Lake of the Woods Fishing Tips

Lake of the Woods is huge.  We organized it into 7 different sections with fishing guides, resorts, fishing tips and more.

MN:  Northwest Angle | Rainy River | South Shore
Canada:  Kenora | Morson | Nestor Falls | Sioux Narrows


Lake of the Woods is on the U.S./Canada border in northern Minnesota, with more than two thirds of the lake being in Canada.  This is one of the most scenic lakes in the country with over 65,000 miles of shoreline, pristine wilderness and tons of wildlife.  This lake is so big that we have it broken into 7 different section.  There are 3 main areas in the United States and 4 in Canada.  Each one of these areas is like a separate tourism destination as far as businesses in the area and the areas that you’ll be fishing.

Lake of the Woods Walleye Fishing

The walleye fishing is tremendous on Lake of the Woods.  You can catch walleye throughout the entire lake.  In Minnesota, the Rainy River is a very popular spring and fall fishing destination.  The spawning run in the spring is unbelievable and the fall migration back into the river can also be very good.  The South Shore is big water fishing and it is known for some of the best walleye fishing on the lake.  Plan on fishing the reefs and humps in open water.  The Northwest Angle gives you many options.  You have big, open water and islands, points, bays and rocky shorelines where you can find walleye throughout the seasons.

In Canada, there will be endless amount of islands, rocky shorelines and points where you can target walleye.  You can catch them in KenoraMorsonNestor Falls and in Sioux Narrows.  If you can find them, you can get good numbers of walleye with some trophy fish mixed in too.

Lake of the Woods Northern Pike Fishing

Northern pike are found throughout the Lake of the Woods.   You can do well for them in Minnesota and in Canada, however, the fishing tends to be better in Canada, especially if you want to fish the vegetation in the bays.

In Minnesota, let’s start on the South Shore.  Here, anglers report some very big northern pike while fishing for walleye in deeper water.  Fish up to and above 40 inches are possible here.  The Rainy River will hold some pike too, but when the river is best, the river is loaded with walleye and most anglers come here to fish for walleye not pike.  The Northwest Angle gives you a lot of options.  You have some big water to fish and then plenty of islands, rocky shorelines and bays to fish if you venture into Canadian waters.

In Canada, you will find pike every on Lake of the Woods.  Some anglers prefer the  Sioux Narrows and Nestor Falls areas when fishing for pike, but you will find them in Kenora and Morson as well.  Find the weeds and you’ll find some pike.  If you can’t find the weeds, fish the drop-offs near points and rocky shorelines and you will find some pike mixed in with the walleye and smallmouth bass.

Lake of the Woods Muskie Fishing

The muskie fishing can be very good on Lake of the Woods.  While you can find muskie spread out throughout this entire lake system, you will do better for muskie if you fish the following areas:

MN:  Northwest Angle
Canada:  Kenora | Morson | Nestor Falls | Sioux Narrows

Most anglers like to get a guide when they first visit this lake to target muskie, however, there are more muskie willing to bite here than most other places on Planet Earth.  If you know how to read a map and you know how to fish for muskie, you will most likely have some success here if you put in the time and hit as many good-looking muskie spots as you can.  Multiple fish days are possible and trophy muskie are here in good numbers.

Lake of the Woods Smallmouth Bass Fishing

The smallmouth bass fishing is world class on Lake of the Woods.  You can catch them in numbers and some big fish are here too.  While you can find smallmouth bass throughout the lake, if you are looking to target them, we recommend these destinations:

MN:  Northwest Angle
Canada:  Kenora | Morson | Nestor Falls | Sioux Narrows

Lake of the Woods Panfish (Perch & Crappie)

Perch and crappie can be a little harder to find after the spawn on Lake of the Woods, however, if you look for them and you know how to fish for them, you will probably put some of these fish in the boat.  Anglers report better success in the following areas:

MN:  Northwest Angle | South Shore
Canada:  Kenora | Morson | Nestor Falls | Sioux Narrows

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