Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

by bassman

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/16/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake to Prairie Portage (EP G)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
Base camp fishing trip on Basswood
In short, best trip we've ever had in 20 years. Perfect weather conditions. We went in on Sunday morning and had a tow from Moose Lake through Prairie Portage then to Lincoln Island. We then paddled into our annual campsite in Merriam Bay. (I know, I know, very short.) The weather was very light winds and overcast. Fished about 3 hours in the afternoon and boated 33 smallies. My partner boated 24. Monday (Little Merriman) and Tuesday (Big Merriman) were carbon copies. Overcast around 60-70 degrees with little to no wind. We boated over 100 fish/canoe each day. On Monday we had a brief shower in the morning and on Tuesday we had one brief shower in the morning and one in the afternoon. That was it in terms of rain for the entire week. Wednesday was sunny around 75 degrees with very light winds for the most part. We paddled to Bayley Bay and once again had unreal success in terms of quality and quantity of smallies. Thrusday was sunny but winds picked up a little to about 10 mph. Very manageable. Fishing stayed the same. Awesome. We fished around the English Channel, Rookery Island, and the other small islands around there. Friday was sunny but breezy and we decided not to bother fishing as we were all wore out and get towed back to Moose early. I personally ended up landing 250 fish over the 4.5 days. 

Summary (1-10 scale)

Fishing: 9. Unreal thanks to the stable weather. It's not a 10 only because we didn't catch as many big females as we normally would thanks to a late spawn.

Weather: 10. Only three brief stretches of rain and all while we were out on the water which is easy to deal with. The rains in camp are the worst.

Bugs: 8. The skeeters got bad at times but not overly so. No ticks or black flies. The best however was no anklebiters even when it was hot and sunny in the afternoon.

Wind: 10. Light and variable for 4 straight days then a simple 10 mph wind the other day. we didn't see a single whitecap the whole time. Even when we had some wind it always seemed to work in our favor like when we paddled back from Bayley Bay and the wind shifted to our back. 

Overall: 10. In 20 years we've never had a trip where every aspect was just superior.