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image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 26, 2020 "Fishing Allowed Under Shelter In Place Order"

image of lady with nice trout By now, you’ve likely heard about Koochiching County’s decision to close the 4 county owned boat ramps on the Rainy River this spring. That decision, controversial at the time, appears to have been made moot by Governor Walz’ shelter in place order; or is it?

I went to Governor Walz’ website, clicked on the StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions sections and selected “When is it okay for me to leave my home?” Among the listed exceptions to the travel ban; found this. “Permissible activities during the stay at home order include: Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing.”

Apparently, Governor Walz or someone at his office has the good sense to understand that we’re better off outside than staying cooped up. So, if we can navigate the rest of the restrictions in the shelter in place order, they are encouraging all of us to get outside and be active.

I’m assuming that it will be tough to obtain live bait. But even if bait and tackle shops are closed because of the restrictions, I think too that most of us can cobble together some lures that will work well enough to keep the fish entertained.

I’d rather go fishing without my favorite bait, than sit at home working myself into a tizzy over the media coverage of this bizarre event. So, that’s what I’m going to do and if I see you out there, I will keep my distance; I PROMISE! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishrapper.com Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report March 26, 2020

"Crappie - Crappie fishing has steadily improved as nice stable weather and warmer temps have come to our area. Crappies continue to be located in 20-30 feet of water.

Anglers are reporting that red soft plastics tipped on small tungsten jigs have been very effective.

Lake trout fishing was slow but steady. Many anglers were reporting marking lots of lake trout, but struggled to find biters. 30-50 feet of water remains the best depth to find them, but many anglers have noted that they are marking aggressive lakers 10 feet under the ice or less.

Dead smelt set just under the ice, under a tip up has been effective on these high flyers." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 19, 2020 "Fishing Still On The To-Do List"

One thing’s for sure, I don’t know anybody who isn’t anxious to get this winter behind us. We’re all suffering in one way or another and the list of things we can’t do is both well-known and long.

Fortunately, the list of things we still can do includes fishing and conditions in the northern half of Minnesota are very good for fishing right now.

Ice conditions in the Itasca Region have been ideal for both walking and ATVs. The snow cover on most lakes was gone, but we’ve had some new snow in recent days. According to Bill Powell at Fred’s Bait in Deer River, there are still some spots that haven’t melted down and he believes snowmobiling is still the best option for off-road travel on Winnie.

There’s been a resurgence of travel by pickup truck and some folks say that the ice is thick enough for them. In my area, lakes like Winnie, Bowstring, Round and others all have some light truck traffic on them.

I talked with Jessica at Becker’s Resort on Lake Winnie this morning and she reports that the road going out from the west side is holding up well and will remain open for the weekend. “I wouldn’t recommend off-road travel by pickup truck, but it shouldn’t be necessary. The perch fishing in areas nearby the staked road has been good,” she says.

High Banks Resort is closed for the season, but anglers can continue to use the road, at their own risk. There’s a pay box at the door of the lodge.

The Pines Resort road has been closed to pickup trucks but remains open for ATV travel this weekend. Chad Mertz reported an uptick in the perch action, and this is typical for late season fishing in Tamarack Bay.

Without having firsthand knowledge about where and how anglers are accessing the ice on smaller lakes, I can’t endorse driving on the ice. But I would suggest making a phone call to one of the local shops or resorts to find out if this is an option on your favorite lake.

Like I said a few days ago, if I was free to fish this weekend, I’d be taking a close look at the small lakes that haven’t received much pressure this winter. I love pulling up to the landing with a small sled and walking out, it’s a lot of fun; I think.

No matter what you decide to do this weekend, I highly endorse turning off the TV news and getting outside, it will make you feel a lot better. And don’t worry, the crowds have been light so “social distancing” will not be a problem! fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism March 18, 2020

image of multiple 40 inch pike "Ice fishing is still happening on Lake of the Woods. Some resorts, hotels and outfitters are open and have adjusted their business model to adhere to the new rules with COVID - 19. Additional cleaning and disinfecting is in place.

Fish house rentals, lodging, ice roads and take out or delivered meals are available by some resorts. Contact resorts directly or look at their Facebook pages for helpful info.

Some great March ice fishing continues on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Anglers fishing anywhere from 27 to 33 feet of water. Ice conditions on LOW remain excellent with freezing temps keeping ice firm.

Some good colors overall, pink / gold, glow, red glow, green glow. Work lures on jigging line with a live minnow on an ice jig or plain hook on second line. Electronics a big plus. Try mixing it up with small lures, swim baits, rattle baits. Keep baits active for best results.

Pike fishing has been very good this week, with many fish over 40 inches. Tip ups with big baits on quick strike rigs the norm. Fish houses can be left overnight on the ice through March 31st, walleye and sauger season is open through April 14th and pike season never closes.

As spring approaches, extra caution is needed on the Rainy River. Thin ice around the International Bridge in Baudette. We are watching open water line progress from east to west. No open water fishing as of yet due to colder temps.

Up at the NW Angle... A good week of ice fishing reports up at the Angle. A mix of nice walleyes, big jumbo perch and pike in the mix. Resorts in 20 - 32' of water targeting both structure and mud. Glow colors, gold and pink effective. Plain hook on the deadstick. The snowmobile trails groomed and are still in good shape."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge March 18, 2020

"We continue to trek after the Walleye. The forecast is looking like we should be good to go for another week or more.

The greatest thing about ice fishing right now, it is a self-quarantine activity. Basically, you do not need to come in close proximity of anyone you didn’t bring with you. You can take yourself to and from the fish house. Why be a shut in, everyone should be going fishing.

We still have houses spread out from near Pine Island and out to 14 miles. We may be working towards some locations with outside fishing if the weather is conducive. Bring some bibs and warmer clothes along just in case. Those continually working their baits are doing best. The need is to keep your presentation fresh and work it for the next school to travel by.

Again, the weather shows some single digits overnight and daytime highs hitting 30’s for the week ahead." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge


image links to fishrapper home page March 18, 2020 — "Where Can I Find Little Joe Spinners?"

On March 17, Chris Fose wrote; "Howdy! My neighborhood grocery store here is out of TP, but I'm more worried about Little Joe spinners! Have they been discontinued? I can't find them on Lindy site! Thanks

Chris, Absolutely Little Joe Spinners are still around. In fact, they just added a bunch of new colors and styles for the 2020 fishing season.

Whenever I can't find them at my local shops, I use a website called Lurenet. They handle all of the Lindy and Little Joe lineup as well as another dozen or so fishing tackle brands. I've included this link to the Little Joe Spinners and once you pull up that page, you can explore the rest of their website.


image links to fishrapper.com Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report March 18, 2020

"Crappie fishing remains slow as temps stay below normal. Anglers finding crappies are finding them near the bottom and scattered. 20-30 feet of water remains the key depth to find crappies.

Small tungsten jigs tipped with small soft plastics or crappie minnow remains the best technique to catching crappies.

Lake trout - Anglers interest in lake trout was very low this last week despite good trout fishing being reported by guides and anglers. While anglers are not catching great numbers, their average size remains good.

White/Red tubes, White/Pink tubes, bucktails and wicked tinsel jigs have been accounting for the majority of trout caught. Key depths have been 20-40 feet of water." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 13, 2020 "Comparing the Compare-Able"

The contrast between snow and ice conditions in the Itasca region vs those near the Twin Cities is amazing!

As of March 12, there’s at least 2 feet of snow still standing in my yard in Grand Rapids. But at my brother’s house in the metro region, there’s no snow, the Robins are back and the DNR is issuing thin ice warnings.

I could see why folks in the southern half of Minnesota might get the impression that the ice fishing season is over; but it doesn’t have to be.

After last weekend’s melt down, dozens of lakes in north central Minnesota became accessible. The few anglers who have taken the initiative to check them out are finding their way to panfish and perch spots that have been un-tapped for most of the winter.

Reports from Bowstring, Lake Winnie, Leech Lake and others all indicate very little snow cover and easy travel using ATVs. I’ve heard too that there are some folks adventuring “off-road” with pickup trucks, but I honestly can’t endorse that. There are just too many thin or soft spots out there and the odds of hitting one are too great; at least for me.

If I was looking for something to do with a fishing rod this weekend, I’d probably focus on a smaller lake. The ones that I could walk to and from sunfish and crappie spots without using any heavy gear. Many of those small lakes have received little or no fishing pressure this winter.

If I was looking for perch, I’d get in touch with the resorts on either Winnie or Leech. Chad Mertz at the Pines Resort on Winnie told me yesterday that he plans to have his access open for ATV travel this weekend. High Banks remains open too and the roads off the west side also remain open.

Perch anglers are catching fish in good numbers but sorting through many small ones to get their “keepers”. Bill Powell from Fred’s Bait was out last weekend and estimated catching about 100 fish to get 20 good ones.

Whether you’re interested in perch or panfish, the weather forecast appears to be ideal. Cold overnight temperatures with daytime highs in the 30s, that should help keep the surface dry and prevent the landings from deteriorating too fast.

This weekend could be your chance to get even with Mother Nature for the crummy conditions she gave us earlier. And a day on the ice might be a good way to escape some of the hysteria about the whatchamacallit virus. Those germs don’t like people who spend time outside because it’s too hard to catch us and that makes ice fishing sound even better than usual. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to mn dnr news release News Release March 13, 2020 "Warm weather taking toll on ice in parts of state"

"Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers urge people to exercise extreme caution on and around lake ice, as conditions in some parts of the state have deteriorated rapidly. Several people and vehicles have fallen through the ice in recent days, continuing a trend that has played out for much of this winter.

While thick ice remains in some areas, especially to the north, conservation officers in areas south of the Twin Cities already are warning people to stay off the ice. In some instances, the ice is deteriorating around the edges of lakes, while in others conservation officers report large holes in ice away from the shore. All across Minnesota, ice conditions become highly variable when the weather is warm and the sun gains strength.

“Just because you were on the ice at this time last year – or the year before that – doesn’t mean the ice is safe this year,” said Lisa Dugan, recreation safety outreach coordinator for the DNR Enforcement Division. “The calendar isn’t a useful tool in determining the quality of the ice. The only thing that matters is the current ice conditions.”

Minnesota has had only one ice-related fatality during the 2019-2020 ice season. But nearly every year, fatal incidents happen when people engage in late season ice-top recreation.

The most effective way to stay safe on the ice or open water is to wear a life jacket. Anyone who ventures onto late-season ice should use a chisel and check the ice thickness frequently. Ice thickness varies even on the same body of water. Particularly hazardous areas tend to be around bridges, channels, culverts and streams. To learn how to check ice thickness, visit the DNR’s ice thickness guidelines page.

For more information about ice safety, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety."


image links to fishrapper.com Ely Area, Arrowhead Outdoors Fishing Report March 11, 2020

"Crappie and sunfish fishing was excellent for many anglers this last weekend. Both fish were being found in 20-30 feet of water. Some anglers also found sunfish in 15 feet of water or less, in and around weedbeds.

Both fish were very aggressive and willing to hit crappie minnows, waxies or soft plastics tipped on a small tungsten jig. Angler shouldn’t start fishing crappies until they are located with their depth finder. White, pink and red colored jigs and soft plastics were most productive.

Lake Trout anglers reported a up and down bite this last weekend. Although numbers seemed to be down, several reports of lakers landed over 30+ inches were reported.

White/blue tubes, white/red tubes, wicked tinsel jigs and bucktails tipped with a sucker were the most popular lures used by anglers catching trout. Anglers continue to find lake trout in 25-50 feet of water around sunken islands, main lake points and neck down areas.

Rainbow trout remain active on many of the areas most popular stream trout lakes. Anglers continue to catch quality rainbows in the first 10 feet of water, just under the ice, or in shallow water, in 10 feet of water or less.

Small spoons tipped with wax worms or salted minnows remains the most popular and effective way to catch them. Small rippin raps also are very effective.

Anglers targeting brookies have been reporting that they are finding them tight to the shoreline, in less the 5 feet of water. Anglers should be looking for brookies close to downed trees or shallow weedy flats. Rippin raps and spoons have been very effective." — Arrowhead Outdoors, 218-365-5358


image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish March 11, 2020 "Slack or Tight Line Hook Sets? Tharp Vs. Swindle"

"Do you set the hook with slack in your line or reel it out, feel the bass, then set the hook? Professional bass anglers Randall Tharp and Gerald Swindle debate why they prefer one method over the other when fishing jigs and other singe hook, bottom contact presentations.

Tharp is adamant that reeling the slack out first, feeling the fish, then setting the hook results in a higher hookup ratio. In contrast, Swindle argues that immediate hook driving is more effective than continuous pressure.

Each makes good points, but perhaps the question is best suited for a physicist. We'd like to hear your opinion on why one method is better than the other."

View Video and Learn More >> Slack or Tight Line Hook Sets? Tharp Vs. Swindle


image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism March 11, 2020

"Many anglers reported a great week of March ice fishing on the south end of Lake of the Woods. Ice conditions on LOW remain excellent with freezing temps keeping ice firm.

Anglers were fishing anywhere from 27 to 33 feet of water. Work lures on jigging line with a live minnow on an ice jig or plain hook on second line. Some good colors overall, pink/gold, glow, red glow, green glow.

Electronics helping to catch suspended walleyes. Pike activity increasing with more big fish caught this week. Tip ups with big baits on quick strike rigs the norm. Fish houses can be left overnight on the ice through March 31st, walleye and sauger season is open through April 14th and pike season never closes.

As spring approaches, extra caution is needed on the Rainy River. Thin ice around the International Bridge in Baudette. We are watching open water line progress from east to west. No open water fishing as of yet. We report open water progress often on Lake of the Woods Tourism Facebook page.

Up at the NW Angle, a great week of ice fishing reports up at the Angle. A mix of walleyes, saugers, big jumbo perch and pike in the mix. Resorts in 20 - 32' of water targeting both structure and mud. Glow colors, gold and pink effective. The snowmobile trails groomed and with freezing temps, are still in good shape."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge March 11, 2020

"The quality fishing continues, the forecast looks like we should have another strong week ahead! We have been having some great catches with plenty to eat and take home. Mixed in with a few Big Walleye this week we have had some nice Perch and even a Crappie.

We have houses spread out from near Pine Island and out to 14 miles. Those continually working their baits are doing best. The need is to keep your presentation fresh and work it for the next school to travel by.

The weather shows some single digits overnight and daytime highs hitting 30’s for the week ahead." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge


image links to fishrapper.com Central Minnesota – Mille Lacs, Sherburne, & Wright Counties Ice Update Shane Boeshart March 6, 2020

"Last weekend I was fortunate enough to get out with a few friends of mine I met through social media. We hit a couple of lakes and, not going to lie, it was a struggle for us at the start. We did, however, manage to scrounge up a few nice panfish to take home to the pan, but it wasn’t the best of cases.

One thing we learned was that the panfish were following the food, as most fish do, so it was harder to locate them in the normal areas we find them this time of year (moving shallower and on weed edges). The initial round of fish we found happened to still be in the basin, suspended high in the water column.

The first lake we fished was only accessible by wheeler / snowmobile / walk-in, so it was nice that we were the only three people on the lake. We each picked an area to try, and went our separate ways. Each of us began using weedlines in the eight to twelve foot range, but were stumped when the cameras didn’t reveal any fish. We went into the weeds with the same result, no fish on the cameras.

Finally, we went out to the basin, drilled about ten holes, dropped the flasher transducers down, and boom, fish everywhere. These fish were actually about three to six feet down from the bottom of the ice. The water was also a murky brown color. At one point, fish began making their way up our holes and we could have grabbed them, no lures needed. Our conclusion was that this lake was on the verge of having a winter fish kill due to lack of oxygen.

The lake wasn’t very deep, 18 feet over the basin we were at (maybe 100’ x 100’ max surface area), and the weeds we did locate were mostly dead. The hard-packed snow on top of the clear ice was 20 inches, thus not letting much light down to these shallow weedy areas. I was told by one of the guys that he fished this lake in the summer, and the water was clear, not the murky brown stain that we were seeing.

Once located, it was easy to catch crappies and bluegills as they were eager to bite whatever we dropped just below the hole. We harvested what we wanted and began to think of how many other lakes have this same issue. As we packed up, we thought to ourselves, this lake will have a boom in a few years with some nice sunfish. It is sad to see fish suffering like that, but nature takes its course now and then. This year we will see a few fish kills in lakes from lack of oxygen, but that means the lake will rebound in a few seasons.

Our second lake was in much better health. Fish were mostly stuck to the bottom just beyond visible weed edges. The camera revealed larvae on the lake bed, thus telling us what to use on our jigs. The fish wanted a single wax worm hooked through the center. This gave them the natural look like they were sitting on the bottom moving around. Pound the bottom, raise it up a few inches, and instant hit from some nice blue gills. We kept a few at location and then decided to call it a day as the wind picked up and wind chill began to get to us.

If I were to venture out on this nice warm weekend, I would definitely go with a friend because some accesses are deteriorating quickly, as is some of the ice. There are still fish to be caught, and I would start by looking where the food sources are. Creeks coming in, larvae / bugs in the mud, or even small minnows. Pay attention to some details as we did, noticing that one lake may be good in the coming years. You hate to see it happen, but nature will take its course every once in a while, and it isn’t the end of the lake, just a new beginning!" Shane Boeshart, 641-529-0270


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 6, 2020 "Follow Up: This Week's Lake of the Woods Trip"

image of jeff sundin with nice walleye I promised a follow up about our trip to Lake of the Woods this week, so here a few extra notes.

We followed our typical travel plan for late winter, which is to stay at Zippel Bay Resort, but snowmobile over to the rocky point area to do our fishing. During this part of the season, we seem to do better fishing the reefs and well-defined structure that we find in that area.

I know, that sounds like a lot of extra travel time, but the thing for us is that we really like staying at Zippel. Nick and Deanne are good friends and they run a first-class operation. Whenever I show up there it just feels good, like I’ve shown up to visit family at grandpa’s cabin.

The snowmobiles not only make us more mobile; they also add the dimension of adventure to the fishing trip. Like I said on Wednesday, our snowmobile rides to and from the Rocky Point area were smooth and fast.

Most years, following that plan has served us well, but on this trip, our fishing strategy might not have worked out any better than if we’d simply stayed closer to the resort and fished the basin. I base that on conversations we had with other anglers at the resort who reported similar catch rates to ours.

For us, the best fishing depth was about 27 feet. On Monday, I tried shallower areas on the reef, depths ranging between 15 to 23 feet, but never found any consistent action on top. When I tried deeper water, 28 to 31 feet deep, I tagged some tullibees and an eelpout, but did not catch any walleye. There were a handful of saugers in the deeper water, but even they preferred the shallower, 27-foot depth, I think.

Overall, the fishing was slow. There were short spurts of action, followed by longer periods of inactivity. It wasn’t that we hadn’t found fish, it was common to watch them circle my lures on the screen my Humminbird. They were just in a dis-interested mood much of the time.

One thing I did notice was that every fish seemed to want a different presentation. By the end of the day on Wednesday, I had 4 rods laid out alongside me. On one, I had a Glow Streak for the most aggressive fish, the others were rigged with progressively less aggressive lures. I had a 1/8-ounce Rattl’n’ Flyer, a 1/8-ounce glow spoon and a 1/8-ounce Quiver Spoon.

If I kept the rotation going, I could pick off a fish or two on each of those lures in rotation.

If you’re not familiar with any of the lures I mentioned, there are excellent tutorial videos on Lindy Fishing Tackle’s You Tube page. The videos give detailed information about how and when to use each of them. Here are links to a few examples that you might find both entertaining and useful. Glow Streak Sundin: "Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone To Catch More Walleyes" Quiver Spoon Thelen; "Winter Walleyes Chasing Lures On The Fall" Once you're in there, scroll through the complete archive of videos, you definitely will find something good!

For me, this trip was probably the last walleye fishing trip of the hard water season. Next week, I’ll be on the ice chasing perch and maybe panfish too.

It won’t be long now before my attention swings toward the open water season; all indicators point to the Rainy River opening up early this spring, so it wouldn’t surprise me to be sitting in a boat before the end of this month. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to the Pines Resort website Lake Winnibigoshish The Pines Resort March 6, 2020

Our landing and roads are in good condition and the perch are biting in Tamarack Bay. With a great weekend weather forecast, the stage could be set a good old-fashioned Winnie Perch Fest!

Our guests have reported plenty of action and many are sorting their way to good numbers of fish in the 9 to 11-inch range. Earlier this winter, there were some extra-large perch caught and if the typical early spring movement kicks in, we expect to see more of those portly perch hitting the ice soon.

Anglers have accessed the bay using our plowed roads and from there, traveling by snowmobile and ATV to explore fishing areas that were untapped for much of the winter. There have been a few brave souls venturing off the roads using pickup trucks, but in the interest of safety, we’re advising against off-road travel using pickup trucks. There are still some persistent pockets of slush out there and the last thing we want to see is somebody hitting a soft spot and breaking through.

We’re hopeful that the warm weather that’s coming doesn’t melt too much, too fast. But remembering the struggle we encountered getting our rental shelters off the ice last spring, we opted to get ahead of the meltdown and pull our houses off the lake. Even though we won’t have rentals available this weekend, we will be open for folks who want to access Tamarack Bay.

With luck, the forecast for next week is accurate and weekend meltdown will be followed by a re-freeze. We could very well be looking at the best fishing of the season still ahead. Check back for an update after the weekend.

If you're heading out onto the ice this weekend, stop by the lodge and we'll give you a few pointers about where to go and what to use. Give us a call with questions and more current updates. — Chad & Melissa Mertz The Pines Resort 218-246-8546 or 1-800-342-1552


image links to fishrapper.com Lake Winnibigoshish Dixon Lake Resort March 6, 2020

"The road down to the lake is holding up, but it's not any wider then before, so it's best if you don't meet anybody. The lake ice on our road system, which still ends right at the clay bank area is at 28 inches of ice.

Getting around off road in that area is fine, but we're still not seeing anything but snowmobiles and tracked machines out farther.
Perch fishing has been good with the typical sprinkle of panfish mixed in during the low light periods.

With this warm up and referees it is making things a lot better. Have had reports that the crust on the ice is about 6 to 8 inches thick with 6 inches of water underneath. So caution continues to be advised." — Dixon Lake Resort has shelter rentals, including sleepers. For last minute updates about ice conditions, use the “Ice Hotline” 218-659-4002. For reservations, Dixon Lake Resort 218-659-4612.


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 4, 2020 "Mixed Results On Lake of the Woods This Week"

This week, I’m on special assignment at Lake of the Woods.

The good news is that conditions on lake couldn’t better, there’s about 4 to 6 inches of hard packed snow on top of about 30 inches of solid ice. If there’s slush anywhere on the south end, we have neither seen it, nor heard any reports from other anglers.

If you’re chasing a hot bite, you should probably wait another week or two before scheduling a trip. We seem to have found the walleye and sauger in a transitional pattern, nobody that we know of has hit any big school of fish. Everyone, including us, has been picking away at small, random schools of walleye that move through at un-predictable intervals.

On Monday, there was a decent spurt of action in the afternoon from about 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Conditions that day were breezy and cloudy. We sat through a long day on Tuesday waiting that afternoon run to occur. There was a little action during that same period on Tuesday, but bright sunshine appeared to have shunted any significant uptick in the action.

Watching the screens of our Humminbrids has kept us hopeful. We see fish and at times we see lots of them. It just feels like we just need to keep pursuing them until we land in the right spot at the right time.

For folks who like to see numbers, I’d guess that we’ve caught about 30 to 40 fish over the past 2 days. Of those, most were small, but we have kept 8 fish, a mix bag of walleye and sauger in the 14 to 16-inch range for the trip home. I’ve been impressed with the size of some sauger that we’ve caught. It’s hard to say, but the one you see pictured here could possibly be my personal best; I do know for sure that it was the prettiest one I’ve caught to date.

So far, we’ve only caught one “slot-fish”, but this is Lake of the woods and every time we drop a lure in the water, there’s a chance for a big fish to strike it.

The weather forecast for today looks favorable for an afternoon bite. A warm, sunny morning followed by an afternoon bank of clouds containing light snow could help trigger a rush of fish.

I’ll give you an update about whichever way the action goes on Thursday.

In the meantime, I’ll say that if you’re a snowmobiler, I have never seen the trails on this ice as good as they are right now. We’ve been traveling about 20 miles to and from our fishing spots and it’s been smooth sailing the entire time. So even if the fishing isn’t at it’s peak, the upcoming weekend could still be lots of fun. fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL


image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism March 3, 2020

"On the south end of Lake of the Woods, ice conditions remain excellent. The plowed roads are in good shape and the snowmobile trails are groomed and in excellent condition. Most reports indicater that the lake is slush free.

The chase for walleyes continues to take most anglers miles out onto the ice, where they are fishing in 27 to 33 feet of water.

Use combo of jigging line and deadstick. Work your lines, keep jigging and keeping minnow on deadstick active. It will pay dividends. Some good colors overall, pink / gold, glow, chartreuse / white. Electronics helping to catch suspended walleyes.

Pike activity has increased with some big fish being caught. Tip ups and big baits on quick strike rigs the norm. This is bonus ice fishing on Lake of the Woods. As a border waters area with Canada, fish houses can be left overnight on the ice through March 31st, walleye and sauger season is open through April 14th and pike season never closes.

On the Rainy River, ocal anglers continue to catch some walleyes in the river. Extra caution is always needed on the river, especially with higher temps,melting and runoff. Thin ice around the International Bridge in Baudette. Work through resort or know ice conditions if ice fishing the river as ice thickness varies.

Up at the NW Angle, ice fishing reports good with a mix of walleyes, saugers, big jumbo perch and pike in the mix. Resorts in 20 - 32' of water targeting both structure and mud. Jigging spoons with minnow head for jigging line, plain hook and live minnow on deadstick."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to fishrapper.com Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge March 3, 2020

"Ice conditions are still good even with the warmer weather. We have enjoyed the warm up and it looks to be staying with these temps this next week as well. March is a great time to come up and fish!

We have started moving our houses to the south side of the bridge but still remain about 14 miles out. By Tuesday we should have all our houses on the south side of the bridge to eliminate issues with the bridge and the warm weather.

Fishing is still going strong and lots of fun is being had! Give us a call today to book your March fishing trip!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report March 1, 2020 "Fishing Licenses Expired Yesterday"

Just a friendly reminder that if you're headed for a Minnesota lake today, you'll need a new 2020 fishing license.

A note on the MN DNR website says; “New regulations coming. Look for the 2020 fishing regulations booklet online and wherever fishing licenses are sold beginning Sunday, March 1.

Fishing regulations for 2020 become effective March 1. For 2019 seasons that remain open past March 1, anglers must purchase a 2020 license to keep fishing past the last day of February.

For me, buying my fishing license on-line makes more sense than buying it over the counter. Instead of settling for a single copy that I’d receive in the bait shop, I download a PDF version onto my computer and print several copies.

I put one in the boat, one in the truck, one in my snowmobile and I download one copy to my cell phone. No matter where I am, if I have a fishing rod in my hand, my license is nearby. Call me over-cautious, but the last thing I need is a ticket for not having my license handy; that would be bad news.

So, handle yours any way you like, but don’t let it slip your mind, pick up your 2020 license before you head out to fish this week.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re an angler interested in walleye, I hope you’ll consider adding the voluntary $5.00 walleye stamp to your purchase.

A couple of years back, I answered a reader question about the walleye stamp. The article sheds light on both the history and reasoning behind the stamp. So if you’re interested in learning more, follow this link to >> Minnesota’s Walleye Stamp, What’s The Big Idea? fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL