Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing: Your Ultimate Guide

lake of the woods ice fishing

Looking for an adventure this winter? Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods is one of the most popular ice fishing destinations around the world. Lake of the Woods offers plenty of opportunities for both experienced and novice anglers. This guide will cover all you need to learn about ice fishing at Lake of the Woods.

Why Ice Fish in Lake of the Woods?

The Lake of the Woods covers over 1 million acres and stretches across the US-Canada boundary. The lake is home of over 70 fish species, including walleyes, saugers, northern pikes, lake trouts, perch and crappie. It’s a paradise for anglers. The lake’s diverse population of fish, combined with its stunning scenery, world-class hotels, and extensive icefishing history, makes it one of North America’s most popular icefishing destinations.

When is the best time to go ice fishing on Lake of the Woods?

Ice fishing season on Lake of the Woods usually runs from December through March. The best time to ice fish on the lake is from late January to early March. The fish are more active during this time and the weather is usually milder. Ice fishing is possible throughout the year, as long as it is safe to fish.

How to Prepare for Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing.

Prepare yourself before heading out to ice fish on Lake of the Woods. Here are some essential things to think about:

  • Ice fishing gear is essential. Bring along an auger, a quality ice-fishing rod and reel, fishing line, tackle and bait, as well as a fishfinder and a shelter.
  • Warm clothing: Wear layers of warm clothing including a hat and gloves. Also, wear snow boots. The temperatures can drop below freezing on the lake.
  • Safety gear: Make sure to bring along safety gear like a life jacket, an ice pick, and a kit of first aid. Check the weather and ice condition before you head out onto the lake. Follow all safety guidelines.
  • Fishing license. You will need a fishing license if you plan to fish for more than a day on Lake of the Woods.
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Where can you ice fish on Lake of the Woods?

Lake of the Woods has a large lake with many islands, bays and reefs. The lake has many places to ice-fish, but the most popular ones include:

  • Zippel Bay is known for its Walleye fishing and Sauger fishing.
  • Four Mile Bay: Four Mile Bay, located on the south shoreline of the lake is an excellent location to catch Northern Pike and Sauger.
  • Garden Island Reef is one of most popular ice fishing spots on the lake. Here you can find Walleye, Northern Pike, and Perch.
  • Morris Point: Morris Point is located at the entrance to Zippel Bay and offers Walleye, Sauger, and other fishing.

What fish species can you catch on Lake of the Woods?

The Lake of the Woods has a variety of fish species. Walleye, Saugers, Northern Pikes, and Perch are the most common species. The lake is home to many other species, including Lake Trout and Crappie. Here are some tips for catching some of the most popular fish species.

  • Walleye can also be caught during the ice fishing season. Use live bait, such as leeches or minnows, to find them at depths of 20-30 feet.
  • Sauger: Sauger can be found in deeper water, up to 40 feet deep. They tend to feed more aggressively in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Northern Pike: Northern Pike is caught in shallower water, mainly in bays and near weed beds. They are aggressive feeders, and they tend to bite larger lures.
  • Perch: You can find perch in weed beds and sand flats that are around 20-30 feet down. You can use small spoons or jigs.
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What are the best baits for ice fishing on Lake of the Woods Lake?

The type of fish you’re pursuing will determine the best baits to use for ice fishing. Here are some baits that are popular for ice fishing at Lake of the Woods.

  • Minnows – Minnows are a popular bait for Walleye and Perch. You can use them with a jig, or just a plain hook.
  • Leeches: Another popular bait to catch Walleye and Sauger is the Leech. You can use a jig, or a plain hook.
  • Lures and tackle: Many types of lures and tackle are effective for ice fishing at Lake of the Woods. Perch and Walleye can be caught with spoons or jigs using live bait. Use spinners and Rapala baits for Northern Pike.

What are the best techniques for ice fishing on Lake of the Woods Lake?

The best ice-fishing techniques for Lake of the Woods depend largely on the species of fish you’re pursuing. Here are some fishing tips to help you catch more fish:

  • Jigging Jigging is the commonest technique for ice fishing at Lake of the Woods. Use spoons or live bait on jigs and jig up and down.
  • Deadsticking: Deadsticking involves leaving your bait near the bottom of the water. This technique works well for Walleye and Sauger.
  • Tip-up Fishing: When you use a tip-up line, it is attached to a flag which indicates when the fish has taken your bait. This technique is good for Northern Pike, and other predatory fish.

Where to Stay at Lake of the Woods

Many resorts and lodges in Lake of the Woods offer ice fishing packages. Here are some of the most popular resorts at Lake of the Woods:

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  • Zippel Bay Resort offers guided trips, ice fishing packages and rental gear and shacks.
  • Arnesen’s Rocky Point Resort offers fishing packages, guided trips, heated ice shacks, and rental equipment on Lake of the Woods.
  • Sportsman’s lodges: This resort offers fishing packages and lodging as well as rental gear for ice-fishing.

In conclusion

Ice fishing at Lake of the Woods offers a unique experience. Lake of the Woods has something for everyone, from the variety of fish species to be caught, the breathtaking scenery of the Lake, to the ice fishing techniques. Follow the tips and guides provided in this article to get the most out of your Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing adventure.

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