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  1. I am spending some writing up reports from old trips and re creating some other ones for my site In 2008 5 of us did a boat in trip to Island 10 Lodge on Lady Evelyn Lake It was the start of a 10 year journey and 4 of us are still doing these trips together You can read the report here https://www.northernjacks.com/post/things-that-go-bang-in-the-night Cheers Andrew
  2. It seems like a lot of pike are getting into the Kawarthas now... not sure if it’s a good thing tho? Here’s the vid of our fishing catching day ? https://youtu.be/kVUu4xlVqv0
  3. Hey everyone. It’s been a while since I posted a fishing report. Thought I would share a great family paddling trip I had this weekend. To be honest, I wasn’t even going to bring a rod on this trip. It’s our first time going on a family paddle this year, and when I rolled out of town, I didn’t even know what river we were going to hit. We decided to try a new river that I have never paddled before. There was a strong current and head wind, which made paddling my canoe with my 2 kids very hard, and slow. But we made it to a nice little spot to stop for a picnic, and well needed break. It looked like a fishy spot, so I took a cast. I caught 7 fish in my first 10 casts. My son Alex was my net man! And we had a blast. My wife saw the action, and came over for a few casts, and she tied in to a nice pike! When my daughter saw how much fun we were having, she decided to give a cast as well. She only took one cast…. 12lb pike! The smiles say it all! At the same time we were landing the pike, my son grabbed a rod and casted and caught a nice bass. His first time doing the entire process and catching a fish all by himself! All in, we caught about 15 fish in the hour we were there. And we brought 2 pike home to turn in to fish tacos!! The paddle back was full of smiles and fish stories, with the wind at our tail, and the current pushing us home. It could not have been a better day!! Really really good memories had by all!
  4. Hi all, Got out on Saturday twice. I headed out at sunrise by myself to try for some crappie before the family was awake. Only stayedd for an hour and caught nothing except a breathtaking sunrise. Scooted back for breakfast and then chilled till after lunch when I headed out with my son Jack to meet some friends and have a shot at some walleye. Jack spent most of the couple of hours riding around on mum's Tundra (he says we should give her the old Bravo back...LOL) and chopping trees down with his machete. He did fish for a bit and landed a 25"er. He made sure everyone knew it was the biggest of the evening. Pike and whitefish were also around and we headed back just before dark. Perfect day with spring like temps of +5C.
  5. My wife and I were fortunate enough to have the use of a friends island cottage on the St. Lawrence River over the weekend and once again, it didn't disappoint! The SLR is an incredible fishery!! I've been going there the last 4 years now and each time it's amazing! Here are the highlights: Believe it or not... that LM is 3.1lbs! Smallie weighed in at 5.2lbs! Makes the LM look like a dink! My reaction when I landed the Smallie! hahahahahaha Video of the fight: Click here to watch Gators-a-plenty on the SLR! The wifey with a 10.3lb Sheepy! They look so similar to Smallie's under the water... we thought she had a record-SM on at first! Few pictures of the views:
  6. I landed in Yellowknife May 25, it was about 4 degrees Celsius and I had hours to wait for the float so I shared the picture of the flight over Great Slave lake with the guys who fished it with me last fall. Jokes were made about ice fishing and how Burbon needs ice to bring out those fine sour notes. The south end of this massive lake looked better with only a few ice flows. I was chilled to the bone the first "night" with those cool winds coming off the ice. We went out after supper and really I could only hack 3 hours of it. The next day I ended up wearing my long underwear, pants, pajamas, and rain gear to stay warm and that is what I did basically for most of the rest of the week even though temps were in the low teens. It was the wind that chilled. What I really needed was a proper outer layer. Had it rained also with that ever constant cold north easterly wind I would have been toast. Luckily we had only a few hours of rain that week and most of it was during one night. The target species was pike but the wind had kicked up sediment making most shallow water opaque. My guide didn't believe that NWT pike stay shallow beyond the spawn. So we fished patterns like wind swept walls and had some luck. My first Inconnu. Occasionally there would be a kill during hook up and when that happened the guide kept the fish. It is a lot rarer with Coneys because there mouth is a lot smaller. Here is Garet prepping the fish for smoking. Basically a Coney fights somewhat like a Tarpon in that it instantly reacts to the take and never gives. They are tough fighters that can really wiggle and are hard to hold for a pic. Boy can they get thick and hit the lure like a freight train. Since we were not fishing shallow we fished the river but how many times can you fish that river until you get bored? My guide took me out to the ice flows. I thought he was nuts...out there the ice forms into shard patterns...very cool. Up the river the trees were greening and temps could be 20 degrees warmer. You could pick up trophy pike....just not the PB size I was looking for. To tell you the truth the two other guys there trolled the lake and the end of the river channel for almost 7 full days. They had a FEW bigger fish but not as many. They were trolling Bull Dawgs and other relatively massive lures for early spring. I was happy to get off the main lake at least for part of each day. The water being so cold, you would think deep would not be where pike were hanging out but this one was caught with a tiny hot'n'tot with a good sized lip. Unlike the fall most pike were relatively undersized. I've never been enamored with Walleye so I was very happy to fish for Coney. ...and sometimes you would get a good one! My guide persisted with fishing the ice. I looked at him, the ice edge? Here I snagged lures on chunks of ice! I don't think he did it much because he wasn't sure of success either...which ice flow was better...was a km off shore too far...2 km?...which edge of the ice do you fish? I had caught one tiny pike the previous night so I said you show me how it is done. He got a Coney and then so did I. This one spot was active and we were having success with all species there. This is a pattern I would have never believed in a million years...pike, walleye, and inconnu all busting bait at ice edge about a km off of an island. Better yet they were so aggressive I used a surface swim bait and it worked well...so I had to take a pic in case anyone didn't believe me. Anything silver or white worked well. Underwater shot What ended up happening was the focus went to catching Coneys Finally on the last day the weather changed. We had a mild and warm south wind so we made a trek to another bay about an hour away because the wind was low and the ice finally gone along the shoreline. The bay known for pike was mostly empty...I wanted to check the upper shallow lake but NWT pike don't stay there. I used a big white and orange Len Thompson spoon and found the only trophy pike that morning. It's a great tool for exploring. Back at the bay channels were opening up because the muddy water from the bay wasn't being carried as far. And then we lucked into some fabulous fishing. Inconnu were surfacing chasing the tiniest of bait. It took us some time to figure out what else they wanted but once we had the lure the fishing was fabulous...all species were aggressive and you would have a fish every 3rd cast. We did this till supper. Before we left the owners son told us he got a 46 pike in the back bay. Do we switch...where there more? The problem is when you only have had brief windows of success all week you go with what works so we went back to the Coney hole..and it was slower but then I caught this beaut. Finally we moved off our hole and I asked the guide to check the bay out for only a few minutes. Being a good guide he stayed on the spot because there were fish and soon we realized there were probably 2 dozen trophies there. The water was as brown as I have ever seen trophy pike sit in...my guide's mind was blown. I said the trophies are in warm shallow water and he said, yeah today they are! There were probably some PB sized pike in there, I even hooked into a good one but lost him. I did get what is probably a PB walleye...somewhere around 25 inches for me...and the clouds rolled in and that was it. I did come back in the morning hoping hoping hoping...but a 46 pike or bigger will have be a goal for a future trip.
  7. Hey y'all, I'm wondering if anyone has any juice on Horwood Lake (Timmins district). My brother and I won the early bird draw at Perchin' for MS this year - so were headin' to Horwood Outpost with Richard for 7 days at the end of June! I'm sure we'll have no trouble puttin' together shore lunch - I'm specifically interested in 411 on CPR fish - BIG 'eyes, Giant 'eyes...and goliath gators.... I'm also interested in trying to piece together a whitefish bite...and smallies! We've got 7 days, so we're gonna cover a lot of water. I'll be bringin' all the outfits - bottom bouncers, boards & counters, all the casting outfits, etc etc. Presentations, I've got covered... I'm wondering more about patterns. Thought I'd throw it out there and see if I get any great tidbits - cheers!!
  8. Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, I've had an absolutely crazy fall and winter season but hope everyone is doing well. I finally had a chance to go through my pictures from our Annual fishing trip this year and thought some people might be interested in the story. Luckily we wrote out a journal while we were there so I remember the order of events, but anyways here it goes: Uncle Scott and I had an absolute blast last year fishing with Hearst Air Service for the first time. We had an extremely interesting week fishing the Martison Lake Outpost Camp. Click Here for Report . Last year we booked our trip at the fishing show and Mel had lots of cabins available, so we chose Martison. We were extremely impressed with the outfitter and how well run the camps were. We also experienced the absolute best fishing of our lives on that trip. Scott and I have decided that over the next few years we would like to fish every lake Hearst has. We called Mel two weeks before the fishing show and found out that all the lakes we were considering were completely booked for our 3 week time-frame. Scott went behind my back and put a deposit down on Sunshine lake. I was less than impressed because during my conversations with Mel, I distinctly remember her telling me that Sunshine is a numbers lake, and an incredible fishery for quantity, but not for size. I was on my hunt for my first 40" fish this year! Scott doesn't quite remember whether he had caught a 40 or not, but he was also on the hunt to join the 40 club. I'm not going to lie, I was bummed. I wanted to try out Mcleister, or Napken, or Quantz. These lakes were all booked so I decided to make the best out of it. After all fishing is a blast. We also had two new members fishing with us this year, Howard and Kelly who went to high school with Scott and have become great friends of mine as well over the last 10 years. June 23rd 4am we were all on route to Hearst, Ontario. The drive normally takes us 10 hours, we've developed a pattern on our stops for gas and food, and we love staying at the Queen's motel in Hearst and enjoying a nice hot tub and relaxing night before flying into the wilderness. There are lots of cool landmarks and historical sites on the way up, the drive is quite enjoyable I love seeing the changes in the landscape the further north you go. Howard and Kelly having a bit of fun, it was a beautiful day for our drive. We were hoping for the same weather all week! There's a great little diner in Hearst where we enjoyed a lovely dinner. , I forget the name but they have great google reviews. Named after a person if I remember correctly. Fast forward to the next day. We arrived at the base nice and early, hoping to catch the first flight out. We weren't so lucky but I don't really mind. I love standing on the dock and listening to the people coming back from the camps and all their stories. Tons of big fish were caught the last week. We were all excited. Our Beaver arrived and docked, unloaded the last party and we were up! This might be one of the few times I've ever been caught on camera doing work but it happened I swear! We were up and away in no time! In the air for a super smooth flight over some absolutely stunning terrain. Arrival and the Bet Last year Scott and I made a small wager for who would catch the biggest fish. Unfortunately for me I ended up paying for Scotts meals on the journey home. This year we all made the same bet. $20 each, biggest fish takes it home. I had done my research, I was excited, I had the gear, and I was winning the money this year. After looking at the lake, my inner kid took over and I again became super hopeful we'd lock into some monster pike. Scott and I looked at our boat, there's a measuring tape sticker on the side that only goes up to two feet. "Guess there aren't any big ones in here" We modify it to fit our adjusted expectations. We went to 46" on the side. *Mel if you read this I would like to formally apologize for vandalizing your boat.* Day one of fishing was absolutely incredible. The fishing was ridiculous. The weather was equally as nice. Every cast I threw I was either catching a fish, or seeing a hungry pike chase after my lure which I found super entertaining. It was non stop action all day, Our normal strategy is to pick out the inlets, outlets, and structure and try prime spots. Move on to secondary spots. There were literally fish everywhere it almost was annoying because no skill was needed. This was great for Howard and Kelly as they have never experienced anything like this but Scott and I were getting a bit frustrated at our inability to locate the larger fish. We began venturing out deeper, and trying to read structure and find some "Big Fish" spots. After a lunch break we decided to sit down and scope out where they were. On our previous trip we found the large pike located close to a walleye feeding ground. Simple plan arose. Find the walleye spots close to shore but close to deep water and fish there. It payed off immediately. I casted towards a rocky point and felt a huge hit on my spinner. Set the hook and the battle was on. Scott walkey'd Howard and Kelly to come over and I had an audience for landing my personal best fish, a 38" fat pike. My heart was racing. It wasn't a 40 but my god, it was heavy and so full of life. Unfortunately uncle Scott can't use a camera to save his life so I have no pictures of this fish. It was a beauty though. We were all ecstatic, I couldn't believe day one we had so much action and a nice big fish like that to top it off. "Do you guys want to hand over the money now?" I bragged. Little did I know.... To top off this perfect day we were treated to an incredible sunset. Kelly and I are both into taking pictures and our prime targets are normally sunsets and animals. We kept calling each other out of the cabin as it continued to get better and better for an hour or two. I took about fifty pictures over the two hours but I'll only share three or four. The Penetration and the Pattern Another great weather day, day two we started locking down a patter of where we could locate certain sized fish. I had the chance to see 4 fish over 30" including a nice fat 34". Howard and Kelly's boat was also figuring it out as they broke the 30" mark with a nice 34" pike. The fish were again plentiful. We continued to catch Walleye's with bite marks and scars on them. Every time we'd see one we'd get excited as some of these walleye's were pretty big and the teeth marks were quite large. Late in the afternoon Scott and Kelly were tired and wanted to lay down for a nap. Howard and I decided to go out for a cruise before dinner. We were having great luck in a spot, catching fish after fish in the same location. We would catch one trolling, stop the motor, blow back, troll again and catch another one in this glory hole. We decided to cast it. I was putting a new lure on my line when Howard casted and his reel popped close and the five of diamonds spoon landed on my pants. I told him to wait a second so I finished attaching my lure and went to pull the lure out of my pants and realized two of the hooks were in my leg. I freed one with a quick pull but the other one was in there pretty good. Back to the cabin we drove. Howard felt horrible and was treating me like gold, offering me help up out of the boat and offering to drive home. "Howard I have a hook in my leg, I'm not paralyzed." We walked in to tell Kelly that her husband won the biggest catch contest . She freaked out haha. Luckily I watched a great video on how to extract these bad boys and Howard had seen the same one. We attached strong line to the lure, Howard gave it a good pull and out she came. Cleaned up and all good. Minus my pants which had to be cut into shorts. I screamed when the hook came out to mess with Kelly but it was rather painless. No one wanted to fish with Howard moving forward. I recorded it on the GoPro if you'd like to see it. Monster Time Here we were on day 3 of our trip. We had witnessed some amazing scenery, we were catching a boatload of fish everyday. I had figured out the trick to netting 30's, Howard and Kelly had figured it out, Scott had yet to catch a decent pike. The trick we found to catching the bigger fish was fishing the deeper pencil weed, and casting spinners or topwater buzzbait a couple feet in the weeds, and retrieving them outwards. Scott and I were still on the hunt for a monster. We did some thinking, seeing as we have one average sized brain between the two of us not much thinking was done but one thing stood out. We caught the biggest fish so far where we believe it is feeding on Walleye. We decided to hit that spot 6 times a day that we determined peak times. We would troll by the point, and then cast lures of different sizes and depths at the two distinct rock points. There seemed to be a fair amount of submerged stumps or logs, we had hooked into some good ones, one had Scott convinced it was a big pike as he reeled it in and it would hit various structure and feel like it was pulling. We were trolling by the "Big Fish" spot and Scott says ""*** I'm snagged.", He starts pulling on the line to try to free it, throws the boat in reverse. I look back and I see Scott's snag start to move to deeper water. "That's not a snag" I yelled. We go into full on panic mode. I'm grabbing the camera making sure it's on. Tried to get the GoPro going but before I know it it's already at the boat. I grab the net. Fish sees the net and says "hard no bud" dives deep. Scott reels him up again and I net the fish before it has a chance to turn around. Massive high fives and cheers from us and from Howard and Kelly who were close enough to catch the tail end of the battle. Crap, there goes my $60 !!**** This pike was 45", it's a good thing we vandalized the boat or we likely wouldn't have gotten an accurate reading. You'd think a photographer that gets paid to take pictures would have got the whole fish in the picture, but I'm blaming Scott for not moving to the back of the boat. Regardless I was jealous but also so happy. Scott caught the fish of a lifetime. This had been a rough couple years for him with losing some close relatives but that is the magic in fishing. When you're on the water doing what you love all of that goes away. People are always asking why I go on these trips when I could go to Cuba or Mexico, and the answer is simple. Spend a week where your sole purpose on this planet is just existing and trying to catch fish, where your cell phone, Facebook, or the news can't bring you back to reality. It really is magical. The Rabbit We had a cute little friendly Rabbit come visit us every evening. He'd hang outside and we'd feed him some carrots or other bunny friendly items. One evening Howard and Kelly were coming back from a trip, beached their boat and scared the little guy and he jumped in the lake. He kind of just layed there confused and then started taking on water. Howard saved the dumb bunny in the net. Kelly will send me the picture soon but for now here is the little trouble maker looking cute and innocent. We didn't have the luck of seeing any moose or bear this trip like we had hoped but we did see an abundant amount of nature. The Hunt Continues. Over the past few days we had great luck catching lots of fish and figuring out where the decent sized ones were. I hadn't lost hope on my 40" quest so I was trying everything I could think of to get it done. I was hoping the 50+ referred to inches and not quantity, so I gave it a go. Didn't work out for me and back she went. This cabin is loaded with great stories, A lot of lures have been left with notes by people wanting to pass on the good luck. I tried a couple but nothing seemed to work. Later that evening we were fishing the "Big Fish" spot, No pike were ready to hit our lures so we killed the motor and started jigging. Not two seconds after I hit bottom I feel a big hit. "Fish on!" This thing felt huge, possibly because I was fighting it from on top rather than the side but I was positive I was joining the 40 club if I could keep it pinned. It put up a great fight and into the net it went. A super super fat 36" fish. What a fight though, my heart was racing. Quick picture and away she went. We hit lots of fish over the next couple days Howard discovered that the pike would just destroy buzz bait on the surface and this was super fun to watch. At one point him and Scott had one fish hit the buzz bait 8 times in a row. They woke me up to come film it but of course the fish was camera shy. This being said, some of the best fishing on the lake is right off the dock. Howard got broken off by an absolute monster that swam under the dock and said cya later. I would encourage you to continue to try even if you don't catch right away, There seem to be cycles that come through and hit. Had a few surprise catches as well. I was very disappointed I hadn't caught a clam until this guy chomped down We were treated to an absolute pristine sunset on our second last day with some colours I've never seen before in the sky. Being this far north the sun sets crazy late. This video is a time lapse starting at 9 30 ending at 12. The GoPro wasn't as good at picking up the colours as the DSLR's were. This was a great last evening and goodbye to our beloved Sunshine Lake. There is a lovely journal with entries going back about 8 years that was a fun read. We left our own journal with our stories and some maps of the good spots. This is a great place to take the family, or even a honeymoon. There is a nice beach and amazing sunset views every night were gorgeous. Here are some pictures of the cabin and camp. I would absolutely classify this as our best trip to date, the fishing was so consistent and the weather was incredible. As always we can't thank Mel and Family enough. They run an absolute top notch operation and we are set on trying every lake over the course of the next few lakes. We booked Hilmer lake for this upcoming summer as soon as we landed. If you're interested I recommend not waiting until the fishing shows as the last two years we've been disappointed with our choice of lakes being booked up. Hearst has a lot of returning clients that come every year and they fill up fast. If you have any questions about Martison or Sunshine let me know! Monster hunt continues for next year! Thanks for reading
  9. I was able to get out to Shades Mill in Cambridge last weekend and we had 12" of ice. About 1-2 inches on top were not the best but solid clear ice the rest. Likely due to the slight thaw a couple weeks ago. Managed to pull in a nice pike.
  10. Hello everybody, Few weeks are left until end of the season. I would love to chase pike in rivers and canals. I do not mind driving 1-2hrs from Mississauga. Any tips? Already started exploring Niagara river and Welland. If you would like to send me any info or simply help shoot me a PM.
  11. Looking to head out on an ice fishing trip this coming February. I'm willing to travel within 3-4hours of Algonquin provincial park and looking to rent a cottage of some sort. The group I'm going with is looking to target pike through the ice the whole week we are gone. Any lakes or river with good pike ice fishing anyone would recommend? Thanks!
  12. Anyone here use these lures for pike and musky? If so, how well did they work for you? Rapala Jointed Clackin Rap 14cm 1-1/2 oz Rapala Glidin Rap 15cm 2-1/12 oz Rapala Subwalk 15 15cm 2-1/8 oz
  13. Not sure this is a really a big secret, and Drifters post got me thinking so I figured some might find this helpful. Sometimes you have a lure that you like but maybe it just doesn't cut it for bigger fish. It might be that the weight just isn't heavy enough to cast well on the rod/reel that you use for bigger pike, muskie and/or lakers or the heavier line dampens the action too much. Maybe the hardware just isn't up to the task, or you simply want to offer something bigger. If that's the case some of us will go for a little salt. Saltwater lures often have that little extra that works great for those bigger fish. Finding them can sometimes be difficult but it seems that more and more brick and mortar stores are carrying saltwater lures even if they are thousands of kilometres from the ocean. If not, you can easily find them online. To cut down on shipping I wait until a place like bps has a free shipping deal on. I just picked up a saltwater popper type lure and a lipless crankbait that I'm ready to try as soon as the conditions are right. The lipless crank is one of my favourites for pike (if I'm not fishing on top) but I wanted something bigger and finally have it. The popper type is another that is just too light on even my pike set ups, but I found this one and it's going to get wet early. The popper is the first saltwater lure I've come across that had hooks that I felt were not suitable so they'll be swopped out. The saltwater x-raps have been used a lot the 8-10 years and have also boated the odd big walleye. The top lures (gliding raps and flatfishes) are for another post and are not saltwater.
  14. Hi all, my spring walleye tip is to make sure your auger blades are sharp.....lol. Lots of ice here still, and a local lake that sucked for fishing the last few years has come alive again, its about a 20 minute drive down the trails from my house so makes a good destination once the kid is off the bus now we have daylight till 8pm. Hit this spot up a few times in the last 2 weeks, here is the first video I made.
  15. A bit of a delay but finally got around to writing a report on our Shekak Lake Trip I was a great trip but we definitely found the fishing a bit tougher this time around Bigger lake and some crazy weather seemed to scatter the fish and it was a really light bite Full report is up here if you are interested http://www.canadafishingguide.net/forum-2/member-trip-reports-1/lake-fever-shekak-lake-with-white-river-air-aug-22-29-2016/ Cheers Gordy
  16. My brother doctored his sunfish lure. Before: After: No coffee, just a 3:30am wake-up call when you're 7 and going fishin'.. First bass of the season and someone's photography skills are not up to snuff. Brother bass Not sure if this one was looking for love? Or a meal? For a moment he thought he had the bass of the year. All 3 of us had hits on the sunfish but my brother was the only one to get a bass in the boat. Still not peak slop frog season anyway but had to try 'em. We fished only topwaters and did well for numbers but getting the "big ones" in the boat didn't work-out. The jr. angler was having a tough time getting his hooked fish into the boat but finished the day with the biggest bass landed.
  17. I've been on this board for probably a year now so I figured it's time I actually posted a report I figured going into this weekend that I'd only have time to make it out fishing once so I had to make the most of this trip. Bright and early Saturday morning I'm the first one on the river except for a couple white bucket bridge trolls. I had intentions of pulling worm harnesses in search of walleye but just as I get my boat set up in realize I didn't even bring any worms (still sitting in the fridge in the garage). We'll crap, I guess I'll have to make due with whatever I can find in my tackle box. I'm creative, I can manage this.Finally launch the boat and search my tackle box and find a 5" white swim jig and douse it with crawler flavour gulp and take off.After about 30 minutes of marking dozens of fish with no hits I'm starting to lose faith in my setup, so I put my rod in the holder and hunt through my box for more bait. Look up and see my rod doubled over but not pulling drag. Boom, a massive hit start reeling and find this pretty girl munching on that piece of plastic. A nice 22" walleye to start the day. Unfortunately that toothy critter ruined the bait so I had to get creative again. I found some 3" gulp minnows that I've had for about 4 years, but still had some stank on them so away we went. Unfortunately, my phone doesn't like temperatures below 20C, so I didn't get any more pictures, but I did manage 5 pike between 24" and 32". I thought this was pretty impressive, considering I always thought there were no pike in this area. Mixed in with those pike was a nice 14" walleye that I simply couldn't let go and made for a nice snack for me and the wife when I got home. All in all, a very productive day that should tide me over for the weekend.
  18. Made it out for the first serious fishing trip of the year today. The forecast really looked too good for a spring trip but a day off is a day off. Flat calm and sunny at 6am, a bit of mist hanging over the water. Not a sound but the buzz of the baitcaster and the splash of the lure. A few really small pike early but the best fish were caught around noon once the wind had put up a very small chop. My brother caught half a hammer handle on a zara spook and the rest were caught on some form of suspending husky jerks. Nice feed of fresh fish tonight for dinner. My 4 year old daughter might be the first person to get some food from my brother's plate... ever. She cried a little but she got the piece of fish that she wanted. The two biggest fish of the day went back in the drink.
  19. I am interested in fishing in the Lower Oxtongue River between Lake of Bays and Ragged Falls. Can anyone tell me what they go for in there? I am thinking there may be Brookies, Pike, Smallies, .... ?. Thanks.
  20. A SPECKLED NIP RIPPIN'! Up and at 'em!! Mikey and I muscled our way thru a long, fast full day ride from Ottawa to Nipigon in one straight haul. Having company alongside, the eighteen hours flew by, but when finally landing at the finish it was instant exhaustion. Arrived at the destination, through the darkness a fella walked up to the truck, I rolled down the window to greet, "gidday, names Bunk." "Yeah, I know," he replied, "it's Brian!" Nice to meet this fellow traveler again, Brian, his wife Maggie and I had hung out some on a trip taken once before. Some extra time in the late hours, the three of us enjoyed a few brews by the fire before settling to sleep. Day 1. MOTION SICKNESS. It was a cold, damp, though sound nights rest but both of us were feeling some effects of our big push day before. Mikey knew that I wasn't really into all this either; not yet anyways, and just so far going through the motions, kinda lacking energy and excitement. Little spring in either of our steps despite wanting to be there and eager to chase specks, whipped we put to the task of ferrying our gear out onto the lake to make camp for the week. This was my third trip out to Nipigon for 2015 and the plan was speckles, with some pike and hopefully a laker or two for Mike. Earlier in July on a trip half solo and half with Stevie Z, in very short time the laker thing had been accomplished beautifully, and so to was some great walleye fishing, a little piking and some birding. According to data through the tagging program this was not predicted to be one of the better years for bigger specks. Annual norms; which can be researched in greater depth at Alan Muir's Brook Trout Heaven, interpret that within some areas tested, Nipigon's specks trend through a 4-year cycle. This taken into consideration, along with my own similar although somewhat different findings from 08 to present, I wasn't overly optimistic that Mike and I would come close to bettering our best trips of the past. Taking time at camp I scoped out the area for signs of bear before eventually having all things set-up and in place for the week stay. Later turning our attention to the fish, throughout the afternoon few if any specks would be found, but the pike turned on fierce early evening. Mikey kicked off this first day of our trip with the best and it was just the motivation we needed. Two hungry fellas retired to the camp a little early for some heaping bowls of seafood chowder by the fire. An overall slow and lazy day, my heavy proof scotch served to quickly dim the eyes to any glowing embers that remained this day. Day 2. THIRTY PERCENT CHANCE. After big sleeps we woke to rustling winds. From out of the north, a marine forecast was calling for a gusty warning with 30% chance of rain towards the evening and into night. Judging by the trees gently swaying overhead, it was beginning. In no rush, by the heater inside the tent I warmed up, dried out my wet shoes and socks a little, and woke easy. A better day for energy, once riding out it appeared as though plenty weren't deterred by any weatherman. Speckers here, speckers there, bloody speckers out fishing everywhere. It was a zoo really, plenty just bobbing around on the search. Mikey and I stayed on the hunt. Trolling and casting various familiar shorelines it was apparent September in the north had yet to arrive. Most years past the poplar leaves would have turned yellow and been falling by now. There have been a few days in late August we have woken to frozen water in our cups, but yet the air at nights this season (except a couple nights ahead) were still expected to be well above freezing, and many days warming into the 20C's. Surface temps on the lake were mid 60's in the shallows, high 50's over the deep. The cabbage beds thick and full and only just beginning to decay in places. The whole season was delayed, it was obvious, and this kept the specks scattered off stage, while plentiful active pike ruled the shores. Along an almost forgotten path, Mike found our first. Much of our time in stealth, sneaking around fishing mostly secondary spots away from other boaters, we plucked speckles from here and there to make a good first full day of it. This one catch in particular, I have to thank Mike for photographing just perfectly. Full spawn colors, glowing clean and pristine, plump and halo'd, it is a priceless Nipigon gem of top quality. Earlier evening we were chased off the lake by that 30% rain and winds that switched and blew up hastily from the north. The prolonged warm weather front was about to take a backseat to a sudden plummet in temps, 50+ kilometer gusts and storms. Worried about the boat on shore I rested the bow on a small anchored sheet of submerged plywood, tied both sides and the nose tight and secure, then snapped on the cover. Retiring to the tent as the rain fell harder, I prayed for no northeaster that could bring along a wrecking ball. Day 3. OVERNIGHT HAMMER. Shortly after midnight the tent walls flapped hard. Outside the winds had turned straight down on us. Waves curling around the shoreline to reach the boat, thankfully all was fine. 2:38am sharp I woke again, the tent was really rocking now. Creeping out the door the rain had stopped. I turned the flashlight on the boat and watched as it rolled easy side to side but bucked pretty hard back-to-front with each wave that struck the transom. Standing aside the gunnel, I could hear the occasional grinding sound when the bow pushed forward or boat leaned right. The plywood was out from under the boat and the ropes had stretched some as well, now it lay on the shallow rocks. There wasn't enough force in any way for immediate worry, but overnight and through time I pictured a slow wear and tear. Pants rolled up over the knees, from under the boat I dug out any jagged or big rocks. There were a few, one in particular shaped like a perfect cube with sharp corners. The water level had risen too, so the ropes all needed readjusting, tightening, and the plywood bed replaced. Shortly after 4:00am the winds were ripping. Groggy and surely pissed off with Mother Nature I crawled from the tent, AGAIN!!! The work I had done earlier was holding but, the waves were really knocking on the transom so that the bow was rising enough to almost beat itself on the steeper embankment of the shore. There with the boat, a crisp 4 celcius, soggy in the spitting rain, I stood guard and rode out the next hour or so until the wind and waves let off some. Around 6:15am I inspected one last time. Only replacing the plywood it seemed as though the boat had survived the worst of it. I zipped up the sleeping bag rather tired. 7:30am and from outside the tent Mike hollers, "COFFEE'S READY!" Fingers pushing my earplugs deeply to the knuckles, I half muttered in disgust before turning away and falling back asleep. Over a late breakfast I revisited my night with Mike. "Dude, I had a great sleep," he assured me. A noon start we didn't figure on traveling far but as the day progressed the winds kinda-sorta shifted. Allowed a bumpy and safe passage, we plied lee-sides and tops spots before the breeze really tapered off come evening. Although head-achy and a wee hungover feeling, the lake getting stirred up from the storms did wonders for the fishing. No matter where we toured, Mike and I spent the afternoon laying an absolute hammering on the specks... Mike's favorite meal night we snuck in an earlier fajita supper to provide some extra nourished playtime afterwards. Running about, the specks had scampered off by this time, and the pike had returned to prowl. Before a frosty darkness ahead, under the setting sun, the days fish blaze kept hot while pike boiled on our lures. It was a long and tough one, yet for numbers it was one of the best we'd ever had. No fire, no scotch, only an instant GCS of 3. Day 4. SMOKIN' 'EM!!! Early morning frost rose to a calm mist. The best day forecast, we could hear quite early other boat motors already buzzing on the lake. Mike and I wasted no time as we had prepared to take advantage of glass waters with a full day. Starting off with specks, I wondered momentarily if I had hooked into a giant... I was sadly disappointed. First laker of the trip convinced Mike and I that maybe it was time to drop down some riggers and finally give 'em deep greasy slackers a crack. Game, we did, and it turned out to be a waste of a couple hours... well, except that it was a pretty chill way to wake and sip coffee while watching the sun clear out the clouds. Before morning's end we had the MNR pay us a visit too. Nice fellas, they checked licenses and our things over before we got on our way. The afternoon was spent miles and miles out on the lake. Mike and I searched out some pike grounds under blue skies and cruised some shorelines in search of specks too. Wraps, junk food and vitamin D kept us going strong during our exploration. When Nipigon lays down to allow full freedoms, it is heaven to roam. Chapped lips and burnt necks was worth the sacrifice. Early evening while casting a shallow, boulder-strewn point, several specks snapped hard at our lures, a thick 23 1/2 incher being the best of the bunch. Having never fished or caught specks on this point, it will certainly be revisited some coming year. The middle of this giant lake in view we guessed it best to start back to camp. Along the way, both had it in mind to stop at a few spots for other fish. Turned out to be a wise decision, one that made Mikey especially especially especially happy happy happy before we called it a day. Day 5. DYING BAGEY. Beside the food coolers come morn was some skat. Bear... not sure? Not unless it had the runs a little and was doing the walk-and-poop stroll on the path. There was enough there to be a creature beast substantial though, and I had most certainly heard something night before when heading off to bed. The wind had picked up again. The boat high and dry, the water levels dropped, the boat traffic didn't. With the way things were blowing though, most anglers were circling around nearby to one another and reachable speckie spots were thick with anglers. Much of our day was spent in search of specks and pike, and new weedbeds for pike. The morning trout bite was nearly non-existent and we did in fact struggle. The pike too were lock-jawed, and despite stumbling on the mother of all cabbage beds we couldn't tempt too many out from under the greenery. Finally by evening we had some action. A quick stop back at the launch to reinforce a cracked bunk and scrounge for some things, both Mike and I found ourselves gawking at one absolutely stunning, curvy brunette who was waiting by the dock. F the B trouts, this one was the gem catch on the lake. Ahhh man, we had to get out of there fast though, her boyfriend took notice of us and his arms were as thick as oaks. A second shot at the lakers we dropped heavy balls for a couple hours cool dunkings, and plunked two outta three greasy ones topside. A Matrix spoon down 58 did the hardcore, although we both could have cared less cause now we had women firmly on our minds. A choppy day turned into a gustier eve while we farted around for more specks. Drifting and casting alongside a lengthy shoal, my light rod took a little tap then bent slowly over on itself with a weight that turned scary. A big pike on a small meal was hooked, see it? Wicked awesome fun to play out, Mikey slid the net under and the fish made for a great finish. Day 6. RUN. Laying in the half morning darkness of the tent I listened intently once finding the right position for reception on the hand-held radio. "Lake Nipigon! Wind warning in effect. Winds SW 5K this morning, switching NW 15K with rain early this evening, then wind to north 25K this evening and overnight. Waves building to 1 then 1 1/2 meters." The "K" wasn't for kilometers either, and I didn't bother to wait hearing the next days weather. It was our second last day to fish, planning to have fished this one, the next, then leave the following. Once Mike was up I relayed the forecast to him and it was decided we break camp now and take all back to the launch, that way we'd at least have an exit if the lake got rough. By 11:00am we found the time to get out. For four hours we dabbled here and there for pike and specks but the bite was rather poor under quite ominous looking skies. Too bad really, because the lake was flat calm. One boat approached us early afternoon. Three American's in a rig much like mine explained they were looking for specks. Someone must have told them about the spot Mike and I were sitting on, but still, after they had told me where they had boated from and them unknowingly having passed by countless great fishing areas, I kinda nudged them back the way they came. Oblivious too of the pending weather ahead, these sailors would have some high seas to cross if getting caught miles from home as they were. While circling a new and incredibly perfect looking speckle structured island shoreline I noticed off in the distance the land disappear on the horizon. Moments later a couple islands got swallowed up too. Then, a little wisp of cold stood the hair up on the back of my neck and a swirly ripple of water danced off the bow. "Mike" I said, "we're getting out of here." A race back to the launch the weather was coming in quick. Our shorelines disappearing, the waves building up and the rain beginning to spit, as we rode in for safety Mikey called it. "Let's just pack our things up and head home today." Avoid a soggy night of high winds and rain to possibly just wake and pack everything wet... to his suggestion I agreed. Quick work of it all, six hours down the road in Mattice by midnight, Stevie Z opened the door to his home and we crashed out ti'll morning. By the following evening I gave Brenda one big happy Anniversary hug before putting another rip to Nipigon trip to rest. Good fishing, good friend, a good time. Bunk.
  21. Out in the boat with my brother and son today. Topwater bass was the plan but the bass missed the memo. Ryan was the first one with a fish in the boat... His biggest yet, although he was accused of cheating because he switched to a crankbait. "Black" bass for my brother I found some pike as well We even got some pike back in the slop with the rubber frogs.. My first though was I had a really solid bass, then i figured it might be a bowfin but once we got it out of the weeds it was another pike. In the end we caught a few more bass than pike but considering we hadn't caught/seen any pike in these spots for 6 weeks it was a bit of a surprise.
  22. Sitting at work yesterday, browsing the forums like I normally do, and I found myself pretty envious after seeing all your picture of the fish you guys had been catching lately, so I called up my old man to see if he wanted to go out after work. He was down for it, of course. He used to fish a lot as a kid but life got in the way. But ever since I bought my first boat this spring, him and I have made it out nearly every week since late April, and he's quickly rediscovered why he loved it so much to begin with. As soon as I got off work I picked up the step-son from daycare and headed to the boat launch, meeting my old man there. The kid had been on my boat once before and loved it, but had never been fishing on it. I've taken him shore fishing before but he's never seen anything bigger than a perch pulled up so I was really hoping to show him something nice this time. We get on the water at little after 5:30 and before long have found our way to spot I know that's usually been good to me. I throw a worm and a bobber on the little guy's line and cast it over a weed bed nearby then my old man and I start casting out. He lasts about two minutes before he gets bored and decides he would rather play with the steering wheel than fish. Not surprising, he's 4 years old and doesn't have a toy that isn't a car, truck, boat, or plane. The kid loves vehicles like I love fishing, haha. I let him just play around as I wasn't too concerned with him catching a perch or something, he's done that plenty now, I just wanted him to see how big fish can get to get him more excited about it. We drift around in that area for nearly an hour, trying different lures and depths and weed lines, but nothing. Not even a hit. Usually this place is good for one or two pike at least but it seems they aren't interested today. We start jumping along the shoreline to other spots I've had luck with before with similar results. Then we get out from a dock and I've just got a good feeling about this place. My dad and I both are using 3" five of diamonds by this point and on our first cast in this spot something takes his lure and whips down under the boat into the weeds. He said it felt like a strong hit and I'm there ready with the net as he pulls up... a pile of weeds. Damn, must've kicked the hook after it dove down. The kid was standing at the side of the boat eagerly awaiting the fish and the disappointment was evident in his face, he was just as excited to see it landed as we were. Now I know we've gotta get one as I refuse to let this kid go home without seeing a fish. A few minutes later and my dad has another hit, this one he's determined to keep. It's coming in real easy and not putting up much of a fight until it gets within a few meters of the boat then it begins to fight like hell, diving deep and bending the rod down solidly. I'm standing ready with the net when it finally comes up and she's a beauty. Net it quickly and pull it into the boat, finally get a good look and we are not disappointed, least of all the little guy who is losing his mind. It's a 30" pike, weighing 4.5lbs. This is an especially nice moment for my dad, as it's his season's best so far, and since this is his first season in around 30 years, it's the best fish he's caught since he was a kid. We release the fish then pick up the rods to try again, huge grins on our faces, and now even the kid is back into it. Not more than 3 casts later I hear the best words in existence, "fish on!". The scene plays out again as my dad reels in yet another fish. Not as big but still nice, 25" and nearing 3.5lbs. Asked the young lad if he wanted his picture taken with it but he ran to the back of the boat at the thought, probably not a bad thing to be a little fearful of those teeth, haha. Tried for a little bit more there without success and decided to go back to where we started off, still frustrated that we got skunked there originally. Shortly after we arrive they start biting, but only on my dad's lure. He pulls up two small ones just shy of 2lbs and quickly tosses them back. I'm starting to get a little frustrated now as I haven't been skunked all year yet but it's looking pretty likely here. The little guy is standing up in the bow with me now and points towards shore and tells me to cast that way. I do as he says as I had earlier told him we were a team so that he could feel included on anything I catch. It was less that a second after hitting the water that I felt that familiar tug on my line and knew I had one. I start reeling as my dad readies the net, but this one was a fighter. Every time I got it next to the net it dove straight down, again and again. Finally in the fifth attempt at netting him we succeeded. Not the biggest of the day but a nice fish in its own right. 28", just shy of 4lbs. I give all the credit to the kid, who told me exactly where to cast and it worked out perfectly. There may be hope for him yet! We called it a night shortly after that as we were already out later than his bedtime and knew I would be catching hell for that from his mom, but when we got home and he wouldn't stop talking about how awesome the fish were, she couldn't even be a little mad over anything that made her kid so happy.
  23. Hi all, Went out to a really small pothole of a lake just up the road from us with my wife and kid. This lake is an amazing numbers lake and I have been taking my son here since he could crawl in my efforts to engage him in fishing because the action is fast and furious with pike, walleye, perch and the occasional bass. A few people live on this lake and a few locals fish it and so it does get fishing pressure, for that reason I limit myself to ZERO fish on this lake, catch and release only. Was pretty impressed that my wife was pulling walleye out of the thick cabbage weed on a fire tiger Fox Vibrax spinner...WTG! Also proud that my son is getting more comfortable handling fish now too. Great way to spend an hour or so after work with the family.
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