The boreal forest throughout NW Ontario is becoming quite dry. The water levels at Central have dropped about two feet over the past three weeks. Most rapids throughout the park are becoming small flowages as a result. The water has warmed considerably, most lakes have surface temperatures hovering around 72-75 degrees.
|42" released at Central 8/5|
Fishing tactics are still similar to the past blog. Walleye are holding around wind blown points and reefs in 15-25 ft of water. Jigging 3/8 oz black heads with white tails have really been an effective color combination. Crawler harnesses are another great way to reach the depths. Don't completely rule out weeds for walleye. Walleye will often seek out bait fish among foliage. While guiding yesterday at Central we found many walleye hitting Johnson silver minnows while pitching for pike in thick weeds.
Pike have been incredibly active lately. However, the sunny days allow northern to get a great view of your baits and result in numerous follows to the boat. The peak bite for big fish has been from 6 pm-9 pm when the sun is a bit lower in the sky. The past several trips out I have packed only three lures for northern:
- Essox assualt EA-8 bucktail orange blade, black skirt
- Johnson silver minnow with a white twister tail trailer
- Buchertail Top Raider, black
|"That's fish number 202 dad!"|
Locate your favorite weed bed for toothy trophies and start tossing bucktails along the edge, or try your best to weave the lures through the foliage. If the weeds are too thick the Johnson Silver is the perfect bait to navigate the thickest beds.
Hot spots #5 and #6 are where I would focus my efforts for a big pike. Throwing bucktails at the thickest parts of the weeds will produce some great fish. Walleye can be found jigging on any reef in around 15 ft of water.
The north narrows has begun to really heat up for trophy fish. Also, while guiding on the west end of the lake recently (8/6) we released 10 fish over 30 inches not including a 38.5" and a 42". Every fish was caught on a Johnson silver minnow 1 1/4 oz with a white twister tail. Several guests attempted the south portage 8/5 and returned home with big smiles. "Fishing was so good, we boated 60 walleyes in 60 minutes," exclaimed one gentleman.
The deeper pools around Hot spot #9 have been great for nicer walleye. Hot spot #8 and several nearby weeds have held great pike. The water is beginning to drop throughout the Sagawitchewan river, motorist should use caution as numerous reefs become exposed.
I'll be redundant, because it is difficult to offer variable reports for Lemonade, but the lake is still producing plenty of 18-22" walleye. Favourable produced some nice sized pike including a 38" out of pike alley recently. Hot spots #2 and 4 are among my favorite for pike as the summer progresses.
Some amazing numbers for trophy walleye were posted again last week. Roughly 30 fish were released over 25" up to 29.5". The fish were more spread out among different locations however the majority of the fish were boated between 7-9 pm. Deeper waters (20-25 ft) still held the larger females. Some great pike fishing gets overlooked at South Lake, don't be afraid to pitch those weed beds.
The Beach party has been coming to Canada since the early 90's and exclaimed Southwest lake offered more fish than any other trip. Hot spots #2 and 4 were the go to areas.
Hot spot #2, 6 and 10 should be focal points for guests. #2 is a large weed bed along an island that is perfect territory for trophy fish. #6 is a long stretch of narrows that leads to the fish bowl. Slowly work the northern half of the narrows beginning in 10 ft of water, motor gradually to the shallower water. #10 is a great reef that top out at 9 ft with 60 ft of water nearby. Jig this reef or pitch deep diving cranks for big walleye. Big pike prowl this area also.
Good Luck on the water everyone,