Wow, this season sure did fly by! It seems like just a few days ago, we were welcoming our first group of the season and reminding everyone to “fish em’ slow” and “dress in layers.” This has been another great season for master angler fish at every location that we have. Starting with the Jenness and Butcher parties in May all the way through to the McBride and Haverkost parties in mid September, it seems that every group has a story to tell about the big one or the big one that got away.
We all love to tell those stories. After my trip into Makokibatan Lodge about a month back, I thought my story telling days were over for the season. That was until the Barger group from New York asked me to come along on their day trip into “XP” Lake in search of northern pike. This lake has a reputation of producing huge daily numbers of mid sized pike. Since we have not had a group go in there for almost three years, I decided to tag along to make sure everything went well. After flying from Striker’s Point Lodge to XP Lake and getting the boats and motors into the water, native guide Dave Rich cranked on the 15 hp Johnson one time and then again before she rev’d up and we were on our way.
I was in one boat heading one direction as the Barger group headed in the opposite way. This is not a big lake, but one that has some good island points and weed beds that are easily accessible within five minutes. After trying a few different locations without success, my fishing buddy and I headed to a nearby island and drifted over the “windy side.” Throwing Johnson Silver Minnows tipped with yellow and white twister tails, this “boat ride” quickly turned into “boat chaos.” The pike were stacked up on this island point and hitting anything that was thrown in front of them. We had repeated doubles and at one point, I had seven straight casts where I landed a 28-33 inch pike. My hands were getting sore from unhooking these toothy critters and my buddy was bleeding from a few different finger tips. After about four hours on the water, we had managed to catch about 30 pike between 25 and 33 inches. Nothing overly gigantic, but still a lot of fun. The Barger group landed another 15 pike and had a “blast.” All in all, this trip boated approximately 45 pike in about four hours. This is a great day trip and something that we will be offering for next season.
On a side note, I must apologize to Chuck from Tennessee for not mentioning this earlier. A few weeks ago, I was enjoying some time out at Miminiska Lodge and discussing favorite lure choices with Chuck. He mentioned that his “go to” lure for walleye is the “Swedish Pimple.” Apparently, Chuck’s wife pokes fun at him for using this great lure and does not believe that he catches fish with it. I can assure her that he does. Chuck and his boat partner Stanley had a great time and caught huge daily numbers of walleye while fishing the “walleye mine” at Mim. Chuck asked me to give the Swedish Pimple a mention in the newsletter so that his wife will finally believe him. So here goes… You owe me Chuck!!!
Thanks again to all of our guests for a great summer.
Joe Pichey – Outdoor Specialist