BWCA Late fall lake trout with my own boat Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/03/2020 01:11PM  
I am very inexperienced as a lake trout fisherman. I go to the bwca every year and have never targeted lake trout. I plan on doing a mid May trip in 2021, as I hear that is the best time of year to catch them because they are in shallow water.

I am wondering if they also move in shallow in the late fall. If I were to head up in the fall, it would probably be just me and my small boat with 9.5HP motor. Here are my questions:

1) Do the lake trout move into shallower water in the late fall making them easier to catch? Enough so that I could just troll or cast and retrieve to catch them?

2) If they do, what time in the fall should I shoot for?

3) Any lake suggestions? I would prefer to stay overnight at a reasonably priced cabin on a lake that allows for my boat and has an access.

Bonus question) Any ideas for where to go in mid-May next spring? That would be an actual 5-ish day canoe in adventure with my usual group of friends that go every year.

Thanks for any info you have! Happy paddling to everyone
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09/03/2020 01:58PM  
LT season closes Oct 1
09/03/2020 01:59PM  
They are usually pretty deep in Sept.
distinguished member (107)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/03/2020 02:00PM  
That is very useful information. That shows how little I know about lake trout fishing. I will focus my energy on a spring 2021 trip then.
distinguished member(4162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
09/03/2020 02:23PM  

Lake Trout spawn in the late fall when water temps drop to about 50F. That’s probably why the season closes by then.

09/03/2020 02:54PM  
Any LT fishing tactics specific to September?
09/03/2020 03:08PM  
I troll deep crankbaits (40'-60').
09/03/2020 03:18PM  
AmarilloJim: "I troll deep crankbaits (40'-60'). "

Picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks
distinguished member(1292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/04/2020 10:04AM  
tcoeguy -- You might consider a lake like Gunflint Lake in September. The vast majority of the day use motor permits on the good LT lakes are booked at the end of the season -- they really limit those numbers over the last couple weeks it seems. Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters is not in the BWCA, but it's right on the trail and I bet you could troll up some lakers over a couple days. With a boat that small you can also get into the connecting non-BW lakes as well. I bet the outfitters has a "canoer cabin" available.

Also on the trail and non-BW is West Bearskin for lake trout. Nice little easy access right near Clearwater Lodge.
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