BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
September 24 2017
Number of Permits per Day: 11
Elevation: 1205 feet
Seagull Lake - 54
Seagull it is!
July 26, 2015
Number of Days:
As all of our trips start – this one started with the great people at Tuscarora Lodge. We had some of their delicious French Toast and Coffee, got our fishing licenses and got some last minute fishing tips from the new owner Andy. “New Andy” as he’s known seems like a great guy. On the way out, our van driver stopped to say goodbye/hello to Old Andy and Sue – they’ve been our family tripping gurus for four years running and have outfitted us on some “guy trips” before then. Never the one to be shy, I popped out of the van and said my hellos and goodbyes as well. While chatting, they asked to see my map and Sue, knowing our group (4 little kids, 3 adults), directed us towards an island campsite on Seagull instead of Alpine. She and Andy said that if it was open, we needn’t look any further and set up camp for the week. We bid adieu and we were off to Seagull. Heidi is my brother’s wife, although she’s a native Minnesotan, this was her first time to the BWCA. I’d love to report that she was super excited for the wilderness or fishing, but her real interest in going was monitoring her baby “Tyson” who turned 4 in October and was up for his first trip too. The wind could not have been calmer and it could not have been hotter! We paddled for a few hours and were planning on having lunch amongst some mid lake islands and check them out for potential campsites. We stopped at Sue’s favorite spot on Seagull and it was available. We had found our home! It was a great little island that was plenty open to allow the breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. We had lunch, set up camp and spent the afternoon swimming and lazing about! The hot and windless day led to a hot and windless night – it wasn’t the best night’s sleep but I got through it!
With the glassy water of the morning, I decided to tie on my titanium leader and Zara Spook. I had hits my first four casts and hooked two. My son was up on the rocks above where I was casting from which made it even cooler. I’m not sure the size of the Northern I missed, but if its wake was any indication of its size, it was a big one! We spent most of Monday swimming again and did a little fishing in the evening. The wind picked up a little around noon, it wasn’t anything bad but we were happy we weren’t paddling into it. We caught a few bass in the evening and made some delicious fish tacos! The temps were still high and right before we climbed into bed, I jumped into the lake to cool down – I’d recommend it for anyone!
I woke up this morning and did some slip bobber fishing from shore and picked up a little walleye – ¾’s of a grand slam….but in late July, that’s still a long way to go. When we did our morning paddle it seemed like the bite was slowing down from Mondays hot streak and the temps were dropping as well. The wind was steady and we had a little difficulty controlling the boat with the drift sock, using the newly acquired fish finder and fishing. There was a little less swimming today so my brother, the kids and I explored the island a found a few patches of blueberries. The kids quickly adapted to bouldering and even the four year old had no trouble shinnying up the 10-15 foot rocks! Again that night we went out and were hoping for some more Northerns, but came back with a few bass and fried them up. The walleye was cooked with some butter, salt, pepper and a lemon squeezed over it – could not have been more delicious.
We woke up a few times through the night because of how loud the wind was. The wind went from bad to worse today. It was clearly not a day for us to take the kids out on the water and we had a lazy morning around camp. My brother took a 4 hour nap so my sister-in-law and I took the kids on an island hike and picked 1/3rd of a gallon of blueberries. While on the hike, we saw a canoe on an adjacent islands rocks where there was not campsite. The canoe wasn’t moving but it didn’t look safe from the 30-40 mph winds. We hiked back to our site and saw that the mystery canoe had been to a safer location. The winds kept up throughout the entire day and we saw numerous people stranded and turned back from the high winds. It was an early night again as the wind made a campfire impossible.
Thursday was still windy – but after 30-40 mph winds, 20 mph seems like nothing. We spent a good 3 hours getting acquainted with the drift sock, fish finder and spinner rigs and the only walleye action we had was a 5-10 second battle of my brothers that ended with a spit hook. It seemed like we were marking walleye between 14-16 feet, but we really had a lot of trouble keeping the canoe (and bait) in that zone. ….hopefully the forums can help us out for next year. Our anchor rope was only 50 feet, and when we tried to use it to anchor over a ‘hot spot’ the anchor keep getting pulled. The kids caught a few more bass and we headed back to camp. My brother wanted us to give lake trout fishing a shot so later in the afternoon we headed out to the deeper, western portion of seagull. Out in the ‘big water’ we didn’t see a soul. The winds were still blowing at least 20 and the waves were breaking over the bow. At one point a front came in and a wave went over the midsection of the canoe, I turned us around and said we were headed back to camp. Within 2 minutes it turned flat again – the seas a fickle mistress. We circled an island a few times with some inline weights and deep diver rapalas, we lost one to some rocks and hadn’t got a hit on the other. I decided to try my luck with throwing a bucktail after deploying the drift sock. Sure enough, right where we were marking fish (bait fish?) I had a hit, missed the hookset but fortunately it hit again and I got it the second time. Pulled up a small laketrout from 65 feet – between the drift sock and depth finder, I call it my $250 dollar fish!!! The kids could not have been more excited to see us pull in with the trout, and I could not have been more thankful to my brother for pushing me to complete the Grand Slam!! The biggest fish (by weight) might have been the 4 pound Smallmouth – but who’s counting! Before bed, my son and I had a blast catching crawdads using the moon and head lamps, we kept them in the minnow bucket overnight.
We did a little fishing today and what a difference we found in the fishing, not a single top water strike and even the plastics weren’t working on the bass. The only thing that caught fish were the crawdads! We caught a few more bass, released them, packed up and had an extremely easy, wind assisted paddle out!