The LOW-Down On Lake Of The Woods: Are They In The Mud, But About That Weather…

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


The LOW-Down On Lake Of The Woods: Are They In The Mud, But About That Weather…


Rain. Winds from the south Friday, then northwest Saturday, gusting to 29 mph. Both Thursday and Friday. In other words, fishing on always-wind-driven Lake of the Woods  (LOW for short) during the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Mercury Marine Minnesota State Championship may depend on boat control, and finding places out of that predicted wind to win it all, including AIM Minnesota Team Of The Year.

“It looks like the weather may be a deciding factor for who will get into and go home with the money, and especially for Saturday,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “It’s going to be a choice of whether you want to get kicked around by LOW, or find some other spots, including the Rainy River, or spots where it won’t be as brutal as they say it may be, so stay tuned, Fan Nation. This one decides it all in Minnesota. It’s definitely going to be interesting.”

Kyle Jaspersen of Baudette will be piloting his Garmin Panoptix-equipped boat and also has been keeping one eye on the weather and the other eye on the Rainy River, which forms the border between Canada and the U.S., and which is legendary, especially in spring, for producing big. Besides being from Baudette, his roommate’s a guide on LOW, so he may have an edge.

“It looks like Saturday it’s going to be half-way calm in the morning and picking up closer to come-in time,” Jaspersen said. “Some guys will still be able to get on the lake but are they going to run 25 miles across it? Probably not. If you can get some ‘overs’ in the river,” he said, that may be the decider.

“There’s still some real nice resident fish in the river and a lot aren’t going to focus on it pre-fishing. You’re going to have to have a stellar day Friday on the lake, and on Saturday if you get five before 11 am., that will probably be what does it.

“Once that wind starts picking up it gets hard to troll and drifting in four- to seven-footers is next to impossible,” he said. “Even with that northwest wind I’m going to still be able to get to fish. I’ve been trying to find fish not 15 or 20 miles out. I know there were some guys in the same area where I was today and think they’ve kinda got the same idea I do. And they know better than to deal with Lake of the Woods when she’s angry.”

Kaspersen is still looking at up to 25 pounds Friday and feels that if you can get another 20 on Saturday, you’ll be in the fray for that first rung on the ladder.

“The weather can change here in the blink of an eye, but if it does stay blowing northwest it’s not going to be an 80-or 90-pound bag that we’re usually used to seeing.”

Alan Standly of Lakeville will be on the water in his Warrior V208DC and a Mercury 300 Verado at the end of the throttle. He’s been fishing here his whole life and began pre-fishing for this one Wednesday evening and already has some go-to locations.

“We’re going to check’em out, and then we’ll head into the basin to see what’s going on,” Standly said. During the recent David A. Andersen Memorial Tournament and Warrior Boats Rally at Wigwam Resort, which, incidentally, is the resort headquarters for the AIM championship, he ran the south shoreline and fished 27-to 30-feet.

“The fish weren’t out in the mud then,” he said. He’ll be pulling a combination of crank baits with lead core, plus spinners and crawlers. “We’ll check the basin out and see if we can find a school of bigger fish,” he added. “In the south end you can catch your keepers, 14- 1to 16-inch fish, but it was sort of tough on bigger fish. We caught some 25-1/2s, some 23s and 22s and did not get into the 28- and 30-inch fish.”

He agreed, it all depends on what happens with the weather. A south wind probably won’t be too limiting, but…

“Last weekend we had six- to eight-foot waves pre-fishing and you couldn’t get out on the water. We’ll see what the wind blows. I’m still thinking the upper 40s (pounds)” will be looking good. The Standlys are sitting currently 13th for Team Of The Year, definitely in contention, especially if other teams stumble in that wind.

Michael Buth of Cottage Grove will be running is 250 Verado-powered boat Friday and Saturday, and he’s looking hard at the river. As in, hhaaard.

“I think the game plan tomorrow is, we’ll spend time on the river, honestly. I’m guessing Friday we can have a good day on the lake at least a half-day, and I’m guessing Saturday we’ll be on the river,” Buth said.

“Plastics, shallow diving cranks, and I’m not afraid to pull spinners either,” he answered, about what he may be using both days. “From what I saw earlier Friday it’s a south wind and navigating five, 8 or 10 miles out would be comfortable, but if you’re making a 20-mile run, it may not be, that’s my thought. They’re not schooled like they normally are. You’ve got to look for them and put some time on the water and get on the ones that are up, suspended and active,” he added.

His guess is that 40 pounds will also be in the ballpark for taking it all, and taking it all may depend on how you do Friday.

“That last event was the Warrior tournament and 40 pounds won that. If you get up north of 30 each day, you’ll have a chance to cash a check. It almost comes down to one day. You’ve got to put in as much weight as you can on Friday because who knows what will happen Saturday.”

So, there it is. From the Big Stone opener in May, to late summer, Lake of the Woods. Who will take it, and which team will also take 2021 Team Of The Year, now only separated by less than three points between first and second. On Saturday afternoon, Fan Nation, you’ll have a front row seat to learn those answers from Wigwam Resort starting at 5 p.m. at AIM’s Facebook page.

It all begins Friday morning with boat inspections at Baudette’s Wheeler Point Boat Launch starting at 5:30 a.m. The first flight of boats get the “go” at 7 a.m., and must be back each day by 3 p.m. Good luck all teams!

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