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QueticoMike
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05/22/2021 06:56AM  
Who has any current fishing reports for the Boundary Waters? Would love to hear reports on any and all species. Thanks for sharing!
 
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yogi59weedr
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05/22/2021 09:51AM  
Going today to Shagawa. Stay tuned
 
05/22/2021 10:02AM  
I was on the west end of Knife for opener looking for lake trout. I have fished there a couple of past years so knew some places, had proven lures and a fish finder, and I thought fishing was pretty slow. I netted only 2 lakers in 4 days, but I did not fish hard on day 3-4. It was sunny, got pretty hot by day 4, and winds were dead calm in the mornings then very windy in afternoons. Both fish were caught trolling Little Cleos just out from shore in about 30 FOW. I did have another laker on the line but spit the hook, and a northern hit and doubled my rod over and snapped the leaderless line. A couple other groups I talked to seemed about the same - everyone managed a fish dinner but no one was wearing out their arms hauling them in. Rain and low clouds came in as I left, so I expect it may have gotten better.

Q-Mike - can I suggest you add the year to the title of post in case it’s referenced in the future?
 
preacherdave
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05/22/2021 12:56PM  
Was also on Knife and even saw Jaywalker. Agree with his assessment. Fishing was tough. Caught a 5 lb laker, no walleyes, smallmouth were starting to turn on at the end of the week. Had one build a nest at our canoe landing on the last day. Also got several hits on top waters. Lots of short strikes. I marked a lot of fish at 30 feet but couldn’t entice them.
Also had a mayfly hatch in a couple areas.
Most everyone I talked to said fishing was extremely tough.
 
moray
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05/22/2021 08:45PM  
Just got out today from #47. Bass fishing was up and down all week but fish size was amazing.
 
yogi59weedr
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05/23/2021 01:00AM  
Just got into Ely this afternoon .
Fished from 3 till 530. One 15 inch wally on a crank bait.
Sorry, fished Shagawa.
Tough fishing with the wind.
Ate dinner at stoney ridge and went back out for last couple hrs with 1 walleye on a jig and minnow.
And 1 4. lb smally on a Rapala.
Heading to Basswood via Prarie tomorrow.
Stay tuned.
All fish in less than 8 fow.
 
05/23/2021 10:25AM  
Will be interesting to hear reports after this strong cold front. Wind chills are right around 32F in the Ely area as I type.... Brrrrr
 
technically_rugged
distinguished member (394)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2021 04:49PM  
Anyone got water temps for Crooked/Basswood or Malberg/Sawbill, or anywhere nearby, perhaps? I haven't been watching the Ely/Tofte weather too closely but I have to imagine the big lakes have to be nearing 60F.
 
QueticoMike
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05/24/2021 06:36AM  
jdoutdoors: "Anyone got water temps for Crooked/Basswood or Malberg/Sawbill, or anywhere nearby, perhaps? I haven't been watching the Ely/Tofte weather too closely but I have to imagine the big lakes have to be nearing 60F."

I was wondering the same thing, the only temps on the net I can find is a river that flows into Fall Lake. The river is going to be a lot warmer than a big lake so that doesn't really help. If anybody has any current water temps on a big lake up there it would be great information to share! Thanks!
 
bretthexum
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
05/24/2021 08:22AM  
I am heading into Crooked tomorrow. When I return I will post temps. Had some family up last week and they said fishing was pretty decent considering the wild temp swings. Lots of 14-18 inch walleye with an occasional 20+
 
thegildedgopher
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05/24/2021 02:34PM  
jdoutdoors: "Anyone got water temps for Crooked/Basswood or Malberg/Sawbill, or anywhere nearby, perhaps? I haven't been watching the Ely/Tofte weather too closely but I have to imagine the big lakes have to be nearing 60F."

I fished Basswood yesterday and found surface temps all over the place, from 54 to 63. The day before that on Burntside there were spots at almost 70 in the sun. Fishing for me was really tough. It was my first time fishing the Ely area, I've always gone up the Gunflint side.

Saturday I trolled a variety of crankbaits and spoons in the 20-35 foot range on Burntside from about 11am-4pm and all I caught was a sunburn. Weather was hot as hell.

Sunday on Basswood was like 180 degrees on the weather, most of the day in the 40s with strong winds. It being my first time on the lake, the plan was to troll until I located some walleyes and fish live bait from there. The only problem with that strategy is that I never found the walleye. I caught bass nearly every place I stopped and more bass while trolling in between spots as well. Added a few pike in the mix. Largest pike was 25, largest SMB was 17. No monsters, but the action was welcome after my day on B-side.

#7 shad rap in hot steel was my most productive crankbait, also got them on salmo hornet and a jointed rapala. Minnows and leeches under slip bobbers produced bass as well.
 
Portagemule
member (18)member
 
05/24/2021 02:38PM  
Not sure if this helps but I was on lake 2 fishing and Insula water temp was 59 in Insula and 61 on Lake 2. Info from my Garmin Striker 4. I was in insula on the 18th and then the 20th of May.
 
Portagemule
member (18)member
 
05/24/2021 02:41PM  
only fished 1 day. Caught Smallies largest was 3 lbs. Walleye only 2 that were over 15" 1 was 20" Small Northern 24" and Rock Bass all caught on Minnows and Pink and Yellow Big Eye Jig 1/8 ounce. That was on Lake 2. I will say if going into the burn area the Ticks are everywhere. Just going to the latrine you would have 2-5 on your skin. As we were leaving on Friday. The Mosquitos were starting to come out in force. There were other small flys (sand flies I think not sure) that were out in full force when there was no wind. Bring bug spray and tick spray if going into the burn areas. Did not notice any ticks in lake 2 outside the burn area.
 
QueticoMike
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05/24/2021 03:15PM  
thegildedgopher: "jdoutdoors: "Anyone got water temps for Crooked/Basswood or Malberg/Sawbill, or anywhere nearby, perhaps? I haven't been watching the Ely/Tofte weather too closely but I have to imagine the big lakes have to be nearing 60F."


I fished Basswood yesterday and found surface temps all over the place, from 54 to 63. The day before that on Burntside there were spots at almost 70 in the sun. Fishing for me was really tough. It was my first time fishing the Ely area, I've always gone up the Gunflint side.


Saturday I trolled a variety of crankbaits and spoons in the 20-35 foot range on Burntside from about 11am-4pm and all I caught was a sunburn. Weather was hot as hell.


Sunday on Basswood was like 180 degrees on the weather, most of the day in the 40s with strong winds. It being my first time on the lake, the plan was to troll until I located some walleyes and fish live bait from there. The only problem with that strategy is that I never found the walleye. I caught bass nearly every place I stopped and more bass while trolling in between spots as well. Added a few pike in the mix. Largest pike was 25, largest SMB was 17. No monsters, but the action was welcome after my day on B-side.


#7 shad rap in hot steel was my most productive crankbait, also got them on salmo hornet and a jointed rapala. Minnows and leeches under slip bobbers produced bass as well."


Thanks for sharing!
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/24/2021 03:17PM  
Portagemule: "Not sure if this helps but I was on lake 2 fishing and Insula water temp was 59 in Insula and 61 on Lake 2. Info from my Garmin Striker 4. I was in insula on the 18th and then the 20th of May. "

Thanks for the water temps! Thanks for sharing!

 
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2021 10:20PM  
Water temps on Shagawa Monday was 61-63.
 
Stumpy
distinguished member(1862)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2021 01:50AM  
Portagemule: "only fished 1 day. Caught Smallies largest was 3 lbs. Walleye only 2 that were over 15" 1 was 20" Small Northern 24" and Rock Bass all caught on Minnows and Pink and Yellow Big Eye Jig 1/8 ounce. That was on Lake 2. I will say if going into the burn area the Ticks are everywhere. Just going to the latrine you would have 2-5 on your skin. As we were leaving on Friday. The Mosquitos were starting to come out in force. There were other small flys (sand flies I think not sure) that were out in full force when there was no wind. Bring bug spray and tick spray if going into the burn areas. Did not notice any ticks in lake 2 outside the burn area. "

LOL
 
BWCAgoer
member (47)member
 
05/27/2021 09:55AM  
My father in law fished a tournament on a lake vermillion last weekend. Depending on day, time of day, and like location, he was recording water temps from 60-70 degrees
 
SinglePortage
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05/27/2021 01:49PM  
A buddy and I were on the east half of SAK for the first week of fishing season. We both had absolutely phenomenal smallmouth fishing on Sunday and Monday. Multiple bug hatches were occuring. The next four days were very, very tough! We trolled shorelines and jigged for walleyes, trolled for Lakers with very little success. We fished very hard.

I am pretty sure that the bug hatches shut things down, but those first two days were so good that we both considered the trip a success.

 
MarshallPrime
distinguished member (376)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/28/2021 09:36AM  
Any news on the smallmouth bedding? We go in on Tuesday.
 
05/29/2021 09:39PM  
Just out from Insula. Was there since Tuesday. Water temp right around 60F. Cold front on Wed really didn't affect fishing. Group of 4 , we nearly had every inch covered from 20-29". Avg fish size was 19" with 40+ eyes caught. Leeches under slip bobbers in 4-12 fow BUT with much deeper water nearby. The shallow basins were not productive. Pics coming soon. Bugs were non existent with the cooler weather. Came out today.
 
05/30/2021 12:39PM  

 
MarshallPrime
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05/30/2021 10:45PM  
Great job White Wolf, looks like you had a great trip and solid fishing. Did the bass come from beds or were they just looking to eat everything that moved? The weather has been so up and down I have no idea what to expect.
Those are some fat fishies.
 
05/30/2021 11:14PM  
MarshallPrime: "Great job White Wolf, looks like you had a great trip and solid fishing. Did the bass come from beds or were they just looking to eat everything that moved? The weather has been so up and down I have no idea what to expect.
Those are some fat fishies."


We fished 7/8ths of the time from our campsite- mainly because of quite cold/windy conditions for late May and excellent to absurd fishing from our site from shore. It really made no sense- especially after several hours of fishing other similar spots in the canoe (catching fish) but boat control was very difficult. Why not go back to what we had figured out?? The bass we caught, two 19's and a 20" all we think were just cruising. Two times one bobber was hit hard and a swing and a miss only to have the next bobber slammed within seconds- classic SMB or NP, in this case we believe both times it was the same SMB, so to answer your question, just cruising the break line where the wind is blowing (into shore preferably). When the wind switched - or was calm - it took awhile for this spot to produce - but when it did it was one of the best for size/ #'s I've ever seen. (eyes).
The fish were very healthy. Very thick. Even the few pike we caught.
 
jlw034
member (43)member
 
05/31/2021 09:13AM  
SAK report May 26-30. Walleye in warm water bays (main lake 60 degrees, north bays 63), a good 2-3 hours of fishing once the shade hit the water. 10-15 fow. Slip bobber with leech was best followed by jig and salted minnow. 24 was the big, the bulk were 16-19. Walleye fry every night.

SMB was great in 2-5 fow. Best bait by far was a pink worm worked subsurface. That clear water allowed us to sight fish the worm, saw most of the hits before we felt them. Some success on top waters. Several over 20, many 17+.

Trolled for miles along shore and around islands. Spoons and deep divers, but not one laker. Marked fish fairly regularly in 50fow, but never tried jigging them.

Was the best fishing I've had in the bwca. Good luck
 
06/01/2021 10:19AM  
Water temps around 62 degrees last Sunday around Ely.
 
TheMadPaddler
member (20)member
 
06/04/2021 05:10PM  
Smallmouth fishing report: Had a decent trip to knife. A lot of reports of passing paddlers that fishing was tough. We found that to be true but still managed a good amount of fish and quality fish. With knife being deep and clear the water is still colder than other shallower lakes. Many fish are prespawn and on beds right now. I expect more fish to move into the shallow bays as they come into spawn. Main lake fish we caught were all Prespawn, caught bedded fish in shallow bays, very few post spawners. What worked best were whacky rig stick baits. Specifically yum dingers in watermelon red flake and zman zinkers in Canada craw. In shallow bays we fished small points and let the bait drop when in deeper water, fished 2-15ft deep this way. Smallmouth fishing should continue to improve throughout the week as more fish come to the shallows to spawn as they are doing that currently. Good luck to everyone!
 
CityFisher74
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06/07/2021 01:00PM  
Smallies were ferocious this past weekend. Lots of jumping out of the water and them putting up awesome fights. Did best on any structure in the 4-8 feet range.
 
Kalvan
member (31)member
 
06/08/2021 01:09PM  
Saw plenty of smallmouth on beds and in shallow water. We did really well near the portage between Little Caribou and Pine (by Johnson Falls). Saw dozens of good size bass lurking behind rocks waiting for things to float down the stream, so we were happy to give them those.



We caught three good size lake trout trolling deep diving rapalas (gold or purple) along the south shore of Pine. Also caught some bass but no walleyes. Trolling was in 20-30 ft of water.



On West Pike, I caught a decent sized Pike trolling a purple rapala (same as my trout). Lost my purple taildancer just prior, might be wishful thinking but seemed like it would have been a bigger pike! The ones you miss are always the largest. ;-)

 
QueticoMike
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06/10/2021 09:09AM  
Just got back yesterday. It was tough fishing the first 4 days due to the cold, the east winds and all of the bug hatches. Then we had normal weather for a few days and the topwater bite got better. The last 5 days was record heat in the 90s. Smallmouth were found in all 3 phases, pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn. Probably 80% of the fish were caught using the Zulu rig.
 
PeaceFrog
distinguished member (326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 08:26PM  
Good to see you had a safe and productive trip. Welcome back. Need a fellow buckeye on your next trip you know how to find me. Regards
 
thegildedgopher
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06/10/2021 08:36PM  
QueticoMike: "Just got back yesterday. It was tough fishing the first 4 days due to the cold, the east winds and all of the bug hatches. Then we had normal weather for a few days and the topwater bite got better. The last 5 days was record heat in the 90s. Smallmouth were found in all 3 phases, pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn. Probably 80% of the fish were caught using the Zulu rig. "

Mike how did you do the last 5 days during the heat? We were up the gunflint side from the 5th thru the 9th, just got back. Fishing for us was as tough as we’ve ever had. We caught lake trout on 3 different lakes from 16-25” and found some smallmouth and pike but couldn’t boat a single walleye on Sag. It was low-mid 90s with not much cloud cover the entire trip. We fished different periods from dawn til 10pm, different depths, structure, tactics, live bait etc. We were taking day trips in the motorboat and typically spent 7-8 hrs/day fishing hard, covering many miles in the search.

Needless to say it was a humbling trip.

Lakers favorite thing of the week was a blue/silver crocodile spoon trolled 30-35 feet down on leadcore, but got our biggest fish on a fire tiger reef runner.

We got smallies from 5 feet all the way down to 20 (incidental catch while trolling a purple tail dancer for lake trout. They are all over the water column.
 
QueticoMike
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06/11/2021 06:31AM  
thegildedgopher: "QueticoMike: "Just got back yesterday. It was tough fishing the first 4 days due to the cold, the east winds and all of the bug hatches. Then we had normal weather for a few days and the topwater bite got better. The last 5 days was record heat in the 90s. Smallmouth were found in all 3 phases, pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn. Probably 80% of the fish were caught using the Zulu rig. "


Mike how did you do the last 5 days during the heat? We were up the gunflint side from the 5th thru the 9th, just got back. Fishing for us was as tough as we’ve ever had. We caught lake trout on 3 different lakes from 16-25” and found some smallmouth and pike but couldn’t boat a single walleye on Sag. It was low-mid 90s with not much cloud cover the entire trip. We fished different periods from dawn til 10pm, different depths, structure, tactics, live bait etc. We were taking day trips in the motorboat and typically spent 7-8 hrs/day fishing hard, covering many miles in the search.


Needless to say it was a humbling trip.


Lakers favorite thing of the week was a blue/silver crocodile spoon trolled 30-35 feet down on leadcore, but got our biggest fish on a fire tiger reef runner.


We got smallies from 5 feet all the way down to 20 (incidental catch while trolling a purple tail dancer for lake trout. They are all over the water column."


The last 5 days were slow where I was at during the heat and we put a lot of time in. The fish were just not aggressive, the topwater bite was not there. They wanted something really slow, so working the Zulu rig as slow as possible was mainly the only presentation that would produce.
 
Holehopper
member (34)member
 
06/11/2021 10:58AM  
Saturday June 5th, 6'-8' feet of water, walleye bite started about 8:00 pm. 17" average, 22 1/2" largest fish. Bobber and leech and beetle spin. Wind blowen shoreline.
 
Tomrank
member (9)member
 
06/12/2021 10:35AM  
Fishing Sag next Thursday through Tuesday. Hoping the walleye bite picks up.
 
deancal20
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2021 03:18PM  
On May 25 - June 2 we went from Sag to knife. It was a struggle to catch a walleye. We finally started fishing at night and did ok. I am not used to fishing in such clear water and just figured that it was too bright and maybe they were seeing us. The best time was around 9 -11 p.m. Kind of shook our fishing confidence until we went nocturnal. White jig with white twister tail seemed to work the best.
 
MarshallPrime
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06/14/2021 01:41PM  
Fished Knife/otter track/ Ester and Hanson June 2-9th.
It was BLAZING hot. Tuscarora said they set record highs 4 of the days we were there. 94,94,93,91...something like that. Saw 3 moose and my 1st bear.

Bass were all over and the 4 of us caught 10 over 20", another 40ish 18"-19 1/2" and another hundred or so nice ones. Some were on beds, some just cruising around. We sight fished many just cruising around....a few off beds. Smaller water had them on beds and larger, colder water had them just everywhere.

Walleye were hard to find. Caught 20 in our main spot and another 4-6 around other spots. Not great.

Lake trout were hard to catch. Only 2 in many hours of trolling. Definitely another 2 on that we saw and another couple hard strikes.

Pike were basically turned off for us. We only caught probably 25 all week. We caught them here and there but they were shy and would follow but not commit. In my experience, Pike are either ON or OFF. These were off. Biggest 30" and a good number 26-29". Most of them (10ish) were caught on 1 smaller lake during the only rain we had all week 1 morning.

The bass saved the fishing on this trip. They were solid.

There you go, for what it is worth.
 
QueticoMike
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06/19/2021 08:22AM  
MarshallPrime: "Fished Knife/otter track/ Ester and Hanson June 2-9th.
It was BLAZING hot. Tuscarora said they set record highs 4 of the days we were there. 94,94,93,91...something like that. Saw 3 moose and my 1st bear.


Bass were all over and the 4 of us caught 10 over 20", another 40ish 18"-19 1/2" and another hundred or so nice ones. Some were on beds, some just cruising around. We sight fished many just cruising around....a few off beds. Smaller water had them on beds and larger, colder water had them just everywhere.


Walleye were hard to find. Caught 20 in our main spot and another 4-6 around other spots. Not great.


Lake trout were hard to catch. Only 2 in many hours of trolling. Definitely another 2 on that we saw and another couple hard strikes.


Pike were basically turned off for us. We only caught probably 25 all week. We caught them here and there but they were shy and would follow but not commit. In my experience, Pike are either ON or OFF. These were off. Biggest 30" and a good number 26-29". Most of them (10ish) were caught on 1 smaller lake during the only rain we had all week 1 morning.


The bass saved the fishing on this trip. They were solid.


There you go, for what it is worth."


Sounds like a good trip! Thanks for sharing! I was up there at the same time, those 90 degree days were brutal for sure. What were you catching the smallmouth on?
 
walleyejunky
senior member (54)senior membersenior member
 
06/19/2021 09:43PM  
Just got back from a 6 day trip.

Started on Ensign and was there 2 days before our campsite got hit by a bear (we are fussy about keeping things clean but they are circus bears on Ensign and basically make the rounds from campsite to campsite). Before leaving we had just figured the walleyes out catching over 30 in shallow muddy bottom bays.

Moved on Monday to Disappointment where we spent the rest of the week. Normally we catch walleyes in 8-10 feet of water this time of year in several spots we have around the lake but they were AWOL. Ended up finding them in 12-15 feet but when we did it was game on for 2 days. I don't know how many we caught but if I had to guess it was 40 plus just between my son and I.

Most waleyes were caught with TGO method of slip bobbers and leeches. We also caught them trolling and casting Rapala Husky Jerks but it wasn't as effective as live bait.

We did ok on smallmouth in the time we focused on them using Quetico Mikes Zman topwater setup and also leeches when fishing for walleyes. Nothing huge but probably a half dozen 16-18" fish.

Fun trip as usual and I will put together a trip report and photos in the next few weeks.
 
Hawk777
member (44)member
 
06/20/2021 04:19PM  
Awesome. Leeches were the ticket eh? What topwater were you using?
 
BWfishingfanatic12
distinguished member (282)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2021 11:58PM  
We just got back from a trip a few days ago. Were in the BWCA Knife lake region June 11-17th. 4 guys fishing relatively hard caught around 250 smallmouth and 150 Walleye in 4.5 days of fishing (also caught 5 lake trout but only a couple pike(not complaining about that)).

Smallmouth were sliding deeper but still relating to shoreline structure some. I would say almost all of the bass were caught in 5-10 feet of water. A couple a little shallower. Caught 8 over 20" with two over 21.5" so those were beauties. I will upload some pictures at a later date. The smallies were caught on a variety of methods listed from best producer on down: slip bobber and leech, jig and leech, ned rig, lindy rig, texas rigged plastics, wacky worm, fluke, topwater, crankbaits.

Walleyes we caught in 10-20feet of water with better success late in the day and early but managed to catch them throughout the day on mid lake structures. Majority were 14-18" with a few low to mid 20s. Mostly caught on slip bobbers and leech, jig and a leech, and lindy rig tipped with a leech.

Had one evening where my brother and I had the best slip bobber action we have ever had catching 6o Walleyes and bass between the two of us in just over 2 hours. We were fishing an underwater bar that stuck out from a point with deep water nearby. We anchored on top and caught fish as they slid up onto the bar to feed. It was phenomenal action and some of the greatest fishing I have experienced.

Overall, great trip with good weather and awesome fishing!
 
BigChompers95
member (7)member
 
06/22/2021 02:53PM  
Any specific colors on jigs or hooks that worked really well?

Bringing pink and chartruese jigs and white and yellow hooks for slip bobbing.

 
Tomrank
member (9)member
 
06/23/2021 01:55PM  
We fished four days on Sag. Lots of bass. Not a lot of walleye, but we did get a few trophies. Traded numbers for size, which is a trade I’ll almost always make.

 
kraymerica
 
06/27/2021 09:05AM  
Just got back from a trip in EP 14 where we base camped at Lynx from 6/20-6/24 . We caught a few smallmouth bass from our campsite, and fished the entire lake from canoe with about everything in our tackle boxes trying to find what they wanted, but never had much luck. I really wanted to have some awesome fishing for my first trip to the BWCA but it didn't happen. Not sure if the warmer weather the weeks prior drove the fish deeper where we couldn't find them or if the cold front or up and down weather while we were there messed with them. I would love to go back and get into some fish but just didn't happen for us this trip.
 
Wallyworld
member (22)member
 
06/27/2021 12:07PM  

Just got home. Was fishing for 2 wks. Talked to many fisher dudes.
Some gave us leeches on the way out. They all told me that small mouth were
all over. Walleyes were non existent. I don't know what techniques were used?
I think it has a whole lot to do with water levels? Caught some shore lunch.
Wife did the best. Our big walleye was a 6 Pounder. We did CPR on him.
First week had some 90 degree days, the second week was better temp wise.

 
07/06/2021 01:27PM  
I got out on the 3rd. Lake Trout fishing was great. I fished Fat, Gun and Oyster. I caught many fish with 1 at 30 inches and 2 at 28 inches.
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5211)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/19/2021 06:05AM  
Any new fishing reports over the past 2 weeks? Thanks for sharing!
 
08/29/2021 04:23PM  
I couldn’t fish the BW this weekend so I found some lake trout and stream trout lakes outside the BW.
 
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