Nestor Falls is located south of Sioux Narrows and Kenora. For some visitors, this is the preferred destination on Lake of the Woods because the drive isn’t too bad when you’re coming from the U.S. It’s only about an hour and fifteen minute drive from International Falls, Minnesota and the fishing can be very good here. You will find plenty of services here to plan an awesome trip, but don’t expect to have all the conveniences that you will find farther north in Kenora. You will definitely see lots of boats in this area, but you can drive north and fish Whitefish Bay or take a boat ride west to get to Sabaskong Bay where you will see less fishing pressure. You’re still going to see boats, but you can easily find some places for yourself. Anglers catch everything in this area such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, muskie, crappie, perch and northern pike.
Primary Species of Fish
The Nestor Falls area is home to some excellent fishing on Lake of the Woods. Smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and muskie will get the most attention from most anglers here and the fishing can be incredible here. Good numbers of fish are available and big fish are possible for all 4 species of fish.
Secondary Species of Fish
We have plenty of fishing tips in the following sections:
Fishing the Bays
If you want to fish the bays, you have a lot of options here. Some will have weeds, some will have a lot of rock. Either way, there are so many places to get out of the wind and target fish in the bays. Northern pike will usually be found in the bays with weeds, however, they will be around the rocks as well. Smallmouth bass will usually be found in the bays with lots of rock. Early in the year, don’t be surprised to find plenty of walleye as well as they move into the shallows for warmer water temperatures. Muskie can always be around too, so there are lots of options here.
Fishing the Drop-offs
This area has a lot of shallow water and a lot of good spots where the shallow water drops into deeper water. Compared to other parts of Lake of the Woods, this area has a lot more shallow water, however, the drop-offs that fall into 8 to 12 feet of water can be very good. You don’t always need that 20 to 30 feet of water to catch fish.
Fishing the Points
There are plenty of points to fish in this area, so if you like to run from point to point, you can easily do that here. You may be passing up a lot of fish each time you travel from one point to the next, however, you can easily use this pattern to catch a lot of fish. You will run into smallmouth bass, pike, walleye, muskie and more.
Fishing the Islands
Take a look at a map and you will see how many islands are in this area. You couldn’t fish them all if you wanted to. Find the ones that have a nice drop-off into deeper water with some rocks and you’ll catch fish. Most islands are going to look awesome, however, they won’t all produce all the time, so move around until you can find some fish if you plan on hopping from island to island. On days with a little wind, you will usually have more success fishing the side of the island that the wind is blowing into. Plan on finding a lot of smallmouth bass and northern pike with some walleye mixed in and some other fish too.
Fishing the Reefs
The reefs are great spots from summer through fall and this area has plenty of offshore structure to fish as well. The smallmouth bass and walleye will usually be found on the reefs and the pike will be mixed in too. Panfish and an occasional muskie will be out on the reefs as well. Don’t be so stuck on one reef though. If a spot isn’t holding fish, continue to move because there are a lot of fish in this area. You should be able to catch some fish by targeting the offshore structure.
Fishing the Rocks
This area has a ton of rocks, which makes it such a great area for smallmouth bass. Walleye and pike will be found around the rocks too though, so you could just fish the rocks and catch plenty of fish here.
Fishing the Weeds
The weeds are where the pike anglers go and some of the muskie anglers too. You can find some smallmouth bass and walleye relating to the weeds as well, but most of the time, you are going to find a lot more pike in these spots. Fish the numerous bays with weeds and you should be able to have plenty of action.
Ontario Regulations (Lake of the Woods is in Zone 5)