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Ice Fishing Contest Photo's



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Lake Of The Woods Fishing Report

On the south end... It is ice fishing time! Some resorts (not all) have pulled out fish houses and it is game on. Some ice trails are marked and open. Check weight limits on each ice road as conditions can vary.

Resorts who have fish houses on the ice will typically transport you out to their houses using light ice rigs for convenience and safety.

As we often say, ice conditions vary greatly on Lake of the Woods. Some resorts have trails marked across Four Mile Bay out to fishing areas in front of Pine Island on the big lake. Some resorts are not quite open as the ice where they go out still needs some time to thicken up.

Watch your favorite resort / outfitter social media pages for up to date info. Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice, stay on the marked trails for safety, please don't exceed weight limits and drive slowly on the ice.

Anticipation is high. The early ice bite is normally very good!

Please remember to Keep It Clean, pick up everything around you and secure your garbage.

On the Rainy River... The Rainy River is frozen up. Some locals who know the river have been checking ice and ice fishing with some walleyes and saugers in the mix. As ice thickens, more areas will become accessible.

Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.

Up at the NW Angle... Resorts have been monitoring ice conditions and starting to stake trails. They are not ice fishing yet, but the ice is looking good and some guides scouting for fish give the thumbs up. Stay in touch with your favorite NW Angle resort for further info.

Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).

For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.

1. When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle.

2. The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.

3. Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.

A complete list of lodging, fish house rentals and sleeper fish house rentals at



Tips for hunting pressured deer


by Tyler Frantz

While more deer are harvested during the fall archery season than ever before, firearms season is still the bread and butter for whitetail hunters. That means plenty of orange-clad optimists will be heading afield in hopes of notching their tags during this prime window of opportunity.

When thousands of hunters take to the woods on the very same day, the resident deer take notice, and they quickly alter their daily routines to avoid the influx of danger. Wise hunters can use deer’s evasive tendencies during this time — as well as the pressure of other hunters — to exploit the situation and put themselves in a greater position for success.

Under cover

Whitetails know the safest place they can take refuge is wherever they can’t be seen. That means once the first boots hit the leaf litter, deer will be hightailing it to the thickest, nastiest cover around, and they’ll likely stay there until they feel the need to flee.

In mountainous terrain, this is often a laurel thicket or recovering clear cut where early successional forest provides dense groundcover in the form of briars and saplings. In low lying areas, it could be a stream bed or swampland thick with evergreens. In agricultural country, the sides of a steep hollow, tall CRP grass fields, or even a plot of standing corn can provide the security cover whitetails seek.

The least likely place for a deer to be is in big open timber and wide open, harvested fields, although they may run across them from time to time or head to these clearings to congregate after dark. But during legal hunting hours, they are far more likely to keep their heads down and stick to the cover to stay out of sight.

Therein lies the problem — how do we get a shot at a deer we can’t even see?

Escape routes

While it may be difficult to get into the cover where deer take refuge without spooking them, it is much easier to post up on their escape routes and let other hunters do the dirty work. Invariably, some hunter will get restless and go for a walk. When he or she does so, deer have a fair chance of either hearing, seeing, or smelling them and evacuating the area.

The trick is to be in position to intercept their escape routes and stay ready for a shot that could materialize at literally any moment. If deer have the option, they prefer a strategic escape – one that utilizes cover to their advantage. That means they are more likely to follow terrain features that help conceal their movements.

They may flee along a narrow bench on a hillside, cross at a prominent rock outcropping that hides their form, or transition from one hillside to another via a dip or saddle on the connecting top of the ridges. They’ll use draws that cut up from hollows, follow fencerows or creeks, and often stick to extensions of cover as long as possible before breaking across any opening.

That means slivers of cover, low spots in terrain, and other natural funnels are dynamite locations to post up for an ambush. On the flipside, little open travel corridors in very thick plots of cover can be equally good as it’s more efficient to travel through these narrow gaps than battling the brush.

Vantage points

Being in the right location and being able to get a shot are two different things, and it’s just as important that hunters position themselves with clear shooting lanes. In some cases, that means taking an elevated stand to get above the cover, so you can see and shoot further than staying at ground level.

In other situations, it might be more helpful to simply hunt the transitional edges of cover, where deer will skirt the brush before connecting to another dense tract of refuge. Try to set up where you can see into the thick of things, even if not completely, but in a way that it still provides a few clear windows to shoot into as they move through the area.

Unconventional locales

Don’t overlook atypical locations that other hunters might not have considered. The first buck I ever shot was jumped on the hillside right behind our family barn. It knew hunters were piling into the big woods and held tight to the building where it felt safe. The same goes for small, secluded islands of cover where farm equipment has been left to rust, near housing developments, along roadways, or even close to parking lots.

If these areas can be hunted safely and legally, even if it means stepping down to archery equipment during firearms season, they are certainly worthy of consideration.

The fundamental key to hunting deer under pressure is to find the cover they are using, take a smart vantage point, and hunt their escape routes. Do that, and the rest often falls into place — even with thousands of other hunters sharing the woods along with you.


Cookie's Red 

Lake Fishing 



I would say here on our end the fishing was good, bad and ugly.
from the guys we had here.  One group that walked straight out to 11 feet of water figured they landed 40 friday with  siver  being the hot lure color, saturday they wanted nothing too do with jigging and hit just the set lines.
Jonny boy was giving rides out to a area he fished last year plus he fished the first day out there. One of the guys got a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie a fat 15 incher. They were fishing in 8 feet of water. Jonny also came in with 3 nice keepers, so the hammer and I had fresh fish for dinner, One of the group went out of beacon harbor. they did pretty good the first day the next day they went out from hillmans, then saturday they went back to beacons.
  The guys in utah walked out of hillmans friday, they caught just a few. I worried about the into the evening as a squall of snow came through with some strong winds, they finally came in,they had some heater problems, they only had a mini sunflower to stay warm. With the temps dropping and the wind blowing I was shocked that they stayed out there that long. I had them come up to the garage and we got their other heater going as it had a bad connection.
The guys in Minnesota were cleaning fish the first night.
 There were alot a lot of bigger walleyes getting caught all around the lake, I have been seeing on the web. I'm quite surprised were seeing these size fish, anywhere from 25 to 28 inch walleyes.
 I also saw a local that had a pic of steam coming off the lake around sunset friday night. Sounds like it was out towards the end of big reef. Once Ii can drive on the lake I will not be driving anywhere near that area.
 Beacon Harbors guys posted a couple thin ice signs   to the left of their place. Maybe in 9 to 10 feet of water.
 Have to make it short today as I need to get the cabin ready for guest coming in this afternoon. If you come up listen carefully to the resorts as they have been checking ice everyday.

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