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.
“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.
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.
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…