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Basswood BWCA ?s


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Hey, heading up camping at Canoe Country on the 11, 12th and 13th. Planning on puttzing around Moose the first day but have passes for Basswood on the second two days. How long does it take to motor to Washington Island and then on to Basswood? Will be running a 25hp flatbottom that runs around 28mph loaded. Trying to get my days planned and time managed as I was informed we(the g/f and I) would not be fishing 12 hours a day as I had hoped Any other advice would be awesome. Anything to watch out for? I have a depth finder/gps and just purchased lakemaster chip but still a little worried about running around. I have camped at Wash. Island but never drove the boat so I didnt pay much as much attention to where we were. Thanks again, Robert

Ps anything cool to see in or around Ely would be nice as well!!

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It will take you about an hour to get to Washington island, which is already in the middle of Basswood lake. Depends a little bit on the line-up at the portage.

Buy a paper map from the outfitter and have them mark the hazards and fishing spots. There are plenty of both.

The spillway that enters into Basswood right where the motor portage is a great place to start!

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How long does it take to motor to Washington Island and then on to Basswood? ...

Ps anything cool to see in or around Ely would be nice as well!!

An hour is a good estimate. Not sure which direction you're planning on going but Washington Island is about as far north east as you're gonig to make it with a motor. If you want to try for some big gators you could hit Wind Bay. I have no idea what the water levels are like so there is the potential for some hidden reefs that could tag your lower unit.

If you haven't been to the Bear or Wolf Centers that may be something to take in. The bear center has the fattest black bear in the world, 900 lbs crazy. If you are looking for some of the best burgers in the world head to Stony Ridge Resort Cafe. Otherwise Rockwood Bar & Grill & the Ely Steakhouse are good places to eat. The Boathouse has a micro brewery and decent food. The Grand Ely Lodge is another good place to eat, some of the best chicken & wildrice soup around.

Good luck fishing.

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Keep an eye peeled on you depth finder. I'd be more worried about Moose Lake and on to the portage. Be very careful going through the Island narrows on Moose. The are located about 1/2 way down. Then as you approach the portage be careful. As a rule of thumb stay in the middle, take points wide and keep an eye on your depth finder. I second he map idea. Voyagers North (located in Ely just after your pass the downtown headed east) can furnish you a map and mark the well known hazards. It is a good place to buy your bait too.

Don't count on camping on Washington Island because those sites are in high demand. The surrounding area is also a high demand area. Fish the deeper reefs, prominent points with steeper drop offs and windblown rocky shorelines. I have always thought of Basswood as being a morning and evening lake. So you should have time to entertain the GF. Take a trip to Back Bay during the mid-day and fish for bluegills. Bobbers with a piece of crawler fished along the weedy island shorelines. Fish near deadfalls laying in the water if you can.

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Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated. I did buy a lakemaster chip too....hoping I get 125$ worth of use out of it!!

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Also need to be careful about canadian border when fishing, I would think

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
    • Harv
      Leech,  that's what I've been reading.  I'm heading up on Friday the 2nd, for the weekend.   Fingers crossed limits are caught
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