BWCA How crowded is fishing opener? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Mad_Angler
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05/13/2021 09:06AM  
I usually go up every Memorial Day. But I have gone once or twice on Fishing Opener...

I'm trying to remember. Is fishing opener more crowded than Memorial Day? Is it hard to find sites for the fishing opener?

 
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05/13/2021 09:35AM  
I'd say Memorial Day weekend is busier. Often fishing opener in the BWCA is a cold, rainy, windy, or snowy affair. This year though, it looks to be a decent weekend. I'm headed up tomorrow for the opener in the BWCA; I'll give you my impression.
05/13/2021 10:18AM  
Normally I would say opener is too early to be really busy for the reasons egknuti gave. But with everyone limited to where they can go I think this year they will be equally busy.
05/17/2021 05:35PM  
I did a few day trips out of Ely this past weekend. I wouldn’t say it looked extremely busy from my view. I did one trip out of Mudro. The parking lot was busy but certainly not at full capacity. Maybe more groups were using shuttle services. I know no permits are available. The two lakes I visited I was the only only there.
shock
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05/19/2021 06:48AM  
memorial day , way busier , but it doesn't take long after opener ,
my last time on seagull (opener) every good campsite was taken by the alpine river , after monday we basically had seagull to ourselves !!!
05/19/2021 07:05AM  
shock: "memorial day , way busier , but it doesn't take long after opener ,
my last time on seagull (opener) every good campsite was taken by the alpine river , after monday we basically had seagull to ourselves !!!"


It's been that way on Seagull for opener for me several times. Does the DNR still set up fake camps ( tents set up, but no gear and no one every showed up) near the Alpine /Seagull 105 rd portage moving water area) when it's closed to fishing? They did back 25 years ago to prevent anyone from not only fishing - but camping in the area.
Mad_Angler
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05/19/2021 09:03AM  
shock: "memorial day , way busier , but it doesn't take long after opener ,
my last time on seagull (opener) every good campsite was taken by the alpine river , after monday we basically had seagull to ourselves !!!"


That is 100% correct. We got to the Alpine portage around noon on Friday. Every "good" site on Seagull was taken and looked like it had been taken for at least a day.

On Monday, nearly every site on Seagull was empty.

So that might be the secret: just get to Seagull around noon on Monday....
shock
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05/20/2021 06:42AM  
WhiteWolf: "shock: "memorial day , way busier , but it doesn't take long after opener ,
my last time on seagull (opener) every good campsite was taken by the alpine river , after monday we basically had seagull to ourselves !!!"



It's been that way on Seagull for opener for me several times. Does the DNR still set up fake camps ( tents set up, but no gear and no one every showed up) near the Alpine /Seagull 105 rd portage moving water area) when it's closed to fishing? They did back 25 years ago to prevent anyone from not only fishing - but camping in the area. "
DNR hasnt put out the innertube sign (NO FISHING) since it went no motors past 3-mile 1996 ? so that flowage is all open to fishing now. i guess they didnt want to paddle and have to paddle back to retrieve them ;) ;)
shock
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05/20/2021 06:46AM  
Mad_Angler: "shock: "memorial day , way busier , but it doesn't take long after opener ,
my last time on seagull (opener) every good campsite was taken by the alpine river , after monday we basically had seagull to ourselves !!!"



That is 100% correct. We got to the Alpine portage around noon on Friday. Every "good" site on Seagull was taken and looked like it had been taken for at least a day.


On Monday, nearly every site on Seagull was empty.


So that might be the secret: just get to Seagull around noon on Monday...."
ABSOLUTELY ;)
shock
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05/20/2021 06:49AM  
you just get back Mad Angler ? and ?
Mad_Angler
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05/20/2021 07:03AM  
shock: "you just get back Mad Angler ? and ?"

I did just get back...

All the choice spots on Seagull were gone by noon on Friday. We still got a pretty nice spot (the one just south of the two spots by the Alpine portage and inflow).

Other than the spots being taken, the area did not seem very crowded. We would see a few boats but not really very many people.

The parking lot at Seagull Outfitters only had about 5 cars on Friday morning.

I assume you are also asking about the fishing... it was sorta slow. I didn't catch a single fish from shore despite having smelt in the water almost all the time. I also tried leeches and lures from the camp site. We catch a few lake trout but just a few. We did have decent luck a sunset for walleye near the Alpine inflow. One night we caught 3 nice ones. Two were prespawn males. We also caught 3 big suckers. I assumed that the suckers were there because the spawn was over...
 
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