This week at Pasha Lake Cabins:
- Extreme heat plays on the walleye bite
- Johnsons, Zion, and the Foutch/Chesnek group find Pasha bliss
- Bear Season opens August 15 – baits are being destroyed
As I sit here accessing the archives of my, most times, fogging mind, I noticed some internet chatter on techniques to combat a slow August walleye bite. I couldn’t help but smirk, for the last week and a half, we too have noticed a change. It seems this insanely hot weather has shaken things up everywhere. Once-easy-to-find walleyes have decidedly made it more challenging for our novice guests. Add to that extreme temperatures that have constantly threatened triple digits and you have a recipe for challenged angling. Allow me to explain.
One of the tantalizing appeals of fishing the Pasha Lake Region of Ontario is the ease that comes with finding and catching fish. You can take the most inexperienced angler, throw them in a boat, and within hours have them catching fish like a pro. The reason? Quite simply, there is an over-abundance of fish in our waters.
But what happens when that historical ease at which we catch fish changes? What happens when simple techniques, like the old reliable jig and minnow, start to lose their luster? What happens when guests who lack one or more years of experience on our waters begin to struggle?
The answer? We dissect the activities of those who’ve “been there and done that”. This week, we look at three stand out groups that have made it their mission to beat the heat and boat the fish. To that end, they have excelled!
Bob Johnson and his family have been coming here for years. More specifically, they are on the every other year program and have been so since we took ownership. During our discussions, it doesn’t take long before they reminisce about fishing and adventures from previous trips. It’s hard to mistake their feeling of excitement and joy when their laughter fills the room. And this year is no different, despite any heat Mother Nature could throw at them. In 2015, they took their travels to, among other lakes, the Walleye Dream Trip and none other than Onaman Lake.
It was a beautiful Monday when the Johnsons departed for Lake Nipigon. Gus the Guide was amped up and ready to go. He was also dishing out some pretty good early morning ribbings, as is his MO. After a scenic NW Ontario drive, they jumped in the big boat and aimed to their destination waters that were recently boiling with hungry walleyes. Upon arrival at one of the hot spots, these guys started boating fish like their arms were on fire. Dang near every cast, they either hooked a fish or missed one trying. As the day wore on and arms grew tired, they asked Gus if they could get a break and try to troll for the trophy pike Nipigon is famous for. Reluctantly, Gus agreed, and they headed to a channel that historically held some monsters. In true Nipigon fashion, it didn’t take long before the first pike was hooked and the “ooos and ahhs” of seeing huge fish filled the air. The rest of the day was spent in search of big pike and once the hooked a girthy 38.5 incher, disappointed they were not.
Proving their methods weren’t a fluke, the Johnsons decided to give Onaman a whirl. It had been some time since they’d fished it and heard how red hot the bite was. Red hot doesn’t even begin to describe the days fishing as the walleyes bent their rods to the breaking point. And all that despite a ferocious wind that had the main lake engulfed in 6 foot waves! The wind was so bad that the Johnsons didn’t even leave the shelter of the main bay where the boats are stashed. They found a reef polluted with walleyes and proceeded to hammer it for the next 6 hours. The bite never let up!
Enter Dustin Foutch and Brad and Brett Chesnek. Dustin is the brother-in-law of new Pasha Lake Pro-staffer Justin Bonvallet (more on him in later posts) and has stayed with us once before. Brad and Brett were greenhorns and had no idea what the Pasha experience was all about. Their trip this year was a retirement gift for their dad, in honor of his retirement as a underground coal miner. They too choose to try their hand at the Walleye Dream Trip and their decision couldn’t have been better.
This time, instead of Gus, it was yours truly that was the day’s boat operator. I admit I had to brush off the rust since it had been sometime since running the boat. Nothing like 4 footers on Nipigon to help get me back in the groove of things; love that Lake Nipigon.
Once we survived (that’s not a fabrication) the waves that’d soaked every hair follicle on our heads to our toes, we tossed the anchor and took a couple of deep breaths. The euphoria of calm river water and peaceful scenery soon gave way to hoot’in and hollering as walleyes started to bend rods like tree twigs in a tornado. Every time I turned around, someone was yelling “fish on!” And in one of the trip highlights, Brett’s rod slumped over in the unmistakable shape that only a pike can pull off. He fought the 38.5” fatty like a true champ and once landed, it set the tone for the rest of the day! It was good to be back in the driver’s seat!
Then there is Zion Lutheran Church out of Anoka, Minnesota–my alma mater. 2015 marks their 8th year here and experience has taught them well. Brad Jacobson had his personal best, landing two 28 inch Ontario walleye in as many days. In fact, one of the days I had mistakenly double booked Brad’s chosen lake and sheepishly asked if he’d give up his boat. In true Brad style, a little shaken but being the nice fella he is, is choked out the words “no problem” and off to his new lake he went. Lucky he did because he was treated to the heart pounding, fighting action of one of his big fish. Not surprising how his decision paid off big by being the generous guy he is.
Wrapping things up for this report, I have to apologize. We are in complete ramp-up mode for the pending August 15th black bear opener, and as always, my reports fall a tad behind. The saving grace is the baits are getting destroyed (as usual) as we are poised for another record-breaking harvest. Not to mention the weather has broken from the extreme heat and the bugs are nearly nonexistent. It continues to be a great summer around here and a good time to belong to the Pasha Lake club of awesome guests.
I do have another report from late July that I’ll try to publish shortly. If not, I’ll throw it in the archives for this winter.
Stay tuned–we are stepping it up another notch!
Until next time…