Walleye Fishing on the Rainy River

Despite the most recent cold front, the Rainy River continues to make headway. Spots of open water have already been reported all the way to Birchdale Landing. With the upcoming warmer temperatures this week we are expecting to see more progress.

As the ice recedes on the river the anticipation to hit the open water builds. This past week we pulled our Alumacraft Competitor 185 out of storage to prep it for the upcoming season. After purchasing all the essentials from our local dealership, Grand Rapids Marine, we have completed our bi-annual tune up and she is now ready to go. Today, we have began to take inventory of all our current Tackle and Plastics, and have started to re-rig rods. Although we frequently boat more than a fair share of Lake Sturgeon while fishing the Rainy River, our primary species of target is Walleye.

Walleye fishing on the Rainy River can provide its own challenges as river conditions can change daily, at times even hourly. Which is why you need to prepare for all variables prior to hitting this world-renowned trophy Walleye fishery. In this post we bring you a few suggestions on rigging and equipment. The gear you bring can ultimately make or break your trip.


We prefer the JTX Mag 7’1” from JT Outdoor Products. The action of this rod works incredibly well for tossing swim baits, and its performance in unmatched. It has the sensitivity to detect the softest bite in the cold water, yet it has the backbone to withstand the fight a trophy class fish against the heavy river current. We pair ours up with the Daiwa Fuego LT.


Our tried and true choice of line, across the board, has always been Seaguar. For Walleye fishing on the Rainy River, we use the Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green 10lb as our mainline. The Flash Green provides an angler better line visibility which allows for greater jig control. We pair it with a leader, approximately 12ft in length, of the Seaguar InvizX 10lb.


There are many different methods of target that work well. Depending on conditions, some will perform better than others. Since Minnows are prohibited on the Canadian side, a majority of anglers use a jig head paired with a swim-bait.

When purchasing jigs, it is important to take the flow of the river into consideration. For instance, if the river is high, with a faster current you are going to want heavier jigs to get you down to the strike-zone. We suggest having a selection of jigs ranging from 1/4oz to 3/4oz to conquer any plight. We recommend something like the Current Cutter Jig from Northland Tackle in various colors. For plastics some of our favorite are the AuthenX Pulse-R paddle tails. Having a variety of colors will help prepare you for any river condition that is conducive to whatever the walleye happen to be in the mood for at that time.

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We are definitely looking forward to a great season ahead of us on the open water! We offer fully equipped Guided Walleye Fishing on the Rainy River for the extended season. Reminder that the Rainy Walleye season closes this year on April 14th. We will then turn our focus to Guided Steelhead trips along the Minnesota North Shore until open water presents itself locally. Wheezy Outdoors offers fully equipped guided fishing services for the entire Northern Minnesota Region. Feel free to call us at 218-275-7525 for any questions.

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