Gunflint Trail 2010: Day 1

Posted by MNAngler On August - 30 - 2010

Date: 8/21/2010
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Body of water: Poplar Lake
Location: Gunflint Trail, MN
Weather Conditions: sunny

We drove up to my in-laws’ cabin late Friday night to avoid traffic. We didn’t get in until 2am Friday night, so Saturday morning, I decided not to get up early to hit the water. Besides, I didn’t know if my father-in-law, Ken, had a boat tied up to the dock and ready.

It wasn’t until late afternoon that I would get a chance to get on the water. Since I had such a great experience float-tubing with my brother, I brought my tube up to give it a try on Ken’s lake. While everyone else went swimming in the lake, I took my tube out into the bay to try my luck. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so the bite was tough. I mostly used the green watermelon jig and pig, but also threw a bubble gun fluke for a little while. I was out for about two hours without a single bite.

I actually did feel something that felt like a bite at one point, but I cast back to the same spot and decided it was just the contour of the bottom that caused the tick-tick-tick.

Even though there was no action, it was fun to be out on the lake in the tube. And it wasn’t my last.


Date: 8/21/2010
Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Body of water: Poplar Lake
Location: Gunflint Trail, MN
Weather Conditions: sunny

After dinner, Ken and I hit the lake in his pontoon at about 7:30. I suggested we head to Voyager’s bay because I had such good success in the spot last year. Halfway there, the pontoon motor quit. As amazing as Ken is with repairs and such, sometimes he has a lapse. We had run out of gas.

I held the gas can at an angle so we could try to motor back, but we only got halfway back before the motor quit again. Ken paddled us back while I cast my jig and pig, but I didn’t get any hits.

We filled the gas tank and headed back out. We actualy made pretty good time and only lost about 20 minutes through the whole ordeal.

We made it out to the bay and came up to the dock where I caught my 27″ northern last year. I hit it with a bubble gum fluke while Ken tried a white one. Neither of us got a bite, so we headed further into the bay.

Ken tossed his fluke next to a fallen branch and hooked into a fish, but after a few seconds, he lost it. He told me to cast into the spot and sure enough, it hit me. But when I set the hook, nothing was on the other end. When I reeled in, the swivel clip I had attached my fluke to had failed and was open.

I quickly retied a new swivel and attached a new bubble gum fluke while Ken backed off the area. When I was ready, we coasted back in. I tossed the fluke back to the spot and halfway back on the retrieve I saw a swirl in the water. I didn’t feel anything on the line, but set the hook anyway. Sure enough, there was a fish on the line. It was a 17″ Northern.

Species: Northern Pike
Size: 17″
Lure used: bubble gum super fluke




We moved further into the bay and on one cast straight to the end of the bay, Ken got another hit. And again, he lost it. I tried the same spot, but whatever it was wasn’t interested in my fluke.

Along the way, I switched to the jig and pig on my baitcaster a few times, but as it got darker, I stopped using it because my accuracy is not as good as with a spinning reel as yet.

We went to a bay on the other side of the northern dock and kept casting well after dark, but we wouldn’t get another hit the rest of the night. The moon was very bright, so we were able to stay out a lot longer than usual. We finally gave up when I couldn’t see the splash of my lure after the cast.


One Response to “Gunflint Trail 2010: Day 1”

  1. great fishing journal that 17” pike is awesome you must have enjoyed the day

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