Our main focus was fishing and we had to work hard for the fish. In 3 days of fishing (8-10 hrs/day) we only caught 3 small walleyes, 6 hammerhandle pike and around 20 smallies (most in the 12-16 inch range). We worked hard for the fish we caught. The only pattern we were able to find was casting black/gold Rapalas toward large brushy trees in the water over shorelines with deep drop-offs. That is where we caught almost every fish. We fished all 3 Cone lakes, Cliff Lake, and Brule. We spent one day on Brule fishing all the islands in Cone Bay and the nearby islands on the main lake, but we only raised 2 fish around the islands. It was great looking water and lake structure. We fished shallow, deep, artificials, jigs, and leeches but alas no fish. We did keep 4 small fish for a meal. The interesting thing was that all 4 fish (both smallies and walleye) were full of spawn (both males and females).
Overall we had a great campsite, great weather and a great time despite the poor fishing. When we left Thursday morning to cross Brule the entire lake was glass. We felt very fortunate to not have to deal with big waves/wind on either trip across the lake. I’m looking forward to another trip next year, but will probably consider another location.