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Boundary water lures.


skjordan
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One of our members is taking the Boy Scout Troop to the Boundry Waters for a week of canoeing, camping and fishing.

 

His question to me was "what do I take for lures for smallmouth and walleye". Remember he's going to be carrying this stuff on his back between lakes so he needs our go to lures.

 

I suggested rubber baits like 6" rubber worms and tubes fished on sliders as a start but I dont have a clue on the walleye. I know I have caught sauger on rubber worms rigged and fished to imitate minnows.

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on their backs you say? I'd just take a BUTTLOAD of jig heads like 1/8 and 3/16 for the smallies, 1/4 and 3/8 for walleyes. lots of twistertails. White and black. doesn't get any heavier or easier. it's been 5 years, but we lit them on fire doing just that. I'd try some sassy shads too the fat girls love them.

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Recommending lures without knowing what time of year the troop was going? Fishing smallies in early June is way different than fishing them in August. With of course a way different arsenal of baits. The walley article Don posted addressed this quite well.

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Always check first with the LOCAL guides/anglers/tackle shops. That goes for Boundary waters, or any other waters. Get the numbers of the locals, and ask them what those particular fish are biting at that time of year. Second best is checking for any on line fishing reports for those waters from the past year. Most reports are by those happy anglers who had success. Those are the ones who you want to talk to.

The more people you talk to, the more you'll start to hear a pattern emerge. They will tend to repeat the names of that handful of lures that they trust to produce results. It will take some time to talk to a few people. But I prefer to have five locals tell me, for instance, they all are successful using a white 3 inch twister tail on a 1/8 ounce wide gap jig, rather than buying or making five or ten different lures in a range of weights, sizes and colors.

This actually happened to me planning a trip to Canada. I asked somebody in Chicago what to use, and they told me to bring DareDevils. So, I brought four patterns in 3 different weights. Of those twelve name brand lures , only one size and color worked. And when it did, it only worked about 1/3 as well as the similar lure they were using. It was called a Jack of Diamonds, which was identical in size and color, but it was made of different metal, which gave it it's own action. I borrowed one, and caught more fish than I have ever before or since.

The next day, I went for smallmouth, and got three Manitoba Master Angler awards on one lure - a Rapala SR08 Perch pattern Shad Rap. I brought a small fortune in tackle, but only used two lures. Crazy, but true.

So whether you do it while you're still at home, or wait until you get there, ask the locals. If you wait, they are likely to be more helpful if you buy tackle from the local shops.

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My son has made that trip a couple of times with his Scout troop. Early to mid- August. They caught some nice walleye and smallmouth on 1/4-3/8 oz. jigs with 3-4" twister tails. White, black and yellow all produced. He also took some 1/4 -1/2 oz. in-line spinners (Mepps, Blue Fox) that they would troll behind the canoe. The boys got a few nice pike that way.

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Don's advice is pretty solid and he has been to Quetico & BWCA a few times. The moving water tip is especially good. Places where creeks and rivers flow into lakes are golden. You know alot about smallmouth and they can be caught on alot of different techniques but I'll give you some advice on walleye. The time of year will matter because walleye can become very depth specific and that why you'll want a lot of different jig weights. In absence of moving water most of the actively feeding walleyes in a lake will be at a specific depth range. In late summer that can be 20-25 feet deep. It is important to try to make mental notes of how deep walleye are being caught at when you do start catching them. A portable depth finder can be worth it weight in gold if its walleye or lake trout that you are after. The other advice I'll give for walleye is bring some gulp leeches, minnows, and crawlers. They travel a lot better than live bait and on some days they work just as good. The other thing you can discuss is the wonderful pike fishing opportunities in the BWCA. Some lakes have more 18-24" pike than you can shake a spinnerbait at and some lakes have fish over 40". Weedy bays that have easy access to deep water will be the best big pike spots. Hooking into some dumb aggressive pike in shallow weedy bays will provide some great long lasting memories for the scout boys. Spinnerbaits, spoons, and a johnson silver minnow for real weedy areas is all they will need for plenty of pike action. Pike are actually very good eating if you know how to fillet around the bones.

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