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Hello all, My wife and I are planning a canoe trip this summer ( mid-july) and we are wondering where to go to have some good walleye and pike fishing. We have never been to the area and don't know where to start. We are planning a 3 day trip. not sure about a starting point,we are looking to avoid crowds. thanks for any help.

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Where are you planning on entering from? Ely Area? Gunflint Trail? Crane Lake? Isabella Area?

How much paddling do you want to do? Long? Short?

There are endless options so I will just throw out a few.

If you are looking at avoiding crowds that will probably eliminate the Lake One, Two, Three area. That is a pretty popular entry point. Moose Lake is fairly popular but isn't too bad. The further you paddle the more secluded you will likely be.

If you don't want to paddle to terribly far and want some decent walleye and pike fishing Ensign is a good option. That would be a trip up Moose, Newfound, Splash, Ensign. There are several lakes that you could day trip into for other species (trout).

Isabella Lake is another good walleye lake that is easy to get to. It is basically just a portage into the lake and you are there.

Brule is an excellent walleye fishery. It can be a little busy at times but isn't too bad. If you wanted to look for some big northerns you could head from Brule north through the Cones (the three Cone lakes) into Davis. Davis has some nice pike and isn't fished much. I think after the Famine fire, there may only be one campsite on the lake but it would be easy to day trip into from Brule or the Cones.

If you headed out from Mudro up into Horse or Fourtown there is excellent walleye fishing. I am not sure about pike. That is a little more paddling and portaging but it would also be more likely to get you away from the people. You could head even further up and go to Crooked. Crooked would have excellent walleye fishing and some decent pike. It would be a fairly good haul up to Crooked though.

Once you figure out where you want to go be sure you pick up Fisher Maps to cover the areas you will be going to. The maps are an excellent resource to have for your trip. You may also want to check out the MN DNR's Lake finder and print out contour maps for the lakes you plan on fishing. Some of the lakes on the Fisher Maps have contours but most don't.

I don't know much about the lakes on the Gunflint Trail side so I am affraid I can't be much help there.

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and check this out. you will want to check the avalability of permits before you get your heart set on a lake. i know mudro is a very popular put-in and permits can be hard to get at times. i would try to get your permit as soon as possible.

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Thanks for all the info. I don't mind paddling too far, just not all day. I will go the extera mile to find good fishing. I guess I don't want to start at the most popular starting point. I am looking forward to the trip and again, thank you for the info.

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I agree with casey, the cones and brule are excelent fisheries but i have only ever caught small mouth out of them, but there are a lot of them in there.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
    • gimruis
      Hockey gear in general is very expensive.  I was in a Pure Hockey last month to get my skates sharpened and while they were doing it I looked around at gear.  A new pair of CCM/Bauer customized skates can easily top 1000 bucks.  Then you need everything else.  It would be several thousand before you had everything.  And then your kid grows like a weed so you need to buy bigger gear.   Then there's goalie gear.  That's enough to buy a small boat.   Nothing cheap about that sport by any means.
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