Friday, July 8, 2011

Could you spare some rain?

After over a week we are finally back online. It is amazing how lost one can feel without internet for seven days.  No weather forecasts for flying, $2.00/minute satellite phones are our only communication with the outside world, and most important the ability to write a blog suddenly vanishes.  The culprit to our problem was the external modem on our satellite dish and extreme weather temperatures. The temperatures on the roof were so warm a teeny tiny little piece of plastic in the electrical board melted and POOF, we were shut down.

Simple fix right? Just run down the street to the local electronics store and grab a new external modem....wait a minute.  Turns out the satellite internet is not a booming business here in the north country with ownership changing hands about every three months.  For example, one such call to Red Lake where two Xplornet dealerships are to exist resulted in finding each has changed hands TWICE only to be sold off to a company in Thunder Bay. Only a modest 10 hr drive away to the Bay from Red.  Keep in mind during this modem treasure hunt each phone call costs $2 bucks a minute.  You would think Xplornet (our internet provider) main support would be able to find a dealer for us, that my friends, would be too simple. Oh, did I mention there is also a mail strike.  Canada Post is just coming back online, however due to extreme mail overload parcels could take weeks to reach there destinations.  Looks like we will be flying our modem in once we can locate one.

After scouring all of NW Ontario (Using a phone book? I almost forgot how to use one with my excessive dependence on the internet) we are able track down a helpful local gentleman out of Sioux Lookout.  In 20 minutes we convince him we are competent enough to remove the four screws to the external modem and perform the 30 second repair ourselves. Although, he was quite adamant we should hire a tech who starts charging $70 an hour from the minute he departs the office.  In the end he writes up the work order and ships the part via Wasaya Air from Sioux to Red.  Long story short, 7 days and about $400 in phone bills later we are up and running.

Now to the important stuff....the fishing! 

The hot weather is still settled over the Opasquia Provincial Park.  We have not received any considerable amount of rain since the first days of June.  Water levels are the lowest I have ever witnessed here in the park.   Be careful navigating your boat!  Due to low water conditions rocks not marked on the map exist and are hazardous to lower units health.

Conditions in the woods are extremely dry. *SPECIAL NOTE* There is a FIRE BAN in place.  No external camp fires are allowed.  Bird dog fire spotters are flying everywhere at the moment and any sign of smoke is considered a threat and a hefty fine.

With water temperatures now holding steady in the 70's the may fly hatch has come and gone.  The hatch was very mild this year and only tormented us for about two days.  Just enough to drive the walleyes into a feeding frenzy and not completely fill their bellies.

One benefit of the low water,  the weed beds are looking as healthy as ever.  Pike are enjoying the ample amount of coverage, holding tight in the slop.  They have been very active in the warm water.  With the sunny skies the peak bite has been in the late afternoon.

Walleye are holding throughout the water column from weeds to rock piles.  Most fish are found at about 8-10 ft and ranging as deep as 18'.  Both jigging and slow rolling Lindy rigs over the bottom have been effective.   Trolling cranks are a great way to locate the schools.

Burnt Lake
With the dominant south winds, Moose Creek has still been the hot spot for pike and perch.  I have been  amazed with some of the massive perch in that lake.  Small beetle spins and Mepps spinners are perfect for catching tasty perch.  Wind blown weed beds have led to the best results on Burnt, pay close attention to the winds.  

Central Lake
Colton with a 42" on Central
The Wilford party had a ball in the north rapids boating 204 walleye in just over two hours.  The narrows on the north end of the lake was also productive for trophy pike.  Spinner baits were the key to luring pike out of the weeds.  One evening resulted in 15 pike over 30" in that spot alone.  More and more walleye are starting to congregate on the numerous submerged reefs throughout Central.  The East portage was on fire for walleye.

Cocos Lake
The rapids is usually the main story to the Cocos Lake fishing report.  Low water is allowing guests to navigate the flowage.  Fish are stacked throughout the current.  Duckling Island yielded the largest pike this past week.  Several weed beds in the southern half of the Sagawitchewan River were productive.

Favourable Lake
Owl Hawk visiting Central Lake
Lemonade was covered with mayflies the past couple of days, causing a rare slow down on that body of water.  Favourable picked up the slack producing awesome walleyes on the shore adjacent to the dock.  Trolling 8-12' cranks produced.  Pike Alley was on fire for both species.  Several 38-41" fish were boated and released.

South Lake
South Lake continued the dominance of biggest walleye for the week with a 29" fish and many many over 25"+.  The weeds just east of the narrows held some 40+" pike.  Guests the past couple days have boated large walleye trolling cranks on shorelines close to the camp.  Just goes to show you that the biggest fish are not located the furthest away from camp. 

Southwest Lake
The "producer" churned out thousands of fish yet again.  Southwest will never cease to amaze me with the shear numbers it contains.  Some larger fish were located on the very north end of the lake where deeper water exists.

West Lake
The "pike bowl" held some quality fish in the NE corner.  South winds have been blowing fish into weeds along the northern shores.  Deeper shelves just east of the camp were hot for walleye.  Never forget to cast a couple of times on seagull rock just in front of camp, it holds monsters.  The Horseshoe was another hotspot.

Hot Lures
Walleye: Fire Tiger Shad Rap, Worm Harness (orange or silver blade), 1/4 oz jig with Berkley Gulp
Pike: Mepps Musky Killer, Doctor Spoons, Berkley Hollow Body

Good luck on the water everyone!
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

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