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FishBrawler

Remote Lake Campsites w/o motor restrictions

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FishBrawler

Long time reader - I finally subscribed to the site! Can anyone offer advice on which lakes in the Ely area offer remote lakeside campsites for boats w/o motor restrictions? Maps that I've studied show both Burntside and Big lakes may have campsites - How is the fall fishing on these lakes? A group of us is going to the area Sept. 29th-Oct. 2nd. Any advice is much appreciated!

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Steve Foss

Brawler: Cool that you finally signed on. Good to have you here. grin.gif

Unless your heart is set on lakers, Big Lake is a much better bet than Burntside. The fall walleye fishing on Big is very good, and, while there's an entry point on Big for the BWCAW, there are no motor restrictions anywhere on the lake, and there are camp sites.

I'd contact Big Lake Wilderness Lodge or Whispering Pines on the lake to ask about camp sites. The Ely chamber at www.ely.org probably has those resorts' contact numbers.

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NAMAKANWALLEYE

Birch Lake has a lot of campsites, I think 16????????

Also, try Johnson, it has a campsite, but its a small lake.

--Mark

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caseymcq

What size boat are you using? Harris, August and Triangle maybe an option if you don't have a boat that is real big.

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NAMAKANWALLEYE

Triangle, a fun little portage into that one!

Neat Roller Portage, Very Easy, Walleyes in Triangle too.

--Mark

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Steve Foss

Brawler, the key is, what are you fishing for? If it's walleyes, Big is far easier to locate walleyes on than the sprawling Birch Reservoir (Birch is a great walleye fishery, but hard to figure out for a first-timer), and Johnson isn't a big walleye lake, though it and Birch put out their share of crappies, too.

The other factor is access. You mentioned two lakes with drive-to access and campsites that don't require portaging. Do you want to portage or not?

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FishBrawler

Thanks for all the feedback guys, much appreciated!

Walleyes are always a favorite, although we wouldn't mind finding some big northers or crappies too. We have gone to the Rainy/Namakan area in the fall for several years and have always done poorly with the walleyes, so I think Big Lake would be a good option if they are easy to find for first-timers. Do the two resorts on Big have a bar/restaurant that we could go "hideout" in if the weather turns nasty?

We have a group of five with a 18ft./150hp and 16ft./50hp, so I'm sure were limited to certain lakes somewhat with the size of our boats.

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wannabeinely

I'm also a long time reader and finally subcribed. FishBrawler, you'll have to give us a report after your trip. The past 2 years I've planned trips to camp and fish on Big Lake during MEA weekend but had it canceled because of a family member's health conditions and very cold/wet weather. I've stopped at the lake during ventures up the Echo Trail and have always wanted to give the island campsites a try. smile.gif

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chaffmj

You are out of luck with the bar and restaurant. Neither have one. You would have to make the drive down to the Chain Saw Sisters to enjoy a brew or bring your own and stay in the tent!

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FishBrawler

The chainsaw sisters seems to be a drive - Big Lake is remote! I guess we'll hope for good weather. Should I talk to the resorts for fishing spots/maps for Big Lake or can anyone offer some general advice? Do the resorts on Big Lake have bait? laugh.gif

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NAMAKANWALLEYE

Big Lake is remote, but think of it this way,

When I was in College in Ely, a girl I know from Crane Lake Drove everyday to Ely, to go to college.

All the Way down the Echo and Back!!!!!!

Wow.

Mark

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monstermoose78

Bet she shot alot of grouse

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chaffmj

They both carry bait but this time of year you should call them to make sure. I have also gotten small lake maps from each of them for free. I also believe they have larger ones you can purchase. I haven't fished it much this time of year so I can't help you out much there. Fish around the islands. There are some nice drop offs and plenty of structure to try. When you get back give us a report. I own some land on the lake and I am hoping to get up there one or two more times before ice. Good Luck.

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Steve Foss

Hey wannabeinely: Welcome to FM. Good to see you signed up here! grin.gif

Fishbrawler: If you buy bait from one of the resorts, they'll certainly give you some ins on which fishing spots/tactics have been producing.

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FishBrawler

I will certianly give the resorts a call for bait and report back after the trip, thanks again stfcatfish and chaffmj! Any smallmouth fishing to be done on Big?

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seatersam

just got back from big lake yesterday. stayed at lowp, nice cabins and friendly owners. had a guide for half day on monday and in the first 2 hours caught about 10-12 walleyes and 1 small pike then the wind shifted out of the north and not another fish for 3 days. rain windy and cold most of the week.sept weather. nice lake and remote. all fish caught on orange jigs with minnow or piece of crawler

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Steve Foss

Thanks for the report, sam.

Brawler: there are smallies in Big. Size rather than numbers, though. Same fall spots as walleyes.

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wannabeinely

Hey stfcatfish: thanks for the welcome note smile.gifI really appreciate all of the good info provided on here.

Thanks for the report Sam.

Fish Brawler: Good luck this weekend and I look forward to hearing your report.

I'm excited to give Big Lake a try the next weekend. (unless someone else has a better suggestion) My wife and I are heading up to Ely for our anniversary get away weekend from Oct. 5-8. Getting in late Thursday night and sleeping at the inlaws that night and can't check in at the resort on Bear Island Lake until Friday afternoon so I was thinking of hitting Big Lake Friday morning. The only two lakes I've fished up there are Birch and Bear Island. Wasn't planning on bringing the boat but she said she wants to spend one of the days fishing and the rest hiking, scenic drives, and taking pictures. laugh.gif Can't wait.

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rodmaker

I stay up at Timbertrail lodge on farm Lake (a chain of Farm, South Farm, Garden & White Iron). I would guess this time of the year that resorts shouldn't be to crowded. Good walleye, smallie fishing also. We were up there 3rd week in July, I released a 21 3/4" Smallie trolling Shad Raps, and alot of 'eyes doing that. I would guess this would work especially this time of the year up there.

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FishBrawler

I just contacted both Wispering Pines and Big Lake Wilderness Lodge - neither have minnows. Any recommendations on which bait shop in Ely has the best quality/selection of bait and a good map of Big Lake? We're expecting to be in the area on Friday around noon.

How are the water levels up there - hope the recent rain helped. Looks like the weather improves as the weekend progresses - I hope that means good fishing! Have the lakes turned over? I think that happens later on in the fall, but I don't know much about it and how much it affects the fishing. confused.gif

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Steve Foss

Good bait at Great Outdoors. Lucky 7 is open more hours if GO is closed when you come through. Both are mid way through town on Sheridan, GO on the left across the parking lot from Mike's Liquors, L7 on the right a couple more blocks up.

Water is still low. I think shallower lakes are about to turn over, but I haven't been on the water in a month, so I'm not sure.

The Sportsman's Connection book of maps for St. Louis County has just been newly redone, and it has a good map of Big, as well as maps for scads of other lakes, rivers and Lake Superior. I know the Holiday store has them in Ely. That's yet a few more blocks up on the right off Sheridan as you're heading west to east through town.

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caseymcq

Quote:

Good bait at Great Outdoors. Lucky 7 is open more hours if GO is closed when you come through. Both are mid way through town on Sheridan, GO on the left across the parking lot from Mike's Liquors, L7 on the right a couple more blocks up.

Water is still low. I think shallower lakes are about to turn over, but I haven't been on the water in a month, so I'm not sure.

The Sportsman's Connection book of maps for St. Louis County has just been newly redone, and it has a good map of Big, as well as maps for scads of other lakes, rivers and Lake Superior. I know the Holiday store has them in Ely. That's yet a few more blocks up on the right off Sheridan as you're heading west to east through town.


Haven't been on the water for a month... you fellin' alright? grin.gif

I enjoyed your article in the TJ about the new SC Map book.

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rodmaker

You could call a bait shop named Skubes in Ely. If not you could always stop or call Vado's Hwy 65 & 10 in Spring lake park, and get them in oxygen bags and put them coolers.

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Steve Foss

Hey Casey, I never feel alright when I can't get out fishing for that long. Too much other stuff going on. If I could just quit my job I'd have a lot more time for important things. grin.gif

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