What you can expect to catch!

The Walleye
The walleye is the king of fresh water game fish and Lake of the Woods, the walleye is renowned for it's flakey white fillets.  The walleye is the most sought-after fish in Minnesota. Each year, anglers in Minnesota keep roughly 3.5 million walleyes totaling 4 million pounds.  The average walleye caught and kept is about 14 inches long and weighs slightly more than 1 pound, however it is not uncommon to snag a trophy between 8lbs and 13lbs on the Lake of the Woods.  The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by a reflective layer of pigment, called the tapetum lucidum, that helps it see and feed at night or in murky water.
Remarkably similar to the walleye, sauger are typically the smaller of the pair. The most notable difference is the dorsal fin - on a sauger it's spotted, where on a walleye it's not. But once they're in the pan, it's hard to tell the difference! 
Northern Pike
Most northerns caught by fishing run 2 to 3 pounds, though trophies over 20 pounds are caught each year. A close cousin to  the muskellunge, the northern pike lives in nearly all of Minnesota's lakes and streams.The quickest way to tell a northern pike from a muskie is to note that the northern has light markings on a dark body background, while muskies generally have dark markings on a light background. A foolproof method is to count the pores on the underside of the jaw: the northern has  five or fewer; the muskie has six or more. Northerns also have rounded tail fins, compared to the pointy tail fins of a muskie. This fish is best enjoyed baked, pickled or smoked.

Lake Sturgeon
The lake sturgeon is Minnesota's biggest fish. It can weigh more than an adult human.  The torpedo-shaped lake sturgeon lacks scales. It is covered instead with plates, called scutes. Its nose is flattened and slightly upturned, with four barbels underneath. Its mouth, which it can extend like a tube, is set back from the end of the snout. The top of its tail is longer than the bottom.The Lake sturgeon generally range from 5 to 40 pounds and 20 to 55 inches long. But sturgeon may grow to more than 300 pounds and 8 feet long.  Sturgeon are green-yellow to blue-gray to black.  The young are reddish-brown. Like most fish, their color changes as they get older and larger. This is an excellent fish to smoke.
Lake Sturgeon-Length-Girth-Weight Relationship Chart 

With its slimy skin and tendency to wrap itself around your arm, the burbot is considered by many anglers to be the "fish" of  fish. But in fact this beautiful cousin to the saltwater cod, commonly known as eelpout, is a remarkable predator that is excellent to eat. Boiled to perfection and dipped in drawn butter, it is said to be a "Poor Man's Lobster'!  The burbot looks like a cross between an eel and a catfish. It has a long body with smooth skin and a single whisker under its chin.Up to 30 inches, but average length is about 16 inches. Average about 2 pounds but can reach up to 18 pounds.  It is has a brownish back and sides with black and dark brown splotches.
Yellow Perch
The yellow perch is one of the most commonly caught fish in Minnesota, however on Lake of the Woods it is really only seen in the warmer winter months of February & March or early Spring. This smaller cousin of the walleye is good to eat and eagerly bites worms, but it often is so small that anglers throw them back into the water. Like sunfish and bluegills, perch are considered "panfish," or fish commonly caught to be cooked in a frying pan and eaten.  The perch is a a small fish that is yellow on the sides with wide dark bands coming down the sides from its back. It's average length is about 6 inches but some reach a foot or more and average about 1/3 pound.

 Want to fish for more species like muskie, bass and crappie?  Check out our Oak Island Location!

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