BWCA Motor access on Saganaga Lake Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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sweeneyj44
 
04/25/2021 01:08PM  
I've been doing BWCAW and Quetico trips for years, personal and guiding groups, but have never take a motorized trip up there. This June my dad and I are going fishing on Sag and trying to understand the motor routes, including the specifics of where the motor can go. Using Fisher maps and of course understand the red lines but are motors limited to specifically just these corridors? Can they be used up around Voyageurs Island, Blueberry Island, and Horseshoe Island?
 
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GunflintTrailAngler
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04/25/2021 07:54PM  
Motors are allowed everywhere on sag, up to American point. No motors past that.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14069)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
04/25/2021 09:07PM  
If you put in at the end of the trail, be very careful as you navigate the river that leads to Saganaga. It is full of rocks and possibly logs that will damage your prop. I would only take an aluminum boat and a good motor. There might be another entry point but the end of the road is the only one I’ve been to. Also remember to take a set of oars. I needed a set on Vermilion when my motor stopped working. Also take a couple of shear pins and tools just in case. There are lots of rocks up there so you really need to watch your depth. There are many many islands to get you turned around. If your depth finder has mapping features you will need it. Also with mapping on your depth finder or GPS you will need to know exactly where the border is so you can steer clear of Canada. Most of the maps up there show where you can and can not go with a motor, get a map and follow the red lines that show where the limits are.
thegildedgopher
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04/26/2021 09:51AM  
The red lines on the Fisher map show popular routes for motor boats (thru Munker's narrows on the west side, up to Sag Falls on the east side) and the asterisk line shows the "possession corridor" which leads to Canadian Customs on Red Pine Island. On this direct route to Canada you can possess larger motors. The islands you mention -- Voyageurs, Horseshoe, etc. -- are all fair game. Your limits are Sag Falls on the East, American Point on the West, and the Canadian border on the North.
04/26/2021 12:54PM  
thegildedgopher: "The red lines on the Fisher map show popular routes for motor boats (thru Munker's narrows on the west side, up to Sag Falls on the east side) and the asterisk line shows the "possession corridor" which leads to Canadian Customs on Red Pine Island. On this direct route to Canada you can possess larger motors. The islands you mention -- Voyageurs, Horseshoe, etc. -- are all fair game. Your limits are Sag Falls on the East, American Point on the West, and the Canadian border on the North."

And the random barely underwater hump that will eat your lower unit. Also going to limit travel :)
thegildedgopher
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04/26/2021 04:41PM  
cyclones30: "thegildedgopher: "The red lines on the Fisher map show popular routes for motor boats (thru Munker's narrows on the west side, up to Sag Falls on the east side) and the asterisk line shows the "possession corridor" which leads to Canadian Customs on Red Pine Island. On this direct route to Canada you can possess larger motors. The islands you mention -- Voyageurs, Horseshoe, etc. -- are all fair game. Your limits are Sag Falls on the East, American Point on the West, and the Canadian border on the North."


And the random barely underwater hump that will eat your lower unit. Also going to limit travel :) "


Yep! Always have a lookout and proceed with caution. Maps are good but not perfect and it can go from 100 to 10 feet to barely submerged rocks quickly.
Zulu
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04/26/2021 05:16PM  
I would stay out of Canada too. I follow the tow boats or other boats until I’m confident. There are some really bad shoals where you wouldn’t expect them. I wear polarized sunglasses too. You may be able to see the rocks better.
04/26/2021 11:31PM  
I don't know what city you're in, but I have a 1960's 5 or 6 horse, that you could bring with, for a kicker. You're not allowed to use a motor over 25 hp on the american side. And right now, you can't be on the canadian side. But if your motor doesn't troll down well, or quits working, it might be nice to have a kicker. I'm in Oakdale, MN.

I ran into a guy one time, that fishes in July around the full moon. They run around during the day, making gps routes, and watching depths to mark rocks. They try to stay in 12' feet of water. Then they take a nap, and go out after midnight. They'll fish at night and watch for bait pods. They drag lures below the bait pods, at about 6' in 12' of water. They claim to do real well for walleyes, just night fishing.

I think if you haven't fished Sag, it might be a good idea to pay for a day or two with Mike Berg's seagul creek fish camp. Get a guide for a couple days, and learn as much as possible.

I would probably bring a canoe, tow it down to red rock bay. Park the boat, and portage into Red Rock Lake for day trips. You could stage on Englishmans Island.

Somewhere I saw someone had put together a review of every campsite on Sag. They had pictures, and ratings. Not the ones on this site. It was really well done. They had some 5 stars I didn't know about. And they let you know which ones worked well for a motorboat.

I really liked 376. It had a big flat rock, that we set lawn chairs out. It drops off rather quickly. We caught some nice smallies, and few eater walleyes right from shore. Had a female mallard come visit us every day, like clockwork. She'd come waddling in about 11 am each day. Waddle right up to the fire pit, see if we had anything for her to eat, and then leave. also had an otter walk through. Not alot of tent pads though, but worked for our big tent.

I like the campsite on the south end of englishmans.

401 is not rated on here, but I think it was in that other review, and was considered a 5 star. I'm not certain on that.

There is a rock reef that runs north and south, a little west of honeymoon island, off the end of American point. It's generally accepted as the farthest west you can go with a motor.

In the spring, the sag corridor is popular to fish. I guess it depends on when you're going in June.

I can't recall, people either portage into Tenor, or Morris and do well for eater walleyes. I think they fish by the island, so that sounds like Morris. I would do a search on this site, and get more info. Bass pro has probably spent a fair amount of time on Sag. I'd be calling Mike Berg though. They'll put you on an 8' girl. If you're staying in cabins, with seagul outfitters, it's a very moosy area. I see someone has a VRBO rental at the end of the trail now. Sag has enough depth to fish all day. You don't have to get out early.
 
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