Monday, September 28, 2009

Top Performing Lures

Over the course of the summer certain lures seem to out fish most others. Every winter I venture to various fishing stores, pluck a lure from the shelf and convince myself a trophy pike or walleye is sure to enjoy this tasty morsel. However, I would estimate about half the time that lure goes back in the tackle box without even a tooth mark on it. With all these lures clouding my ever so heavy tackle box, I now tell myself "Lures catch the fisherman and not the fish." For example, this spring I purchased a Sebile white suspending broken back crankbait. I was sure this was the next great lure for the Opasquia Provincial Park. My enthusiasm was rewarded the first time out with a 37" pike. "Oh boy!" I thought to myself, time to get on the web and order at least a dozen. Now looking in hindsight, I am glad I didn't. Over the course of the summer and after 1000000000 casts with this lure I am pretty sure I only boated one other small 20" pike. Now mind you this Sebile is one of the most expensive in my tackle box, which I believe is why I wanted it to work so well. Price dictates usage right? Most fisherman will think to themselves "Well this darn lure cost me $20 bucks! It better catch me something!"
With all that said, I guess my message is when fishing gets tough, don't go to the glitz and glamour of "new and improved" lures; stick to the basics such as the good ole jig and twister for walleye and the Johnson silver minnow for pike.

After conversing with hundreds of guests this summer I can confidently list the top five lures for each species, that being walleye and northern.
Lures listed in no particular order.

Northern Lures:

Johnson Silver Minnow 3/4 oz-1oz with a white twister tail trailer

Copper or Orange Bladed bucktail. Skirt color seemed to make little difference.

Bulldawg-medium size, not the magnum. Black, white, brown were all effective

Jig and twister-go figure, some of the biggest pike this year were caught jigging for walleye

Buzz bait-probably the most entertaining way to fish for northern.


Jig and twister. No surprise there. Popular jig heads 3/8 oz black, flour orange, pink, red.
Tails: white, yellow, black, pumkinseed, flouro orange, any color Gulp.

Worm harness
. Simple rig with various color blades. Attach spilt shot, worm and your in

DOA Tiny Terror-eyze. A new lure that is awesome only in the spring when fish are shallow.

Rapala RS suspending
. A great trolling bait in about 12 ft of water. Blue and silver the best

Rattle Trap. Small sized silver and blue rattle traps were a great casting/trolling combo.

Good luck on the water to everyone this fall/winter.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thats a wrap.

September has shown us that summer is still holding on. This month has been the most pleasant of the summer for us here at Big Hook Wilderness Camps. In all the nineteen years we have operated at Big Hook, this September has been the best. Temperatures have been averaging 74 degrees and light winds have made flying a delight.
In the past, September has always been a gamble for weather and fishing. Cooler temperatures during this month can cause lake turnover and shut down the fishing. On the other hand, a pleasant September can ignite the trophies and some of the biggest fish of the summer are caught.
This September, the fish have been responding quite well with the great weather. Both walleye and pike are deep, 20+' of water. Guests at Central, the week of 8/29-9/5, did very well vertical jigging in 20-25' with a 3/8 oz jig and twister. The hot twister tail color was a Yamamoto Blue. It was the first time I ever used that color of tail and it dominated the bite. When vertical jigging for walleye it is crucial to tie the jig directly to the line, DO NOT use a leader. It is a risk of getting bit off by a pike but you will catch many more fish.

This was our last week at Big Hook and now the boats are being flipped, the cabins painted and the year end projects are wrapped up. In the process of closing camps, I have had a chance to fish at Burnt and West. Both lakes produced an excellent pike bite. Using mostly a orange bladed bucktail with a black skirt, I managed to boat a 40.5" just west of the cabin at Burnt Lake.
Last Wednesday Dad, Andre and I worked putting a new foundation under South West Lake. Utilizing several jacks, the original foundation was ripped out and replaced with concrete block and pressure treated logs.

I would like to personally thank everyone for visiting us this summer. I know in a recession, times are tough and money is tight. However, I have found fishermen will persevere and continue to stalk the trophy pike and walleye despite the conditions. Once again, thank you everyone for a great 2009 season.

Good luck on the water in your fall/winter fishing expeditions. Please send us pics of your 2009 vacation and I can post them here on the blog.

Big Hook Wilderness Camps

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One Last Hoorah!

Our season is winding down here at Big Hook Wilderness Camps. We have entered our final weeks for the 2009 season. Mother nature is giving us a great send off with warm temperatures and sunny skies. After a really cool July and August the blue skies and warmth is greatly appreciated. Blueberries and raspberries are now ripening and litter the forest and bald rocks with vibrant blue and red colors. In my opinion, there is nothing better for breakfast before a long day of fishing than fresh blueberry pancakes.
The water temperatures are back on the rise with the pleasant weather. I see myself jumping in the lake this afternoon, following a sauna of course.

Looking outside at the moment, I would never guess that in two weeks we will have the chance to see snow falling from the sky. Weatherwise, the month of September is really unpredictable. Several years ago forest fires ravaged Sandy and Deer Lake. Whereas, last year we could not cut enough fire wood to stay warm.
Fish this time of year are normally the biggest, however they are not schooled up like in earlier summer months. A risk about fishing in later September is the lake turnover. Usually mid September the cool water on the surface will get replaced with the warm water from below. This causes the water clarity to drop and cloud up.

Currently, the walleyes are at their deepest depths of the year. When the walleye are at depths of 20 ft+ the most effective technique is vertical jigging. Most crankbaits have trouble reaching waters deeper than 20 ft. When the sun is out and shining I'll switch to lighter colors. Yellow twister tails are probably my favorite lure followed closely by Berkley Gulp flouro orange.
Pike are on their fall feed and are striking as big of baits as you can possibly throw. Really effective lures right now are bucktails with a #8 colorado blade, and 1 0z Johnson silver minnows while fishing in the weeds. Remember to always place a twister tail on your silver minnow, it increases it's effectiveness ten fold. Trolling large crank baits like a Bomber magnum or a Believer around reefs can yield surprising results.

Attached right, is a pic from West Lake of the 41" pike that jumped in the boat. Just imagine that monster jumping at you, reminds me of the movie Jaws. Pictured left, is Kathy from Cocos Lake with one of many trophy pike that she has caught and released over the years.

Good luck on the water everyone! Remember to put the big ones back. All walleye over 18" must be released and all pike over 27.5" must be put back,
Big Hook Wilderness Camps