Lake of the Woods ice fishing tips

This winter, I want to go ice fishing for crappie in Lake of the Woods. What’s the best way to catch them in this situation?

Ice fishing for crappie on Lake of the Woods might be a daunting task as this lake is popular for walleye and other very large fish.  To find crappie I suggest staking out some shallow areas.  Look for shallow areas, less than 12 feet deep, that are close to ledges leading to deeper waters.  Fish these areas primarily during dawn and dusk but that is just a suggestion.  Crappies will eat whenever a meal is presented, so don’t give up.

Be prepared and get a topographical map of the lake, you should be able to find one at an outfitter or online.  This is a large lake with lots of opportunities to fish for crappie.  If you can take advantage of the fall fishing and remember where you catch them, these will be areas to try ice fishing.  Take notes of where you caught fish and what worked and didn’t work.  These won’t be hard and fast rules but they will help.  If you can’t get a sneak peek of the scenario at least you can use the map to form a plan of attack.

Look for shallow waters that have vegetation growing these areas will support baitfish that feed on the vegetation and will eventually feed other predatory fish.  When ice fishing I like to use live bait or a jig tipped with live bait.  Minnows work really well but if you are using a jig try worms, meal worms or wax worms.  These baits tend to work well when the waters are really cold. 


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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