The Rainy Lake Guide Association tells us the fishing is pretty good, and the hikers tell us the blueberries are ripe and plentiful. Here's the report we got from the guide association this week.
Walleye: Walleye have made their predicted summer movement to main lake reefs and break lines. People have been most successful using jigs and minnows or lindy-rigs and leaches. Walleyes can change depths daily so don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time searching with your electronics to pinpoint the best locations.
Crappie: Crappies have moved out to deeper structures in the 15 o 30 foot range. Using your electronics to find them is important. Jigs and minnows or slip bobbers have been the best tools.
Smallmouth Bass: Bass have been caught with a variety of techniques. Top water, spinner baits, twitch baits and plastics are all catching fish depending on the situation and weather patterns. Rocky shorelines, points and weed/rock combinations have been holding fish.
Northern Pike: Small pike often appear to be everywhere; rocks, weeds, and deeper structure. Large pike have been caught trolling large deep diving crank baits, typically near or at the same depths as the walleyes are being caught. Both break-lines and reef structures have been effective. Deeper weed lines casting spinner baits, larger jerk baits, twitch baits, and spoons have also proved successful.
As for the blueberries, they can be found on islands throughout Rainy Lake and it is legal to gather some for your own consumption in the National Park. Outside the Park, roam the forestry roads of Koochiching County and check rock outcroppings. A bonus will be spotting wild raspberries, which are also ripe and plentiful.
This post was brought to you by Rainy Lake Guide Association.
The northern lights have fascinated humans from the earliest times. Also known as aurora borealis, which comes from the Latin words for sunrise and north, the natural phenomenon can take many shapes and hues. From colors that dance across the night horizon, to spears of light that lance the sky, the Northern Lights can be seen throughout the year over the middle and high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, including Rainy Lake.
When to View
It’s been estimated that the northern lights can be seen 200 times per year in Northern Minnesota. The best time to see them is when the arrival of the solar radiation and particles corresponds with an evening when moonlight is at a minimum and the weather is clear. Auroras seem to be more active near the first day of spring and fall, and your chances of seeing them are best when there are more hours of darkness. You can determine which nights have better chances by checking out “aurora forecasts” online such as the one from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
Where to See the Show
Rainy Lake and Voyageurs National Park are ideal places to watch northern lights because of the area’s miles of wilderness that is free from the light pollution present in cities. In addition to a moonless, clear night, you need open views to the North and Northeast.
Suggested locations to view the northern lights in Voyageurs National Park:
Rainy Lake Visitor Center
Ash River Visitor Center
Voyageurs Forest Overlook Parking Lot
Check out this awesome Time-Lapse of Voyageurs National Park Featured in National Geographic!
International Falls and the surrounding area offer an abundance of lodging options for visitors to Rainy Lake. When it comes to choosing where to stay, it’s all about your needs.
Resorts, Cabins and B&B’s
Whether your goal is simply R&R, landing a trophy fish or connecting with friends and family, a Rainy Lake resort or cabin is an ideal home base for all lake activities. Resorts provide hotel-quality amenities, and most include restaurants and bars, as well as access to boat rentals, fishing guides and other services. Cabins offer the best of both worlds by providing additional privacy for you and your party. Resorts and cabin are perfect not only for families and large groups, but also couples and smaller fishing parties. These options emphasize quintessential cabin living, where priorities include watching the sunset, hooking a “keeper” walleye, and gathering ‘round a campfire.
Hotels and Motels
Located approximately 10-15 miles from Rainy Lake, hotels and motels can be more economical options. Popular with those who plan to spend all day on the lake, then return to clean, comfortable rooms for a good night’s sleep in order to repeat the same schedule the following day. Most have restaurants either on-site or next door, and many offer jacuzzi suites and other premium options such as an indoor pool. Open year-round, hotels and motels are gathering places for snowmobile enthusiasts who take advantage of the area’s winter climate to explore miles of wilderness trails.
With all the comforts of home coupled with the adventure of boat living, houseboat trips are perfect for families with members of all ages. Activity awaits around every island and hidden cove, from swimming and fishing to hiking and late-night camp fires. But houseboats are also a great choice for other groups and couples as well. Fishing parties will appreciate having a floating home base to return to, while everyone will enjoy exploring Rainy Lake up close.
Camping in Voyageurs
While sleeping under the stars (or at least a tent) may not appeal to everyone, Voyageurs National Park campsites feature the kinds of amenities that can convert the staunchest urbanite. Voyageurs National Park has more than 270 developed visitor sites, including 46 front country campsites that are accessible only by boat. These sites, which feature some of Rainy’s most spectacular views, include things to make your trip easy and safe, including bear-proof food lockers, tent pads, fire rings, picnic tables and vaulted toilets.