Repeat Winners for the 13th Annual Chili Bowl Walleye Tournament at Border View Lodge

Baudette, Minn. (October 19, 2023) – The 13th Annual Chili Bowl Walleye Tournament at Border View Lodge was met with perfect weather and a gorgeous sunrise over the Rainy River at Lake of the Woods. With 150 anglers and sponsors in attendance, the event was kicked off with a prime rib dinner, followed by the walleye tournament and chili dinner celebration. This yearly event was again filled to capacity, with over $20,000 awarded in cash and prizes. And a new tradition was started with the presentation of the Chili Bowl Cup!

With many of the anglers returning from last year, the title for first place went to last year’s winners…a father and daughter team that claimed an 18-pound bag!
The top place finishing teams were:
First Place – Olivia Olson & Chad Olson with 18.17 pounds;
Second Place – Dave Anderson & Scott Widor with 15.15 pounds.
Third Place – Scott Ballard & Rory Ballard with 12.70 pounds
With the maximum capacity of 75 boats registered, over 140 anglers competed to register the best of five walleyes or sauger in this catch-and-release format tournament. And the Chili Bowl reinforced its name with a free chili dinner after a day on the water for the anglers, as well as the public. “We have a lot of great anglers that compete, and anything can happen in a fishing tournament,” notes Vince Ojard, Tournament Director. “But we were pleasantly surprised that last year’s winners captured a repeat victory!”

In addition to the tournament payouts, over 30 anglers walked away with some great prizes including Clam walleye nets, Flofast fuel systems, fishing gear from Outdoors Again Sports, Blackfish gear, and Scheels gift certificates. In addition to sponsor prizes, everyone received a goodie bag that included a custom Chili Bowl Beanie. “Our goal is to make this all about the participants.” Notes General Manager Jeff Anderson, “The team here at Border View works really hard to make this a great event. And thanks to our sponsors, we made sure that all anglers walked away with something, not just the winners.” With the presentation of the Chili Bowl Cup, a new tradition has begun…the winners get to eat chili from the trophy, and keep the custom engraved event spoons.



Fall Fishing for Smallies and Wally’s

September and October provide anglers with some of the best fishing on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. We are famous for our world-class walleye fishing. But we also have some incredible smallmouth bass fishing. And the fall is a great time for fast and furious action.

In addition to our fleet of charter boats, we have smaller boats that are perfect for two or three anglers looking for a great fall trip. “Our smallmouth fishing is fantastic this time of year,” notes Captain Ben Owens. “We’ve got the bite dialed in and give anglers another great experience targeting hard-fighting smallies, as well as hooking into some big walleye.”

As water temperatures start to drop, many fish move into Traverse Bay and the Rainy River to strap on the feed bag before winter. Emerald shiners migrate into the River and the big fish follow. This provides a great opportunity to get in on some fantastic action that’s close to the Lodge.

Tactics range from jigging with minnows, to drifting crawler harnesses, or casting and trolling crank baits. This “stick in hand” tactic is fun as anglers can feel aggressively feeding fish smash their bait.

In addition to smallmouth and walleye, sturgeon fishing is on fire this time of year. The Minnesota DNR estimates over 80,000 sturgeon over 40 inches live in our waters. And the fall is a fantastic time to chase them, as they are also more concentrated in the River. If you’ve never caught one, put a sturgeon trip at Border View on your calendar.

Anglers bringing their own boat have access to our dock system. We have power hookups for the slips. And the public boat launch is right next door so anglers can get on the water quickly.

Contact us for more information on fall fishing and available dates.

Registration is Open for 2023 Chili Bowl Walleye Tournament

Border View Lodge is once again hosting its Annual Chili Bowl Walleye Tournament on the Rainy River. Now in its 13th year, the resort’s signature event will be held on October 14, 2023.  The Chili Bowl is a yearly walleye fishing tournament and chili dinner celebration that draws anglers from across the Midwest.
Last year, over 22 anglers walked away with a nice stack of prize money, and this year touts a similar draw. If 75 boats are registered, this event could pay out over $17,000 in prize money to 14 teams, making this a popular northern Minnesota event.
Here are a few key highlights:
• Catch-Photo-Release (CPR) format, one-day fishing tournament on the Rainy River.
• Over $17,000 in cash if 75 boats register, and lots of prizes from our sponsors
•. 75 Teams at $300 per boat (only one, two-person team per boat)
• Registration fee includes a Prime Rib Dinner at the Rules meeting the night before the tournament at 6:00 pm on October 13, 2023
•. Weigh-in and Chili Dinner Celebration will begin at 4:00 pm on October 14, 2023

The Catch-Photo-Release format is in its third year for this event, contributing to the conservation of Lake of the Woods, one of the most prolific walleye fisheries in the Midwest.
“We had an absolute amazing turnout last year for an outstanding event,” notes Vince Ojard, Tournament Director. “So many anglers walked away with cash and prizes and had a fantastic time. We expect most of them to come back and fish it again this year.”

And a couple of new things have been added to this year’s event. “We want to continue to make this event better,” explains Jeff Anderson, General Manager of Lake of the Woods Resorts. “We added a prime rib dinner and celebration during the rules meeting this year, and we are creating a Chili Bowl Trophy that will have some fun promotions around it.”
If the roster reaches the 75-team limit, there could be up to 14 payouts with the 1st place check up to $6,000. The Chili Bowl has partnered with several regional brands that will be offering prizes or promotions at the event as well including Clam Outdoors, Blackfish Gear, Outdoors Again Sports, Midwest Outdoors and Flo-Fast to name a few.
Registration is now open, CLICK HERE. For information and to register, visit or call 800-776-34

Border View Lodge Partners with Wheelers Point Resort to Expand Capacity for Anglers

Border View Lodge and Wheelers Point Resort are excited to announce an alliance that will offer more options for anglers. With a high demand for the incredible Lake of the Woods fishing experience, these popular resorts have joined forces to provide a variety of benefits to visitors to Northern Minnesota.  

The partnership will result in many shared operational efficiencies in staffing, equipment maintenance, ice road access, dining, and streamlined services for overnight lodging.  This simply translates into a more efficient operation while offering an incredible vacation experience for guests.

“With the alliance between these resorts, we will basically have more rooms and more fishing opportunities,” explains Jeff Anderson, General Manager. “We’re simply expanding our capacity, thereby giving our customers more flexibility and the opportunity to come fish on the dates of their choosing.”

Other benefits include upgraded rooms, a rebranded bar and restaurant, shared staffing, expanded use of a plowed ice road, and shared fishing information and expertise. Another big advantage will be a central booking system. “Guests wanting to book a reservation at either property can simply call our main line at Border View and have a very good chance of booking a trip,” explains Vince Ojard , Resort Manager at Border View Lodge. “We often become booked solid for both ice and open water. But with the Wheeler’s Point property alliance, we have additional capacity, so anglers now have a very good chance of getting their charter walleye trip booked for summer or ice fishing trip this winter.”

Long-time customers of Wheeler’s Point will enjoy the added benefits of this partnership, and new visitors to Lake of the Woods will have more options for lodging and fishing dates…a win-win for everyone. In addition to the fully guided charter trips, the “do-it-yourself” anglers that simply need quality lodging with easy boat launch access will still have plenty of great cabins and overnight rooms to choose from, especially during peak fishing season.

What was formerly known as Wheelers Point Resort will now be named Border View Lodge North. This exciting partnership will be official as of May 1, 2023. Guests interested in booking a quality Lake of the Woods walleye fishing trip for open water or ice can simply call 800-776-3474. The check-in/check out process for guests will remain at the main office at Border View Lodge.

Spring Fishing on Lake of the Woods is a Bucket-List Experience

The advantage of fishing with small boats on the Rainy River

Open-water fishing in the Spring is a favorite time of year for many anglers. The ice is gone and you’re ready to hop in the boat and fire up the outboard. The chance to cast a line and set a hook on a big fish is one that most of us crave. And the Rainy River at Lake of the Woods is the perfect place to do it.

It’s known as the Walleye Capital of the World for good reason…it’s a unique system that has an incredible walleye population. And it’s home to giant sturgeon. Lots of them.  In fact, the Minnesota DNR estimates there are over 80,000 sturgeon over 40 inches long living in the Rainy River system. So, the chances are outstanding that you may tie into a true river monster. Setting the hook and having your line screaming off the reel is arguably a bucket list experience. And we have it.

With three resorts located on the Rainy River, we provide an incredible spring fishing experience by offering guided trips in smaller boats. Both Border View Lodge, Sportsman’s Lodge and Wheeler’s Point Resort have a proven track record of putting our guests on world-class sturgeon and giant walleye. Our guides have been fishing here for years. Most of the time they are on the water every day, which means they have the fish dialed in! They know where they are and what it takes to catch them. And it doesn’t matter if you are experienced or not. Or if you own a boat, or not. These guys have all the gear…you just show up and catch fish.

“Sometimes anglers are looking for the flexibility of fishing a smaller boat, and we have that. One the biggest benefits of fishing a smaller boat is anglers get to hit the river before most of the resorts put in the big charter boats. There’s less competition on the river. And the fish are hungry. So, the action can be absolutely incredible.”

Jeff Anderson, LOW Resorts Manager and Fishing Guide

And, if you’re the do-it-yourself kind of angler, we have the lodging and accommodations right in the heart of the action. Our resorts are located near the public boat launch on the Rainy River, which means you will have a line in the water minutes after putting your boat in. We also have some slips available so you won’t have to trailer your boat each day. And don’t be afraid to ask our resort staff for some tips. We love it when our guests put fish in the boat!

Guided Spring Fishing Rates
Small boat- $600 for 3 anglers
Guided Sturgeon- Ice out to May 15
Walleye (catch and release) Ice out to April 15

Contact our team to book a trip:
Sportsman’s Lodge- (800) 862-8602
Border View Lodge-  (800) 776-3474
Wheeler’s Point Resort- (800) 542-2345

Simple Summary of the Spring Fishing Regulations on LOW

Sturgeon and walleye fishing are available right after ice out through May 15th but there are seasonal regulations and dates to be followed (refer the MNDNR for official regulations):
March 1 to April 23 – catch and release only.
April 24 to May 7 – harvest season, allows you to keep one fish and requires a $5 tag from the MNDNR.
May 8 to May 15 – back to catch and release.
May 16 to June 30 – NO sturgeon fishing, season is closed.

The walleye / sauger season on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River runs through April 14th. On Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River from March 1 through April 14, it is catch and release only. On the main lake, the normal combined limit of 6 walleyes / saugers (with a max of 4 walleyes) still applies.
The season then closes for a couple of weeks, and re-opens with the catch and harvest regulations.
The official MN Fishing Opener for walleyes is May 13, 2023.
Click here for more details and Minnesota DNR regulations.
Or click here for a simplified version for LOW waters.

Sleeper house walleye on Midwest Outdoors TV

Ice fishing in a sleeper house at Border View Lodge is a great experience, especially for a family. Check out this episode of Midwest Outdoors TV where Matt Johnson, Pro Staff Director at Clam Outdoors fishes in a sleeper house with his sons.

Borderview Lodge Welcomes New Owners

After devoting 17 years of hard work to growing the Border View Lodge legacy, Mike and Lisa Kinsella are proud to hand off ownership to resort owners and business partners, Joe Swanson and Pipasu Soni.

Swanson and Soni are no strangers to the fishing resort business. They understand the importance of what the Kinsellas created, a destination serving anglers and their families who have come for generations to catch walleye and create memories. The team is dedicated to continuing the Border View services and tradition that Mike and Lisa have worked so hard to build, providing an outstanding fishing experience to long-time customers.

Joe grew up in a small mining town on the North Shore of Lake Superior and currently resides in Minnesota with his wife and two children. They love to travel and live where they are in the world. Hence, he invests in properties and appreciates seeing multiple generations of folks making memories. He invests on a 100-year plan and rarely sells.

Pipasu is equally excited about being part of a great Minnesota institution on the Lake of the Woods. Growing up in East Tennessee, Pipasu spent considerable time outdoors as part of the Boy Scouts. Pipasu currently resides in Winnipeg, MB, where he lives with his wife and three children. Similar to Joe, Pipasu takes a longterm view on investing in properties and really places emphasis on driving a culture that makes it a top choice for customers and the place to work for employees.

Joe’s passion for carrying on the Border View Lodge legacy comes from growing up in Minnesota, his love for lake life, and his early work in the hospitality industry. “I like owning vacation destination properties because building and maintaining family memories is a great business to be in,” says Joe.

“We feel that a small group of resorts on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River will help us focus on developing a world-class team to assist our guests and solve labor shortage issues in the industry.” says Soni.

The Minnesota-based hospitality management company, Leisure Hotels & Resorts, has been hired to assist the Border View Lodge team with day-to-day management. Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a small dedicated team specializing in independent resorts. They are passionate about hospitality and have over 100 years of experience in the industry. Like Joe, this team has worked from the bottom up, and they look forward to welcoming you back to Border View Lodge.