The BWCA has world class fishing. With 1,000 lakes and very light fishing pressure, the fishing opportunities are virtually limitless!
What species’ of fish will I catch?
Smallmouth Bass – aka Smallies or Bronzebacks
Average size: 15” – 18” and 2 – 3 pounds
Size on the better days: 19” – 22” and 5+ pounds
Number of fish caught /day: 15 – 25/day per person.
Strategy: my favorite way is using surface lures at dawn and dusk or you can always use a leech and bobber, both deadly tactics.
Northern Pike – aka Northerns, Nortons or Snakes
Average size: 25” – 34”
Size on the better days: 40”+
Strategy: These can be caught all day using just about anything. My favorite strategy is to use a floating Rapala or a Daredevil. The state record for Northern Pike was taken in the BWCA.
Walleye – aka Wallies, Eyes and Marble Eyes
Average size: 14” – 20” perfect for eating. We will eat walleyes just about everyday.
Strategy: Trolling with Rapalas, Jigging and once again using a leech and slip bobber is always deadly.
Black Crappie – Schools of slab sized black crappies inhabit many area lakes and many anglers have begun to cash in on the BWCA abundant but less publicized panfish. Fish up to two pounds are taken in many of the area lakes, usually on small minnows, jig-and-minnow combinations or tiny jigs.
Bluegill – Close your eyes and imagine a bluegill that you can’t get your hand around. Many area lakes offer the opportunity to turn imagination into reality. They are aggressive feeders and will bite on both artificial and live bait. Ultralite fishing rigs or fly rods with small jigs are best for fishing panfish. State record: 2 pounds 13 ounces.
Many More Species
The lakes of the BWCA contain many more species of fish. Some others commonly caught include Lake Trout, Sturgeon, Whitefish, and Crappies varying in size from 10” – 15”. We have also caught many stringers of 10” – 12” Bluegills.
The best time to fish in BWCA is in the months of May and June. Smallies, Northerns and Walleyes, however, can be caught all year.
What fishing permits to I need?
Minnesota state law requires you to submit your social Security # to obtain a fishing license. Click Here for the MN license page.
A Minnesota 7-day fishing license is $28.50 and $40.50 for an annual. We may be crossing into Canadian waters through some of our trips but you won’t need an Ontario license ($42.22). There is really no reason for us to fish Canadian waters the holes we find in the states will bring you great return.