Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Pipestone Bay - Basswood Lake
by bgn82

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/13/2014
Entry & Exit Point: Fall Lake (EP 24)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Just back from BWCA. Went to Pipestone with one son for 5 days starting 6-13. CRAZY weather. Easy portages with just a bit of mud. Many, many more boats with motors doing their day tripping than canoes. We camped across from Gary Island with a big west facing front. Lousy landing areas. First day was nice weather, not a lot of wind and about 63 degrees. Caught very active smallmouth. That night caught more fish right from the campsite. Day 2, Saturday. COLD, WINDY, RAINY. Very little fishing due to the wind. Day 3, Sunday. Still rain, cold and wind. Late in the afternoon I said we would go out after having some dinner. Within 10 minutes the wind began to roar. Our very nice Coleman tent blew over. We set up a tart but that didn't help much. The wind had to reach 50 MPH gusts right out of the west. The waves were 3 foot if they were an inch. It happened FAST ! We were literally holding the tent down with our feet and hands on the ropes. NO fishing that day! Day 4 was much calmer, caught smallmouth, about 6 small walleye and some pike. Again, your could catch fish from in front of the campsite. At night the wind calmed and Basswood Lake looked like a postcard for Minnesota and BWCA tourism. FLAT and beautiful. I was doing great with a shallow running Shad Rap, Fire Tiger? Lost it to a northern. My son was using a topwater Smithwick ????? silver and black color. He must have caught 30 smallies within an hour and a half. Just one after another, it was like it was made in Hollywood. I was using a floating gold Raplala with some but not as much luck. His lure also had a rattle feature to it. We fished in the bay just south of the campsite, you'll see it on the map. We fished till about 30 minutes past sunset and got a fabulous photo of the skyline that night. Day 5, Tuesday we fished about 3 hours early in the morning, caught a few walleye and about 8 smallmouth and may 3 pike. A long paddle for me even with a fairly calm lake. NOTE: the mosquitoes were the worst since I was with the 82nd Airborne Division on Puerto Rico back in the 60's. BAD, BAD ! That lake has so many fish it is hard to describe. BUT, when the wind and cold take over, it isn't easy in that canoe. We had some leeches and yes the fish did enjoy them. White was a very popular color for artificials during our trip. I can see why guys bust their butts to push big boats and motors over those two portages. All of those boats I think headed up to the Lewis Narrows. This trip was just a reminder that not that many people will ever do these BWCA trips. Way too tough for most folks. We got out late afternoon Tuesday and went back into the South Kawishiwi River with another son and his family the next day. I'll try to get you a report on that one later. Good luck.