Free Info on Fishing From a Canoe, Canoe Camping, & Wilderness
Fishing & Camping
Below are some general tips for fishing while canoe camping
in wilderness settings. For more specifics, check out
the fishing section of this site:
Know Your Water Before You Go
Know the makeup of the lake or river before
you so you can pack the proper fishing tackle. Find out if the
water is deep, shallow, turbid or clear. Find out what
types of species are in the body of water. A very good guide
for Boundary Waters Canoe Area is the
Boundary Waters Fishing Guide. For free lake maps
and river maps on the web, click here.
Clear Deep Water
Clear water is more difficult to fish than
turbid water. You will have to often fish deeper or fish
early in the day or late at night or even after dark.
Use smaller baits or perhaps jigs topped off with a leach,
nightcrawler, or twister tail. Sometimes trolling a
Rapala at or after dark in such lakes can be effective. Large
spoons or crankbaits will usually not be effective in sunny
mid day conditions.
Shallow Turbid or Stained Water
These types of lakes or rivers are easiest
to fish. You can catch fish in midday by trolling a floating
Rapala weighted down with one or two splitshot. Also
spoons, spinners, and other crankbaits can be effective as
well as jigs tipped with worms, crawlers or twister tails.
Go around the lake once or twice near the drop off dragging a
Rapala behind you and you will quickly find the productive
It is usually impractical to bring minnows
on a wilderness trip and may even be prohibited by law.
Leaches, (if allowed), are a nice bait to pack in - just make
sure to keep them in a cool shady spot and change their water
often. Nightcrawlers are an easy bait to pack in as
well. Often, you can also find worms by turning dead
logs or large rocks over and digging around under them.
If you leave your fish on a stringer
overnight, you risk your fish being stolen by raccoons or
snatched by hungry turtles. The problem seems to be worst in
well-used campsites where the animals have gotten used to an
easy food supply. Your only alternative is to just catch
what you can eat or stand guard!