Greetings to all!
As far as timing goes, I am a bit behind schedule. Let’s just say that so much happened on Whitewater Lake in the last month of the season, that it has taken me this long to comprehend and analyze it all. Regardless, I’d like to summarize the last portion of yet another fantastic fishing season at Strikers Point Lodge, on beautiful Whitewater Lake:
After 4 years away, returning to Wilderness North, and guiding in the great north was something I could not wait to do. It was a special season for me. Once again I found myself secluded in some of the world’s most beautiful terrain, surrounded by happy people, and left with the task of “taking people fishing”??? There truly is nothing better than seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and creating lifelong memories in the beauty of the Canadian North. The 2013 season provided all of that and yet more. It was another chance at learning, understanding, and absorbing the knowledge that a lake can deliver to an angler. It was a chance to explore new areas and experiment with new methods. It was a chance for me to re-connect with the land I love most.
Aside from how much “I” care for Whitewater Lake, how about some of our happy guests from the fall? Let me say this: There were several big smiles, lots of high fives, and a ton of pictures in my boat. On August 17th, the Beachley group from NY arrived at Strikers Point. Ted and Andy, along with Dick and Rob came fully prepared, ready for good times and great fishing. It was a pleasure to have met these fine gentlemen, as well as guide them for their stay. It was their first trip to Whitewater, however they were experienced, and it didn’t take long to get into good numbers of both walleye and pike. Ted and Dick were the fathers in the group and it was great to hear some of their stories from the “old days”, as well as share some of mine with them. We worked hard all week and it paid off. Andy was hitting amazing numbers of fish top water. The Zara Spook in particular was like a “mouse in a snakepit”.
Northerns and Walleye, believe it or not, were all over the spook. We were hitting good sized Walleye in the middle of the day, on top, from 1-2 feet of weedy water. We spent a big percentage of our time targeting large pike. The most productive fishing method for beefy pike, was trolling during this week. During one afternoon of glory, Ted had a 45”, 25 lber, a 41.5”, a 37”, and a 35”, while Dick had a 41”. All of these fish were taken at the mouth of the Ogoki outflow, within view of the lodge. Finding the river channel and weed beds and developing troll lines to effectively cover those zones, was the key. The chosen spoons were the 6” Williams Whitefish (hammered silver), and a 5” silver Williams Wabler. The next day, Rob collided with a 40” brute and Andy with an “oh so close” 39 ¾” fish that just wouldn’t stretch. Both of those fish, again, were taken on silver William’s. At the end of the trip, several personal bests were set, and the guys went home extremely happy.
As the Beachley group left, we welcomed Ed and Ed, as well as Bill and Bob. With the guest switch out, came a change in weather. It was as if fall came overnight. I was scheduled to guide the Davidson brothers for 11 days, and to be honest, as the cold front moved in and the water went up, I was thinking skeptically. After the first day, my skepticism changed to pure optimism. Over the years I have spent close to 100 days in the boat guiding these long time guests, and I was highly confident in their fishing abilities and enthusiasm to work hard. We started out casting Johnson Silver Minnows in what I call a “carpet bombing” pattern. Basically, we cast and cover water, hard. One of our favorite locations for this type of fishing is the Bay of Pigs, so naturally we found ourselves there on the first morning.
The largest of pike were surely beginning to feed and fatten up for the approaching winter. That idea was proven right as Bob landed 2 trophies that day, and we landed 6 over the course of the week. These pike were extremely thick, a noticeable difference in girth, even from the fish caught during the previous week. We put the scale on one 40” pike that weighed an incredible 23 lbs. That is fat. The Johnson Silver minnow can lay claim to 5 of the 6 monsters that week, as the largest fish seemed to be hunkered in tight to weedy clumps. Fish were still going wild for anything on the surface so I was persuaded by both Bob and Bill to work the spook along some of the weed edges we were fishing. Thanks to them for forcing me to take part in the fun, I ended up with my personal best top water pike to date, a very chunky 41” slobby bobby. Back at the lodge we were delighted to hear Ed’s story of his epic battle with his very own 43” trophy, taken on a Williams Whitefish.
Long time guest Par, wife Gwen, and Doug & Barb were flown in during the week for yet another Strikers adventure. This would mark Par’s 83rd fishing trip to Canada. The Shiree’s are always a pleasure to have in camp and I must say thank you for the unbelievably amazing poached walleye shore lunch that they invited us to. It was wonderful guys.
And our last group of the season, the Blackmon group, made the journey north from Oklahoma. These 6 guys were a riot to have in camp. Lots of good laughs, great shore lunches, and superb walleye fishing made up the week for these happy campers (lodgers). Strong wind kept boat travel to a bit of a minimum but the walleye were eager to cooperate close to home. The river mouth was hot in the evenings providing endless rod bends and good eating sized eyes’.
Until next time,