Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Knife Lake Smallies
by DrizzyDrew

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/23/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Myself and 3 good buddies spent a week on Knife Lake in search of BIG smallies.
Our trip started out wet, verrrrry wet. Early Sunday morning we took a tow from Latourelle's up to Indian portage and paddled/portaged to Knife lake in a steady, cold rain. From Indian portage the trip took us 2.5 hours to the entrance of Knife Lake. There were several campsites in the South Arm that I was targeting for us, given the proximity to several fishing areas I wanted to hit. However, we ended up base camping at a site just west of Thunder Point as the rain mercifully stopped for a short period and we were able to set up camp before it started raining again.

The first two days were very rainy and cold. We spent most of our time trying to stay dry and fishing main lake structure without great success. The 3rd, 4th and 5th days were AFRICA hot with clear skies and strong winds. We traveled to the South Arm and fished several bays and whacked a bunch of fat, prespawn smallies. Biggest for us was right at 20 inches and full of eggs. We had 3 others between 18 and 19 inches. 

On prior trips, we've gone up in August and I was surprised at how shallow they were this year in late June. I had initially assumed they'd be post spawn or moving into their summer spots. All my fish were caught on ned rigs and a topwater popper. It was real cool watching them slam top water!