Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Day Trip to Crocodile Lake
by adludwig

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/15/2015
Entry & Exit Point: Crocodile River (EP 66)
Number of Days: 1
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
My dad and I did a little scouting for an upcoming trip I am going on with my daughter. We wanted to check out the campsites and the fishing. We were not disappointed!
Day 1 of 1
Saturday, August 15, 2015

Our morning started about 3:45am in Duluth at my brother's place. My dad and I arose from our slumber jumped in the car and headed to Grand Marais. We made it to breakfast at South of the Border at around 6:00am. We fueled up with a big breakfast and headed up the Gunflint Trail.

We got to the entrypoint on East Bearskin, unloaded the car, packed up the car, and put our day permit in the drop box. Upon entering East Bearskin, I was surprised how narrow it was down on the west end. It was a nice and calm morning, so we cruised down the lake on the way to the portage.[paragraph break]

After passing a boat and a couple of kayaks, we started hugging the south shore , as I had heard that you know you are near the portage when you hear the water coming into East Bearskin. Shortly we could see the water cascading down into the lake. The portage is just a little further down the shore and we made our way to the portage. We pulled ashore and packed up for the uphill trip. Some good elevation on the portage, but quickly we made our way to the Crocodile end. We loaded the canoe and headed west down the lake. We passed the first campsite near the portage and decided we would start doing a little fishing. The wind was blowing just slighty out of the west so it pushed us down the lake very nicely. We passed the second site on the south shore and that site was occupied. We continued down the lake fishing here and there, trying to find some deeper water. Once we did, we caught our first little perch of the day. We stopped to investigate the area, since it was deeper. It wasn't long before we started boating some walleyes. Nothing huge, but great eating size. We proceeded to put some fish on the stringer along with one huge perch. Around noon, we decided to pull ashore, clean a few fish and have some lunch.

With a few bonus perch, we were lucky to not have to dip into the walleyes too much for lunch. Lunch was a couple filets each with some Bear Creek noodles.

After lunch we checked out the first campsite on the north shore after the narrows. It was a neat little site tucked into the woods, and the perch were biting right from shore.

We got back out in the canoe, and decided to finish out our walleye limits. It didn't take long to finish our catch, so we again pulled to shore to filet out the rest of our fish.

We caught a ton of walleyes, with the biggest one being around 17 inches. The walleyes are so pretty in this lake, with their golden bellies, while others are so dark black. We headed back, accomplishing all we wanted to during our trip: checking out a few campsites, finding a few fishing holes, and just enjoying a beautiful day in the wilderness. We did not visit the last site on the north shore, as we ran into a canoe that must have been staying on that site. We ran into another group on our way back down the portage. I was surprised to think that this weekend 3 of the 4 sites would be occupied on the lake. The lake feels pretty big and we didn't really feel like it was busy, as there are many nooks and little bays in the lake to hide from the wind. We made our way back to the car and finished the day with dinner at Betty's Pies.

I am excited to be going back in a few weeks with my 7 year old daughter. I cannot wait to make memories on this beautiful lake with her and spend a few more days here. Thanks for reading!