The warmer weather is expected to result in more action for ice anglers. The walleye and crappie bite has been strongest in the morning and evening hours. Jigging with live bait is most effective and the advice is that a bright color, or even a jig that produces some noise attracts more attention. Most areas of Rainy Lake are accessible for folks with snowmobiles and portable gear. The usual ice road to Sand Bay and the short roads to the east are available for light vehicles and the National Park ice road is open to Rainy Lake City.
The border waters will remain open to walleye fishing after this weekend which always allows for the latest ice fishing in the region. The earliest open water walleye fishing is usually available on Rainy River and the accesses will be open as soon as the weather and safety permits. The border waters walleye season extends to mid-April.
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How to Enjoy Winter Outings in Rainy Lake
Our favorite winter activity snacks:
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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