BWCA Trout vs walleye lakes Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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Twenty9inarow
member (10)member
  
12/24/2023 06:37AM  
As I am preplanning on the upcoming adventures I am scanning through all the permit EP points. I am noticing that areas are either stocked with trout, walleye, or not much of anything.
My group and I enjoy fishing, and have primarily target walleye. We have never caught or targeted trout. Tell me what some advantages of the species of trout over walleye? How about fishing tactics as well? My group and I are willing to try. We want to experience and soak up the BWCA as much as we can. Of course, the environment, the journey, and the beauty that it offers.
 
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12/24/2023 08:38AM  
I'm a Quetico fisherman, but tactics would be the same in the BW. And those tactics depend on the time of year and water temperature. After ice out, trout are roaming the shallows so troll flashy spoons along shorelines and near moving water. Mid-summer, you will want 4-ounce keel sinkers to get down 30' or more and troll around mid-lake drop-offs where water depths can range to 100' or more.

I don't think I'd bother looking at stocking records... are BWCA lakes even stocked?
 
12/24/2023 09:58AM  
The only stocked lakes in the BW are the Brookie lakes. I'm sure there's an exception or two, but by and large it's just the brookie lakes that are stocked.

If Lake Trout are your target, go early (May) or go late (Sept).
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1644)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/24/2023 10:38AM  
We have a lot of luck on lake trout all the way through June in my group. Favorite way to fish them is to find a reef that tops out at about 30-40 feet with deeper water(60-80+) surrounding all sides. Throw paddle tails or tubes on 1oz jigs across the reef, let it sink and retrieve. Or let it sink to the bottom and jig it back up. Fun part of lakers is they aren’t a finesse presentation, you can try LOTS of different active retrieve and jigging styles and they can all be effective. They love to chase. You can also troll deep tail dancers which will get down 20-30 feet when you let you 100-125feet of line.

As for advantages? Number 1 is that they fight a lot harder than walleyes! Number 2 is that they have actual flavor! (If you like salmon you will like lake trout. Not the same but similar). Number 3 is that they are maybe the easiest fish to prepare in the wilderness. You can fillet them like any other fish and just leave the skin on, the flesh will flake right off after cooking. You can also just gut them, season, wrap them in foil, and eat the meat right off the carcass.

Can you tell what my favorite fish is?
 
Twenty9inarow
member (10)member
  
12/25/2023 09:18AM  
Happy holidays, and thanks for the quick responses. My crew and I like to head out in early June. Yes, Mn DNR does stock lakes with walleye in the BWCA. We enjoy fishing for walleye and small
Mouth bass, but I’d like to try trout. Trout tactics seem a bit different than walleye/bass.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1485)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/25/2023 12:46PM  
Where did you get the information about walleye stocking in BW? I was always under the impression that they did not stock anything but lake trout and brook trout. With such great natural reproduction and low harvest it doesn't seem necessary, but who knows? I know that they sample the lakes for population surveys. Quetico does not get stocked and has fabulous fishing.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1644)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/26/2023 10:45AM  
mgraber: "Where did you get the information about walleye stocking in BW? I was always under the impression that they did not stock anything but lake trout and brook trout. With such great natural reproduction and low harvest it doesn't seem necessary, but who knows? I know that they sample the lakes for population surveys. Quetico does not get stocked and has fabulous fishing."


I don’t think it’s wide spread but it does happen on some entry lakes. Saganaga for example has had like 10 million walleye fry over the past couple years. Nearby but out of the bwca, Gunflint gets walleye fingerlings every few years. But you are correct in that the majority of stocking up there is trout.
 
Canoe Dude
distinguished member (400)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/10/2024 04:31PM  
I always wondered how they got the stocked fish into Ge-Be.

Ge-Be stocking report
 
01/16/2024 10:22AM  
Canoe Dude: "I always wondered how they got the stocked fish into Ge-Be.

Ge-Be stocking report"

Air drop
 
01/18/2024 02:51AM  
I do recall Paulson lake being stocked with Gillis lake strain lake trout. back in the day it had Rainbows too.
 
01/19/2024 04:16PM  
shock: "I do recall Paulson lake being stocked with Gillis lake strain lake trout. back in the day it had Rainbows too. "


Yes, way way back. The lake trout with pretty much a virgin area for food grew like heck and averaged 5 pounds in a short time. Trouble is spawning for lake trou is so good now a 1.5-pound fish in there is big. They are over abundant for the food source.
 
01/19/2024 09:43PM  
Pinetree: "
shock: "I do recall Paulson lake being stocked with Gillis lake strain lake trout. back in the day it had Rainbows too. "



Yes, way way back. The lake trout with pretty much a virgin area for food grew like heck and averaged 5 pounds in a short time. Trouble is spawning for lake trou is so good now a 1.5-pound fish in there is big. They are over abundant for the food source."
i noticed that in an old paper report i have. the lakers were descent size and now almost all in that 15"-16" range. Only fished it once , But you wont go hungry on jap ;)
 
dnobwca
member (7)member
  
02/28/2024 10:26AM  
I've fished for and caught both walleye and lake trout during every month of the canoeing season from May through Sept in nearly every lake from the west end near Crane Lake to the east end near Gunflint. Much depends on lake levels and water temps and you and your gear.

Use https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html to get info on species in your targeted lakes.

Colder water below 55 degree in the top 30 feet means lake trout will be feeding shallow. Drift fish large white soft jigs. Jig aggressively. Troll anything flashy spoons or plugs down to 30 ft. Blues, silvers, white, and tiger colors.

Warmer water fish 40-70 feet. Find deep reefs and troll a bottom bouncer or 1-2 oz weight 4-5 feet in front of a floating crank bait. Jigging spoons and large jigs also works well.

Walleyes can be easily caught in all seasons and at all depths. Look for submerged reefs with deep water near by. Troll or cast crank baits around grassy islands and along drop offs and across mouths of rivers.

Even in the hottest summer weather, walleyes will congregate near moving water. Jigs with leeches or crawlers or simply a soft twister tail presented near the mouths of rivers can be deadly for big walleye. Some of the biggest walleye I've caught were caught in August at the mouths of rivers in 5-10 feet of water.


 
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