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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-

I'm planning a 10 night trip to Isle Royale and plan on flying into Windigo and ending up in Rock Harbor in early September. Plan was to do the Feldtmann loop then up across the north part of the island on the Minong and dropping down on Greenstone to fish the eastern end pretty hard. Yes, I'm aware its 70 miles. :lol:

Can anyone give any tips on fishing on the island? Due to the length of the trip I am not planning on bringing my float tube or waders, but would wet wade or shore fish.

Are most of the inland lakes overgrown with brush or is shore fishing even possible? Pike? Smallies? Perch? Walleye (aka can I plan on a meal or two on the trail via mother nature)?

Any other tips or tricks you'd be willing to share?

PMs appreciated! Thanks in advance.
 

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You could plan on several meals of fish:
f you've visited Isle Royale as an angler, or even as a non-angler, you've probably heard of at least a few of the fish species present in the park. Lake trout, brook trout, and lake whitefish may all come to mind if you've fished the Lake Superior waters of the park. Northern pike, yellow perch, and perhaps walleye might be on your list of fish from inland lakes of the park. But did you know there are over 40 documented species of fish at Isle Royale. Some of these species are found only in Lake Superior waters and others are found only in the inland lakes or streams. A few species exist in both areas. Species diversity ranges from highly sought species such as lake trout and salmon to rainbow smelt and cisco or minnow species that may be mostly unknown, but are important contributors to the overall species assemblage.

A few species such as cisco and rainbow smelt have long been known as key species in the Lake Superior food web, but as smelt decline in number and the cisco goes through cycles of population growth and decline, other prey species become increasingly important in the overall fish species assemblage. Species such as the lake chub (not to be confused with chubs you find at a smoked fish shop) and slimy sculpin are often the most abundant fish found in nearshore waters of Lake Superior. These fish are undoubtedly important prey species for larger predators such as lake trout, burbot, and brook trout, but many visitors to Isle Royale may have never heard of these fish.

Or have you heard of the pearl dace, the fathead minnow or the trout-perch? The entire trout-perch family - Percopsidae - consists of only one genus and two species. The species is thought to be a surviving remnant of fish species that transitioned from soft rayed fish such as herring or trout to spiny rayed fish such as perch and walleye.

Did you also know that the burbot, also known by several other names including eelpout, dogfish, lawyer, and ling is the only member of the cod family - Gadidae - that lives entirely in fresh water. The cod family has several important commercial species including the cods, pollocks, and haddocks that support commercial fisheries around the world. Burbot are found in many locations around Isle Royale.

So the next time you're out trolling for lake trout near the Rock of Ages Lighthouse, or casting a spoon for northern pike in Lake Richie, remember that these fish are just a couple of the species out there and without the rest the gang, these popular fish probably wouldn't be here.
I talked with one of my buddies who's an avid hiker and lives in Colorado now. He said cut your daily hike distance in half and double your dry food list!lol. Its very rugged and there's lots of bugs but he did say they caught a lot of fish around the south east corner of the island.
Goodluck and PLEASE post a report and pics as I may want to make a trip myself next year! Of course if I go, I'll kayak or canoe and do short day hikes ;)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL. Thanks for the tips. I'll do that, cut my daily list in half, stock up on dry goods and plan on a month long hike eating breaded smelt using the breading from the stocked up dry goods. :)

I'm going, no doubt about it. Just trying to set out a plan to allow for intense days of fishing when I hit a good spot (trying to identify those now) and hellish days of hiking to make up the diference in between.

Anyone else have any other input by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Trip is coming up in just a few weeks. Can anyone offer any other tips, tricks or ideas? Thanks a ton!
 

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Also headed to IR 2nd week of Sept, Looking for some must see/fish spots on the NE side of the Island and then plan to spend time on the SW side for 2 days... Any suggestions via pm would be much appreciated.
 

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I have never been, but have heard of good runs of coastal brook trout. I would guess that September would be a good time. Good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought coasters were off limits on IR? Nonetheless, trip is coming up in 2 weeks. Almost packed, any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated!
 

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Wish I could help you out! I packed it end to end about 7 years ago. Took a float plane in and out. One of the best trips of my life. Moose everywhere, the young would come and sit next to our fire and the adult would stay just out of light. Didn't bring a rod with me though. (one of my biggest regrets) We did the trip in 7 days I think and it was wake up, eat, packup, hike eat, hike, set up sleep. So if you allow yourself more time and shorter trips you should be good to do some fishing. I remember lots of very very cold water in lake s. It was mid July too so I don't know about wet wading... I think a pair of waders would really help if you could pack them in. I know we had 70+ lb packs on day 1 with no fishing gear but if you are planning on being in any river or the big lake you are really going to need them. We did the north edge of the isle and it was really beautiful but not many rivers or streams that I recall besdies a few smaller creeks. I wish I had the money and time to be able to go again but it doesn't look like it will happen for a long time. Be safe and please share your experences !
 

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Coasters are catch and release only with in 4.5 miles of the island or something. Would be pretty epic to land a 20+ though!
 

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1348162718.621541.jpg

Isle Royale Coaster caught about 3 weeks ago in Tobin Harbor. The fishing in Tobin / Rock was interesting. Fish were there one day an gone the next. We saw cisco's, coasters, a laker and a ton of rainbow smelt (at night) throughout the course of our trip. Also a bunch of coho reported by the baits fishing offshore.

I would concentrate your efforts by the islands and points or docks that exist in the harbors. We didn't fish and streams or lakes inland so I can't be of much help there. Baitfish or attractor patterns worked best.
 

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