Sometimes fishing in the city can be frustrating, especially in the modern time era of technology and environmental pollution. If you are looking to get away from fishing in confined city boundaries, this article is for you. The first thing to consider is how long you plan to be on your expedition. If you are looking for a fun week long trip, try heading to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Located in Northern Minnesota near the town of Grand Marais. You can backpack in and fish, and with such an abundance of wilderness lakes in a close proximity, the possibilities are endless. There are wilderness areas throughout the United States, and the fishing opportunities can be one of a kind. Let’s discuss some key points in preparation for a successful excursion.
“the fishing opportunities can be one of a kind”
The first topic of discussion will be preparation for a successful backpacking/fishing outing. This discussion will then be followed up by analyzing some unique tactics and techniques for targeting freshwater gamefish on Wilderness Area Lakes. Here are a few key things to consider when preparing for your backpacking outing:
- Learn how to read a map, orient yourself with a compass, and use a handheld GPS for navigating your area effectively: When you are in a true wilderness setting, you need to be prepared for anything. With this being said, it is essential that you are comfortable with navigating the terrain you travel. I have found myself lost in nature, and it was a really great experience, however, I was able to navigate myself to a trail head with a compass bearing and topographic map of my surroundings. If you are not familiar with how to orienteer, I would reccomend learning how before any backpacking expedition.
- Be prepared for medical emergencies: It is essential to have a flawless medical evacuation plan if needed. If you are not filtering fresh water or boiling all of the bacteria, it can easily lead to severe illness. Always listen to signs and symptoms that your body gives you on the trip. Also, make sure you are extremely well hydrated, this means at least 4 Liters of water a day. If a medical emergency does occur, make sure that either yourself or someone you are with has a valid First Responder Certification. Take into consideration that NOT ALL First Responder kits contain an epi-pen. So make sure you have one and know how to use it.
- Know how much gear to carry in: You will be carrying all gear in on your back, with this being said you want to select a light amount of tackle and only one rod. Along with this you will need stoves, fuel, cook kits, tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, extra clothing, flashlights, water filters, food and snacks, and cooking pots and pans. This is a lot of gear, so make sure you are fit and that you know what your body can manage.
- Respect your wilderness and use the 7 Principles of ”LNT” Leave No Trace:
1.) Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces: This means you would want to camp on ground such as dry ground, rocks/sediment, dry grasses & snow. This will leave less of an impact on the area of wilderness you travel on.
2.) Plan Ahead/Prepare for your outing: Make sure you know all rules as well as the regulations of the area you plan on traveling to. especially if the season is dry, there could be special fire concerns.
3.) Dispose of Waste Properly: Do not pollute the area with garbage, bring a large bag to throw all garbage into and carry it out with your backpack. If you can carry it in, you can carry it out.
4.) Leave What you Find: Never take from the land, the reason the wilderness has some many great assets is because it has been left alone for generations. Preserve our environment and leave what you find.
5.) Respect all of the Wildlife: Do not harass the wildlife, it is what sustains our environment. Please practice good ethics, it is easy to enjoy and not harass.
6.) Minimize Campfire Impact: Make sure you have a fire in a designated fire ring, and that fires are allowed during the time you will be camping
7.) Be Considerate of Others in the Area: Make sure you are quiet and respectful to others who are trying to enjoy the natural setting.
“It is essential to always have a first aid kid on hand”
Now that the basics of navigation, travel, and general backpacking information has been covered, let’s discuss some crucial concepts for targeting “Undisturbed Walleye”. When I say this, I am referring to fish that have virtually no angling pressure on them. When we go back to the prehistoric age, everything used to be strictly predator-prey relationships, now we have computers and cell phones. Be organized and make sure to have the Walleye Essentials.
When targeting “Undisturbed Walleye”, it is time to drift back to your prehistoric angling roots. Start off with the basics, cast a jighead with a berkley power grub and scower the shorelines. I prefer to throw a chunky 4″ salt and pepper grub with a white 1/8 jighead. This color scheme can replicate about any baitsource in the water, and “Undisturbed Walleye” do not tend to be very finicky. This is the best option to locate fish. Once you have found a location, make a waypoint on your GPS unit and continue to search and scower what else the ecosystem has to offer. Every time you catch a fish, mark a waypoint, and come fish this area again at dusk and sunrise. Try casting crankbaits and shad-raps in this areas, especially after dark. Walleyes seem to really hone in on shallow gravel bottoms after dark, casting rattle traps can be the most effective method on moonlight nights.
As for a rod and reel, I recommend a 7ft medium heavy St. Croix rod. It provides great sensitivity and also has the backbone to fight large untamed wilderness area walleyes. Also, it has the backbone to handle a big northern that decides to snip at your rattle trap just right, so you get that perfect hook in the side of her mouth where she can’t bite you off . As for line, I prefer 8lb fluorocarbon, it is extremely low-visibility in the water and will ultimately result in more hook ups. Below are a few must have’s for your tackle preparation.
When packing your tackle make sure to bring the following:
-Jigs & Soft Plastics (Berkley power leech and power grubs)
-Berkley gulp 5″ Smelt power minnow to lace on jigs for finicky walleyes
-Shallow to mid-depth crankbaits (4-12ft diving range)
-Live bait if you prefer
Love where we live and be thankful for the greatness of our remaining underwater ecosystems,