What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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teddy12b
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What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by teddy12b » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:39 pm

I'm debating on getting a packraft, and part of what I can see using it for would be to go back to the IR and spend some time at an interior lake just fishing out of the packraft and paddling around in general.

I like the idea of getting dropped off by boat, having a day hike into an interior lake, and then setup camp for a couple days of fishing and exploring. I'm not particular on what fish I catch, I just know I'd rather be catching than not catching.

I've been to the IR once before and the open water kayaking doesn't appeal to me anymore. If I do this it'll be casual paddling around on interior lakes hopefully picking up some dinner.

Any Suggestions?


Midwest Ed
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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:10 pm

How much extra weight will the packraft add and what is your view towards portaging? From a financial standpoint is the water taxi an option for you or are you thinking of using the Voyageur II? ? There is a chart in the Greenstone newsletter that describes the various lengths and elevation changes of the standard portages. Your easiest path to get floating on an interior lake would be a drop off at Malone Bay. But from a weather/wind perspective Siskiwit Lake is the most unpredictable so it might take a day or two of waiting until you could get into Wood Lake or Intermediate Lake. A paddle through Whittlesey would offer an eventual pickup at Chippewa Harbor. Or pass through Lake Ritchie to Moskey Basin but the Voyaguer II does not go to Moskey Basin but the water taxi would be available. I've never fished Intermediate Lake but all the rest should prove fruitful, especially Lake Ritchie for northern pike. Make sure you take a weather radio and preferably a marine transceiver (with weather channels). Decent ones are about $100+. I've done this loop counterclockwise by canoe from Moskey to Siskiwit to Chippewa and it was my most enjoyable trip to The Island thus far.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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porter
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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by porter » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:24 pm

I think a packraft is a great idea for interior lakes! They are super lightweight and compact to portage/hike with. Not as speedy as a canoe or small yak, but more efficient than a float tube. Just as good to fish from too.
What brands are you looking at?

Lake Richie has much shoreline to explore and many nice pike. You could get dropped at McCargoe, camp at Richie and leave from Chippewa.
Same goes for Chickenbone. Great pike and walleye in there. You could easily fish Livermore from that campground too.
I suppose the same goes for simply staying at Chippewa and fishing lake Mason (pike).
Or camp at McCargoe and fish/explore the cove thru Brady cove. Pike abound and trout will be in mccargoe depending on water clarity and temp.
Siskiwit lake would be a big exploration water body. Jig or troll for lakers, steelhead, big pike and numerous other fish species if you know where to look.
How about a day hike with just your packraft and fishing gear?
Camp at McCargoe and hike 2 miles west then drop down to otter lake and across a short strip of land to beaver lake. Perch should welcome you there. There are pike also. Between otter and beaver was open aspen forest that is fantastic for a shore lunch or dinner before it gets to dark to head back to the campground.
McDonald lake is closer to McCargoe but a little more bushwacking to it. Panfish there I have read.
Wood lake is a fantastic campground with paddle/portage from Chippewa or Malone. And Whittlesey is decent with walleye on the menu.

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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by fonixmunkee » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:18 pm

I've heard a few people doing a pack raft on Feldtmann Lake. There's walleye in there, I know. That's a long hike with a pack raft though.

Chickenbone is the closest for packing it in, and I don't think you'd be disappointed using it there, either.


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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:35 pm

fonixmunkee wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:18 pm
Chickenbone is the closest for packing it in...
That portage has been listed as lengthened to 1.2 miles for the past few years. Is this still true? A drop off at Malone Bay gets one to inland lakes with a much shorter portage and then into other nice fishable lakes with shorter portages as well. Yes, there is maybe a remote chance of windy weather causing a short delay waiting for Siskiwit to settle down.
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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by Ingo » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:10 am

Midwest Ed wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:35 pm
fonixmunkee wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:18 pm
Chickenbone is the closest for packing it in...
That portage has been listed as lengthened to 1.2 miles for the past few years. Is this still true?
That is true. It starts at the dock now.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by treeplanter » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:42 pm

Second the recommendation on taking the Voyageur to either Malone or Chippewa Harbor. I have a Klepper folding kayak and have packed the boat into both Siskiwit Lake and Lake Whittlesey. Good success fishing in Siskiwit Lake, so-so in Lake Whittlesey. A folding kayak, or equivalent, is just the ticket for exploring inland lakes on Isle Royale.


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Re: What interior lakes would you take in a packraft to fish on?

Post by Redbad » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:00 pm

I have taken my Alpacka to ISRO on two occasions. It is possible (and safe) to paddle a packraft from Snug Harbor to Moskey Basin (about a 6 hour paddle in a packraft). From Moskey Basin you have access to Lake Ritchie and the other interior lakes. Lake Ritchie Canoe is a great campground, as is Wood Lake.

Lake Siskiewit and Lake Whittlesey are both good lakes to fish. Lake Siskiewit is much more open and subject to wind and waves, which will make fishing from a packraft more difficult. Lake Whittlesey is somewhat more protected. The portages between these two lakes are fairly easy, so you could set up camp on one and fish both.

Good luck!

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