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#2172659 - 01/31/10 10:49 PM
Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports
Bandit155 Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern MN
Has anyone had any luck fishing lakers out of Smitty's houses on Snowbank. They said they have a plowed road to the houses.I plan on going there Feb.7 unless there is someplace else someone can head me to. I have a portable and a 4x4 but not a sled,so I'll either drive out on the lake or pull my portable.

"You're never lost if you don't care where you're at."
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#2172707 - 02/01/10 05:24 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Bandit155]
DanN Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Rochester, MN
They are nice houses. You can drive right to them and the holes are cut and all you have to do is drop a line. Very comfortable. I have caught fish out of them but I've had better luck out of my portable.
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#2172756 - 02/01/10 06:32 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: DanN]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Bandit, welcome to HotSpotOutdoors. Great to have you here.

Smitty's houses are nice for sure.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2173741 - 02/01/10 06:15 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
JBMasterAngler Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 6209
Loc: White Bear Lake, MN
Based on past readings of snowbank, I get the impression it's a tougher lake to fish than burntside? Why exactly is that...are there less lakers in there? Also, which is the better pout lake between the two?
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#2173810 - 02/01/10 07:05 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: JBMasterAngler]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Originally Posted By: JBMasterAngler
Based on past readings of snowbank, I get the impression it's a tougher lake to fish than burntside? Why exactly is that...are there less lakers in there? Also, which is the better pout lake between the two?


The people who know Snowbank well have every bit as much laker success as those who know Burntside well. Just Snowbank's weakness that it rhymes with Slowbank. And, well, quite a lot of excellent trout water on the lake is beyond the BWCAW line, so you actually have to work a little bit to get to it.

Not saying you can't catch lakers on the motorized side, because of course you can, and many do, but looking at a map, there's a ton of classic deepwater laker structure on the wilderness side of the line. That makes the easily accessible portion of the lake into a much smaller body of water, and I'm sure that a lot of folks who have spent years learning Snowbank don't regret that it has the "slow" rep it has. Traffic on Bisde has risen sharply in the last five years or so. No doubt the Snowbankers aren't eager to see that happen over there, so they don't do a lot of blabbing over the Internet.

Somehow I seem to have caught the same tightlip syndrome. I don't know it well yet, but I've been on it a few times and have found some nice trout each time.

You'll catch fine pout on either lake, if pouting is what you want on your outing.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2173896 - 02/01/10 08:10 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
Bandit155 Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern MN
Thanks Steve,
I guess I'll try Snowbank one day and maybe drive on Burntside or pull out the portable if I can find a place to get on the lake. I've got nothing but time, so I'll hopefully get into some lakers when I up around Ely.

"You're never lost if you don't care where you're at."
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#2173901 - 02/01/10 08:12 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Bandit155]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Bandit, use the DNR Lake Finder feature to get views of the best maps of Snowbank and Burntside.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2173916 - 02/01/10 08:20 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
Bandit155 Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern MN
Seve,
Thanks I'll try that. Also,you have some beautiful pictures on your website.

"You're never lost if you don't care where you're at."
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#2173919 - 02/01/10 08:21 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Bandit155]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Thanks, man. smile smile

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2174122 - 02/02/10 04:40 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
JBMasterAngler Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 6209
Loc: White Bear Lake, MN
So would it be safe to assume then that snowbank is more comparable to trout lake instead of burntside?

Some day I'll make it up to ely, and I know I won't be able to resist the urge to fish snowbank...it'll be on the motorized side however, me and hand augers don't mix grin

Lake trout of course would be the prime target, but if I'm up there I might as well maximize my time and fish into the evening. Always good to know if there's a reliable 'pout bite to target.
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#2174220 - 02/02/10 07:19 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: JBMasterAngler]
jonesen Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 228
Loc: grassy point
Snowbank lakers taste soooo much better than burntside fish,
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#2174267 - 02/02/10 08:12 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: jonesen]
tonkapat Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 666
Loc: West Metro
JB they are both cisco only lakes (no smelt). Bigger lures work well on trout and snowbank. I don't know if it was because of the easy travel conditions when I was up there but the lake was busier than I had ever seen it. Good luck
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#2174346 - 02/02/10 09:23 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: jonesen]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Originally Posted By: jonesen
Snowbank lakers taste soooo much better than burntside fish,


Interesting. I couldn't tell the difference. confused

Originally Posted By: tonkapat
I don't know if it was because of the easy travel conditions when I was up there but the lake was busier than I had ever seen it.


That would be my guess. It was horrible sinkhole of slush for the first half of last winter's season, so I expect folks have been taking advantage of smooth sailing.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2174400 - 02/02/10 09:50 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
sheephead2 Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 149
Loc: Faribault
SnowBank lake
Is their a boat motor restriction Max on the nonBWCA side and is there a line or are there signs saying you are in BWCA Side
Can you bring snowmobile in and an auger
Thanks
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#2174584 - 02/02/10 11:43 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: sheephead2]
unclebruce Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: P-Town
Where can a guy find a guide for lakers for these lakes?

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.
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#2174600 - 02/02/10 11:51 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: unclebruce]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Bruce, I guide Burntside for lakers. I consider it my home lake. But I don't know Snowbank well enough to guide there yet. You can shoot me an e-mail if you'd like (it's in my sig below). We should have a guiding Web site up in a couple weeks, but it's still in the works.

Originally Posted By: sheephead2
SnowBank lake
Is their a boat motor restriction Max on the nonBWCA side and is there a line or are there signs saying you are in BWCA Side
Can you bring snowmobile in and an auger
Thanks


No motor hp restriction I'm aware of outside the BWCAW. You can take a boat/motor across the line, where a 25 hp restriction applies, but you need a permit to do it. Last time I was there, I didn't see the line marked. I went to an online site, downloaded the GPS coords and drew the line in on my map. It's not a straight line (looks like two sides of a triangle.) Once you see where the line is on a map it's not hard to keep your bearings out on the lake. Neither the DNR Lake Finder online map nor the map in the Sportsman's Connection book show the line. Smitty's on Snowbank has a map online that shows the line.

You can't legally bring a snowmobile/power auger into the BWCAW, but you can drive up just short of the line, park and walk in from there. If you're walking in, you need to grab up a day-use permit from the box at the public landing and fill it out. The day-use permit doesn't cost anything. Smitty's plows an ice road out to about Center Island (which is pretty close to one portion of the line), and they like a donation from non customers if you use it. I don't know if anyone has plowed a road off the public access since this last snow. No road was necessary at all earlier this season.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2174631 - 02/02/10 12:06 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
TMM Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Mankato, MN
Anyone been out to Snowbank this week? Any major slush that you have run into?

"I'd rather be fishing"
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#2174648 - 02/02/10 12:19 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: TMM]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Nothing major, according to the report I got. Folks are still getting around OK with 4x4 trucks/SUVs.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2174653 - 02/02/10 12:21 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
TMM Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Mankato, MN
Great thanks Steve, we are bringing up sleds and a wheeler but good to know. Appreciate the help and can't wait to get up there, sounds like it is supposed to be pretty nice!

"I'd rather be fishing"
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#2174655 - 02/02/10 12:23 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: TMM]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Yep, weather is warming steadily throughout the week.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2190095 - 02/13/10 10:05 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
castmaster Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 1079
Loc: hastings, MN
Any current ice/snow conditions reports? Will be heading up Firday 2/19 and wondering if we'll be able to get around in 4x4?
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#2190118 - 02/13/10 10:31 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: castmaster]
knoppers Offline

HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 2194
Loc: big lake, and palisade
you can use a 25hp motor in summer, but cannot use a snowmobile or power auger in winter, this makes zero sense, but understandable since the USFW makes these rules.

I have been there years ago, and had to use my kicker motor to go over the invisable line to fish, since my main motor was over 25hp. I didn't do any better over there, but like steve said, there is much better laker structure to fish there.
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#2190249 - 02/14/10 07:11 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: knoppers]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Castmaster, you'll be fine in 4x4 as long as you have decent clearance. For example, an all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback ain't gonna cut it any longer, but a good-sized 4x4 SUV or pickup will.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2190255 - 02/14/10 07:17 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
castmaster Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 1079
Loc: hastings, MN
Thanks for the info Steve. We'd be in a 1/2 ton Silverado with good tires and decent clearance so hopefully we'll be alright. Smitty's road gets me close to where I like to fish, but will need to travel a bit off road from there.

About the same for conditions on other lakes? We are thinking about hitting Tofte for a couple hours Friday morning on the way into Snowbank and then stay in town Saturday night and fish Shagawa for some eyes and then Miners a bit Sunday before heading for home.


How about snow levels on the trails back into High lake, could a guy get back there with a 4x4 atv or is a snowmobile needed?


Edited by castmaster (02/14/10 07:18 AM)
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#2190913 - 02/14/10 07:50 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: castmaster]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Sorry, cm, when it comes to your other questions . . . I got nothing.

Guided lake trout trips at fossguide.com

Pro staff: Striker Ice, Big-Nasty Tackle, ION augers, Eskimo, Tuned Up Custom Rods, Vexilar.
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#2190983 - 02/14/10 08:25 PM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Steve Foss]
Cliff Wagenbach Online   content
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 04/25/01
Posts: 5490
Loc: Tower,Mn., Lake Vermilion
I took my 4 X 4 back into High the second week of Trout season.
Had no problems but had to use the alternate route from Dry to High as the regular trail is one big sheet of ice at about half way in. The other route is about 75 feet East of the regular trail. Much better route also!
My son and I iced 15 splake by noon and kept 8.
Cliff

Cliff's Guide Service
CliffsGuideService-LakeVermilion.com
cwagenbach@live.com
Phone: (218) 753-2005
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#2191207 - 02/15/10 06:43 AM
Re: Snowbank Lake Fishing Reports [Re: Cliff Wagenbach]
castmaster Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 1079
Loc: hastings, MN
Thansk for the info Cliff and Steve! I'll post a report when we get back.
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