First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

Moderators: johnhens, Ingo

Post Reply

Topic author
teddy12b
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 am

First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by teddy12b » Tue May 02, 2017 8:04 am

Hello everyone,
I'm going to be visiting the IR in Sept ish of 2017. I'm going with a couple of other guys who've been there once before, but this will be my first time there.

My fishing goals are pretty simple since this isn't a dedicated fishing trip. The idea would be something I get to do maybe a little bit here or there. I don't really care what I catch, but I'd like to catch something. Ideally, it'd be nice to provide a fish dinner for us once or twice on the trip, but that means more cooking equipment too so I can easily be talked out of that as well.

I'm an experienced fisherman, but mostly with a fly rod in rivers. I haven't done much fishing in open water like this. I've got a little packable spinning rod that's small and lightweight and I think that'd be a better choice than my fly rod. Where I'm really lacking is knowing what types of lures, jigs, rubber worms, spoons or whatever to bring with me. Put me in a river or a small pond with a fly rod and I can figure it out. Put me on the IR with all that big water and I'm going to start feeling more than a little lost.

I've been looking all over the internet and searching wherever I can to find any information so any advice on catching some fish would be greatly appreciated.

User avatar

IncaRoads
Forum Moderator
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:52 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 11
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by IncaRoads » Tue May 02, 2017 8:33 am

From our past fishing archives, here are a few links to get the discussion started.

Basic Fishing Supplies ---> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1422&p=9022#p9006
Shore Fishing Lake Superior ---> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1404&p=8915#p8884
Hook restrictions on a fishing lure ---> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1411&p=8968#p8909
What sort of fishing rod would you recommend ---> viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1452#p9170
Fishing Regulations (pg. 5, 2017 IR Greenstone Newspaper) ---> https://www.nps.gov/isro/upload/ISRO_We ... r_2017.pdf


Topic author
teddy12b
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 am

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by teddy12b » Tue May 02, 2017 1:55 pm

Perfect! Thanks for the links.

User avatar

Base654
LNT Expert
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 8:51 am
Isle Royale Visits: 11
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Contact:

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by Base654 » Tue May 02, 2017 7:03 pm

I have had the most luck with a yellow trout spinner on a packable spinning reel. I have only had on hit on a fly (from shore) in all my trips and that darn pike took my lure.


Redbad
Trailblazer
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:51 am
Isle Royale Visits: 3

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by Redbad » Fri May 05, 2017 1:33 pm

First, while I have been to ISRO multiple times, I am still 0 for ISRO in the fishing department, so don't consider me an expert (or possibly do everything the exact opposite of what I did and you will catch fish...)

I used a packable fly rod with a variety of flies (Clouser minnows, Wooly Buggers, Hare's ears, and Parachutes).

The issue with fly fishing on ISRO is that many places have very little opportunity for back casting, which limits how much water can be covered from shore. This is an issue on many of the interior lakes like Chickenbone, Hatchet, Ritchie, Desor (if there are any game fish still there), etc. A spinning rod will have better coverage than roll casting.

Folks can and do catch Lake Trout and Steelhead from the docks at some of the campgrounds on Rock Harbor, Belle Isle and Tobin Harbor. I have seen folks catch pike from the dock at McCargoe Cove.

Because of the possibility of catching a pike, you might want to have some wire leader available. You should also have weedless lures.

Be up on your fish identification -- there is a population of Coaster Brook Trout (essentially supersized Brook Trout) in places like Tobin Harbor and Siskiwit Bay and they are strictly catch and release.


Topic author
teddy12b
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 am

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by teddy12b » Mon May 08, 2017 12:10 pm

Redbad wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 1:33 pm
The issue with fly fishing on ISRO is that many places have very little opportunity for back casting, which limits how much water can be covered from shore. This is an issue on many of the interior lakes like Chickenbone, Hatchet, Ritchie, Desor (if there are any game fish still there), etc. A spinning rod will have better coverage than roll casting.
This was one of my concerns with packing in a fly rod. I've taken a pack in rod into some backcountry ponds only to get there and find out I had little to no room to cast. In my heart I lean more towards the fly fishing, but what little experience I have fishing on a backpacking trip leads me to want to take my spinning rod. I definitely need to get some steel leaders though in case of a pike.

The fishing regs do get a little more tricky up there and I'll be sure to make sure I stay legal. As ugly as I am, I'm still too cute to go to jail. Ideally, I'd love to find a couple spots where the fish aren't too smart or picky and have a nice shoreline frying pan lunch, but I have to do some more research first.


Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon May 08, 2017 1:30 pm

In shallow weedy areas, it's almost impossible to not catch a Northern (most of the time). A red and white Daredevil spoon or Rapala is what I'd use, the larger the Rapala the better for large Pike but not so nice for backpacking. I've seen small Northern hit a lure bigger than itself. Smaller, e.g. 5 to 6 inch ones are fine. The picture in this link show the inside wall of a local Islander's tackle storage wall. Most of that really big stuff is for Lake Trout.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

User avatar

IncaRoads
Forum Moderator
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:52 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 11
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by IncaRoads » Mon May 08, 2017 3:10 pm

teddy12b wrote:
Mon May 08, 2017 12:10 pm
This was one of my concerns with packing in a fly rod. I've taken a pack in rod into some backcountry ponds only to get there and find out I had little to no room to cast. In my heart I lean more towards the fly fishing, but what little experience I have fishing on a backpacking trip leads me to want to take my spinning rod. I definitely need to get some steel leaders though in case of a pike.
I've been an avid fly fisherman for almost 50 years now. I would not bring a fly rod to Isle Royale for the "no room to cast" reason. If you have a boat/canoe to better access some of the lakes/shorelines, then I might bring one to compliment my spinning rod.

I've had no success shore fishing Lake Superior and some of its bays, but have had great success shore fishing the inland lakes for northern pike. A Michigan license is required to fish Lake Superior water, and bays like McCargo Cove, but the inland lakes require no license.


Basbh1
NewbieCake
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 1:15 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 0
Location: Southern Wisconsin

Re: First timer to the IR and looking for fishing advice

Post by Basbh1 » Thu May 11, 2017 8:54 pm

Like teddy12b I will be new to IR. (Next week) And I really do appreciate the help with the gear advice thank you so much to the veteran IR fishermen . Gander mountain would probably thank you too . But not the local guy in the fishing department he probably hates me( to many questions ) I will post my success and failures when I return from the epic adventures

Post Reply