If you read my previous blog, you know what kind of incredible walleye fishing action we've had at the Walleye Capital of the World — Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. But it wouldn't have been as epic if it weren't for our friends at Sportsman's Lodges. Gregg Hennum and his wife Diana run an absolutely top-notch operation near Baudette on the Rainy River. With a family-run resort, Gregg caters to families and fishermen and has tailored his fishing packages to appeal to everyone looking for an amazing experience.
Home base for our adventure was at one of their sweet lakeside villas at the main resort. These new, state-of-the-art villas have a full kitchen, big flat screen televisions, and spacious comfortable rooms - all with rustic northwoods decor and log furniture. The villas sit on top of the hill looking out over the Rainy River facing Canada on the opposite shoreline. Sportsman's Lodges also has individual cabins available for smaller groups, as well as rooms in the main lodge.
To take guests out and catch get their limits of walleye, Sportsman's Lodges has a fleet of charter boats, most of them are 28-foot Sportscraft cruisers that make a day of walleye fishing on big water as comfortable as it gets. The charter boats can fish up to 6 people comfortably. They have all the latest and greatest gear and electronics. And they also have the get-up-an-go to get you on the fish, fast.
After a day of catching walleye, you can clean up while your guide filets the fish and packages them up for your trip home. The lodge will even cook some of your fish to serve with dinner. It doesn't get any fresher than that. Guests have a choice of dining in the main dining room or in the Sandbar bar and lounge. To keep the kids entertained, they have an arcade and billiard table on the second floor looking out over the pool and hot tub.
Here's the best part— Sportsman's also offers an "Adventure" package, where guests are boated up to their outpost resort on Oak Island at the Northwest Angle to fish around island structure. From there, guides can even phone in one-day licenses so you can fish Canadian waters for a day and add that to your entire Lake of the Woods experience. The Sportsman's Oak Island Lodge has all the same great amenities as the main lodge — villas, restaurant/bar, and incredible fishing. They even have the Island's official US Post Office so you can send a postcard home and tell everyone how much fun you're having! They have a third remote location called Eagle Ridge. Also on an island at the Northwest Angle, Eagle Ridge has two private cabins perfect for groups. We didn't get to visit that one, so I'll have to check out that on my next trip there. So it's Sportmans's LODGES, since they have more than just one.
Last but not least, their entire staff was incredible — outgoing, friendly and knowledgable about the area attractions as well as the Lake. And most of their guides grew up fishing the Lake of the Woods waters. They are expert fishermen as well as Coast-guard certified Captains, arguably the finest on the Lake. We were after walleye, but their guides can get you on a variety of fish like giant musky, smallmouth bass, and ancient sturgeon in the Rainy River.
Sportsman's Lodges gave me and my sons a true northwoods sportsman's experience that was off the hook (sorry, had to do it!!). Whether you consider yourself a seasoned sportsman or a novice just looking for a great fishing trip, this place is for you. I hear they have the same level of professionalism and service with their ice fishing trips, so it's safe to say we'll be back in the winter for some world-class fishing through the ice.
Check out the photos below, then call and book your trip! For more information than I can put here and contact info, visit their website at SportsmansLodges.com.
They also have a cool Facebook page so guests can share their pix- www.facebook.com/sportsmans