Lake of the Woods is a very interesting body of water. On any given day, you could set into a world-class walleye, musky, northern pike, eel pout and even sturgeon. Most of the anglers I talk to are looking to fill their buckets with “good eaters”.
Bringing people out to their icehouses is such a fun experience and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. The people are great and seeing fish everyday isn’t too bad.
Fishing on LOTW has been fairly good with lots of keeper fish being caught and a handful of big walleye released to spawn this spring. There is 12-14 inches of ice in most places however there is often areas that have yet to be traveled on that could potentially have less ice, it’s always safe to assume that.
The resorts are letting smaller vehicles out and some small trucks. It’s starting to look like a town out on the lake now. The winds that we have been getting are making getting around very interesting, creating drifts that can be a huge pain when driving to houses, thankfully vehicles with chains are a must.
This doesn’t stop anyone though as the roads are always buzzing with people. Fishing was hot in the beginning of the week as I found that some people could fill their limit while others in houses only 50 yards away would struggle for a couple good “keepers”.
Tons of smaller fish were keeping people busy and its seemed when someone would catch one, they would pick off two or three. I didn’t see anything where they pulled 10 fish through the ice in 5 minutes but good fish did bite consistently throughout the week.
Like I said, some houses would do very well while others would struggle. I myself had some free time and I found that the fish were not on bottom like they are typically, I had to stay suspended a foot or two off bottom to find fish.
This was common throughout a lot of the houses at Ken Mar Ke resort. Our guests with Vexilars seemed to be able to catch more fish because they could see the fish suspended and bring their bait to the fish.
However, things did start to slow down coming into the weekend. While some houses did catch good fish, most fishing slowed down for our neighboring resorts, and ourselves. I witnessed multiple people having fish follow their bait but would not commit.
This could be because of the storm that was coming in giving us 3-5 inches of snow or they simply did not want to eat. That’s why they call it fishing! The sauger are improving in quality also, myself and fellow ice guides have seen multiple sauger over 15 inches and they most all are healthy fat fish.
One sturgeon was caught and that gave our guests an experience they will never forget. They were fishing in 24 feet of water when the grandmother in the group gave up on the fish because she thought it was snagged on a log!!
The group realized quickly that it was in fact a huge fish and together they pulled the 42-inch sturgeon in. All of the houses at Ken Mar ke are between 26-29 feet, we are waiting for the fish to start their move towards to flats.
We started fishing in deeper water because ice conditions made the shallower water very hard to travel on and bellow the ice chucks of ice and slush would prevent anglers from landing a fish, or dropping a line down the hole.