There are few people that would disagree with the statement that Walleye is one of the best tasting fish in the world, and those that would disagree have never had the pleasure of enjoying a fresh walleye shore lunch on Lake of the Woods. Walleye is one of the most popular sport fish in North America and LOTW is known as the Walleye Capital of the World for good reason. Anglers targeting Walleye typically want to catch a lot of fish with the potential to catch fish 25" and over on any given day. Putting yourself in a position to catch numbers of fish with a real chance at a 28"- 30" trophy is what Lake of the Woods is all about - well that and the sheer beauty that you can only find on the Canadian Shield!
Oak Island Resort is fortunate to be located in the heart of what walleye fishing enthusiasts are looking for, fantastic Walleye fishing. Oak Island is located right on the Minnesota / Ontario border and guests can fish both the US and Canadian waters of Lake of the Woods. Oak Island is surrounded by many other islands, which are perfect structure for both Walleyes and their prey. Rocky points, shoals, sunken reefs and deep weedy plateaus all produce good numbers and good size Walleyes. Oak Island is located in the Northwest Angle region of Lake of the Woods, which is considered relatively shallow compared to other parts of the lake (typical basin and channel depths are 18' - 40' deep). This shallower water tends to warm-up faster in the spring and produces an abundance of weeds and microorganisms. It is a magnet that attracts Walleyes from far and wide producing some of the highest concentrations of Walleye in Lake of the Woods. This longer growing season enriches the water with more organic nutrients, which in turn supports the high population of baitfish that are needed to sustain a high Walleye population and produce trophy Walleyes. Another attribute of the Oak Island area is the amazing variety of underwater structure, with islands and channels to the West, North and East and bigger open water to the South and Southwest. With so many islands and with waves crashing on rocky shores, oxygen levels stay high. Walleyes, and most other fish for that matter, prefer areas with more oxygen.
A Brief Look at Walleye Through the Season
The Walleye season typically opens the second Saturday in May on the Minnesota portion and on the third Saturday in May on the Ontario portion of Lake of the Woods. At this time, given a typical "ice-out", Walleye tend to prefer shallow points and shorelines with rubble flats. Fishing shorelines and points in 1' - 10' of water with a jig and minnow or small crankbaits, such as Rapala shad raps and husky jerks or Storm Hot-n-tots can be very successful.
As the season progresses, the Walleye tend to move to deeper points and humps. Usually by the end of June, the fish begin to congregate on the mid lake reefs, humps and points and are typically caught in the 12' - 30' range. Jig and minnow or nightcrawler is the primary technique, but many find success pulling spinner rigs or crankbaits as well. When using a jig, try to keep the jig within a couple of feet of the bottom, using a heavy enough jig to maintain bottom contact. On most days, a 3/8 ounce jig will fit the bill, but depending on the depth and current you will want to be sure to bring some 1/4 ounce as well as a some 1/2 ounce jigs with you. Most like gold or pink jigs, but I think walleye success has much more to do with what the angler does with the jig than with its color!
The mid lake hump and deeper point pattern will usually hold-up through September and eventually give way to a migration back to areas near their spring spawning spots. Jigging, trolling spinners, and cranks will continue to get the job done.
When you come to Oak Island Resort for your Walleye fishing vacation we will do everything we can to help you catch fish!