Wanted to let everyone know last week was good fishing. Some lakes are still ramping up, but overall there were big fish landed in between some not so friendly weather patterns. Look for the photos soon. We are kicking off the busiest week of the year, so time is limited to do a warm fuzzy report.
Something special is starting to happen here in the Pasha Lake Region of Northwest, Ontario Canada and that's called Walleyes. Well, I spouse you could call it "Walleyes and Brook Trout".
But before I get to the walleye bite, I have to circle back to last week. In my week ending June 1 report, I promised juicy details on Lake Nipigon. And after spending several days out there, I can most certainly report the brookies are biting. 5 Days collectively landed our guests north of 50 brookies, the biggest was an absolute toad, landed by Mr. Kelloway himself, a 24"er. The cooler water temps still play a tremendous role in locating active fish. Find the warmer water and you'll find the fish. For the lure of choice, some say a Yakima Rooster Tail Spinner, some say a cleo, I say a white jig tipped with a white B Fish Tackle Moxi-cyllin cut in half. (Side Note: In 3 weeks of fishing, I've landed pike, walleye, brook trout and a sucker on the white Moxi – something's happening here!)
Lake Nipigon Brookies? As fantastic as that is, I can happily report dense schools of walleyes being found daily by guests. While I'll admit, things sure started out slow, it appears we've turned the corner. I anticipate walleye fishing only getting better in these typically walleye action filled June days that lay ahead.
Probably the most significant news this week has to do with Onaman Lake. The shallow trophy filled walleye waters have really turned on. I've been told there was a major bug hatch, and while I don't know if that has anything to do with the red hot bite, old faithful has once again lived up to her big walleye legendary name. Lake Black Friday at Wal-Mart, guests have been flocking to the lake in search for those hog walleyes. In fact, Jeff D of Alabama has been fishing Onaman for over 30 years. Now that he is retired, he booked two weeks and is out there EVERY day. So far, it sounds like 28" is the biggest, with a high probability he'll break 30" this upcoming week.
3 Solid days of fishing with me. That's what the Darrell K group wanted when they booked their June trip this past winter. After day 3, they have yet to kill me and in fact, it sounds like they are very happy. And why not? We hit two of my top 3 lakes and the fishing was outstanding. Cold was the understatement for Sunday, most likely due to the falling snow and mid 20's wind chill, but the walleye action was blistering hot. The boys limited out in 30 mins and a shore lunch with fire was needed to warm up. Day 2 we hit Nipigon, the winds still impacted us early, but by day's end, it laid down as we boated several quality specks, including Darrell's big one. Day 3, well, sometimes things go as planned and sometimes they don't. My typically hot walleye lake reluctantly produced spotty action and no predictable pattern. With a less than stellar start, we regrouped after lunch and started noting active fish near deep rock to mud transition lines. Once we cracked that code, we landed three 26" or better walleyes and plenty of eaters. In three days of hard core fishing, it's safe to say these guys experienced what we are all about – Action Packed Fishing, Adventure and lots of Fun.
This week we welcome back some crusty ol' Pasha Lake Veterans, including the Dave M crew from Eau Claire, the Hoekstra crew and more hard core Onaman fans. The last 3 days have been 80 degrees or better so let's make the call and say summer is here to stay.
Finally, don't forget to check out the updated Pasha Lake Cabin's blog... Michelle is posting daily updates on camp life and fishing
Pasha Lake & Lake Nipigon - multi species report - week ending June 1st, 2013
I am happy, no, let me rephrase that, I am completely AMPED when it comes to comparing this week with that of the not so weather friendly previous week.
Saturday the skies opened up, and for the first time in a long time, the sun warmed our faces as new guests flooded in. All of them with hi hopes of what the fishing week would bring.
Sunday was my first official day out on Lake Nipigon. I was honored to be accompanied by Dave and Julie from Mount Pleasant, NY who chose Pasha Lake Cabins as the venue for their wedding anniversary. We were in hot pursuit of brook trout and headed to one of my favorite locations to kick the season off right. Unfortunately, as we motored in on our hunting grounds, we were forced to start dodging ice bergs. And then we noticed, and couldn't believe, that most of the shorelines were completely iced in. Yikes!
Not to be deterred, we fished the only open water we could find, but quickly realized we'd have to change our game plan. After a couple hours of dodging ice and scouting for warm water, I tabled an idea for chasing big pike. Julie pounced on it lake a walleye crushes a B Fish N tackle paddle tail on a beetle spin. So onward we went.
Once we arrived at our new location, it didn't take long to start spotting pike in the shallows. It took even less time to start catching them. At one point, we were boating pike at will, with Julie landing the biggest of the day, a trophy 38"er that gave her a reel run for her money. She fought it like a pro, while I chased it around the lake with the trolling motor. Eventually the old girl wore down and I was able to slip her in the boat for a couple of pictures. And Dave? Well, Dave kept busy in the stern of the boat and one point he leaned toward us grumbling about how all the pike had "bent my hook". Dave - welcome to fishing big gators on Lake Nipigon!
Two days later, I found myself side by side with one the greatest fishing legends of our time, Babe Winkelman. Babe booked us for the second year in a row with his sights set on the BIG Nipigon brook trout again. If you'll remember from last year, Babe and Polaris Rep Bryce Wernsman hit pay dirt with the big brookies. Well, obliviously Babe couldn't get enough, so with film crew in tow; we headed out to what were now ice free waters. What a difference a couple of days make. As soon as we arrived at our hot spot, I missed one and sure enough, Babe laced into a nice 18"er. For the rest of the day, we pounded points and windswept shores. The trout were in tight, feeding on smelt and it seemed we could do no wrong. Boat control was tough once the winds picked up, but Babe's years of experience kept us in the sweet spot and by day's end, we had boated 40+ brookies, the biggest being 26".
And then there's "Hootch". He's a self proclaimed brook trout fanatic. Rightfully so, Hootch put on a brook trout clinic this past week, fishing all over creation and landing some very impressive fish. As with Babe, the fruits of his experience paid off handsomely which are backed up by his pictures. Nice fish this past week Hootch, it was fun to talk fishing with you!
So what about walleyes? Well, depends on who you talk to. The Pasha veterans are finding them all over the water column, with the most active fish continuing to be in rivers. It doesn't appear they've started to school up in big numbers yet, but we are seeing signs the bite is getting better daily in the lakes. In fact, one only needs to ask Jeanne Trudel, who landed a 29.5in, 9.5lbs walleye on a lake just over the hill from here. It was her biggest walleye ever and she's officially been inducted into the Pasha Lake Trophy Club. Congrats Jeanne!
Looking forward to next week, the weather man continues to bless us with favorable weather, although we're in for some cooler temps early on. I'll be on Nipigon pretty much all week and should have the juicy details come this time next week.
Until next time...
Pasha Lake Weekly Report - June 18/2013
Wanted to let everyone know last week was good fishing. Some lakes are still ramping up, but overall there were big fish landed in between some not so friendly weather patterns. Look for the photos soon. We are kicking off the busiest week of the year, so time is limited to do a warm fuzzy report.
As we close out the first full week here in the Pasha Lake Cabins (PLC) corner of northwest Ontario, all I can say is "WOW". What a week.
Mother Nature handed us plenty of lemons. From ice, to a brutally cold "nor'easter" parked over us for 3 days, to downright awful winds, guests experienced everything imaginable. Yet, with sheer determination and an unrelenting devotion to angling, guests persevered and were able to land some impressive multispecies bag limits.
Kicking of Saturday's walleye opener, we're astonished as some of our favorite lakes still had ice pack floating. Unshaken, we turned to the local river systems, several tributaries that ultimately find their end in Lake Nipigon.
Second year guest and avid outdoors man Jeff Eldridge (Michigan), his crew of 3 and myself, hit a little known system that finds its beginnings in my favorite all time trophy walleye lake, Onaman. Armed with my notebook full of past fishing adventures and experiences, I bead lined to places with fast moving water. I felt male walleyes would be relating to those areas, feeding pretty heavy. The result? Throw that dang notebook out the window! It was useless!
Instead, we ended up playing cat and mouse, trying to locate active fish. Eventually, working from 35 - 25fow, I laced into a 17" eater and with that, we broke the ice (literally in some cases) for the 2013 walleye season.
I was however, and still am, a little thick headed. I've landed spring walleyes in deep water in other rivers and lakes, but never in this location. So with self deprecating stubbornness I forced myself to forge on, pounding shorelines, working multiple points, long line trolling and yet, always seemed to migrate back to the deeper water where we'd found the active fish hours before. By day's end, our efforts paid off by everyone catching multiple limits of walleyes, quite a few pike and some impressive jumbo perch.
Once back to the main lodge and comparing notes with other guests, there were definitely mixed reports. The common theme seemed to lay in focusing on river systems, deeper water and being able to brave the elements.
But, the big question that has tied up our phone lines and almost crashed my email, is what are the ice conditions on Lake Nipigon? The short answer… as of Thursday, the shorelines had mostly broken up, and the ice was receding, but a significant ice pack still kept us at bay. It should be safe early next week. Until then, I won't have specific details. But when I do, believe me, I'll back them up with pictures.
Come Saturday check out, there were some battle harden guests that earned the right to wear their angling stories as a badge of honor. The elements shook them up, but the fishing kept them coming back for more. Included in this week's report are multispecies pictures from groups such as Faught (father and son crew), from Hoad (another father son group) and from Jensen - winners of the NPAA donation.
This upcoming week we welcome Babe Winkelman for the second year in a row, the weather looks good and fishing should rev up, especially now that we are officially ice free!
Pasha Lake Report - February... say what? - 02/14/2013
Despite the 2-3 feet of fresh powder on the ground, Pasha Lake guests will not be stopped. Last week the Steve Sheppard crew from Southern Ontario put an ice fishing smack down on some local lakes. The cool thing? They braved the snow absent any form of motorized transportation. Yep, these hard core anglers relied on their snow shoes, ingenuity and pure determination to get the job done. Congrats guys!
Day One - was spent on a lake just 5mins north of the main lodge. It was a brutal cold front that lock jawed the lakers early, but by day's end they released several small ones and kept 3 with the best tipping the scales north of 3lbs.
Day Two - produced the most action. On one of our premier trout lakes, these guys iced over 60 splake and rainbows; with one horse of a speck that weighed over 3lbs. After a shore lunch fit for a king's army (and in true Pasha Lake style), they packed up the gear and headed to a walleye lake known for it's TREMENDOUS evening bite. Fail them the lake did not! (I think Yoda said something like that in Starwars?) They landed 9 walleyes before packing it in for the night.
Day Three - Since the close walleye lake produced so good the night before, they headed back the next morning and landed another 10 or so walleyes. Most were perfect for that day's shore lunch. After some good eats, the boys changed it up a bit and headed to known perch hole and, low and behold, it too was bang on! Several of the 20 - 30 perch landed reached past the 12" mark.
Special Thanks to Tom A. who's guide services proved to be invaluable once again. Tom books up fast, so if you are considering a trip, you should reach out to us asap.
Remember, we ice fish for most species, including walleye, well into April. Once the season closes in the upper US, there remains tremendous opportunities for a late season ice outing north of the border
Driving north on the 801 yesterday, I couldn't help but notice the changing leaves. Almost overnight the Pasha Lake region was showered in trimmings of orange, red and yellow. With falling water temps and even cooler air, it's a safe bet to make the official call... Fall is here.
I absolutely love this time of year. I still place July at the top of the list, but second only by a miniscule margin is fall. Why you ask? Its pretty simple. Most of the summer fam commitments are over meaning the boys get a chance to break loose and play. And with every one of God's creatures preparing for lean times ahead, boundless opportunities are within easy reach. Fish, especially the recently elusive BIG fish are putting on the heavy feed bag. Walleyes, pike, white fish, brook trout... all are easy to target. This time of year also means hunting. From birds to bears, moose and wolf we have a pretty big playground to work with and lots of playmates to ... um'um... find!. Yes, Fall is the grand finale of the current years outdoor pursuits, the last big push before winter rears its ugly, cold head. MAN I LOVE FALL!
So I had the great pleasure to meet a very unique crew from Southern Ontario this week. Their fly in trip was cancelled due to low water conditions, so they booked with us last minute. Ganady (Russian) and the crew are on the extreme end of hardcore fishing fanatics. They have been there and done that, with one tiny (or vary large) exception... Lake Nipigon. When he called me up and asked if I could take care of him, I jumped at the chance.
The day came and Ganady was very specific about what he wanted to fish for on the big pond. Brookies and pike were the top of the list and he could care less about the walleyes. When I explained to him how good the walleye fishing was, he hesitated a little and said we can fish them at the end of the day. I added that I had low expectations for the specs, but he insisted and we fished them. After two hours of washing lures, I coughed under my breath and may have slipped the word "pike" out, but I am not sure. Doesn't matter though, Ganady took the hint and on to chase swamp gators we went. Man ooooo man... fall is here. After the fourth pike that was landed over 40"s, I could tell we made the right choice. Biggest of the day was over 43" and Ganady was one very happy man.
Also this past week the Nuss crew from Iowa (www.nusschiro.com), returned for their 2nd trip of the year. Travis told me in emails and on the phone that he wanted new adventures this year. New adventures you say? Ok, so I sent him out on Lake Nipigon without a guide and surprising he returned. So I figured I take another crack at it and send him to Jonny Fickert's secret lake and wouldn't you know it? Travis made it back from there as well. No matter what I threw at him, he somehow managed to make it back to camp with sore arms, smiles and begging for more. They ended their trip on Onaman yesterday boating a 27" to cap the entire week off. I'll fix him next year!
Archery moose season opens today. Big fish are on the move. Air temps are cool in the morning and absolutely perfect by mid day. How could you ask for anything more!
Skeeter Boats, Pasha & Lake Nipigon - September 4, 2012
As the bear season starts to wind down to the final hours, I have noticed a big void in my life. Namely, it's been FOREVER since I last wet a line or felt the tug, tug of a walleye. Yep, yours truly can't wait until I get back out on the water. And for good reason... FALL IS HERE! With that comes arguably the best walleye fishing of the season... big fish and big numbers!
Thankfully, my lack of water time hasn't impacted Pasha Lake Cabin's guests. Daily, people head out to lakes, catch crazy numbers of fish, head back to great cabin life and then do it again. This past week, the Bryan Kofal group from Wisconsin did exactly that. 2012 was a bit different for them however. Typically they come in the late fall for the annual walleye run, but due to schedules they opted for an earlier trip. It took awhile to adjust to the late summer patterns, but once they put it together, tremendous fishing was once again all theirs. Not only that, they volunteered to explore some new lakes adding a different twist to their vacation. In the end, smiles where everywhere and they couldn't book fast enough for 2013.
A neat story from this week also brings us to West Virginia. The Harris group, here on a bear/fishing combo, are use to angling for bass. With that southern draw of theirs, they can barely say walleye, much less catch one. But in true Pasha Lake style, we converted them from the dark side and showed them everything they were missing! I wasn't able to get out on the water with them, but instead, sat down and showed them how to rig a bottom bouncer with a crawler harness. Once they figured out how to keep the wire vertical, ticking the bottom occasionally, they caught walleye fever. Landing fish after fish, they soon learned what all the hype was about. Its safe to say, they'll never be the same fisherman again... in a good way!
Finally, IDO fan and follower, Chris from WI could no longer resist the urge to experience Pasha Lake Cabins. This past week, he hooked on to his Skeeter MX 1825, and aimed it north to our door step. While here, we treated him to the full PLC experience, not only fishing Lake Nipigon, but also a couple of our famous inland lakes. The bonus was using his Skeeter on Nipigon. With some detailed planning and little favorable weather, he made the trek to the north end of the lake where he and his, landed walleye after fat, healthy walleye. When I ran in to him that night, I couldn't help but notice the perma-smile on his face. And when the weather wasn't right, inland he went and game on it was. It's pretty dang neat to watch how these trips come together for people, week after week.
"Going's on" for the near future include water temps in the cooling mode bringing us one step closer to the FANTASTIC fall bite. It won't be long now and the white fish will make their annual spawning runs, the walleyes will put on the HEAVY feed bag. After that, life at Pasha Lake Cabins couldn't get any better. Stay tuned and keep in touch... were just getting started up here....
Its back on folks. One trip, 200+ walleyes and a whole whack of fun. Last week Pasha Lake Cabins guests had the fishing experience of a life time. If I have heard it once, I have heard it 1000 times, it's simply the best walleye fishing anyone has ever experienced. With average walleyes of 18" - 22", who could argue with that? The trip can be summed up in one word - Amazing!
As promised, on the WDT I show cased B Fish and Tackles Moxi Ringles and Pulse R's. It was pretty much a no brainer. The fish went wild over the action and life like profile of the baits. Tipped with a 1/4oz bright jig, I had a hard time keeping the walleyes off my line. It didn't matter color, although despite the muddy waters, I felt the natural colors worked best. I did find you need to swim the bait in order to trigger a strike, whereas using the real deal allowed the inexperience people, especially the kids, more room for error and more action.
With all the Lake Nipgion action, let's not forget the inland lakes! For a second, I thought we were back in the middle of June with all the walleyes the Dan Larsen crew from Rochester, Mn landed. Not surprising, Onaman was the producer of their biggest fish, with Dan personally catching a gorgeous 27" walleye on jig and minnow. In one of our other HOT lakes, they landed over 180 walleyes... and it wasn't the Walleye Dream Trip, which they did on Friday.
Who said Canada fishing isn't for the whole family? Bill Mueller from Michigan was able to sneak away from his storage business in Michigan and treat the family to two wonderful days on Lake Nipigon. In fact, they were so floored by the Walleye Dream Trip, they asked me to take them there two days in a row. Bill is an avid Michigan trout fisherman, has often fished salt water and has been to Alaska, but told me on multiple occasion, this was the most amazing fishing he (and his family) have experienced.
For those of you following our bear updates, the season opens on Wednesday and I am pumped about all the activity on the baits. It appears we have been able to pull those bears out of the berry patches and keep them coming to our feeding sites. It probably helps that we are putting out 80 - 100lbs of food out at each location. Our trail cameras are capturing all the action, 24/7, 7 days a week. There are some dandies coming in. Keep checking back to the web page as I'll be posting season highlights and happenings as things unfold.
This week we have the veterans from Living Word Christian Church from Brooklyn Park, Mn in camp. Also, long time guest and hockey legend Mike Sertich, the former UMD Hockey coach. Bear hunters start filtering in Tuesday, so buckle in and check back often!
In reading some of the current fishing reports on the internet, I can't help but notice a slowing trend. It seems the dog days of summer, more specifically, the heat, is starting to take its toll. The weather around the Pasha Lake Region of Ontario, however, has been drastically different. Last week we experienced lows in the mid 60's and highs, pleasantly in the upper 70's and low 80's. And the fishing? Not slowing down as far as I can tell. Daily, guests continue to comment about how fast and furious the action is.
Long time IDO follower and frequent poster Wade Boardman sent his father here for the 3rd year in a row. They were treated to a beautiful day touring Lake Nipigon and to walleye after walleye on one of our more popular "go to" lakes. Last night, despite the starting issues with his dead battery, Wade's dad, Paul,put 22+" class walleyes in the boat one right after the other. The lure of choice? A simple jig and minnow. Paul noted the deep water flats tended to be the key to success during their week. Once he dialed in that pattern, it was nothing but game on.
Last week also brought the boys back from Zion Luthern Church from Anoka, Mn for their 6th annual Men's Fishing Ministries. There weren't many new faces to this year's 12 man crew, but the newbies were treated to some of the best fishing of their life. They had a hard time wrapping their head around how they could catch fish in great numbers in so many different bodies of water. One of the highlights came when I spent a day on Lake Nipigon Mike Pemberton (from Barnes Plumbing located in Minneapolis (http://www.barnesplbg.com/)) and his two boys Christian and Jonathan. Being out on the big water was a whole new experience for them. Minus the larger than desirable waves to start the day, in the end, the weather cooperated fully and we were able to boat a whole pile of nice walleyes. The guide even got in a 40" pike, but were not saying anything.
My favorite last week involves Mr. Bear Bait himself, Doug Ratkowski from Rat's Bear Bait out of Saxon, WI ((715) 893-2266). His oldest daughter Samantha is completely blind yet she put on a fishing clinic, regularly out fishing the entire family during their stay. The girl is absolutely amazing. She only has to hear your name once and she'll remember it forever. Same way with dogs. One time in a room and she can navigate it better than you or I can. Put her in a fishing boat and watch out, she is a catching machine!
Lastly, for those of you who follow us regularly, you may have noticed a lull in my reports from last week. No sweat, we are still here. It's bear season around the corner and getting the baits up and running has meant long hours and less time for fishing. The season opens August 15th, but the bulk of the prep work is close to done. Bears are coming into the baits regularly. Now if we can get rid of those darn berries, it should be a killer season!
This week we have more veterans returning. We also have some fresh new groups who are going to learn quickly what the Pasha Lake Cabins experience is all about. I'll tease you with some of the pics I have received from last week and post the others as I start to get them back from guests.
It's a little know fact that at Pasha Lake Cabins, July doubles as Family month. The predictable, consistently warm weather not only allows for great fishing, mainly walleye, but also opens the door for beach and water fun. Also commonly misunderstood is the bug situation. The dry, hot temps kill off the little tyrants making the outdoors a whole whack of fun.
The Jesse Spiess family from Mankato Minnesota (Mankato Tent & Awning) chose July for their annual trip to Canada. Three generations of family, really good fishing and the option to spend the day at the beach, you just can't beat that combo. Last week, they brought it all together again for one of the best years yet. Jesse told me that he can't remember a season where they landed so many big fish.
And, I had the pleasure of a couple outings with the Spiess boys. The first trip brought us to new waters and mind staggering numbers of walleyes. The second day was spent on Lake Nipigon catching hog walleyes at will and getting a mid day swim in, out in the middle of nowhere.
Last week also marked the second trip of the season for Jim & Barb Nelson from Milltown, WI. On their day of arrival, Barb tied in to a 29.5 in walleye, her second trophy in as many years. Although Jim and I were happy for her, we couldn't help but snicker under our breath about how she ALWAYS catches the big fish. Last years 42" pike and, now, this walleye means Barb only needs a couple more trophies to join the elite Pasha Lake Trophy Club. Given her past performance, it won't be long before she joins the ranks of a select few.
Finally, the popular Pasha Lake Cabin's icon, Jonny Fickert made his annual appearance last week. I was floored when he told me he has never caught so many walleyes before. Given his profession as a guide on Lake Erie and all his past angling adventures, that's quite a statement. Last year before he left I told him about a lake north of us that produces well all year long. That stuck with him and when he returned in this past week, he made the trek. It turned out to be so good, he went there two days in a row. Jonny told me he captured his adventures on video, so look for his new Youtube episode soon.
In my everyday dealings, I am getting a lot of questions about how good the fishing has been as of late. I have to say that I can't remember a year where we boated so many big fish. Specifically the walleyes. It seems the quality of our fisheries continue to thrive. But just as important, we are seeing better fisherman and better tools to catch fish with. Whether its plastics such B Fish and Tackle's Moxi Ringles, or spinner blades like the ones from Jolly Roger Tackle or electronics like the Lowrance HDS units, there has never been so many resources to make sure you put fish in the boat. And when you put those resources to use on our waters, the odds are so predictably in your favor that hard its to imagine how many fish one could potentially catch.
Finally, we are part way through this week and the same patterns of lots of fish and BIG fish continues. This 29 incher came off a lake just south of us. Congrats to the Dean Larson crew from Saxon Wi.
Oh.. and almost fogot... the flow has been diverted, so we are close to being able to offer the Walleye Dream Trip once again. I was up there on Thursday. The waters are a bit muddy yet, but those walleyes should start filtering in there in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more...
The word enjoyment doesn't come close to describing the awesome feeling I get when introducing people to the sport of angling. Even better, is when people experienced bad fishing in the past and we show them just how good things can be.
This week, Tony Perri and his crew came to realize just how good things can get. Mario (his buddy) and Tony have been on many trips, but never experienced anything that resembled memoriable fishing. Trips have included fly ins, and excursions to areas that claimed "world class" fishing, but the end result was always the same... disappointment. In fact, during a conversation before he departed, he told me that if this trip was a bust, he was done with fishing all together. Sad to think about and begs the question, how many other people have experienced the same and have decided to throw in the towel forever?
Knowing this, imagine the relief when in one day of fishing the Pasha Lake Region of Ontario, Tony and Mario caught more fish then all the other trips combined. And they hadn't even fished the "hot" lakes yet. So when I spent the day with them on Monday and we boated walleyes pretty much at will, everyone was beyond happy. Tony even landed a 29"er midday, which pretty much convinced him this fishing this is all right. Whew... we saved another one!
Anybody that knows me quickly realizes that, not only do I love what I do, I'm also, what I call, a "habitual student". I love learning new techniques to find and boat fish, the main reason why I am a huge fan of IDO.
In my free time, clear my throat, I came across the going-ons with Shawn Flemming and Jolly Roger tackle. He posts some great info to the IDO site, and has really helped my spinner game. I haven't used the bottom bouncer technique much in the past, but implemented it flawlessly this past week and have been thrilled with the results. Unfortunately due to the logistics of my location, I haven't had the opportunity to use his spinners just yet, but hope to in the very near future. In the short term, his informative posts have taken my guiding abilities, and more importantly the experience of our guests, to the next level. Thanks Shawn for your info and great posts, please keep them coming.
On a different note, take one look at the weather and it's pretty easy to tell we are in the heat of mid summer. With that, brings exceptional walleye fishing on Lake Nipigon. And as the season continues to roll on, that fishery continues to get better and better. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with the Germick brothers from Tennessee. We headed to a little known spot that can be tough to get to, but usually worth the trip. When we got there, it was Katie bar the door as walleyes were jumping in the boat like Asian carp. Biggest of the day was a gourgeous 28"er, caught on a wanna be Jolly Roger spinner rig. The brothers and their boys had a blast and tell me it's the best fishing they've experienced in a long time.
To round out the week, I did get to spend the day with the family on a local lake where we caught as many walleyes as the wife and kids wanted. The trip was an absolute blast, complete with a ribeye shore lunch and the company of some close friends from Northern Wisconsin. (Sometimes I can't imagine how things could get any better.)
Next week, I want to get out and find some new spots on Nipigon. My hope is that I can implement some of the suspended walleye tactics Brad Juaire talks about in his IDO posts. Brad, wish me luck!
I have to admit it, back in April/May with all the extreme weather we were having, I was anxious about how the fishing would play out this season. And of course, not knowing what to expect means you expect the worst. But as this year continues to unfold, I have to admit, even I'm surprised. I know we have good fishing, but the last 3 weeks have been outstanding. An unforeseen, huge bonus has been the weather. The rains have stopped, the sun is out every day, the bugs are... well the bugs still suck, but everything else has been downright awesome.
Now that we are in July, the door opens to some of the best lake trout fishing our area has to offer , specifically, Lake Nipigon. But don't take my word for it, just ask Mr. Sidorenko of Southern Ontario.
He catches them frequently at home, but not in the 20lbs range. His wife's 25'er is slightly above average for the lake and he was thrilled to see her haul it in. And, long time guest, fellow Duluthian and accomplished laker guy, Lou Sibik, hooked double digit numbers during his stay. Lou didn't break the 20lbs mark but was very happy having hooked into 12 in one day.
And what about the walleye fishing? Two 30's in one week? Say what? You bettcha. Two BIG fish, two lakes and two VERY happy guests. Tina Lander from Grand Rapids, Mn landed a gorgeous walleye on one of our go to hot lakes. And, no surprise here, long time guest and fishing fanatic, Jim J. from Brooklyn Park, MN landed a HOG on Onaman. Interesting note - that's his second from Onaman in as many years. Check out Jim's first one on our Facebook home page.
Of course, my report wouldn't be complete if I we didn't throw in a few 40" pike to round the week out. The Scott Cunningham crew from Southern Ontario, the Decook group from Rochester and the Sitzman family from Iowa all rubbed shoulders with 40" swamp gators. In fact, Scotts crew of eight people landed 3 in one day on a lake that will soon be familiar to any IDO fan. You'll understand what I mean when the May show airs this winter.
Another great thing about July is the fact that the whole family can come to play and have a very enjoyable time. On Wednesday, our family joined the Bob Tahtinen group from Saginaw, Mn for a day of fun and relaxation on Pasha Lake itself. We spent the day tubing, skiing and I even did a throw back to my show skiing days, making a few barefoot runs. The kids and adults had an awesome time. Great fishing and family fun. How can you beat that?
Next week, I hear the weather man is predicting more nice weather. Since we have many PLC veterans coming in, I anticipate it will be another week of great fun, big fish and memories that will last a life time.
Until next time...
Location: Canada Water Body: Pasha Lake Region of Ontario Species: walleye Water Temp: 65 Technique: trolling
It's finally here! The walleye bite is through the roof, resulting in doubles, triples and face numbing smiles.
Last week's mid week cold front did little to impact the hot bite occurring in just about every body of water in the Pasha Lake Region of Ontario. From numbers to big fish, the last two weeks have been, by far, the most productive yet in the 2012 season.
Long time guests and hard core angling fanatics, the Jim Haller group from Southern Ontario put on a fishing clinic, boating multiple species. From 20lbs Lake Nipigon lake trout, to trophy pike and brook trout and mind staggering numbers of walleyes, they experienced what every angler dreams of in coming to Pasha Lake Cabins. It was simply the hottest bite yet for 2012. Before departing, one of the veteran group members told me, "this is the best year of fishing we've ever had here".
Not surprising, the hot lure last week was the original floating Rapla - F5 in orange and gold. Long lining the lure proved to be too much to handle for walleyes in 10fow or shallower. The pattern was discovered early in the week and was deadly most days. For the Haller group, it was the biggest producer of their trip.
On Wednesday, I headed out to Onaman with the Hassler group from Southern Missouri. They had heard all the hype and couldn't wait to experience the euphoria when it comes consistently catching walleyes disguised as pigs. And, oh boy, were they happy. In baseball terms, not only did we hit a home run, dare I say, we parked a grand slam. In all, we boated over 40 walleyes ranging from 16" to 28", with the bulk of them being in the 4-5lbs range. It was so good, for a second I thought we were fishing in October.
Also, as posted in last week's fishing report, you know that I placed my bulk order for B Fish and Tackle's Pulse-R Paddle tails and Moxi Ringles. As with most things you buy over the internet, I thought it would be weeks before I would see them arrive on my door step. That was not the case however. B Fish and Tackle shipped them immediately and as I type this report, they have all ready worked their magic over some unsuspecting walleyes. The point? B Fish Tackle makes effective lures, and has great service. Wish all companies had that blue print!
One of the hottest bites for me personally has been to use a Pulse-R Paddle Tail on a beetle spin set up. It hasn't matter if I was fishing rivers or lakes, casting or trolling, it's been devastating the walleyes. Like last week, using a bright colored jig with a Stewarts Pro-Blue or Oystershell color proved to be a deadly combination. Another good combo presentation was to swim a white Moxi Ringle on a 1/4 oz jig. The live bait guys edged me using that set up, but I blew their doors off with the beetle spin rig.
On a different note, we have postponed the Walleye Dream Trip until further notice. Unfortunately with all the rain, the forced flow from the Ogoki Reservoir to Lake Nipigon has been shut off. Absent that flow, those walleyes don't stage in the river where they usually do. It's kind of ironic, with all the rain and massive run off, we don't have the flow required to fish what is arguably the best walleye sanctuary on the planet. Hopefully that will change in the near future. Keep tuned for updates
My last update/story comes from the McClain group from Michigan. They have fished southern Ontario for many years and have settled on good fishing as catching 12 walleyes in as many hours. Last Saturday, they caught that many within minutes of a hitting the lake. And, despite my pleas for sleep, they insisted on leaving early in the morning and coming back late in the evening. But the results can't be denied. They hammered countless walleyes and told me before leaving, this was the most fish they had ever caught while staying in Ontario.
I have to slap myself... I can't believe July is knocking on the door step. If this hot bite continues in to next month, you'll find me in an insane asylum holding a fishing rod in one hand and a Moxi Ringle in the other...
In stark contrast to last week, the weather has been, dare I say it, too good? Yesterday marked the 4th day in a row with no winds and beautiful blue skys. There is no other way to describe it. It's been picture perfect coupled with very productive angling. Below are last weeks highlights...
About a month ago the phone rang and on the other end was long time guest, Steve Wesbrook from Wisconsin. He wanted to treat his wife Sharon to a NW Ontario wilderness vacation and good fishing. Given his great experiences here in the past, he asked if I could guide them a couple of days and help his wife catch her first fish. But he cautioned me, she hadn't fished much and probably didn't know what end of the rod to use.
When they arrived on Sunday I was excited about the weather forecast and what it meant for getting her on some early action. Most rivers now a days are stacked up walleyes so I opted to do the easy thing and get Sharon on fish right away. My choice of locations involved some fast moving water, made worse by runoff from last week's downpours. No problem though, the Minnkota Terrova 101lbs thrust trolling motor on the front of my boat was more than adequate to fight the strong currents. Add to that the I-pilot feature, with GPS anchor lock, and I was able to park the boat and focus solely on helping Sharon catch fish. The ability to sit in one spot, where you know there is fish and not have to worry about boat control is invaluable. With the "spot lock", I was with her every step of the way and the boat stayed in perfect position. While Sharon did learn some solid fundamentals, unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be for her until the next day. Steve on the other hand, told me that was the best walleye fishing he's ever experienced.
Other highlights from last week include a trophy pike bite that is starting to rev up on lake Nipigon. A last minute cancellation resulted in the Post group from Southern Minnesota having the most productive big pike day of the year. We landed several in the 10lbs range and one 40"er. The perch patterned X rap was the hot ticket of the day and will soon be added to the Post's tackle arsenal. Some how I was stripped of all mine by days end! Also, the trophy brook trout bite continues to be strong despite the hot weather and fast warming shallows. My pride and joy jig & twister tail presentation boated several big brookies.
Finally a shout out to B Fish N Tackle's Moxi Ringle. For those of you that regularly follow us at Pasha Lake Cabins, you know how difficult its' been for me to transition to plastic. Last week while fishing a small inland lake, I forced myself to use only artificial and was rather delighted with the results. I hooked the first walleye within 3 minutes of the day. After finding a pattern on windblown submerged weeds, I hooked 4 straight until a pike swam away with my new found producer. I was using my own custom made jigs and B Fish's Purple/Chart Tail.
That brings me to my next point. I have now placed a huge order for both Moxi Ringles and Pulse-R Paddle Tails. Since we consistently fish both clear and dark waters here, I opted for a variety of colors. I look forward to posting my results as this years fishing season unfolds. These will also be my default bait when we start our Walleye Dream Trip in a couple of weeks. Lastly, as promised, Onaman Lake is living up to its big fish legend. Enjoy the pics from last week's guests.
As any angler knows, controlling the uncontrollable is a lot like trying to catch fish on dry land... IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN! So last week when Wednesday brought our 6th straight day of high winds and rain, the new guests in camp where, understandably, getting a little restless. It was hard believe the record breaking rains and flooding that was happening in Thunder Bay and throughout Northwest Ontario. It was ugly and there ain't no candy coating it! When things finally broke, there was fire burning in the tire tracks of anglers getting out to the lakes.
Despite the weather, I always look for the silver lining in any bad situation. 2012 marked the 3rd year in a row for the Nuss group from Iowa. Having stumbled on to us back in 2009, Ken and Gary have made Pasha Lake Cabins their home away from home. In fact, they plan two trips every year, one in the spring and one in the fall. What really makes these guys unique is that they downright shun walleyes in a relentless pursuit of trophy pike. These guys are so serious about pike fishing that they spend all winter hand carving their own lures. Serious anglers in an understatement!
Knowing this, when I saw their vehicle parked in front of their cabin on Tuesday, I was floored. Weather had kept these hardcore gator chasers beached in their cabin. That's the equivalent to Tiger Woods not playing golf. Michael Jordan not being able to play basketball. James Holst not fishing.... but they weren't held at bay too long. By week's end, they had boated some respectable trophies and over 150 pike on Onaman alone.
Conditions after that cold rain last week dropped our surface temps a little, resulting in loose schools of walleyes, but an ever increasing good pike bite. People who found success, didn't hang out in one area too long. I call it "stick and move". Also, Lake Nipigon Brook Trout fishing is through the roof and I am getting sketchy reports of Lake trout surface feeding on bugs. I saw a nice 20lbs'er when we were coming off the lake on Friday. Finally, Friday was a Pasha Lake Cabins record breaking day, it included 2 trout doubles and an absolutely gorgeous 22.5 incher that will be forever displayed in one of our guest's man-cave.
Looking forward, if the weather man is right (clear my throat) we are suppose to have consistently good weather this week. That should bring those walleyes into a predictable pattern. And since Onaman opened on June 1st, I am sure to be posting those Kodak moments of walleye hogs that lake is famous for.
When going into battle, the best thing to have is a variety of weapons to defeat your enemy. The more options you have, the better the odds of your success. And the more refined your weapons, the more confident you'll be when it comes to deploying them effectively. This weeks fishing at Pasha Lake Cabins glorified that very fact.
Early on, we were able to mass our forces and exploit (in a conservation sense) the unbelievable Brook Trout fishery, where catching 20" coasters is common place. Then, as the week worn on, weather forces mounted a counter attack and kept us in the bays, avoiding the nastiness happening in the main basin of Nippy. To put things into perspective though, the bays I am referring to are comparable to all of Mille Lacs. So, having to fish there can't be considered a hindrance.
Weather, as any angler knows, can have a huge impact on fishing. When you're stuck on one lake, that can be a very bad thing. But when you have 89 other lakes you can fish, your bond to find a body of water that produces, and keeps you fishing when, for instance, big water isn't an option. Knowing that, we deployed our small lake tactics and flawlessly executed an attack plan that boated A LOT of walleyes, lake trout, brook trout and some trophy pike to boot!
My "fav" story from this week comes from the Ross group out of Michigan. They were a two man team committed to fishing bodies of water WAY back in the sticks. They brought up a MONSTER of an ATV and utilized to get to places no normal human being should go. And when they got there, it was Northern Pike bliss. I am fairly certain that if they wanted to, they could have beached the boat, and walked across the lake on top of all the fish... it was that good! What really makes this story special is that one of the guys has a degenerative health condition and requires crouches to walk. But he didn't skip a beat when it came to fishing. In one instance they told me, "We don't care what it takes, just tell us where to go and we'll take care of the rest". And that's exactly what they did and were rewarded handsomely for their efforts. Way to go guys!
I could go on and on with stories like that, but of course the drum beat is sounding for me to get back to the troops and mount another days attack. However, I would be doing a disservice if I didn't mention the Browning and Wagner group, who collectively have been come to Pasha Lake Cabins for over 20 years. Jamie Wagner (seasoned angler from Lake Mille Lacs) boated her biggest walleye ever at 29" and the Browning crew's best fishing day boated them 96 pike. Not too shabby!
Looking forward, water temps are starting to creep in to the HOLY FISHING BATMAN area, where every species in our infested fish waters has one thing in mind... FOOD! Also, with warmer weather on the horizon and June knocking on the door, we are off to a FANTASIC start to an early season. I, personally, am completely AMPED for what next week and the beginning of summer will bring to our battle harden guests at Pasha Lake Cabins.