Day 1 of 6
Sunday, August 11, 2013. After camping the previous night at Fall Lake Campground, we woke at 5:00 AM to head to EP 26 to begin our trip and were paddling before 7:00 AM. We made quick time through Wood and Hula Lakes, and were pleased to find both campsites on Good Lake empty. We choose the site on the narrows as our home for the next 4 nights. Despite the not so great canoe landing and steep hike up to the site, we loved the site for its beautiful views of the lake and central location to all fishing areas. After setting up camp, we fished through the early afternoon hours and quickly realized that Good Lake was dominated by Northern Pike. We did well on our first day in the weedier areas of the lake and caught a couple nice sized bass as well, but no walleyes. Tyler caught what at the time was the largest pike he had ever caught- a nice 28" fish, with promises from us that he would likely top that before week's end. With enough fish for dinner, we enjoyed our first BW campfire of the year along with the solitude of a lake all to ourselves.
Day 2 of 6
Monday, August 12, 2013. We decided to make Monday our lazy day, and spent the entire day fishing on Good Lake and hanging out around camp. More pike and both largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught, and for the first time we made a real effort to find the walleye. Even with a fish finder, leeches, and fishing multiple spots during different times of the day, we caught 0 walleye. However, with continued cooperation of 24-27" pike and Curt's excellent pike fileting skills, we had plenty of fish to eat for both lunch and dinner. As promised, Tyler outdid his previous personal best and caught a 30.5" pike as well as a nice fat 19" smallmouth. This was the day he took to saying "I really like the Boundary Waters", and I knew we had "hooked" another future trip member. During the day we took some time to go blueberry picking as well, and while we did find several decent patches, most of the areas were already well past prime. It also turned out to be a great wildlife viewing day with mergansers, loons, and eagles all showing up.
Day 3 of 6
Tuesday, August 13, 2013. Tuesday was our first day-trip day and we headed over to Indiana Lake in the morning to see the sights and try our luck fishing there. Indiana is an extremely clear lake, and fishing proved to be a bit tougher. We did catch a fair amount of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, but no pike and no walleye. The lake was windier and the weather cooler than we had hoped, so we didn't spend as much time there as planned. We did see a red fox along the shore a couple times as well as numerous beaver lodges. After heading back to Good Lake to catch a few pike for dinner and retrieving a canoe that blew away in the wind (DOH!), we sat around the campfire pretty late and were able to see a few meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Day 4 of 6
Wednesday, August 14, 2013. A cold morning (low of 36) got us off to a bit slow of a start on this day. After the heavy fog lifted and we warmed up a bit, we day-tripped up Good Creek into Hoist Bay of Basswood Lake hoping to hook into some trophy pike. While we didn't get anything too large, I was able to boat a nice 32" pike, and we caught several others in the 27-30" range and plenty of smaller ones to keep us busy. Two nice 18" largemouth bass provided a nice bonus as well. It was well worth the paddle to get into that type of fishing for the morning. We headed back to Good Lake and caught a few more pike for dinner. Two large snapping turtles decided to make lunch of one of our pike while it was still on the stringer, so we went out and caught another. We knew from past experiences not to keep them on stringers overnight, but that was the first time we had ever lost fish to snappers during the daytime. That night we played our first games of Euchre, and called it a great day. We knew we would be leaving Good the following morning, so we fished a little more that evening and packed things up to be ready to head back to Wood Lake in the morning.
Day 5 of 6
Thursday, August 15, 2013. We woke up, got things moving fairly quickly, and were back on Wood Lake by 9:30 AM. We were a bit worried about finding a site on the lake, but were pleasantly surprised to find the NE site nearest the portage into Hula Lake still open, so we took that site and set up camp. We then spent the majority of the day trying to figure out Wood Lake, a significantly different lake (for fishing that is) than both Good and Basswood had been. Well, while we didn't quite get the size or numbers we did on the other lakes, we did catch a few decent pike and 1 walleye for dinner. We also explored the bluffs above our camp and took in some spectacular views of Wood Lake, but the real treat happened around 9:30 PM that night. The aurora borealis were beautiful and lasted until well into the middle of the night, coming and going with green, yellow, and pinkish hues across the northern skyline. It was a great sendoff to our last night in the BW.
Day 6 of 6
Friday, August 16, 2013. The time finally came for us to pack up and head for home. We left Wood Lake after a lazy morning in camp, and were back in the parking lot before 11:00 AM. Ben, Curt and I were already talking about next year's trip, and I know Tyler can't wait for his 2nd BW trip. We had a great time, great fishing, fairly decent weather, and lots of memories to hold us over until next summer!