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12/10/2018 09:16PM
Looking to take my first trip this summer. 3-4 day trip and would mainly like to focus on fishing and scenery. We would really like to target walleye and small mouth with the occasional northern. If anyone has some good routes and tips for a first timer I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks again
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distinguished member(665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/11/2018 09:41AM

West Side (by Ely), Central (Kawishiwi or Isabella), or East (Sawbill Trail or Gunflint Trail)?

Paddling Experience? Larger Lakes are ok(I have some paddling experience and I can handle some wind and waves.), Would prefer to stick to smaller lakes (Not much experience paddling on windier days.)

What time of year?

Trip type?: Base camp (Head in one hardish day, fish that lake for a day or two, head back out one day.) . Travel trip - Move most days and stay on a different lake each night. (This will cut into your fishing time with camp setup and repack.)

How hardcore fishing are you? Fishing time is utmost importance. Fishing is important but want to do some sightseeing while we fish. Sightseeing is more important than fishing, but a nice fish dinner would help make the trip. Sightseeing is the most important and if we happen to catch a fish maybe we will clean him or or maybe catch and release.

This will help members give you route advice that will more closely meet your expectations.
distinguished member(658)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/11/2018 10:40AM
I would recommend North and South Temperance. I have caught Walleye and Smallmouth there. Pretty sure there are a couple Northerns too. Last time I was there, the fishing was bad due to the mayfly hatch, but we still caught plenty to eat. The route I took was using the Brule EP and paddling the length of the lake. We preferred this route over the Baker EP because long paddles and short portages are easy. You don't see as much though and there is the risk of big waves on a lake that large.

The Lady chain is another great option. Starting at Sawbill, you can go through Alton, Beth, Grace and Phoebe. That is a very pretty area and we have caught walleye, northern, and bass there. I remember those portages sucking, but it was also my first trip and my pack was a school backpack. They gave me an army duffle with a single strap to carry too. I was dying. I look back on that trip and think how easy it would be now though.

Tuscarora from Missing Link EP would be another great option, but it is more of a northern and trout lake. Trout fishing used to be a little off putting for me too, but once I tried it and learned how it works, it was easy. You just throw on little cleos and find the right depth to troll at. Which was about 30ft in late June for us. It isn't hard, but they might be a little picky about what they bite on. Just any spoon wouldn't work for us, it had to be the little cleos.
distinguished member(1473)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/11/2018 11:58AM
Day 1 Nina Moose
Day 2 Agnes
Day 3 Day trip to pictos on LLC (weather permitting)
Day 4 paddle out (stop at top of the world)
Or you can go all the way to Agnes on day 1 (6 hrs) and day trip to Oyster on day 2 for some LT
12/11/2018 04:47PM
If you want to get in a decent ways and then fish hard for 2 days and then fish on your way out, a tow from Moose to Ensign and hanging out on Ensign might not be a bad option. The walleye fishing in Ensign is supposed to be great, and I caught 2 myself on an unfortunately very windy, clear and sunny June day with about an hour and a half of paddling/trolling and casting near shore. Hoping for less wind during my June 2019 trip (not to Ensign), but I doubt I'll get so lucky... lol.

If you don't mind a little more traveling (worth it) then I can highly recommend taking a tow from Moose to Knife (well, to Birch). It took my groups about 4 hours from hitting the Sucker/Birch portage to paddling on Knife, double portaging. That area is beautiful, with varying elevation and super clear water, and there are a ton of fish (lots of variety) and, my favorite, lots of bald eagles. One morning I woke up and was packing up camp and heard what had to have been 3 or 4 bald eagles calling to each other over and over. It was hard to leave!

I haven't been to Horse Lake, but that is easily reached in a day, and has the fish you're looking for. You could do a day trip up the Horse River and fish around Lower Basswood Falls too. Scenery, check. Fishing, check!
distinguished member(4423)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
12/11/2018 05:49PM
I second Ensign for an easy 3-4 day trip. And Ashigan (just off SE Ensign) for some easy smallies)
ghost of murphy lake jim
Guest Paddler
12/11/2018 11:36PM
Go in at fall lake ep and head up into pipestone bay of basswood lake to base camp. this is a good option if you consider yourself inexperienced.

If on the other hand you have paddled a canoe fully loaded in high wind across a massive lake then take snowbank lake ep and head to disappointment, ima, or thomas lake depending on preference.
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