BWCA Fishing advice crooked lake early August Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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oldwinter
member (20)member
 
02/13/2021 08:45AM  
We plan to take our first trip to Crooked and would appreciate any fishing advice. I realize June would be better fishing but we will be their Aug 8-16. Since we have 8 days on water we can make it anywhere from basswood river to iron lake but would like to do a few base camps in productive areas (fairly obvious). Are their bays with productive weed beds that time of year, or will we need to only concentrate deeper on structure or moving water? I read older updates on this message board about, finding current and about Iron Peterson, Friday, Thursday, but see less about Saturday, Wednesday or Sunday Bays. Suspect we will bring leeches but know they will not last the whole trip. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy to catch northern, walleye, SB, and believe LT not really on Crooked. Any close portage for LT or BT? I expect we will still need to remain on the US side this season. Thank you.
 
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Capsize
senior member (82)senior membersenior member
 
02/13/2021 10:39AM  
Haven't fished Crooked, but was on Iron last year in July. Fishing was slow because the water was way down (and warmer than normal), but we did well at the bottom of Curtain Falls and at the first pool just below the top of the falls using leaches.
oldwinter
member (20)member
 
02/15/2021 12:52PM  
Appreciate the reply Capsize. We will be entering Crooked from east side / Basswood River. I am hoping others will offer suggestions for that time of year. Will we even get anything in weed beds or shallow, or have to stick to current and deep structure? We will not have a portable depth finder. Should be able to make it to any part of Crooked having 8 days, but prefer not to paddle past the better fishing if it is near Wed/Thurs, but if over in Fri/Sat/Sun/Iron/Peterson we can.
cyclones30
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/15/2021 08:29PM  
Buy a Voyageur map set (sold here), or at least the ones that cover that area and you'll have depth contours. Thursday Bay is VERY deep for the most part. There is current in the narrow areas north of there and in Wed areas all the way to the falls upstream.

I've got a trip report or two with a couple days on Crooked in my list somewhere if you check the links below my username. We stayed on the island site on Friday Bay...nice spot for an August trip. Caught a few crappie just west of the island on steep drop. Weeds? Most of the shallow bays will have some or plenty. Also some of the river areas to the east. (but stick to the US shore)
Bushman
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/20/2021 07:50AM  
If you can swing a depth finder it will make all the difference. I use a small one that runs on a AA battery pack. The transducer I place in a Ziploc full of water and place that in a foam block under my seat. Shoots right thru the Kevlar.
The trick we discovered was to find the depth where the fish are holding. Last two trips in late July and early August they seemed to be in about 17'.
Troll the edges where the shallows drop to that depth and you're in.
Any weedy areas that have drop offs near them will also be productive.

Any neck downs that create more current will hold fish.

I caught my first BWCA walleye right along the pictographs downstream from LB Falls.

The hardest part of not knowing depth is the water is stained and you can't see. You can go from 17' to 4' in a matter of feet but with the depth finder you can control your troll and stay on the edges.

We catch more fish on a medium depth crankbait especially in the fire tiger color.

There is a section where Thursday Bay enters into Friday bay. There are two island campsites along this stretch. We caught a bunch trolling thru this stretch in 2020. We were camped on the east island site.
Bushman
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/20/2021 07:50AM  
If you can swing a depth finder it will make all the difference. I use a small one that runs on a AA battery pack. The transducer I place in a Ziploc full of water and place that in a foam block under my seat. Shoots right thru the Kevlar.
The trick we discovered was to find the depth where the fish are holding. Last two trips in late July and early August they seemed to be in about 17'.
Troll the edges where the shallows drop to that depth and you're in.
Any weedy areas that have drop offs near them will also be productive.

Any neck downs that create more current will hold fish.

I caught my first BWCA walleye right along the pictographs downstream from LB Falls.

The hardest part of not knowing depth is the water is stained and you can't see. You can go from 17' to 4' in a matter of feet but with the depth finder you can control your troll and stay on the edges.

We catch more fish on a medium depth crankbait especially in the fire tiger color.

There is a section where Thursday Bay enters into Friday bay. There are two island campsites along this stretch. We caught a bunch trolling thru this stretch in 2020. We were camped on the east island site.
oldwinter
member (20)member
 
03/06/2021 09:09AM  
I do appreciate all the advice, than you. Anyone have luck with artificial leeches?
Noslen
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
 
03/06/2021 09:29AM  
Crooked is a great fish habitat. Current or drop offs in August when the water is warm are productive. SB and northern in shallow/weed beds (but they are also everywhere). We've used Rapala TDD-11 in August to get deep enough all across Friday with good results--agree get maps with depth lines and roughly follow them. Leeches are always good. Iron is also a great fishing lake. If you want LT consider LLC, but you would be spending your time traveling instead of base camping. Never used artificual leeches, so no advice.
 
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