Fishing focus around International Falls has been on the Sturgeon in Rainy River. These fish can grow to 100 pounds or more and the brief spring tag season will soon end. You can keep one sturgeon per year and it must be 45-50 inches inclusive, or over 75 inches. Those are pretty big fish.
To fish for sturgeon, find a deeper hole in the river and anchor a bit upstream. then drop of solid leader and circle hook baited with some crawlers or minnows, or both, with a weight heavy enough to hold it just off the bottom. Sturgeon will come to investigate from downstream.
There will be another tag season on Rainy River, that will run from July 1 to September 30. The season shuts down to allow for spawning. However, you can fish Rainy River for northern pike and smallmouth bass at any time.
(Photo by International Falls Journal)
International Falls area anglers are focusing on the sturgeon that lurk the waters of Rainy River. These are very large, slow growing fish and a small one might be one of the biggest fish you ever catch. Right now,m sturgeon fishing is strictly catch-and-release. You can also fish our border waters for northern pike and smallmouth bass.
For Sturgeon, locate a deeper hole then drop your bait upstream a bit. Thread a couple worms and a minnow on a circle hook with a fair amount of weight. Sturgeon will be lured from the deeper hole to check out the bait. Handle sturgeon with care, the Rainy river is an example of a river experience great recovery of a fishery and it's to everyone's benefit to keep it that way.
Song birds and waterfowl are starting to return to the forests and wetlands, meanwhile ruffed grouse are drumming in their spring mating ritual. These are all reliable signs that spring is now winning the weather war against winter.
Rainy River access in International Falls, Pelland Junction, and Birchdale are all open.
Rainy River provides some of the earliest and best open water fishing in the upper midwest as walleye head upstream from Lake of the Woods. Walleye season on our border weaters remains open until April 14, and you might also pull in one of the huge sturgeon lurking in the river. The swifter waters below the dam at International Falls are almost always good for a few walleye and smallmouth bass. Kuttes Landing at Pelland Junction is just upstream from the confluence of the Little Fork River, which is another great hot spot. Nelson Park at Birchdale is just below the Long Sault Rapids where you can find concentrations of walleye and sturgeon.
Related: What Fishing On Rainy River is like.