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wendyjohnson

Rainy Lake or Lac Suel

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Hi Everyone,

I am trying to plan a fishing trip for myself and my husband to a place where hopefully we can start making it and annual family trip.

We have been a flyin trip and had very good success, but can't afford it for the whole family.

We have stayed at camp narrows on Rainy Lake and had pretty good fishing, but there seemed to be alot of traffic and we would like to get away from that.

We have been looking at the east end of rainy lake, it looks like there is a big resort on the US side (kettle falls hotel) and a small camp Stokes bay on the canadian side and thats it.

We are looking to catch around 80-100 fish per day, not just walleyes a nice mixed bag, Walleyes, Smallmouth, northerns, and maybe some crappie. We may want to target just walleyes one day or maybe just bass another, but we would like good action.

It doesn't seem that hard to get to the numbers above when you think in terms of 30-35 walleyes, 30-35 bass, 10-20 northerns, and a few crappie or perch.

For 3 anglers in a boat that's only 3 fish per hour per person, if you break it down it seems like pretty slow fishing to me (only 3 per person per hour?)

I posted a similar type of question in the rainy forum about numbers and most responded saying 80-100 is way to high and to cut it in 1/2? or they would give me any numbers at all?

I guess what I need to know is should I forget about rainy and start looking at Lac Suel or continue trying to get more info on Rainy?

Thanks for the help,

Wendy

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I think that there are a lot of people out there that would pay boat loads of money for a trip like that. It is "possible" at either lake, but would be one heck of a day and would probably not happen two days in a row.

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Come on guys, I know there are more with input from both lakes. Even if you haven't fished both, at least give some honest numbers of fish that can be caught. 80-100 fish for a boat of 3 people is not uncommomn on good water or expecting to much. Lets hear your reports.

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If you want to catch fish like that on Rainy, your best bet is to hit it in July when the walleyes are on the reefs. The Canadian side is great fishing, along with a lot of good spots on the East end of the lake.

I'm not one to put numbers on a day and consider it good or bad. There's way too many factors that can come into play, especially if you just pick some random days (like for a trip). But that's why July is best, the weather is most stable and the fishing is usually pretty good.

You may have a hard time locating bass on the American side that time of year, along with decent pike. Both species usually move out deep and scatter more, unless you can find good current.

Hope this helps somewhat, I've never been to Lac Seul but it's on my list for muskies.

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I have fished both (20 years on Lac Seul, 3 on Rainy). First of all, you will not catch any crappies on Lac Seul. Smallies are there but unless you are expert smallie fisherman and target them, you will only catch a couple per day as mistakes. Having said that, the #s for walleyes and northerns CAN be fantastic. You could hit 80 per day of either fish on a good day. Lac Seul is much, MUCH better IMO than Rainy...and that aint dishin' Rainy. Lac Seul is just that good. Lac Seul, IMO, is in a league all by itself with walleyes. Pike on Lac Seul can be numerous, but they dont get that big. Getting one over 40" is rare. Muskies are only in the NE so dont count on them.

I have fished the Kettle Falls area and the Canadian side of the North Arm. Although I have caught fish, I dont think I have witnessed Rainy's good fishing yet. Smallies is where Rainy shines and if you hit it right, you will wear yourself out. I havent gotten into numbers of walleyes yet, but have hit some big ones. Same with pike.

Let me know if you end up on Lac Seul and if you go where we went I can give you some specific tips.

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I'll weigh in with my experience. Never fished Rainy, but my two sons and I have fished Lac Suel for 12 years. Five on the west end and the last 7 out of Sioux Lookout. The fishery is somewhat different between the two.

We caught more fish on the west side, but bigger fish to the east. 100 fish days were not unusual then with lots of little pike in the mix. (# 2 son once had a 100 pike day). That said, our fishing style has changed a bit over the years as well as location.

Every day we see guys (it's almost all guys in camp when we are there) who claim to have 100+ walleye days. We figure they go out and sit on the 'eyes all day. We'll fish with our jig sticks long enough in the morning to catch fish for lunch or dinner, then someone will say "this is boring" and we'll get out the big sticks. We will typically catch 30 fish in 3 hours or so, almost all on jig and plastic (Gulp Alive was killer last year).

The afternoon and evening is spent casting for pike. I'll disagree with CodyDawg on the size of pike. 38" is common and 40+ not rare. Largest last year was 44". And then there are the miskies! There have been some very, very big fish in and out of our boat every year.

CodyDawg is spot on about smallies. Before Lac Suel we fished LotW for many years. We are dedicated smallie fishermen, and look for them whenever we can. Rarely find them on Lac Suel.

As a combination of reliable steady walleye action and the opportunity for world class big fish I don't know of a better lake. That is of course why we go back year after year. 52 days and counting.

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We've been fishing both lakes for many years now. We quit heading to Lac Suel about 5 years ago. Both are top notch lakes. The numbers you talk of can happen but by no means would I think a person could count on those numbers. Especially just learning the lakes. A true 100 fish day is a tough acompishment even if your talking multispieces. We started doing Rainy because it was closer and have had just as good of fishing. There is definetly a learning curve for both lakes though. I'm sure you'll have fun at either of those lakes!

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For the unique fishing experience, Lac Seul would be far better to go to. East or West end of the lake does not make a difference. My parents used to go to the West end and I have buddies who go to the East end. Both boat over 100 walleyes per boat on average. Off Lac Seul you can hit the English river and I can say from experience, 100 fish per day, Walleyes, saugers, pike is definitely out of the question. You will always have traffic on Rainy. You may want to look at the Morson End of Lake of the Woods. A bigger body of water with lots of fish and not a lot of traffic as far as I am concerned.

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I fished the middle of the lake and for some reason the big pike just arent there. In 20 years, I can count on 2 fingers the pike I have seen over 40". Tons up to 40, but But other parts of the lake are different, that is for sure. East to west is a long ways...90 miles or so?

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I fished the middle of the lake and for some reason the big pike just arent there. In 20 years, I can count on 2 fingers the pike I have seen over 40". Tons up to 40, but But other parts of the lake are different, that is for sure. East to west is a long ways...90 miles or so?

We went out of the same resort as Codydawg on Lac Seul and I have seen many 40+ northerns caught in that area....In one trip we had 7 that went over 40" and many in the 36-38 range...but that said we have had trips when we didn't catch very many pike at all, but the walleye fishing has always been very good for numbers but the size is hard to get one over 25".......

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Hi Lakeside, good to hear from you. My group will be up to Lac Seul a little later this year. We'll be arriving on July 6th.

I fish both Rainy and Lac Seul. For number of walleyes, it’s just hard to beat Lac Seul. You can have great fishing on Rainy, but Lac Seul is almost in a league of its own. For smallmouth, there is nothing to discuss, Lac Seul (or at least the NE side where I go) has almost no smallies and Rainy has fantastic smallies. For Northerns, my experience has been that Lac Seul has more and the average size is much bigger. Northerns that are 36+ inches are common on Lac Seul. I don't know if you fish musky, but Lac Seul is a very good musky lake as well.

Kettle Falls is NOT a big resort. It's a very small, very old (100 years?) hotel. I wouldn't call it a resort. There's nothing wrong with that, but I just want to make sure you know what you're looking at. The best fishing on Rainy is the Canadian side.

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I would also recommend Lac Seul over Rainy. The Walleye fishing is in a class of its own. 100+ fish per day is not uncommon. Like any lake, you will have a slow day or two but a slow day on Lac Seul is 50 fish. You will catch all the 17-23 inch walleyes you can handle plus some good size fish. Last year we had 3- 30's, a 30.5 and a huge 31.5 on our trip. Pike fishing really depends on the time of year. It seems to get better as the water warms up. 36-40 inch northerns are very common.

I would also look into a house boat on Lac Seul. Probably a bit more money but not a ton. You are by yourselfs and can really enjoy the canadian experience. We have used Sioux Lookout Floating Lodge for years. They are great to work with and run very clean boats. I would recommend a houseboat over a cabin.

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eyewall- I've never used a guide, but most of the resorts have guides they can hook you up with.

Vortex- "Last year we had 3- 30's, a 30.5 and a huge 31.5 on our trip." We've never caught a fish over 30" on Lac Seul. Would you mind sharing any info on that? What time of year did you go? What area of Lac Seul? Jig & Minnow over rocks? You can email me if you don't want to post it. You can be as specific or general as you like, but I would be interested to hear how in a few days you caught 5 over 30". dan at oliveragency.com Thanks!

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I've fished Rainy only twice but I've fished Lac Seul for about 14 years. Rainy is decent but Lac Seul is easily a better walleye lake. The best trip I've had is 4 guys in a boat and about 110 fish per day. I would say it's asking too much to expect that each day of a trip. Unless you hit conditions absolutely perfect.

I would recommend Lac Seul if you have the time and money.

Good luck!

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