Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thar be monsters in the waters.

Central Lake rapids
Sunny skies and hot temperatures certainly did not deter any of the fish from biting last week.  Light SE winds and temperatures sailing into the high 80's dominated throughout the week.  Water temperatures skyrocketed and water levels plummeted.  Central Lake was recording temperatures up to 75 degrees in shallower bays while the level of the lake dropped almost 10 inches.  It has been almost three weeks now since we received any significant rain.  Now I know rain on a vacation isn't the most pleasant aspect, however any drops of rain will be welcomed.

Fish are still holding shallow, 6 feet or less, windblown shorelines.  Both species are beginning to migrate away from rapids to typical summer habitat.  With the ample amount of sunshine, weed beds are springing to life and holding toothy pike.  All camps I chatted with had huge smiles and plenty of fish stories to tell.
Excellent fishing was reported around the "Bottleneck" NE of camp.  Perch Bay, was holding numerous large pike prowling for...well perch.  Moose Creek held several large fish, however fish were holding further out from the creek.  Walleye were reported "everywhere."

A Canadian 40" pike released on Central
The south rapids was holding numerous large walleye between 23-26 inches. Trolling shallow diving cranks along wind blown mudflats was effective for large walleye, Husker rock is a great example.  Pike were holding around the Stop and Go Jug.  The west portage started to produce large pike.
The Mroz party boated and released 28 pike over 30" and several over 40". Cocos now leads all Big Hook outposts with the largest pike of 45.5".  The doctor spoon was the hot lure for the week.  The lower water is allowing motorists easier navigation through the rapids.
Numerous reefs east of camp were holding quality walleye between 22-26".  Trolling Walleye Point was probably the most effective fishing technique all week.  Johnson's Island held numerous walleye and large pike.  The weed growth behind Johnson's Island is excellent and harboring numerous fish.  A highlight of the week was a huge pike hammering a fellow 26" northern.  Guests estimated the monster to be in the 45-47" range, unfortunately the monster finally released the smaller pike right when the net was placed in the water.
As usual numerous large walleye were reported, topping out at 29.5".  A large 44" pike was boated and released while jigging for walleye.  Fish were still holding 12 ft or shallower in muddy areas.  As the year progresses fish will transition to rocky structure versus the mudflats.
200 fish per boat was the highlight for the week.  Between the three boats, guests reported having 6 fish on at the same time.  Walleye were holding on shallow rock reefs and mudflats.  According to the guests, every lure was a hot lure.
A week of awesome weather led to many fish boated and released.  The highlights were a 42.5", 41" and numerous fish over 30" for pike.  For walleye a 28.5" was the top fish with several over 25".  Wind blown bays in the Fish Bowl were hot.
Hot lures:
Pike: Doctor Spoon, Spinner Baits (black with silver blade),  bucktails
Walleye: Jig/gulp, Little Ripper Reef Runner (fire tiger), Hot N Tot (pink)

Good luck on the water everyone.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Great Fishin!

Last week brought great walleye fishing throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park.  Guests at every lake boated and released fish after fish after fish.  Most fish were reported in shallow mud flats.  Attached is an amazing quote from the guests last week at South Lake:

"Our group at south lake boated 2,229 walleye. Actual numbers counted on clickers. 170 northern by accident. We had 80 walleye over 20 inches. 13 walleye over 25 inches. 29 1/2 , 29 1/4, 29, 28 1/2 , 5- 26inchers, and 4 -25 inchers. The fishing was simply amazing. We were at South from June 11th through the 18th. Wish I was still there. What an amazing place."

Thanks guys! Glad to hear you had a good time. Check out the Big Hook facebook page for more photos on the amazing week from South Lake.  

Hot weather is dominating the week thus far with strong easterly winds.  It has been unusual wind for the past 5 days.  Water temperatures are rising back up into the 70's.  The water temperatures in the 70's means we have out for the mayflies.

Also weather related, it has been very very dry the past two weeks.  Lake levels are dropping quickly and the  forest is getting extremely dry.  Be extra careful when having a shore lunch and make sure your fires are extinguished.  

I was stationed at Favourable for the past 3 days.  Walleye fishing was fantastic, we had no problem boating 18-22" walleye every day along with a 24" and 26" on Monday.   Pike were a bit finnicky, the calm water and sunny skies didn't help our cause.  Many pike were following to the boat but strikes were difficult to achieve.  Walleye Point and Johnson's Island were the hands down best spots.  Lemonade Lake, especially the dock, was great for numbers.  We boated numerous large perch and quality walleye just bobber fishing off the dock with a worm and a hook.  

Good luck on the water everyone, 
Big Hook Wilderness Camps      

Friday, June 17, 2011

Walleye, walleye everywhere

Normally I like to post my blogs Sunday morning after I have had a chance to converse with the guests on Saturday.  This way I am informed how the fishing on individual lakes progressed and fared for the week. However, this up and coming week I'll be stationed at Favourable Lake, which is about 55 miles from my laptop.  I figured I'd better give a quick update on the fishing throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park and Big Hook Wilderness Camps.

The weather included copious amounts of sun and heat the past week.  A couple of days brought howling winds from the south with the warm weather.  The water temperatures have skyrocketed into the 70's on the surface.  The water does cool rather quickly just a couple of feet down.  Forecasts show the warm weather will continue with a possibility of rain this up and coming Sunday and Monday.  

We are in dire need of rain here in the North country.  Water levels have dropped about 10 inches in 5 days.  If rain doesn't fall soon, fire bans could be placed upon NW Ontario. It is amazing how quickly the landscape here dries out when hot weather arrives.  Be careful when having shore lunches and fires.  Make sure the fire is completely extinguished.  

Unfortunately I can't list all the lakes and hot spots this blog because I haven't had the chance to speak with everyone.  Here is what I know:
-walleye are everywhere, from 2 ft-12ft of water.  Guests are having best luck on mud flats in shallow bays throwing crank baits (blue and silver in particular), tossing light jigs 1/4 oz (white and pumpkinseed) above the mud has been effective.  Central has boated and released 20+ walleye between 24-28 inches.  
- pike have been huddled right with the walleye.  Here at Central, guests had multiple pike smash walleye boat side.  Spinnerbaits are great lures to work through the shallows for pike, along with buck tails and larger floating crankbaits. 
-rapids and quick moving water have been just absolutely dominant.  Bait fish are back in the fast moving current with larger predators hot on their tails.  The fish won't remain in the current for too long, once the water temperatures get too high, fish will sink to cooler water.  
-as long as the weather stays will the fishing.  Fish love weather stability.  Abrupt changes in the weather changes feed habits and water temperatures.  

Hopefully I'll have some great news to reports in the up and coming days from Favourable Lake.  Until then, good luck on the water everyone.  
Big Hook Wilderness Camps 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fishing goes Boom!

Waiting for the post spawn lag to end is like holding a fire cracker.  The fuse creeps along and you wait for the BANG! When it happens an adrenaline rush occurs, very similar to the fishing bite after the post spawn.  All lakes reported a flurry of action last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  New guests arriving Saturday were grinning ear to ear starting their fishing week with impressive results.

The walleye are moving into the currents and shallow mud flats.  The pike are following the schools of walleye, whitefish and suckers, picking off the stragglers.  Both trolling and casting have been effective.  Fish are really enjoying the past couple of days of sunshine, frolicking in the warm shallow waters.  Water temperatures have shot into the 60's on the surface with the pleasant weather the past few days.  Weed growth is finally beginning in most bays.  Unfortunately, some black flies have been spotted so bring some bug spray.

Burnt: The narrows flowing into the north end of Burnt was the dominate spot.  Several points just southeast of camp have been productive for walleye.  Moose Creek just to the west of camp was incredibly productive today according to guests.  Many 36+" pike were reported last week, topping out at 39".  I'll be if they pinched the tail on that fish it would have been 40."

Cocos:  As in every report you will see this summer, the rapids is the hot spot.  However, several large fish have been boated in bays adjacent to camp and bays on the western shoreline from the rapids.  Water levels are subsiding from last week allowing smoother transitions up the rapids.

The Newburn party boasted they collectively boated and released the most 30+" pike this year in their 20 years of vacationing at Big Hook.  Hot spots were the East and South rapids.  Several fish surpassing 40" were boated on Manns Hardnose Shads. "No Fish Bay" produced another large pike, a dandy 42.5 incher.  Someday I may have to change the name of that spot.

Southwest: The Fish Factory kept churning out the 16-20 inch walleye.  The east arm put up impressive numbers of quality pike.  Small jigs with yellow twisters were favorites among the walleye. Thanks to the Allen party for the great smoked walleye!

South: Large walleye are being boated in the narrows just south of the cabin.  Pike are looming all around the area.  I was told the walleye bite will be hot and heavy and suddenly stop.  Guests would have their line bit or boat a nice pike.  The narrows on the very east end of the lake was another productive area.

West: Guests claimed I needed to change my map marking.  Most fish were just holding about 100 yards from all my marked hot spots.  Smaller baits were the key to boating finnicky fish last week.  However, fish the past two days have changed there feeding, increasing their aggressiveness. Chatting with the Sellner party this morning I learned that several large fish are holding on the rock just in front of camp.  I always say to give it a couple of casts every morning and evening, you will be surprised with the results.    

Favourable: Mud flats, mud flats, and mud flats are where the fish are holding.  Pike alley and Bear Creek are a couple areas that are consistently producing.  Johnson silver minnows with white trailers are top lures thus far.  Lemonade is cranking out the numbers as usual.  I truly think every spot in the lake holds fish this time of year. The Severn out flow on the west end of Favourable is holding massive amounts of fish.  Trolling 5ft diving crankbaits is a great way to locate the schools in that expansive area.

Hot lures:
Pike- Johnson silver minnow, small silver rattle trap, Hardnose swim shad, Rapala Original F18
Walleye-Jig with Gulp twister, Hot N Tot

Attached photo is of a dandy 28 inch walleye boated and released at West Lake.

Good luck on the water everyone.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reporting In

Fisherman had some elements to contend with last week.  Walleyes having spawned during the week were lethargic.  On top of that, Mother Nature provided some less than pleasant wind with cool temps for several days.  However, some surprisingly productive fishing reports rolled in after conversing with the fisherman on Saturday.

Most reports were consistent that the week began slow with the walleye coming off the spawn.  The bite steadily increased as the week progressed.  All reports reflected that Thursday and Friday were the peak days for both pike and walleye.

Water temperatures are still very cool for this time of year.  50 degrees can be found on some mud flats, with fish congregating around the warmer water.  Steady sun forecasted for this week should send the water temperatures skyrocketing.

As I have stated before, finding the warmer water temperature is crucial for fishing success this time of year.  Fish are craving some warmth after a long cold winter.  Even one degree difference can change a bay or channel from a vacated room to a fish party.  Analyze the area, is it a mud flat?  Dark shallow bays heat up super fast in these tea stained lakes.  On top of that, if a current is nearby you have the perfect spring fishing combination.

The "bottleneck" and the narrows were the most productive spots throughout the week.  Both walleye and northern both congregated in the same area.  Walleye's centered on the current with pike flanking the stray pickerel or sucker.
Boated and released 3 pike over 40", and an impressive 28" walleye.  The rapids continues to gush with the higher waters.  Guests were able to drive up the rapids 5 out of the 7 days.  Some of the biggest pike however were boated just a stones throw from camp.
The east and west rapids were the hot spots on the lake.  Slow trolling a shallow diving crank bait was the key to catching the lethargic walleyes.  Three pike sized between 36-38" were released in 15 minutes just outside the west rapids.  The bite for both species steadily increased as the week progressed.
Three fisherman reported over 1000 walleyes and three pike over 40", topping at 42.5".  Fish were located in the narrows towards the "fish bowl" and shallower water where the water temperatures were slightly warmer. The key was standard for spring fishing, finding that warmer water temperature.
The fish factory continued to pump out tons and tons of walleye.  Most fish were holding in shallow mud flats soaking up the warmer water temperatures.  One of the hottest spots was the narrows just in front of the cabin.
The narrows just south of camp is the goto spot.  Big female walleye were stacked in the area.  Sporadic lulls in the walleye action meant cruiser pike swept through the area.  The north end of the lake was also active just above the outgoing rapids.  Numerous walleye were boated and released over 25".

Good luck on the water everyone.  Looking forward to talking about fishing with everyone soon.
Big Hook Wilderness Camps