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Maximum12

Late September Fishing

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Maximum12

Greetings all, we're headed into the BWCA the last weekend in September. While we've done plenty of fishing down here in the south late in the season, I've never been in the BWCA after Labor Day & would really appreciate some general pointers.

We'll be heading into Lake One - figure it's the only time of the year it won't look like a highway. smile.gif My buddy will be looking for walleye, I'll be hunting for good-sized pike. While the pike might be in danger from me, we're poor walleye fishermen in the best of times.

So: where do we start for walleye? Will they be up (10 feet or less) by then? I don't really want to lug in minnows, will plastics do the trick? Or is trolling better? I presume by reading the posts that leeches will be extinct by the time we hit Ely?

Any hints that might land a couple of eyes would be appreciated!

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JustinG

Go to Lake Three instead. It is not that much further and the fishing is way better. Start looking for reefs and wind blown points and shorelines. The fish can be anywhere this time of year depending on what time of day you are fishing. Be flexible try fishing 20-35 fow. during the day and move into 7-15 fow during dawn/dusk. The water temp is still 68 degrees right now so expect walleyes to be scattered about. Bring crawlers and leeches with you. It also never hurts to bring a minnow trap up there. Minnows can be real easy to find-Look around your campsite for rock shelves, sandy shallows. Bait your trap with dry dog food.

Good Luck

Justin

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Maximum12

JustinG, thanks for the info. We're planning on hitting the interior, just entering at Lake One, but we'll be sure to try our luck on Lake Three. We haven't brought crawlers before but we'll try it this trip. Can't hurt unless I dump them in my buddy's sleeping bag by 'accident'...

Anyone else fish in late September around Ely?

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Surface Tension

Fall patterns makes little difference on what region your in. Although every lake has some uniqueness, the principles are the same.

If the weathers warm hit the windblown shorelines in the afternoon and evening. Those warm winds will most likely be from the West. Because of that I'd start out the day on the Eastern shorelines on the breaks in around 15' of water and then move in close as the water warms. Even if your in a cold front the eyes will still be there, just deeper. Being on new water you'll be looking. Cover water with a minnow harness(spinner). Fall eyes are feeding on minnows, if this is a fishing trip then you have ask yourself if its worth the hassle of bringing minnows. Once you find where the eyes are holding you can continue to troll for them or anchor up and throw jigs/tipped with a minnow or slip bob with a minnow. If yo don't have live bait you won't be slip bobbing. Be prepared to fish shallow. You might find the eyes in very close once the sun dips, too close to troll over them, too shallow to throw jig or slip bob. A shallow diving stick bait or floating rap casted along the shorelines or troll in close with a in-line planner board.

Now I'm not saying its the only way to get eyes, its just that this is one of those "go to" patterns and should be a very good starting point.

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Maximum12

More great info - sounds like a spectacular place to start. Thanks!

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eye_point

I have fished Lake Two, mid-Sept many a time. Larger fluorescent green Mr. Twisters with leeches (scarce as you stated) for walleyes, bouncing off bottom, did the trick. Drift to find, then keep going over same area. Always liked the portable depth finder along; otherwise fish where there is current, points. Probably fished 10-12ft range during day. Excellent time of year to go. Enjoy the views and let us know how you did when you get back.

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Duffman

Quote:

We'll be heading into Lake One - figure it's the only time of the year it won't look like a highway.


grin.gif Good luck with that. grin.gif

I know minners can be a hassle to deal with up there, but I'd get 'em bagged and thrown in a soft cooler until you get to camp beyond the portage into Lake Two. Then just transfer them into a minnow bucket. Fishing can be tough in the fall up there, a jig/minnow combo can make it a little easier. Fish the usual spots- points, current, reefs, and windblown islands. Last Oct during a windy trip, we just anchored on the downwind side of islands and jig/minner'd them as they came thru late in the day, 12-15ft.

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Maximum12

OK, Duffman, then it might look like 494 at 11PM vs. 5PM. I know I'm sure not going to Lake One in the middle of the summer! I've heard the horror stories. shocked.gif

Sounds like we'll be packing in some live bait. Man, minnows! If we were competent walleye fishermen I'd say screw the minnows, but we need all the help we can get, so I'm going to have to consider it.

I've heard current is good in the spring - that true in the fall then, too?

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JustinG

Quote:

I've heard current is good in the spring - that true in the fall then, too?


That depends how much rain we get. We just got 6" of it in the last 4 days! The lake levels are back up, so if we get more rain, there will be some current.

Justin

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Surface Tension

I always investigate inlets. If its just a rocky run then I look for a hole at the mouth. A slow moving inlet with some depth usually have some weed growth off the main flow and is a perfect spot for the evening with slip bobs, during the day I'll give the hole a shot.

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evinrudespeed

You gave some great info regarding the BWCA. Have you ever fished Wood Lake(#26 entry) up through Hula L., Good L., and Basswood L.(Hoist and Wind Bay)???? Trying to plan an early to mid-October trip. I've never fished that late up in the BWCA area...I've heard mixed views-good and bad!! Tell me what you think.

Thanks,

Jose'

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ditchpickle6996

I have ice fished Wood Lake and done OK for Pike. Quite a few but not alot of size.

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JustinG

Just sail through Wood and Hula Lakes and go straight to Basswood. Don't even mess around with those lakes if you are after Walleyes.

Justin

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Great Outdoors

If you like to catch BIG pike, find reefs on Basswood in late October when the whitefish/tulibees are spawning.

That's when you get the 20+ trophies.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • IceHawk
      First off welcome to the site ! Fish that area quite often and have seen some good flocks around there.  I would get out and do some glassing in the area , especially around some picked corn fields. Right now they are wintered up but will break  apart once spring gets closer. Maybe hit up a local bait store and ask around if anyone knows of a spot. Or look at the landowners list that received permits in that area. They legally have to grant permission to hunt there land but unfortunately a lot of landowners will tell you they are full even if there not  Good luck in your search. 
    • Bisonguy
      this will be my first time chasing Minnesota turkeys. Any tips on where to go around Lake Lida area? 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      When i was there all could find was perch but i only fished for about 3-4 hours all weekend. Not sure on panfish but i know the walleye bit is still pretty good. I'm sure theres plenty of panfish to be had back there though to.
    • Wanderer
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    • JFitz
      I spent a little time last summer looking for weed walleyes in Niles Bay. About 10 minutes into my experiment I caught a chunky 22" on a spinner rig over a weedbed in about 10'. The weeds were growing about halfway to the surface but that fish had no problem smacking my bait. I'll keep experimenting this year.... can't wait for open water!
    • Rick
      I hear the panfish are kicking it up a bit? Any word out there?
    • Alex wilhelmi
      awesome feedback! thank you so much for the info! Ill get up ther next year, i dont want to keep any i just want to catch some nice eyes and northern.....hell, whatever! ive been in a sleeper 5 times on LOW and we only had one real good trip. upper red lake once in a sleeper caught 3 eyes in 3 days. i dont mind if i catch one or two fish, its all about the experience for me on the big water. but the girlfriend is a hard one to convince at times for a return trip if the fishing is slow. were headed to fairbault this weekend, i hope we get into something. thanks again guys! ill post a report on our trip. good luck on the ice!
    • IceHawk
      Well who else is going after long beards this spring? I was drawn for season B again no surprise. There were surplus tags left as there were last couple years.  Really like the new approach to not having to apply for the later seasons spreads the hunters out and gives guys like me the opportunity to get after them early   Been out doing some scouting and been seeing some big wintering flocks one I was glassing other day had over 60 birds in it! They have really been working over the picked corn lately.  Oh cant wait to hear the first gobble of the year 
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      Hello: Repairing Coleman Focus 3 / 5 / 10 / and certain model numbers for the focus 15. If your coleman focus heater is in need of a rebuilt burner or other parts I can help. I do supply parts and repair the above heaters including rebuilding burners for the heater. Qestions = give me a shout. Head Shot eklb@mediacombb.net
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Pat, July is my best time for walleyes in the weeds! I did not cast spinner baits but did pull spinners with 1/2 crawler right along the edges in about 3' to 4' deep water. We were so close to the boat with our lines that we could see our spinners and actually see the walleyes charge out of the weeds and grab our baits! FUN!! Now, thanks to the rustys, those cabbage weed beds are gone. Cliff
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