BWCA Cummings or Ogish? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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member (7)member
01/31/2024 07:04PM  

I pulled a Crab/Cummings permit with plan to tow across Burntside. But I keep going back to my notes about Ogish.

Plan is to base and fish 4 nights. Ogish has all species, and Cummings would require a day trip to Buck for Walleye.

Any opinions on either? My last several trips I've had to settle for 3-star sites and I'd like to have a shot at a 5 star. I think Ogish offers more interesting sites/things and I'd like my son to see something that's not Ensign.

Been down the Gunflint and Ely. Hard to get outfitter opinions on trips because of the split. First week June. Thoughts?

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01/31/2024 07:28PM  
I’d go to ogish with those dates. You have alpine to fish either going in or out which also has all the species. Jasper has some lake trout, And also, seagull. You could have a line out 24 hours a day!

Personally I think ensign will be a busier lake at that time.

It’s true I am partial to the gunflint side. I’ve been to the ensign area but it was late September. We saw what we thought was too many people for that time of year. It’s easier to access with less, easier and shorter portages.
distinguished member (371)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/01/2024 07:08AM  
Went to Ogish late September, only saw one group on the way in then I got to Ogish and it was packed with people. Apparently everyone else had the same idea..

That said, it was a pretty lake. Som cool day trip spots like you mentioned. The bridge was a really cool spot to check out! I bet in June when the water is higher there's some good fishing spots in all the streams flowing from lake to lake
distinguished member (276)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/01/2024 03:23PM  
It depends on what you want to fish for.

Cummings has excellent bass fishing and a few big, really nice campsites. If you are interested in walleyes making a 1.5 mile portage twice in one day is not my idea of fun. You could stay on Buck (a great fishing lake) but the sites, while nice, are small. How big is your group?

I haven’t stayed on or fished Ogish but traveling through it was a really nice lake and you have all of the species there or much easier day trips.

Have fun, good luck!
member (40)member
02/15/2024 10:01AM  
Ogish was my first BWCA trip and I'll admit to being overly fond of that lake. Been back twice since my first trip (stayed at camp 785 both times). It's 12 miles from Seagull outfitters but nearly all of it paddling, the 4 portages are easy.

Lots of great day trips from Ogish as well. Can easily reach Eddy falls on South Arm of Knife, can get to Kekekabic (some great overlooks you can hike up), can also get to Gabimichigami (highly recommend stopping at Agamok falls).

It's far enough in that it doesn't seem overly busy.
distinguished member(1441)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/15/2024 10:50AM  
Several thoughts:

First week of June could be either great or really slow for bass fishing. Water temps determine this and that early in June could still be very cold for bass. Bigger, deeper water will warm slower than smaller, shallower lakes. So relying on bass for fishing action then is a crap shoot. I would choose the multi-species lakes rather than having to day trip to get to the available action.

Ogish is a destination fishing lake. Even though it s several hours paddle away, it is still busy. Many people get a tow to the end of Three Mile Island to cut down on travel time to Ogish. I have been on Ogish 3 times while tripping. It has been totally full 2 of the 3 times. All of those trips have been in Aug so may not be representative of June. But I think the anglers will be there hoping for lots of action.

The east end of Ogish is recovering burn. There are several campsites in this area. Check the Voyageur Maps for the burn borders. Much of the way to Ogish will be in recovering burn areas.

While there are several great sites on Ogish, some of them are very exposed to wind. Early June temps could still be cool.

Please add a trip to Mueller Falls to your neat sites to explore in the Ogish area. Head through Mueller Lake toward Agamok Lake. The portage trail crosses the Kekakabic Trail. Follow the Kek Trail east about a quarter mile. You will find a campsite and a bridge carrying the trail over the falls. Great photo ops here.

If you are already on your way to Agamok Lake, you might think continuing on to Gabimichigami for some great spring lake trout fishing. (Wind allowing of course.)

Hope you have a great trip.
distinguished member (405)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/15/2024 10:59AM  
I have no experience with Cummings.

I stayed on Ogish 3 days end of May/start of June 2016 and found the fish and the people to be on the eastern side of the lake. Inlets at dawn and dusk is usually a good strategy for walleye that time of year. With a tow from Seagull Canoe Outfitters the trip to Ogish was easy. We also used their bunkhouse, dog had to sleep in the truck but otherwise 5 stars. With high water I've heard you can line canoes into Alpine from Seagull but the longer portage to the south is a very easy, well travelled portage.
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