Fishing Report from Wilderness North's Makokibatan Lodge

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Living it up at Makokibatan

Guests often ask me what lodge life is like, so here it goes:
It’s late to bed and early to rise for the staff at Makokibatan Lodge. It all begins with the warm strong sun sweeping over the trees and the chilly morning air that wakes the body up because it’s full of fresh oxygen for the lungs brushing off the blue lake. For workers at the lodge, the early morning wake up could be five thirty for the cooks, and everyone else follows with the smell of bacon and coffee wafting in on the early morning air. It’s not really a job here, it’s more like a way of life you get accustomed to and enjoy; winding through the day chipping away at various tasks.

As for daily life, I find myself sprinting around, bouncing from place to place, and trying to do nearly any job possible. Handyman ‘Dave” has a handle on everything and works with the lodge manager to making sure Makok is looking good and running top notch, which he does a fantastic job of. While all this is going on, the Girls are busy cleaning, organizing, and possibly slipping away to catch some rays or some swimming time (I’m guilty of this also). With everyone doing their part it seems to all work out well, and at the end of the day, it is summer time after all. For those of you who love to get out and enjoy the season, this is a prime spot to live it up!

Over the past few days we enjoyed the relative quiet in a break between busy periods. Surprisingly it was actually rather lonely, but it did provide the staff with lots of time for catching up on maintenance and some much needed R&R. After a month of working every day to our maximum potential, when we get a chance to settle down we take full advantage…so we went fishing! During this time the staff (including myself, Adam) had the privilege of getting out to bathe in the sun while enjoying the ability to cruise around the lake and cast out lines until the wrists got sore! We all had our turn at trying to haul in some master anglers, but our luck wasn’t with us! However, young Courtney Odahl pulled in a sweet 22inch trout – mighty impressive! Busy with their own projects, our amazing lodge manager Bernice and hard worker Evelyn didn’t get to fish much but both managed to catch a nice sun tan and at least a relaxing day on the water.

Just a heads up to any trout fanatics: they’re jumping everywhere down in the Albany River rapids, and are quite something to fight as you bring one up to the boat!

The weather was fair all week. A few times the lake looked like a mirror with the trees and rocks reflecting off of it. I had the honor of fishing with ‘the General’, a.k.a Kash Baxter, and instead of going out on a beautiful day, Kash and I went out in the early morning fog and misty rain –prefect conditions for anglers. We managed to bring in about 27 walleye for everyone at the lodge to feast on. I caught a 23inch walleye, while Kash managed to catch about twenty of those suckers… what I don’t get is how one person can fish better than the other if you’re both using the same bait, and in the same spot! Well, Kash says that’s how he got his nickname ‘The General” by being able to fish like a pro. Therefore I had to squeeze out his secrets somehow, which wasn’t difficult at all -he was eager to share. Here are a few of his secrets that slipped out:

  • For river fishing, he told me to cast downstream and let my lure bounce off the bottom in order to attract the fish or else it won’t be good fishing. Also make sure you have correct bait.
  • For trout you can fish closer to the surface in fast white water while using a Cleo Spoon. As for at the cut, I noticed Kash getting a bite every time he casted against the current which I tried and found out it worked like a charm.
  • Also, remember to bring a good pair of gloves and a pair of pliers for when you run into one of those gangster pike, it will come in handy to get the hook out of his mouth, escaping those razor sharp teeth.

Here at Makokibatan we keep the grass well-trimmed and cut to minimize hiding places for pesky bugs, which aside from a few short weeks of the year (bug season), normally are not a problem. Besides the insects, we enjoy the daily company of garter snakes, rabbits, and roaming groundhogs poking in and out of everywhere. Be sure to keep you camera handy and pack extra batteries or a charger as you never know when you might come across something, master anglers included!

The sun is setting (another prime photo op) as I recount the events of the past week, but we are all still lively with renewed energy brought on by the coolness of the evening. As this week comes to an end and we reminisce on the adventures and miscellaneous happenings/goings on its time to start thinking about the upcoming week. For those of you heading up I would like to mention during our time of peace we developed a small area for planting flowers etc, alongside the walk way so hopefully we can get the right plants to put in there and watch it grow. With only one week to go, this fine crew will be saying goodbye to the wonderful scene of ‘Makokibatan Lake’ and Lodge. Please tune in for next week’s fishing report as we make ready to head out to Miminiska.

Tight lines and fair weather.
Adam Kean.

P.S. I would like to personally  make amends to the Lillie group and anybody else who was affected during the June 1st to the 7th fishing report.  During the rush of setting up and starting off the camp, (as well as being new and green to the idea of collecting fishing information) I seemed to have missed some very important data and details. So just to squeeze it in and make sure the records are up to date, here are the Lillie party’s accomplishments: In total they caught a crazy 10 master anglers, three of which were Brook trout over 21in -a rare sight on the line compared to walleye. Ben Lillie, hauled in a 28.5in chunky walleye. Following right behind him was his veteran partner, Doug Peashe, with an astonishing 29 inch walleye. Leading the group, Paul’ caught over five walleye 26in + …how he did it, only skill can be the answer! We hope to have The Lillie party back again sometime soon if possible. We greatly enjoyed their company  and all the big fish they seem to attract.

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