ontario northern pike

We’re still here!

Hey everyone – we are still here. We have some BIG groups in camp at Pasha Lake Cabins this week and bear baiting has started, so computer time has been limited. I’m working on a more comprehensive Ontario fishing report now, but it will be a few days before I’m ready to publish.

But here’s the short report. The heat is having an impact on the fishing; however, guests are still finding fish. Walleye Dream Trip is absolutely amazing, as is Onaman. Bear baiting has started now too, and there are plenty of upgrades happening around camp.

Talk soon…

Chad

Fishing at Pasha Lake Cabins

Onaman Lake, Walleye Dream Trip Results, and Updating an Old Technique

In the news this week for our weekly report,

  • Onaman continues to WOW!
  • Caleb’s first true walleye outing
  • Walleye Dream Trip results are in
  • Updating an old technique

“We’ll take Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and if you can sneak it in, we’ll go out there Wednesday as well!” Those were the tongue-in-cheek remarks from Darwin Vicker and his crew of “Larrys” when they arrived on Saturday. Although they were half-way kidding, if we could’ve arranged it, they would have fished Onaman Lake every single day. 

Folks, I don’t want to beat a head horse here, but I can’t find any other way to describe it. The fishery at Onaman Lake is absolutely thriving, and anyone with a pulse and desire to fish Canada has to experience it.

Onaman Lake is simply the best, most productive, walleye fishery in Ontario–period! It’s fisherman’s paradise, a world class, big fish producing, action-packed factory of walleye fun. Is anyone catching my drift here?

To reinforce my point (as if all the pictures don’t do so), let me tell you about the latest cold front to hit the Pasha Lake region. On Monday afternoon, we went from the mid 80’s to a low of 42 overnight. The cold front brought severe weather, a north east wind (bad), and a temperature drop that’d make an Eskimo shiver. Despite the cold front, which normally leaves walleye lockjaw, Onaman Lake wouldn’t be shaken. Darwin and the Larrys headed out Tuesday morning, admittedly with anxiety over what the front had done. With Sunday’s earth-shattering success fresh in their memory banks, they were seek a repeat performance. They were not disappointed. By mid day, they were slamming walleyes, and lingering anxiety was soon gone. The biggest of the day was a beefy 28 inch with several stretching beyond the 25 inch range.

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“76 inches in 3 fish!” said Bob.  

I instantly started doing the math in my head, and after the smoke cleared I blurted out, “That’s 26 inch average! That’s unreal!”

Bob Tahtinen has been coming to Pasha Lake for over 15 years, and the trophy board in his garage proves it. Bob has captured all his Pasha memories and dedicated a wall of memorabilia in garage that includes maps, bottle caps, Canada flags, broken gear, trophy club hats, tshirts and–my personal favorite–pictures of guests, both present and those who’ve passed. It’s pretty cool.

It should come as no surprise then that Bob slam dunked the big walleyes again this week. In one outing, he found the fish relating to rippled sand not too far from deep water access. Bob told me he trolled around until he started marking fish, especially bigger returns on his graph. Once located, he tossed his lure on top of their head and it was on like “Donkey Kong.” Bob’s lure of choice? A simple slip sinker, followed by a spin & glow and fat, juicy crawler dragged tantalizingly slow. Unsuspecting marble eyes simply couldn’t handle it and smashed his lure like a grapefruit. On that day, this rig yielded him a 26 inch average walleye in a span of about 10 minutes. Looking at the pictures of him holding his prize catches, you can tell he was one happy man. Congrats Bob! Hope to see you back this fall.  

Caleb! Where do I start? For those of you new to Pasha Lake, we have a very special child in our family. Caleb is our second child and suffers from a very rare chromosome disorder. While not life-threatening, his development is significantly delayed and his comprehension of the world unique. That’s not to say that his heart isn’t big. Quite the contrary, he finds joy in pretty much everything he does (definitely a lesson we could all benefit from). And don’t be surprised if he gives you a big bear hug when you arrive on our door step.  

Last Sunday, I took Caleb on his first father-son fishing outing. Of course he’d be fishing before that, but not one on one with just his Pops. It wasn’t long before we laced into our first 17 inch walleye on Atitgogama. From then on, it was a barrage of fish after fish. Caleb was the score keeper and wanted to contribute all his catch to the Tuesday night fish fry. He did just that last week, and everyone in attendance got to hear about it. Way to go Caleb!  

It’s official! The Walleye Dream Trip has arrived. The inaugural trip took place with Darwin and the Larrys last week. It was only a half-day test trip that still boated hundreds of fish. Since then, the trip has boasted a 300 walleye average with several guests incidentally landing trophy pike. On a trip that took place yesterday, newbie Erwin Hurlbut (a self proclaimed non-fisherman) not only landed over a 100 walleyes he also snafu’ed the highlight of the trip: a jaw-dropping 41 inch trophy northern. And this is just the beginning. Stay tuned to this one folks, because we’ve only just begun to report this. You can anticipate several more earth-shattering tidbits as we roll on throughout the rest of the 2015 season.

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New fishing technique? Most people who follow us know how I feel about trolling. I’d rather dig a ditch with a spoon than wash lures while trolling. But worse than trolling is being one dimensional, so I’ve reluctantly given in to learning this technique. I do, however, have my stipulations. Read on.

Over the past few years, I’ve watched Bob Herweyer and his crew employ a technique that’s fascinating to me. Quite simply, he ties on a spinner, and rather than bottom bounce, he trolls the lure. Most times, he doesn’t use weight, but if a situation calls for it, he simply clips on a few split shot and away he goes. He also plays with the size of the spinning blades, sometimes exchanging smaller blades for bigger ones to gain depth. The optimum trolling speed is 1 – 1.3 miles an hour and, judging by the quality and quantity of fish they catch, it works surprisingly well. 

After studying his technique for a few seasons, I found myself getting more and more inspired to try it.  Then, after hurting my arm and with my subsequent light duty restrictions, I figured the opportunity was upon me. This season more than any other, I’ve spent time “fun fishing,” locating new holes, and in this case, trying new techniques.

It’s been a month now since I started playing with it seriously, and the results are starting to gain clarity. I’ve found that, while this is still considered trolling, it’s not the typically rod watching that I hate. Using Bob’s Ontario trolling technique, I’m still able to hold the rod and feel the fish when they strike. The thrill of knowing the bite is coming is pretty darn cool. It’s the anticipation, so to speak. Then once they do slam it, most of the time the fish hook themselves. Only occasionally do they need a little hook-sinking courtesy of a quick snap of the rod.

Overall, though, I still have a ways to go to perfect the technique. I haven’t noticed a bigger overall average fish (like I have with the Carolina technique) nor a faster action bite. If fish are concentrated, I have to fight the urge to tie on a jig and go “hammer time” and I get a little frustrated not knowing my exact depth. All this is probably lack of skill development or current conditions. 

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Time to wrap up this week’s report. To sum things up, weather is great, fishing even better, guests are happy, and that makes me REALLY happy!  Looking forward, the Walleye Dream Trip will be the topic for many weeks to come–believe it or not–bear hunting starts in a little over a month. Folks, things are good in the Pasha Lake region of Ontario, rest assured!

Until next time…

Fishing at Pasha Lake Cabins

Dog Days of Summer & the Fishing Is Prime

The dog days of summer may be here, but the fishing adventures continue in epic proportions. There’s more to come on the blog this week (but what can we say–we’ve been having the time of our lives on the water) so stay tuned for a fishing report, more fishing stories, tips for summer fishing in Ontario, and awesome fishing photos from Pasha Lake Cabins guests. Til then, enjoy these amazing photos.

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The dog days of summer sure don’t bring these adventurers down. In fact, summertime is a great time to head to Pasha Lake, Onaman Lake, or any of the other prime fish habitats in Ontario and catch some beautiful fish.

From walleyes to northern pike, the best Ontario fishing is still to be had for those willing to get in a boat and try. Summer fishing Ontario lakes calls for different plans of attack in order to get the fish to take that bite, but that just adds to the challenge and experience.

Do you fish in July? Where and for what species? What are some of your tried-and-true tactics for finding and landing fish in the middle of summer? Share in the comments below and we might just feature your story on our facebook page!

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Weekly Report {June 27, 2015}

Quick question: how do you go from having never fished a day in your life to catching 28 inch walleyes, hooking highly sought after (rare!) splake, and snagging toothy pike in mind-boggling numbers? Very simple–just stay a week at Pasha Lake Cabins

Until Saturday last week, Dave Oplett from Illinois had never fished a day in his life. It’s highly likely he didn’t know what end of the fishing rod to use. That changed last Saturday when his brother Scott (12 year frequent flyer of Pasha Lake Cabins) and he arrived on our door step. I could tell right away Scott was anxious to get his brother on Ontario fish and, more importantly, wanted him to experience why people come back here year after year.

So where do you send a newbie that’s never hooked a fish in his life? Another simple one: Onaman Lake. Within minutes of hitting the water, the brothers started pounding awesome Ontario fish like pop cans. And it didn’t matter what they threw, the walleyes were as aggressive as they’ve been all year. It also didn’t matter what the weather conditions were. Last week’s weather mainly consisted of high skies and no wind. Yet the walleyes were up in the weeds, frequently breaking the mirror like surface in hot pursuit of any tantalizing lure these guys threw. By far, it was the best and most effective way to break in Greenhorn Oplett.

As if that weren’t enough, Scott came to me mid-week asking about splake. It’s a species he’s heard a lot about but never targeted in all his years here. So we checked the weather and picked the best day for the new adventure. It took him a little while to find the lake, and then some trial and error in locating fish. But, once they figured out the fish were close to shore and a simple spinner with half a crawler is all they wanted, it was game on.  I don’t think Scott realized how aggressive splake are. He was surprised at the tenacity of even the little ones. Despite hooking more fish than they thought possible, they threw pretty much everything back, not realizing the smaller ones are like eating candy. They did keep a nice 17 incher for table fare.

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“A long time.” That’s about the only way to describe the Barry Brubaker and Scott Culver group from Minnesota. These guys have been coming here forever; I think a little bit before dirt was invented. And this year, they brought with them Barry’s brother, Dave, from California. Just like brother Dave Oplett from the stories mentioned above, brother Scott was treated to all the best Pasha Lake has to offer. In a conversation just this morning, Dave was so grateful for the experience of the group. He said fishing with Scott was like having a built-in guide service. Scott has obviously been able to nail down some mad skills during his tenure here–skills he put to good use this past week. 

In fact, I have to get a little smile on my face. These guys have a local lake figured out like nobody else. For me, the lake is my personal top 10 list, but for some reason it can be a head scratcher to other guests. That was true again this week after a different group abandoned ship after just a half day trying to figure it out. Less than 24 hours later, Barry, Scott, and the rest of the crew hit pay dirt, fed their crew of 6 a man’s size shore lunch, and had enough left over to contribute handsomely to the weekly fish fry. 

Take these guys and put them on Onaman Lake, and have mercy!  It’s almost unfair–to the fish that is. Barry likes to call or email me a couple of times prior to their arrival. He wants to make sure their traditional two days of Onaman fishing are reserved well in advance. This year was no exception. Their catches included walleyes of 28’s, 27’s, 26’s and list on.  They told me of one 25 inch fish that was as round as it was long. Oh so true of the Onaman walleye!

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Four lakers and a trophy 40.5 inch Lake Nipigon Swamp Gator.  That was the part of the day’s bag limit after Mike Fry and his two sons spent an afternoon with Gus on the big lake (Lake Nipigon, that is). It seems while everyone else struggled to find the lakers, Gus was able to find the sweet spot yet again. So much so that they had a fish hooked less than a minute after dropping the first cannon ball. Three more into the boat shortly afterward and the Fry crew was very happy. Unfortunately, the required barbless hook regulation challenged the two youngsters; they lost two before Gus could get the net under them.  After a few hours of trolling, they headed to shallow water where the trophy pike was landed.

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Great weather, even better fishing, happy guests, and continued same for midsummer weeks ahead. As I write this, we are already midweek into another spectacular fishing marathon, and our guests couldn’t be happier. The smiles and the stories at last night’s weekly fish fry said it all!

Headed to the Walleye Dream Trip tomorrow if the weather holds. Happy Canada day for you hardcore “eh” sayers and Happy 4th of July to our U.S. anglers! 

Until next time…