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Lakers from kayak/canoe around Lutsen or Tofte?

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A buddy of mine and I are talking a little bit about trying to learn about Lake Trout fishing. We've had all sorts of good and bad luck in some of the smaller lakes up around Lutsen area for walleyes, pike, perch etc etc... but, we're interested in trout.

Any suggestions on where to start? We have kayaks (mine has foot pedal drive for trolling - which is pretty sweet - can beat your electric motor any day) or a canoe available to us (so no "normal" downrigging methods... I have snap weights and could go get some bigger weights for them if need be). Not looking for your secret spots, just some general tips on which lakes etc and any thoughts about how to rig up.

We're not opposed to driving a bit to get to the "right" lake, but we are somewhat limited to smaller lakes if we're fishing by kayak. I'm not afraid of bigger water (had my 'yak in superior a few times) but it is generally more fun on smaller water.

We're based out of Lutsen - FYI.


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Just got back from your neck of the woods on Thursday. Staying with a friend in Lutsen I made a trek up to Loon Lake of the Gunflint. I too was interested in some small lake laker action. I was told Loon Lake just south of Gunflint Lake was doing pretty good. I fished it last Tuesday for about two hours slowly trolling, the weather was terrible and it was to the point to where I was more worried about my hands staying warm then a fish biting. It is a medium sized lake but fairly protected as it is more long than it is "big". The lodge owner said anything silver was working in 20-40 ft. The water temp was still only 59 so I think you might have some luck without having to go too deep.

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Give it a go on superior! I fish it out of a canoe in june when the mornings are come. I only go out about 100 yards (200 max). I'm only rigged with a paddle and small electric motor too, so you wouldn't have a problem. Lutsen and Tofte would be a good area to give it a try...you'd want to concentrate on the mouths of cascade, poplar, and temperance rivers (among other smaller streams). I've used anything from spoons, spinners, cranks, and jointed rapalas. Have always done best when the lake looks like glass, any ripples and I head for shore! You'll catch lakers and coho's mostly, but possibly chinooks and steelhead as well. Obviously you have to play it safe on the big pond though, but give her some respect and you'll be rewarded.

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Thanks JBMA-

Superior might be a good plan too. I've kayaked in the big lake 2 times and it was pretty calm (a few "normal" sized waves). I'm ok in the waves but its not nearly as fun to fish when you're bobbing around like a cork.


Just need some kind of backup plan if its windy etc.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • 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!  
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