Anglers are fishing on Rainy River for the annual spring bonus. Here’s the proof, four trailer rigs parked at Nelson Park near Birchdale, a popular access site that is now open. The border water walleye season remains open until April 14, smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappie are open continuously and there’s the option to catch and release a sturgeon in the River. There will be a short tag season for sturgeon in late April and early May.
The walleye fishing is usually very good, some tips include getting below turbulance, like below the dam at International Falls, near the confluence of the Little Fork river at Pelland Junction, near the confluence of the Big Fork east of Loman or below Manitou Rapids near Indus. Another tip is to keep your bait just off the bottom using a fairly heavy sinker on a slide.
We could easily mail you the annual Department of Natural Resources flyer on river fishing regulations and access locations. Just contact us through the email (email@example.com) or call at 1 800 325 5766. If you request information through the system on this website be sure to check the box for special spring walleye season under “interests”. Our brochure request page is located here.
Other signs of spring will soon be showing, wildlife watchers will want to take notice of returning migratory birds. Some will be passing through and some will begin the mating and nesting routine. Our forests will turn green and runoff from the snow melt will soon be thundering through our rapids and waterfalls. Hiking trails and bike paths will be opening as will ATV trails. Again, if you’d like information we’d be happy to help. Use the contact information provided above. Before you know it, summer will arrive. Have you made your plans for a summer getaway? Now is the time to get that done.
It’s that time of year, inland walleye waters will be closed, but our Minnesota Ontario border waters will remain open until the middle of April. That means some of the earliest open water walleye fishing on Rainy River and some of the latest ice fishing on Rainy Lake. Koochiching and Lake of the Woods County will open the boat launches as soon as it is safe to do so. It’s not just walleye that are the attraction, there are large northern pike lurking as well as smallmouth bass and crappie. Those species are open continuously here. There are also huge sturgeon in the Rainy River and while that is largely a catch-and-release thing, there are tag seasons.
Here’s a suggestion for a fun indoor event when the Rainy Lake Visitor Center hosts Mike Williams for some tales of growing up at Kettle Falls. For those that don’t know, Mike’s family ran the Hotel at Kettle Falls, an important waterways crossroads deep within Voyageurs National Park. Kettle Falls is accessible only by boat or by snowmobile in the winter and is the point where the Namakan reservoir pours into Rainy Lake. The treaty establishing the border followed the route of the Voyageurs west and the border snakes around so that a portion of Canada is directly below Kettle Falls, a part of Minnesota. Where else can you stand on US soil and look south into Canada? Mike knows the history of the area very well and spins some fun stories about his experiences growing up with the colorful and memorable peoples of Rainy Lake. The event is set for Sunday, March 5, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and you can contact the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at 218 286 5258 for more information. This is part of the winter program series presented by Voyageurs National Park Association. To see the full schedule, click on the events tab above.
The annual fishing derby will be held Saturday, February 25th on Rainy Lake. Proceeds from this fund-raiser go toward improving the area fisheries. You can’t put a line in the water until 1:00 pm, but you can come early and scout for a spot. Prizes will be awarded in four categories and there will also be raffle prizes awarded. You need a $10.00 raffle ticket to enter the derby area.
For those that are just fishing Rainy Lake for fun, the walleye fishing has been best in the morning and early afternoon. Anglers say jigging with a shiner minnow will do the trick for both walleye and crappie. If you hit a group of crappie, switch to a smaller jig and use the smallest minnows.
Snowmobilers are having a ball. trails are in excellent shape right now and it looks like the weather will be fairly moderate for a ride. In addition, the International Voyageurs Snowmobile Club hosts their 9th Annual Speed Run against Cancer at the Thunderbird Lodge on Saturday, Febraury 18th. If you want to take part, be there by 11:30 am for registration, runs will start at noon. Cross country skiers and snowshoers are also hitting the trails. The Black Bay and Tilson Bay trails are in great shape.
There are also some fun programs coming up at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center for Voyageurs National Park, such as a class on lacing your own snowshoes. There will be some fund events and entertainment at the Backus Community Center over the next couple of weeks too. You can check our calendar of events for everything going on in the area just go to the top of the home page and click on events.
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