Tagged: Gunflint Trail

How to Ice Fish in the Boundary Waters

IMG_7846We spend most of our free time in the first three months of each year ice fishing for lake trout. Because our business keeps us busy all summer long, in any given year, we spend considerably more time fishing in “hard water” conditions than we do on open water.

Boundary Waters Ice Fishing Lake Trout Tip up rod catch

Ice fishing can seem a little daunting. For one thing, it can be downright chilly and people are sometimes apprehensive to invest in the specific gear needed for ice fishing. But while you might have to work a little harder to succeed at ice fishing, that just makes the experience all the more rewarding. The specialized gear needed is limited to a few rods, ice scoops, and augers. Best of all, ice fishing is a great excuse to spend sometime outdoors in the winter months, even if you come home empty handed.

Throughout the year, we hear a lot of questions from those curious about trying their hand at ice fishing. What’s your favorite lure? What’s the best hand auger? Why don’t you use a sled to haul your gear? To answer all those questions and more, Andy put together this ice fishing gear video tutorial.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to make a list of all the gear Andy mentions in the video.  Just use our printable ice fishing packing list as an easy reference point when you pack for your next ice fishing adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


Here’s one of the lures highlighted in the video:
Best Lake Trout Ice Fishing Lure

The DNR’s Lake Finder website is a great resource to guide you in choosing a Gunflint Trail lake to ice fish on. You can always give us a shout at 218-388-2221 for lake recommendations too.

Good luck anglers!


Worth the “Skate” – Winter Finds the Gunflint Trail

We all know the tired cliches – “Patience is a virtue,” or, “The good things in life are worth waiting for.” Even though we know in our heart of hearts that patience is the best policy, sometimes we give up on it before we should.

Last week, I glumly wrote off ice skating for this early winter of 2015-16. Round Lake certainly wasn’t freezing up in a way that was going to be conducive to ice skating and as we watched day after day of unseasonably mild weather go by, we started to have our doubts that the big lakes along the Gunflint Trail were ever going to freeze.

But then?

A Christmas miracle!


Yesterday we received a call from our old stomping grounds up on Seagull Lake to let us know that Seagull had frozen over the night before and that the north bay was filled smooth “skating rink” ice thick enough to traverse. We threw skates, sticks, and pucks in the truck and in about 45 minutes, I was perched on a shoreline rock, lacing up my skates.


Smoke the Black Lab turned into a puck retrieving machine.
IMG_7136 IMG_7147

Is there anything better than the sound of skates cutting through the smooth ice?

IMG_7143Attempting to brush up my figure skating chops . . . .IMG_7145Ice’s been a bit of a fascination lately. Right now, Round Lake is steadily building ice and although the ice is rubbish for ice skating, it’s perfect for exploring and some early season ice fishing. You can check out our video of Andy testing the ice depth on the Tuscarora Facebook page.IMG_7110 IMG_7115


Please don’t venture out on the Gunflint Trail lakes without first checking with locals for the latest conditions. The lakes remain unsafe in many spots and the ice on the open sections of large lakes like Seagull Lake is still very new and needs a few more days to thicken up before we ask it to support our weight. In addition to the late ice-up, the Gunflint Trail received 12+ inches of snowfall last week (cross country skiers and snowshoers rejoice!), which creates slushy pockets on the lake that had already frozen.


But we’ll tolerate a little slush if it means living in a real world snow globe. We’re so looking forward to another White Gunflint Trail Christmas. Welcome winter!