Come March, who isn’t itching to get out on the water, soak up the sun, and float the day away while waiting for the big one? This month, we celebrate the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere but it might not feel or look like it. Ice still covers the lakes, the threat of late winter snow storms looms over us, and the temps aren’t quite warm enough to bury your winter coat in the back of your closet yet. But just as winter starts to retreat, migrating season begins for walleye making their way to spawning grounds and that means it’s prime season for many anglers looking to catch the big one.
Anglers migrate to the north every spring for one big reason: catch-and-release season. Fishers with cabin fever can delight knowing that they don’t have to wait for the May fishing opener in Minnesota to get out on the water and start casting. This catch-and-release season is in effect from March 1 to April 14 on Rainy River. With anglers migrating from all over the region for the extended season, here’s what you need to know:
The International Falls Bass Championship is a unique bass fishing event on Rainy Lake and Rainy River, MN. With great fishing on the lake and river, we take full advantage of the great fishing the borderland has to offer. Reel in more than $30,000 dollars in prize money and 3 days of events and entertainment for the whole family, you won’t want to miss out on the excitement!
International Falls Bass Championship-Daytime Activities
Thursday, August 22
2:00pm - 6:00pm
Smokey Bear Park, 600 3rd St
International Falls, MN 56649
The Bass Championship kicks off in smokey Bear Park.
Here's the afternoon schedule.
Arts and Crafts Sale
Midco Bass Bucks on sale
Raffle tickets available
Beer Gardens and VIP Livewell Lounge open
Pattern one: Walleyes are keying in on deeper weed structure right now. Weedy bays or weedy shorelines where the wind is actively washing in have been most productive. Walleye spinners (tipped with minnows or crawlers) or a 1/8 oz. jig and a minnow have been the go-to presentations.
Pattern two: Some walleyes are beginning their transition to deeper structure. Break lines or reef tops in the twenty to thirty-five range that are near spring spawning habitats are a good place to start looking with your electronics. ¼ oz. jigs and lindy rigs are catching fish. As always, areas of current have been producing fish. Current fish are showing up in the twenty-five to thirty-five foot range.
With the cooler June weather some bass are amazingly still guarding nests. Most of this activity is happening near the deeper colder parts of the lake. In other parts of the lake bass are transitioning away from spawning and are actively feeding in shallow water. Any boulders, points or rock-weed combinations are great places to target. Two to six feet appears to be the range. Plastics, twitch baits, top-waters, and in line spinners are working.
Some crappies continue to be caught using small jigs or slip bobbers in the four to six-foot range. Weeds or a combination of rock structure and weeds is often the ticket. Other crappies are beginning to school up on break lines, points or sunken brush piles if you can find them.
Weeds, weeds and more weeds. The best pike action is coming from deeper weed lines (five to ten feet), especially windblown weeds or areas where the wind has been blowing for the past couple of days and is now calm. Spinner-baits, buzz-baits, top-waters and spoons are great lures to work weedy structure with. As always, windy points and shorelines fished with suspending twitch baits is a good option. Like walleye, some of the pike are moving toward deeper water (15 to 30 feet) as they transition to summer forage.
This post was brought to you by Rainy Lake Guide Association.