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big musk411

Big Fork River

10 posts in this topic

This looks like a fun trip, has anyone done it before? How is the Muskie and Sturgoen fishing? Seriously thinking about this as my next canoe expedition. Any info greatly apriciated!

Thanks in advance!

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It depends on where you want to go. Muskie can be caught pretty much all the way up the big fork. I would leave bigger muskie baits behind and go with some 4"-7" stuff. I have had better luck on a hellraiser cherry bomb.

As for your sturgeon, it is best to stay in close proximity to the mouth of the river as it dumps into the rainy. Depending on water levels and current conditions 1-4 oz. of weight may be needed. I like to run a 8"-16" leader. Gob it with crawlers, or better yet some preserved and scented crawfish if you can find them. Your best sturgeon fishing is before muskie season opens and that occurs in april. You can still catch them throughout the summer the catching can be a little infrequent. Early on I would focus on the mouths of the rivers, as summer progresses I would work the deeper holes/channels...a great spot in the summer is behind the paper mill in I-falls.

Pay attention to the rules and regulations if you come up and try for some sturgeon. There is a 45"-50" slot(you can keep anything in between those measurements) there is also special harvest regulations, for when you can keep one.

Post 'er up if you have anymore questions, we'll be happy to answer them for you!!

Take Care and Good Luck Fishing!!

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The year of the BWCA blowdown,my son and I decieded to paddle Big Fork+Rainy to LOW.We found that some of the landings were hard to find.Plenty of firewood was stacked at each camping area.Fishing was slow on the Big Fork,but a true wilderness paddle.As soon as we got to the Rainy things changed, Walleye!!! We camped at the boat landings,as we headed for LOW.If you take the trip use the portages,there is some white water on the way.Also make sure there is enough water in the Big Fork.We averged about 20 miles a day.Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the info. Question on the Sturgeon, is it legal to fish them in there? Per the DNR website there is no open season, only in the Rainy[i'll Be there in April]. I was thinking you could fish there for the Sturge, but I posted this in the Muskies/Pike forum and was informed that it is not leagal. I was thinking that you could because last time I drove over the Little fork there were several boats fishing for what had to have been sturgeon, late April.

Thanks for the info! Looks like a fun trip

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In the spring season you cannot fish any further upstream than the bridges that cross the mouth of the river. For the black river, where there is no bridge for awhile, you cannot go into the mouth. It is also correct to state that you cannot fish them up in the river during the summer season because upstream from the bridge is considered inland waters, where the season is closed.

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I haven't canoed it but want to. One piece of advice from a local DNR wildlife tech is the skeeters late May, June and July can ruin a trip.

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Thanks for the info and clarification on the regs! Looks like I won't be targeting the Sturgeon. Uffda, thanks for the heads up on the bugs. I forgot about that part. When I did the Bloodvein river in Manatoba, they were insane, don't want to experience that again[the bugs that is]. I am shooting for later in August so hopefully they wont be too bad blush.gif.

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Deer Flies can be bad a times. You may want to pick up some of the sticky strips you put on the back of your cap, they work pretty good. smile.gif

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I like that idea!

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Hi big musk411, The Big Fork is a great river to canoe. The area's from Craigsville down to the Second Bridge has one portage, little American falls, and one long rapids. Fishing in this area of the river, you’ll get muskies, northerns, walleyes, a few small mouth bass. Water is a little deeper and slower. Two landings. Second bridge to the first bridge as its known, is an all day trip. Not a lot of fast water through here. No landings. The fishing will be the same as the first trip. First bridge down to Johnson landing the river gets shallower. Not a lot of rapids but just shallow water, in the summer you will have to pull some small boats over the sand bars, canoes usely are fine. Fishing is mostly Muskies, northerns, and walleyes. For some reason I have not done real well on smallies in this area. From Johnson landing to Big Falls, the water slows down again and there is one landing between them. The fishing will be about the same as from First Bridge to Johnson’s. Big Falls you will have to portage around. From Big Falls to the Sturgeon River the water is shallow again. Fishing will be mostly small mouth bass and walleyes and northerns. Sturgeon River down to Ben lynns landing is shallow. There are fish in this area but because of 85% is so shallow mostly small mouth and northerns. Ben lynns to Lindford Bridge is a mix of shallow and deeper water. Two landing along this stretch. Muskies and northerns and small mouth. I have never fished from the Lindford Bridge to the Rainy so I could not help you with that area of the river. The deer fly’s and the horse fly’s in the months of June and July are terrible. Mosquitoes are Mosquitoes, there all ways there. The Big Fork is a state designated canoe river. Good fishing but hard to get in and out of, only a few areas are easealy asseceable. I hope you have fun and a good trip on the Big Fork This summer.

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