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Tips for Pelican Lake by Orr?


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The family and I are staying at a resort in Orr in 2 weeks. I've never been to the lake before. Any tips, tricks, etc. that anyone wishes to share? This will be my 3 year old daughter's first "boat fishing" experience.

Thanks!

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You should have a great time the lake is as productive as it is beautiful. There are many many good spots to fish. What area will you be staying...not that you cant access the whole lake, but I brought some youngins up there this year and realize how fickle they can be sometimes. A short boat ride back can lessen some of the whinning. grin.gif Look for the best cabbage patches nearest deeper water..there are some great spots on the west end. Look for fallin timber in moderatly deep water for the big bluegills. Big boulders are the ticket for smallies. Walleyes...well good luck. You should pick up some nice largemouth in the same area as the pike. You can shoot me an email if you need more info. Gold and Orange is a great spoon color on that lake.

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We are staying at Aspen Resort - never been there, but it looked good on the interweb! Thanks for the advice - I went ahead and reserved a big pontoon, thinking that my daughter can always play with her Barbies if she gets tired of the fishing! Hopefully I can get her into some panfish. I don't care about size, I just want her to not get bored!

Thanks again!

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Pharcta2 - You will have no difficulty getting your daughter on panfish. There are so many blugills in Pelican it boggles the mind. Many times when birds fly over the whole bay will errupt with spooked gills. Small jigs and a bobber will be all you need - don't even think bait would be necessary. If she is old enough to cast, put a black or chartreuse spinnerbait on the end of her line and she can catch small northerns til her arms are too sore - also thousands and thousands of those.

I lived up in I Falls for many years and fished Pelican religiously for largemouth. I have fished lakes all over the state and this is definitely one of the best. I have had many 50-100 fish days there in the spring. The largemouth average 2-5 lbs and I can count on one hand the number of times we failed to boat a 5 lb+ fish. This time of year working plastic worms/lizards, tubes and crayfish cranks around rock and boulders close to 10 ft of water will get you fish. My personal favorite is a black/blue lizard.

For largemouth, I think the NW corner of the lake around the islands and rock piles is best, although they are all over the lake. For smallmouth the rocks and islands in the central part of the lake will provide the most action. Bluegills and notherns - anywhere on the lake around weeds and some deeper water.

Definitely one of my favorite lakes in the state - good luck and have fun.

Seeker

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If you fish for Bass, remember there is a slot limit in effect on Pelican for them.

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Seeker: I've often thought of heading over to Pelican myself for bass, being a basshead for a long time and it being a lake with a good rep. A lake with bigmouths that typically run 2-5, and in those numbers, is a darn fine lake. Thanks for the starting points. grin.gif

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The best part about it, it's no exageration. I personally believe Pelican is MN's best kept bass secret. I landed a 19 1/2 incher on my very first cast my last trip. Topwater is my preferred method and how I landed that one. I need to get a little bigger fly rod than my 5 wt. That would be fun.

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Dude, 5 lb bass on a 5 wt fly rod in the weeds? That's adventure! Give me a 7 or 9 wt for bass and pike any day.

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stfcatfish - Take the trip to Pelican - you will have a blast - 11,000 acres of bass fishing heaven. As Wormburner mentioned there is a slot - no fish from 14' - 20" can be kept and only 1 over 20". Best thing they ever did for the lake was to stop all the tourists from killing those beautiful fish.

The lake is very shallow - averaging 5-10 ft over most of the lake. Tons of weeds everywhere this time of year - don't let them sway you.......... fish boulders with weeds close to 10 fow and you will be on fish. Another option this time of year are some of the deeper rush beds. There is a huge bed on the east side of the big bay on the north side of the lake and also in the very back end of the southern bay. Bring your flippin stick, as these are some pretty dense beds and you need alot of muscle to haul 5+ lb fish out of that stuff.

You can get fish in the morning on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, but wading through all the little snakes can get tiresome if you are not right on the bass. You are usually better off working a dark worm/lizard slowly around the rock humps and islands on the NW side of the lake. Crayfish colored tubes and cranckbaits will also take a bunch of fish. You can usually find enough of an open area around the boulders to get a crank through to the fish.

This time of year you can expect a 10-20 fish day with at least one 5 lb + fish. The weeds get so thick everwhere on the lake and the fish tend to get spread out all over in that stuff. Most of it is almost impossible to fish with anything but a heavily weighted jig or worm/lizard and it's tough to cover much water that way.

Spring is the time of year to be on Pelican. The last week in May or first week in June (Pelican opens on MN walleye opener) is the prime time to be there - pre-spawn! That time of year a crayfish colored tube with a 1/32 oz weight on a spinning reel will wear you out catching fish. The water is super clear that time of year and the fish will be up shallow around the same rock humps and islands.

Post a report if you get up there. I have become so obsessed with Superior the last few years I have not made it up there. Maybe next spring - I have been missing the feel of a good hookset lately.

Oh - and watch out for the deadheads - especially on the north side. Lots of 20' logs with only part of one end sticking out of the water.

Seeker

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I really appreciate all the assistance folks! My daughter and I got out a lake map and a highlighter marker last night, and she got to pick 6 places she wanted to fish. Last night she told my wife "If you don't want to fish, thats ok because daddy and me found where they all are".

Now to just keep her interested...

Thanks again!

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I used to take my son and daughter to Pelican starting about the time each was three. We would head up twice a year stopping by Pelican for the gills and small northern then head up to Canada usually to Rainy. We caught so many fish in Pelican that they soon became proficient in baiting their own hooks and flipping the bobber back out. We took these and other trips until they were well into thier teens and they would always want to go to Pelican to start. My son now has twin girls and next year they will be three .He has already asked if grandpa is going to take him and the kids fishing at Pelican next summer. I don't think you will have any problem locating some fish to catch. If you have an extra day, take the family to Ash Trail at VNP and spend the day on Kabbetogama. Stop by the info center to get a map and have the staff direct you to the intresting sites. Its a great lake for cruising and having a great island picnic and swim.

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The kids should have a blast. We used to catch bluegills non stop on pelican. The last trip that I had up there, I caught 22 pike in 22 straight casts, all snakes though. We also caught plenty of large and small mouth bass.

As long as you are up there with your kids, I would highly suggest that you take the time to head over to the Vince Shute Wildlife Refuge to see the bears. It is located about 10 miles south west of Orr. I had my kids up there the last two years and they loved it. This time of year you can expect to see 20 to 50 bears at any given time. The folks there take you down from the parking lot in a bus to the viewing area where you are high on platforms and safe to watch the bears. If they have never seen wild bears, this is a great place to see them. The cost is free, but it is always nice to leave them a few bucks to help support them.

Also, if you have a chance to head over to Elephant, which is a few miles up 53 from Orr and 12 miles in on a dirt road, it would be worth your while. There are areas on that lake that you can catch as many 10 to 13 inch crappies as you would like. Make sure to talk to the owner of the MelGeorge's resort for tips on locations. He is very knowledgeable and should be able to put you on fish. Note: The resort supposedly had a purchase agreement last May when I talked to him last and I have no idea if he still owns the place.

Have a great trip, I am jealous. smile.gif

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SFBOY: You're right. The Shute sanctuary's a great place to visit. One correction — they just started charging for admission this season. Not a lot, I believe, although I can't recall just how much.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Once again I wanted to thank everyone that offered up their advice. My wife and daughter had a blast - catching bunches of fish. My daughter caught an 11" crappie and a 13" bass, along with countless panfish, perch, and smaller bass on her "Tweety Bird" rod. I lucked into a couple of nice bass - a 19" smallie and a 21" largemouth that went 5 lbs. 11 ounces on my Rapala digital scale.

Thanks again!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Kettle
    • Leroyboyisthatu
      Was out the last 2 days. Saw some Crappies caught in warmer bays. Not much action outside the mouths of bays today. Hoping it picks up this week. Trying to learn this lake over the summer.
    • Rick G
      The creek is still very high and dirty. Prespawn smallies don't seem to mind😁 Morning bite has been very consistent this last week.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Any new reports from this past weekend?  Heading up Thursday for a long Memorial Day weekend. Looking for a place to start. Going out of Bayview RV resort. First year fishing vermilion. 
    • CigarGuy
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    • Mtnman
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    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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