Monday, June 23, 2014

Bring your bug spray.

Unfortunately the title of this blog is not an attempt at humor, the bugs are bad.  All the proper conditions have fallen into place this season for a bumper crop of mosquito's and black flies.  Cool, damp temperatures have created the perfect storm, so to speak.  Day time conditions are fine, but when the sun starts to set the buzzing begins.  The black flies and mosquitos should dissipate as the summer progresses along and as the temperatures warm.  So here is some simple advice for our guests.

  • Pack some bug spray that contains deet.
  • Head nets are a cheap alternative to spray and they keep the bugs from diving into your ears and face. 
  • Mosquito coils near entrances are great at keeping the bugs at bay as people enter and leave.  


A nice 35" pike caught in the Central Lake east rapids. 
The wind has been the main talk amongst the fishermen.  An east wind has blown for the last seven days now.  Immediately fishermen turn to the old saying "Winds from the west fishing it the best, winds from the east fishing is the least."  It holds true to some respect, however I find it alters the fishing patterns and I'll get to that later.  Most days last week held in the 60's with some light rain and drizzle.  Today, (June 23) is misty and cool around 48 degrees.  However,  a warming trend is finally in the forecast with temperatures jumping back into the 70's and 80's.  


As mentioned before the dominant winds has been an east wind for some time now.  Generally an east wind means cooler temps and unstable conditions in this neck of the woods.  I find fish don't quit feeding however they will tend to hold in deeper water when winds blow from the east.  I backed this theory up with some deep trolling of Shad Raps last Thursday.  Myself and a guest trolled one spot for five hours and boated around 70 fish.  All different species and sizes were caught and released.  10-15 ft was the magic depth along a big mud flat. We had tried the shallows earlier in the day and found them to be a complete waste of time.  

Some nice perch from Burnt Lake 
Now after saying all of that, the weather is supposed to warm and the sun should get those shallow bays back up and running.  The weed growth is still very minimal, although some areas are starting to show some green. 

Burnt Lake
Moose creek and the narrows have been the spots to note.  Great pike action last week, the pike seemed to be pushing the walleye off most the spots.  The perch bite was great around fallen timber and weed edges.

Central Lake
Husker Rock was on fire, trolling crankbaits about 100 feet away  in 10-15 ft of water produced some great aciton.  The south narrows was probably the second most productive spot for the week. 

Cocos Lake
The Burnt Lake rapids that flow in held some great fish.  The guests  last week boasted a 29" walleye along with many 23-25" fish.  They also boated and released dozens of pike ranging from 30-42".  With water levels hovering around normal the rapids are navigable.  The four gentlemen who arrived Saturday boated and released 192 pike in the first half day. 

Lemonade still is churning out those nice 18-21 inch walleye.  However, the guests last week were impressed with some decent perch and sizable sauger.  Favourable was producing nice pike in the bay south of hotspot #6.  Walleye Point and Pike alley were two other fish packed spots. 

South Lake  
The fish moved to deeper structure last week.  Guests had more luck fishing 12-20 for larger walleye. Some nice walleye were released near the outgoing rapids on the north end. Hot spots #1, 2 and 3 were top producers. 

Southwest Lake 
Here is a great stat for you.  8 guys, one day of fishing, total count....1000 fish.  Needless to say the fish are hitting.  Best spot was the narrows NW of the twin tower rocks. 

West Lake 
The best spots were #4 and #6 by far for nice pike.  Just yesterday I flew over #4 and got to witness guests photoing a giant pike.  The Horseshoe has been productive as usual along with the SE rapids.  The narrows to the Fish Bowl should be a focal point for anglers as the water temperatures begin to warm. 

Good luck on the water everyone! Please send pictures from your latest trip and I'll post them on the blog. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pollen Storm

Your sinuses may not agree with Mother Nature this past week.  The pines have begun shedding their pollen and right on cue.  Usually, in the first or second week of June, huge clouds of pollen can be seen surging from the forest.  The pollen can get so thick this time of year that locals will often think forest fires have started. The yellow haze will hang around for several days and cover the water in a thin film before washing ashore.  The pollen will adhere to the rocks and make a great water level indicator for the years to come.  


The weather patterns have been quite erratic this past week.  Saturday began with a low pressure bringing howling winds from the SW and cool temperatures.  The temps quickly warmed through Monday into the 70's with calm winds. While today (Wednesday), we have experienced fall like weather with cooler temperatures in the 50's and NW winds around 10-15 mph. 

The cooler weather today lowered the average water temperature into the low 50's on the surface around Central Lake.  However, weather forecasts indicate warming trend is on the way with plenty of sunshine.  Since the majority of our lakes are tea stained color, the sunshine will quickly heat the water back into the 60's. 


The up and down temperatures had minimal effect on the fishing.  After chatting with several different guests, today was one of the slower mornings of the week, otherwise excellent reports have come from the lakes.

Fish for the most part are still holding in spring patterns.  6-8 feet for walleye and don't be afraid to try 3 ft or shallower for pike.  Lots of fish are holding in mud flats and around current.  Much of the time schools of walleye will be mixed with pike as they both battle for warmer water temps.  No weed growth has been reported yet. 

Slower presentations still are favourable for both species.  If you prefer trolling for walleye try to slow down as much as possible. 
A male grouse struts his stuff at West Lake
The narrows connecting north and south Burnt Lake has been the primary focus for fish. The entrance to the narrows and the exit should be fished often for both walleye and pike.  The far SW corner has been holding sizeable perch. 
The east rapids and south narrows are both producing great for walleye.  The top of the north rapids has held many 40+" pike. A surprising amount of perch have been caught so far this spring. 
Under the first set of rapids has been excellent for walleye.  The flats around Duckling Island in the north end of Cocos has produced some great pike.  Guests have had no problem shooting the rapids with average water levels. 
Lemonade has been the norm, lots of nice walleye especially on the west side of the island. The creeks flowing into the elbow on Favourable have been holding nice pike.  Hole in the Wall is another great spot for pike this time of year. Pike Alley should be heating up very soon.   
Cedar Waxwings make a rare visit to Central
The north end has been productive for good numbers of walleye, however sizeable fish have been boated at the narrows in the far east end of the lake. Numerous fish over 25" have been boated and released according to the guests. 
The numbers don't lie at Southwest Lake, so much great fishing exists just withing a half mile from the cabin.  Fish the flats running towards the east arm and you won't be disappointed.  
First of the year to jump in at Central
Some nice 38+" pike have been released, along with a 27" walleye.  The narrows towards the Fish Bowl has been electric.  The East falls is a good bet for great walleye numbers.  

Good luck on the water everyone! Looking forward to visiting with you this summer. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Open Season

After a late opener, we are well underway into the Big Hook Camps 2014 fishing season.  With plenty of ice still on the lake, I arrived into Central late Friday night on the 23rd of May.  Over half the lake was still iced up, this required some crafty iceberg dodging upon landing and taxiing.  My camp hand Tyrol and I made landfall after pushing some heavy ice chunks around. And thus, the season began.

Upon first arrival, we immediately noticed a black bear had destroyed our fish cleaning house in search of some spring food. Thankfully, that and a downed internet dish was the extent of the damage Central Lake received over a long and harsh winter.  With little time to soak in the Canadian wilderness, Ty and I had to promptly begin opening camp.  Our time frame was limited considering we had to open six camps in seven days.  Mom, Dad and Shadow arrived with some more help the next day and we hit the ground running.

Fortunately, Mother Nature was on our side, granting us favourable weather to accomplish our task at hand. The whole week of May 23rd to May 31st temperatures hung in the high 60's to mid 70's with ample sunshine.  Flying from sunup to sundown, we were able to open all of the outposts just in the nick of time.  The biggest issues we've encountered from the harsh winter thus far is a couple of cracked solar batteries at West Lake, a chewed up water line at South West and the dock at Burnt Lake pushed a couple feet from the ice.  


Now that the guests have arrived and have had a couple of days of fishing under their belts, I can provide a better fishing report. I unfortunately, have yet to cast a line but have had a chance to chat with a number of people.

44" on a Killer Eel
The pike have been the talk of the town here at Central Lake.  So far, over 30+ fish have been boated and released over 30" topping at 44".  The magic lure has been the Delong Killer Eel.  The big fish have been passing over just about every other bait and favoring the slow presentation of the Killer Eel.  The only problem.....Delong went out of business and they are no longer manufactured.

As the water temperatures warm, the pike will become more aggressive and hit quicker moving baits. The shallow bays have warmed to roughly 50 degrees and it has been crucial finding those warmer water temps for fish.  Not a lot of fish have been found near the rapids yet, even though suckers have been spotted spawning.

Walleye fishing started off the week very slow.  Male walleye were being caught with lots of milt.  This tells me that the walleye spawn occurred earlier this week.  However, some big females are now getting boated and released the past two days.  After chatting with the boys at South Lake yesterday, the fishing is improving every day, which is another sign that the fish are coming out of the post spawn.  Small jigs 1/8oz and 1/4 oz with white tails have been most effective thus far.  Areas with moving water and narrows have been the best locations for walleye.

The water levels are about average for springtime conditions, a little higher than normal. I expect them to drop over the next couple of weeks as the winter runoff is depleted.

Looking forward to a great season and seeing everyone soon.