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  • Steve Foss

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Wanted to provide a follow-up report for all interested. In a word...tough. Got to the campground on Friday with a huge wind coming off the lake from the SW. Got set-up just before the rains came.

We had an incredible trip last year in the BWCA. Smallmouth action was the best I've seen it. The best that time of year were poppers, jerk baits, and wacky worms. Here's a video I put together of the

Mike Stark

bside009-1.jpg

only got one today....but it was a 30in PIG! 38fow...gold..3/8oz buckshot spoon.

lots of wet snow out there. we will be out for the next 4 days. hopefully we will get into more fish like this.

what do folks think this would weigh? it was a healthy fish. 10+ for sure. i lost my scale out there somewhere today. go figure..the day i get a big fish i lose my scale.

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Most 30-inch Bsiders with average girth weigh in around 9 pounds. No way to know without a girth measurement. This looks like a standard girth fish to me. The 7 pounder in my avatar (I weighed it) was 28 inches long.

But it's a darn nice fish no matter what. Good luck sticking more like that over the next few days! smilesmile

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nice fish mstark! i think i am going to run up early tomorrow morning for a couple days of fishing.

we've gotten nothing but rain down here in the cities-looks like it turned over to snow near Ely and more is on the way. how nasty are the roads? could i get to the lake with my FWD toyota? i have been to the vanvac landing a few times in the summer. the parking lot/hill at the landing might be a challenge eh? if there were somewhere to park though i would be happy to pull my sled as far as necessary.

what about getting to the north arm by the ymca camp? would that be tricky or do you think the roads that way would be okay? i've been up there in the summer also on a paddling trip into Slim Lake and know there is access there. i have heard it is ok to park along the road there in wide spots? again i would plan to pull my portable out onto the lake. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

tg

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grousehunter

Nice fish!...I don't know why I torture myself looking at this thread. Really wishing I was still in Ely for the lakers! March can not come soon enough.

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Mike Stark

twins guy,

i have been going off the passi road access....so i dont know anything about van vac or the north arm.

passi would be tough with FWD...they have not plowed the road and there are a couple of big hills that would give you trouble.

there might be other folks that can give you a report about the van vac access.

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gunther-i hope you don't mind if i piggyback on your thread but my question is closely related. i have a FWD toyota and don't often drive it on the ice unless all variables are perfect so most of my fishing is done relatively near accesses.

with the snow am i going to have a hard time just getting to the three aforementioned access points?

looking at coming up early tomorrow and fishing monday, part of tuesday

thanks

tg

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nice fish mstark! i think i am going to run up early tomorrow morning for a couple days of fishing.

we've gotten nothing but rain down here in the cities-looks like it turned over to snow near Ely and more is on the way. how nasty are the roads? could i get to the lake with my FWD toyota? i have been to the vanvac landing a few times in the summer. the parking lot/hill at the landing might be a challenge eh? if there were somewhere to park though i would be happy to pull my sled as far as necessary.

what about getting to the north arm by the ymca camp? would that be tricky or do you think the roads that way would be okay? i've been up there in the summer also on a paddling trip into Slim Lake and know there is access there. i have heard it is ok to park along the road there in wide spots? again i would plan to pull my portable out onto the lake. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

tg

Burntside Lodge access, or Wolf Lake Road access, would be your two best bets. Van Vac, Passi Road and the North Arm accesses all have steepness issues, and it's a [PoorWordUsage] shoot whether the accesses or approach roads get plowed. Burntside Lodge is centrally located on the lake, with Wolf Lake Road all the way on the western tip. You can pull your portable a few hundred yards off Bside Lodge into excellent trout water. For that matter, if you go to Van Vac and look down the access road and don't think you can get back up it, you can ease your sled down to the lake and walk out a couple hundred yards to right or left and find approx 50 FOW and you'll be in good fish country.

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Nice fish Mike!!! your making me jealous!! I wish I could have fished b-side today so bad I could taste a big trout. Low barometric pressure....overcast skies.....and warm temps!! I ended up fishing bluewater lake today and caribou yesterday and I didne even see a fish either day , I fished all my productive bluewater spots with NO success today. I did bring my 6 year old daughter with today and set her up in 25 fow where bluewater lakers feed on perch and I heard her holler "DAAAAAAAD" I had one hit and I set the hook and reeled as fast as I could, It took me 45 seconds to run over there and there was still a big brick lurking on her flasher unit! Go figure....atleast she had action...wich was better than I did today! Anyways nice fish stark I knew you were deserving when I seen you pulling your fish house with a harness out from the direction of waters island last yr in the freezing temps!!!

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Allright guys . . . apparently it was a decent weekend on B-side. Well, a buddy and I were up there and POUNDED it from about noon Friday until noon Sunday. We came in at Van Vac, fished/camped on the west side of Pike Island. We also fished near the cove on State Island, and near the "end of the road" on the NW corner of Waters. Additionally, we fished the west side of the "entrance" to the north arm, just NW of the NW corner of State. We concentrated on 45-65 FOW, in areas with moderate to steep bottoms. We tried expanding our depth range to include everything from 25-75 FOW. We ran tip-ups with dead smelt, dead ciscoes, and sucker minnows, usually about 20' from the bottom, but sometimes right near the bottom. We jigged white tubes, airplanes, slender spoons, swedish pimples, beetle-jigs with cut bait, and a few more things. We ran jigs with and without bait (minnow pieces, heads, cut strips, etc.). We tried tiny teardrops with waxies. We tried letting things just sit. We tried aggressive jigging. Short, jerky motion. Huge sweeping motions. We never had a hit. At all. What the heck were we doing wrong? We're kinda newbies, certainly to B-side, but it's the only place I've EVER been skunked chasing lakers. Please help give me some hope! Nice to see that you guys are getting some action up there (I'm jealous)! Thanks in advance for any help.

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I cant help ya man...burntside is the only place I dont get skunked, if anything I can atleast catch 2 lb shakers. try fishing Lakers in itasca county onece I aint got a fish here yet this yr! It dont sound like you were doing anything wrong to me...maybe just a streak of bad luck.

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Wanderer

Additionally, we fished the west side of the "entrance" to the north arm,

Were the boughs and branches with ribbons still in the ice there?

I was going to pull em all on Opener but thought the crew would maybe be back for them?

It sounds like you guys covered the gamut. How many in your crew? (o.k., two of you) How spread out were you? Were you making much noise? Did you fish any of those spots the ENTIRE day?

Those are about the only things left I can think to ask.

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i really appreciate the tips steve-if you see me out there in my little "ice camo" otter stop in for a beer (that goes for anyone really)!

tg

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sorry lee-i'm still in the cities but was planning on coming up tomorrow-er today...so no that wasn't me

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Lol whoever it was they were in one of my more productive spots , we just went around the island to avoid the wind and grill some steaks..lol they were bummed the drippings and smoke were blowing right too them. I bet I sent both them guys to the cafe!!

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Mike Stark

troutned,

you have to put your time in on b-side to catch fish. i have been skunked many times and will be skunked many more times down the road....its laker fishing.

lee...is that pig in your avatar from b-side? thats a dam nice fish!

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Wanderer: Yes, the branches were still there.

We actually had a third angler (my wife), pretty-much a tip-up watcher. We generally fished about 100 yards apart. We did at times have additional "noise" in the form of some dogs running around, but that's about it for noise. We did not fish any spot for an entire day. Saturday was our only full day up there, and we fished three different places in the time from 9 am to 5 pm.

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Mike Stark

i drove across burntside yesterday afternoon with no problem. i have a 4x4 explorer. we are heading out here real soon...hopefully it didnt get much worse.

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snowbank has 20 plus inches of ice and b-side has around 13". I drove my full size truck on both of them. Good luck

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Hey Steve, don't I at least get an assist for taking the picture and video. Also, here is the link to the 7 lb'r video. I am not sure how to post them so here is the link.

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Great Outdoors

Burntside had 17 inches of ice where I have fished.

If driving a 4x4 truck, you may have some trouble getting good traction with this wet, heavy, snow unless you have a very aggressive tread on your tires.

Just talked to Denny at Smitty's, and he recommended traveling by snowmobile on Snowbank.

With the snow weight, expect some slush near any existing or newly drilled fish holes.

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Wanderer

troutned,

After looking over the map and re-reading your post, I side with mstark. Last weekend just wasn't your weekend.

You fished some regular trout water out there but it just didn't happen. frown

About the only thing I could say is try er again. I expect to get skunked some of the time I'm up there too - every year. I just wish I didn't have to travel so far to do it. smirk

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