BWCA Gunflint Trail fishing June 2022 Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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Scoobs
distinguished member (140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2022 07:20PM  
Has anyone been fishing along the Gunflint Trail: East Bearskin, Poplar, Clearwater, Flour, Hungry Jack, Aspen, Leo, Loon Lake, Iron, Birch, Mayhew?

I heard crocodile has had some good Walter fishing the past week. We'll be up yonder starting next Friday, and looking for some good spots to take my kiddos (8 and 10, paddling with yak rentals, I'll have my pro14pak) to catch smallies, Walters, Peters, and/or Larrys.... Anything that's biting.

Thanks,

c
 
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lundojam
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06/04/2022 07:35PM  
rainbows in Kimball or Leo are typically a good bet, but I have no recent intel.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/06/2022 10:46AM  
Croc is pretty dang reliable, just takes some work to get there and I don't think you'll want to portage those yaks.

Hungry Jack is a fun lake to fish. The smallmouth should keep your kids busy and you'll have a chance at pike and walleye. The walleye bite is typically a night bite there I think. HJ Lodge has a small beach with a swimming platform, yard games, and a fantastic bar/grill with a patio that looks out on all of it. Highly recommend with kids.

Leo and Mayhew are both well-stocked with rainbows and Mayhew has some Lake Trout as well. Both are also good for kayaks.

 
lundojam
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06/07/2022 05:35AM  
Also: Don't tell anyone, but you can do worse than Swamper.
 
Scoobs
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06/07/2022 02:14PM  
thegildedgopher: "Croc is pretty dang reliable, just takes some work to get there and I don't think you'll want to portage those yaks.


Hungry Jack is a fun lake to fish. The smallmouth should keep your kids busy and you'll have a chance at pike and walleye. The walleye bite is typically a night bite there I think. HJ Lodge has a small beach with a swimming platform, yard games, and a fantastic bar/grill with a patio that looks out on all of it. Highly recommend with kids.


Leo and Mayhew are both well-stocked with rainbows and Mayhew has some Lake Trout as well. Both are also good for kayaks.


"


Thanks. Don't think I'll try and take the kids to Croc. But good to hear HJ is a fun lake to fish. We can rent Yaks for the day for the kids, and paddle around fishing.

They boys are itching to paddle loon lake, and portage to Crab Lake.
 
Scoobs
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06/07/2022 02:15PM  
lundojam: "Also: Don't tell anyone, but you can do worse than Swamper."

That's on my radar. Shhhhh.
 
Scoobs
distinguished member (140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2022 03:57PM  
Wow! Reading "Lake-Link" about the lakes along the Gunflint Trail is depressing. Doesn't sound like there are any fish in the lakes, and those that are found (far and few between) are of the tiny fry variety. LOL
 
Scoobs
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06/10/2022 07:49PM  
Welp. First few hours on Loon Lake, and a whole lot of nothing. Not even seeing Rockies nor Gills in the shallows. This…could be depressing for the kids. ??
Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Edit: forgot to add. There is so much cottonwood fuzz in the water, it’s clogging up my lines/eyelets. At one point, I could barely reel my line in. It just got all knotted up at the rod tip. …epic start…

But. The paddling was good.



 
Scoobs
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06/11/2022 04:22PM  
Hit Hungry Jack today. First time on that lake — beautiful water - so clear. Saw a big smallie swimming by the dock. Not biting. We paddled east, hit a little shallow bay. Saw 4 big smallies — not biting.

Talked to the guy working the front desk at HJ Lodge, and he said the lake is up two feet, water is still cold, so they’re isn’t much of a bite yet. The smallies haven’t really moved into the shallows yet — not in numbers. Talked to one guy coming off the water — sad not much biting, but he did catch one smallie.

We might be a week or two early because of the late ice out and high water. The n a normal year, this might have been a solid week of fishing.

But hey. At least we saw a few fish, and the paddling today was perfectly beautiful. Still haven’t seen a fish in Loon Lake.



After an early afternoon paddle, the family was exhausted, so we hit the Trail Center for a late lunch/early dinner. The kiddos earned it. No fish on HJ, today, but still a fun day. We’re all hunker down in the cabin, avoiding the black flies and skeeters, ready to nap. :)

 
Aries
member (36)member
 
06/11/2022 07:28PM  
The cotton hasn't been this bad for decades. It's actually getting better than what it was this past week LOL. I could get maybe 5-10 casts in while using jigs or lures before it would turn my spinning reel into a rats nest, had to pull it all out and retie a few times! Slip bobbers won't even make it all the way to the bobber stops because the cotton stops the bobber!! If you bring your pole in over night and let it dry out you can strum the line like a guitar and it will float away, it's almost impossible to get it all out while it's wet.

I also seen a bunch of big smallies shallow right next to shore but they won't bite. Seen some walleye eyes glowing at night next to shore with my head lamp too. Casted a bobber with leech and they came right over and just stared at it, quickly reeled in and put on a crawler and same thing.

I'm guessing the people going up that way in the next week or two will hit it perfectly this year. Normally beginning of June has been excellent for us but not this year.
 
GunflintTrailAngler
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06/11/2022 10:49PM  
Just got back from Grand Marais, and the fishing was the worst I’ve experienced in the 38 years we’ve been going up there! Everything is way behind schedule! We were getting skunked on lakes where we normally would catch 50+ bass a day! The stocked stream trout lakes were the only thing producing.
 
Scoobs
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06/14/2022 05:02PM  
FINALLY! A hooked up “Smallie Junior”. But hey. At least it’s a fish.

Saw this nugget bedding off a dock at HJ, and threw everything at it. It finally bit on a BizzBaits 4” Icicle Sassy Stick. So the fishies up here like the shiny sparkly plastics as much as the Milwaukee fishies.

He nibbled at a purple Ned Rig, but never really grabbed em. But with the sparkly silvery plastics, he attacked it.





My other kiddo caught a micro-gill on a makeshift bait - so he was happy as well. I basically cut a frond off a white plastic tube bait, and poked a small hook through the little flippy plastic thingy. The gills wouldn’t leave it alone. Not even the tiny ones… ??



Ha-haaa. Success. The kids feel our trip is officially complete.

Next week or so, the smallies are going to be slamming. We just missed the spawn by 7-10 days. Bummer. Hoping next year we pick the right week to come up. We might come up a week later in 2023.
 
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