Friday, July 22, 2011

The good and bad news.

The week of July 16th-23rd has been a chaotic one for Big Hook Wilderness Camps.  However, let us first start out with the good news. We finally received a good dousing of rain Thursday and Friday.  Last night the first steady rain of the summer fell from the skies and we could not have been happier.  I stood on the dock and let myself get absolutely soaked through.  Mom and dad both cheered at the moisture that was accumulating in the back of the boats.

Mom with a 28" walleye on Central.
Now for the bad news.  The fire situation was elevated to critical last week.  Between Saturday July 16th and Wednesday the 20th fires spread out of control with heavy winds and 96 degree weather.  Mother Nature threw us a curve ball at Burnt Lake and the cabin was lost to the flames.  Everyone was pulled out safely way prior, however the cabin perished.  Dad and I tried to defend the cabin with sprinklers lashed to the roof, but in the end the flames won out.  We are already planning on rebuilding the cabin and need to work out some serious logistics.  Ordered by the MNR, Cocos and Favorable were also evacuated mid week as a precautionary measure.  

Unfortunately, the fire ban is still in effect until further notice from the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources).  It will take a couple of good rains before that is lifted.  As a precautionary measure advised by the MNR, several of our outposts that are closer to the affected fire areas will be closed next week July 23rd-July 29th.

Back to the good news.  

As mentioned before, we received approximately 2 inches of rain last night, ousting and knocking down the fires in the area.  With such a heavy and steady rain, the MNR lifted a tourist travel ban that was implemented  48 hrs prior.  Rain is forecasted to continue into Saturday and Sunday which will deliver a one, two punch to the dry ground.

Moose cooling off from the hot temps. 
The fishing reports from the camps that were able to finish out the week (South, Central and West) were great.  The walleye are descending quickly though the water column.  Most were caught in the 15-20 ft range, however some surprisingly large fish were caught on the edges of weeds. For example, the two biggest walleye at Central, a 28" and a 25.5", were caught in the middle of lilly pads.  Go figure, just when I think I have the fish figured out they surprise me in the shallows.  Pike are holding everywhere from weeds, which are incredibly thick this summer, to rock piles chasing walleye.

Hot lures are the usual suspects for summer patterns.
Walleye: Hot N Tots, Shad Raps SR7 firetiger while trolling for walleye.  1/4-3/8 oz jigs for vertical jigging with yellow, white, fluro-orange, pumkinseed tails.
Pike: Orange bladed bucktails with white or black skirts dominated the big fish for the week. Check out Mepps Musky Killers or Skimmer Lures.  Weedless lures like Berkley Hollowbody's did well along with Johnson Silver Minnows.  Bulldawgs and larger deep water baits are starting to catch big fish on rocky points and reefs.    

Good luck on the water everyone. Thanks to everyone for understanding the fire situation.  We are lucky to have such terrific and loyal guests.  
Big Hook Wilderness Camps

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