Great Lake Trout Lure for Boundary Waters Fishing

Man, somebody hand me a paper towel.  I started thinking about catching spring (May, June) lakers in the Boundary Waters and started drooling at the thought of fresh, fried laker fillets on an open fire.  You fillet out a 5 pound laker.  Then, take those delectable thick fillets and chunk them up in to 1.5 inch cubes.  Then, shake them in the breading of your choice and  put them in a hot fry pan with preferably corn oil, but any oil will do except sunflower oil (starts to smoke too soon).  Flip the chunks on all 8 sides until the laker cubes are done – probably 2 minutes on the top bottom and less on each side.  You are doing a bunch of them in the pan, so you prop them up against each other so they can brown.  When they are golden brown, remove from the pan and set on paper towels on an aluminum or other (non-plastic) plate.  You can eat these with your fingers like fish cakes.   My keyboard is getting blurry at the thought of one of my favorite northwoods delicacies.

In reality, before you can begin drooling over a plate of fresh fried lake trout on Kekekabic lake or on a point in Thomas, you gotta catch one or more.  In the spring time when the water is cold, they are cruising at shallower depths making the act of catching them an easier event.   Follow the shoreline with one of these Red Rock Spinner/Spoons.  Lakers love a good flash and they will come smokin’ in to investigate and attack.  That is what you want.  You want to rile them up and  make them try to devour whatever you are pulling behind the canoe.

Red Rock Spinner Spoon
Red Rock Spinner/Spoons

Our Spinner/Spoon was originally a lure designed for bass fishing in weeds – I don’t know when exactly, but you see that same style spoon (sans spinner and metal beads) in every grandfather’s tackle box in the attic or on some shelf in the garage.  We added the metal beads and hi-flash colorado-style spinner  to this old-fashioned spoon and now you have a Spinner/Spoon.  How’s that for a literal name for lack of a better one?  Who cares – it the end result that counts.

To effectively use these weedless spoons, you make sure you have a decent snap swivel tied to your line, attach the Spinner/Spoon.    Start paddling the canoe on your course along the shoreline – not too close to shore on a lake trout lake (Kek, Crane, Thomas, Ima, Knife, and many more).   Toss it out behind the canoe and let out about 100 to 150 feet to troll shallow behind you.  Secure your rod either with a rod holder or jamming it into the gunwale held down by your foot – whatever works.  You don’t want your rod popping out of the canoe on a strike.   Then, continue paddling forward.  If you are in a Souris River Canoe, you can do this all without losing your forward glide.  If you’re in  Wenonah, you are now dead in the water and need to begin paddling and developing new momentum while your lure is sinking and sinking.  Wenonahs won’t turn when you need them to turn and they crap out in about 20 feet after you stop paddling.  I don’t make this stuff up – no need – everybody who know canoes knows about the “crap out” of Wenonahs when you stop paddling.

You may want your reel’s drag to be set a tad lighter while trolling so it’s easier for your line to play out on a strike and harder to pull your rod over the side of the canoe.  You can always tighten it up when your are fighting the fish.

On a darker/cloudy/partially cloud day – use the gold color.  On a bright day with blue sky, use the silver.  This rule applies most of the time, but sometimes the fish change it up so don’t adhere to it super tightly.

Be aware that this lure will also attract killer northern pike.  Northerns like laker tackle just like lakers.  The cool thing about Spinner/Spoons is that you can use them for casting in the weeds with the weed guard.  Now, with the spinner flashing, they won’t be as completely weedless as they are without the spinner-bead part.  This makes a good reason for fishing  it along side of weed beds, especially cabbage weeds if you can find them.  Northerns like weeds but big northerns also hang out in the same places as lakers which is open deep water.  Northerns from the Boundary Waters are also delicious so don’t be bummed if you catch one.  Be bummed if you catch a 20 pounder.  That’s too big and too much for even a small army to eat.  Let him go and eat the smaller ones.   Find out about filleting northern pike and eating them here

So, this is an effective, easy to use lure for laker fishing in the pristine waters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  We sell them in two packs – one gold and one silver.  It will become your go-to lure for action and eating fish.  Make sure you put a couple in your box before you go!  You can only get these from Red Rock.

Order Red Rock Spinner/Spoons from Red Rock Here

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Kevlar Canoe Rentals

ouris river canoe with pack
Souris River Canoe Quetico 17

Kevlar  – yes kevlar canoes are what you want for your next BWCA wilderness canoe trip.   They are lighter on portages.  But remember that nobody ever drowns on a portage.  So don’t assume that all kevlar rental canoes in the BWCA  are created equal.   A lot of people are reticent to rent kevlar canoes for a whole host of reasons.  Here are a list of the top concerns that I’ve heard over the last 25 years of renting kevlar canoe for rugged boundary waters canoe trips:

  1. kevlar is too fragile and will puncture easily
  2. kevlar canoes are tippy
  3. they are fast but won’t turn in a wind
  4. don’t have much freeboard when loaded
  5. you have to “wet foot” canoe all the time.

Here is a list that corresponds with the above list to address each point:

  1. Not if it is made by Souris River.  Yes, Wenonah, Bell, and all other canoes are fairly fragile.
  2. Not if it is a Souris River Quetico 17 or 18.5.  Yes, Wenonah’s and Bell’s are tippier with the exception of Wenonah’s Boundary Waters which is stable but an odd canoe on the water.  Bell’s are always a little on the jittery side.
  3. Souris River’s are fast with a load and without a load plus their stability doesn’t change even when their load does.  They are properly designed to turn in the wind.  Wenonah’s (MNII) is a retired racing canoe with no rocker.  Wenonah, with their racing roots, doesn’t know how to make a canoe not go straight.  That’s great until you get caught in a crosswind with their associated low-freeboard.  Bells are much better handling than Wenonahs, but they feel jittery when empty and stabilize when loaded.  A truly great canoe never changes handling/performance characteristics.  – that’s the SR Quetico 17.
  4. Wenonah builds a bunch of different canoe models which tend to be somewhat obscure on the Boundary Waters front.  I don’t see those models and aren’t familiar with them by name, either.   But, they do build some high bow, low side and low stern design in the main of the models used by outfitters to the boundary waters.   The high bow is sharp and slices the waves.  It also maintains the straightest course from point A to point B which makes it fast, right?  Well, it also does the “A & B” thing in the “up and down”  line.  In rough water, it becomes a submairne because it’s skinny hull refuses to rise up and go over the top of the wave.  So, do the math:  You are  in a skinny canoe with a 20″ bow charging into a 24″ wave.  What’s going to happen?  You’re gonna get 4″ of water in your lap for every wave you dive into with your Wenonah.  Now add in the fact that your rental Wenonah has 7 days of gear in it and you at 200 lbs. are all wedged in the front of that canoe.  How high do the oncoming waves need to be to end up in you lap, now?   The answer is less than 24″ .   After loading up your loaded canoe with water that you really didn’t want, what happens when you get stuck in a crosswind with a canoe that fights you in turning in 24″ waves?  What happens when water comes over the side?  Does the canoe sit even lower at that point?   When do you begin bailing?   None of this is a problem with a sensible canoe like Souris River’s Quetico 17 or 18.5 three-man.  They rise up and over the waves due to their non-racing hull design.  High and dry is always better than fast and underwater.
  5. Souris Rivers are significantly tougher than Wenonahs and Bells.  Those two canoes are downright fragile in rugged country and the rule of thumb is that Souris Rivers rent four times more than Brand X kevlar canoes and Brand X requires 4 times more repairs after every trip out.  Now, we never want to see you ram shore with ANY canoe, but if you bump something with a Souris River kevlar,  oh, well.  Continue paddling, no need to dig out the duct tape.

If you think I’m making this up about Souris River Canoe, as an outfitter, what do I care if the canoe handles well in 3.5 foot whitecaps or treats my customers well?  I could VERY easily open up any other line of kevlar canoes for rentals and they would cost me less and get the job done well enough with less effort on my part.  Every year, I get the price sheets for Brand X kevlar canoes sent to me.   From a business standpoint, I would be best served to get the job of renting kevlar canoes done as cheaply as possible.  Souris Rivers cost me significantly more per canoe than any Brand X models and are a pain for me to get down from Canada.  Souris Rivers don’t have the marketing in the US that Brand X kevlars have.  In fact, because of brand recognition, it is easier to connect with a customer over Brand X kevlar canoes than it is with Souris River Canoes.  Sounds like a better business decision would be to switch brands of kevlar canoes.

And, yet…we stick with them exclusively.  Go figure, eh?

See our BWCA Canoe Rental Prices Here