Ice fishing in the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods. The Northwest Angle is the Northern most point in the continental US. To get there, you must leave the US north of Warroad, Minnesota, drive thru 60 miles of Manitoba to reenter the US in the Northwest Angle. A very unique place.
We stayed at the Flag Island Resort, which requires driving an ice road from the mainland to Flag Island. The cabins are very nice, great lodge and the customer service is outstanding! The guides move ice shacks to the best fishing spots at night, so the holes are open and the shacks are warm when we arrive in the morning. They even bring out lunch boxes for hungry fishermen in the middle of the day.
The guides take us out to the fish shacks in bombardier snowcats, often pulling “paddy wagons” to put the guys on the fish.
Cold weather is tough on equipment. Some of the guys were riding in this Ford Expedition, retrofitted with tracks, when one of the tracks fell off! They thought they were going through the ice. No worries, the ice was over 30″ thick.
After experiencing a massive cold front that sent temperatures dropping from +24 on Wednesday to -27 on Friday, fishing was off and on.
“We” caught a fat 27″ Walleye. Chuck Schuette’s bobber went down, Steve Pelton reeled it in and Mark Cunningham pulled it out of the hole with two hands. A great team fish!
Jeff Hiel also caught a nice Walleye!
Saturday, we went up to Canada to fish for big Crappies! Closely watching your electronics (Vexlar) was the key to landing fish that bit very softly. Steve, Jeff, Mark and Jim Cunningham caught some huge Crappies. (click on photo to enlarge)
Sunday, we had slower fishing in Minnesota, but Tom and Chuck caught matching monster 14″ Perch!
Ron and John Cunningham caught nice big Walleyes! I caught a nice Sauger.
Jeff was not bothered by 20 below temperatures when he was on the fish.
We returned to the cabin on Sunday in time to watch the Vikings pull off the Minneapolis Miracle pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs to beat the New Orleans Saints on the last play of the game to advance to the NFC Championship!
It is required to call Canadian Customs before leaving Northwest Angle at Jim’s Corner. There are no permanent customs or immigration officials who work at the checkpoint. The small shack with a videophone marks the customs building. You must park your truck when you get there, get out, and pick up a videophone which communicates with Canadian Customs. Standing outside reading passport information for 5 guys in 11 below temperatures was not the most pleasant of experiences.
Overall, it was a fun experience with a great group of guys!