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pick

Coming to Voyageurs for first time...Fishing report? Suggestions?

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pick

8 of us are heading to Crane and planning on "roughing it" on a house boat from Voyagaires Labor Day week. The last 10 years we fished another lake but for some reason we think we need a change of scenery.

I'm hoping to get some suggestions on routes to take and where to go for good fishing on Crane, Sand Point, Namakan etc. I'm a bit nervous about the cost of fuel since we'll be towing three fishing boats so don't know that I want to venture all that far.

Would like to get a report on how the bite has been of late and what's been working for eye's, crappies, and smallies.

Not asking for secrets just hoping to get enough advice to ensure we have a great trip and have enough luck to make us keep coming back.

Finally, we're old anglers but if there is anything we should know about houseboating etiquette that first timers might not know about let me know. We want to make sure we respect the locals and the lakes.

Thanks all.

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overdalimit

I fish the kab end of the lakes and have been getting them in 28 to 30 ft around islands. As far as what not to do, only camp at houseboat sites, use lots of water when you flush, Listen to the instructions that are given at the dock, wave to other boats, Don't try to challenge the weather (those tubs are underpowered) make sure to keep your radio on the right channel. HAVE FUN! laugh.gif

ODL

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Dock Boy

Enjoy the houseboat!! Houseboats are great fun and one of the nicest ways to enjoy the park. You will want to make sure you pay attention to the check out that they go through. They will explain the bouy system and nice spots to park. The houseboat themselves I don't think are under powered. You certainly don't want a huge motor on a 50ft boat add a novice driver and you have problems. Voyagaire is a great operation good choice. Boats are well maintained and I think they have been in business for close to 50 years, so they have all the wrinkles ironed out by now. Enjoy!!

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pick

Thank you gentleman. The good news is we aren't novices when it comes to boats but we are new to houseboats and the lakes. I'm assuming with all of our gear and towing three boats this Houseboat isn't going to be moving much. Do you think it would be better to drive the other boats vs. towing them?

I have read other threads and have not seen anything positive or negative on Crane. Should I assume that the better fishing is on Kab? What about Namakan and Sand Point? Should we consider a guide for the first day and if so could you suggest a couple?

As others have said if you see a voyagaires houseboat with three smaller boats in tow or on the beach, PLEASE, come say hello and have a beer with us. We would like to get to know some of you so we have friends for each year.

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Dock Boy

Towing them will not make much of a differece. The houseboat will go 6-8 miles an hour. The motors on the houseboats are geered to push heavy weights. I would just tow them. Voyagaire also has a tow bar system that works great for towing them. Fishing normally this time of the year is most productive on Sand Point and Namakan, but great catches are still comming in from Kab and Crane. I would reccommend going with a guide. It shortens your learning curve and will help out greatly. Tim Watson from Kabetogama Angling Adventures would be my reccommendation great personality and great fisherman. Good Luck!!!

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NBR

We did 2 family houseboat vacations one on Rainy the second on LOW. Houseboats are displacement hulls and regardless of the power given they only go so fast which is slow. Having fished Crane, Sand Point and Nam for about 25 years I wouldn't even think about going to Kab from Crane. Way to far for a slow moving houseboat.

I would definitly tow the fishing boats. If it were me I'd try to get a houseboat spot just inside Nam from Sand Point.That would make it easy to fish Nam or SP without moving the house boat. I question the comment about using plenty of water when you flush. Holding tanks fill with water and the limiting issue on both of our trips was holding tank capacity.

A real plus would be a portable generator. If we houseboat again we will either take ours or rent one.

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maxfish

I own a houseboat it is cheper to tow boats then to drive 3 up the lake I love it up ther try to see kettle falls look on explor mn.com thar is a list I think it is some thing like chris's favret islands to park houseboats on.

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overdalimit

I guess you never experianced the pyramid effect from not using enough water when you flushed. I hear the house boat bases telling people over the radio to make sure and use plenty of water when they flush.

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pick

You all got me worried about this toilet thing. I'm either going to need to bring some big corks and distribute them or find a workable solution. The houseboat has a generator on it but not sure how that will help the toilet. In the army we took a shovel and hiked a couple hundred yards into the woods, dug a 6 inch hole, finished business, spread it with a rock and covered it. Of course we'd pack the paper out and burn it. Not pleasant but if the on board toilet starts stinking up my sleeping quarters I'm going to be unhappy. mad.gif

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Dock Boy

Don't worry about the toliet. It's the least of your worries. The toliets don't have many problems as stated by overda. Enjoy the trip

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fishroger

Have some experience with toilets on houseboats. You dont want the toilet holding tank full after 3 days and over flowing. Phew. If it starts pyramiding, grab a stick and go at it. Sure they can come out with the pumper and suck it out, but what if its midnite? and they can get out. It can be a stinking mess if full. Pumping it full of water will definitely fill it up fast, a liitle debris is not terrible as an overflowing tank.

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overdalimit

Pick don't sweat the toilet thing. Just make sure you have a few inches of water in the bowl before you go is all. Some folks have never used an RV style toilet that requires the user to manually fill the bowl as opposed to the conventional "flush" toilets like you have in your house. It is just a common sense thing. If I would have thought it would have become such a hot topic perhaps I would have forgone the mention of it. It takes about a pint of water to flush an RV toilet. Just enough water to allow the waste to be semi fluid as it falls into the tank. (helps to keep the bowl free from brown stripes too) grin.gif

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pick

Great advice. I think I'm going to slip each of the boys an imodium. wink.gif The way I see it that will eliminate the concern as well as provide me a good chuckle grin.gif

Thanks for all your help gentlemen.

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sstixrud

I too will be on a voyagaire houseboat trip over the Labor day week. Always tow your boats behind the houseboat. We will be towing three boats as well so stop by for a beer if you spot us. It will be out 10th houseboat trip up there in 7 years. Don't worry about the toilet, just make sure to add a cup of the blue stuff each day so it doesn't smell.

One word of advice is to try and bring up as much warm supplies (Beer, pop, etc) as possible as ice and refridgerator space can be in short supply. We usually designate one person to bring up a cooler of beer for the first day instead of everyone bringing up cold beer. We also bring up two good insulated coolers with nothing but ice inside (taped shut) for use later in the week.

A good first day fishing spot (when launching from Crane lake) is up around and in Brown's bay. We usually fish this area the first and last day of the trip. We then work our way up through Namakin to the Kettle falls area by the third/fourth day. Kettle falls is about the only chance to buy more supplies if needed (Gas, Ice, etc.) so we like to be near it around midweek of the trip.

We have gone all the way into Kabetogama in past trips but probably won't this year with the high gas prices. There is plenty of good fishing in Namakan and Sand Point. Anyway, have a good trip and maybe we will run into you and have a beer together up there this year.

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pick

Thanks SStix. You've brought up another good point but I'm a little confused. How many of you will there be? We have 8 gents who all love their beer. You said bring up as much "warm" supplies as possible. We usually bring 2 or 3 cases each in our own coolers (although we all share)plus one cooler will have meat and other perishables. I'm guessing we should still dedicate a couple of coolers to ice only? Are we bringing too many coolers?

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Dock Boy

In regards to stixrud comments about being close to kettle for supplies. Voyagaire also has a hospitality service that runs daily a $55 dollar one time fee to run anything you need right out. Prices are not inflated like gas at kettle (5 bucks). Hope this helps have a great trip!!!

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sstixrud

Pick, We only have 4 guys so yes you probably would want at least two cold coolers of beer to start. You just don't want to have to keep more beer on ice than was is needed for each day or you will need lots of ice. We also like to have ice for mixed drinks in the evening.

Don't worry, you will have a great time up there. Hope to see you up there.

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