Walleye fishing has been pretty good on Rainy Lake and Rainy River lately. On the Lake, anglers are still finding walleye in about 20 feet of water near the rocky shorelines, but they are also starting to show up around the submerged structures in a little deeper water. The shoals east of Brule Narrows are likely spots.On Rainy river the walleye fishing has been best in areas with stronger current like above and below the Ranier Rapids and below the dam at International Falls. Some northern pike and smallmouth bass are being pulled from the same areas in the river.
The fishing focus in International Falls has shifted to the Rainy River. All the nearby launches are open and the spring walleye run is underway. Anglers are pulling in quite a few large walleye by anchoring over about 15 feet of water and jigging with a minnow. Word is the preferred bait is an emerald shiner. The Ron Hall Access on Shorewood Drive is just below the dam at International Falls, and the swifter waters and structure there are almost always good for a few walleye and smallmouth bass.
The National Park has closed all winter trails and ice roads. The Oberholtzer and Rainy Lake Recreation trails provide some access to park. You might encounter wildlife on either trail. Some migratory birds are starting to arrive as spring progresses.
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.