Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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flyguy
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Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by flyguy » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:28 pm

So I have two main questions as you can tell from the title. First off what is the weather usually like the first two weeks in june, and how is the pike fishing during that time. Second question, what is the difficulty level of paddling from rock harbor to McCargoe cove going east around the island? Is it doable for a semi experienced kayaker. All my kayaking experiences have been on small lakes and on small to large rivers. What kind of special gear would you need for a trip like that besides extra paddle, spray skirt, dry bagged items and such.


tree rattt
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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by tree rattt » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:03 pm

Welcome to the forum Flyguy! :)

Would you attempt this alone?If so I may not recommend it without some big lake experience.That being said if you were so inclined I would stick to as much semiprotected water as possible. Use the portages and islands to your advantage. We like to carry a weather/marine radio as well as some signal flares.Do you use a sea kayak or a recreational kayak? It is more the paddler than the boat.Sea kayaks do handle waves better and offer better speed.Make sure you can self rescue.

From what I have seen of weather around that time, be prepared for anything. Two years age in the end of May we had snow and sleet one day and mid 70's the next.Temps at night 30's on up as well as 50's to 70's during the day.

As far as fishing goes I would like to know as well.I will be down by some lakes 1st and second weeks of June this year.My fish primarily come from the store, but in a past life I did fish.

Good luck :)


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flyguy
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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by flyguy » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:51 pm

Thanks for responding treeratt. Im actually doing this trip with one other buddy and we both have rec kayaks. Thats good advice about going through the islands, I was thinking of weaving through them. As far as the weather goes were definitely going to be prepared. Hopefully the fishing is good then :D :D
Ill look into the marine radios too


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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by Damon S » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:04 am

Flyguy...

Lake Superior is always cold and June, you can expect the waters to be absolutely fridgid. Especially after we had another harsh winter up there. That being the case, I wouldn't suggest kayaking the open water from Rock to McCargo unless your paddling a sea kayak with experience in the boat and experience on an ocean or Lake Superior. The waters from Rock, around Scoville Pt, around Blake and past the Pallisades are very committed areas. You really have to be prepared for handling rough seas that may hit you with only a few minutes warning. When your in those areas with little or no options for a landing, things can start to spin out of control quickly.

If you were to consider it, during that the first two weeks in June, you would need excellent exposure gear....I would go so far as to suggest a dry suit, or a dry top and a wet suit at the very least. Make sure your rescue skills are excellent, both self and assisted. Emergency gear...I've been paddling for 10 years up there and I always carry a good VHF radio (waterproof), flares, smoke, etc.

Although I've seen people complete trips in rec boats, I wouldn't suggest it in open water. Your boat should be bulkheaded and hatches in good shape to ensure your boat is seaworthy and things won't become compromised if there is a capsize.

Ive paddled around Scoville and Blake in pristine conditions and I've also came through there when its been incredibly nasty.

You can still paddle and fish up there and take some alternate routes.


tree rattt
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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by tree rattt » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:44 pm

:(
Last edited by tree rattt on Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Damon S
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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by Damon S » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:27 am

Im not against paddling rec boats by any means, but like I said, I wouldn't suggest it even trying to be conservative with your weather observations. Especially when paddling committed sections.

No offense tree rattt, but I would never suggest someone place their gear in a contractor bag and expect it to be airtight. Even more so in the event of a capsize. Most people I know that trip without bulkheads with SOF boats have a very solid roll and will usually never come out of their boat exposing their gear inside to the water that will most definitely soak your gear.

I remember several years ago when I saw the exact same thing you describe. Two men paddling 12' rec boats without bulkheads. They had their gear stored in black garbage bags. I remember seeing/talking to them at Belle. The weather was scheduled to start kicking up by the following morning. We took off late the following day and when we rounded Indian Pt the waves were only about 4.5ft. Wind was probably 20knts. Both were capsized, separated from their boats and their gear in black garbage bags was floating away.

Though I don't advocate paddling that way, if your going to store your gear like that, invest in some quality dry bags at the very least.


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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:06 am

Hello flyguy,

You didn't mention where you are driving from. Even if it might be an extra 2 to 4 hours of driving, consider taking the Voyageur II from Grand Portage MN. You can schedule drop off and pickup at either McCargoe Cove or Belle Isle. Then you can avoid the risk of Blake Point or the steep portage up and over the Greenstone Ridge and thus spend most of your time on the water. Your last night will be spent in Rock Harbor as the Voyageur II overnights there before heading home along the south shore. If you're wanting some more portaging, but a little easier (or spread out) than the aforementioned one, you could end at Malone Bay or Chippewa Harbor and schedule a Voyageur II pickup there, plus your pike fishing might be better on the inland lakes (Chickenbone and Ritchie). There are many options.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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flyguy
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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by flyguy » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:09 pm

Thanks again everyone for the honest info. Ive talked over the plan with a buddy and weve been talked out of paddling around blake point and such areas. However weve revised the plan and are thinking of this, starting in rock harbor and first portaging to duncan bay, paddling then to the portage in five finger bay, the paddling the portage to lane cove, then padddling towards pickerel cove and from there going to mccargoe.

Would this type of paddle be safe and doable without bulkheads? Were for sure investing in a vhf marine radio. Im also bringing a gps so as to not get lost navigating through the islands. Do you think this would be ok with spray skirt and a wetsuit top? Midwest ed were driving from the very bottom corner of western michigan and planning on launching outta houghton.

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Re: Pike fishing and kayaking from RH to McCargoe cove

Post by Ingo » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:38 pm

You may hate yourselves after the Tobin/Duncan portage, and dread doing it again, but it's worth it! Take your time and a nice break at the top. Assuming you have a couple trips across, I'll haul the first load to the top, go back and get the rest, then repeat on the down side--it breaks things up with a couple of shorter hikes without gear. The other portages are short and easy.

I don't think I'd go all the way to McCargoe--it's a 2 mile stretch of open water that can get nasty--even though it seems fine when you start. And even though you may have a great weather window to get there, you never know what it might be like for the return trip. Weather forecasts just aren't that reliable for the lake conditions. The other 2 places to pay particular attention are the Five Fingers entrance to Stockley Bay, and the open part of Belle Harbor. They're exposed to the north/northeast, but partially protected by islands and reefs. Just be careful and be willing to not go for it if it's questionable--most of the time it's fine.

For all that's been said, it's a great area with great campgrounds and great fishing, although I'm not the one to talk to about fishing. I caught a lake trout near Belle Isle last summer, but otherwise my knowledge is mostly enjoying dinner courtesy of generous and real fisherman :). There are volunteer rangers at Belle Isle who were up to date on the fish reports--it's also my favorite campground. My brother had a nice pike on around the back side of the island in Duncan Bay--the big one that got away, so no fish for dinner that night.

I wouldn't consider the GPS really necessary, so long as you have the Trails Illustrated map and a compass (and know how to use them together). Fog can be an issue. But if you have it already, worth bringing--but do have a map and compass in any case. I haven't found nautical charts necessary for paddling.

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