Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Wilderness Report #8

Wow, what a storm! We finally received some much needed rain here in the Opasquia Provincial Park.   According to our rain gauge, around two inches of rain fell overnight last night (7/23), and it came down in buckets.  The rain on the metal roof, usually hypnotizing, was actually quite deafening.  The rain is continuing to fall as I write this blog.  Water levels should start to rise after this deluge.  Levels on most lakes were approaching lows I have never witnessed.  A cold north wind has tagged along with the rain and today's high is going to be a mild 50 degrees.  The welcomed rain will help the fire situation as conditions in the area were labeled as extremely high fire danger.

The planes are ready for a Saturday change over
This cold snap may cause the fish to dive into deeper waters. Yesterday, the surface temperature at Central was 70 degrees.  This morning it had already sunk to 66 degrees.  Smaller baits may be more effective as fish can be less aggressive after a cold front.   A short-lived guide trip this morning supports the previous statement.  We found walleye just tapping our baits, barely hanging on the ends of the jig tails.  However, some good schools were located in about 20 ft.  To combat the short strikes, I switched from a jig and twister to a 1/4 oz Kastmaster jigging spoon and was hooking up on more fish.  

The walleye bite before today was active and steady.  Fish are holding anywhere from 8-25' with the majority hanging in 12-16' range.  Vertical jigging 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz jigs with 3" Ripple Shad tail while slowly backtrolling is a favorite technique of mine.  Light colors produce on sunny days while darker colors on cloudy days are preferred.  Trolling crankbaits along windblown shorelines in 12-20' is a great alternative to jigging. 

A northern pike selfie. 
The northern bite continues to be most active along weeds in the late afternoon and early into the evening.  Bucktails, like musky killers and Mepps Agilas, have been outproducing the larger baits.  Bright blades and skirts seem to be the favorites.  Casting the heavy weeds still requires the old faithful, Johnson silver minnow.  The 3/4 oz or 1 1/4 oz is a must have spoon in everyone's tackle box for pike.  The top water bite will stall for a few days until the water begins to warm back up.  

West Lake topped the 40" mark for pike several times over the past couple days, while South Lake has a couple 28"+ walleye under their belts so far.  Southwest is catching lots of fish on any rock reefs in 12 ft of water.  Reefs just north of camp at Central Lake are holding quality walleye.  Big boy bay at Burnt Lake still holds the crown for top northern spot on the lake. The deep pools in the Sagawitchewan river on Cocos Lake are holding lots of fish. 

Good luck on the water everyone! 

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