Monday, August 18, 2014

Fishing With a Legend

Dan and Anne with mom and dad. 
Last week I had the privilege to guide and film with a fishing legend, Dan Gapen Sr.  Those of you not familiar with Dan, he is a writer (currently published in over 100 circulated sites and magazines), TV-host and hall of fame fisherman.  He has spent a lifetime of filming, educating and just simply enjoying the outdoors.  A quick search through, you can read some of his famous stories and check out plenty of their great and effective lures they have to offer.  Now 82, Dan and his company partner "Bobber" Anne have spent the majority of their travels throughout the America's all the while journaling and filming their endeavours.

Filming during a sunset
We were honored when Dan and Anne first approached months ago us about visiting us at Central Lake to do some filming on the unique Opasquia Provincial Park.  This was one area of Ontario that they wanted to cross off their bucket list for filming. The remoteness and geology of the area intrigued him the most.

Overall, the weather cooperated enough and we were fortunate to capture some great moments on film.  Dan liked to focus on the outdoor experience as a whole, not on just the biggest and most fish we could put in the boat, which really impressed me. So many times people lose perspective on where they are and get tunnel visioned on that 40" pike or 27" walleye. Yes, we fished plenty however, we also focused on some things nature had to offer.  For example, an afternoon of blueberry picking.  Let me tell you, nothing is better than fresh blueberry muffins or pancakes.  We enjoyed plenty.

I'll keep everyone posted about our episode/videos when the editing and post production is finished.  I am especially excited to see some of our underwater footage of walleye stalking our baits on the TV.  We were fortunate enough to capture several hookups and numerous strikes in 10-20 ft of water.

Throughout the week with Dan I experimented around with his line of fishing tackle.  Three lures in particular, which I'll admit I never heard of, really produced well.  First, the Flub Dub. This unique crankbait pictured right, caught several pike over 33" and plenty of walleye.  I was a sceptic at first noticing the lone rear hook, however we never missed a single hit. Trolling this lure along 12' flats or breaklines is where it really produced.

The second lure, the Ugly Bug, looks like the name sounds.  It is a jig setup with a rubber tail that has multiple flanges darting every which way.  I had my best luck with this lure jigging along weed beds.  I had my fair share of bite offs from pike but I was out fishing everyone.

The Ugly Bug
The final lure I enjoyed for the week was the Spin-Bee.  The 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz was a blast to vertical jig on deep reefs.  Armed with a spinner instead of a twister tail, fishermen never have to worry about the rubber tail getting bit off from short striking fish.

Every year I try to find effective alternatives for walleye fishermen to try other than the straight lead head and 3" tail.  These lures previously mentioned are quality lures worth a try.  I now have several of each in my tackle box for my next outing.  Another lure that has been shining that I also blogged about is the Echo Tail.  This lure started the year sluggish however now that the walleyes are settling in deeper water it has been an absolute beast.  

The Spin-Bee


The walleye are well....going deeper, however to add some confusion, we found plenty in the weeds last week.  One day we would nail the fish in 12-20 ft of water on reefs and windblown points.  Only to return the next day and find nothing.  After some looking around we eventually found lots of fish hanging near the weeds.  The fish are obviously moving around so do not get discouraged if you strike out on a spot, try it again the next day and you could be rewarded.

Pike are starting to pack on the pounds for fall.  Most are hanging in foliage but I like to throw my big baits (depth raiders and bull dawgs) this time of year on deep reefs.  You just know they are hanging around stalking a lazy walleye. The topwater bite has been very discouraging this year, I have spent several evenings tossing with minimal action.  I would suggest focusing on bucktails or spoons during what I call the "magic hour" of 7-8 pm.  I have boated more big fish this year during that time frame.

Water levels have been falling due to lack of rain.  The surface temperatures are hovering around 67-69 degrees on most lakes. The nights have been fairly cool, dipping into the lower 40's.  This cold has had an effect on the weed beds over the last several days.  They are beginning to lose their bright green color, which means they are on the verge of dying.  Once the weeds start to fall pike will move to other areas to ambush prey.

Good luck on the water everyone,

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