Fish Rainy Lake

Whether you are out for a trophy northern or just a nice stringer of walleye, Rainy Lake delivers! Oh, did I mention crappies? smallies? We got them too.

With a total surface area of over 227,500 acres, 75% (170,625 acres) of Rainy Lake is located in Canada and 25% (56,875 acres) lies on the United States side. Rainy Lake has 1,600 islands with over 635 miles of shoreline and 929 miles of shoreline on the mainland, contributing to the1,564 total miles of shoreline.

The elevation of Rainy Lake is 1,108 feet and an average depth of 32 feet. Containing more than 2 cubic miles of water, which is more than a trillion gallons of water or about 275 gallons for every person on the planet.

From snowmobiling to ice fishing, cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, the winter months on Rainy Lake provide even more opportunities for outdoor play. Each spring residents and visitors try to predict when boat travel from Island View to Kettle Falls is unrestricted by ice. Ice out is sometimes early and sometimes late, but always celebrated on the lake. The earliest recorded ice out was April 6, 2012 and the latest recorded ice out was May 22, 1950

There are no horsepower restrictions on Rainy Lake but personal watercraft and jet skis are not allowed in Voyageurs National Park.

Rainy Lake Minnesota Fishing Limits
Walleye/Sauger Limit of 8 (not more than 4 can be walleye), 18-26 inches must be released, one(1) above 26 inches
Northern Limit of 3, with only one(1) above 30 inches
Smallmouth Limit of 6, no size restrictions
Crappie Limit of 10, no size restrictions
Perch Limit of 20, no size restrictions

Minnesota fishing license and a large selection of quality bait and tackle may be purchased at:
Rainy Lake One Stop, located 1/2 mile west of the resort on HWY 11, the The Outdoorsman's Headquarters or the Sportsmen's Service located in International Falls.

Canada Fishing Regulations

Anglers may choose between a Sport Fishing License and a Conservation License.

Rainy Lake Canadian Fishing Limits (Sport License)
Walleye/Sauger Limit of 1 per day and 4 in possession, Walleye must be between 13.8-17.7 inches and only one above 27.6 inches
Northern Limit of 4, none between 27.6 - 35.4 inches and one above 35.4 inches
Smallmouth Limit of 2, must be less than 13.8 inches before July 1st. Limit of 4, no size restrictions after July 1st
Crappie Limit of 15, no size restrictions

In addition to your Canadian license a "Remote Area Border Crossing Permit" must also be obtained if you plan to land your boat on Canadian soil. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you get your permit 4 weeks ahead of arrival. The following link is to Canadian customs if you wish to get your R.A.B.C. online:

Non Residents may obtain their Canadian outdoors card and fishing license ahead of arrival by calling 1-800-288-1155 or by going online:

Guide Services

Not sure where the fish are biting? Get an experienced guide.

Although Camp Idlewood does not employ an on-site fishing guide, the International Falls area has no shortage of talented local guides. Based on your specific needs and goals for your trip, we can refer you to licensed and insured local guides who provide boats and equipment to make your fishing trip hassle-free.

A guided fishing trip on Rainy Lake typically costs between $300 and $500. Of course these rates vary based on the number of people in your party, as well as the length of your trip and add-on features (shore lunch, bait, gas, etc.). We recommend that you have a brief discussion with your guide before leaving shore to cover your expectations of your trip. Ask him to show you how to navigate the Coast Guard navigational buoys, point out areas of interest. Also discuss if you would like to fish areas farther down the lake or those closer areas that will be easy to find again later in the week? Remember you're paying him, it's your trip, and YOU'RE THE BOSS.

Early and late in the season you can usually book a guide with a one/two day notice. In June, July and August we advise you to book several weeks ahead. Please give us a call or e-mail if you need more information on guides. We will be happy to help you out.

Mike "One Doggie" Lessard
4217 E County Road 3
Ray, MN 56669
Woody's Fairly Reliable Guide Service
2069 Spruce Street
Rainier, MN 56668
(218) 286-5001
Toll Free: (866) 410-5001
Rainy Lake Guide Association