This giant lake lends itself to a lot of activities but fishing is the most popular. Walleye is the most sought after species but there are also beautiful northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass, and even the lowly but (if prepared properly) delicious perch.
For walleye, about all that you would need as bait is a simple jig and minnow or perhaps a spinner.
The walleye season opens in mid-May. Seasons for some of the other popular fish do not open until days, or even weeks, later. Early in the season (through June), you can often catch very healthy walleye in shallow waters near the lakeshore, but once the July heat starts burning down, you will definitely need a boat. Please don't bring your little john boat or dinghy, even if you do have a trolling motor. Lake of the Woods is a big lake and violent storms can seemingly come out of nowhere
Although "catch and release" is supposed to be the real sportsman's way of fishing, after a day on the lake, what could be better than relaxing by a campfire and enjoying one of the best fish dinners that you could possibly conjure up. Walleye are relatively easy to clean and fillet so why not save enough to feed your party. My favorite meal to go with those fresh-from-the-lake beauties is fried potatoes and onions plus brown beans and a beverage of your choice, perhaps a Molson or Labatt's. A lot of people like their potatoes hash-brown style but I prefer mine in slightly bigger chunks. If you fry them that way in the same grease as the fish, you get the potato, onion, and fish tastes distinctively in every bite.
Dress Code: Come as you wish. Insect repellent is about the only required attire.
Many fishing and hunting camps in Canada and even several on Lake of the Woods can only be reached by boat or floatplane, and some only by floatplane. Two of the best providers of that service are located in Baudette and Warroad. Neither is a regularly scheduled airline, so you may want to call ahead and make arrangements before actually going to Northern Minnesota. In Warroad, contact Northern Wings Aviation.
If you are going out on Lake of the Woods (whether for fishing or just to enjoy the beauty) please do not underestimate the danger. This is a huge lake and the weather can change quickly. Do not go out in anything smaller than a 16 footer with a deep-V hull. This advice may sound silly but I lost four very good friends, who were much more experienced fishermen and boaters than I am, on Mother's Day weekend a few years back because they did not listen to it.
A GPS locater and a good marine radio would also be very highly recommended. Better still, especially if you are coming from very far or are not an extremely well experienced boater, just use one of the several charter services.
The Northwest Angle is almost one of those places that you cannot get to from here. You can get there but you should start in Warroad or Baudette and you have to go by water, air, or Canada. There is no direct land connection between the remainder of the US and the Northwest Angle. It is about 60 miles (97 km) by road through Canada, if you are driving from Roseau or Warroad. Otherwise, you can catch a float plane from Baudette or Warroad or go by a more conventional boat. There is a marine tour service which services the Northwest Angle.
The Warroad Estates Golf Course is a very challenging course. It is located on the shore of Lake of the Woods and both the water and the woods can definitely come into play. Not very expensive compared to NC prices.
Equipment: Rentals available.