Straddling the border between Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, giant Lake of the Woods is a four-season fishing destination. Anglers search out its walleye, sauger, northern, smallmouth bass, muskies and even the prehistoric looking sturgeon found in the spring and fall.
Early spring and summer, fishing is concentrated along shorelines of the big lake. As the lake grows warmer, the fish move out to deeper depths later in the summer. This is a great time to take advantage of a charter boat trip. Many resorts around the lake provide charter boat fishing with experienced captains. The boats use downriggers to get the lures down to the deeper depths where the walleye and sauger can be found in July and August. Lake of the Woods is one of the few lakes in Minnesota (besides Lake Superior) where you can leave shore, jump on a charter boat, and have a great chance to catch that trophy fish or nice size eaters.
The Northwest Angle and its islands on Lake of the Woods are the most northerly point in the continental U.S. The Angle’s fishing guides can take you to some of this beautiful area’s “hot spots.” Spring and early summer, shorelines will be productive. Mid-summer and fall, you’ll find fish by bouncing jigs off of the rocky reefs. The scenery is the bonus for your day on the water.
The activity doesn’t stop when the big lake freezes over. Lake of the Woods is a popular destination for ice fishing. Resorts provide “fish houses” so the angler doesn’t have to rough it. These “fish houses” can be a basic house with heat and holes drilled for you, or deluxe on-ice accommodations for overnight stays. Walleyes are active early and late season, but you’ll find plenty in midwinter, along with some nice saugers for a meal. Some resorts plow ice roads so that anglers can bring their own ice fishing shelters.
The Minnesota shoreline offers lakeside resorts and public access points from Baudette to Warroad. There are many ways and seasons to fish Lake of the Woods. There is no doubt it is an ultimate fishing destination on many a bucket list.