BWCA EP4 Crab/Cummings Lake via Burntside Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
01/29/2021 06:27PM  
Anyone on here make the long trek to Cummings lake via Burntside? I may tackle the mile long portage in order to get away from some of the foot traffic in search of smallies. Anyone have experience fishing Cummings?
 
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01/30/2021 09:36AM  
I’ve been to Cummings 4 times. I would recommend getting a tow across Burntside. It is a big lake that can get very rough when the wind blows!
The portage from Burntside is long but I didn’t find it to be hard. A few rocky spots and a wet spot in the middle. The SM fishing on Cummings can be really good. I fished both in May and September and caught good numbers and some really nice fish
It’s a good size lake that doesn’t get a lot of pressure. On a couple of trips at times our group was the only one on the lake.
We always traveled right through to Cummings but I’ve always wanted to spend a couple of days on Crab. It’s a pretty lake that looks like it might be good fishing.
 
Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
01/30/2021 01:48PM  
moray: "I’ve been to Cummings 4 times. I would recommend getting a tow across Burntside. It is a big lake that can get very rough when the wind blows!
The portage from Burntside is long but I didn’t find it to be hard. A few rocky spots and a wet spot in the middle. The SM fishing on Cummings can be really good. I fished both in May and September and caught good numbers and some really nice fish
It’s a good size lake that doesn’t get a lot of pressure. On a couple of trips at times our group was the only one on the lake.
We always traveled right through to Cummings but I’ve always wanted to spend a couple of days on Crab. It’s a pretty lake that looks like it might be good fishing.
"


How was the size and were there any portion of the lake that you focused on?
 
01/30/2021 04:01PM  
We based and fished mostly on Crab.

I really thought about paddling across Burntside, and eventually, we settled on a tow from VNO. (Which we were VERY happy about).

Fishing was outstanding for Smallies on Crab in June.

Our 9-year old at the time made the portage just fine. She didn't really carry anything though.

Here's our video report.
 
01/31/2021 10:07AM  
We did most of our fishing in the eastern and southeastern part of the lake but did have a couple of good days in the spring in the northwestern bay by Otter lake.
We caught a lot of 12”to 14” bass but got fish up to 4lbs. There are also some big pike.
The northeast island site is very nice and is where we stayed on all our trips.
 
bottomtothetap
distinguished member(1020)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/31/2021 12:23PM  
MN_Lindsey: "We based and fished mostly on Crab.


I really thought about paddling across Burntside, and eventually, we settled on a tow from VNO. (Which we were VERY happy about).


Fishing was outstanding for Smallies on Crab in June.


Our 9-year old at the time made the portage just fine. She didn't really carry anything though.

Here's our video report.
"


Loved your video! Left an official "like" and comment on YouTube.

Good call on the Burntside tow. The one time I went through there, we paddled Burntside, in and out. We were very fortunate that we did not have strong waves on the way in and equally fortunate that when the we did have to deal with heavy wind/waves on Burntside, the breeze was from our backs. We were almost able to "surf" from the crab portage to Burntside landing. When we were waiting for our pick-up from VNO, we watched a group with heavily laden canoes and young children (who were the only ones in life jackets!) take off on Burntside into some pretty wicked whitecaps. I prayed for them!

 
Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
01/31/2021 09:08PM  
moray: "We did most of our fishing in the eastern and southeastern part of the lake but did have a couple of good days in the spring in the northwestern bay by Otter lake.
We caught a lot of 12”to 14” bass but got fish up to 4lbs. There are also some big pike.
The northeast island site is very nice and is where we stayed on all our trips."


Do you remember if the bigger smallmouth were caught deep off reefs or shallow?

Thank you!
 
Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
02/01/2021 07:48AM  
moray: "We did most of our fishing in the eastern and southeastern part of the lake but did have a couple of good days in the spring in the northwestern bay by Otter lake.
We caught a lot of 12”to 14” bass but got fish up to 4lbs. There are also some big pike.
The northeast island site is very nice and is where we stayed on all our trips."


Last question! Have you ever been to ensign, Ashigan, Knife? Would you pick cummings over that route?
 
02/01/2021 08:57AM  
On our spring trips to Cummings the larger fish were mostly shallow when we were lucky to catch the spawn happening. On colder spring trip and September trips larger fish were deeper on reefs and points. Senkos,flukes and top water baits were best in spring. Tubes,jigs and weighted senkos were best in fall.
I’ve been to both Ashigan and Ensign twice. I did both in spring and fall. Both times I based on Ashigan and did day trips to Ensign. I found the average size fish on Ashigan was bigger but didn’t get big numbers of fish. On my Spring day trips to Ensign I caught more largemouths (some good size) than smallmouths. Not sure why? I did catch my biggest BW smallie in Ensign. I’m guessing it was at least 5# but didn’t have a scale.Also picked up some bonus walleyes there. I didn’t do very good on either lake in the fall but I was with others and didn’t fish as much as my solo spring trips.
Ashigan is a very pretty little lake with 2 good sites. Ensign is much bigger and was very busy every time I was there. Wind can be a factor when trying to fish. I fished only in the eastern and northeast part of the lake.
I’ve never been to knife but booked a permit for a fall trip there this year!
 
Chuckles
distinguished member (260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/01/2021 10:50AM  
We base camped on Crab 1st weekend of October a few years ago. We took at tow (highly recommended) but that time of year it was tough to arrange and we ended up wasting 2 hrs waiting for the tow.

Portage was long, but easy. Water was high and we had one section maybe 100 ft long where we had to wade across. Took us 30 minutes to figure out if we were going to load or portage canoes across. Took us 5 min on the way back.

Because of the delays, we never made it to Cummins, but instead basecamped out of the island site on Crab (312). It is my favorite campsite in the BWCA (limited experience).

Fishing was tough all trip, but that is October for you. Eventually found them really deep. Had best luck in the northern end of Crab and in Korb lake.
 
02/02/2021 09:37PM  
Just did this trip in sept. 2 adult kids in tandem, me in solo. Of course we had a headwind on Burnside....going in and coming out. The portage is mostly just long except for the long, gradual incline near the end....when you are getting tired.....then downhill to Crab. Made the NE island site on Cummings in good time. Next day paddled to West end and fished the pool in Otter where the stream flows in from Cummings. Slip bobbers with a crawler and we had steady action on smallies, a few pike and some decent LMB. Some smallies up to 18". This was sept so flow was just a trickle. I'd love to try it in June with some good flow into the pool.
 
Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
02/03/2021 06:13AM  
cowdoc: "Just did this trip in sept. 2 adult kids in tandem, me in solo. Of course we had a headwind on Burnside....going in and coming out. The portage is mostly just long except for the long, gradual incline near the end....when you are getting tired.....then downhill to Crab. Made the NE island site on Cummings in good time. Next day paddled to West end and fished the pool in Otter where the stream flows in from Cummings. Slip bobbers with a crawler and we had steady action on smallies, a few pike and some decent LMB. Some smallies up to 18". This was sept so flow was just a trickle. I'd love to try it in June with some good flow into the pool."


Solid intel! Thank you bud! i really appreciate it! Tight lines!!!
 
Tristian5431
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
02/18/2021 10:18AM  
cowdoc: "Just did this trip in sept. 2 adult kids in tandem, me in solo. Of course we had a headwind on Burnside....going in and coming out. The portage is mostly just long except for the long, gradual incline near the end....when you are getting tired.....then downhill to Crab. Made the NE island site on Cummings in good time. Next day paddled to West end and fished the pool in Otter where the stream flows in from Cummings. Slip bobbers with a crawler and we had steady action on smallies, a few pike and some decent LMB. Some smallies up to 18". This was sept so flow was just a trickle. I'd love to try it in June with some good flow into the pool."



I know this is question is weather/wind dependent, but how long do you think it takes to paddle to the west side of cummings (near Otter) ?
 
02/27/2021 03:53PM  
Sorry.....never saw this. Maybe 40 minutes to get there??.....across the top arm. Wind grew all day and we had a very dicey ride back with a big tailwind and some 2-3 foot rollers.
 
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