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GoggleEye

Best time to fish burntside?

11 posts in this topic

I have been told that burntside is a somewhat difficult lake to fish, but I would like to give it a try sometime in the fall. What is the most productive time to fish b-side in the fall and what kinds of methods should I concentrate on? Are there any tried and true tactics with this lake? I will be targeting walleyes and lakers strictly (not at the same time...) Thanks for any info. and help.

GoggleEye

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Remember inland laker season ends at the end of September. I don't have the actual date handy. Can't help you out on walleyes, but you fish lakers in September the same way you fish them in May, June, July and August.

I've spent a lot of time fishing with Chunkytrout and by myself and expecting the fish to be in different places and acting differently in spring and fall than in summer, because of the seasonal changes in water temps.

It hasn't worked out that way. I tend to find lakers in the same places no matter whether it's ice or open water, spring, summer or fall. When the water's cold on top, they will come all the way up to smack a lure and so you don't necessarily have to troll as deep, but that's about the only difference I've found. Others may have different experiences, but after four years that's been mine. And I like simplicity in fishing, so if I find good numbers of active lakers in the same areas during all open seasons (and I have), I'm likely to stay in those areas rather than explore what might be unproductive water. That's just me, though.

So I still heavily fish the 50-foot breakline around sunken reefs, main lake points, neckdown areas and sheer cliff faces. Overall, I target those areas from 40 to 70 FOW.

Some of those areas include the eastern shore and reefs of Dollar Island, the western side of Waters Island, the area where the Dead River flows into the eastern arm, the deep water where the narrow stretch up the North Arm broadens and widens into the large bay, and the whole shoreline from just west of the public landing on Van Vac back to the east toward the first point (where Camp Van Vac is).

If I look at all the time I've spent on Bside in winter and summer combined, the single spot that has produced the most fish for me as that stretch from 45 to 60 FOW along the south shore from the public landing toward Camp Van Vac. It's not a sexy spot, just lots of little underwater structure along breaklines and otherwise uninteresting shoreline, and of course few people fish there open water because it kind of sucks to put in the boat and not open her up and drive a mile to somewhere else before fishing. My biggest fish there was 12 pounds, with lots of smaller eater sized fish too.

A Camp Van Vac guest caught two fish, one in the teens and one of 20 pounds, last spring casting frozen cisco and letting it lay on the bottom off one of the Van Vac docks.

I troll from 2 to 3 mph and use flutter spoons and rapalas and downriggers. If you're fishing late enough in September and the water has cooled enough (should be OK this year with the cooler weather we've been having), you probably can get by with deep-diving minnowbaits long-lined.

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stfcatfish:

I've wondered the same thing about Burntside (when, where), and I appreciate your willingness to provide detailed and useful info. Not everybody is as open and helpful on the forum ... so thanks!

I've just purchased property (a year ago) on the Echo Trail (Nels Lake) and have hopes to relocate year-round up there once I get this career out of my way. Thus I'm keen to learn more about the lakes and nature in the area. Your name seems to consistently be at the top of the postings that provide useful info. I'm hoping we can hook up sometime, if for no other reason than another opportunity for me to learn more about the Echo Trail. Though we could end up debating the finer points of Nikon vs Canon ...

Regardless, thanks for the flow of info you provide on the forum.

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yoppdk, no problem, man. Sharing info is what these forums are all about.

As for arguing the finer points of Canon vs Nikon, I wasn't aware Nikon HAD any finer points. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Yeah, it'd be a short conversation from both perspectives.

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I'm just ribbin ya, man.

Talent is in the eye, heart and mind of the photographer, not the electronics, and I NEVER make fun of a client's photo gear (usually it's better than mine.) grin.gif

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Stfcatfish, like the earlier post said, thanks a bunch for the detailed and helpful posts. I appreciate it very much and you have eliminated a lot of the guess work for me which wastes valuable fishing time for a guy who has to drive four hours just to get there and then another four to get home. I usually troll with heavy bottom bouncers, so I am confident I can put the bait in front of their face, I just need to put the rest of the puzzle together. Are there any color patterns or specific baits I should take with me to b-side? I am pretty confident with the walleye fishing, but the lakers are relatively new to me. Thanks again for all the posts and help.

GoggleEye

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GE, flashy flutter spoons and rapalas are about all I ever use. I usually make sure I have a couple patterns that look like rainbow smelt, which the lake is filthy with, but I've had my best success in open water over the last couple years with a 4-5 inch flutter spoon with a natural black/bronze finish on top and a hammered hex chrome underneath. Speed is important. I don't think it's important because fish want lures trolled fast one day or slow the next, but because you have to match the speed to the action of the lure.

Match your trolling speed to the best lure action and you'll be good to go.

A husky jerk Rapala, for example, looks gorgeous at 1.8 mph, but many flutter spoons just wobble back and forth at those slower speeds, and you've gotta get up fast enough for them to turn over before they'll produce at their best. Easiest way to gauge that is to troll the lure beside the boat at various speeds until you find the right speed. For spoons, I always set the speed just a touch faster than the point at which the spoon quits wobbling and starts turning over.

Winter or summer, my best days fishing alone in the last few years have been 5-fish days. It CAN happen on Burntside. grin.gif

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STFCatfish, once again, thanks!

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You may want to check out the MN DNR Lakefinder report fot any lakes you intend to fish, especially if you intend to eat fish out of, or feed to women and children.

Burntside has a higher than usual Mercury warning for virtually all size fish. frown.gif

I wonder if the lakes with the higher warnings are related to mining at all??? I know in the past it was used in gold and silver mining to "catch" the fines or dust and then "boiled"?? off. confused.gif

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Try Sutton Spoons- I know you can get them at Marine General in Duluth and they've always worked wonders for me. Try a number 43? I think that's the number anyway. It is bronze on one side and silver on the other and is hammered- these have always produced for me on Saganaga, but every lake is different.

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