Voyageurs National Park has opened the Rainy Lake Ice Road as far as the Black Bay Ski Trail and is working on extending the road east to Cranberry Bay and Back. That provides a lot more access for ice fishing, or sightseeing and skiing for that matter.
As far as Ice fishing goes, the brutally cold snap kept a lot of people off the ice, but those that ventured out report the walleye bite was fair around Sand Bay and you could use a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow, or just place a minnow under a bobber and do okay.
Meanwhile, back at trails, the Park Service is working on staking and grooming all the trails in the Park, and the trails outside of the park have been well maintained by the International Voyageurs Snowmobile Club. We are getting a break from the frigid temps, so get out and enjoy.
International Falls, Rainy Lake and Ranier Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ice conditions have improved, snowmobile trails have been staked and groomed and more people are getting out on Rainy Lake. Sand Bay is the most popular fishing area with walleye hitting on jigs and minnows, or minnows on bare hooks and a bobber. Morning is the best time, and somewhere in the area of 30 feet is the right depth.
Crappie can be pulled from the crib areas around Black Bay and they are responding to smaller minnows in about 25 feet of water. You might also pull in a good sized northern pike in those areas.
Thanks to the Voyageurs National Park Association for stepping in to help pay for trail grooming in the Park, which has made snowmobile access much easier and safer from Franks Bay through Black Bay and on to Gold Portage. Ski trails have also been groomed and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center will be open so you can use the ski or snowshoe loan program this weekend.
This is also the weekend of Icebox Days so there will be a lot going on. We have most all of the events listed in our Calendar if you want to check them out.
This post was brought to you by Rainy Lake Guide Association.
Anglers are getting out on Rainy Lake. Walleye anglers are finding some success on Sand Bay in about 30 feet of water using jigs and minnows. Glow jigs seem to work best, and the best bite is early in the day. lite weight dark houses have been showing up on Black Bay where you stand a good chance of spearing a large northern pike, however, there haven't been many reports on that. Anglers are also trying Black Bay for crappie, hitting the areas near the crappie cribs.
We've been hit with the first major snow of the season, and that usually means greatly improved trail conditions. International Voyageur Snowmobile Club will be grooming their trails, but due to the partial Federal Government shutdown, trails in the National Park will not be groomed. That applies to snowmobile, cross country ski and snowshoe trails.
The National Park Service was able to stake the trail from Franks Bay to Ash River and mark any known pressure ridges and determined conditions are adequate to travel from Ash River to Crane Lake, but again, trails in the Park are not being groomed until the partial government shutdown is resolved.