a man knelt by an ice fishing hole

Visitor’s Guide to Ice Fishing in Minnesota

When ice fishing in Minnesota, no two days are the same, especially in Lake of the Woods. More and more visitors come to this popular fishing area after hearing about friends’ successes. Lake of the Woods is the largest inland freshwater lake in the continental US. However, it doesn’t take very long for the ice to form and action to get going. Out of nearly 50 resorts around Lake of the Woods, River Bend’s Resort has the best Lake of the Woods fishing guides around.

Ice Fishing in Minnesota Regulations

While ice fishing regulations vary from year to year, the rules listed below are active for the current fishing season. Make it a habit to reference the Minnesota DNR’s website for the most up-to-date regulations on ice fishing in Minnesota. 

Walleye and Sauger

Limit: Six Walleye and Sauger aggregate; maximum of four can be Walleye

Release: Any Walleye between 19.5 and 28 inches

Keep: Under 19.5 inches and one Walleye/Sauger over 28 inches

Exception: Rainy River mandates catch and release from March 1, 2020 – April 14, 2020

Northern Pike

Limit: Three possessed Northern Pike

Release: All Northern Pike between 30 and 40 inches 

Keep:  Under 30 inches and one Northern Pike over 40 inches

Exception: Lake of the Woods and Rainy River have no closed season for Northern Pike   

Yellow Perch

Limit: Twenty Yellow Perch daily

Exception: Yellow Perch may be fished year-round 

Lake Sturgeon

Release: Do not harvest Lake Sturgeon from October 1, 2019 – April 23, 2020

Exception: Catch and release is allowed year-round

Reference the Canada-Minnesota boundary waters section in the fishing regulation guide for more specific details.

Ice Fishing Package at River Bend’s Resort 

River Bend’s Resort is one of the best ice fishing resorts in MN because we offer a stellar ice fishing package. You and your buddies will stay in one of our spacious cabins, decked with a full kitchen and cooking supplies. However, if cooking sounds like the last thing you’d like to do on your ice fishing trip, our guests can always dine at our new lodge. Our ice fishing package also includes your transport to and from our resort’s clean, comfortable ice houses. Our knowledgeable staff is constantly moving ice houses to ensure successful ice fishing trips. River Bend’s Resort Ice Fishing Package also includes bait and fish cleaning. All other necessary supplies and gear are available. Flasher rental also available upon request.

This year’s ice fishing package is the perfect gift for your loved one, parent, best friend, or sibling! Start planning your ice fishing in Minnesota vacation today by visiting our website, or talking to our staff at 800-292-3084. 


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Covid-19 Update: May 14th

We here at River Bend Resort and Walleye Inn are very happy to be open for the 2020 season. Cabin and hotel reservations are fully open and operational. In addition, we also have available, dock slips (if you wish to bring your own boat), gas & bait sales. Unfortunately, we still cannot offer charter fishing under the new mandates. Miles Lab Bar & Grill is also open to all of our guests for cabin delivery or pick-up dining. This new order is set to expire June 1 st , 2020 and we will be sure to keep you updated and advised accordingly. Thank you for your patience and continued patronage. We hope you, your family, and all loved ones continue to be healthy and safe during this time.



 Previous Coronavirus-19 Updates:


Previous Covid Update: May 6th

Due to changes in the MN state mandates, resorts and hotels are now able to operate under specific guidelines. As anticipated, on May 4th, 2020 River Bend Resort and Walleye Inn once again began receiving guests. We have resumed operations under explicit procedures directed by the state of Minnesota. While we will be open for cabin and room rental, we will not be providing charter fishing during this time. Dock slips, gas, bait and cabin delivery or pick-up dining will also be available to our guests.

Our staff has been preparing diligently and working hard to be ready for this anticipated coming season. We are and will continue to use many methods of enhanced cleaning techniques to ensure that we are ready for each group to come and stay with us. Our main goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy.

When you are ready to travel, our vacations specialists will be ready to help you every step of the way.


River Bend Resort Check-In/Out Process

To maintain safe social distancing during this time, we will be implementing the following safe distancing practices for all guests and staff. Thank you for your cooperation!

Resort Check-In

  • Registration Card will be left on table with key for cabin.
  • Please sign upon arrival and kindly place in box by office door.
  • The card used to hold your reservation will be ran day of arrival unless specified otherwise.
  • All cards will need to be keyed entry.

Resort Check-Out

  • Place key for cabin in the box by office door. Any keys taken will result in a $10 charge to card on file.
  • A folio receipt will be emailed to the email on file.

*Food Pick-up or delivery to cabin will be available during the hours of 8 am to 8pm. Please call the resort at 218-634-1552. Press option #1 for resort, and option #2 for restaurant, for food orders.


Walleye Inn Check-In/Out Process

Hotel Check-In

  • Normal process with the exception of a protective guard that has been placed at the front desk to create separation.
  • Registration cards and keys will be ready for each room upon arrival.
  • Credit Cards will continue to be charged at check in.

Hotel Check-Out

  • Please leave keys on the table in room. Any keys taken will result in a $10 charge to card on file.
  • Receipts will be emailed to the email address on file.
  • Please use the exit closest to your room.

*Dining Options: Pizza deliveries are available. Call front desk to order. Delivered directly to your room.

Miles Lab Bar & Grill. Resort restaurant orders are available from 8:am to 8:pm daily for pick-up orders only. To order call 218-634-1552. Press option #1 for resort, and option #2 for restaurant for food orders.

*Housekeeping: There will be no daily housekeeping available during this time. If there is something specifically needed, please call the front desk, and it will be delivered to your door.

*Continental Breakfast: There will be no continental breakfast available during this time. This is per MDH regulations.


Previous Press Release Thursday, March 26, 2020

We have been closely following the rapidly changing federal, state, and local recommendations and guidelines regarding COVID-19.  The health and well-being of our guests, staff and business partners always has been and will remine our top priority.

Yesterday afternoon Governor Tim Walz announced a two week “Stay at Home” order. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday March 27th and lasts until April 10th. In addition, all bars and restaurants are to remain closed until May 1st, 2020.

River Bend Resort and Walleye Inn has instructed all employees to follow Gov. Walz’s order and shelter in place locally to further help stop the spread of the virus beginning Saturday March 28th, 2020. We intend to keep all of our facilities closed and are hoping to resume operations at all of our locations on or about May 1st, 2020. Please note we are still taking reservations for dates beyond May 1st, 2020 however, we will be managing our phone hours on a limited schedule as follows: M-F 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sat-Sun 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. All messages received during off hours will be returned promptly over the course of our newly scheduled times.

In related news, the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to CLOSE ALL “COUNTY CONTROLLED RIGHT OF WAY LANDINGS THAT PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE RAINY RIVER” UNTIL FUTHER NOTICE.  Citing concerns about the traditionally large number of anglers coming into the area at a time when people are being ordered not to travel and stay home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have also learned that Koochiching County has closed Upper Sioux landing, Frontier landing, Nelson Park landing and Vidas landing until further notice.

We will update everyone once we all get through this trying time.  Please continue to actively follow CDC guidelines to stop the spread of germs and this dreadful virus.  Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy and safe.