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Back from Canada

Discussion in 'Fishing Reports - Out of State' started by bkr43050, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. We got back last Sunday from a week in Ontario. We have been making the trip to this cabin for about 8 years now and this was the slowest fishing week that I have had in all of our trips. That was somewhat disappointing since the last couple of years I have learned a good bit about the walleye fishing and had enjoyed good results. We only managed 4 walleye on the whole trip.:( We were doing better than that on every outing in the prior couple of years. I think much of the problem was the weather. On the first morning out fishing it downpoured and we had several downpours in the first couple of days. Then a major cold front sat on top of us for most of the week. The temps were around 60 for highs and low 40's for lows. I was marking a lot of fish but they were much deeper than normal and they had major lockjaw. In the past we had good success on worm harnesses but this year they would not produce much. We tried jigging twister tails, some tipped with minnows. I tried some blade baits. We tried casting cranks at times when the fish seemed to be moving a bit shallower. We trolled a bit. I tried Lindy-rigged minnows. However none of these tactics worked much. There always used to be decent pike fishing as well up until the past couple of years but that did not bother us too much because the walleye fishing had been very good. However, this year we tried to hit the pike a bit more. We only managed to land 5 pike as well which is pretty disappointing. A few years ago I was averaging 50+ pike just by myself!:eek: My father-in-law did manage to get a 30" pike one day while short lining right next to the boat. That was rather exciting and was actually the largest one he has ever caught. Unfortunately that was the one day that I had forgotten the camera at the cabin.:rolleyes: This was also the same trip that he caught a largemouth nearly 4 pounds which was probably his largest bass to date as well. I was bummed that I missed those photo opportunities. He really just started taking up fishing in the last few years on these trips to Canada so he has not had a lot of opportunities in the past.

    We caught a few bass with the largest being nearly 4 pounds. I had a hawg largemouth follow my topwater lure from the reeds all the way to the boatside before turning away. I was mad at myself because I had gotten careless with the presentation and began quickly dragging the lure the last few feet toward the boat quickly to get the next cast in. It was after doing this once that I saw him right as I was beginning to raise it from the water. He appeared to be at least in the 5-6 pound range.:(

    Another thing that was going on in the lake that I am wondering if it may have an impact was that there was a pretty major insect hatch going on. I am not that experienced at identification of the insects but these were everywhere at night and always a few around during the day as well. They looked like an overgrown mosquito at first glance because they had a fatter rear section to them. When you looked closely at them they actually had an abdomen section that more closely resemble that of a wasp or hornet in that it had rings around it. I don't think that these ever bit us but they were unbelievably thick. I am wondering if these were being fed on by the perch and perhaps the walleyes in their larval stage as they were coming up? If anyone has any idea on the species I would be interested to know what they were. I tried to do a little research but was unable to find a good resource for pictures to identify them. Like a dummy I never even thought to snap a digital photo of them. Also, I am curious to hear anyones take on how this may have affected the fishing and what you may have done differently to try and catch fish. We had a couple of occasions where there were some unidentified fish feeding very aggressively over the deepest portion of the lake (40 feet) in the middle of the morning. The fish were light in color. They appeared to be too light in color for bass. I suspected trout but in my experience at this lake we have never caught a trout of any type. Most appeared to be rather good size, at least a few pounds. Most were striking at the surface in a rolling fashion but there were a few that broke above the surface and I saw one smaller one that went straight upward and completely cleared the water. Although he was further away he really looked a lot like a trout around a foot long. This lake has a small stream feeding through it and then goes into the Mississauga River not too far downstream so I suppose they could move into the lake fairly easily. I found a paper up there that mention that salmon can be caught in the upper end of the lake during the spawn as well. I did not have a fly rod with me to try when they started feeding on the top. I tried throwing a small spinner but had no luck.

    I did manage to get a few pictures and I will post a couple when I remember to get my USB cord.:rolleyes:

    All in all, we still had a very relaxing trip despite the lack of fish caught.
     
  2. Hey bkr, what lake was it? Just wondering if it was Rice Lake.
     

  3. No, this is a small lake up near Thessalon, about an hour east of Sault St. Marie. The lake is called Bright Lake. I think it is about 6-7 miles long. Most of the lake is 20-30 deep. When I first started going up there to my sister-in-law's cabin there were hardly any places on this lake. Now it has a campgrounds and a a lot of cottages. I really hate to see that. Now on a nice day on the lake you are fishing in view of jet skis, sail boats, etc. It is still not like fishing Ohio's crazy crowded lakes but it takes away from the pristine look and feel.
     
  4. fishingful

    fishingful Time to fish!

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    i have caught white fish in canada lakes before?????????????
     
  5. I thought of the possibility of whitefish as well. But in my 8 years up there I have never caught one. I don't know much about whitefish so I don't know how common that would be to avoid them totally for that long. Sometimes with my fishing I think that it would be possible for me to avoid every fish in the lake so who knows.:D
     
  6. fishingful

    fishingful Time to fish!

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    we were way up in canada at ivanhoe lake/river around july 4th the white fish were spawning and were great fun to catch we were casting small rapalas and geting them ............their lips are real soft so we could not use fireline needed the strech of mono or you would rip out the hooks on the hookset fought and looked like a trout in the water but when you got them in the boat it looked like a shad about 12-15 in long and were the best tasting fish we caught all week ............that lake is nice no one on it big pike and lake trout and perch but small walleye only saw 3 other boats all week and they were locals they only fish for walleye up their pike are trash fish to them........jim
     
  7. fishingful

    fishingful Time to fish!

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    i also forgot .....................i think that most of the year they are deep in the lake only shallow to spawn i seem to remember reading that
     
  8. I read a good bit about the whitefish a while back because I was curious as to whether they were in this lake. It seems that they prefer pretty deep lakes. As I mentioned I read something that lists the species in the lake and they don't mention them. I did not read anything indicating that they are much for river systems therefore I questioned that they would end up in this lake. But the behavior seemed consistent with that which I read. I am curous as to how large of a Rapala you were using?

    I know what you mean about the locals and walleye fishing being the primary focus. They mostly seemed to be after walleye and perch and only the occasional troller for pike.

    By the way, I have not heard any guesses on the insect hatch. Does anybody have an idea on what they were or where I may be able to look to identify them? I would like to find out about them so that I can determine whether they are impacting the fishing.
     
  9. catking

    catking Banned

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    Sounds like the cold front had a major effect on your fishin. But hey, like you said, still fun. White fish like DEEP water, but they do run shallow a certain time of the year, and are very good to eat. Thanks for the report, was wondering how you guys were doing. THE CATKING !!! :)
     
  10. fishingful

    fishingful Time to fish!

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    i dont know the # on the lure but floating or suspending lure about 2in long orange with a white belly worked best most anything orange or pink or green worked in that lake.........jim
     
  11. The hatch definitely had an effect on your poor fishing. Couple the hatch with the cold front and you have a n extreemly difficult challenge. Lake Erie has a major slow down when the Mayfly hatch is on as all the fish feed heavily on the larvae as it swims to the surface. All the walleye I caught after the Mayfly hatch were loaded with fat. Did you open the stomach of any fish you caught to see if they were full of food? Better luck next year.
     
  12. Thanks Shortdrift for reinforcing my suspicion of the hatch's effect. As I mentioned I have put a ton of hours in on this lake over the years. This is the first year that we struggled to even get the small perch to bother us. Most years you are cussing them for being bait stealers and this year you could drift through an area marking good fish and not get touched on anything. We did not open any stomachs up on any fish. Normally you can drift with a small jig and get small perch bumps constantly. In fact the lake has far too many small perch. It normally takes about a one in 20 rate to find a keeper size (8"+). I go up with my wife's family in a rather large group (14) and I knew that I was not going to be able to feed enough people so we never kept anything.

    I would still like to find out what this hatch was. I want to know more about them so that if I run into it again I may be able to try some different lures/presentations. There were some of them up there last year when we were there a week later but they were not nearly as thick and the fishing did not seem too affected. Also, if I find out what they are I may be able to try and alter our vacation plans around the hatch somewhat unless if it is not a long period.
     
  13. I finally got my pics downloaded to this computer so here are a few pics. There are certainly no trophies here but decent pictures.

    This one is my father-in-law with a walleye just over the slot limit (22"). He actually stuck him on the stringer but we stuck him back in the water right after the picture when I convinced him that would not feed 14 people.:D [​IMG]
    By the way, this walleye was caught on a spinnerbait in less than 10 feet of water at mid-morning. We could not find them anywhere wo we were chasing pike at the time. Go figure.

    Here is me with a nice largemouth that I caught on a spoon up next to the reeds.
    [​IMG]

    He did not compare to the one that shrugged off my tiny torpedo later in the week.:rolleyes:

    And finally here is a shot of my two youngest showing off their catch from the shore. As you can see little brother won and big brother ain't too happy.:D
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Nice pic's. Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. Your fishing venture sounds very similar to mine (Lac Remigny, Quebec - last week of this past june). Same cold weather, just finished a mayfly hatch when we arrived, deep fish, lock jaw.....managed only a couple walleye, but we focus on pike. the usual and easy 100+ pike per person per week was far less....the walleye we caught had a belly full of mayflys. Next time things are tough, check the belly for contents.....gives good hint for presentation as well....smaller/slower when mayflys hit...and there are several hatches/season. Worst year for us as well, but did get a 19LB/38" fat pike (pictured and realeased) and several 10lb'ers (fried).

    We hit a huge mayfly hatch last year and it was bull heads slopping up the floating mayflys in evening on surface....of course many were whacked by the pike and floating with gashes....
     
  16. Ohiojmj,

    I should have checked the stomach for clues and will certainly keep that in mind for the next time. I did some research on the hatch and I think I pinpointed what it was somewhat. I knew it was not a mayfly hatch so that was where my experience and knowledge on insect hatches started to lack. It was some species of what many refer to as a "lake fly" or more commonly referred to as a midge. They were not all that large in size but they were in massive numbers.

    I had not given the thought to the topwater action being bullheads. There are in fact a large number of them in the lake we fish. We always catch quite a few of them with worm harnesses and bottom bouncers. I just never thought of them as topwater feeders all that much. Next year I plan to take a fly rod up with me. Although I am quite a novice in fly fishing I am going to try to simulate these midges and see what happens. Even if it were bullheads that would be fun. At least I would be catching and not just fishing.:D

    I saw a couple of them well enough to suspect that they were something other than bullheads. However, many of the fish simply rolled on the surface and never exploded up out so I never got a very good look at them.

    I think that our problems were a combination of the hatch and the crappy weather front. Somewhere in there you could probably argue that part of the failure was operator error and that I did not know what I was doing though.;) :D
     
  17. I would say after fishing for a week and tossing everything in your box at the lazy fish, you can rule out operator error as a MAJOR cause. You had bad weather and a hatch of some sort, two major issues. Here I though my operator error was going to Canada in late June and hitting cold weather, but this summer has been cool in ohio and cold up north! Maybe we need a el nino to bosast our fishing egos.

    You say o=you only got a few pike, ever consider targeting them when the going gets tough? If you can't wack a few hungry pike with a mepps spinner or spinnerbait, then figure mother nature is not on your side. Always nice to enjoy a week of peace, quiet, nature, fresh air. Now that i'm thinking about it, i've got to reserve my cabin at www.campsronoda.com !
     
  18. That is what I try to convince myself of as well. However, you still always have that thought in the back of your head that "I wonder if I tried everything that makes sense or every place possible?":rolleyes: But as you mentioned a large part of it had to be elements beyond my control.

    We did try targeting the pike a bit by the middle of the week. But the last few years I have seen the catch rates go way down. In the past I was able to go into the weedy bays and find action pretty much any time of the day. They were not always the big ones but at least it was action. The last few years they seem to be in smaller numbers. We casted the bays extensively and trolled spoons and cranks on the edges but only had moderate success.
     
  19. Wow, if spoons don't work up there, nothing will. Many of our pike came on 1/2 oz Williams Wabler spoons in hammered silver. Lac Remigny is packed with pike and not so many walleye though. Shoulda-coulda-woulda syndrome hits me all the time, but I just keep telling myself that I'm not a very good fisherman and keep surprizing myself when I do catch fish. I've only seriously fished since april '03
     
  20. That is about the way I am beginning to feel anymore.;) I just don't get out as often as I used to and it seems that whenever I go something is just not quite right. If you can get out on a regular basis things seems to come a bit easier because you know what worked or did not work the prior trip.

    We are talking about on our trip up to Canada this next summer possibly staying longer than we have normally. We usually stay one week but we may make it into a week and a half. That will really give me some opportunity to try different things.