Friday, July 20, 2012

Hot and Dry

The heat wave continues throughout the Opasquia Provincial Park.  Average temperatures over the past couple of days have been in the 80's-90's accompanied with sunny skies and calm winds.  The abundance of sun and heat has sent the water temperatures skyrocketing and the water levels plummeting.  The lake level here at Central has dropped a good foot over the past nine days, while the water temperature has shot up from 70 degrees to 76 degrees.  A swim in the lake has been rather pleasant I must say.

The lack of rain combined with the heat has caused the MNR to impose a fire ban in the Opasquia Provincial Park as of yesterday.  This means no outdoor fires of any kind are allowed.  Controlled fires such as outdoor BBQ grills and fish cookers are acceptable.

The heat has not slowed down the fishing.  I was able to chat with most of the guests this morning and the consensus among all the camps is simply... excellent fishing.  The peak bites seem to be early in the morning or late at night just before sunset.  Guests at South Lake commented the majority of the trophy walleye were boated right before sunset.  Central Lake's fishing patterns are very similar, the current guests have boated numerous big pike in the narrows after 7pm.  

I fully expected most of the fish to be holding in 15-20 ft.  However, to my surprise many of the lakes are reporting fish in 4-8 ft.  The weeds have been holding a lot of smaller fish during mid day but the big females move in once the sun starts setting.  Numerous bigger pike have been holding of deeper rock structure during the mid day hours.  Deep diving crankbaits have been productive however the most effective bait has been a simple over sized jig with a 5-6" shad tail.  

Hot lures

PIKE: 1/2 oz jig with 5 inch shad tail, 3/4 oz johnson silver minnow with white twister, giant jackpot 

WALLEYE:  1/4 oz to 3/8 oz jig head with a chartreuse tail,  rattle trap silver, hot n tot perch colored 

I haven't seen the guests all week at Burnt Lake, so unfortunately I don't have much of a fishing report.  I would imagine the sandy beach on the north end to be producing plenty of big pike.  The submerged rock piles just south of camp is a go to spot this time of year. 
41" Central Lake pike
Airplane Island has been hands down the best spot for walleye this week.  Jigging or trolling the shelf has been awesome.  The north narrows has produced numerous 35-40" fish in the evenings.  Husker rock has also produced some nice pike.  The "reef in the middle of nowhere" on the north end is another walleye producer.
The guests have boated more fish than ever over the past couple of days, however the big trophies have been tougher to locate.  Some success was had throwing deep baits around the rapids.  The rapids have been navigable for some time now.
Guests have focused their efforts all week on Favorable.  I only managed to speak with one gentleman yesterday, he was grinning ear to ear having just recently boated a 40" pike in Pike Alley.  The islands right in front and to the east of the dock have been awesome for walleye.  Numerous 20-22" fish have been boated on worm harnesses and Hot N Tot's.
South Lake:
South has had a heck of a week for big walleye.  The count was 31.5, 30, 29.5, 29, 28.5 and many many 26" fish for trophies so far this week.  The big fish are surprisingly shallow, 8-12 feet.  All the big fish have been caught jigging with smaller presentations.  1/4 oz jighead with a chartreuse Gulp Tail has been the big producer.  The only information the guests provided was the fish were nowhere near camp.
A foggy Central Lake morning
The boys at SW have been enjoying themselves all week.  They estimated each boat was catching 100-150 fish per day.  I asked where the hots spots were and they responded with "just find a rock pile and the fish will be there."  The five of diamond has been the hot lure for....get this...walleye.  Not jigs, not crankbaits, spoons of all lures have been boating more walleye than anything.
The north end of the lake has come alive with the warm temperatures.  The deeper cooler waters have been harboring some great walleye.  Jigging the islands and submerged reefs have been yielding great rewards.  The fish bowl has slowed due to warm water temperatures.  The horseshoe continues to produce nice pike.

Please remember Big Hook Camps has a No Trophy take out policy.  This means all walleye over 18" must be thrown back and all pike over 27" must be released.

Good luck on the water everyone!

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