Lake Kabetogama-Ash River Fishing Report
Poor ice conditions remain throughout the area. Fishing has been up and down with the recent weather fronts with most anglers reporting similar success regardless of your destination on Kab.
Not much has changed in the last few weeks. With ice conditions continuing to be slushy, fishing and snowmobiling activities remain limited to snow packed areas. Some trails are being groomed within Voyageurs National Park, but vehicle traffic is totally non-existent as the government shutdown is keeping park personnel from plowing the ice road and limiting the extent of trail grooming. The good news is the official nonprofit friends group of the park is providing special funding assistance to sustain partial winter operations for visitor safety at Voyageurs National Park during the partial government shutdown. Additionally, the park has received approval to utilize a portion of recreation fee revenue to sustain reasonable safe operations.
Snowmobile trails beyond the park are in excellent condition though and being groomed regularly making for a great ride throughout the area. We are seeing an uptick in snowmobile traffic as we are one of the few areas in the Midwest with good trail conditions. Within the park, any travel off the packed areas are extremely slushy keeping most from exploring off the beaten path. The local ice fishing guides are keeping busy most weekends as they are your best way to get on and off the lake. They all have well packed trails to and from their houses. Casey from Voyageur Park Lodge is moving his houses hoping to find some deeper water and more fish as the cold weather moving in will most likely push the fish deeper. Snyder’s Guide Service reported a good perch bite last week over mud in 30ft. If you want a consistent bite, stick to soft bottom areas in deep water in excess of 28ft. For a decent early morning and evening bite move to the edges of reefs. Some days a shiner under a bobber is working best and other days using a jigging rap or buckshot spoon tipped with a minnow head is working. Come prepared to change things up if what you are presenting isn’t producing.
Everyone is hoping this next wave of extremely cold weather will firm the slushy areas and make more ice and we are crossing our fingers the government shutdown will come to end and we will have an ice road sometime soon! Any way you look at, it has been a much quieter winter on Kab but that doesn’t mean we don’t have excellent opportunities for most outdoor activities. Check with Gateway General or the Voyageur National Park Facebook page for local conditions and they can point you in the right direction.
Don’t forget we have the Voyageur 135 coming up on the 28th of January. It is known to be one of the hardest races in the world! Gateway General is the first checkpoint so mark it on your calendar and come cheer on the brave participants in this amazing race!
Hopefully everyone had a great and safe Christmas and New Years and we’ll see you soon! There’s lots of winter left in our winter wonderland!
Return to Up North Outdoors Fishing Reports
Updated: December 06, 2018
Voyageurs National Park urges visitors to stay off the ice at this time.
(Full press release). ALL snowmobile, ice roads, and ski trails are not yet open for the season. The Echo Bay trail is currently packed but not tracked due to insufficient snow. New this year: park staff will be grooming one side of the Rainy Lake Recreation Trail that connects Minnesota Highway 11 with the Rainy Lake Visitor Center for classical cross-country skiing. While one side of the trail will include a set ski track, the other side will remian ungroomed for snowshoeing, winter walking and other non-motorized winter activities. The Recreation Trail is packed on one side and not tracked due to insufficient snow.
Most snowshoe trails (specifically Blind Ash Bay, Oberholtzer, Sullivan Bay, and the unpacked side of the Rainy Lake Recreation Trail) are open with minimal snow. Please use caution this time of year!
Please check back, or like our Facebook page for the most up-to-date conditions. Thank you.
**Voyageurs National Park Facebook page is a public page, one does not have to have an account to access and view postings.
International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) - Not Open
Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) - Not Open
Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) - Not Open
Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) Not Open
Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) - Not Open
East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) Not Open
Rudder Bay (Orange Trail) - Not Open
***Please remember the snowmobile speed limit within the park is 45 mph on frozen lake surfaces and 25 mph on all overland portages. Speed limit signs are posted at trail heads and overland portages.
Rainy Lake Ice Road- Not Open
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road- Not Open
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road West and East Spur Roads- Not Open
Echo Bay Ski Trail- Packed
Rainy Lake Recreation Trail- Packed
New this year: park staff will be grooming one side of the Rainy Lake Recreation Trail that connects Minnesota Highway 11 with the Rainy Lake Visitor Center for classical cross-country skiing. While one side of the trail will include a set ski track, the other side will remian ungroomed for snowshoeing, winter walking and other non-motorized winter activities.
Black Bay Ski Trail- Not Open
Tilson Connector Trail- Not Open
KabAsh Trail- Not Open
Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail- Not Open
Blind Ash Bay Trail- Open with minimal snow
Oberholtzer Trail- Open with minimal snow
Sullivan Bay Trail- Open with minimal snow
Rainy Lake Recreation Trail- Open with minimal snow
Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski loans are not yet available for the season at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center due to insufficient snow.