On the south end… Most of the lake is still ice covered with the exception of large areas adjacent to inflowing water such as the Lighthouse Gap (Rainy River) and Morris Point Gap (Bostic Creek) areas. Open water is expanding daily. Anglers are allowed a limit of walleyes and saugers on the lake, but catch and release only on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River through April 14.
Open water is becoming available in many of the back bays around the lake where pike spawn. The pike season is open year round on LOW and the Rainy River. 3 fish per day, 30-40 inches must be released, one over 40″ allowed.
On the Rainy River… River fishing started out strong, slowed down with cold weather and the Big Fork and Little Fork Rivers spilling mud into the Rainy River and now is picking up again. The water is clearing and water temps are on the rise.
A 3/8 – 1/2 ounce jig is working nicely tipped with a minnow or a plastic. Bright plastics and frozen shiners working best on jigs. Walleyes caught in various depths down to 35 feet.
Some anglers trolling crankbaits with success to cover water. Walleye season is catch and release only on Rainy River and Four Mile Bay through April 14th.
Sturgeon fishing continues to be good with good numbers of sturgeon being caught. Sturgeon aren’t as affected by dirty water as they feed by scent. Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21. Keep season 4/24/21 – 5/7/21, (45-50″, or over 75″) Catch and release 5/8/21 – 5/15/21. Closed 5/16/21 – 6/30/21.
With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18″ snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket. Local bait shops have rigs and bait available.
Up at the NW Angle… Various areas are starting to open up. Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border. If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option. There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle). And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.