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.

IMG_8447 27---Gabe-Fish-6

“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.

Michelle-blue-walleye

Michelle-walleye-1

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…

scott turner prostaffer

One-Man Walleye Opener Part 2

By Scott Turner

Day 2 was a little bit different than Day 1 of my one-man walleye opener–and that’s putting it mildly. The temperature had dropped about 15 degrees C or about 27 degrees F by my calculations. Oh, and add some winds kicking in at least 25mph. My enthusiasm was taking a hit but I was not going to give up! After talking with Chad about my previous day’s success, he thought it would be wise to follow the same pattern of looking for outflows. Chad gave me some options including going back to the same body of water. I opted for trying something new and seeing some more of the country: another great scenery spot with a beautiful set of rapids.

rapids rapids

rapids

As soon as the boat was launched, the rain started and I had a 5 mile ride directly into the wind.  No worries though. I simply pulled the brim of my hat down and made a run for the upstream rapids. Now Chad had told me to hit as much of the bay as I could where the rapids were located at. I did attempt it, but the wind made boat control very difficult. A drift sock would have been perfect in this spot, but I did not bring one along. I knew there had to be fish in this bay because it just looked too good.

rapids

With the success of Day 1, I decided to follow the same pattern that proved itself.  Now normally I would look for a wind-swept point or rock face to fish. This was problematic because the current was relatively strong, and the wind only assisted the pushing around of the boat. Looking at the shoreline, I noticed a point followed by a small bay or indentation in the rock face of about 20 feet.

Water depth was again 10 feet and the current was moving quite slowly, maybe a leisurely walking pace at best. I was able to back troll very easily in that spot and keep my jig vertical. I managed to boat 9 walleye and 8 pike on the outing, only tallying up to about 90 minutes of fishing.  I will admit I did pull the plug early as the weather was getting pretty sour and I had dish pan hands from the rain.

fish from rapids   image2

fish on tailgate

I hope a trip to Pasha Lake Cabins is in your future, and if it is, be on the lookout for wildlife around every corner. On my short trip I was fortunate to see four bears, a moose, a snowy owl, two sand hill cranes, a red fox, a pair of bald eagles, countless ruff and spruce grouse, and more snow shoe hares than I could count.

moose tracks   rabbit   wildlife

Your adventure can be as mild or wild as you wish. You simply have to tell Chad what you would like to do. There is great fishing on lakes hidden right off the highway to taking his Dream Walleye Trip which I did a few years ago with my oldest daughter then 12.

Looking forward to my next Pasha adventure in August 2015 with my family.

About Scott Turner: I have been married for 18 years to my wife, Tracey, and we have two talented and beautiful daughters, Jessica (15) and Jacqueline (12), as well as Sadie, our German Shorthair Pointer. I am currently the president of the Greater Windsor Track & Field Club which includes 200 youth athletes.

A conservative estimate of the days I spend afield would be in the neighborhood of 200, spread between fishing, hunting and trapping. I would have to say my favorite fish to pursue would be the one that is biting the best! I consider myself a generalist, I fish whatever species I can when I can. I am very excited to be a member of Pasha Lake’s Pro-Staff team. My goal is to fish as many lakes in the region as possible and report back to you. I hope some of my experiences at Pasha Lake Cabins help enhance your next trip or maybe encourages you to come up and try Pasha Lake Cabins for the first time. It’s a trip you will not regret. 

Follow me on Twitter: @turnerscott2009

walleye with deep jigs

One-Man Walleye Opener Part 1

By Scott Turner

Hello fellow outdoor enthusiasts:

I think we all have a bit of little kid in us when leading up to our next outdoor adventure. I find I can hardly sleep the night before a big trip. That was the case yet again for me a few days ago leading up to my walleye opener weekend at Pasha Lake Cabins.

I have been to quite a few other camps in the past. Some have been fine establishments run by great people, and a few… maybe not so great. One of the main reasons I first decided on Pasha as my destination was the opportunity not just to have a vacation but an adventure. What do I mean by that? I am sure anyone that has been to Pasha can relate. The ability to fish a different body of water every day of the week greatly appealed to me. Not only that, but to know the chances of having anyone else on the lake I was fishing were really slim really excited me. After all, why do many of us go on vacation? To relax and get away from it all!

I arrived at Pasha on Friday evening and was greeted by a smiling Michelle and their children. (Mind you, their youngest daughter was still upset that her dad went to the minnow traps without her). Chad and I agreed to come up with a game plan in the morning for me. I squared myself away in Cabin #1 full of anticipation.

Saturday, I awoke to a warm, foggy windless morning. It felt like it was going to be a great day. After a brief discussion, Chad suggested an adventure a little farther down the road than I had gone before, but it just sounded too good to say no. I opted to let the fog clear a bit and was on my way.

The trip really wasn’t that bad–just over an hour driving time with a half-mile walk into the lake.  Once I turned off the main logging road, I could tell I was going to have the lake to myself. That was a great feeling. Now Chad had described the path to the lake as a “goat path” which had me a tad nervous. I was pretty happy to see that the path was very navigable and clearly marked with tracking tape. You know when you are walking through the woods with all your gear and your fishing rod gets tangled in a tree or your pack gets snagged up? This wasn’t the case here at all, clear sailing all the way through. The walk was actually quite easy, but I did stop just to look around and take it all in. I felt fortunate for standing in the place I was in.

One-Man walleye opener bush and landing   one-man walleye opener landing

Chad believed the walleye would still be in a pre-spawn pattern holding off creek outflows, and he had one in mind on this particular lake. The spot was about a 20 minute run using one of Pasha’s 6hp Yamaha outboards. I have to add I have never  had a mechanical issue with one of Pasha’s motors–maybe three pulls to start and that’s it.

pasha lake fishing spot   pasha lake fishing spot

Taking a look at the amount of water flowing out of the creek, I decided on a 3/8 oz chartreuse jig tipped with a Berkley chartreuse Alive Minnow. First drift and I was rewarded with a scrappy 14 inch walleye, which I returned quickly to the water. I liked how this was looking.

I guess maybe my excitement was a bit premature because the next five drifts yielded me nothing, not even a tap. I decided to switch things up but the current I was in required my constant attention, so I opted to head into some slack water to reequip. I have become more of a fan of plastics over the last year and decided to stay with an artificial bait. Keeping the same jig, I switched to a 4 inch AuthentX purple with chartreuse tail. I maneuvered the boat to run the same seam along the main outflow but again nothing on three attempts.

I decided to have a drink and a little snack, thought that might help me figure things out. So I headed back into the slack water. This time I tied off on a little rock island so I could get out and stretch my legs a bit. Again it just looked like a nice place to hang out for a bit.

Staring at my plastics looking for some inspiration, I thought with the dark tea-colored water maybe these fish could use a contrast with a bit of flash.

authentx plastics jig

With the new plastic on, I gave a cast out into the slack water for a trial run. My fortunes changed rapidly at this point. First cast and I had a fish on, but this what happened on my first drift so I was cautiously optimistic.

one-man walleye opener walleye

There was no need though for my concern, though, and the fishing became very consistent for the balance of the afternoon. What I did find is the majority of the fish I was catching were in the first 10 feet of my retrieve. What I was doing was wasting a lot of time if I didn’t pick up a fish in that first 10 feet. I pulled up off that island and dropped anchor closer to my new found honey hole. Again this was a good decision “be where the fish are.”

On at least three occasions I had a small pike (20-24 inches) follow my walleyes.  I kept thinking, “is he going to hit one of them or not?” You might be thinking it wasn’t the same pike each time, but I could actually see that this particular pike had something going on with his tail.

So on another hit I set the hook and I could tell pretty quick it was not a walleye this time. I looked down at my fish and it was my pike friend with the tail issue. By the looks of it, the pike (which I have since called “Lucky”) had been bit by something bigger. What else was swimming down there that would take a swipe at this 20 inch pike?  Unfortunately I didn’t find out but there is always next time.

pike with bite

The bite was very consistent the entire time on this spot. I was amazed on how deep the walleye were taking these AuthentX baits–I can’t say enough about them.

image1 image2

I ended up boating 23 walleyes that afternoon with half a dozen pike mixed in. I hated leaving a good bite but knew getting back at a decent time with a good night’s sleep would serve me well for the next day. And Day 2 certainly did bring about plenty of adventures of its own.

scott turner prostaffer

To be continued…

About Scott Turner: I have been married for 18 years to my wife, Tracey, and we have two talented and beautiful daughters, Jessica (15) and Jacqueline (12), as well as Sadie, our German Shorthair Pointer. I am currently the president of the Greater Windsor Track & Field Club which includes 200 youth athletes.

A conservative estimate of the days I spend afield would be in the neighborhood of 200, spread between fishing, hunting and trapping. I would have to say my favorite fish to pursue would be the one that is biting the best! I consider myself a generalist, I fish whatever species I can when I can. I am very excited to be a member of Pasha Lake’s Pro-Staff team. My goal is to fish as many lakes in the region as possible and report back to you. I hope some of my experiences at Pasha Lake Cabins help enhance your next trip or maybe encourages you to come up and try Pasha Lake Cabins for the first time. It’s a trip you will not regret. 

Follow me on Twitter: @turnerscott2009

northern pike ontario locating northern pike

Locating Northern Pike

Northern pike are at the top of the food chain in most Ontario lakes. They eat just about anything. Walleyes, trout, whitefish, perch, chubs, shiners, frogs, snakes, birds, bugs, and other pike are all on the menu. Let’s talk finding these northern pike (tips compliments of Pike Heaven).

Traditional locations

Small to medium-size northern pike generally stay in thick weeds and close to shore. They will stick to the back of bays where water warms up quickly with the morning sun and they have lots of weeds to hide in.

You can find big trophy northern pike in the back of bays and in thick weeds as well, but generally the really large northern pike are more likely to hang around points leading into bays, narrows between islands, or in river current. They need breathing room and like to ambush bigger prey like walleyes. They like to hang around areas where walleyes are migrating through.

pike location map locating northern pike

Deep water pike

On lakes where there is a high population of trout and whitefish, many of the massive trophy pike will go deep to feed. Trout and whitefish have more oil and are far more rewarding in calories than walleye or small pike. Deep water pike fishing is something few people ever think about trying. There will be 20 to 25 pound pike patrolling the bays and points but the really big 35+ pound pike will be down deep.

There are two ways to catch them down deep. You can jig with lures like you are ice fishing or troll for them. To troll down deep for pike is basically the same as trolling deep for lake trout. The difference is you use Dardevle spoons or bigger muskie lures. This is not a popular way of fishing because you are not going to catch smaller pike like you do close to shore, and with a limited amount of holidays, most people prefer to see action and hope they come across a big one while trying for those small and medium size pike.

As far as lures, northern pike hit just about anything that moves and stay tuned for a comprehensive list of the lures that will bring in the big guys.

Until next time!

ontario sunset fish ontario get free money

Fish Ontario–Get Free Money

The Canadian government has a tourism incentive for anglers and hunters visiting Ontario.  If you book an all-inclusive package, you are entitled to refund of half or your total tax. In other words, if you’re a large group and pay $300 in HST (Harmonized Sales Tax), the Canadian government will cut you a check for $150.

To qualify, you need to make sure you book these two things:

1)      An “All Inclusive” Package

2)      You need to be provided a “service”

For guests visiting Pasha Lake Cabins, that means anyone who books the Fishing Package is eligible for the 50% refund.

Pasha’s Fishing Package is all-inclusive in that we provide the weekly cabin rental, boat and motor rentals, all the bait and access to all lakes. We also provide fishing cleaning services, semi-guide service, food service at our Tuesday Night Fish Fry and, on occasion, guide service.

Time is of the essence. Refunds are given up to one year after your stay. Click here to download the refund form.

Make sure the official receipt from your accommodations is signed and dated by an employee of the outfit you stayed at. The bill also requires verbiage along the lines of “all inclusive package” and you were provided a “service.” Finally, it has to be marked “paid.” At Pasha, we usually include the package as one line item and the service as the second line item on the bill. We sign it, stamp it paid, and it’s a done deal.

If you have questions about how to submit the paperwork or what is needed, email me at Chad [@] pashalake [dot] com.