Tagged: Round Lake

Day Trip Ice Fishing on Bat Lake

“People always catch fish on Bat.”

When Nathan, a family friend who happens to take a lake trout fishing focused winter camping trip each Martin Luther King weekend, told us that last fall, we knew we had to check it out. After all, Bat Lake is practically just a hop, skip, and jump from Tuscarora. So just four days into the Boundary Waters winter lake trout season, Andy and I headed across Round Lake to see if we could prove Nathan wrong.

Thanks to a bunch of ambitious winter campers who headed into the Boundary Waters just after Christmas, there are miles of very well packed trail from Round Lake through the Brant Lake entry point route. Since we weren’t pulling sleds and we also snowmobiled across Round Lake, we were able to reach Bat Lake in less than two hours.

Portage from Brant into Gotter Lakes Winter Camping on Brant Lake in the Boundary Waters

Down the stairs on the portage from Gotter Lake into Flying Lake

Gotter Portage Stairs

Along the hike, I kept stopping to take photographs of the icicles on the shoreline cliff faces. This cliff face on Flying Lake is just past the portage into Green Lake.

Icicles on a rock face on Flying Lake winter Boundary Waters

When we reached Bat Lake, we set up speedily. With just six inches of pure blue ice, it doesn’t take long to drill enough holes for tip-ups and jigging, even with a hand auger!

Still, by the time we had lines in the water, it was after noon, so we weren’t exactly capitalizing on the “morning bite.” Although the action was a little slow for a lake the DNR says has abundant (but small) lake trout, we were able to prove correct Nathan’s theory that people always catch fish on Bat Lake. About an hour into our afternoon on Bat Lake, I reeled up this little guy. Andy unhooked him quickly and popped him back into the drink.


While we waited for more action on the lines, we took a timeout to make some coffee and cocoa as we watched the tip-up lines. With the shadows growing long, we knew it was time to start the trek home.


After a stop to chat up some winter campers, we walked home with a beautiful sunset at our backs. It’s amazing what a little snow and ice can do to transform a boggy lowland into a spectacular vista.




We’ll be back, Bat Lake.

Round Lake Is Open!!!

Round Lake is officially open!!! This group just left our beach and paddled across to the Missing Link Lake portage. They are hoping to reach Tuscarora Lake. We are looking forward to hearing how they did!

2013.05.13 ice out


Suddenly, spring is in a big hurry to get here.  Starting Thursday, the temperatures have been up into the high 50’s, low 60’s.  The sun is shining warmly, the birds are singing, and Denali is basking on the deck.  The 2 feet+ of snow that is on the ground has been melting with force.  Round Lake road is suffering a bit from the rapid melt.

2013.04.27 washed out road (7)

The driveways and outfitting yard are clearing nicely.  At first the melt was dammed in by the snow banks creating a slushy pond in the center.  This morning things are looking much better.  The mud is pretty thick but at least everything is flowing in the right direction now.

2013.04.28 spring melt (1)
The Cross River, just down the road, is open and flowing down the center.  The ice is still around the dock, but it is looking more and more slushy each day.  The open water is attracting all sorts of birds who arrived looking for spring but are now forced to wait it out with the rest of us.  So far I’ve noticed common & hooded mergansers, common goldeneyes, Canada geese, mallards, a kingfisher, bald eagles, and a turkey vulture all hanging out around the open water.

2013.04.27 cross river (5)

Round Lake is covered in watery slush.  Almost a good foot of it.  Ice reports in the area still are in the 20″+ range, but at least things are starting to move in the right direction.  The snow may be in a hurry to melt, but the ice can’t be rushed.  We still can’t tell when the ice will be out for sure.  The forecast calls for rain and wind, both will help.  If the temperatures stay warm, that will help as well.  We need to wait and see how things progress, but it is feeling decidedly spring like around here!  ~Rachel

2013.04.26 spring melt (9)

2013.04.26 spring melt (7)




Ice Conditions

We sure have been having a chilly spring this year!  The temperatures feel a lot more like what a northern Minnesota springs should be like.  We have been a little spoiled the past few springs!  A slow moving weather pattern has been dumping some wet, heavy spring snow on us for the past week now.

2013.02.12 ice fishing with Jen and D (5)

I went out last week to drill a hole in the ice on Round Lake.  We still have a foot of snow on top the ice which is keeping it very insulated (this was before received about 18″ of snow on Thursday night!).  The ice is still around 26 inches thick.  Reports from Sagananga Lake and Gunflint Lake are reporting around 30 inches of ice as well.

For those of you concerned for you upcoming canoe trips, we will keep you posted!  It is a little to soon to tell for sure when the ice will come out.  What the weather decides to do next week will make a lot of difference.  We do know that the late spring should keep the water temps down making for some nice fishing opportunities.  All this snow should keep the water levels up for the spring and the fire risk down as well!

The DNR has a nice website that shows ice out conditions across the state – http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out/index.html.  Keep your eye on that and on our blog, we will let you know as soon as the ice goes out!