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Boundary Waters Opener

Minnesota Fishing Opener 2019 has come and gone with a flash. As with most people, we also have a long-standing tradition, the next generation (mine) along with the youngest generation of young boys, make their way into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every year for opening weekend.

Though sometimes there may be a hiccup or two dues to late ice, or no permit availability, the "old timers" will still carry on to Basswood Lake as soon as possible usually leaving us Boys behind due to work schedules etcetera.

This year was a success, conditions couldn't have been better. Everyone made the journey to Ely with high anticipation of the Boundary Waters Gold, the ever-popular walleye.

The unique adventure about the Boundary Waters (B.W.C.A) is that there are several restrictions into entering. Permits are required, no glass or aluminum, and depending on your entry, there is a 25 hp motor limit.

We enter through Fall lake just east of Ely. 3 14' row boats outfitted with 15-20 hp motors and all our gear with 9 guys hit the boat launch at 5:30 Saturday morning eager to get going. Our destination was Basswood Lake.

A large body of water, which borders the Canadian border filled with several bays, creeks and rivers that flow north.

To get to Basswood requires some work, 2 portages to get there. Boats carry a set of portage wheels that strap to the bottom of the boat. A team effort to pull the boat across the trail alongside the raging Rapids from one lake to the next.

After 2 portages and about a 2-hour journey, we arrive at the fishing grounds. With water temps hanging around 44 degrees, it gave us good intel that the females were done laying their eggs.

It didn't take long to find the St. Croix Premium medium light 7' spinning rod bent over! Tipped with a Northland UV fireball jig and a Rainbow Chub with walleyes were piling into the little skiff.

Spawned out females and eager males were hungry and ready to eat. Catching quite a few walleyes within hours, lunchtime came quick. A short jaunt to a small island that held a campsite, we enjoyed brats, chips and some good laughs along with some sentimental memories of a dear friend and family member we lost this winter.

After lunch, we ventured to our last spot, running short on minnows, we finished off our limits and made our way back to the cabin.

It was a perfect day on the water, with a slight breeze and sunshine throughout the day. The beauty of this trip carries 3 generations of men, though not all related. The oldest generation of 3 men have indirectly started a tradition that will run years beyond.

They have taught us younger fellas how important it is to spend quality time together, and how to make this unique trip. Fishing is a phenomenal facilitator of making amazing memories with friends and family. So, to those that invite us, and allow us to come. Thank you!

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