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    On the south end...  Great walleye fishing this week.  Lots of limits, plenty of larger slot fish (19.5" - 28") and trophy walleyes (over 28").  The MTT Photo and Release Walleye Tournament winners had over a 9 lb average each for 5 fish both days of the tournament.  Lots of big walleyes in the lake.  Different parts of the lake have different things happening.  In some areas, the mayfly hatch was over.  In other areas, it was just firing up.  Fishing was better where the hatch was not in full force.   

    The go to presentations are spinners with crawlers or trolling crankbaits.  Nice schools of eaters on the south shore and up north around Garden Island in 10 -15' of water.  More and more walleyes also staged over deep mud in 30 - 34'.  Hammered gold with glow white and gold with glow red strong colors.     

    On the Rainy River...   Sturgeon anglers catching fish with the evening bite the best.  Fish holes in the river with a 3 ounce no roll sinker and sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers and/or frozen shiners.   Nice smallies in rocky areas.  Pike are also active cruising bays, weed edges and current breaks.  Walleyes out on flats and can be caught with crawler harnesses or trolling crankbaits.

    Up at the NW Angle...  Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in MN waters.  There are shuttle services available and fishing for multi species has been excellent.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options. 

    Fishing has been awesome up at the Angle.  Schools of walleyes on structure, over sand and on mud.  Nice walleyes 8 - 17' on the sand or 25 - 28' around structure.  Big numbers of eaters being caught.  The best presentation continues to be drifting and trolling spinners with a crawler or a minnow.  Pike and smallmouth bass are active in numerous weedy bays. A complete list of lodging available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
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    A lot of days the fish are moving deeper with catching them from 20 fow to 30 fow common. The wind was blowing today and we caught fish shallow in around 10 fow but wind makes mud lines and on these kind of days it is usually good to look around in them. I have been using spinner bouncer nightcrawler rigs but almost all presentations and baits are working. The fish are biting with most boats getting limits daily unless the weather (wind) slows things down. I finished guiding repeat customers the Robinson group and went on to help Scott Van Lierre guide a nice group of guys to limits of fish for all. Most of the guides were using crawler baits fishing down to 30 fow. Even during the week the lake is very busy with lots of boats and fishermen on the water so expect busy ramps and busy cleaning stations.  Covid 19 is still an issue so keeping recommended distances and observing all the protocol that our Govender suggests is just good common sense. Using the outdoors as a way to contend with the isolation of staying at home  for the most part seems to be one of the safer ways  to enjoy some freedom from  the Covid regiment.   Lots of  water/gator aide drinks, sun screen , and bug/fly spray  make for better trips. Lots of bonus fish around this year with the walleye. Nice smallmouth northern and catfish keep rods bending an make for lots of action  I believe the annual governor's cup tournament is next week end  so a lot of good fishermen will be out looking for the winning fish and it will be interesting to see the results. I will stick my neck out and predict it will take a 2 1/2 lb. avg to be in the top 5 this year maybe 3 lb. avg to win it if the weather allows.

    HUTCH'S GUIDE SERVICE

    Hutch
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    LAKE OF THE WOODS, MN


    Lake of the Woods, fed by the Rainy River and other tributaries, is a magnificent destination for sportfishermen and nature-lovers alike. At 1,680 square miles in area, the huge lake occupies parts of Minnesota as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.

    Despite its expanse, and its many square miles of deep, featureless mud flats, veteran fishing guide and Team Northland Pro Jon Newburgh of Baudette, Minn., says Lake of the Woods is one of the easiest walleye lakes to fish. Jigs, live bait rigs and crawler harnesses cover all the hardware an angler needs.

    Vast areas of Lake of the Woods lie within Minnesota, and a general fishing license is all that’s required if you remain within the boundaries. For 2016 the daily bag limit in Minnesota is 6 walleyes and saugers in combination, with no more than 4 being walleyes. There’s also a protected slot limit of 19½ to 28 inches, though one walleye within the legal bag may measure more than 28 inches. If you intend to fish Canadian waters, you’ll need an Ontario and/or Manitoba fishing license, as well as your Passport and a Remote Area Border Crossing permit. You must follow reporting procedures, and observe all provincial fishing regulations regarding bag limits and tackle restrictions.

    1. According to Newburgh, who guides out of Wheelers Point Resort & Lodge, Lighthouse Gap, between Sable Island and Pine Island in Fourmile Bay is a productive—and popular—spot for walleyes from late May through early June. Fish the gap as well as the sandbar that extends into the lake. He recommends vertical jigging a Fire-Ball® Jig or Swivel-Head Jig tipped with a frozen shiner or white Impulse® Paddle Minnow in 13 to 19 feet of water. The gap gets a lot of boat traffic, as well as numbers of anglers; it’s best to anchor and jig below the boat rather than drifting or trolling,” he says, “and stay on the Pine Island side as the borderline runs down the middle of the gap.” Current strength varies with the flow from an upstream dam on the Rainy River, so necessary jig weights range from 3/8 to 1 ounce. In the lake’s tannic-stained water, Gold is a go-to jig color, but Bubblegum is hot as well. “I’ve done very well with the Bublegum Fire-Ball® Jig and white Impulse® Paddle Minnow,” he says.

    2. Later in June many walleyes have moved over lake’s the vast mudflats. Anglers must search for fish on sonar or by making long drifts with a live bait rig, Baitfish Spinner Rig or Baitfish Spinner Harness behind a ¾-ounce Roach Walker Sinker or Rock-Runner® Bottom Bouncer, according to Newburgh. Spice the hooks with Impulse® Nightcrawlers, Rig’n Leeches, live bait or frozen shiners. In addition, the guide suggests fishing the structure-rich reefs and shoals near Knight Island. “Anchor off edges of rockpiles and humps and vertical jig ¼- to 3/8-ounce RZ Jigs using the baits already mentioned,” he says.

    3. Through July and August look for walleyes and on the flats as well, especially in the great expanse between Garden Island to the north and Long Point on the south shoreline, as well as the zone out from Pine Island. “They are big areas,” says Newburg, “but you’ll find walleyes there in the summer.” If you choose to bypass the Pine Island Flats, the guide suggests starting your search closer to Long Point as the bottom falls faster, and drift or troll the baits, ‘crawler harnesses and spinner rigs already mentioned behind a 1-ounce bottom bouncer. “Gold is a standard color, and when I’m fishing ‘crawlers, I like some gold in the blade—Gold Perch or Gold Shiner. With leeches, bright blade colors work better. Dace Pink is a great option,” he says.

    4. Walleyes start moving back toward Rainy River in September and October. Among the early-fall hotspots is the area off Zippel Bay. Newburgh recommends vertical jigging or drifting Fire-Ball® Jig, RZ Jig or Swivel-Head Jigs, starting at the 20-foot contour, and moving shallower or deeper until you connect with fish. A white or emerald shiner Impulse® Paddle Minnow is a good bait option, as are frozen or live shiners. Lighthouse Gap is another good spot this time of year as shiners are beginning to move upriver now, and walleyes stage there to intercept them.

    Lake maps courtesy of Navionics. For more information, visit: Navionics.com

     

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