Anglers planning a trip to the beautiful Rainy River area this year would be wise to buy a Sturgeon tag when they purchase their fishing license just in case they catch the next record. The Sturgeon population has thrived to the point that many are caught by Walleye anglers by accident! Without a Sturgeon tag the only option is to take a quick photo and release what might be the next state record. In fact, the state record Sturgeon is still in the waters of Rainy River as it was released after the duel was won by Jack Burke from Stillwater on May 4, 2018. That monster has most likely put on a little more weight from the approximate 105 pounds it weighed last year. If you are planning to catch a Sturgeon on purpose, it is recommended to use a circle hook to allow for easy release so others can enjoy the experience of landing one of the most iconic and amazing fresh water fish in the world.
(Photo by Full Throttle Guiding)
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.