Big Turtle Lake – Bigfork, MN
June 24-July 1, 2017
Hosts: The Jones – Steve, Casey, Kylie, Arianna, Nikki & Grandma Romelle
Stacey, Joshua, and I made our first fishing trip together to Arcadia Lodge up on Big Turtle Lake. I had done some research on the top smallmouth lakes in Minnesota and Game & Fish Magazine listed Turtle Lake as one of their Super Smallmouth Waters. Well shortly after, I ran across a Facebook ad for Arcadia Lodge and decided to check it out. Long behold, Arcadia was a resort on Turtle Lake and then I read on their website that all smallmouth 12″ and larger must be immediately released. Instantly it got my attention. A trip was booked!
Upon arriving at Arcadia, we checked in with Casey and he upgraded us from our Hummingbird cabin to the Loon’s Nest cabin, which sat right at lakeside. The cabin was spectacular! Spacious cabin with a large living room and dining space, 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms…best one I have ever stayed in! The beach had all kinds of water toys and they had daily activities for the kids. One activity Joshua and Stacey did together was designing a tie dye shirt. And of course, Joshua loved all the candy and ice cream the lodge offered.
Weather for the week seemed cooler for the time of year, low-50s to mid-70s. Wind speed was high during the day and changed direction constantly every day. The lake was ultra clear and with my Amphibia Eclipse sunglasses I was able to see giant smallmouth bass swimming and following my lure to boatside. The smallmouth fishing was fantastic! Fish were in post-spawn. Most were caught down 8-10 feet on cranks, tubes, and drop-shots. In the mornings, they were typically shallow and they would hammer topwaters like a Pop-R. Hard to beat a topwater bite!
Mid-week we had heavy rain so we decided to hit town and visited the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. We got to read her story and see lots of memorabilia from her movies like “Wizard of Oz.” We also had the opportunity to walk through her house where she grew up. Pretty neat!
The Jones Family, our hosts, took good care of us and made us feel at home. We really enjoyed our stay and looking forward to coming back!