Hooking a big one at Lake of the Woods

Destinations, Things to Do

Hooking a big one at Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is a fisherman’s Mecca.  If fishing is your primary pursuit, you will find year-round opportunities to hook one.  In some areas, you will need both the Minnesota state license as well as Ontario’s, so please come prepared.  


Gill’s Morson marina, where you will pick up your houseboat, has provided a detailed chart noting the species you will find and the best time of year for doing so.  The staff there may also be able to offer tips on different bait and techniques in addition to the location information provided.  

If you’d like to increase your chances of making a frame-worthy catch, fishing guides and tours are available for hire in numerous towns on the lake’s shores.  Some guides may work out of specific marinas and others can accommodate your itinerary.  
Fishing events and competitions are prevalent.  The Kenora Bass International tournament in August has been an annual event since 1988 and now often has more than 125 teams with prize money sometimes exceeding $25,000.  With so many competitors, the event is catch-and-release.  The Bronzeback Classic tournament takes place every July and started in 2007.  


Ice fishing is so popular there that locals make all sorts of games out of it.  One group of friends invented the game of Walleye Poker where each participant pins a card up each time they catch a walleye.  The cards are flipped over when each person has at least 5 and the best hand wins.

Below is the Gill’s Morson marina’s chart on suggested fishing spots by species and season.  Happy fishing to you!

Suggested Fishing Spots


Fish Species


Miles Bay

Walleye, Crappie, Northern Pike, Perch, Muskie

Year-round between Miles Island and Comegan Island off of submerged sunken reefs and points.

Horseshoe Island

Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie

Year-round around reefs and in shallow, weedy bays.

Garden Island

Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie

Summer patterns for these species are holding to rock structure.

Burrow Bay

Crappie Northern Pike and Muskie

Muskie can be had on all rock reefs and points, Crappie can be caught in the channel leading into the Bay on the west side.  Northern Pike are found in the weeds in Elm Portage.

Rabbit Island


During the spring and summer, rocky structure off the south side.

Sabaskong Bay

Muskie, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike

Sabaskong Bay offers some of the best muskie fishing in the world. Shallow weed beds, rock reefs with scattered weed growth, and rock humps.

Obabikon Lake

Crappie, Northern Pike

Extensive growth of wild rice and weeds makes this the perfect habitat for these fish species. Late fall brings the most excitement when the crappies turn on at the Elbow.

Fadden's Island

Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye

Late spring offers unparalleled smallmouth bass fishing.

Pony Island


In the summer and fall walleye move to the submerged rock reefs.

Sunset Chain Channel

Walleye and Muskie

In the summer and fall walleye move to the submerged rock reefs.  Muskie inhabit the rock reefs and points during the summer months

Rent one of our houseboats and bring the whole family along for the fishing fun!  
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Raystown Lake, a Mountain Bikers Paradise

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Kentucky Lake and the Land Between It

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