Ice anglers are preparing for the upcoming Rainy Lake Sport Fishing Club Derby, and are targeting all types of species. Word is the walleye are responding to live bait whether you are jigging or using a bobber. Crappie are also responding to minnows but have not been very consistent. Most of this fishing has been going on around Sand Bay.
Some people are getting out further east, like around the mouths of Black and Cranberry Bays, but they are targeting Northern Pike.
Access to that area greatly improved when the Park Service completed the Rainy Lake Ice Road between the two bays. Along that road you might find some structure holding walleye like around the east end of Dryweed Island, try to get into about 25 to 30 feet of water.
Meanwhile, we've been running into snowmobilers from all over the state, they are finding our trails in excellent condition, The groomers have been out regularly as we have had some six inches of new snow fairly frequently. The trails in Voyageurs National Park are well marked and make some nice loops between the gateway communities. Need a map? Contact us and we'll put one in the mail!
Fewer folks have been getting out due to the wet weather lately. There aren’t a lot of reports to go by, but walleye can be found around the submerged structure in 25 feet of water and around the edges of weed beds in the shallower water. Some large northern pike and crappie are being caught in Black Bay.
Grouse hunters have had to contend with rain and drizzle too. Hunters with dogs will do best to flush birds early in the season while there are still a lot of leaves providing thick cover. Maples are showing splashes of red and orange through a forest that is changing from green to gold.
For the most up-to-date information you can call the International Falls, Ranier and Rainy Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau at (218) 283-9400.