Sue Kerfoot

In 1968, Sue married Bruce Kerfoot and moved from Chicago to the Gunflint Trail. They have run the Gunflint Lodge since then. As a novice northwoods resident, she has spent much of that time absorbing the rhythms of the local people and the nature world that make up the Gunflint Trail.

Posts about Bait

Cooler Weather Keeps Gunflint Trail Trout in the Shallows

Posted by: Sue Kerfoot Updated: June 1, 2009 - 4:03 PM
The Gunflint Trail has been cool and windy lately.  The wind has brought cooler water to the surface of lakes.  The result has been good lake trout fishing in shallow waters.  Barb Gecas of Heston's Lodge reports that this is what is happening on Gunflint Lake.  Nancy Seaton of Hungry Jack Outfitters says her guests have had good luck in the shallows with rapalas for Lake Trout.  Forrest Parsons at Hungry Jack Lodge had a party of guests limit out in Duncan Lake on trout two days in a row.  The fish were in the 2-3 lb. range -- that's great eating.  Guests returning to Tuscarora Lodge from canoe trips experienced similar fishing in the interior lakes of the BWCAW said owner Andy Arendt.

Several places reported that the walleys are doing well.  Sue McCouglin at Bearskin Lodge said this has been true on both East Bearskin and outlying lakes.  Mike Sherfy at Rockwood Lodge had guests catching smallmouth bass up to 20" with leeches and slip bobbers off the lodge dock.  Mike Prom at Voyaguer Outfitters had a fisherman bring in a 44" northern with a rapala on Saganaga Lake.  Luana Brandt at Nor'Wester says walleyes are comin in.  She doesn't know what they are catching them on but she is selling a lot of leeches and crawlers.  Maybe that's a hint.

Nancy Waver at Trout Lake Lodge said the DNR just stocked Trout Lake with about 7500 yearling rainbow trout.  The fish were 8" long.  By the 4th of July their flesh will be pink and they will just fit into a frying pan.

Up at Way of the Wilderness Outfitters, Mark Darling reports that the eagle who normally nests at Trails End Campsite #13 did not return this year.  This is not the first time it has happened.  The eagle did not come before the blowdown in 1999 but came back after the Ham Lake fire.  They speculated that the new nest was burned.  It will be interesting next summer to see if the bird is back.

As usual the Gunflint Trail is full of animal sightings.  One of the most interesting occurred to guests from Rockwood Lodge.  Two different parties ran into a bull moose while hiking the South Lake Trail.  The moose intimidated both parties who turned around and came home.  Over at Gunflint Pines, Shari Baker says that otters have been feasting on minnows in buckets tied to her dock at night.  One of the guests even got a picture.  Paula Beattie at Moosehorn Bed and Breakfast said her guests saw a doe with a spotted fawn on the North Gunflint Lake Road.  Mama quickly sent the fawn off to lie down in the woods for protection.  The guests were thrilled to get a good view of one of the Trail's newest residents.

I know that many of you like to keep up with events on the Gunflint Trail.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to follow the blogs at  Many resorts post their blogs to this site so you get a good feel of what is going on up and down the Trail. 

Gunflint Trail Shines over the Weekend

Posted by: Sue Kerfoot Updated: May 25, 2009 - 5:31 PM
It was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend on the Gunflint Trail.  Every business seemed to have people out to enjoy the first hints of summer.  Saturday afternoon and Sunday were picture perfect days.  We even had some kids playing in the water at the beach.  It seemed a little early for me but they were having a great time.  Many guests just wanted to hike or take a boat ride on the lake.  It was a long winter and there is something about being on the water that tells you summer is here.

Fishing, expecially for trout, was good.  The picture above shows Tom Baumbeger who was fishing off his cabin dock at Clearwater Canoe Outfitters and Lodge.  It was noon and he decided to throw his spinner out one more time before stopping for lunch.  It turned out to be a pretty good choice.  Few of us would turn down this lake trout.  The fish measured in at 36" and 14 pounds.  Lynn Pauloski, the owner at Clearwater, said that Tom was pretty excited.

Sue Arendt at Tuscarora said the lake trout in the interior lakes of the BWWCAW are still biting like crazy.  One of their returning guests said the fishing was so good that it was like the trout were "goofy."  All in all her canoeists had some great fishing over the weekend.

Guests from Rockwood Canoe Outfitters agreed that the lake trout fishing was great.  They were in South Lake and figured they could catch as many fish as they wanted.  Like most canoeiss, the majority of their fish were catch and release.  You keep enough for dinner and release everything else.

Down at Gunflint Pines the Baumehen party (Hibbing, MN) also had good lake trout fishing.  They were trolling and caught 8 nice lake trout.  Shari Baker said that on Friday the Tischer party (Carleton, MN) caught a 27" and a 23" walleye.  Since the fish were full of spawn, they released them.  The Eilers part (Coon Rapids, MN) came to see moose.  Over the course of three days, they spotted four moose.

Luana Brandt at Nor'Wester Lodge reports that they have a cow moose with twins.  She also said that there is a mother fox who is feeding her kits right along the road.  This mother seems comfortable with people watching but not touching her babies.

Poplar Creek Bed and Breakfast had five fishermen who went down to Swamp Lake.  They got enough walleyes for a great dinner including a 20" fish and a 25" northern.  If we catch enough fish for a fresh fish dinner, I consider the trip a success.

Hungry Jack Lake has been having good walleye fishing according to Forrest Parsons of Hungry Jack Lodge.  Ken Miller (Atlanta, GA) caught a 24" walleye with a streamer fly.  Ken Radau caught a 30" walleye with a leech.

Andy McDonnell at Bearskin Lodge says that fishing for walleys is good there too.  Live bait like leeches and minnows is working great on Lindy Rigs, slip bobbers and lead head jigs.

Ready, Set, Fish

Posted by: Sue Kerfoot Updated: May 7, 2009 - 1:51 PM
Hopefully this is my last comments on Gunflint Trail ice out for this season.  Gunflint, Seagull, Magnetic and Loon Lakes are out for sure.  We also asssume that Saganaga, Little Gunflint and North Lakes are out due to the recent winds but I can't find anyone who has actually been on the lakes.  The Mid-Gunflint Trail lakes are all very rotten.  Rain this week has turned them black.  Today we are getting a strong northwest wind which will probably take many of them out.  If you want to fish in the mid-Trail area, call ahead to check the ice conditions on a specific lake.

As everyone gets ready to start fishing, one of the long-time guides in the area told me his favorite techniques for walleye fishing at this time of year.  His advice is to use a Llindy rig with any kind of live bait.  Troll very slowly (or back-troll) in 4-8 feet of water along a windy, shallow shore.  Over the years this has been one of his most successful methods.

If you are fishing on the border lakes of the Gunflint Trail, remember that the Ontario walleye fishing season does not open until May 16th.  The lake trout season in Ontario does not open until May 23rd.  Also there is a fishing sanctuary with no fishing until June 1st at the falls where the Granite River empties into Saganaga Lake and at the rapids where Little North Lake empties into Little Gunflint Lake.  Finally, you cannot use live bait unless you can prove it was bought in Ontario.  To be current on all the Canadian regulations, ask for a copy of "Fishing Ontario 2008-2009" when you buy your Ontario fishing license. 


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters