Driftless Trout Anglers

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BWCA Lake Trout Options
shebs
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 17, 2015 4:42:02 AM
Rank: Stone Fly


Joined: 5/13/2014
Posts: 733
Location: Mpls
Does anyone have an experience and/or advice on catching lake trout in the BWCA/Gunflint Trail region? I have access to a cabin (read: glorified hunting shack) just off of the Gunflint Trail, and I wanna try to tie into my first laker sometime shortly after spring opener/ice out. I honestly have no clue how/where/when to target them, but I'll likely be wading around the shore - I could get a canoe out there if I can con a buddy into helping me schlep it from the roads/access points to the water. Worst case scenario, I harass brookies in the streams if I fail!

Any advice appreciated BigGrin

Keep in mind, I spin fish Blushing
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
EddieRivard
#2 Posted : Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:09:41 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,102
Location: New Brighton MN
Growing up I was lucky enough to have a dad who took me to the Boundary waters anywhere from one to three times a summer from when I was probably about 8 and into my 20's. I wish I would have had a blog back then because it would be easier to keep track of it all. I remember pursuing Lake Trout on Tuscarora Lake one spring. There is a lot of portaging to get to that lake. I wouldn't recommend it if you are a girly man. I thought I was pretty cool when I caught a 3 pounder. Looking back it was probably closer to a two pounder but three sounds bigger than 2 especially when you are 12 years old.

In my 20's I started to frequent the Boundary Waters with my friends and we have had pretty good luck for Lakers in the fall on a Crystal Lake. I'm sure they are easier to catch in the spring there as well.

Catching them is not brain surgery. Jigs and spoons will work and there is also some lure that I think is called the Buzz Bomb that seems to do the trick.

Before I was a fly fishing legend I was a spin fishing legend. ThumpUp
NBrevitz
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 17, 2015 6:02:14 AM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 3/17/2013
Posts: 1,110
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn
Gunflint Lake my man. I just long line troll with no weight after ice out. Flatfish, Krocodiles, Cleos and Kamloopers. Eddie caught a nice 3-4 lb Laker on the Nipigon casting a #9 PM in 8 feet of water (in his defense we needed to eat and we both thought it would be inexcusable to eat a 22"> Brook Trout). Try casting around shoals and creek mouths, where the water is warmer and baitfish congregate. Rocky shorelines on the N side of whichever lake you choose is your best bet for trolling.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
DanE
#4 Posted : Thursday, December 17, 2015 3:20:50 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 9/18/2014
Posts: 1,230
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI
I agree with Nick and Eddie. That early in the spring they will be shallow so they are easier to catch than in mid summer. I would add Rapalas to the mix, Husky Jerks, Shad Raps, Floating, etc. I lean toward Husky Jerks that time of the year, since you can fish them slow, fast, or anywhere in between. Since they suspend,fishing them slow is a good method when they are in a neutral feeding behavior.
shebs
#5 Posted : Thursday, December 17, 2015 6:26:25 PM
Rank: Stone Fly


Joined: 5/13/2014
Posts: 733
Location: Mpls
Thanks for the tips, gentlemen ThumpUp
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
Hoggies
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 07, 2017 4:44:47 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 3/7/2017
Posts: 54
Location: SE MN
I'm going for opener this year (the other guys on the trip want to attempt a one day grand slam). Side note, whoever picked the date for MN opener is either an unwed orphan or else suicidal.
TheDancingMan
#7 Posted : Tuesday, March 07, 2017 5:51:28 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 2/22/2015
Posts: 117
Location: St. Paul
Lake trout are pretty easy in the early spring. Just troll over some reefs. However, the brook trout lakes scattered across the Gunflint are spectacular. Do a little research on the MN DNR's website and you'll find some lakes.The brookies in those lakes are huge and don't receive much pressure!!
“What's his offense?
Groping for trout in a peculiar river.”

Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Hoggies
#8 Posted : Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:45:18 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 3/7/2017
Posts: 54
Location: SE MN
So far as I can tell, there's only one near our planned route. 2 miles as the crow flies, but looks to be quite a bit more paddling/portaging, so we're gonna have to pack some of them caffinated Clif Bars or something.
TreArrow
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:20:57 PM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 4/15/2013
Posts: 177
Location: Blackduck, MN
Lots of good advice here, if you're off the Gunflint you might also want to give Paulson lake a try, when I was working in that vicinity it had a reputation for being a really good lake trout lake, you'd probably have it to yourself as it was burned over in 2007 and has about a mile portage to get to it. Otherwise Kekekabic would be another interior BWCAW lake I would try. I've seen folks catch them on Seagull too, usually trolling spoons in 10 ft of water over humps and shoals right after the opener.
Hoggies
#10 Posted : Friday, May 19, 2017 3:50:45 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 3/7/2017
Posts: 54
Location: SE MN
We never found a consistent bite (to be fair, we prioritized a full-day trip to a brookie lake, which was as reported above, and only spent about 6 hours over 3 days fishing for them), and only one of the three of us managed to land one (out of the five we had on). They're a very angry fish. The honey badger of the salmonids. I lost what felt like a very large one when we were trolling because I didn't have my rod braced in my legs securely enough, so when it hit, it swivelled my rod and pointed the tip backwards. I felt a few head shakes, a run towards me, and then it was off. I also watched one jump at the surface, tail-slap the line, and knock a treble hook out of its mouth.

Good trip overall, though. Great weather, minimal bugs, good campsites (one had a shoreline break out front and we were able to catch walleye and a couple large smallies on bobbbers there), and nobody got cold, tired, hungry, or sore enough to get cranky.
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