May Fishing at Lake of the Woods
Obabikon opens its doors every year to guests on the third Saturday in May. The ice has typically been gone from the lake for 3 weeks at this point, but the water is still very cold. Typically the spring begins around Memorial Day. The lilacs will start to bloom on the island, the grace is green, the morning air is brisk and refreshing. Standard temperatures will vary, but you can expect 60-70 degrees with it cooling into the 50’s at night.
Walleyes should just be finishing up their spawn, and many of the big females will be very active after dropping their eggs. Looking for a little warmer water, 8-12 feet deep on beaches can be very effective. Many people enjoy trolling spinners this time of year. Sand provides a simple snagless bottom, and with this method you can cover more area in a shorter amount of time. It is still a great time to jig fish, and once you find a school, jigging can often lead to higher total fish caught.
Northern pike will have finished their spawn for a few weeks. Typically right after the ice is out, or while the ice is in the process of breaking up. Northern will start to accumulate in weed beds, but the nice thing about May is that the weeds haven’t grown to the surface yet. Standard casting lures like spinner baits, spoons and inline spinners will all be very good year round for pike. In May, you can also use stick baits and shallow running cranks which can yield excellent results. Make sure you pack plenty of steel leaders, jaw spreaders and needle nose pliers. This is the best time to catch large numbers of pike in our area.
Smallmouth Bass are moving up to boulder shore lines by now. They’re getting ready for their June spawn, and often put on a big feedbag during this time of year. If you arrive with a normal selection of lures for small mouth, you won’t have a problem catching them. Crayfish crank baits and rattle traps are my favorite, but tubes, spinners, jig and pigs, flukes, twisters, and many more will give great results. Evening and afternoon fishing will most likely be where the most production is.
Crappie, by the end of May, are completely full of eggs. They will start fanning their nests and preparing for their spawn. If weather holds and we avoid any major cold fronts, you can expect to catch large numbers of crappie right off the dock. Artificial lures like tube jigs and twister tails will be best, and most people use a standard 1/32 oz jig for them. If you are planning on trying them with minnows, feel free to bump the jig weight all the way up to 1/8th.
Perch will be scattered throughout the walleye. If you luck into a school of jumbos, hold onto your minnow buckets and make room in the ice chest! They can be a lot of fun, and for those looking to take a few extra fillets home, they are excellent to eat. The best technique will be a 1/4 oz jig tipped with a minnow.
Musky are closed until the third Saturday in June. You may have a few “follows” while northern fishing, but this is a time period that musky are typically sluggish and nonaggressive. We ask that our guests obey the law, and do not specifically target musky until they officially open in mid/late June.