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Lake Closures, Outfitters, and Winter Angling: What you need to know about Ice Fishing in Sunset Country

Fishing on Lake of the Woods • Credit: Photo Credit: Musky Bay Resort
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Lake Closures, Outfitters, and Winter Angling: What you need to know about Ice Fishing in Sunset Country

Mille Lacs Fishing ban could mean more people coming to Sunset Country this winter.

Mille Lac in Minnesota has been shut down due to overfishing. The ban started August 3rd 2015 and is said to be lifted on November 30th 2015.

The 2015 allotment for removal of fish in Mille Lac was exceeded by over 2000 pounds and will need a lot of time before the remaining fish have a chance to repopulate.

UPDATE October 15th, 2015: In a recent meeting concerning the fishing ban on Mille Lacs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has concluded that the harvest cap for winter anglers on the lac will be set to 5000 pounds or less. The Chippewa Bands and the DNR have reached this agreement because a recalculation of the total number of spawning-walleye has reached a benchmark when compared to the 2013 fall numbers.

UPDATE October 26th, 2015: Anglers fishing on Mille Lacs will be able to keep 1 Walleye and 5 Northern.

Lucky anglers may be able to see a beginning to their winter season as early as December 1st, 2015 if the DNR finds conclusive evidence for safely lifting the ban. The final decisions will be made in the last week in October following a meeting with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.

Follow this link for the full story and to keep updated on the Mille Lac fishing ban.

There is an alternative for anglers concerned for their season. There are many prime ice fishing spots north of the border that will be open as soon as soon the ice is ready. Lakes just North of the Minnesota border, such as Lake of the Woods and Crow Lake, will be open for ice fishing and are likely to attract a large quantity of fishermen this winter. But don't worry, these lakes are huge and there's plenty of replenishing schools of fish to be caught.

Most lakes in the Sunset Country area are ice fishing friendly and have a variety of fish to catch including the highly sought after Walleye.

If you're an avid ice fisherman from northern Minnesota and don't want to to wait to find out if you'll be able to fish this winter then you're in luck. We've compiled a list of resources as well as reasons why Sunset Country is the place to be for ice fishing this season.

To read more on Mille Lacs, Click here for the Minnesota Lakes Management Page

MuskyBayResort 3Photo Credit: Musky Bay Resort

Ideal Conditions

In some northern communities in the U.S. the temperature quickly becomes too cold for fair-weather fishing but unfortunately never gets cold enough so that the ice freezes over. Although Lake of the Woods is enormous in size, the cold Canadian winters manage to freeze almost 90% of the lake within a few months of hitting sub zero temperatures. Come late December to mid January the ice will have thickened enough for the ice roads to be plowed, opening up miles and miles of prime ice fishing spots. 

Great Value

High market value on the U.S. Dollar means that you can save a lot of money by booking with Canadian Outfitters. The current cost of paying for your accommodation with American dollars in Canada is approximately .77 of the actual value of commodities. This is an exceptional time for American tourism in Canada because everything that you buy, from gas to fishing licences to food, will be 22% to 25% percent less the cost of buying domestic. Whether your exchanging dollar for dollar, paying in cash or with credit cards all values are honoured in Ontario and Sunset Country.

Updates on the U.S - Canadian exchange rates here 

Close to Home

Fantastic ice fishing is just minutes from the U.S. - Canada border.  If you're from the northern states and are looking for a place to get in some ice fishing this year then Sunset Country is the place to be. Lake of the Woods is a massive lake that starts from the top of the United States and spans far into Sunset Country. There you will find dozens of camps and outfitters who will be open this winter and will be more than happy to accommodate any ambitious winter anglers.

Pike Jeremy Smith photocredit15Photo Credit: Jeremy Smith

Click here for steps on how to get a fishing licence for non-residents 

Ice Fishing Outfitters in Sunset Country

Lake of the Woods Region

Harris Hill Resort

18 miles from Baudette, Minnesota

Booking information: www.harrishillresort.com/contact

Halley's Camps

Minaki, Ontario

Booking information: www.halleyscamps.com/contact

Barber's Resort

Minaki, Ontario

Booking Information: www.barbersresort.com/contact

Muskie Bay Resort

Nestor Falls, Ontario

Booking Information: www.muskiebayresort.com/muskie

Crawford's Camp

Sioux Narrows, Ontario

Booking Information: www.crawfordscamp.com/contact

Crow Lake Outfitters

Nestor Falls, Ontario

Booking Information: www.crowlakeoutfitters.com/contact

Lakeview Lodge

Nestor Falls, Ontario

Booking Information: www.lakeviewlodge.ca/contact

Smith Camps

Kenora, Ontario

Booking Information: www.smithcamps.com/contact

Miles Bay Camp

13 miles north of Morson, Ontario

Booking Information: Milesbaycamp@gmail.com

Halverson's Camp

Nestor Falls, Ontario


Patrica Region

North Country Lodge

Vermillion Bay, Ontario

Booking Information: www.musky-fishing.com/ontario

Birch Dale Lodge

Eagle Lake, Ontario

Booking Information: www.birchdalelodge.com/ontario

Cedar Point Lodge

Eagle Lake, Ontario

Booking Information: www.cedarpointlodge.com/contact

Davis' Bonny Bay Camp

Dryden Ontario

Website: www.bonnybay.com

Booking Information: www.bonnybay.com/ontario

Moosehorn Lake Lodge

Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Booking Information: www.canadafish.com/contact

Red Lake Outfitters Inc.

Red Lake, Ontario

Booking Information: www.redlakeoutfitters.com/contact

Stanley's Resort

Eagle Lake, Ontario

Website: www.stanleys.com

Booking Information: www.stanleys.com/contact

Harris Bay Resort

Ignace, Ontario

Booking Information: info@harrisbay.com

Red Pine Lodge

Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Booking Information: www.fishredpine.com/contact

West Point Cove Camp

Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Booking Information: www.westpointcovecamp.com/contact

Clark's Resorts & Outposts

Vermillion Bay, Ontario

Booking Information: www.clarksresorts.com/contact

Merkel's Camp

Dinorwic, Ontario

Booking Information: www.merkelscamp.com/dinorwiclake

Pickett's Lodge

Pickle Lake, Ontario

Rugby Lake Lodge

Dryden, Ontario

Booking Information: www.rugbylakelodge.com/ontario

Press Lake Camp

1 hour north of Ignace, Ontario

Booking Information: press@lincsat.com

Agimac River Outfitters

Ignace, Ontario


Rainy River Region

Gateway North Outfitters

Emo, Ontario

Marr's Perch Lake Lodge

Atikokan, Ontario

Booking Information: www.perchlake.on.ca/contact

Crystal Beach Resort

Atikokan, Ontario

Booking Information: www.fishcrystal.com/ontario

Barker Bay Resort

Fort Frances, Ontario

Booking Information: www.barkerbay.com/contact

Timber Wolf Lodge

Fort Frances, Ontario

Booking Information: www.timberwolflodge.org/contact

Campbell's Cabins

Fort Frances, Ontario

Booking Information: www.campbellscabins.com/contact

Border Country Outfitters

Emo, Ontario


For a complete list of Sunset Country outfitters and hotels that offer winter accommodations click here


Minnesota Fishing

Ontario Fishing


Want to know more about fishing in Sunset Country? Click here to like us on Facebook for up to date news on fishery openings and closures in the area. 

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