Taking a motorboat to Basswood Lake for a day of fishing or for overnight camping requires some planning. In mid-December you’ll need to go online (www.recreation.gov) to apply for a day-use or overnight camping motor permit for Basswood Lake. The permits are free, but you’ll have to pay a $12 reservation fee for each one you secure. The lottery is held in mid-January, and you’ll find out whether you received a permit or permits. For more information, go to www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/superior. To get your boat to Basswood, you’ll have to go one of two ways. You can boat about eight miles from the Moose Lake public landing to Prairie Portage, then pay a concessionaire to haul your boat across a short portage on a flat-bed trailer. Cost this year is $24 round-trip. Once you make that portage, you’re on Basswood.
The other way is to use portage wheels affixed to the boat to cross two portages after putting in on Fall Lake, just east of Ely. Motor use on Basswood is restricted to certain areas. Consult a U.S. Forest Service map or stop at the Forest Service office on Highway 169 just east of Ely to see where the motor zones are. The largest motors permitted on Basswood are 25 horsepower. The main arms of Basswood Lake are considered “border waters” under Minnesota fishing regulations. Hoist Bay, Back Bay, Jackfish Bay and Pipestone Bay are considered inland waters, not border waters. Different rules apply. The walleye limit is six on both border and inland waters. On inland waters, however, only one walleye in a possession limit may be 20 inches or larger. On border waters, the one-over-20-inches rule does not apply. Anglers may travel through inland waters with more than one walleye over 20 inches in a possession limit as long as they proceed directly and do not stop to camp or fish. On all waters of Basswood Lake, anglers must immediately return to the water any northern pike from 24 to 36 inches in length. Anglers may possess one northern pike over 36 inches.
northland, outdoors, fishing