Tackle Box for fishing in the BWCA



Fishing in the BWCA or Quetico is a rewarding experience. The area offers four main species of fish including Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern, and Lake Trout. The state record Walleye weighing 17lbs. 9oz. was caught in Saganaga lake one of our entry points into the Boundary Waters. The state record Northern, Lake Trout, and Brook Trout were all caught in the Canoe Area as well. As you can see the trophy fish are out there along with many smaller breeds of these fish. We have tried to compile a helpful list of fishing tips which will hopefully enhance what you already know.

Tackle Box Checklist
  • a soft sided tackle box of a very small size (one per canoe)
  • one or two fillet knives per group
  • needle nose pliers with cutter
  • extra spool of line
  • red and white spoon (1/2 oz-3/4oz are good sizes)
  • copper and orange hammered spoon
  • steel leaders 6-8 inches in length
  • Sutton spoon (silver)
  • Smithwick rattlin' Rogue (blue & silver, black & silver, or firetiger
  • Rapala 3-4, sizes 9-18, mix floaters & divers, blue, silver, perch
  • Rattle Trap
  • Lazy Ike
  • Possibly one Shad Rap or one Fat Rap
  • a handful of lead head jigs, varying from 1/4oz-1/2oz, assorted colors with yellow being being a favorite
  • fuzzy grub tails
  • Swedish Pimple, yellow or red
  • Berkly power grub or other Berkly power baits
  • Mepps spinners 4 or 5 varying color size and with or without tails #2 or #3 with buck tails or with silver blades are our favorite
  • a couple of slip bobbers with matching split shot
  • Lindy rigs either plain hook floater or spinner
  • plain hooks
  • leeches and leech locker

This is a large list of tackle but it covers fishing for all the species. Not everyone wants to fish for all the species so look over the following and bring what you want to fish for. Keep in mind these lakes have been formed by glaciers and there are many rock outcroppings for your lures to get snagged on, so bring enough gear to cover your losses. You may have noticed we did not include a landing net on our list. This is because we feel it is too bulky to carry along. You may lose a few fish because of this, but overall it will be much easier.

Click here for fishing tips and techniques
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