I was born and raised on the Iron Range, and I've spent many days out fishing lakes like Vermilion, Pfeiffer Lake, Kabetogam, Crane Lake, Lake Of The Woods and other places. One lake I've never tried before was Pelican Lake in Orr, Minnesota. That changed this last weekend when we decided to camp at Aspen Resort on the Northern Side of Pelican Lake. Here's how this weekend went for us, and how it was staying at Aspen resort.

Their website calls it a "Family Resort" on Pelican Lake. I can say it sure did have a family feel. As soon as I checked in they sent out Cody to help me get set up at the campsite, which I've never encountered before. My wife was arriving later, so it was nice to have someone help guide me in.

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Next I came down with the boat and they helped me launch it and got me into a slip that we rented for the weekend. The owner Dave was out on the dock and gave me some tips on how not to ruin my lower unit on this particularly hazardous lake. I had no idea, and I'm so glad I talked to them. Their advice: stay 100 yards from anything you see... hazards, shoreline, islands, anything. Then use your trolling motor to get in closer.

They even gave me some tips for fishing, and for it being my first time on this lake we actually did pretty well. The smallmouth bass were biting on Rapalas. So were the northerns, and I even got a nice walleye out of it. They print out the limits and slots on a lake map they give you which is really handy to have. Oh, and big surprise but there are a ton of pelicans on that lake. That was really cool to see.

Ken Hayes

They've got a bait house where you can get minnows, leeches, worms, and ice for your cooler. You can plug your trolling motor and electronics in on the dock. They have dock hands to help you get back in and out of the slip and even load your trailer. It's a nice service to have.

The campsite was pretty nice with a nearby toilet and shower house which was nice and clean. Firewood was a good deal. For $15 you could get a pretty good pile of wood that was enough for us to have a fire for 3 nights. Anything you buy you put on your tab and pay for at the end, which is convenient. The kids loved the pool and playground area. They had so much fun it was heartbreaking for them to leave. We promised we would go back this summer.

The owners came by to check on us and see how we were doing over the weekend. It's owned by Dave & Kora and they were really nice. We had a nice chat with them, and the place just had a nice, friendly feel. On Sunday they drove by to tell us that it was ice cream sundaes on Sunday. We were treated to free ice cream with all the toppings. We'll definitely be going back later this summer.

One thing to mention is there is a no pet policy. That's kind of a bummer for us because we would consider buying a seasonal site there, but with us having a dog that won't work for us. They quoted us a seasonal site for $2500 including a boat slip.  That's not  bad price for this lake.

There's other resorts up on Pelican Lake, and this was my first trip. The lake is great, and if you're looking for a nice little community resort, this would be my pick.

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