emergencies in the ice shelter?

Yes, we safety have protocols for emergencies and ensure easy communication with the main resort.

What essentials should I pack for ice fishing in your ice shanties?

For your ice fishing adventure in our ice houses, pack lots of warm clothing (in layers), gloves, hats, boots, sunglasses, a first aid kit, and any personal items. Ice cleats for shoes can be handy on slippery days. These items are for travel purposes, as the houses are pre-heated.

Checklist for Ice Fishing in our Ice House Rentals:

  • Warm clothing (thermal layers, waterproof outer layer).
  • Waterproof and insulated boots.
  • Gloves, hats, and scarves.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen (snow glare can be intense).
  • Portable phone charger or power bank.
  • Personal food and drink items.
  • Personal fishing gear (gear available for rent if desired).
  • Flashers or electronics (flasher available for rent)
  • Ice cleats for shoes.
  • First aid kit.
  • Radio
  • Seat cushion for added comfort
  • Grill or cooking equipment if desired to cook on the ice

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