Jump to content

AKRISONER

AKRISONER's Semi-Annual Report 2020 v1

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

looking back i realize it has been much longer than 6 months since i've done this. Some of you may remember the turmoil in my life from previous reports, life had me sort of bouncing all over the place but things for me have seemingly fallen right into place over the last year and a bit. I realize at multiple points I sit back and literally think...wow life is going perfect right now, it almost gives me anxiety knowing that it wont always be so good. My truck seems to have finally settled down and is running as good as it has, my boat is running well, my girlfriend and I moved in together to get through this pandemic and we are doing fantastic. The one thing i do miss, is I miss my friends and fishing with them a lot specifically our small derbies that we have every summer with each other are basically all but dead at this point and that's a downer, but we all have our health and I can still socially distance and chat with them regularly...On my half the fish have actually been biting for me...i'm on somewhat of a hot streak. So let me tell you about it! Without further adieu its AKRISONER's  (AE-KREE-ONE-ER-S) semi annual review!

 

When we last left off, soft water season was done and the wait for ice was on. The ice came quick...but what we were left with was a scary scary mess that seemingly lasted for far far too long. Looking back at this photo explains exactly when in the heck I was stuck fishing close to home for so long.

1.jpg

December 28th rain not helping the cause at all.

1-5.jpg

Some of you may recall that after one cold snap in january we made the decision to maybe just move down the lake a few hundred meters to do some fishing and my dog unfortunately went through the ice requiring my rescue. A mistake by me indeed, it turns out my story was spread around town by a witnessing neighbor after my dad having coffee at pointe au baril station heard a hear say story from another resident about an idiot and his dog going through the ice. My dad replied that he was pretty certain that that idiot was his son ahaha. Can only laugh now at the severity of the situation. As  mentioned in my previous post about it, i was simply very glad that I was totally prepared and lesson learned, when the ice isnt 99.9% safe, dont bring your furry friend with you.

More weird warmth was the pattern this day specifically stood out in my head, it was 10 degrees and i specficially remember the lighting, just something about it had a "summer feel" to it. the weird humid fog and sunny warmth.. not exactly what you hope for when ice fishing to be honest, especially in january.

2.jpg

That weird warm blue day had the snot rockets fired up, our tip ups went off all day long. It at least made the staying close to home thing fun as it could be. you can tell how warm it is in this photo..no gloves, no hat, float suit half off...ice fishing. I think I even got a sunburn.

3.jpg

I specifically remember this next day...it was the day of the huge rainstorm in the GTA that brought record rain to Toronto and muskoka. Pointe au baril however was on the absolute boundary of the freezing mark. So much so that the temperature gradient on the weather map between Parry sound 50km to the south was 5 degrees warmer than Pointe Au Baril. We got the odd spit of rain but most of the day the wind howled and snow flew. The storm had the fish biting tip ups.

4.jpg 

The wind being so strong the lake flooded with a layer of slush on top of that terrible ice. I recall however that as the storm passed the temperature dipped below freezing and that slush suddenly flash froze. All of our gear started freezing into the ice. It was incredible how a 4 inch layer of slush didnt just crust over, it froze solid like a brick over the course of an hour.

We had had enough of being out in the wind and snow and started packing up and putting the tip ups away when my buddy jake grabbed my tip up line to break it free from the ice and he says, "Scott your line is snagged" I said thats impossible, i dont put my bait on bottom when running tip ups for pike. I immediately ran over grabbed the rod reeled up the slack and set the hook and felt exactly what he was talking about...no drag pulled, just dead weight...and then suddenly with one fast movement the battle was on and the drag started screaming.

As a rule, when we hook into big pike ice fishing, someone is making the sacrifice of getting their arm wet and their hands potentially scraped up. I threw jake my glove knowing it was the end of the day anyways and told him if you cant get a good gill plate grab, screw it, lip the damn thing. Which he did!

a PB through the ice pike with the cottage in the background, i was happy about this one, but it brought back memories of one even bigger that I lost years prior. I was still very happy, my smile (and me looking 10 years younger in this photo lol) telling as such.

5.jpg

Finally, winter arrived and arrived well. Only an ice fishing weirdo wakes up and sees this and cheers

6.jpg

Things began looking as they should for January, the ice was getting thick, one last evening sitting out in the calm -25 degree temperatures with frozen hands and eyelets, the real ice fishing season was taking off

7.jpg

It was pretty incredible how fast the ice changed, we went from falling through to being able to venture into areas that traditionally can be problematic on bad years. This was the type of ice fishing I was used to. Snowmobiles, huts and heaters and walleye. The fishing this year was slow slow slow though. We caught some, i think our best day being 12 walleye? but the size was really hurting hence, the lack of fish photos!

8.jpg

One thing I was happy to see was the intense pressure being put on pointe au baril by the MNR this winter. I got stopped literally every single time that i ventured out to fish walleye. We became buddies with one of the CO's. By the end of the season he would even stick around for a chat with us for a half hour.

That same day Dave hooked into what he said was a trophy walleye and broke off. I said "nahh it was a pike" Dave not being convinced a minute later, my old man having trouble with his HT tip up rigged it up with the drag still set. Me standing out chatting noticed his rod start going nuts and then literally load up full force on a heavy lake trout ice rod and spring 3 feet into the air with the tip up still attached and nearly down his hole. I sprinted and dove for the rod while this was happening and stopped it from disappearing down the hole. Dad ran over and landed this guy. Not a walleye indeed lol nice try Dave!

9-5.jpg

I took some time off of work that week and volunteered to do some work with the local snowmobile club. What I thought was going to be a chore, really just turned out to be a tiny bit of work, with a good excuse to go run the trails with the club while the trails were closed. Being one of the young guys, I even specifically did most of the work with the other two kids while the old timers stood back and supervised lol. It was a cool experience none the less. Throwing skids in wash outs and plugging them up with tree branches, then using the groomer to pack snow in on top of it all. I can attest that our makeshift snow bridges held up all winter. A cool experience and I am sure to lend a hand again next year! It was worth it just to hear the hilarious stories that the old guys told.

9.jpg

The following week, i had a bit of a crew of various friends up to the lake. These are all folks that don't fish, dont get to cottage much but can appreciate a time out on the ice. I sometimes love guiding people that can truly appreciate fishing even if they don't get to do it often. My one friend Jackie that I went to college for graphic design with who owns a clothing company based out of Go Home Lake in muskoka called "Made for the lake" also showed up with gear in tow hoping to do a makeshift photoshoot for a new line of ice fishing shirts and sweaters she had made.

yes, she makes fishing and ice fishing graphic t shirts long sleeves and sweaters all with the absolute highest quality materials. Made in Canada...it doesnt get any better.

Ill plug her here, check out https://www.madeforthelake.com/   

Her stuff isnt just basic clothing, its on another level. Her clothing is made in Canada or sometimes the United States and the quality is unparalleled. It all has that feeling of that shirt that youve worn 1000000 times. Her sweaters are warm and soft. Worth the price for a quality made in canada product made by small business, but that also produces just ridiculously high quality clothing. Here's a few candid shots she took of me. Very cool.

Me in "the anglers T" which i already owned

10.jpg

Then hooking into a nice slab, I quickly threw on the "ice anglers sweater" for this photo op...to which she then proceeded to make me keep the sweater and refused to let me pay her for it. I still owe her for this one big time.

11.jpg

What a fantastic weekend with friends, catching fish, eating incredible meals and just having a great time socializing in a big group...and then the world changed

I remember coming home that week, it was a wednesday, the coronavirus news was starting to get hot but there was a lot of uncertainty of what it would entail. I went to hockey that wednesday night and it was definitely a hot topic of discussion and then one of the guys says "holy crap the NBA just cancelled the season" and by the end of our hockey game the NHL had followed suit. Then rumours started to fly on the Thursday about a potential total lock down except for essential services, my girlfriend and I actually needing groceries figured it would be smart to go grab our groceries then and what we walked into was the busiest grocery store I had ever been in, and that included days like christmas eve, and thanksgiving. Madness had taken over.

11-5.jpg

That weekend i ran up north thinking that there may be a chance that I may not be able to come back for a long time. lots of uncertainty for sure, I brought my skates, did some ice fishing, did some skating (which at this point I knew it was going to be a long time until I got to skate again) took my last skate, which is super weird because I normally play hockey twice a week year round and i havent been on skates since march. (even more telling of how long this thing has gone on for, i still have my skates with me at my parents!) Did some more fishing, ran into plenty of folks out on the bare ice riding around on ATV's and the like. People weren't sure what to make of corona virus, I can say it was my last normalish interaction having a casual beer out on the lake with strangers ice fishing. Funny enough chatting with a local guy i know i hook into a PB crappie and I was going to hand him my phone to take a picture when all of a sudden i realized I couldnt, he said no problem i can text you from my phone...man the world had changed on a dime.

12.jpg

The following week it was my anniversary with my girlfriend, I had planned to take her up the CN tower having not gone myself since I was a child, and my girlfriend having never been. We had drinks, went to steamwhistle brewery, had lunch at a mexican restaurant and it was pretty apparent that things were quieter than they should have been for a Saturday. It made for a nice quiet afternoon for us, and was a nice final hoorah before the existence that we now know begun.

13.jpg

Then lockdown really began, My girlfriend and I fled the city and moved to my parents house in Georgetown. A new home base of sorts where we could work from home, but also have some space and a yard to spend time in without being locked into an apartment building in Toronto. My parents both moving full time to Pointe Au Baril due to my mothers immuno compromization and me making regular trips straight up to deliver groceries to them. For the first time since my family has owned our place, I got to watch the ice come off of the lake. A very cool experience. Heres my mom holding a big piece of hollowed out ice with the ice flow moving out of frame behind her.

14.jpg

It was cool to see the skidoo tracks in the ice flow by and then crash into shore and pile up. The sound was really cool as well. The biggest flow missed our dock by about 2 feet, we were happy about that. 

Just like that, it was open water season. The boat launches closed, i rigged up my old tinner magic just like back in the day, the water still in the 40's the fish were still in their winter pattern. Laying in bed i figured out a way to present my favourite crappie buckshot presentation to them suspended in 30 fow on a slip bopper. Seemingly it worked! Heres the first fish of open water season

17.jpg

Im not one for keeping many fish, but with the meat shortage that was going on, i took a few home to make tacos.

18.jpg

A couple weeks of crappies fishing, Trout opener was approaching. Im not much of a river guy at all, but I do like fly fishing. My buddy jake (more of a trout guy) got permission this year to access a stretch of river through a farmer's private property. So in this weird existence we all drove separately to this spot and accessed the river socially distancing...it was just nice to get out fishing with the guys again and even better that we were able to do so in a totally safe manner. 

15.jpg

Every time i see one of these fish, im in total awe of their beauty. I just wish I caught them more lol (i still have never caught a rainbow in a river on a fly rod)

16.jpg

Then rumblings started firing up about boat launches and their total closure..rumours were about that they may open, what that signaled to me was it was time to get my butt in gear and get my actual boat up and running...which turned into me not only fixing the hydraulics on my boat, but also a full deep clean, wax vaccum, cleaned the trailer, fixed some rivets and a photo shoot since I didnt have a photo of the boat with the new seats in it. A friend that used to be in my car club back in the day said to me "so you traded the turbo car for a bass boat eh" and i clued in, holy crap my boat is just my old mazdaspeed car re-incarnated lol

20.jpg

Me getting all ready for the warm weather and boating season, I wake up to this on May 11th, as if the year wasnt weird enough as it was. (10 days later it was 32 degrees in my yard)

May-11.jpg

And then it happened, the boat launches opened. I spent a pile of time on the water that weekend and got skunked the entire time! Ive always struggled with early season fishing in my neck of the woods, When the water is in high 40's and low 50's its as if the fish disappear waiting for the water to warm up just a bit more. I marked some fish on my front unit while over 35 fow and my old man pulled in this beauty slab...needless to say the craps were nowhere near shallow yet lol

21.jpg

I couldnt remember the last time I had been skunked for 3 straight days, yet here I was. I was appreciative of my time being able to drive the boat and just be in it again. I kept reminding myself "you are paying the fish gods, they will pay you back"

The heatwave hit, my girlfriends birthday came along. In the absence of friends I did my best to make light of a crappy situation, We ordered food and while she worked in the office upstairs I secretly converted my parent's dining room into a movie theatre. I utilized a borrowed from a friend "marquee sign" to put at the entrance saying "now playing" and projector from a friend and a popcorn maker from another all in secret. I dragged a couch up some stairs by myself and set up a surround sound. Made Snack combo and theatre signage by hand with a marker and bristol board. It was damn close to the real thing. She loved it!

movies.jpg

Then last week the end of the heat wave I raced up north on Thursday, thinking that last day of warmth before the big pattern change would have the lake on fire...instead what i found was that the spike in water temperature had totally screwed the lake up. The water went from the low 50's to 75 over the course of a few days. The fish clearly did not like it...I caught one single dink pike...it felt good to break the skunk but I knew something had to give. Friday it started pouring, and it didnt stop all day. This gave me the opportunity to do some more work on the boat to install all new batteries and install those new rod buckles that I made a thread about. Did the cut outs, installed them and they work absolutely incredibly. I couldn't honestly be more happy with how they turned out. I would recommend them to anyone! The batteries are also so noticeably different. I didnt think that they could possibly do much different aside from lasting longer since 12 or 24 volts is 24 volts...but holy crap did they ever. My trolling motor now turns faster and when i crank my motor it sounds like a bloody machine gun going off it turns it over so hard and fast. That two stroke Yamaha fires better than a car! Unreal.

In an absolutely superb mood, out for another fish I went. Thinking that maybe out towards the bigger water on the bay, and away from the back bays after two cooler days and rain the water may just be a bit more stable. I had noticed a slight pattern the prior two days of fishing where I noticed my pike bites were coming out in water in the 10-14 fow range where I could mark old weeds. Pulled up to a the spot i intended that I only sort of found last year. I didnt even realize that around the point from this spot was another spot that I had bass fished during the summer. I had had some real success catching smallies on a nice sand flat in what i remembered to be about 10fow. I figured, im near a nice flat, i remember there being weeds, i remember it dropped way off into 60 fow and I figured, heck i should probably give the other side of this point a shot before i work my way back, so i sped around the point with the TM and threw out the 6 inch bass pro paddle tail. Im looking at my screens and yup, this spot is exactly as I thought it was...for lack of a better word it was "ideal"

Third cast, I let the bait hit bottom and start my retrieve and i feel like i catch a snag immediately, and then i feel that oldddd tail kick that I seemingly haven't felt since last October. This thicc momma fought like the dickens, put on a couple of arial shows and found her way into the big old musky net. She behaved nicely once in the net. A testament to huge musky nets, its very clear that allowing the fish to just sit naturally in the net while you grab your pliers to unhook, and then back in while you set up your camera etc just ensures proper catch and release of these big ol girls. The fish gods finally paying me as they always do.

22.jpg

Were 18 days from bass season...lets hope my heater keeps on burning. Till next time.

Thanks for reading!

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to write that up and share it - enjoyed it with my coffee this am

Hopefully summer shapes up to be awesome for you

Love the new boat

Andrew

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey is your place near Sturgeon Bay? I am asking because I used to work with someone who retired up there with her husband. Their names are Nancy and Russ Ley and their son Jeff bought a cottage across the bay from them.

My good friend Eldon used to manage the liquor store there and moved the the Rosseau location a few years ago.

Edited by Cast-Away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atta boy.  Great report as usual man! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to put this up!

Doug

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2020 at 8:15 AM, gordy28 said:

 

Love the new boat

 

 

I take a ton of pride in it and for 22 years old shes holding up very nicely. Couple things are a little worn, specifically the compartment latches are becoming a little troublesome in the rear and the holes that had the screws in them are a little stripped out. Could make for a nice winter project but I dont have a heated garage to work in! At some point the carpet should be done, its starting to lift a little in spots but its nothing that a bit of a glue doesnt fix. I think about overhauling some of this stuff but then i worry about the 22 year motor, because if she pops, I dont imagine I will re-power. All I can hope is that is that she lasts 4 more years. Because once its totally paid off then it literally doesnt owe me a single thing. Im pretty certain i can keep it going for that long pretty easily. The old Yamaha 2 strokes are simple engines that are easy to work on for the most part that dont have too much fancy crap to break. Plus they arent lean on the oil consumption so that keeps the motor nice and protected.

On 6/3/2020 at 9:09 AM, Cast-Away said:

Hey is your place near Sturgeon Bay? I am asking because I used to work with someone who retired up there with her husband. Their names are Nancy and Russ Ley and their son Jeff bought a cottage across the bay from them.

My good friend Eldon used to manage the liquor store there and moved the the Rosseau location a few years ago.

Yes indeed, We arent in sturgeon bay but we are to the east of bigwood island. Do you recognize our boathouse? I am fairly certain that it is somewhat of a landmark to the locals in the area as there arent too many oldschool cribbed boathouses anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a mammoth report man! I have only got half way through but will get back to the rest of it, the lake is calling me! Thanks for taking what must have been hours and hours putting that together, appreciated!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2020 at 10:22 AM, limeyangler said:

That is a mammoth report man! I have only got half way through but will get back to the rest of it, the lake is calling me! Thanks for taking what must have been hours and hours putting that together, appreciated!

It takes time indeed, the biggest pain by far is getting the images sized and cropped, but it’s easier than editing video Like you do weekly lol that’s for sure! Gives me something Fishing related to do while I am down in the GTA with work being slow!

thanks for reading!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice report bud.  Nice pb pike through the ice.  How big was the one you lost?   Must of been big or maybe you just snagged a sheepshead on the tale lol.  Good job

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LostAnotherOne said:

Nice report bud.  Nice pb pike through the ice.  How big was the one you lost?   Must of been big or maybe you just snagged a sheepshead on the tale lol.  Good job

Oh man it makes me want to cry thinking about it. When I hooked the pike no word of a lie it started swimming away and it was like a lake trout, it ran and ran to the point that I was almost spooled. It didn’t even slow down or aknowledge my existence. It just swam at will. It had hundreds of feet of line out before it finally turned. I was fighting it for over 5 minutes. My buddy had time to finish taking a crap up at the house. come outside, come back down to the lake, have a smoke with the snowmobile running and me screaming at him without him hearing me over the running snowmobile. Finish his smoke and then realize something was up lmao. We got it up to the hole and it was an 8 inch hole and the fish was wider than the hole. It made another run and then we got it back up. We couldnt get its head lifted so we tried to go for a grab by sticking out hand down the hole and it made a move and it was gone. Without a doubt it was 20+lbs maybe even bigger. It was super fat and had a bigger head than my PB 46 inch musky. When the line broke I ran out of the hut threw my rod as far as I possibly good and screamed hahaha

Edited by AKRISONER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AKRISONER said:

Oh man it makes me want to cry thinking about it. When I hooked the pike no word of a lie it started swimming away and it was like a lake trout, it ran and ran to the point that I was almost spooled. It didn’t even slow down or aknowledge my existence. It just swam at will. It had hundreds of feet of line out before it finally turned. I was fighting it for over 5 minutes. My buddy had time to finish taking a crap up at the house. come outside, come back down to the lake, have a smoke with the snowmobile running and me screaming at him without him hearing me over the running snowmobile. Finish his smoke and then realize something was up lmao. We got it up to the hole and it was an 8 inch hole and the fish was wider than the hole. It made another run and then we got it back up. We couldnt get its head lifted so we tried to go for a grab by sticking out hand down the hole and it made a move and it was gone. Without a doubt it was 20+lbs maybe even bigger. It was super fat and had a bigger head than my PB 46 inch musky. When the line broke I ran out of the hut threw my rod as far as I possibly good and screamed hahaha

That would be a nightmare for me.  I've luckily never had that feeling yet of losing a big one right before my eyes.  My brother lost a 50" plus muskie beside the boat.   Having someone who can work a net is super important.  Actually almost lost my muskie in my avatar pic.  Jumped right out of the cradle.  Luckily there was still one hook in her so I just grabbed her and lifted it up.  Surprisingly that fish was super calm and had her back in the water in no time.  After that I invested $200 on a net that takes up half my boat lol.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, LostAnotherOne said:

That would be a nightmare for me.  I've luckily never had that feeling yet of losing a big one right before my eyes.  My brother lost a 50" plus muskie beside the boat.   Having someone who can work a net is super important.  Actually almost lost my muskie in my avatar pic.  Jumped right out of the cradle.  Luckily there was still one hook in her so I just grabbed her and lifted it up.  Surprisingly that fish was super calm and had her back in the water in no time.  After that I invested $200 on a net that takes up half my boat lol.

Never ever undervalue a huge net when fishing for giants. When i caught this one

22.jpg

I had the big musky net in the boat. She easily swam in and calmed down entirely. She began recovering as soon as she was in the net. I lifted her head barely out of the water and got the hook out. and let her just hang out while i got my camera etc in order. The whole time she sat calmly breathing totally submerged in the lake. 

The right net is not only better for you trying to land big fish, it is also beneficial to these big fish, and even more so musky which are susceptible to over stressing, especially in warm weather.

I was lucky to be fishing with a musky master FisherPete when i first went for musky, that 46 was hooked on a cowgirl deep. Pete proceeded to do the taxing process of lifting the muskys head and cutting each hook on the trebles 1 at a time while allowing her to catch her breath between each move. The process took half an hour, but a fish that I was sure was a goner recovered after half an hour and swam away strong.

Edited by AKRISONER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...