More than 150 Minnesota lodging and guide businesses rent ice houses, or include it as part of a lodging/ice fishing package. Lake of the Woods, on the Canadian border, is one of the most popular and productive ice fishing lakes in the state, with resorts and other businesses renting ice fishing houses out of Baudette, Warroad and Angle Inlet, a tiny resort town on the northwest corner of the lake that can only be reached by driving through Canada (or by snowmobile over the frozen lake). One resort on Lake of the Woods—Zippel Bay Resort out of Williams—operates the Igloo Bar, with beer, wine, mixed drinks, a simple menu, and the option of jigging for walleye from your bar stool.
Walleye, crappie, northern pike and eating-size perch are ice fishing favorites, but you can catch almost anything in the winter that you can catch in the summer. Walker’s Leech Lake is home to the International Eelpout Festival, in late February, dedicated to one of the ugliest fish in the world. The eelpout, also known as the burbot, is related to the saltwater cod and cooks up quite nicely, fried into beer-battered eelpout nuggets for sale at the festival.
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