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Jeff K in IL
June 14th, 2007, 11:58 AM
So, Monday was our first day of fishing, or I should rather say paddling. We got a tow from Moose Lake outside of Ely, MN to Lincoln Island on Basswood Lake. It is the farthest point north you can go there on Basswood in that area. From there we paddled, forever... Almost 4 straight hours in the canoe. The wind was into our face the whole time on our way to North Bay on Basswood Lake. We arrived at our campsite which was previously suggested by our "guide" John Herrick. John is a world famous fisherman, whom has written many articles for In-Fisherman, and in books on Smallmouth Bass. He owns one of the world record Smallies on the fly (6lbs 9 oz.). The cove was a small sand beach, which had a Portage to Secret Lake X as they called it. We arrived, relieved to get out of the canoe. We sprinted to set camp, most importantly, the tent. The wind was hammering us, blowing about 20mph into our face. A storm was on the horizon to the north, and it was coming fast our way. We decided to wait out the storm, and set camp afterwards. Took us about an hour or so to get everything set up, and in the meantime we cooked our dinner waiting for a break in the wind, so we could fish. We hit the water for an hour, and I did not land a darn fish, but my dad sure did.. Afterwards, it was time for sleep after the long day of work.

Tuesday brought sunshine, and light winds. We hurried through breakfast, eating and cleaning dishes in under and hour. We hurried to the water; packed the canoe and made it out to the lake. We fished the most surrounding areas where John had marked out for fishing. It was fanatastic! The structure was incredible, and even though I lost more fish than caught, it was still outstanding. We think we caught about 70% of our fish on Tuesday. The evening was great, beautiful sunset and calm waters made for a relaxing time.

Wednesday; we figured to get up early and make our way across North Bay to Lost Bay. We did, entered the channel to Lost at about 8 AM. We hit the marked areas, and they produced well, but wind made control of the boat a real pain. We fished hard, and I was keeping a close eye on the sky. Just as I figured, the wind was blowing a system in. We made our way back through the channel, where I caught my largest fish of the trip. 21.5" Smallie, figured in my mind to push slightly past 5lbs. We rounded the bend out of the smallish bay to be greeted by SW winds right into our face, with fast approaching dark blue clouds. Hurridly we paddled the bay in about 25mins trying to make it back to a reasonable distance from camp. We did, and the storm broke, and more fishing was done. Perhaps the worst part was, about 2:30 PM the sky darkened again, this time we made it back to the camp. It rained for 12 hours straight, thunderstorm after thunderstorm. High winds, heavy rain, lightning, and thunder. Meanwhile we were couped up in our Eureka tent getting slammed by this weather. Luckily we had the sleeping pads, otherwise we would have been soaked.

Thursday, was a day of hope, since during the night there seemed to be a never ending storm. We awoke to calm waters and cloudiness. The overnight was downright cold. In the low 40's I estimated. We hurried and made breakfast, knowing that the sooner we hit the water, the better off we would be. Fishing was slow, not sure if it was the storm or what, but we did manage a few 19" smallies, but those were caught sparingly. We ventured towards the Islands to the south, keeping an eye on the weather. It broke about mid morning revealing sunshine. But once again it was short lived. I watched behind us, as a storm built up, you could tell it was a big one. Clouds built high into the sky; we paddled so fast back to camp, not ten minutes later, it pours. Hail, thunder, lightning, down pouring rain. Once again, our fishing was cut off, only this time it was around 5 PM.

Friday was a day of work, we needed to meet back at Lincoln Island at 3 PM. The wind gusted all night, at one point picking our tent off the ground and lifting us into the air for a breif second. So we awoke to much the same, so we broke camp in under an hour. We paddled across the bay and took the long way back hugging the north shorline. Winds were howling out of the WNW at about 30mph. We took our time and fished a little the way back, and made it to US Point for a break where we spotted a group of college guys. They had strapped together 3 canoes and tied the tarp to make a sail. Using the wind they made it from Basswood Falls to US Point in an hour and a half, which is normally a 3-4 hour paddle. From that point it took us another hour and a half to reach the tow spot where we waited for 2 hours.

We estimated a total of 150 fish for all days, with only one way yielding a full day of fishing. We caught a total of four fish which broke the 20" mark, and tons of smallies which were in that 16"-19" range. Round trip paddle to and from our campsite was over 19 miles, that does not count all the paddling we did around the area for fishing. We seen all kinds of animals, from Loons, to Moose to Otters. They were there; we even had a cow moose and her newborn calf walk about 20yds onto the beach from our campsite. All I will say is, that is one BIG animal...

Lures wise, Case Magic Stiks, Gander Mtn Trick Sticks, Gary Yamamoto Senkos, and YUM Dingers produced the best. I also caugh fish on Bandit Cranks, Case Madtoms, Gary Yamamoto Fat Ikas, Tubes, Spinnerbaits, and Topwaters.

If there are any questions feel free to ask or send a PM, I would be more than glad to answer them!


21.5" Smallie
20" Smallie
19.5" Smallie
2 19" Smallies

Me Fighting a Smallie

My Dad's Assorted Smallies

Jeff K in IL
June 14th, 2007, 11:59 AM

Dad's 20.5" Smallie

On the way home:

Back at the Lodge:

June 14th, 2007, 12:50 PM
Wow! those are some nice fish! country kind of reminds me of some places I hve fished in northern Me. Ive been thru northern Minnesota a few times, guess one of these times I'm gonna have to stop and wet a line.

Brown Hornet
June 14th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Looks like you guys had a great time....and those smallies are great. Man I miss smallie fishing.:cry:

I like the sailboats:wink:

June 14th, 2007, 09:21 PM
Way to one up me!

Very nice Fish:wink:

Jeff K in IL
June 14th, 2007, 10:33 PM
Way to one up me!

Very nice Fish:wink:

Sorry bud, just had to..:wink:

June 15th, 2007, 05:00 AM
where were you fishing?canada? that is incredible scenery and i gotta say....the sailboat is pretty ingenius....

Jeff K in IL
June 15th, 2007, 11:10 PM
where were you fishing?canada? that is incredible scenery and i gotta say....the sailboat is pretty ingenius....

Canada (Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario)

June 19th, 2007, 01:06 AM
nice fish:cocktail:

Big Red
July 23rd, 2007, 06:12 AM
I was up there in 1996 about the same time. Weather cooperated for me, nice the whole time. Caught plenty of smallmouth as you did, throw in some walleye, and northern pike as well. Me and one other guy took a float plane out of Ely, White lake maybe, I can't remember. Landed on Lac La Croix, and canoed back to Minnestoa. Took 7 days. It seemed we paddled into the wind and up stream all the way. Fishing and scenery was spectacular!! Stayed at one camp site for 2 or 3 days ( Rebecca Falls ) then on the move the rest of the time to be back at pick up site on time. Got lost bigtime twice!! Long portages (90 rods) and lots, and lots of mosquitos. I would love to go back! :cocktail:

July 24th, 2007, 03:19 PM
fantastic story! Wow. very nice!!