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Lake Of The Woods, MN (February 23rd, 2023)

River Bend Resort Lake of The Woods ice fishing report February 23, 2023. As we head into the final stretch of the 2022 – 23 Ice Season up here on Lake of The Woods, keep in mind we have ice packages still available at mid-week discounted rates. Plus we are offering cabin ONLY rentals for the fishermen that want to go out on their own but need a nice place to stay – with a full bar & kitchen to come back home to each evening.

Ice fishing enthusiast are treated every year to the “late season” here up north because we keep our ice longer than most other areas. Our ice fleet can remain on the ice until March 31st. And Mother Nature willing, we will fish right up to that date or until she says we can’t.

During this time of year, we find the walleye and sauger to be a bit more spread out. The use of electronics is important when locating the fish. And technique is what will bring them to the top of the ice. We are seeing the fishermen who aren’t afraid to downsize the presentation with a change of color (gold or orange/brown) putting daily limits on the ice. Not to mention the bite taking an upward swing. The days are getting longer signaling to the fish that they soon will be spawning. Thus, the increase in feeding activity. Also, the reason many larger fish are being caught with more regularity.  

The mixed bag catch remains. As the anglers continue to pick through the sauger and walleye, they are finding jumbo perch, pike, eelpout, crappie, and tullibee also on the hook. This makes for some very exciting action. You never know what you will bring up from her depths. 

Speaking of depths, our icehouse fleet is sitting over the fish eight and a half miles out in front of Pine Island in 28 – 32 feet of water.  Rattle spoons, Ripp’n Raps, and brightly colored jigs are attracting fish with a more aggressive presentation as of late. Still just off the bottom – six inches up to two feet is where you will see most of the action. Also, where most of the smaller fish are as well. However, the fish fry bounty will also be at that depth.  Anglers have also found that working the dead stick is producing more bites. Just a few weeks ago the direction was “No Touchy!”. Meaning leave that dead stick alone and let the minnow do all the work for you. That has changed and anglers are seeing that putting a little action on the dead stick is producing bites. 

With both presentations keep this in mind… this time of year the bite can be light. Use a rod with a sensitive strike indicator (a bobber even) will increase your odds of setting the hook.

Not to be contrary, just be ready as the light bite will soon give way to a more aggressive attack to feeding. As I indicated above, they will be heading into spawn within the next month. And they are programed to feed to do so.  Also, continue to trust your electronics. Most all the larger trophy walleyes have come from cruising depths 19 feet all the way up to 15 feet below the ice. So, while you are catching a healthy number of fish in 30 feet of water, watch for those blips up high… and then adjust.  Colors remain brightly polished gold, hammered gold, silver, pink, glow colors, dirty bombs that blink red, and wonder bread. 

Walleye and sauger season will remain open until the 14th of April. There is plenty of great and safe ice and a bounty of fish yet to be caught. 

River Bend Resort
Lake of the Woods
www.riverbendresort.com