Plan your Lake of the Woods ice fishing trip!
The fishing in the Northwest Angle area has remained productive in Canadian waters. The deeper reefs in the Skeet I. area continue to hold good numbers of walleye, while the bite on points and dropoff areas nearer to the Angle has continued to improve. Jigging along these areas has been resulting in nice mixed bag catches of walleye, perch, and crappie. Expect to land some big walleye mixed in with the eaters.
Muskie fisherman are still reporting good action, although the algae bloom has reduced visibility in areas. Northern pike and some dandy smallmouth bass have been active along shoreline weedbeds. Slow roll a spinnerbait over the cabbage and hold on!
Few anglers in the Angle hit the Minnesota side this weekend due to the windy conditions, but the typical bite this time of year involves trolling crankbaits over shallow rocks or dragging spinners around the deep edge of structure. Areas like Garden I. and Little Oak I. will allow you to fish both options.
In Canadian waters, the reefs in the Skeet I. area have continued to produce good numbers of walleye, while shorelines, points, and dropoffs closer to the Angle have continued to produce larger fish, mixed in with perch and crappies. A jig and minnow has been the lure of choice.
Muskie action has remained steady, with fewer muskie anglers working the lake now. Look for areas where the algae has been cleared away by the wind, or hasn’t bloomed yet to find water where you can spot your follows and casting targets. Northern pike have been active along shoreline weedbed areas and near schools of walleye in deep water. Casting to shoreline weeds has been producing some exceptional sized smallmouth bass lately. This is not a big numbers bite, but the fish you get will be worth the effort.
Few anglers worked the Minnesota side at the Angle this last weekend due to the wind. Pulling bottom bouncers along the deep edge of structure will be the most consistent presentation at this time of year, but trolling crankbaits and spinners on top of shallow rocks during periods of hot, calm weather can be surprisingly good as well. Try areas like Starren Shoals and the east side of Little Oak for structure with deep and shallow options.
Ryan Kazmierczak reeling in a 26.5 inch walleye! August 2012
Fishing action continues to be excellent in Canadian waters. The reefs in the deep basin areas north of Skeet Island are giving up numbers of walleye, while points, dropoffs, and shorelines within the shallower basin areas closer to the Angle are producing larger fish but fewer numbers. Expect to find some nice sized perch and crappie mixed in with the walleye. As usual, a jig tipped with a minnow or soft plastic is the standard presentation.
Angling for muskie has remained consistent. The algae bloom has filled in some areas, making it difficult to spot follows and cast to specific rocks. Look for areas where the wind has cleared the algae away, or run farther north to find clear water. Northern pike and muskie have been a common catch for the walleye anglers working shoreline areas, especially any areas with weeds. Try using a large swimbait retrieved close to the bottom along shorelines to tap into this bite. Most smallmouth bass are still right along the rocky shorelines and points, but expect to find some nice bass on deeper off-shore structure as well.
In Minnesota waters, the most consistent bite has been along the deep edge of structure pulling bottom bouncers and spinners. Speed trolling shallow rock flats with crankbaits will also put plenty of fish in the boat. Areas like Little Oak I., the Crowduck I. flats, and Starren Shoals have been productive.
In Canadian waters, the reefs in the Skeet I. area have continued to be very productive for walleye. You can expect to catch numbers of eaters, and the occasional 20”+ fish. Anglers working this area in depths of 30’ or more should be careful to SLOWLY reel in fish they intend to release, to avoid overexpanding their swim bladders.
Anglers looking for bigger walleye and bonus perch and crappie can fish points and dropoffs in the shallower basins closer to the Angle and Islands. This bite will continue to get better each week going into the fall. As usual, jigs tipped with minnows or soft plastic have been the standard presentation.
Muskie fishing has continued to be productive. Fishing evenings and ahead of storm fronts with topwaters and double bucktails has put a lot of nice fish in the boat for a lot of anglers. Look in offbeat areas like the Little Traverse to find less educated muskies that are willing to bite instead of follow. Pike anglers will find both large and small fish along the deeper weed edges. Spoons, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits have been working well. Bouldery shorelines and points have been the best areas for smallmouth bass; using tube jigs and crayfish pattern crankbaits. Areas away from main travel routes will be a better bet now after the Kenora Bass Invitational tournament.
In Minnesota waters, pulling spinners just off structure on the mud has been putting limits in the boat. Try using pink or red and white tipped with a crawler or leech in the Lunatic I., Four Blocks, and Little Oak areas.
On the Canadian side, the reefs in Skeet I area have been very good, with boat catches of over 100 fish per day. The overall average size will be smaller than other areas of the lake, but you can still expect to throw back a lot of nice keeper walleyes in a day. Rockpiles topping out from 20 to 35 feet have held the most fish. Tip your jig with a minnow, crawler or soft plastic and hold on!
In most other areas of Ontario waters, the rock reef bite has slowed considerably, and will likely remain that way, barring any extended spell of high temperatures. The fish in these areas have begun the “transition” period, where the fish leave the reefs, and return to shorelines and points. In these areas, fishing shallow shoreline rock and weedlines or deeper along points and dropoffs will the best bet, and will produce some bonus catches of perch and crappie as well.
With several fronts and windy days this past week, there are few reports coming out of the Minnesota side, but anglers dragging spinners along the deeper structure, or longlining crankbaits on shallower rock flats will be able to keep in contact with scattered fish schools. Try points and reefs near Oak I. and Little Oak I., and shallow boulder areas like Crowduck I., Hay I., Little Massacre I., and Garden I.