Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fishing Observations Week 1

Last week kicked off the 2012 season for Big Hook Camps. Overall, the week was cool and rainy.  The big news was the two days of snow that fell from the sky Thursday and Friday.  With all the moisture, the lake levels have shot up over the past three days.  Central Lake alone has risen about 6 inches.  The increased water volume has the rapids gushing.  The rushing water is great for fishing.  The high water levels wash down plenty of food for bait fish, which in turn draw more predatory species to the flowing water.  The rapid rise in water may stunt the weed growth, but it is a little early in the season yet to make that determination.    

The cool weather last week actually dropped the water temperature slightly to 47 degrees on the surface.  However, plenty of sunshine the past two days has graced us and started warm the water once again.  The sunny skies instantly activated the pike, drawing them into the shallow mud flats.  Guests at Central yesterday had incredible luck with pike just trolling flats with crankbaits.  According to several customers, the pike were so active in most spots that it was tough getting baits to the walleye.  Some tried deeper waters (12 ft) for a more consistent walleye bite and were rewarded.

Guests at West Lake boated and released an impressive 43.5" pike yesterday trolling the western edge of the Fish Bowl with a black and white daredevil.  The walleye were also reported tough to find with increased pike activity in the shallows.  Once that sun begins to shine consistently the walleye will turn on.   When the water temperatures creep above 52 degrees the walleye will become more active.

Flying around the Opasquia Provincial Park yesterday I witnessed a unique event.  For the first time, I observed a moose and a bear in a standoff.  The bear was maybe 250 pounds, this is a true guess because I was at 1000 ft above the ground, and was sizing up a 1100 pd moose.  I was not able to make out any antlers on the moose, so I assume it was a cow.  The bear barreled out of the woods towards the cow, which was standing beside a river, and then the left to right pacing began for both. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see how the showdown panned out as I was traversing from Cocos to Central.  The half a minute event however is permanently engraved in the mind.

Today May 27th, Dad, Corey, Ed and I tackled opening our Southwest outpost for the season.  We arrived to a busted up dock and knew it was going to be a loooooooong day.  Dad began opening the cabin up while Corey, Ed and I began peeling logs and constructing the new crib.  Dad was quickly confronted by a red squirrel that had decided to declare SW as his winter residence.  The squirrel was promptly evicted. After 5 hours of wading and forging for rocks in 47 degree water, our crib was built and runners were in place.  Pics of the new completed dock coming soon.

Hope the spring is treating everyone well,
Good luck on the water everyone,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Walleye Opener

Wow, where did the time go. I have been at the resort now for 15 days and it seems like just yesterday I landed the plane at Central Lake under sunny skies, calm winds and best of all, no ice on the lakes.  A flurry of projects and flying have consumed every minute of my days.  After having a chance to inspect some of the outposts, it appears everything has weathered the winter rather well.  A couple of downed trees and a pushed dock or two seem to be the major obstacles Mother Nature threw at us over the winter.  The water levels throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park are up from last year, however relatively low for after the spring run off.  Water temperatures are hovering in the high 40's.  The weather has been all across the board so far this spring.  We have witnessed temperatures already in the 80's and as low as 20.  Rain is needed as it has been a dry spring thus far.

The fishing season is now underway.  Big Hook kicked off the 2012 fishing season yesterday with....a low pressure system providing weather in the tree tops, temperatures hovering at a numbing 38 degrees and copious amounts of rain.  As dismal as it was, the rain was actually welcomed.  We received almost an inch or two, which should bring the lake levels up at tad.  Today was a pleasant 62 degrees with a 10 mph west wind.  Perfect flying weather.  
East Rapids

Okay, let us get back to the fishing.  I managed to hop out pike fishing three days ago with some of the staff for an hour on Central Lake.  We boated over to the East rapids so see if any big females were feeding on the spawning suckers.  After ten minutes of casting, Tyro boated a fat 37" pike, the largest of the evening, on a Gold Rapala J18.  We boated about 11 other pike in the area before calling it quits.  Not bad for the first night on the water.

We also boated and released several walleye while pike fishing.  The two we caught were males still milting.  My best guess is the spawn has passed and we will be in post spawn patterns for the next week.  The walleye will be lethargic and are best approached with small baits.  A couple of days of sunshine should increase their appetite.

Plenty of projects have been accomplished thus far.  Several we have completed over the past couple of days are: installed the new battery bank at Central for the solar system; Burnt Lake is nearing completion, with only a couple small updates to finish.  The new cabin looks great. Today, we opened West Lake and constructed a new boat ramp.  The camp ground hog welcomed the company.

Tomorrow night I should have a chance to scope out the walleye scene better and will provide updates on the spawn.  Good luck on the water everyone,