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VaderStrom
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12/09/2019 04:11PM
Hi all,
I'm planning an end of May fishing trip for a couple of my brother's nephews. I've narrowed down our entry points to the following and I was wondering if the experts could rate the options based on their vast experience?

We will bring a portable depth finder and be in two canoes. The reason for these lakes is we will be going over Memorial Day weekend and wanted to get between 4 & 5 hrs of paddling in, but not further. I'd prefer to stay off big water as well as these are inexperienced paddlers.

Shell Lake - EP 14
Agnes - EP 16
Horse Lake - EP 23
Fourtown Lake - EP 23
Lake Polly - EP 37
 
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12/09/2019 07:49PM
I’ve fished all of these lakes except Polly. Out of those, I’d choose Shell. You didn’t say what species you are targeting, but Shell has decent walleyes, Bass, and even some trophy pike. Also, even though you said you’ll go no further, Heritage, Little Shell and Lynx are all easy to get too and can provide a few more options.
 
WhiteWolf
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12/10/2019 08:35AM
By no means an expert but here is my .02 ranked in order I would do; (fished all but Shell)

#1 Horse Lake ( possible day trips to Lower Basswood Falls)
#2 Fourtown Lake (but I'd really like to go to the lakes N and NW of 4-town)
#3-Agnes (crappies also)
#4- Shell
#5 Polly
 
VaderStrom
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12/10/2019 09:27AM
Thanks for the replies.

Regarding the "not going further", that is my thought only around our 3 night base camp. We are definitely looking for some day trips to further lakes. We aren't targeting any specific species, but I'd guess Walleye will be the most readily available along with Pike. Really, we will just be looking for anything that bites as it will be the young guys first ever trip, I think maybe even first camping experience.

My biggest hesitation with the Mudro entry point is how busy it will be and not getting a site with shore fishing. I neglected to mention we will be going over the Memorial Day weekend and hopefully dropping in on Friday morning. I've done this EP a couple times and do know that lots venture further north up to LBF area and the Day Bays, so maybe my concern shouldn't hold much water.

Shell seems like a good option to have a connection to the SHT, Devil's Cascade and other day trips.

As I suspected, my choice between Mudro and LIS will most likely be the last straw.
 
ericinely
member (37)member
 
12/10/2019 09:47AM
I would strongly caution against entering at Mudro and heading north with two inexperienced young paddlers. While the portages heading north aren't long, they are strewn with granite boulders which will most likely be wet and slippery in late May. Also, if we get a lot of rain in early May or late ice melt (looks like were going to have another huge snowfall year up here), those shorter portages along the river might be washed out/under water. I would recommend heading into Agnes to basecamp and heading up to Lac La Croix for a day trip if you have the energy/enthusiasm. If not, Agnes is a great fishing lake full of good campsites.
 
AmarilloJim
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12/10/2019 10:04AM
Have you considered Nina Moose? A shallower lake(which would warm up faster), more species and you could day trip to Oyster for LT(get your slam). Ramshead at one time was known as a big pike water. Just a thought.
Of the options you listed I would go with Shell.
 
VaderStrom
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12/10/2019 10:39AM
ericinely: "I would strongly caution against entering at Mudro and heading north with two inexperienced young paddlers. While the portages heading north aren't long, they are strewn with granite boulders which will most likely be wet and slippery in late May. Also, if we get a lot of rain in early May or late ice melt (looks like were going to have another huge snowfall year up here), those shorter portages along the river might be washed out/under water. I would recommend heading into Agnes to basecamp and heading up to Lac La Croix for a day trip if you have the energy/enthusiasm. If not, Agnes is a great fishing lake full of good campsites.
"


Thanks! I've done those portages out of Mudro before and would for sure audible to headed to Tin Can Mike if the water levels are of concern. All of these trips are around 8 miles including portages, which is where I think these guys will max out for a single day of travel for their first trip.

Agnes seems like a great option with Lac La Croix access. How've the bears been on up there in the past couple years? We hang food during the day when we day trip so I'm not too concerned either way I guess.
 
ericinely
member (37)member
 
12/13/2019 09:38AM
I haven't been to that area in a few years but we had very few bear encounters reported by our customers this year. I think you would have a greater chance over on the Gunflint - bears don't seem to be much of a problem in the higher traffic areas on the Ely side. Bring a bear barrel and you should be fine. I've also got in the habit of bringing my food with me when I am day-tripping or out fishing to avoid any nuisance animals (almost always red squirrels, crows or ground squirrels). Also makes the boat more stable for fishing if you have it loaded with a little extra weight.
 
QueticoMike
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12/15/2019 08:41AM
ericinely: "I haven't been to that area in a few years but we had very few bear encounters reported by our customers this year. I think you would have a greater chance over on the Gunflint - bears don't seem to be much of a problem in the higher traffic areas on the Ely side. Bring a bear barrel and you should be fine. I've also got in the habit of bringing my food with me when I am day-tripping or out fishing to avoid any nuisance animals (almost always red squirrels, crows or ground squirrels). Also makes the boat more stable for fishing if you have it loaded with a little extra weight."

I never leave camp without my food pack. Don't have to worry about it if it is sitting in front of you, like Eric said it helps stabilize the canoe and if you want a quick lunch or snack, well there you go.....
 
VaderStrom
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12/16/2019 10:35AM
QueticoMike: "ericinely: "I haven't been to that area in a few years but we had very few bear encounters reported by our customers this year. I think you would have a greater chance over on the Gunflint - bears don't seem to be much of a problem in the higher traffic areas on the Ely side. Bring a bear barrel and you should be fine. I've also got in the habit of bringing my food with me when I am day-tripping or out fishing to avoid any nuisance animals (almost always red squirrels, crows or ground squirrels). Also makes the boat more stable for fishing if you have it loaded with a little extra weight."


I never leave camp without my food pack. Don't have to worry about it if it is sitting in front of you, like Eric said it helps stabilize the canoe and if you want a quick lunch or snack, well there you go....."


Thanks! I'm not overly concerned about the bear potential or what to do with food, just curious as to the past year or so. We always have a good hanging situation at camp, just looking for fishing recommendations. We will be moving around while we fish and don't need to add extra bags beyond fishing gear and a day pack with snacks.
 
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