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CS
member (8)member
 
01/13/2018 10:03AM
Hey everyone! Starting to think about a 2019 trip. Anyone have recommendations for times of year and lakes for good smallmouth fishing? This will be my third trip, Ive been to the Knife Lake area both times, so looking to explore some new ground and really get on the smallies. Any advide would be much appreciated.

Open to times of year, lakes and entry points.

Thanks!
CS
 
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murphylakejim
distinguished member(549)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/13/2018 02:58PM
Some basic ideas....

Fall lake entry point north to areas on Basswood lake (jackfish bay and pipestone bay).

Mudro entry point north on the horse river into crooked lake fishing friday, saturday and sunday bays.

Ive only beem up fall lake into basswood but I think both these areas are referred to as smallmouth factories.

Another idea if you want to stick to small lakes is Wood lake entry point, an area Ive been to multiple times. Wood lake has good smallmouth fishing as well as Indiana lake and sections of basswood (back bay and hoist bay).

More info can be provided if you narrow things down later
CS
member (8)member
 
01/13/2018 03:16PM
Thats a great start Jim, thank you very much!
cyclones30
distinguished member(1248)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/13/2018 07:54PM
Most areas west of where you've been before have smallies. You can look at the MN DNR site and go to lake finder. They'll show survey results from most lakes and you can see numbers and sizes.
gymcoachdon
distinguished member (346)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/14/2018 07:37PM
I will give you a one word answer given to me 2 years ago:

Quetico

I listened to the advice and had an awesome trip mid June last year, with great fishing on nearly every lake I fished. Personal best 19.5" smallie, 33" pike, and 5.5 lb lake trout.
carmike
distinguished member(1291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/14/2018 10:08PM
A 2019 trip? Or 2018? More power to you if you're looking out to '19...I thought I was bad with planning. :)

There are smallies pretty much everywhere, and it's hard now to find a lake that doesn't have them. I'd suggest early/mid-June for your trip. If you go at that time of year, you might "miss" them on one lake (they get in a funk for a week or so after the big girls spawn out) but you might catch them hot and heavy on a different lake.

Do you want to go out of Ely or Grand Marais/Gunflint?
illini79ps
member (7)member
 
01/16/2018 02:17PM
Some great advice already here. I would add that there is great SMB fishing throughout the entire BWCA, although I only go to Basswood in recent years. Suggestion: decide what EP you are using and then repost the question on the Fishing Forum.
QueticoMike
distinguished member(4466)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/16/2018 02:28PM
Basswood has some big smallmouth.
01/16/2018 06:32PM
Crab Lake as well as Cummings Lake hold nice smallies. In addition, Coxey Pond also has plenty of smallmouth.
01/16/2018 09:40PM
I would be careful with the MN DNR Lake Survey for information about Smallmouth population on any of the lakes they list. The DNR uses gill nets sunk deep to catch then count what they bring up. The SM mostly are in the shallower parts of the lake and an accurate count can't be trusted when using deep gill nets for SM.

Almost all BW lakes have SM, just a matter for size and quantity. The Boundary Waters Journal has published some very good articles on which BW lakes are best for SM. You can check out the article index on their web site or you can read lots of trip reports and ask around on this site.

UP Boy
CS
member (8)member
 
01/17/2018 12:31AM
Amazing advice, thanks to all for responding. Yes, getting a jumpstart on 2019 planning. Time off work is a challenge, and making a trip to Lake of the Woods this summer, so wont make it to BWCA this year.

My two previous trips were mid-summer and early fall, but thought early summer might be better, just not sure how early. Ive caught some decent smallmouth on Knife, but never of the quality or quantity I would have liked. Time to try some new areas and explore some new scenery.

It sounds like I was a month late and a little farther east than I should have been. I like early June, that sounds like the consensus post-spawn time to go.

Thanks again, this forum is awesome!
mc2mens
distinguished member(3957)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2018 08:58PM
Basswood - Pipestone and Jackfish Bays are loaded with smallies. Fish off small islands, submerged islands/rock piles, downstream side of rapids (where a stream or river pours into a lake), points, channels, against cliffs that plunge into deep water, and near downfallen trees. I catch most of mine with a leech and bobber setup, but also catch several while bottom bouncing with a leech for walleyes.
GoSpursGo
distinguished member (288)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2018 10:05AM
That early time of June can be really hit or miss - 3 or 4 days of bad weather and fishing followed by a day or two of the best fishing in your life. Word on the street is that the Granite river is a great smallie trip.
CrookedPaddler1
distinguished member(1382)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/23/2018 09:01AM
I plan my annual Smallmouth trip for around the 10th of june, sometimes we end up a little earlier or later depending on everyone's commitments. As was mentioned earlier, spring can be really hit or miss, but when the water temp, air temp, sunlight, moonlight and what ever other factors effect smallies all line up......the fishing can be absolutely world class!

For consistency, a fall trip can produce some very good results and tend to end up with a better chance of trophy smallies.

As fas as where to go.......I have had tremendous luck on all of the border lakes from Crooked to Sagnaga, and pretty much of the lakes bordering them. So, pick a spot that sounds appealing to you and head out for some fantastic fishing.
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/24/2018 09:05AM
Two areas where we have hammered small mouth: Lac La Croix in the Boulder Bay/Boulder River area and the Kawishiwi River near the split of the north and south branches. My 10 year old son caught his first smallie in August last year and it was 18"+ and well over 3 lbs. A friend of mine caught 6 or 7 fish over 18" in that same area on the Kawishiwi back in 2013. Back in '07 I caught a 21" smallie just off the Boulder River that was a cow. The Kawishiwi has easy access from the Lake One entry point and no killer portages. I've had my best success on my late May or early June trips. Best lure I've used is a jointed Shad-Rap baby bass pattern.
TheOnion
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
01/26/2018 11:05AM
Splash lake is pretty easy to get to from EP25 and is loaded with smallies. Not too many fish that lake as they are merely passing through to other lakes. There is 1 campsite on Splash but plenty on the next lake over (Ensign Lake).

mgraber
distinguished member(720)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/10/2018 01:19AM
LLC
Basswood
Crooked
Guest Paddler
 
02/25/2018 06:11PM
Jackfish Bay on Basswood is considered one of the best Smallmouth Lakes in North America. My dad caught an 8 lber in August 4 years ago.
QueticoMike
distinguished member(4466)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/26/2018 09:21AM
: "Jackfish Bay on Basswood is considered one of the best Smallmouth Lakes in North America. My dad caught an 8 lber in August 4 years ago."

Can you post a picture of this fish? I would love to see it! Thanks!
manmountain8
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/27/2018 05:32PM
Sure, I'll get it from him. Not weighed. Measured 24.5 inches. Can't remember the girth but it was thick. He's not holding it out at all in the picture so I didn't think it was that big, but his friend took the measurements and I trusted him. We did the formulas and they ranged from 7'13, to 8'1, depending on which formula you use. He has a reproduction of it and it's massive. I'll ask him for the pic tonight.
manmountain8
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/18/2018 02:16PM
QueticoMike: ": "Jackfish Bay on Basswood is considered one of the best Smallmouth Lakes in North America. My dad caught an 8 lber in August 4 years ago."


Can you post a picture of this fish? I would love to see it! Thanks!"
manmountain8
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/19/2018 07:38PM
QueticoMike: ": "Jackfish Bay on Basswood is considered one of the best Smallmouth Lakes in North America. My dad caught an 8 lber in August 4 years ago."


Can you post a picture of this fish? I would love to see it! Thanks!"
I got one of the actual pics.
manmountain8
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/19/2018 07:47PM
He left a line he had drawn on the fish to try to determine the girth. I thought it looked about 6.5 lbs in the Pic. His partner swears it was all of 24.5 inches and I got the impression he was telling the truth because he was a bit competetive. I don't think he'd exaggerate someone else's fish. I even inspected his measuring tape.
03/20/2018 07:06AM
Amazing fish! Thanks for sharing.
QueticoMike
distinguished member(4466)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/20/2018 10:29AM
That's a good one!
03/20/2018 02:30PM
killing the quote
03/20/2018 02:33PM
I'm hoping the smallmouth are biting on Alpine & Red Rock in August! I caught my biggest one on my first trip, on Sag 10 years ago. That was a fun fight!
 
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