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sparetime

Ice fishing for Lake Trout

14 posts in this topic

A few of us are planning an ice fishing trip for the Winter. After watching the lake trout fishing video, I'm ready. We have all the necessary gear, just need a destination with lodging available?

For a first time trip do you recommend Ely or Grand Marais as home base?

I understand to look for the fish in 30-65 feet of water off steep dropoffs, use any color as long as its white and have fun. Any other suggestions will be appreciated.

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For Lake Trout I would hit Muskie Bay Resort. About 1.5 hours from I-falls and lots of nice trout in there. Its on Crow Lake by the way and you can take day trips to LOW for eyes, crappies and pike.

If your staying in the U.S. either Ely or Grand Marais is ok. Plan ahead though because at certain times lodging can be tough.

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Ely would be good because the town is relatively close to the fishing. Burntside is right outside of town.

Get a fairly stiff rod. Big flashy spoons, white tube jigs, white airplane jigs. I would personally recomend a low stretch line like fire line with a length of mono at the end. The low stretch will give you better hook sets. Ciscoes to put out on a tip up.

There are a couple hardcore laker fisherman on the forum, chunkytrout and stfcatfish. Hopefully those two chime in on what works.

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Any lakes you can recommend for day trips out of Duluth? I've never gone for lake trout and I'd like to give it a shot this winter.

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Lake Superior out of Ashland or Bayfield. I have been going out with Jim Hudson of Hudsons on the Spot Guide Service out of Bayfield and have enjoyed myself as have several other Duluth area guys.

Its way different than inland lakers but just as much if not more fun. Ice conditions are key every year.

Do a search for Hudsins on the spot guide service and you will see some dandy lakers that were caught down his way. Some by fellow Fmers I believe.

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I agree with Northlander. Crow provides the launching point for a jammed packed ice fishing experience. If you want lakers there are several lakes that are accessible via portage. If you got your own gear and a snowmobile you've got what you need. If you want to go for the January bite better make reservations now. Musky Bay, Hanson's, Black Bear are a few of he resorts that are open in the winter months. There are a couple of motels in Nestor Falls.

I've tried a lot of laker fishing in the US, but have never done well unless I hoofed it into the BWCA.

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Crow (Kakagi) is really good laker water. I've fished it a couple times.

For day trips from Duluth, Burntside is a good bet. It's a two hour drive from D/S, and there usually are plowed roads off the Van Vac public access on the lake's south shore.

Some of the most consistent laker action on the lake is just 100 yards off the access in 50 or so FOW, up and down the shore, so you don't even need a snow machine to have a good chance at fish.

We have written scads of tips and info on laker fishing on this board, so use the search feature and you'll find a big library of laker tips, with lots of talk about Burntside lakers, too.

I've spent four winters and three summers exploring Burntside for lakers, and had my best winter last winter, averaging two fish per outing, with a top outing of five fish (biggest 12 pounds) in six hours.

The big lure principle isn't necessarily true on Burntside, which is packed with small smelt. White is a good color, but many colors work. Lures the same size as or slightly larger than you use for walleyes will work just fine, and 10 to 12 lb line and a heavy walleye-sized rod is all you really need. Fish average about 2 pounds, with quite a few caught in the teens each winter and an occasional 20. There are fish over 30 in the lake, according to divers, but they are rarely seen by anglers.

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I see that the winter lake trout season opens Dec. 31 within the BWCA. Is the season later on lakes outside of the BWCA?

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Typically it opens two weeks later outside the BWCA and closes two weeks earlier. Same with stream trout lakes. It's all in the regs if you want actual dates.

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Here is a 34 incher i got a few year back out of burtside scan0002.jpg

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I along with others have posted a ton of winter lakers tactics.

Not that I don't want to type it again its just that it'll take me forever and I will misss something and well its early yet to get laker fever.

If your in Duluth Ely is a good area to day trip. Burntside, Snowbank, and Ojibway(sp) are drive to lakes. Anything else up in that area will require a good jaunt into the BWCA.

Something that doesn't get mentioned often is the Rapids area or the mine pits of which I know nothing about. Anyone care to share would be appreciated.

Gunflint Trail has more drive to laker lakes and more just inside the BWCA. I do day trips still but prefer 3 days.

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Is Burntside entirely within the BWCA, hence the season begins Dec. 30th?

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Sure looks like Burntside is entirely out side the BWCA.

Finns.

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Burntside is wholly outside the Bdub, so does not qualify for the Dec. 30 opener. Ojibway also is totally outside the Bdub, and Snowbank partly outside, so all three open at the later general inland opener. The only lake right around the Ely/Vermilion area that's got lakers and opens on Dec. 30 is Trout Lake, which means a snowmobile or truck drive across the ice off Mocassin Point on Lake Vermilion, then a walk/ski/snowshoe a few miles across the portage and ice to the good fishing. I say "good," but Trout Lake hasn't been too good for quite awhile. It's on its way back, but most of the fish, while footballs, are fairly small, and there aren't high numbers.

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