All ready thinking about open water fishing in the summer of 2013? Follow these 8 money saving tips to make sure you get the most out of your hard earned dollars at Pasha Lake Cabins.
1) Food - At PLC we offer you a "house keeping" accommodation, meaning you have the luxury of eating what you want, when you want. Providing your own food can be extremely cost effective, especially when you purchase at your local grocery store long before you leave for the trip. Our location offers access to some very prolific fisheries, but as you can imagine, traditional grocery stores in our remote location are nonexistent. Not only that, local stores that do carry food end up paying remarkably high shipping costs, passing them along to their customers. Speaking from experience, food (among other things) adds a minimum of 20% when you buy north of the border. And the quality of freshness you expect from your hometown store? Don't expect that in remote locations. Many times you're lucky to purchase food that hasn't met its expiration date. Buy at home, pack it in coolers and save yourself a bundle of money and stress that comes with having to find food when you get here. Additionally, planning a weekly menu will keep you on track and make sure you don't buy too much.
2) Data Roaming. Mobile phones have become a way of life. Some might have the option to leave their phone at home, but many rely on them for work and safety. When traveling to PLC from the US, turn off your data roaming and save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Case in point, twice now while in Canada, ATT has contacted me regarding data roaming fees in excess of $3,000. After I picked myself up off the floor, I was able to negotiate to reduce the usage charges to less than $100. While it worked out, it was still an unnecessary aggravation. We recommend two options. Turn your data roaming off and only download data through PLC's wireless internet connection or purchase a special data plan ahead of your travel dates. You'll pay a little extra, but it sure beats a jaw dropping surprise when open your next mobile phone bill.
3) Budget. Plan a budget and avoid surprises that pop up along way. A crazy thing happens when we sketch out a spending plan. It forces us to think about all the extras that may come up during vacation. One of the most commonly overlooked expense, is the fishing license. For whatever reason, excitement or whatever, people forget about it. Additionally, regardless if you're fishing or hunting, the province of Ontario requires you to purchase the Outdoor card. It's a minimal cost, but still an annoyance when you're not expecting it. Fuel is another common unforeseen expense. Its not surprising you need fuel, rather it's the cost of it. A gallon of gas in Canada is almost double what you'd pay in the US at the time of this writing. Nobody likes surprise expenditures when you're on vacation, so make sure to plan them out ahead of time.
4) Your Vehicle. Get that darn vehicle tuned up before you even think about leaving for Canada. Too many times, I've seen guys arrive at our lodge with simple vehicle problems that become exponentially expensive. Repair bills easily triple when you're in remote locations like ours. Recently a veteran guest arrived with a sticky lifter valve. He was aware of the problem, but didn't schedule time to get it fixed before he left. After incurring 70 miles worth of towing costs, he learned the motor needed a major overhaul. Long story short, he towed it back to Indiana and not only incurred some mind staggering expenses but also a ruined fishing vacation. Some easy things to check include your tires (including your spare tire), 4 wheel drive, fluids and insurance. Also, we highly recommend you pack a tire plug kit, a 12v air compressor, basic tools and, an absolute must, a spare key!
5) Package Pricing. There are two ways to look at our packages, both have tremendous advantages. If you're not bringing your boat, the Fishing Package is, hands down, your best value. It includes the accommodations, boat & motor, bait, fuel and in some cases, food. Its a lot like going to McDonalds. If you buy the meal (burger, drink and fry's) you pay much less than if you'd purchased them separate. On the flip side, you can also save on rates if you provide your own amenities. If you're willing to haul your boat, food, bait and fuel, you can save a ton but just renting the accommodations. It's a trade off in wear and tear on your equipment, but you'll always have the option to rent by the day should the need arise.
6) Bait. Bait at any lodge in Canada isn't cheap. Most times, operators have to purchase their bait wholesale and pass the costs along to you, the end user. At Pasha Lake Cabins, we've purchased the rights to our very own bait harvest area, allowing us to skip the wholesaler, and save you big bucks on having to buy it retail. And for those of you looking to save even more, the best idea is to salt and freeze your own minnows, preferably shiners. Or you can easily use plastics like Berkley Glup, which has both advantages and disadvantages. Lastly, most local bait suppliers now package night crawlers for transport into Canada. Bringing a flat of crawlers can lend itself to big bait savings. Just make sure they're package without dirt!
7) Drive to. It's reasonable to expect great fishing if you book a fly in trip. Additionally, don't be surprised when you're asked to pay upwards of $1500 / person. Understandably, fly in outfitters are forced to pay high fuel and maintenance costs to keep their planes in the air. It's possible to get equal, and many times, better fishing buy going to a drive to lodge. We've fished with some of the top anglers in North America, who'd agree that PLC offers world class, action packed fishing that will compare to, and often crush, any fly in outfit. Staying at an affordable drive to generally results a paying 1/3 the cost than if you were to fly into a lake. But if you're not staying with us, make sure you take the time to research knowledgeable, service oriented outfitters with access to prolific watersheds. If you do, your fishing action should be limitless.
8) Cancellations / Off Peak Cabins. If you have a flexible schedule, and are trying to save a buck than consider booking one of our Cabin Cancellations or Off Peak Cabins. It's possible to save upto 49% or more on most packages. A cancellation can occur with little notice so if you sign up on our list, than make sure you can travel at the drop of a hat.
Looking for a little more control over the schedule, than consider booking an off peak package, typically late September or early October. This is traditionally a slow time industry wide, however fishing is still amazing and who knows, I might even end up in the boat with your for the day, on me ;)