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Tippman

BWCA Malberg Lake area

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Hi everyone, I see there are plenty of people asking questions on here about the boundary waters so I'm hoping that people aren't sick of replying. I'm hoping some of you are familiar with the Malberg lake area (putting in Kawishiwi Lake ep 37). We are staying there the first week in June and wondering if anyone is familiar with the fishing in this lake/area. The old MN DNR lists lists lake trout in the lake but not smallmouth (dated to 1960's). Anyone know if there are smallmouth in the lake now? How is the fishing for those who have been there? Any info on which campsites are nice. Any chance the burning ban will be lifted yet?

For those who have been to this lake I really appreciate any responses you take the time to give.

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I love the Koma/Malberg area. Spent 7 days there last summer. As far as fishing goes, we had good luck for smallies on spinners and jigs with plastics as well as leeches. They ate more leeches than the walleyes did. Our best techinique for walleyes was trolling crankbaits on the outside of culyleaf weeds. It was very specific for some reason. One little secret about Malberg is the bluegills. I've only caught a few, but they have all been 8-10". A very nice treat. I wasn't aware that Malberg was deep enough for trout, but its possible. Since you're going early you might still find them shallow, but I don't know much about that.

The site on the north side of Koma is pretty nice, the one more to the west on the west point of a small bay. We fished around, but our best luck was in the bay with walleyes and smallies.

On Malberg there are many great sites. I'm not sure that there are any bad ones per say. I've stayed on the middle bay next to the portage on the east side. Lots of cedars for shade and a very nice landing. You're on the point so you can walk out and around to the east for more shorefishing. Even though its next to the portage, we only saw 1 group in mid-july. Great sites are also in both the east and west arms. There are sites in the narrows that are pretty neat because they are up the hill a bit over-looking the channel. A site I like is in the far west end on the north shore. Its got a sandy beach and it goes all the way out to a long point for exploring and sitting on the point.

Good day trips would be Makwa and Kivinia (sp?) I know there are trout over there. I'll try to find more info.

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Wow, thanks for the detail in your report Powerstroke. I've heard about the bluegills also. From what I've learned this sounds like a great area for scenery and wildlife as well. Any troubles with bears here?

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never been to the malberg area so I can't speak for it, but have been to many diff parts of the B-dub early on. Seems the bears don't become a problen till later in the year when they pattern popular campsites with messy campers and look to them as food. Many times we have not even thought about hanging a food pack in early may, thou we did this year to keep it away from mice etc. July and Aug are much different and later then this the bears are looking to bulk up for their winter sleep. Rangers will tell you to hang it to cover their butts, but , bears in general don't get bad till later in the season. Still- On the first night of a week trip, I like the food pack hung in a tree or brought close to the tent to hear for critters. Never even seen a bear in over 30 B-dub trips and that includes the Robbins isaland area on Knife that years ago was really bad for bears. Be careful how you dispose of grease and fish entrails, and you should be ok.

JeFF

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I've delt with bears and if you want your food safe ,hang it.

Why chance it?

Think about it .Your 3 days in and no food.

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Hanging packs isn't just to keep bears out. It also helps keep out the little critters.

Also a food pack hung well is a good deterent for your paddling mate you might be tempted to raid the food at 2am.

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Quote:

Hanging packs isn't just to keep bears out. It also helps keep out the little critters.


No kidding. We've had everything from ants to mice, chipmunks, grey jays, and squirrels getting into our pack sitting around camp. Haven't had a run-in yet with a bear, but hear Malberg has quite a few and not looking for any firsts here.

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While in the BWCA that food pack is like a sack of gold. You best protect it as such.

If you don't you better be real confident in your fish catching ability.

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Hey Powerstroke, is Malberg fairly bog stained waters?

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Its pretty clear water. We were able to spot some plastic jugs on the bottom in 8-10ft of water. I don't know why they were there, but we hauled them out for some lazy SOB.

I don't wish to downplay the "threat" of bears, because they are real and do happen into a campsite, BUT in the 15yrs I've been camping I've never had one. A bear may do the most damage, but your far more likely to lose food to the small critters mentioned above.

I scout out a campsite first to make sure its clean. I actually passed on the far western site last year because it was dirty and had food scraps around. Thats also where I found the plastic jugs in the water. Every year is different and will keep problems away by keeping your site clean and your food inaccessable. I've never had a bear in my camp and I actually hang my packs very rarely. I have when I have felt the need or found sign of larger animals, but usually it gets sealed up well and stashed in the woods. Never store all your food in the same bag. If you do lose one you won't be stranded without food.

Along with the fish we caught we also saw a cow moose on the NE end when we were there. Lots of great areas to explore on Malberg. Many small bays with lots of different structure.

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