Minnesota's Lake of the Woods An Angler's Paradise

by Joe Henry

People travel from all over the world to fish and explore Lake of the Woods. Walleyes get most of the attention, after all, this is The Walleye Capital of the World. This prolific fishery is also loaded with smallmouth bass, pike, muskies, lake sturgeon, jumbo perch and monster crappies. Whatever your taste, if you enjoy the outdoors, Lake of the Woods should be on your list.


     Lake of the Woods is shared between Minnesota and Canada. The fishery is really broken up into three different areas, the Rainy River, Big Traverse Bay (the big open water basin) and the Northwest Angle.


     The slow-moving Rainy River feeds the big lake. 40 miles of navigable water is teaming with walleyes, pike, smallmouth bass and lake sturgeon. Resorts line the mouth of the river and look across to Canada.


     The middle section is known as Big Traverse Bay. Charter boats catering to groups of up to 6 anglers line the docks at local resorts. Everything is provided, just step aboard and catch fish. Licensed charter captains take groups out targeting walleyes. With years of experience and by networking with other captains on the water, the days are typically very successful reeling in good numbers of fish.


     The third section of Lake of the Woods is the Northwest Angle. This area is the northernmost point of the Continental U.S. and is where the 14,552 islands of the lake begin. Basically, you are fishing amongst islands, eagles, bears, deer and some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. Some resorts are rustic with log cabins in the woods all the way up to full service resorts with high-speed internet and all of the amenities of home. Regardless of your preference, the fishing is almost as good as the adventure.


     There is a good variety of full service resorts all around the lake. No roughing it here, enjoy the modern conveniences, delicious meals and fun taverns in this northern MN destination.


     Visitors enjoy good fishing all year long. Come for the world-class fishing but appreciate the wildlife, natural beauty, variety of resorts, and the “MN nice” culture.


     Located in the north woods of Minnesota where there may be as many deer as people, finding a variety of good food is not hard to come by. A fresh fish fry or two should be on the list. There is nothing like fresh walleye, fried potatoes, beans and fresh bread. Some resorts cook up your day’s catch and provide all of the fixings. Try locally grown wild rice. Maybe some freshly prepared prime rib, a homemade pizza or a half pound burger basket. Top it off with homemade ice cream or some fresh raspberries and blueberries.


     A word of advice when you come up, bring your appetite for fresh walleye, a good camera and a hankering for —SF☀

"One of the highlights of fishing Lake of the Woods is a delicious shore lunch of fresh walleyes. Some enjoy this experience as much as the fishing! RIGHT: Known as The Walleye Capital of the World, anglers of all ability levels enjoy charter fishing for walleyes. With everything taken care of, all an angler has to do is step aboard and catch fish."

"With millions of fish, wildlife around every corner and 14,552 islands, Lake of the Woods is a must see outdoors destination."



2 lbs salmon
2 lbs cod ( or other fish in the freezer)
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp white pepper
(or regular pepper)
2 tsp dill
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
10 green onions
(using all of the onion)
2-1/2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
6 stalks of celery
1/2 bag of diced carrots
1 box portabella mushrooms
2 cups craisins
Coconut oil (or any frying oil)


Bake fish to completion. Don’t overcook!
Cut into 1/2” pieces and put aside.
Saute onions, mushrooms carrots & celery with butter.
All other ingredients are mixed in a large bowl. Add the fish, and saute items to the large bowl and mix everything together.
Make patties into 6” circles about 3/4” thick.
( Important! Place a plate with
additional bread crumbs on it.
As patties are being formed, use additional bread crumbs to help hold the patties together.

You will understand once you get there).
Place patties in hot oil and fry for 2 minutes a side or until golden brown.
Let the cakes cool on a paper towel.
Eat alone or with tarter sauce if needed. Makes approx 24 cakes.
Freeze uneaten cakes for a treat later!
You may add or delete items per your taste or by the musgo method of what is in your fridge.
Be creative and try new things, we have never had the same batch twice!

Bill and Moira

For more information on lodging, fishing and other activities at Lake of the Woods, go to www.lakeofthewoodsMN.com