lake of the woods ice fishing report

Ice Fishing Report: Lake of the Woods

Best Time to Go Ice Fishing in Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report

Lake of the Woods is a large and fertile lake located in the northern region of Minnesota. It’s a popular winter destination for ice fishing enthusiasts, with the lake being known for its abundance of walleye, sauger, and perch. If you’re planning a trip to Lake of the Woods for ice fishing, knowing the best time to go can make a huge difference in your success rate.

The winter season in Minnesota typically lasts from November to March, with January and February being the best months for ice fishing. During these months, the water temperature drops below freezing, and the ice becomes stable enough to support fishing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the ice conditions are constantly changing, and it’s important to check the ice thickness and safety conditions before heading out onto the lake.

Another factor to consider is the weather. Cold, calm days are ideal for ice fishing, as they offer the best fishing conditions. However, if the weather is cloudy or windy, it can make fishing more challenging. It’s also important to dress appropriately for the weather, as the temperatures can drop well below freezing.

Overall, the best time to go ice fishing in Lake of the Woods is during the months of January and February, when the ice is stable and the conditions are ideal for fishing. However, it’s important to stay aware of the changing ice conditions and weather, and always practice safety when ice fishing.

Current Ice Conditions

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing

Ice fishing season is in full swing at Lake of the Woods, and anglers are flocking to the frozen waters in search of trophy fish. As of January 22, 2022, the ice thickness on Lake of the Woods varies from 10 inches to 15 inches, depending on the location.

While the ice thickness is generally safe for ice fishing, anglers are still advised to exercise caution and check the ice thickness regularly, especially near areas with moving water or underwater hazards. It is also recommended to bring a spud bar to check the ice thickness as you go.

Ice conditions can change quickly, so it is important to stay informed and up-to-date on any ice condition reports for the area you plan to fish. Checking with a local bait shop or resort is a good way to stay informed on the latest ice conditions and any potential hazards in the area.

Overall, the ice conditions on Lake of the Woods are good for ice fishing, and anglers are having success catching walleye, sauger, northern pike, and perch. The key to a successful ice fishing trip is to be well-prepared, stay informed about ice conditions, and exercise caution when on the ice.

Popular Fish Species

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing

Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods is a popular winter activity for many anglers. The lake is located in northern Minnesota and is known for its abundance of fish species. Anglers who visit the lake during winter can expect to catch a variety of fish species, including walleye, sauger, northern pike, and perch.



Walleye is one of the most popular fish species among anglers who visit Lake of the Woods during winter. It is a freshwater fish that is native to North America and is known for its delicious taste. Anglers can catch walleye by using a variety of baits and lures, including minnows, jigs, and spoons. During winter, walleye can be found in deeper waters where the temperature is more stable.



Sauger is another popular fish species that can be found in Lake of the Woods during winter. It is also a freshwater fish that is closely related to the walleye. Sauger is known for its aggressive nature and can be caught using similar baits and lures as walleye. Anglers can find sauger in the same areas as walleye, but they tend to inhabit faster-moving waters.

Northern Pike

northern pike

Northern Pike is a predatory fish species that can be found in Lake of the Woods during winter. It is known for its sharp teeth and aggressive nature. Anglers can catch northern pike using live baits, such as minnows, or by using lures, such as spoons or spinnerbaits. Northern pike can be found in deeper waters during winter, but they also tend to inhabit weed beds and other areas with cover.



Perch is a smaller fish species that can be found in Lake of the Woods during winter. It is known for its light and flaky meat, making it a popular catch among anglers. Anglers can catch perch using live baits, such as wax worms or minnows, or by using small jigs or spoons. Perch can be found in shallower waters during winter, making them an easy catch for anglers of all skill levels.

In conclusion, Lake of the Woods is a great place for ice fishing enthusiasts to catch a variety of fish species. Whether you’re looking to catch a trophy-sized walleye or just want to take home some delicious perch, Lake of the Woods has something for everyone. So, gather your fishing gear and head out to the lake for a fun-filled day of ice fishing!

Effective Techniques

Ice Fishing Techniques

The serene beauty of Lake of the Woods is particularly mesmerizing during winters, which make it a prime location for ice fishing trips. The satisfaction of catching fish amid the crisp, cold air cannot be matched by anything else. To increase your chances of catching fish, it is vital to know about the best techniques and tips for ice fishing. Tip-ups and jigging techniques using live bait or artificial lures are the most successful methods for Lake of the Woods ice fishing.

Tip-up Fishing Technique

Tip-Up Fishing

The tip-up technique is very simple and requires minimum effort compared to other techniques. Setting up the tip-up starts with finding the right location and drilling a hole in the ice. Place the tip-up above the hole and adjust the tension according to the weight of the bait. Attach the bait to the hooks, and put the line in the water. When fish bite the bait, the tip-up’s flag will pop off, indicating that you caught fish. The key to using tip-ups successfully is to observe the movement of the line carefully. When you see the line moving, pull it up from the water slowly but steadily.

Jigging Technique

Jigging Technique for Ice Fishing

The jigging technique is more challenging than the tip-up method, but it is also significantly more effective. Cast the line and let it sink to the bottom. Use the jig to move the bait, mimicking the movement of small fish. Let the jig rest for a while between movements. If you feel a bite, leave the jig alone for a few seconds before jerking it firmly to set the hook. Repeat this process multiple times at different depths and locations to increase your chances of catching fish.

Live Bait

Live Bait for Ice Fishing

Live bait is used for ice fishing as it attracts fish better than artificial lures. You can use live bait like minnows, worms, and leeches, which can be easily found at any bait shop. Hook the live bait carefully, keeping it alive as long as possible. Place it on the hook so that it appears natural and wiggles attractively in the water. Cover the bait hole with the shovel to make it dark, keeping fish interested.

Artificial Lures

Artificial Lures for Ice Fishing

If you do not want to use live bait, you can use artificial lures. Some of the most effective lures for Lake of the Woods ice fishing include jigs, spoons, and plastics. Buy lures in varying sizes and colors and use them according to the type of fish you want to catch and the conditions of the lake. Jig the lures carefully and be patient, waiting for the fish to bite.


Ice Fishing Tips

Here are some quick tips to make the most of your Lake of the Woods ice fishing trip:

  • Check the weather forecast and ice thickness before starting the trip.
  • Find the right location with maximum fish activity.
  • Maintain silence around the hole as fish can sense the vibrations and stay away.
  • Keep warm by dressing appropriately and carrying blankets or other heat sources.
  • Carry all the necessary equipment before starting the trip.

In conclusion, a combination of different techniques and the right bait can make your Lake of the Woods ice fishing trip an unforgettable experience. Set yourself up for success by using tip-ups and jigging techniques, live bait or artificial lures, and following the tips mentioned above.

Best Fishing Spots

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing

If you are planning an ice fishing trip to Lake of the Woods, it’s essential to know the best fishing spots. This beautiful lake in the northernmost part of Minnesota is home to over 70,000 miles of shoreline and more than 14,000 islands, making it one of the best places to go ice fishing. So, without further ado, let’s explore the top 5 best fishing spots on Lake of the Woods.

1. Four Mile Bay

Four Mile Bay

Four Mile Bay is considered one of the top fishing spots on Lake of the Woods. You can catch a wide range of fish species here, including walleye, sauger, and northern pike. The bay’s shallow water is perfect for walleye, making it one of the most popular fishing spots for ice anglers. Moreover, Four Mile Bay is located near the city of Baudette, which is a great advantage for those who need facilities or accommodations.

2. Zippel Bay

Zippel Bay

Another great fishing spot on Lake of the Woods is Zippel Bay. It’s located near the mouth of the Rainy River and boasts a deep-water structure, which is ideal for catching trophy-size walleyes. In addition, Zippel Bay is home to a vast number of northern pikes, saugers, and jumbo perch, making it an attractive location for ice fishing enthusiasts. If you’re planning to go fishing here, make sure to bring your fishfinder, as the water in Zippel Bay can reach a depth of 30 feet.

3. Long Point

Long Point

Long Point is another popular ice fishing spot on Lake of the Woods, located near the Canadian border. Here, anglers can catch a variety of fish, including walleye, northern pike, and sauger. Since Long Point is not very crowded, it’s an excellent place to fish if you’re looking for a little solitude. However, the downside of fishing at Long Point is that there are no services on this location. So make sure you’re prepared before heading there.

4. Northwest Angle

Northwest Angle

The Northwest Angle is the northernmost point of the contiguous United States, and it’s a great destination for ice fishing. The area is full of remote islands and reefs, providing great habitats for a wide variety of fish species. Ice fishing enthusiasts come here to catch trophy-size walleyes, northern pikes, and crappies. If you’re looking for a remote fishing spot with excellent fishing opportunities, the Northwest Angle is the right place for you.

5. Garden Island Area

Garden Island Area

Located near the Northwest Angle, Garden Island is a great ice fishing spot that’s worth checking out. Here, anglers can fish a wide range of species, including walleye, crappies, and northern pike. Garden Island is known for its fantastic rock structure and vast weed beds, which provide a perfect habitat for fish. However, fishing at Garden Island Area is not suitable for beginners. It requires a lot of patience and skills to catch fish, especially in the colder months when the water is freezing.

In conclusion, Lake of the Woods has numerous excellent fishing spots that can satisfy every angler’s needs. By heading to these top 5 best fishing spots, you will undoubtedly get a great ice fishing experience during the winter months. Just remember to obtain a valid fishing license before heading out into the lake. Happy Fishing!

Current Fishing Report

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Report

Winter in Lake of the Woods brings a unique outdoor adventure – ice fishing. The lake’s ice fishing season officially started last December, and as of today, fishing enthusiasts continue to enjoy bountiful catches of walleye and sauger. According to recent reports, ice fishing has been successful, with depths ranging from 15 to 20 feet being the most optimal for catching these species. Anglers have been utilizing jigging techniques to attract and catch fish. Overall, it’s an average year for ice fishing at Lake of the Woods, and the restocking of the lake is contributing to its success.

The Best Time to Fish

Best Time to Ice Fish Lake of the Woods

While anglers have found success in fishing both during the day and at night, experts often suggest fishing during the early morning or late afternoon. During these times, fish are known to be active and feeding, resulting in better catches. It’s also essential to note that in ice fishing, weather conditions play a significant role in determining fishing success. As such, anglers must keep track of temperature changes to maximize their catch.

The Ideal Spots to Fish

Ideal Spots for Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods

Knowing the ideal spots to fish is also crucial in ice fishing. Walleye and sauger can be found in shallow and deep waters, usually in areas with a rocky bottom. Experts recommend checking out areas near sunken islands, narrows or river and creek openings, and even underwater reefs or structure. If you’re not sure where to start, consult local fishing guides or ice fishing communities for help and advice.

The Necessary Gear and Equipment

Gear and Equipment for Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods

Ice fishing requires specific gear and equipment to ensure your safety and success. First and foremost, make sure you dress appropriately for the cold weather. Layering clothes, wearing insulated boots, gloves and hats are recommended. Ice augers, fishing rods, lines, hooks, and bait are also necessary. Don’t forget to bring along a reliable ice fishing shelter or a portable one to protect you from harsh weather conditions.

Regulations and Licenses

Ice Fishing Regulations and Licenses for Lake of the Woods

It’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the ice fishing regulations and licenses in Lake of the Woods. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources establishes the state’s fishing regulations and licensing requirements, and they apply to ice fishing as well. Every person who takes fish in Minnesota must have a valid fishing license, and you must adhere to the catch limits and size restrictions when fishing. Ice fishing is undoubtedly a fantastic pastime, but make sure you’re doing it responsibly.

Wrapping Up

Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Wrap Up

Ice fishing in Lake of the Woods is a fun and unique outdoor activity that many fishing enthusiasts look forward to every winter. With the current ice fishing report indicating good success catching walleye and sauger in varying depths, we recommend packing your gear, dressing warm, and hitting the ice. Remember to always put safety first, and adhere to regulations and licensing requirements when fishing. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an experienced angler, ice fishing in Lake of the Woods is an adventure you don’t want to miss.

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