In the news this week:
- Weather continues to play a major role in finding fish
- Signs of increasing water temps (read how to find fish in transition on Target Walleye)
- Water temps on Nipigon remain at record lows; brook trout bite through the roof
- 48 inch pike killed by a prop
- New lake explored, Chad-style
- Dave & Julie Moore do it again
- Onanman continues to produce mind-boggling walleye results
Once again, this week’s weather has been a head scratcher. For Sunday through most of Wednesday, we were plagued with cool, overcast, drizzling weather that hampered the efforts of our innocent guests. Also once again, finding fish was not the difficult part. The challenge continues to arise in finding a consistent bite and combating the sometimes unforgiving weather conditions. Regardless–someway, somehow–Pasha Lake guests always find a way to persevere; but I’ll have more on that later. Thankfully, by week’s end and at the time of this report, we are in a warming trend. Thursday brought high skys and much needed, yet unusually warm weather. And, according to the long term forecast, the trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Not to be a Negative Nelly, but with the warmer weather, the bug hatch is in full swing and will continue to get worse before it gets better. Word to the wise: those heading into NW Ontario over the next few weeks need to be prepared to deal with them.
So how have Pasha Lake’s guests dealt with the wild weather swings? Well, persistence and trial-and-error have been key. No doubt the spawn is over and has been for awhile. No doubt the fish are in transition. What we’re trying to dial in is where the fish (namely walleyes) are holed up. (Note: I was reading the Target Walleye blog yesterday and came across a tidbit on how find them.) My advice to guests is throw the play book out the window, and really listen to what the fish, in that moment, are telling you. If you catch one or two fish and the bite goes dead, move! Find the same structure that produced and do it again. Continue searching, start shallow and work deep. Pound shorelines with spinners and cranks until you’re satisfied the fish aren’t there. Tie on a jig, hit the bottom, and migrate toward deeper water. Stick with brights, play with the tempo of your presentation, and stay persistent. There is no doubt the fish are there, you just have to find out what’s going to work for that day, at the depth, and for those fish. Sounds pretty generic, but generic is essential to locating fish. Once you find them, then you can start fine-tuning things.
Third-year guests Dave and Julie Moore have learned this lesson all too well. 2015 marks the best fishing they’ve ever experienced while staying with us. Don’t get me wrong, the fishery hasn’t changed (well, maybe it’s gotten better); the fishermen have changed. Dave and Julie invested one week a year for the last 3 years fishing our waters. In that time they’ve watched, learned and implemented extreme trial and error. In fact, the first 2 years staying with us, they relied heavily on advice and recommendations they could gather from other camp goers and me. This year, much to my enjoyment, I watched them implement all they’ve learned. In the mornings, they got their lake assignment, and when they returned in the evenings, I thoroughly took pleasure in hearing their success. In the near future, I plan on interviewing Dave and Julie for the Best Ontario Fishing blog. My goal is to capture in gory detail all they’ve done to become so successful in fishing the Pasha Lake region.
Bob H does it again. Bob H from Michigan really intrigues me. His crew and he have to be some of the best fisherman I’ve rubbed elbows with during our tenure at Pasha Lake. What I find fascinating about Bob’s crew is how hard they fish, how successful they are, all while fishing from their own boats. Bob tows around a 19ft Lund and his brother a similar rig. In this past week, they fished 7 or 8 different lakes having mind-blowing success on all. When Bob and I connected for the first time last week, he explained his mission of boating a 25” brook trout from Nipigon. I gave him my best two cents, not really comprehending how serious he was. Bob listened intently and was able to achieve his goal in short order. In fact, his brother has a Pasha Lake Trophy Club Hat and the picture to prove how successful he was. Add to that astonishing numbers of perch, walleye and some pike that bordered on trophy class and you could say they had a pretty darn good week. Not to mention, they stumbled upon a 48 inch Nipigon Pike (that’s not a typo) that had been killed by a prop. They didn’t snap a photo of it, but rest assured, if these guys say it was 48, it was all of 48 inches. Just like my goal with Dave and Julie, I plan on asking Bob (and hope he’ll tell me) the list of lakes he fished this week to be so successful. I’ll post the info on the blog as soon as it becomes available.
(Side note: Gus has been doing extremely well for brook trout on Lake Nipigon in the last 2 weeks. His guide trips have boated guests double digits speck days on almost every outing. That’s pretty darn good considering the crazy swings in water temps. Keep it up, Gus!)
And not to be out done by the guests, I was able to finally partake in my first guide trip of the year. Where to you might ask? None other than the famous walleye factory, Onaman Lake.
Rewind back to February. Long time guest Larry and Mike Apple from Ohio called to book their annual June trip. Mike told me he wants to make this trip a special one and asked about the Walleye Dream Trip. Unfortunately I had to break the news that we don’t start that trip until July. I quickly recommended the alternative (and, in my mind, often times better) Onaman Lake. Mike was quick to jump on board and we set a date for the last day of their stay. Fast forward to yesterday and Onaman strikes again. “That’s the best fishing I’ve ever experienced” were words uttered by both Mike and Larry as I finished cleaning the last walleye of their take-home limit. If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words, I’d have an extra couple of grand in my bank account and that’s no joke!
Larry Apple (Ohio) braves the 1 mile walk to fishing bliss, courtesy of Onaman Lake
The Onaman Lake Walking Bridge, maintained by Pasha Lake Cabins
Oh and I almost forget, on Sunday of last week I finally had to take a break. I’ve always wanted to explore a certain lake and decided it was the day. I threw a boat in my truck and aimed north for a lake that lay a short 45min drive. Neckdowns and flow were the main characteristics that attracted me to the body of water, but I was pleasantly surprised by a plethora (really? Did I just use that word?) of favorable walleye structure. In last week’s report I theorized the inconsistent bite was due to the transition from spawn to feeding, and it was confirmed within 10 minutes of hitting the new body of water. We hit walleyes in flow, off points, down deep, in weeds, in timber and suspended. It was crazy! Everywhere we threw a jig, we knew it was only a matter of time before we boated a fish. I quickly grew tired of rebaiting minnows so I donned a white Berkley Grub and noticed no difference in action.
The new lake
But, also true to my theory, you couldn’t sit in one spot for too long. In order to stay in the action, we moved–a lot! At one point, we stumbled on a mid-lake submerged weed bed and stopped to check it out. As soon as the graph lit up with fish I boated a jumbo perch, followed shortly by a respectable walleye. I was surprised how green the vegetation was, but it was obviously holding fish. A couple more drifts and we were treated to similar results. At one point after tying on a Lindy Fuzy Grub, I was distracted and a pike hit my lure so hard it literally jerked the rod from my hand. Of course he broke the line almost instantly, but it’s one I won’t soon forget! We ended the day completely satisfied, couple of limits, and a new feather in the cap of our lake repertoire.
A selfie after a mind-staggering day of catching fat walleyes on Onaman
And finally! 4 guys, one boat and 5 trophy pike. That was the official tally after a day on Lake Nipigon with Gus, Pasha Lake’s Lake Nipigon official guide. Never in the history of our Trophy Club have we given out 4 Club Hats in one day. That changed last Friday when Justin Alders (Faribault, MN) and his crew landed 5 pike over 40 inches in an afternoon of fishing Lake Nipigion! Congratulations, you guys–you earned it.
That brings us to yet another weekly report. Going forward, weather looks great and the fishing action even better! Keep checking back for updates as we keep on tracking the fishing of the best fishing region in all of Ontario!
Until next time…