Bittersweet. That’s about the only way to describe this time of year. As I type this, Michelle is packing up the van and loading the kiddos. Hard to believe, but it’s that time of year. The end of summer is here, school starts Tuesday, and the Thompson family is once again spread out over two countries–the US and Canada.
With this blog post, there are SO many things I want to update everyone on, from jaw-dropping fishing adventures to close-in counters of the black bear kind and everything in between. In fact, the last 3 weeks have got to be some of the most memorable our guests have ever experienced. That’s quite a bold statement considering Pasha Lake’s history of remarkable fishing and hunting.
A quick glace in the Pasha Lake reservation book and I am reminded of those unforgettable stories. Allow me to touch on a few.
Gary Ellefson (Ashland,WI) – First time guests, now life time guests. Walleye fishing that knocked everyone’s socks off and made them anxious for next year.
Wayne Miller – “We’ve never caught so many walleyes” – statements uttered almost daily as they returned from their adventures. Wayne and his crew have been coming to Pasha 10 plus years.
Justin Mcmillion – Two years in a row he’s downed a black bear the first night in the stand. This year he bagged a beautiful 250 lb boar.
Austin and Rob Sinning – Coming here since Austin was 7 years old, this father/son teamed up to bag his second black bear in as many years. Austin’s 2015 boar tipped the scales at 230.
Brian and Torri Skaggs – Brian comes here multiple times a year. This hunting season he brought his daughter Torri (a fanatical hunter in her own right) on her first black bear hunt. They downed one of the biggest bears of the year, a brute of a boar at 330 lbs.
Pat and Conner Lalonde – Don’t let Conner’s age of 11 years fool you; his passion for fishing trumps most of us adults. He and Grandpa Pat were a dynamic dual to watch as they slayed fish daily. Conner’s favorite lake? Onaman, of course!
Chad Levos and Brian Hanke – Bear hunting at Pasha for the 7th straight year, these long time buddies nailed two gorgeous black bears on the same night, within minutes of each other. Brian’s harvest stands as the biggest to date (350lbs) and Chad’s not too far behind (305lbs).
Chris and Zac Prickett – Yet another father and son team. Both killed their bears on the same night within hours of each other. After filling their bear tags, they spent the day on the Walleye Dream Trip and added 3 northerns to their trophy collection. To top it off, Chris and Linda celebrated their wedding anniversary and her birthday during their week. How cool is that??
Troy Winchell & Tommy Kruger – Hunting with us every other year. They did it again in 2015 and spent their rest of time using their 4 wheelers to access some remote, world class fishing.
Joseph McGuffey – “All my dad wants to do is catch a big northern” — and that’s exactly what happened. All 43 inches of a big northern. Congrats, guys!
Jim Jechorek – Between him and buddy Dave, their fish counter rolled past 850 walleyes for the week. Folks, that’s not a typo. 850! Wow!
Kurt Bill — who, in 2014, spent a whopping 45 hours in a stand without seeing a bear, nailed his first-ever this year within the first hour of his hunt – 270lbs boar. Good things do come to those who wait.
Norman Huges – First time bear hunter who had a bear come within 3 feet of his ground blind. He literally had to push the fabric down on the window to get a shot. The bear piled up so close he could reach out and touch it from his seat.
And finally, Brian Kofal – his annual comments are copied here directly from his email:
Summary of the week
– 30-40 walleye, biggest was 24.5”
We could have caught more, but left two boats working on fish for dinner while we went looking for larger fish
Onaman 150+ walleyes between the boats
Our boat had over 80 when I stopped wasting time on the clicker and we still fished for 2.5 more hours
Largest fish in our boat was a 25.5” an extremely thick walleye which was followed up with a 25” deep golden walleye. That was my cousin Jeff’s personal best.
Most of the fish were in 4-7 feet of water on the wind-blown side of the lake
The other two boats caught a pile of fish as well
We split up between two different lakes
The group that I was with caught around 50 walleyes between the two boats. We had the wind switch out of the North and the fishing was tough. We could catch 3-4 fish in a spot and had to move to the next spot. Largest of the day was a 24.5” walleye.
The other group had a good adventure and experienced similar fishing once the wind switched.
We split between two different lakes
The group I was with went to Onaman… All I can say is wow. It was crazy…
My dad and his friend were with and we dropped them on the point we had luck on Sunday that was a little out of the wind. We proceeded out into the bigger part of the lake and started fishing on a point in the wind. The waves were large enough to splash over the boat and the only way I could control the boat was to back troll, which just allowed the boat to fill faster (we could fish for about 30 minutes before we had everything in the boat floating and had to take a spin to drain the boat). We kept fishing because it was crazy… On that one point we caught over 70 fish with a couple dozen in the 24-25” range… The biggest was a thick 26” fish. We fished 3 other spots on the lake and ended the day with over 100 in our boat. Now back to my dad and his friend… They ended the day with around 60 walleye in the boat, so also a pretty solid day. They ended up with 9 walleye over 26” for the day and 3 right at the 27” mark. That is some big fish.
The other group took a more relaxed day and went up to some falls for an amazing shore lunch spot with two waterfalls as the backdrop… They caught a pile of walleyes, with the highlight of the day being a 28” incredibly thick walleye coming in the backwater below the falls in 5 feet of water.
We split between two different groups again
My dad and his friend went on the River Trip with Gus and had a great time. Too many walleyes to count at the River and finished the day going after some pike. My dad’s friend Ron ended up catching a 40+” pike to join the trophy club.
We took three boats up north for the day and had a great trip! I don’t even know how many walleyes we caught that day, but it was a pile… The size averaged around 19.5-20.5 inches with a bunch in the 22-23” range.
Back to Onaman for some more fishing
The lake was calm for the first time, so we had access to any spot on the lake and started fishing on some of the water that was inaccessible the previous trips. Between the three boats, we had to pull in over 200 walleye with the largest a 27.5” pig caught by an eleven year old… You couldn’t wipe the smile from his face!! My cousin caught the biggest walleye of his life as well a 26” really thick walleye (he actually caught his personal best 4 different times over the course of the week). The day was ridiculous and was a little difficult to operate the boat when we had 3 fish on at the same time numerous times throughout the day.
We ended up on ———- for the day and caught a pile of fish. We left numerous points looking for bigger fish despite the constant fish on the end of the line… Best fish of the day was a very thick 24.5” walleye. The best catch might have been the 24” blue walleye that Jeff caught in the morning (very pretty fish). On that day, we caught walleye in 3’ of water all the way out to 28” of water… All that we had to do was find the structure and there were fish.
I am absolutely floored by the events of the past few weeks. It has been unreal, and a blessing like no other. Congratulations to all those people and the ones not mentioned, we are truly honored to be part of your awesome experiences.
But, don’t go away just yet folks. We are staring down the gun barrel of a spectacular fall season. Archery moose opens in two weeks. The wolf hunters arrive around the same time and did I mention fall fishing? Some of the best angling opportunities of the year are still to come. Stay tuned and of course
Until next time….