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Fall Lake Entry Point Report

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Took my wife, Molly, into the BWCA last week, the first time she'd been in the wilderness since before our first kid, 1998. I thought I'd go easy on her & take portage wheels up the four-mile portage into Ella Hall Lake for a three-night stay. Ha!

I decided to rent portage wheels, which were nothing like the lightweight, fold-up aluminum ones I saw in Twin Cities stores. This one had what looked to be a full-sized truck axle with rock-hard, sixty-year old lumber on top & weighed, well, a lot. Getting to the landing, I found it wouldn't fit in the the canoe without sticking waaaaaay up over the gunwales. Considering my wife isn't an experienced canoeist, I decided to leave it in the Jeep & hump the canoe for the nearly two miles to Ella Hall. I've only had one map problem in all my years going into the BWCA, & lo & behold, I have two errors on the map in the span of a couple of hours while trying to guide my wife (really, honey, I can read maps!) - the four-mile portage being about a half-mile off where the map stated, & a portage on four-mile that wasn't on the map leading us into the wrong lake. Good thing I had a compass!

Suffice to say my 37-year old shoulders were tired by the time we reached the lake. If I hadn't gotten off my *ss a few years ago & started working out, I don't think I would have made it intact.

Anyhow, enough gobble about the travel. The fishing on Ella Hall was good. Not a numbers lake for us, but the pike were respectable & the smallies good-sized. Our first smallie came in a shallow, weedy bay. My wife hates weeds, so I tossed her a Jitterbug so she could fish topwater. A few casts later, explosion! And the fight was on. My wife's a competent fisherman, but the smallie was more than she knew how to deal with - rod bent double, shaking it's head violently, peeling off line, juking under the boat. After a couple of minutes she eased it up next to the canoe & I grabbed it - an 18" fish! Her biggest bass ever. She sat & shook for a couple of minutes afterwards. Fun to watch!

I managed to top her the next day out in front of our campsite with a 19" smallie, but we couldn't find the elusive 20" fish.

All in all a fantastic trip, even with the unexpectedly long carry & the beaver dam built across the portage. The weather cooperated (thunderboomers at night, party sunny during the day), there was never more than one other party on the lake, & the fish cooperated. In two days we caught plenty of fish, with the largest the 19" smallie & a 30" pike. More than anything, it was nice to get out of the Cities, relax in the canoe, throw some baits, & spend a couple of days with my favorite wife!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • phishslayer
    • eyeguy 54
      True dat!  Ducer slides right next to the ice. I did fish in a couple 8 inch holes yesturday for a couple minutes after some guys left. Almost felt like i needed a life jacket on!! Lol
    • Alex wilhelmi
      I'm so jealous of you guys, I put my ice fishing gear away couple nights ago. It took 3 Busch lights and and one Keystone light tall boy to muster up the courage to pack it away till next winter. Sad day.
    • pikeandchester
      Spent some time on on Francis today. Ice on the main part of the lake looks to be in great shape but the west access is pretty bad. Got the ATV out, Probably not getting a vehicle out though. Saw one car out, don’t know where they got on the ice. Shore isn’t pulling away yet (other than the access).
    • IceHawk
      You hole hop like me or the guys I fish with you just added another 50 holes or better to your day doubleing them up for transducers. Rarely do we plop down in one spot unless its lights out! 
    • Mike89
      just don't eat the smart pills the bunny leaves behind!!!!
    • Mike89
      easy to cut the 6" and eye guy, like me is getting older!!!     besides a 2nd hole beside the first is where the transducer goes!!!
    • smurfy
      i'm trying to finagle a weekend up there one last ice fishing hurrah, how the lakes lookin? not interested in truck travel, just ATV.  rumor has it gunners headed back south soon so it should be safe for me to head that way.  lookin at he weekend after da easter bunny comes!!!!!!!
    • IceHawk
      Agree 6 inch is defiantely the way to go for panfish especially when running gunning. But I'm a 8 inch guy like that little extra room as I rarely pull the transducer when iceing panfish.  I'm also a big walleye guy so that really helps landing fish! The one thing bad about you  6 inch guys is that I cant crack the top of your old holes very easy with my 8 Lol!
    • IceHawk
      Fortunately I am set Boat is rigged to max. Maxed out thrust wise on front and the back trolling motors. Elite 7, Hook 7, vexilar fl18 in back. Front X 15. Definitely a Lowrance man. If that doesn't find me fish then  I might as well hang it up lol!  Maybe  get rid of my butt seat buy a new pro pole seat with the flip seat to lean on a little more. As far as gear Have my eyes on a Engel Bait cooler probably pull the trigger on one of those as they look good and have heard good things about them . Oh was down at the NW Sportshow today and added a new Okuma. Definitely didn't need a new one but  u know how it goes   Very tempted to break out the wallet a few times but resisted temptation. LOL ! Odds and ends here there but major purchases are done for a bit.