Ice anglers are preparing for the upcoming Rainy Lake Sport Fishing Club Derby, and are targeting all types of species. Word is the walleye are responding to live bait whether you are jigging or using a bobber. Crappie are also responding to minnows but have not been very consistent. Most of this fishing has been going on around Sand Bay.
Some people are getting out further east, like around the mouths of Black and Cranberry Bays, but they are targeting Northern Pike.
Access to that area greatly improved when the Park Service completed the Rainy Lake Ice Road between the two bays. Along that road you might find some structure holding walleye like around the east end of Dryweed Island, try to get into about 25 to 30 feet of water.
Meanwhile, we've been running into snowmobilers from all over the state, they are finding our trails in excellent condition, The groomers have been out regularly as we have had some six inches of new snow fairly frequently. The trails in Voyageurs National Park are well marked and make some nice loops between the gateway communities. Need a map? Contact us and we'll put one in the mail!
The walleye bite on Rainy Lake has shifted to later in the day, however, jigs and minnows are still the best bet. The National Park ice road has extended to Bushyhead Island providing more access to some good structure. If you are up early and itching to fish, try for a large northern pike around the mouth of Black Bay. Pike have been active throughout the day and you might do very well with a large minnow on a bare hook. Some crappie have been mixing in with the walleye around Sand Bay.
Snowmobile trails are in good shape and open to all areas east, south and west of here. This Saturday, February 3, the International Voyageurs Snowmobile Club hosts their annual hot dog roast at the shelter where the Hagerman and Arrowhead Trails meet. Join the club for a warm fire, hot dogs and great riding.
Cross country ski and snowshoe trails are also open and tracked. The Tilson Bay system and the Park's Black Bay Trails all offer a good shot at encountering wintering wildlife.
Andrea Kappelman posted the fish house photo on our Facebook Page. Thanks Andrea; great photo!
Rainy Lake ice anglers say walleye and sauger have been most active early in the day. The best bet has been a glow jig and minnow just off the bottom in about 25 feet of water. Many areas of Sand Bay fit the bill, but anglers have been getting out to area further east on Rainy Lake too. For big Northern Pike, Black Bay remains the best place to be.
Snowmobile trails are staked and groomed providing easier access on Rainy Lake and connections to the other Voyageurs National Park lakes and commiunities.