Panfish - Perch & Crappie Fishing:

Black Crappie and Perch are considered minor species on Lake of the Woods. Guests think of them as "bonus" fish because like walleye, they both make for excellent table fare. Both seasons are open year-round in both the Minnesota and Ontario waters of LOTW.

In spring, check bays with weed growth, reeds and mud bottoms for early season Crappie. Try using a light jig tipped with a minnow, a small tube jig or micro-crankbaits.

As the water warms and the season progresses, crappie will leave the shallows and begin to suspend. Jigs and minnow and tube jigs are again the preferred lure presentation.

As the water cools, fall crappie fishing heats up as they begin to form tight schools in the deepest water in the basin. Again, tube jigs and jig and minnow are your best bet. Finding a school at this time of year is hard to beat for pure fish catching fun and 13" crappies are not unusual.

As for the Perch, Lake of the Woods is known for its jumbo perch, over 10" are not uncommon. Perch are commonly found mixed in with walleye.

However, if you were specifically targeting perch, then in the spring you would want to be fishing depths greater than 20' with a jig and minnow or jig and nightcrawler.

As the season progresses, Perch will usually be found in main basin humps and reefs in 15' - 30' of water. Again, a jig tipped with either a minnow or crawler will get bit.

As the water cools and the fall sets in, think spring as the fish will move to locations off their spring spots and set up camp for the winter. Jigging is still the best method for catching these fish during this time period.

If you are staying at Oak Island Resort and are fishing walleye, you are almost certain to catch a few bonus panfish during your stay!