Lake of the Woods Opener Preview | Walleye Fishing
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Lake of the Woods Opener Preview

Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media
Published May 10, 2017

For many anglers who fish Minnesota waters the countdown is almost over, the annual Minnesota fishing opener clock has almost struck zero.  This year the date is Saturday, May 13th and more than ever this year, it's shaping up to be a successful opener at Lake of the Woods and on the Rainy River.

This year the ice went out a few weeks ago now and the water has had a chance to warm up a little. With the fall run of shiners and the amazing spring walleye season it's looking to be a great weekend. With as many walleyes that came up into the Rainy River this spring to spawn all signs point to many fish along that South Shore/Rainy River area. The 40 miles of navigable Rainy River and Four Mile Bay were loaded with hungry walleyes giving anglers some of the best Spring seasons in recent memory.

This year we are ahead of schedule with open water and water temperatures.  With this being said, the prediction is for walleyes to be along shoreline structure and out a few miles in the basin.   In addition to the Rainy River and Four Mile Bay as key spots to look at, all along the south shore of the lake will hold walleyes.  Areas like the Lighthouse Gap, Morris Point Gap, Pine Island, Zippel Bay Reef, Long Point, Twin Islands, Gull Rock, off of points and shoreline breaks across the NW Angle.

Up at the NW Angle, resorts are ready for the opener.  With all of the islands, neck down areas, points and reefs, the possibilities to fish are endless.  Typically, look for neck down areas and points to start.  Jig and a minnow up at the angle is the go to method. Colors should include chartreuse, pink, glow colors and some gold. The walleye population throughout the lake is in great shape and everything points to lots of angler success for the opener.

The go to method is typically a jig and a minnow all over the lake.  Anchor up and jig within a foot of the bottom.  Some anglers like live minnows, some prefer frozen emerald shiners.  Either will catch good numbers of fish. Don't be afraid to troll crankbaits in this cold water.  Many anglers will locate fish faster by covering water and can catch good numbers of fish in a hurry with this method.

Another option to make life easy is jump on a resort charter boat.  Everything is provided, including a big boat, a licensed charter captain, rods and reels, bait and the understanding of where the fish are living.  Many resorts will also clean your fish.  Nothing to think about but catching fish.  This is a great option for many including those who don't want to bring their boat up, business groups, couples, families and seniors.  Many resorts will allow pricing for individuals in the event you don't have 6 people to fill a boat.  Up at the NW Angle, the boats are typically smaller and will hold 3 people plus the captain.

Consider fishing Lake of the Woods this fishing opener.  There is plenty of lodging available and the walleyes, sauger and pike are extremely cooperative.

To explore resorts, charters, guides, boat accesses and other activities around Lake of the Woods, check out Lake of the Woods Tourism.