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siusaluki

Bwca Trip Report

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I just returned from my second trip to the boundary waters in northern Minnesota. Fishing was fantastic, weather was terrible at times but overall it was a great trip.

Day 1

We entered at around 5:30 am in a rain storm but the day quickly turned into a beautiful sunny day. Paddling today consists of multiple portages and beaver dam pullovers on a meandering stream with. Lots of waterfalls with great fishing along the way. Most campsites are full and end up with an island campsite on Lac la croix overlooking Canada. 14 miles of paddling and about a mile of portaging is a long day and by the evening I am worn out. Spinnerbait was the bait of choice for day 1 and accounted for two 17 inch smallmouth, a 23inch walleye and multiple hammer handle pike.

BWCAJune6-122011003.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011179.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011012.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011007.jpg

Day 2

Wake up to 35+ mile an hour winds and thunderstorms quickly develop. Lots of lightning, hail and about an inch of rain until about 1:30 in the afternoon. Wind makes fishing nearly impossilbe except for camp. Fishing from the campsite was terrible and I only managed 2 pike and 1 small walleye. Spent the afternoon fishing a nearby bay, fishing is mediocre and we only catch a few small pike.

BWCAJune6-122011017.jpg

http://s1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb420/BWCAanglers/?action=view&current=BWCAJune6-122011024.mp4

BWCAJune6-122011026.jpg

Day 3

What a difference a day makes, weather was still terrible with spitting rain, 15-20 mph wind. Nightime low was about 35 degrees. We decided to paddle a wind protected river system nearby and had and incredible day. Topwater lures worked great this day, and largest fish were caught on 1/2 oz jitterbugs and buzzbaits. My brother caught his personal best smallmouth at 19.5 inches. I had a 34 inch pike torpedo out of the water at full speed to eat a buzzbait. Lots of fish caught this day.

BWCAJune6-122011035.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011038.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011042.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011045.jpg

Day 4

Paddled to check out warrior hill and the indian pictographs. Spent the afternoon and evening fishing the mouth of a tributary. Numbers wise this was by far the best day of smallmouth bass fishing I have ever had. Smallmouth were stacked up in a boulder field/eddy about 6 feet deep. Topwaters were being blown out of the water but we weren't hooking up much, so I switched over to a soft plastic jerkbait. We spent 3 hours anchored in one spot I caught 62 smallmouth and my canoe partner caught 43, including his personal best at 18 inches. Most of the fish were 15-17 inches and fat as footballs.

I easily caught 100 fish for the day, and I am wishing I had brought more soft plastic jerkbaits, because every one I brought is now torn to shreds.

BWCAJune6-122011056.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011058.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011068.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011072.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011073.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011079.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011111.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011115.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011109.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011110.jpg

Day 5

We move closer to our take out to make the paddle out just a little bit easier. This a popular lake, but no one is fishing except us. Fishing is good but most smallmouth are around 15 inches or so, pike are everywhere but top out at around 24 inches. I fish a buzzbait and remaining soft plastic jekbaits. We see a black bear and 3 cubs while fishing, and I catch a 11 inch rock bass on a buzzbait!

BWCAJune6-122011121.jpg

Day 6 paddle out and start the 879 mile drive home.

click for video

th_BWCAJune6-122011113.jpg

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I just returned from my second trip to the boundary waters in northern Minnesota. Fishing was fantastic, weather was terrible at times but overall it was a great trip.

Day 1

We entered at around 5:30 am in a rain storm but the day quickly turned into a beautiful sunny day. Paddling today consists of multiple portages and beaver dam pullovers on a meandering stream with. Lots of waterfalls with great fishing along the way. Most campsites are full and end up with an island campsite on Lac la croix overlooking Canada. 14 miles of paddling and about a mile of portaging is a long day and by the evening I am worn out. Spinnerbait was the bait of choice for day 1 and accounted for two 17 inch smallmouth, a 23inch walleye and multiple hammer handle pike.

BWCAJune6-122011003.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011179.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011012.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011007.jpg

Day 2

Wake up to 35+ mile an hour winds and thunderstorms quickly develop. Lots of lightning, hail and about an inch of rain until about 1:30 in the afternoon. Wind makes fishing nearly impossilbe except for camp. Fishing from the campsite was terrible and I only managed 2 pike and 1 small walleye. Spent the afternoon fishing a nearby bay, fishing is mediocre and we only catch a few small pike.

BWCAJune6-122011017.jpg

http://s1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb420/BWCAanglers/?action=view&current=BWCAJune6-122011024.mp4

BWCAJune6-122011026.jpg

Day 3

What a difference a day makes, weather was still terrible with spitting rain, 15-20 mph wind. Nightime low was about 35 degrees. We decided to paddle a wind protected river system nearby and had and incredible day. Topwater lures worked great this day, and largest fish were caught on 1/2 oz jitterbugs and buzzbaits. My brother caught his personal best smallmouth at 19.5 inches. I had a 34 inch pike torpedo out of the water at full speed to eat a buzzbait. Lots of fish caught this day.

BWCAJune6-122011035.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011038.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011042.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011045.jpg

Day 4

Paddled to check out warrior hill and the indian pictographs. Spent the afternoon and evening fishing the mouth of a tributary. Numbers wise this was by far the best day of smallmouth bass fishing I have ever had. Smallmouth were stacked up in a boulder field/eddy about 6 feet deep. Topwaters were being blown out of the water but we weren't hooking up much, so I switched over to a soft plastic jerkbait. We spent 3 hours anchored in one spot I caught 62 smallmouth and my canoe partner caught 43, including his personal best at 18 inches. Most of the fish were 15-17 inches and fat as footballs.

I easily caught 100 fish for the day, and I am wishing I had brought more soft plastic jerkbaits, because every one I brought is now torn to shreds.

BWCAJune6-122011056.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011058.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011068.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011072.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011073.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011079.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011111.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011115.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011109.jpg

BWCAJune6-122011110.jpg

Day 5

We move closer to our take out to make the paddle out just a little bit easier. This a popular lake, but no one is fishing except us. Fishing is good but most smallmouth are around 15 inches or so, pike are everywhere but top out at around 24 inches. I fish a buzzbait and remaining soft plastic jekbaits. We see a black bear and 3 cubs while fishing, and I catch a 11 inch rock bass on a buzzbait!

BWCAJune6-122011121.jpg

Day 6 paddle out and start the 879 mile drive home.

click for video

th_BWCAJune6-122011113.jpg

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Great pictures! I would love to do a trip like that someday.

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I'd love to hear more about this trip. I've always wanted to get up there, and have done basic research, but wasn't aware there were pictographs. That's very cool! So, did you do a multi-day pack and camp? Did you use an outfitter or strike out on your own?

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Pictographs are on a few lakes up there. We rented canoes from an outfitter but otherwise brought our own gear. Trips can range from very easy without portages to trips with portages up to about 1 1/2 miles. The trip we chose was medium difficulty but still relatively popular, although it seems as though most people that go there aren't there to fish for the most part. It can be a very cheap trip if you outfit yourself. Aluminum canoe rentals are around $25 per day and kevlar is $40-45, I would suggest dehydrating your own food for the trip and packing as light as possible. If you have any other questions feel free to pm me.

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Great pictures and report. Thank you. I went up last year for only 3 days and your pictures bring it all back to me. Beautiful up there, isn't it? We didn't have the best fishing, but we managed a bunch of mostly small to mid-sized smallmouth and I had a slightly smaller pike than yours explode 3 feet out of the water on a topwater. Will never forget it. Even though some of those portages were real butt-kickers (we did one 420 rod and a couple of 100 r), I can't wait to get back up there. I'd go tomorrow if I could.

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