Frigid weather brings thicker ice, and people are getting out on Rainy Lake around the usual hot-spots. Walleye are being caught in 20 to 25 feet of water in Sand Bay and also around Black Bay. Black Bay is also yielding some good sized northern pike. For walleye word is a glow jig tipped with a minnow will work.
Well-known Rainy Lake guide William "Billy" Dougherty will be inducted into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame this coming March. Billy started guiding in 1965, and knows the lake and multiple species that roam the waters very well. Billy has been featured on most all of your favorite fishing shows. Congratulations are in order.
Meanwhile, the snowmobile trail from Black Bay to Kabetogama and Ash River has been staked and is open. The overland trails have been groomed and are in good shape. If you're more into skiing or snowshoeing, the Rainy Lake Visitor Center has skis and snowshoes available. The center is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Starting January 3rd, they will be open until 4:30 pm.
That about sums up the current conditions for recreation. Ice is forming on Rainy Lake, and some ice anglers are venturing out on the bays. Always put safety first and check the ice frequently. Lowlands are freezing over and snowmobile trail groomers are waiting for a sufficient amount of snow to groom. You can tell some cross country skiers have been out to hit the trails, but they are still a bit rough.
The way the weather looks, predictions are that we will get a good base of lake ice before we see enough snow for good sledding and that's good news. The question is when. We will keep you posted.