The Northwest Angle is a very unique destination. It is located in the United States, but you have to drive through Canada to get here. The border crossing is different here, so we recommend a quick online search to see the latest information for crossing the border here. Most people come here to fish and the fishing is very good in the Northwest Angle. Anglers catch so many species of fish here and with a little experience, they can usually catch big numbers of fish here too. You can catch smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie, perch and crappie.
Primary Species of Fish
This area is home to some awesome fishing. You can find good numbers and trophy smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and muskie in the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods. Some anglers report the better fishing will be on the Canadian side of the lake, but there is plenty of good fishing available on the Minnesota side as well.
Secondary Species of Fish
Largemouth bass, perch and crappie are secondary on Lake of the Woods. Anglers will most likely run into a perch or crappie before a largemouth bass, but don’t be shocked if you run into any of these fish while here on a trip.
We have plenty of fishing tips in the following sections:
Fishing the Bays
Fish the bays that are connected to the mainland or the ones that are part of the islands. These bays will warmer faster in the spring and the warmer water will attract a variety of fish. Smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and muskie can all be found in these bays early in the year. The pike will usually be found more around the weeds, while the walleye and bass will be found around the rocky areas. The weeds also attract panfish and the elusive muskie.
Fishing the Creeks
This area has several creek arms that will hold some fish early in the year for sure as water temperatures warm up. Some fish can be caught in them throughout the open water season. The mouths of these creeks can be solid fishing spots depending on the time of the year. The shallower water is usually much better early in the year.
Fishing the Drop-offs
The drop-offs will consistently hold fish and usually bigger fish, especially later in the season. Target the shorelines with steeper drop-offs and go offshore to fish the drop-offs around the reefs and humps. These areas are going to hold a variety of different fish so don’t be surprised if you catch smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and panfish in these areas.
Fishing the Islands
There are a lot of islands here and many anglers use them to get out of the wind when it starts to blow. Find the islands with the better drop-offs and you will usually have better spots to fish. When the wind is blowing, you will usually have better success fishing the side of the island with the wind blowing into it, so don’t rule out fishing in the wind. It’s easy to get out of the wind to fish more comfortably, but often times, the walleye and bass will be found where the wind is blowing. If the walleye and bass are there, there is a chance to find pike and muskie there too.
Fishing the Points
Points are always good spots to explore and there are plenty of them in the Northwest Angle. You will find plenty of smallmouth bass, pike and walleye using these spots. The points that have access to deeper water will usually provide the better fishing opportunities.
Fishing the Reefs
Once summer rolls around, the offshore reefs are going to hold a lot of fish all the way into fall. Expect to find smallmouth bass, walleye, panfish, pike and even muskie out on these deep water spots.
Fishing the Rocks
There is plenty of rock in the area. Smallmouth bass love rocks and so do walleye. Northern pike will often be found around the rocks as well looking for an easy meal.
Fishing the Weeds
The weeds will usually hold the pike, however, you can definitely find the perch and crappie using the shallower weeds early in the year. Smallmouth bass can often times be found around the weeds too. Muskie love the weeds, especially when there is some deeper water nearby. Fish the weeds and if you can find the deeper weed edges, you have a better shot at catching more fish and quality fish too.
Ontario Regulations (Lake of the Woods is in Zone 5)