Big Turtle Lake – Bigfork, MN
June 20-27, 2020
Hosts: The Jones – Steve, Casey, & Kylie
Stacey, Joshua, and I made our third fishing trip together to Arcadia Lodge up on Big Turtle Lake. This was probably by far our best trip to Arcadia Lodge! We stayed in the Rustic cabin for the first time. What was special was we had our own private dock that I could tie our boat to and our very own fire pit to enjoy a bonfire and roast marshmallow every evening.
Our family really enjoyed the paddle boat and playing in the water. Ice cream in the lodge every other day and playing foosball was JT’s favorite. He created another Arcadia tie-dye shirt to add to his collection.
Weather was in the low-50s to mid-70s for most of the week. The smallmouth fishing was good. Fish were in post-spawn. They were shallow around rocky points and big boulders early morning and dropped to 8-10 feet of water by mid-morning. The biggest of the trip was 18.5″ smallie on a silver Husky Jerk. The mayfly hatch had just started and fish were gorging themselves with it. Most mornings started off pretty slow but the action picked up later in the day, especially when we had a little bit of wind. The black 1/8 oz. hair jig worked slow was great as well as the 1/4 oz. underspin rigged with a 3″ pumpkin pepper curly tail grub.
The highlight of the week, however, was not a smallmouth but a big dogfish! Fishing behind Dead Man’s Island in the shallow reeds I spotted two fish together that I thought was a pair of big smallmouth bass. Rigged up with an underspin and pearl curly tail grub, I dropped the jig mere inches from their nose. One of the fish propelled forward and inhaled my lure. I tightened the line and set the hook! The fight was on. After a brief moment I realized it was a dogfish. Check video below for the full sequence.
We really enjoyed our stay, rebooked again for next year and looking forward to coming back!