Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Start Rain Dancing

Like much of North America, dry conditions are affecting us here in the Opasquia Provincial Park.  It has been about three weeks since our last good dowsing of rain.  The dry conditions have resulted in a fire ban imposed by the MNR.  This means open fires are not allowed, controlled flames such as grills and fish cookers are permitted during a ban.

The water levels have dropped noticeably over the past week.  However, several cool nights have lowered the water temperatures to a fish friendly 72 degrees.


The sunny skies and heat haven't deterred the walleye from biting.  Guests at Central yesterday were amazed they were boating fish at high noon with a blazing sun overhead and temps flirting with 90 degrees.  According to multiple guests reports, walleye have been boated in just about every water depth.  For example, I made it fishing last night for a couple hours and boated 4 walleye while casting weed beds for pike.

Most sizable fish are holding off of rock structure in 10-18 feet of water. Slow back trolling into the wind while bouncing bottom with a jig or worm harness is one of my favorite techniques to locate walleye.  Another method to find some big eyes is to troll a weed line with a Rapala F18, Bomber Magnum Long A or any other large shallow diving crank bait.  You will boat several pike, so having a minimum of 40# flourocarbon or mono leader is essential.  Guests have also reported walleye suspending over deeper mud flats.  Once again, trolling cranks is a great way to locate this fish.  I like Shad Raps and Reef Runners.


Mom's biggest pike yet.  Caught on a pink jig of course. 
The calm waters and hot days have had the pike acting finnicky.  Sunny days have caused the pike to dive into deeper waters during the daytime hours.  Most big pike are being caught off of deeper rock structures holding walleye.  Deep diving cranks and larger plastics are deadly when pike are hugging the bottom.  I like to use black Depth Raiders or 1/2 long shanked jig heads with 5-6" plastic shad bodies.
 Fishing windblown rock points is a favorite way for me to catch monster pike.  Of course holding the boat is a different story.  Cast, position the boat, cast again, repeat.  When the clouds, which have been rare this July, grace their presence the pike have been noticeably more aggressive.

As the sun lowers in the sky, the big pike migrate back into the weeds.  On calm nights, nothing beats throwing top water baits over thick weed beds.  Buzz baits, Jackpots, Hog Wobblers and Top Raiders encourage some of the best top water action.  The peak evening bite has been between 6 pm to 9 pm.

Fish are located in their typical summer spots.  Pike in the weeds and on rock structures flanking walleye.  The current guests have been on a mission to located jumbo perch.  Vertical jigging in the thickest weed beds in the NE corner of the lower half of Burnt is a great place to locate perch.
The west arm was hot for 20-22 inch walleye yesterday.  Jigging 12 ft points with white or pink has been popular.  The bigger pike have been hugging deep rock structures on the north end.  The weed beds have been heating up in the evening.  The NE corner of Dump Island is still producing some larger walleye
I have not had the chance to speak with the guests this week.  This time of year the Sagawitchewan river tends to be more productive than the main body of Cocos.  Guests should focus on the deeper pools in the southern half of the river.
A huge 31.5" walleye from South Lake. 
Favorable had a rare open week.  Last week guests had great success trolling for walleye.  Reefs and points nearby camp were holding plenty of fish.  Lemonade still produced copious amounts of fish everywhere in the lake.
The current guests have been experiencing great success with worm harnesses along weed lines for big walleye.  Gazing at the bragging board yesterday I noticed they had already boated and released 2-26, 2-27, & 2-28" walleye.
The guests fishing report this week is as follows:  "Tie on a lure, doesn't really matter what, cast at a rock reef and retrieve fish."  Tons and tons of fish are being boated and released.  The majority of fish have been located off of rocky points.  Guests have reported difficulty reaching the east arm of the lake due to lower than normal water levels.
The fish bowl has slowed due to the hot weather.  Fish have moved to the north end of the lake and deeper, cooler water.  Reefs on the far north end of the lake have been the hottest for big walleye.  The Horseshoe continues it's dominance as the hot spot for big pike.  However, if I were a guest I would commit some time to the rock just in front of camp.  There is some amazing structure, weeds and deep water all around this trophy producing reef.

Good luck on the water everyone!

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