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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Stayed at Gunflint Pines and as always had a great time.

This was an annual trip we take with 3 other families and none of the adults fish.

Not a problem there as the kids got more time in the boat.

Cold call for lake trout. I'm an early riser so mornings it was the dog and I in the boat.

I use a thermometer to eliminate water from the surface own in depth but forgot that at home.

Not the end of the world but it just makes eliminating depth faster.

It was the only piece of equipment not to make it into the boat besides fresh batteries for the camera. I set one rigger at 50' over 100' of water and went at it. Just looking at what depth any suspended fish are hanging at. When I find that depth, I'll set the ball there and target lake trout on the bottom. Well that was the plan. Problem was there were not many trout suspended.

What I did find were trout tight to the bottom in 85'-110' of water. I'll also note a Hex hatch, not huge.

Was prepared to run 7 lines if need be. Two on bottom off the riggers, two stacked and a pair of dispys for the suspended trout and a 1lb rig to drag. Along with that I had rods for jigging but never broke them out.

When I had quests in the boat all I ran was two riggers on the bottom on account of the lack of suspended fish. That and tending rods, riggers, and steering a tiller boat got to be more like work. smile

That pattern of lakers tight to the bottom morning - sunset went on for 3 days.

Morning of day 4 it was the dog and I. The Lake trout were suspended from 60'- 90'.

Would have been a good time to have a full boat and run stacked downriggers and dipsys.

Because of where the trout were holding I stayed in the main basin with a flat and consistent bottom. The West end was more forgiving if you dragged a ball.

We did well on lakers with 10 lbs being the biggest average size at 4 lbs.

I ran all spoons with Jim's Flashback in Monkey Puke the hot spoon/ Wonderbread being the next best color.

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Thanks for the report S.T. Sounds like it was a good trip to hang with dog, drink coffee, watch the sun rise, and get into a few fish.

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Sounds like a good time. My son caught a nice lake trout on Saganaga the other day, 32" trolling a Sutton Spoon. Happy Fishing!

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Awesome report....I've always wanted to get into some lakers up there, but I never seem to get it right. Even my early in the year BWCA trips come up empty....I'm jealous. smile

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Frank, thank you for the detailed report.

Do you have any reccomendation for lures and lure sizes for smaller Lakers that are on non cisco smelt forage base lakes?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

IMO, most lake trout lakes are going to have ciscos. I fish one lake in the BWCA that because of the nice orange flesh many believe those lake trout to be elusive bug eaters. While I'm sure they eat their fare share of bugs just like all lake trout do, the lake does have ciscos in it and you can bet they getting eaten.

Anyway there is other prey and there are times when white sucker, whitefish, shiners, burbot, and whatever else will share the same haunts. That and lake trout will take advantage of a food source at a vulnerable time and come out of their preferred temps to do so. Not only can they cruise the entire water column with no effects with air bladders but the change in temps won't shock them, That is as long as they have control of time spent doing so.

Lake trout are opportunists, and you up your chance of of landing one if your put the presentation where they are holding at. They can prey on schools of bait fish, snap up bugs, or they act like scavengers and bottom feeders all in the same day. So point being find where the trout are holding at and pick what you think it best way to deliver that to the lake trout. My last trip if I didn't have downriggers I'd be hurt'n. I'd could vertical jig though and that works very well but you have to drop that jig where the trout are. I like trolling and when doing so I'm always on the lookout to for a winter spot to punch in the GPS.

I do use a different approach in the Spring and it isn't much different then what you'd do to scratch up a few eyes. Hoovering a lure trolled just above bottom and of coarse in shallow water.

Gold Little Cleos tipped with a fathead chub or Chippewa Guide lures tipped with fathead chub are my two favorites. There are a lot of other lures, spoons, and stick baits that'll work in open water its just I have my favorites.

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Thanks for the help Frank.

I am finally going to give a BWCA Lake that I go to in August an honest try on the lakers this year. I usually just fish it for walleyes and have only given the lakers a 30 minute feeble attempt. I am going to give the lakers a 4-6 hr honest try. There are no ciscos or smelt in the lake and the lakers average about 15 inches with no fish over 25 in. and less than 5% 20-25 in. according to the DNR Lake Finder.

I think I will start by trolling over 40+ ft of water at about 35-40 ft. down with the above mentioned little cleo. I'll keep an eye on the graph to see where they are as the lake is 80 ft deep with large areas 60 ft. deep. I will adjust from there.

I was thinking of running a "cowbell" rig like some people used to do on stream trot lakes?

Thanks again.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

The cowbell will need something to get it down and keep it there and whatever you use to do that is going to create a lot of drag and make paddling more work. The Cleo and Chip lure tipped with a fathead, reason being I like them on a paddle route is they can be worked slow and if stalled out and land on the bottom they are still fishing. With a Cleo it can go from being trolled to vertical jigged seamlessly. When your in a canoe your not going to run over fish and keep going. You have to work them.

Being your in the BWCA I'd recommend vertical jigging.

I think 40' is going to be too shallow in August especially on a with max depth of 80'.

If you don't mind, PM me the name of the lake and I'll check the lake map and maybe give you my 2c on how to go about fishing it.

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Sweet, will be staying at the Cross River Lodge on Gunflint lake from August 12th to the 17th. Really want to get my son to catch a Laker. Would be his first and will be turning 16 a couples days after the trip.

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