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Brad Laabs: We had great fun on Lake of the Woods; give yourself a gift and get up there, too

We landed 75 walleye and sauger for the day, with the majority being under 13 inches. About 20 of the fish were from 13- to 17 inches, with only one breaking the 18-inch mark. A number of big fish are also getting caught, but not by us today.

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Brad Laabs at Lake of the Woods. (Submitted photo)

I wrote this article last Wednesday night after ice fishing all day on Lake of the Woods. I had the pleasure of spending the day on the ice with fellow guide and friend Brian Tangen of Frazee, and my friend and former touring walleye tournament pro Leroy Howard (formerly of Detroit Lakes, now retired to Baudette).

We went out on the Adrian's Resort ice road with side-by-sides and portables. The road accesses to the lake are $15 now, but are well marked and groomed. It looks like sled and wheeler traffic onto the lake until after Christmas.

We fished in 22 feet of water, about a mile out from Pine Island and a mile to the east toward the Canadian border. Some anglers were fishing Four Mile Bay, but most are focusing on the 20- to 28-foot water. The roads will go further out to the basin as the ice continues to build. Resorts are filling the lake with their fish houses. We were sitting on 12 inches of good clear ice with minimal snow cover.

We landed 75 walleye and sauger for the day, with the majority being under 13 inches. About 20 of the fish were from 13- to 17 inches, with only one breaking the 18-inch mark. A number of big fish are also getting caught, but not by us today. We are out again tomorrow and are hoping to catch, photograph, and release a couple of the big girls.

We had an awesome fresh walleye dinner tonight after an active day of bite activity. Gold spoons, slab raps, chubby daters, and Swedish pimples in gold/red were the most productive today.

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Have a peace filled holiday season, and making a point to get to Lake of the Woods for some ice fishing would be a great gift to yourself.

(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)

Brad Laabs column mug
Brad Laabs

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