Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Fishing Forum :: EP 47 1st Week July Tackle Box Setup
I had the same feeling about it. In muddy water, it really needs to displace some water for the fish to feel it. I just didn't think it was doing it.
I am hoping it will be fun bait for smallies in the BW.
Ok. So what I have done now, I have 3 tackle boxes set up for 8 pound line, smallmouth and walleye. Since my daughter is the least experienced, she will get to first pick, then my son, and then...I'll have to buy more stuff for me to fix the third one. I mean, y'all are the same way.
I have my slip bobber and bait kit but still need different colored bobbers and some light up ones. The bobbers are a big concern. The top of a 100 foot redwood is not out of casting range for my kids.
Then I have my 10 pound box for Northern.
I also have my basic Crappie kit in case I decide to take a light pole afterall. I still need to pick up some Gulp type baits. I mean, lets face it guys, bluegills have saved more fishing trips than all other fish combined.
Oh, and I want to thank everyone for helping me spend $30 on Whopper Ploppers yesterday!
My family mocks me for the amount of tackle I bring, and I bring 1/4 to 1/5 of what you have pictured. One trick I picked up on the forum was using rubber bands to hold the trebles together. You can pack a lot more cranks in a box, and get them out faster. Well worth the second it takes to throw the rubber band on.
The second thing I recommend, is separating out the terminal tackle (slip bobbers etc). The stuff eats up valuable tackle box space. And, in our camp that is all treated as communal property. Expensive crankbaits are not... With that many people, especially if they are not avid anglers, some people will think casting a slip bobber from shore is too much work. Meanwhile you will want to go find fish alone in your kayak.
If you do bring the SOT you'll have to divide your kit. Make it easy for them - keep the slip bobber rods rigged and use some sort of secondary strike indicator (bells etc). NEVER underestimate a novices ability to ignore a fishing pole.
With novices portaging every day you'll have less time to fish, and they will be less inclined to get into a canoe after making camp. If you find a nice campsite with fish off shore I would scrap the itinerary and stay there.
I don't bring one of everything in my tackle box. I bring a few colors/ sizes of my favorite lures for each presentation I am likely to fish (topwater, casting shallows, trolling cranks, and finesse live bait).
I usually bring a mix of Rapalas in the 7 to 12 size. Rattlin raps and Rapala poppers in size 5. That covers casting and trolling to 15 fow. Jigs with leaches for deep water. The jig weight should balance the slip bobbers so you can avoid carrying egg sinkers etc. And, if you want to troll really deep water bring a few snap weights instead of another box of extra deep diving cranks.
But, I wouldn't bring any trolling lures without a depth finder.
I also avoid really big lures like that Creek Chub Pikie. It uses up a lot of tackle box space, and how many fish will it put in the canoe? Unless it is a confidence lure that you put on when times are tough... it just isn't worth the space. You'll catch the same pike on a Mepps Cyclops spoon (which will cast further) and you can fit 6 of them in the space of the pikie.
Me 53, daughter 19, son 17 in our 18' aluminum Osagian. Another family with us will be renting 2 canoes. Mom and Dad, late 40's, son 18, daughter 16. The second family is primarily a largemouth bass fishing family.
Route: I'm torn on clockwise or counter-clockwise, it depends on traffic. RIght now, I think we will go clockwise, portage from Lizz to Caribou to Horseshoe with 2 nights on Horseshoe. Then through Gaskin to Henson or Pillsbury for 2 nights. Then on to Meeds for the last 2 nights.
With a group of novices, I want to minimize my time on big lakes to avoid being windbound.
I know I am taking too many rods. 2 light rods with 6 lb, 2 med with 8 lb, 1 med heavy with 10.
My conundrum is that if I take all my tackle, will double portage just the fishing lures. But, if I leave something behind that I want when I get there, it will bug me the whole trip and I will carry 40 pounds of that lure everywhere I go for the rest of my life.
So here is my plan:
I plan on a slip bobber kit, walleye drift rigs, and a leech locker.
Twister tails and 1/8 jigs.
Reef runners and shad raps.
Deep husky jerks.
Size 8 x raps
Poppers, Hula and others
shallow diving fat cranks
up to 3/4 oz only
Xraps size 12 and 10
Xraps magnums 10
willow blade spinners
flutter spoons for trolling
I'm gonna reduce my color options to whites and white/reds, blues and blue/blacks, green pumpkin and olives, green firetigers.
we are meeting the other group next weekend to plan the trip before signup. I want to give them good advice on what gear to bring but I am uncertain of the advice I am giving myself.
Any input is appreciated!
lundojam: "Looks good to me. Bring different color slip bobbers, so when the gang is hitting the evening walleye bite from shore, everyone know whose is whose. The lighted ones are a riot.
Yup. We did this exact trip last year when the lakes "turned off". It sucked. We ate fish once all week and that was on the last day. It was so bad we came out early.
It was not from a lack of trying or experience. The bite was just turned off.
So yes have a back up plan.
This is all I bring and I never come close to tying everything on.
This is the second cull. Lol
foxfireniner: "This is what I'm up against!
Nice! How do you like that Rapala Ripstop jerkbait? I have one, but it feels a little too light for me personally.
Here's what I ended up consolidating to last year, left the rest of my kit at camp which was a huge mistake because my buddies did some raiding and pillaging of it in my absence. That clear tube holds all my 12" leaders. I rarely go any longer than that as I don't troll a lot.
foxfireniner: "I have only tried the Ripstop in the backwaters of the Mississippi in southern Wisconsin.
Ha! You're welcome on the whopper plopper purchase. Always happy to help someone part with their money. They're fun baits that don't require much technique to fish right. If your kids get dialed in through the week, that might be a blast for them to throw.
Regarding your rods...Personally I don't bring light action rods as I don't target panfish. I bring 2 mediums and a medium heavy. I spool everything with braid (either 10lb or 20lb power pro) and add flourocarbon leaders when necessary. Unless you're sharing rods with your kids, you may regret bringing that many, especially with the ground you want to cover and 3 people in a boat. The Mediums can pull double duty for the eyes and smallmouth. One thing you didn't mention is leaders. I usually bring 12" 30lb titanium leaders for my pike setup and if I'm throwing more expensive lures for smallmouth. I'll throw on a 60lb Flourocarbon leader if I'm throwing anything over 1oz.
The list you posted is a good list. Red-Eye spoons Produce, Johnson Silver Minnows produce in the weeds. Poppers are classic, I prefer spooks but both have their place. Sounds like you'll have enough options to solve the puzzle. I'd encourage you on your thoughts of editing down your colors. (pinks and hot orange x-raps are a confidence color for me up there for both pike and smallmouth, craw and shad colors for squarebills) Are you bringing any depth finders?
Next year I'm for sure bringing leeches and forcing myself to keep it to 2 3700 size boxes for everything. Pray for me.
Enjoy your planning! Looks like a great route! I'm excited for you guys. Let me know if you need any other help!
GickFirk22: "QueticoMike: "I would leave the light rods at home. A couple of med. action rods is enough for a single person. As for lures, if you want to catch smallmouth, you should consider soft plastic jerk baits, ZMAN ShadZ are the best by far. If you want to learn more, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org - request the Zulu Magic article. Green pumpkin tubes, Super Pop-Rs, Magnum Bullfrog Torpedos, Whopper Ploppers or Choppos, Bullfrog Lucky 13 and Booyah glow blade, chartreuse double willow blade spinnerbaits will catch smallmouth.
I actually use both. The scented ZMAN Jerk ShadZ, 5 inch, any variation of color as long as half of it is pearl. Green\pearl, blue\pearl, gray\pearl are all good, but lately I have been partial to the "Redbone" color, half pearl\ half gray with red flake. These are the lures I use for the Zulu rig ( Texapose on a 1/0 worm hook, 10 inch line leader, ball bearing swivel ).
The RaZor is the best subtle topwater lure you can use for smallmouth. Just use a larger Gamakatsu 2/0 worm hook and no swivel. Rig the RaZor like the Zulu ( ShadZ ) with a texapose rig (Texas Rig). This lure will float on the surface, a couple of slow twitches will make the nose dive a little and leave a ripple on the surface, let it pause for a bit before twitching again or until a bronzeback slurps it up. Fun to do on a glass surface when the smallmouth are looking for a dying bait fish. Use the Bad Shad color, it looks like a cisco.
Zulu rigging thread with pictures
My leader plan is crimped 50lb flouro. I just have never caught many fish using a metal leader.
Is wondering about the pink and hot orange. Oranges were always a fall color for me.
And I was seriously thinking about pink. I just didn't know if it caught more fisherman than fish.
The rod collection is for whole canoe. I'm in the fence about the light rods. But when nothing is biting, 6 pound line and a clear Zara puppy always catches something. Yes I said clear. Clear spooks are serious producers and gives your friends that WTH look. Maybe 1 light, 3 medium, 1 med heavy it's the way to go.
I'm a monofilament guy. I just don't like the knots on the super lines, too much futsing around, they slip I am one turn off... I can tie an improved clinch in a cave!
I'm still thinking about taking my SOT kayak. Most of the portages are short, it drags easy, I have my electronics set it up for it and I like fishing from it.
Northerns - again the Bullfrog Lucky 13, the chartreuse spinnerbait and the ZMAN ShadZ will catch big pike. Mepps #5 silver blade inline spinner and red and white Daredevil spoons work well. Get some titanium leaders, they don't kink like steel, are thinner and stronger.
For walleye you got a lot covered, throw in some gold J9 jointed Raps and gold Rap Husky Jerks. If you want to read my article called Grand Slam Lures ( for the BW ) send me an email - email@example.com. All of these lures have treated me well over the past 31 years.
QueticoMike: "I would leave the light rods at home. A couple of med. action rods is enough for a single person. As for lures, if you want to catch smallmouth, you should consider soft plastic jerk baits, ZMAN ShadZ are the best by far. If you want to learn more, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org - request the Zulu Magic article. Green pumpkin tubes, Super Pop-Rs, Magnum Bullfrog Torpedos, Whopper Ploppers or Choppos, Bullfrog Lucky 13 and Booyah glow blade, chartreuse double willow blade spinnerbaits will catch smallmouth.
Mike, you shared those articles with me and I loved em. I'm planning on using that Zulu approach a lot this coming year. What size Shadz do you like using? And is it the Jerk Shadz or the Razor Shadz?
You might not need deep cranks. I'd bring shad raps and husky jerks. The other thing I'd advise is 4" senkos rigged wacky. Truly remarkable bass producer up there. A wacky worm under a slip bobber (I know, I know) is the perfect set-up for a novice. Works like crazy. Meads should be your best bet for walleyes. A day trip in to Swamp might be in order as well. Those lakes can "turn off" so have a back-up plan for the kids. Jiffy Pop and cards maybe.
Good moose area.
Get a burger at the Poplar Haus. I'm not kidding.