WILLIAMS - The walleye season is nearly two months away.
Or, if you choose, about 3 1/2 hours away.
While the walleye/sauger and northern pike seasons on inland waters closed Feb. 22 (the open-water season opens May 9), the walleye/sauger season runs through April 14 and the pike season is continuous on Minnesota/Canada border waters - such as Lake of the Woods.
If you go
What: Lake of the Woods.
When: Walleye/sauger season runs through April 14 and the northern pike season is continuous.
How to get there: From Brainerd, take Highway 371 north about 60 miles to Cass Lake. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 2 west (18 miles) and veer right onto U.S. Highway 71 north at Bemidji (25 miles). U.S. Highway 71 merges into State Highway 72 (75 miles), which runs into State Highway 11. Most of the resorts are located just off 11 to the west.
More information: www.lakeofthewoods mn.com.
And after a fishing trip to Long Point on the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods over the weekend, it appears there's a good chance there will be ice well into April, making Lake of the Woods an attractive destination for a day/weekend trip for those still craving a taste of our state fish.
Fishing pressure was light during a recent outing to Long Point on the Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods. Brainerd Dispatch/ Brian S. Peterson» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Bring your portable shanty. Or if you prefer a permanent ice fishing house/shelter from one of the many resorters on the lake, you're in luck. In most parts of the state, permanent houses are to be off the ice by Monday. But at Lake of the Woods, permanent shelters are allowed through March 31.
As is the case most anywhere, fishing was hit and miss over the weekend. We caught a few small walleyes and about a 6-pound northern just off Long Point. But reports from nearby Long Point Resort were good, as were those from Rocky Point just to the west.
Fish weren't exactly rattling the line, but a few were pulled up the hole during a recent trip to Long Point and Lake of the Woods. Brainerd Dispatch/ Brian S. Peterson» Purchase reprints of this photo.
According to the 2008 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook, walleye/sauger possession limit on Lake of the Woods is eight - not more than four can be walleye, only one walleye can be over 28 inches and walleye 19.5 to 28 inches must be released.
The bite was fairly light, too, but a few small walleyes and a keeper northern pike - about 6 pounds and headed to the smoker - made the trip well worth the while. Brainerd Dispatch/ Brian S. Peterson» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Needless to say, we didn't need to worry about those numbers. But on Lake of the Woods, good fishing days far outnumber the bad.
BRIAN S. PETERSON, outdoors editor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5864.
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