Fishing Questions

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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robin621
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Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:51 pm

I've done quite a bit of fishing on I.R. I'm no pro, however, if anyone has any questions about Lake Ritchie, Chip Harbor, Lake Whittlesay, Wood Lake and Intermediate Lake...let me know. Good Fishing in all lakes...lots of northern pike (20-30 inches), Lake Trout and a few decent Walleye. Let me know.


KillerKowalski
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by KillerKowalski » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:27 pm

Appreciate the gesture! I am a rook to Isle Royale in a few more weeks. What lures do I need to bring with?


bac
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by bac » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:03 am

Hey Robin
Thanks for the offer. I plan on doin a trip around all of those lakes and would really like to target the lakers, eyes, and perch any tips that you don't mind sharing about location, tackle, or technique would be much appreciated since I have never even been to or fished the island before.

Thanks,

Brian


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robin621
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:38 pm

Depending on if you are canoeing, kayaking or shore fishing your strategies will change...this is what I know about the lakes:

I really had a hard time 3 years ago when I first started going. There wasn't much current information on places to fish, types of lures, methods...etc. Jim DuFresne has a good book with lots of fishing information, but it's limited to one chapter. It is one of my favorite Isle Royale books. I enjoy hiking, but I primarily go to I.R. for the fishing. The past few years, I've fished those lakes (1-3 days each), mentioned in my first post, and they have all been four stars.
Northern Pike are going to be the easiest to catch. I pretty much use the same lure the entire time. I try a few other lures, but the giant Blue Fox/Mepp's Muskie spinner buck-tail (orange & black) seemed to be the best (Gander $15). I tried a giant buzz bait with a white buck-tail and it was cumbersome throwing. It got tangled up in the weeds a lot! Red spinner baits with a single silver willow leaf are fun too. I had the ability to throw them the furthest along with the orange & black buck-tail lure. After casting your lure...start reeling as soon as it hits the water because if you don't you'll pull up a salad. Most Northern pike hang out in the weedy areas around the small islands. We learned quickly to cast with caution around standing reeds and cattails. You will either lose your lure or spend tons of time trying to rescue it. If the wind is calm and you're feeling confidant casting into those tricky areas, please do because we caught some big fish in those spots. My brother has gone with me each time and he throws spoons, floating (perch colored/w orange bottom) rapalas, banjo minnow, etc. I'm surprised he hasn't pulled out the Helicopter lure. He has caught pike with everything. The pike in these bodies of water will probably strike at anything.
At Lake Ritchie some of the pike we caught were banged up some (nothing major). Some fish will have small red colored gashes on them (injuries from larger pike most likely). Sometimes after releasing a fish we would throw our lures back into the water, taking a minute to situate ourselves before our next cast, and another pike from nowhere would smash our lines a foot away from the raft. My spinner bait was actually dangling over the raft, just above the water, when a 20 inch something of a pike jumped up and snatched the bait, pulling my pole almost out of my raft. Make sure to pinch the barbs of your hooks down. We actually cut hooks off our lures to save time. After spending longer than you want unhooking the first couple of Northerns take a treble hook or two off. A treble hook with pinched barbs was still a pain, but tolerable. I brought two rods each time. I bring two 7 foot sticks and a protective Plano rod tube that protects them. Both the Ugly Stick & Wicked Stick break down into two pieces. My favorite is the Wicked Stick because it is really stout and I can really sling-it, covering lots of waters in minutes. The Ugly Stick or any medium-heavy action rod would be just fine. I always bring 20 pd test Fire Line, the braided stuff, and I don't use leaders because I've never had my line snap or break while reeling a northern (knock on wood). Now if I caught Rob's Big Pike, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zapBdYSyp7A, then I would probably start using leaders. Rob, if you ever read this post...You da Man!
I've never tried fishing for perch, however, walleye can be caught on orange jig heads with white Mr. Twister tails. Evening fishing seemed to be the best time. Chippewa Harbor & Lake Whittlesey are your best bet for walleyes. I've caught several in those lakes. If the wind is blowing, it is hard to stay in one place so vertical jigging can be a little challenging at times. Look for deeper water with rocks at the bottom. The water is so clear you can actually find spots pretty easily. I've thrown several Cast Masters from Rock Harbor to Moskey Basin with only a few small lakers to show for it. We have caught lakers by canoe trolling too. I've heard Siskiwit Lake is good, but again I usually don't fish much there because I'm generally trying to reach Intermediate Lake.
My second year, I fished from a two man raft. The folded raft was heavy, but it allowed me more versatility. I could pack up and go at anytime without lugging a kayak or canoe. It was tricky to maneuver while in the water too. My backpack was a snug fit in the raft, but I still had room to fish and paddle to wherever I wanted, even if it took a lot longer. The canoe is the best option if you're fishing with a friend due to its speed and they make them a lot lighter these days so the portages are not that bad if you're in average to above average shape. The better shape you're in, the better the trip will be. I've only shore fished a few times with marginal success. Give me a fishing report when you get back if you don't mind. I hope you have an awesome time!!!


bac
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by bac » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:22 pm

Wow, Thanks for all the info!
I plan to go in late august, but I will definitely try to get the fishing report up here.


KillerKowalski
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by KillerKowalski » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:21 pm

Robin thanks for the info!

I will be shore fishing as I will be backpacking the trip. I have 10 pound test now on my Calcutta. I will be bringing a three piece M-H 6'6". Should I go 7' H? What about line test?


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robin621
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:53 pm

You can catch fish with a tree branch on I.R. That set up sounds fine. The longer rod might help you cast further? Why a bait caster reel?


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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by KillerKowalski » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:42 pm

Okay cool.

I am a largemouth angler and own five baitcasters. It's the only reels I have used. I was raised on spinners, but changed a long time ago. Plus, I don't have to buy another reel.


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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:21 pm

Gotcha...you'll catch lots of fish.

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colvinch
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by colvinch » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:48 pm

THere aren't any fish on Isle Royale. Don't waste your time, especially on Whitlessey, no walleye there, please do yourself a favor and avoid fishing here. :lol: :lol:
Image

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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by fonixmunkee » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:42 pm

Nice work!


KillerKowalski
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by KillerKowalski » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:23 am

colvinch wrote:THere aren't any fish on Isle Royale. Don't waste your time, especially on Whitlessey, no walleye there, please do yourself a favor and avoid fishing here. :lol: :lol:
Image
I might be a Pollack, correction Pollick..., correction again Palock. Let met start over. I might be a Polack, but those sure look like some nice snakes you caught. I guess I will leave my rod and reel at home next week.


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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:42 am

Wow! Did you catch them this year? What did you use?


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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by robin621 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:48 am

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colvinch
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Re: Fishing Questions

Post by colvinch » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:18 pm

robin621 wrote:Wow! Did you catch them this year? What did you use?

this was last august, check out my trip report, there is a long lenghty report there.
I think I got all of these guys on 3/8 oz jig heads (most likely orange, white or pink...all I ever use), with a curly tail twister grub(orange, pearl, or black/green) and to top it all of with a Berkely power bait 3"minnow (smelt color), it was deadly, I had my limit before my buddy could even switch over baits. We also picked some up trolling rapala x-rap slash baits...also deadly....if you can get some live leeches that would be the ticket, they were loaded with em, I saw some leeches while fishing but I wasn't able to get them in the canoe

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