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#3103762 - 07/17/13 09:08 AM
Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan...
M. dolomieui Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 07/16/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Wisconsin
This will be my husband and my first trip to VNP. We were looking at taking out of Crane Lake and either camping out on Sand Point (first choice) or Namakan (eastern side). I would appreciate any advice that you all can give. We are going the first week in August.

We love to fish for smallies, perch, other pan fish (if there are any), and musky. We plan to bring our 2 golden retrievers with us. Some of the questions I have are below - if anyone has any input on any/all of these topics, I would greatly appreciate it.

1 - Do you have any recommendations on camp sites for either Sand Point or Namakan? We would like to be somewhat protected if a storm should blow up. [Would love photos of your favorite sites if you have them.]

2 - How busy are the sites in early August? Do a lot of people just camp for the weekend or do they tend to stay for a week? We are worried that we won't be able to find anything. We are either coming up on a Friday afternoon or possibly waiting until Sunday afternoon.

3 - Are people having any major issues with bears? If so, what sites have been an issue recently? My DH worries that he won't sleep well at night in an effort to "protect us". smirk

4 - Do many people bring their dogs out there camping or is that just plain crazy? Just want to be sure it is safe for them. We do a lot of camping in northern Wisconsin and haven't had any issues.

5 - Does anyone has any suggestions on where (which lakes) to fish for smallies, perch, pan fish, musky?

6 - If we can't fit one of our coolers into the bear box (our friends might be with us), how necessary is it to string it up?

I sort of had to talk my husband into this trip, so I want to make it as much fun as possible for him and our friends, if they decide to go with us. Thanks for any help/suggestions you can give to make this an awesome experience for all of us. I am so excited!!!

Wendy
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#3103779 - 07/17/13 09:51 AM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: M. dolomieui]
PEATMOSS Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1620
Loc: itasca co mn
1-there are a bunch of nice campsites on nam. I have never camped or fished on sandpoint.
2-friday nite is perhaps the worst time to get a good site, sunday would be better.
3-bears a very rarely an issue, especially on island sites
4-the only issue may have with your dogs is the rangers. this is not a dog friendly park. you may get a ticket anytime your dogs are off leash mad
5-smallmouth can be found all over. never had any success with pannies. there is no real musky population on these lakes. vermillion lk may be a better destination for your trip.
6-all coolers and food packers are expected to be put away anytime they are not being used. tickets possible for this also.

Religion-For when Science is just too difficult to understand.
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#3103800 - 07/17/13 10:37 AM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: M. dolomieui]
happycamper Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 10
Loc: MN
Most sites we have seen, do have two bear lockers and there should be plenty of room for the coolers. However, the 100 qt. ones may not fit.

I agree with the previous mention of dogs. We had three labs with us and were up for two weeks. The ranger stopped by only once as we were returning to our site. The dogs all jumped out of the boat unleashed and we were reminded of the rule of keeping the dogs on a leash. He did see that we had tie downs for all of them and in the end all was good.

Keeping the coolers well iced can be difficult. Block ice works the best and we like to buy our ice from Ebel's. If you are closer to Crane, I would think that Voyagaire Houseboats would also sell block ice.

We spend a week or two every summer camping there and have not seen a bear for many years.

It is a beautiful area to spend time and I hope you have a wonderful time there.
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#3103995 - 07/17/13 06:40 PM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: PEATMOSS]
h8go4s Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 442
Loc: Victoria
Your chances of finding a campsite Friday night are slim. Sunday night would be much better. I'm retired now, so I go up Monday or Tuesday and never have a problem finding a campsite.

A couple of years ago, they started doubling up the bear boxes, so small campsites have two and large campsites have four.

"Food Storage Locker

Metal Locker
Dimension 52" wide x 36" deep x 21" tall
Holds two standard size 48 quart coolers"



As for the statement that VNP is not a dog-friendly park, it has the same restrictions on pets as most other National Parks. The mission of the National Parks is to be wildlife friendly. Dogs are an unnatural predator in a wilderness environment. Below are the VNP rules on pets in VNP. If you follow the rules, you won't have any trouble.


"Pets are allowed on a leash in developed areas around visitor centers, boats launches, campsites, picnic areas, main entrance roads, and the four main lakes.

Pet are not allowed on park trails (except the Oberholtzer Trail) or in the backcountry.

NEW 2013: All pet excrement must be collected immediately and disposed of in an approved trash receptable." (Yes, that's how it's spelled on the VNP website).

Here's a link to the VNP website.
http://www.nps.gov/voya/index.htm

Ron.
To err is human. To arrr is pirate.

Read your owner's manual.
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#3104043 - 07/17/13 08:36 PM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: h8go4s]
herm Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 168
Loc: Sauk Rapids
Great answers here so far. One thing to think about is what to do if your group is NOT super into fishing. While we always fish, fish, fish when there, I have heard others say day trips to Kettle Falls or the Vermillion River Gorge on Crane Lake are worthwhile. Of course, that's a bit of a boat ride from Sand Point and east Nam. Good luck. We might be up there shortly after you so save us a site. (I think all are good....but some are really good...and a few great!)

...If the boss asks, this was being done for research purposes....
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#3104224 - 07/18/13 10:26 AM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: herm]
M. dolomieui Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 07/16/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Wisconsin
Thank you so much for all this information. I have a better idea on what to expect while up there.

Does anyone know if the bear box dimensions are inside or outside measurements? I have a cooler that is 20.25 inches high, but not sure if we would be able to squeeze it in a box.

It is nice to hear that they have more bear boxes that what we thought. It will make storage a lot easier. We are really looking forward to this trip.

Thanks again and hope to hear from more people of their experiences.
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#3104629 - 07/19/13 09:29 AM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: M. dolomieui]
Xplorer Offline

Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 2142
Loc: Cloquet, MN
The boxes are made of 1/8" steel sides and top, and I believe that yours will fit. I use two 70 qt Coleman Xtreme5 coolers and both fit with room to spare on top and in between in one bear box.

As for dogs, we have 2 we always take (just got back Wed from a 5 day trip), a husky mix and a yellow lab. Have a tieout for each in camp, keep an eye on them, and enjoy! This is my 17th year camping in VNP, with over 300 nights spent in the tent, and I can only remember 2 trips when I didnt have at least 1 dog with.

Bears: I have only had one issue with bears in the last 16 years, and that was quite a few years ago. If you want you can call the Int'l Falls office and speak to a ranger and ask if there has been any recent bear activity in the area that you plan to stay in and they will tell you.

Fishing: surface temps on eastern Nam were between 75 (mainlake) to 80 (bays) already, so eyes will be deep. Think 27'+ during daytime. Use your graph to find fish, then jig, lindy rig, or pull spinners for them.


PS: You should be hitting the blueberries at just the right time. We were able to find some ripe ones in the sunniest sides of islands this past trip, but there are alot of green ones still. Fresh blueberry pancakes cooked on the campstove, YUM!!


Xplorer
IBOB #7
"And I looked and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him." Pale Rider
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#3105415 - 07/22/13 01:41 PM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: Xplorer]
M. dolomieui Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 07/16/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Wisconsin
Thanks Xplorer! Those measurements really help!

We are really looking forward to this trip and hope it is a success.

Since you have taken your dogs out there quite a bit, could you tell me if the dogs are allowed to swim/retrieve in the water? It seems that their rules are pretty strict, but it would be nice to tire the dogs out and cool them down by tossing their kong into the water. Will the rangers get on us for that?

Thanks again for all the info.!
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#3105437 - 07/22/13 02:46 PM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: M. dolomieui]
Xplorer Offline

Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 2142
Loc: Cloquet, MN
Heck ya its OK.
My lab is wet from the minute we hit the site til we leave (so much so last trip he ended up with an ear infection frown We throw sticks for them and swim with them every day we're up there. Its all about being responsible, if I see a boat approaching I make sure the dogs are back on their leash or on the tieout, even if it is just a friend stopping by.

Maybe I'm just lucky but I have had little to no issues with the CO's/Rangers over the dogs.

Xplorer
IBOB #7
"And I looked and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him." Pale Rider
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#3105444 - 07/22/13 03:02 PM
Re: Camping/Fishing on Sand Point or Namakan... [Re: Xplorer]
M. dolomieui Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 07/16/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Wisconsin
Awesome! We'll be sure to have our tie-outs ready whenever any boat is around.

When we primitive camp in northern Wisconsin, we never have to tie out the dogs even when the rangers around, so this is pretty new to me with all the pet rules.

Thanks for everything!
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