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FishdogCo

Kab Questions

19 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I am a new poster to this site and an advid fisherman located in Michigan. My primary fishing is trolling the great lakes for salmon and steelhead.

I have a few questions regarding Lake Kab. My wife and I are going to be treating my father to this trip and will be visiting one of the local lodges this June from the 23 thru the 30. We plan to target Walleye and Northerns.

I have several questions regarding equipment that I should have for this trip. First, I am runnning a Ray Marine 435I chartplotter. I would like to get a map chip for this lake, which one should I look for?

Although I am not a novice in fishing for Walleye, I have never fished this lake. What lures/baits should I have on board for this time of year? Is the local technique a jig bit or should I be set up for trolling (or both)? I am not looking for anyones secrets, just what and how I should set up the boat and what are some "don't leave home without them" baits and rigging.

Next, We plan on spending a day fishing the Rainey going thru Kettle Falls. Is there a schedule for the boat lift to get around the Dam? 2nd, would I be better off hiring a guide that day and would a guide fish my boat vs theirs? Is the trip from central Kab to Rainey worth the time or should I just plan that trip for another time?

I see that there is a lot of water in this chain that is Canadian water. Do I need the remote pass to enter Canada or is there a check point somewhere along the chain to enter Canadian waters? I read the Canada entry thread and there was not a lot listed there for this lake system.

I may have several other questions down the road and I thank you in advance of any help that you can share.

Mark

Team Fishdog

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I can help answer a few. As far as the shuttle at Kettle Falls goes, I do not believe there is a schedule at all. The portage is only about 1/4 at best. I would call up to the hotel however just to confirm things.

As for the travel into Canadian waters, you will need the RABC pass as there is no point of entry anywhere along the KAB/NAM border. Patrol by the border patrol has stepped up in the past few years and the fine for no pass is now $1,000 each person. If unable to pay this it can result in seizure of your boat. You should get all the necessary documentation and send in for the RABC permit soon as they can take a while to get them back, sometime up to 6-8 weeks in the busy season. Have a great time and maybe we'll run into you.

As for fishing, good luck!

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I don't think that you will need to travel into Canadian waters to find fish. Fishing Canada from the Kab can be a pain. Not only do you need a remote access permit, you also need an Ontario fishing license, and there are live bait restrictions. Your resort owner will be able to point you to some fish or hire a guide for a day. Bait presentatioins are jigs minnows, crawlers lindy rigs and jigs and leeches. Big windswept points, deep drop-offs along large islands and reefs will hold walleyes this time of year.

The truck portage to Rainy runs daylight hours. It closes about an hour before sundown. I like a to go to Rainy just to fish some different water. Even if you elect not to fish Rainy spend an afternoon and visit Kettle Falls as it is a nice ride. Budget some time for lunch or at least a drink in hotel's bar. When you need a fishing break on another day visit the Rock Garden.

I think you picked a good week to visit Kab.

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My group is going up the Opener this year; the past 9 years have been the week after the opener so I'm sure the lake won't be "that" busy when you're up there.

As far as fishing, there is no need to hit Canadian waters, as tempting as it sounds! Getting some food and a cocktail is worth the hour it takes at Kettle Falls; bring a camera - the floor will "floor" you.

We are basically die-hard large mouth bass fisherman that always look for something different. We throw the same lures and catch ample amounts of walleye, snakes, and smallies. Huge crappie and often you get lucky and get into some huge perch - though nothing like Lake Michigan.

Large walleye are hard to find, all the time. "Eaters" are also few and far between. I recommend trolling with standard walleye rigs and you'll have a great time. The toothy critters (Northern) are as common as rocky shores up there; so be prepared to get sick of catching Northern and loosing lures in their teeth.

You'll have fun. The Ash River resorts offer up some nice cocktails and food; be sure to check them out.

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Thanks guys for the reponses.

I guess I was looking to cover all my bases. I know the remote access is a pain, but I have no issues getting them nor do we have any personal restrictions that would prevent us. If the Kab lake area has a decent bite, I would forgo the Canadian issues. I would hate to arrive up there and find the "Hot" bit is on the Canadian side that week. I really appreciate the advise on visiting Kettle falls. I understand that is a treat in itself.

My wife and I want to make this trip a memorble one for my father. He is getting up in age and my days on the water with him are slowly getting numbered.

Thanks for the info on the jigs/lindys. I got that covered. I have the Nav Chip 900P 3x Platinum, that covers the great lakes and it includes Lake of the Woods. I think it still covers Kab as well but I understand there may be some updates out there? Do I need this update or will the older map suffice?

With regards to Guides, we are staying at Sandy Point. Is there a reccomended guide in this area or better yet one that may be a sponsor here?

Mark

Team Fishdog

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Fishdogco,

Here is a little more info. As far as the concern about missing out on a hot bite on the canadian side. I wouldn't worry about that. With a MN license you have access to the same types of structure and more water than you will be able to fish in a trip. If there is a hot bite on Rainy, chances are it exists on either side of the border. You are going to have access to Kab, Namakan, Rainy, Sand Point, and Crane. Rainy is the only which will require a portage. Namakan is more similar in bottom structure and depths to Rainy so often a portage isn't necessary. Often if the Rainy bite is on, fish can be found on similar structures in similar areas on Namakan.

As far as the portage goes. Contact Kettle Falls and arrange if you have a specific day and time in mind. If you have a marine band radio in the boat that is how we contacted the crew at Kettle falls to get the portage. I don't remember the radio channel the hotel monitors though.

If you are looking for specific guides you can drop me an e-mail @ brnbrwr@hotmail.com. I will refrain from posting specific names on here.

Lots of water to cover. Key in on what your resort owner and your guide is fishing if you get one. Then fish similar depths and structure that are producing when you are up.

Good luck,

Bman

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Kettle Falls Hotel monitors channel 12 if you want to call in for a portage in or out of Rainy, they typically start about 7:30 a.m.

Depending on the season you most likely will have plenty of good fishing without having to go to Rainy. That said, the Kettle Falls Hotel is worth the trip, as is the Ellsworth Rock Garden.

I would add that you should be ready to use a Lindy rig with either a leech or piece of crawler drifting or slow trolling. At that time of year it can be very effective.

Good luck and enjoy!

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Fishdog,

If you want to get the best map for kabetogama I would suggest seeing if your raymarine will take the new premium navionics cards. If it does, I would suggest getting the "LOTW-2K+" card which has the high definition lake map of Kab on it. Navionics surveyed the lake last year, and the map is done in 1' contours and is pretty awesome (I just purchased it last week). You will also get the maps of Rainy (both sides) and the new high def map of the US side of Lake of the Woods (should you ever go there). Plus another 2000+ lake maps that are mostly in 5' contours for northern Minnesota. Look at the Navionics site for all lake info on the chip, as theres lots more.

As far as fishing goes, you may have to deal with mayflies at that time. If walleye fishing gets tough try trolling some larger shad raps around steep rock breaks and walls for northerns, or cast the rock shorelines with crayfish colored rebels/shadraps and tubes for smallmouth action.

My standard walleye rigs are either a 5' lindy rig with 1/2 crawler or leech, or I backtroll spinners/bottom bouncers with the same. Hook colors of red, glow and blue. Blade colors of the holographic perch variety have been best for me, along with gold.

Depths can vary greatly as the fish may be migrating to rock reefs, depending on water temps.

I dont think that heading over the portage is necessary that time of year. Traditionally the east end of Rainy is best in late July and August when the fish are on the multitudes of reefs between Kettle and the Brule Narrows. But you have to stop in to the hotel for a couple hours, play a game of pool, and walk the grounds.

You will get alot of info just by watching this board as the season goes on, and although noones mentioned it yet, my best advice is to always try to fish the windblown areas and shorelines on Kab.

Lastly, have fun! Its a beautiful lake, which is why myself and my family spend an average of 20 days up there each summer camping. I'll be up the week after you so if you get a chance post a report when you get back home.

PS: Just looked and the LOTW chip with the high def map is compatible with your unit. Check out the navionics site (or there is a link on this site to them also) and look for HotMaps Premium LOTW +2k for a full listing of all lakes.

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Everyone,

Thanks so much for all the great info....I am taking your advise and nixing the hassle of being able to cross into Canada. After speaking to my father, and coupled with all the advise here, if we cannot have a great time on the US side, then something seriously went worng.

I have ordered the chip that you speak of. (along with a couple of others that I needed), but I understand that Nam lake still has not been surveyed? My understanding is that the map is only going to show 5' contours. Am I going to get into trouble running this lake with the concern being the reefs and dead heads? Or is that map fairly detailed enough to keep me out of trouble?

Next, my wife is inquiring as to the biting bug issues this time of year. (Last week in June). I hope I am not being a pain with all these questions...

Mark

Team Fishdog

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The lakes are well marked with navigation markers and hazzard markers on most of the rocky spots. You shouldn't have a problem.

As far a bugs go it will depend on how wet the spring and early summer is. They shouldn't be an issue on the water and may be a small problem at dark if your outside.

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You are correct in that Namakan has not been surveyed. The data on the chip is most likely from the DNR maps and it is 5' contours I believe (only spent a little time checking it out on the chip). Prior to this year I have used a McKenzie map for navigating Nam, they are cheap ($10 i think) and have pretty decent detail for a paper (waterproof) map, and has been the best one I found to date. Use the main travel routes when traveling WOT, as the bouy system is used on the lakes. Red, Right, Upstream; and Red, Left, Downstream, with Kettle Falls being downstream. There are areas that the park marks with rock markers, but there are others that are not. If you know where your headed each day ask your resort to mark any possible trouble spots for you. There is a narrow channel at the end of Kubel island (Nam) on your way up to Kettle that is a little tricky the first time. It is marked with bouys, but you may want to watch a boat go thru first.

I'll try to take a better look at the Nam map on the chip and give you a better idea of how good it is. I did look at a favorite walleye spot and the contours around the island were off quite a bit (but they are on every map I've seen). You can also go on the MN DNR website and under the lakefinder feature look at maps of both Kab and Nam in 5' contours.

I have spent nearly all my time on the east 1/2 of Kab and western 2/3 of Nam, but I think you should be able to move around fairly safely on both waters with the tools you'll have available.

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I agree bugs are mostly a problem at sun up and sun down. Once it is dark they "go away". Flies go after exposed skin (mostly ankles and behind knee) but that is a given.

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use wd-40 for the ankle biters about once an hour and they will leave you alone.

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Is there anything it isn't good for? Thanks for the advise! I will try it.

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Use the WD-40????? And the bugs will leave you alone???? I think that the bugs may not be the only ones leaving me alone!!

I got the chips I ordered today......only issue they were the SD chips and I needed the CF chips...Oh well, the new ones will be here Friday, just in time for our inlake eye opener Saturday, which is a bonus as the chip that you speak of covers my local inland lake. I also got the East chip as Sunday afternoon we are headed to Lake Erie to the reef complex for a few days.

Thanks everyone for the great info. I am sure I will have more questions as we get closer to the trip. I look forward to playing in "Your" backyard"

Just to keep everyone on their toes.......This is what we have been playing with in "my" backyard.

Big_Brown_Lk_MI.jpg

Just a nice brown caught and released a week ago by my friend Mark aboard the Fishdog.

Tight Lines!!!

Mark

Team Fishdog

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I noticed a thread a bit ago in another area that said that the trip to Kettle Falls involves traveling into Canada waters....am I going to have a problem without a remote pass?

I guess my question is what is the policy there? Or traveling thru with no intentions of utilizing their waters is OK -vs- stopping and fishing or photographing eagles is a NO NO. I understand the channel to Kettle falls takes you thru Canadaian waters but only for a short distance.....is this somethign I should not worry about or are they "dinks" about this....

Mark

Team Fishdog

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Mark,

Guts told me that it is ok to simply cross over and cross back as long as you don't get out of the boat or engauge in any sort of activities. It is basically just like cutting through the neighbors back yard, so to speak, to get to where you are going. The only reason I asked in the first place is that there are so many changes going on I did not want to look at the Border patrol officer and say "but we never needed one of those before" (a grand a person makes me a little paranoid) For an inland lake there is a lot of "officials" i.e. Park Service, Coast Gaurd, Border Patrol, Onterio DNR, Sheriff's Office, DNR, ect... So when are you going to be up? I fish the lake almost every weekend. Maybe I will see you out fishing. Overdalimit

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FdC,

Just stay between the marker bouys on the way up and you will be fine. I've made that trip about 20 times and never had any issues at all. And with the chip you'll be in good shape.

PS: Nice Brown!

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That's about what I thought. thanks for the replys.

We are going to be up the 23rd of June thru the 30th staying at Sandy Point Lodge. Got the chips yesterday.....

They are SWEET!!!! Man what detail......What is very nice is that I can pull up Kab and start eliminating water and start marking water I want to fish right in my driveway.....

My local lake is also very detailed but not like the Kab survey but still very good detail. Headed out in about 20 mins for Michigan's Walleye opener.......

Thanks again....

Mark

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