“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.
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.
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.