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Hillbiehle

Lac La Croix Report

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Hillbiehle

Just returned from 4 days of fishing at Zup's. We took our own boat via the two mechanical portages. 56 rapids provided enough current to avoid the rocks, but not too much. Once arriving at Lac La Croix the pike and smallie fishing was great as usual, however the walleye's were a bit tough for us. Water temp was 73 degrees and reports were coming in at 12 to 14 ft, but I never caught a single walleye in that range. Only walleyes that we hooked in to came from 52ft...sounds crazy I know, but I can not explain. Noticed that the may-flys are beginning.

The other highlight of the trip was seeing the biggest sturgeon I have ever seen (that wasn't on tv). It was simply enourmous.

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winterse

I leave for Lac La Croix on Friday morning and will be heading for Zup's as well. What were the smallies and Northern's hitting on?

What were you doing fishing walleyes in 50ft of water? I probablly would have never looked there. Does Zups have leeches or do I have to rethink my walleye strategy?

Thanks,

WINTERSE

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Hillbiehle

Don't let the 50' discourage you, I happened to be fishing a reef and drifted over the break and noticed a bunch of marks on the Lowrance, so for the heck of it I threw on a 4oz bottom bouncer with a minnow and hooked up quickly. If I had to do it over again, I would continue to hit the 14' areas.

From my understanding minnows are king on Lac La Croix at all times of the year due to the forage base. I believe they do have leeches but I never used them. They are liberal with the minnows and they won't count each dozen, so you'll get your money's worth.

I saw alot of smallies (large ones too) in the shallows near chunk rock. I don't know if you've ever been there, but you pick any spot with a hard bottom and you'll hook up quickly whether it is a reef or chunk rock shoreline. Pike are so easy to catch it is ridiculous. Find any weeds, preferably the cabbage weeds in 6 to 10' of water and you'll be busy. Single nickel bladed white spinner bait caught most of the pike as well as buzz baits, but anything will do well. I simply prefer to fish for pike with a single hook versus anything with a treble.

Spider grubs, tubes, mid-running crankbaits, spinner baits, buzz baits will catch all the smallies you want.

I assume you are from Minnesota, but if not, be sure to have a MN fishing license as well so you don't limit yourself.

Mark at Zup's will put you in the right direction, but if you want additional info, e-mail me at cbiehle at bullis agency (Contact Us Please) com

Otherwise good luck, enjoy, and let us know how you do.

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Johnny_Namakan

I'm sure you guys are aware fo this, but I thought I'd post anyway just in case and save you guys a big fine, and possibly the loss of your boat and gear, but the American side of Lac La Croix is officially the BWCA and is motorless. The only portion of Lac la Croix that is acceptable to fish the American side is from the portage to Snowbay, but that's not even 10% of the lake. The rest of the American side is off limits unless you have a canoe and a BWCA permit to be on the American side. Just thought I'd mention that. If they catch you on the American side they aren't very friendly. It's kind of stupid too, because the American Rangers ARE allowed to drive motorized boats on the American, BWCA, side to make sure that we AREN'T driving motorized boats on the American side. Go figure! Have fun and catch some fish!

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winterse

I did know that it was mortorless past Snow Bay, but thank you for the reminder. What do I need to be able to pass from Canada to the MN side if I want to fish and do I need a BWCA motor permit to operate my boat in the portion of the lake that allows motors?

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Johnny_Namakan

I don't believe that the American side of La croix up to snowbay is part of the BWCA. I believe the BWCA starts after snowbay and that's the reson why the motorless rule for the American side doesn't start until after Snowbay. So, no you wouldn't need a day permit for the American side of La Croix up to Snowbay. If you head back into Loon for a little fishing one of your days up there, then you would need one because the entire US side of Loon is BWCA.

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Hillbiehle

You're correct Johnny wink.gif and I should have clarified better. During my original reply to his post, I forgot if he was from MN and recommended he have a MN license, since Zups is below snow bay there is quite a bit of area that lies in MN that is easily accessible from the lodge and seems to produce well with a North or South wind.

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Johnny_Namakan

I figured you guys all knew that, but just wanted to make sure. smile.gif I was kinda actually hoping you were going to reply back and say that the motorless rule had been lifted from the US side of La Croix grin.gif . My Dad is no longer with us, but when he was we'd go up there several times a year, and he'd be just PO'd everytime because all his fishing spots were on the US side, (fish stakes, boulder bay, etc.) and the route he used to take to bottle was on the US side. He wasn't familiar with the Candain side at all. He grew up with my Grandpa taking him up there and back then the US side wasn't BWCA yet. He's told me many stories of catching eye's in Boulder bay with nothing more than a pull tab off a beer can and being able to fill the whole groups limit in an hour. He's told me stories of taking out a lower unit and making the 12 hour trip back to crane with just the 9 horse kicker. They used to spend weeks at a time staying up there in the summer on the back side of Coleman Island. There have even been a couple times back in the day when 56 rapids was a 4-5 foot drop and they unloaded the boat (18' fiberglass starcraft) and hauled all the gear and motor across, and dragged the boat across the portage on logs. That's some dedication there!!! Oh well, the times have changed, but the stories never do!

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