Canada 6/13/12 – Tuesday.

Fish Catching Travel

Let me start here with some comments on Lake of the Woods.  First, we were at Muskie Bay, a resort on Crow Lake, which is just a 3 mile tow to the ramp at Lake of the Woods.  Crow Lake is a deep lake, noted for it’s muskies and lake trout.  In fact with the muskie openor starting Saturday, Paul tells us that there will be over 200 muskies boated out of his resort just next week. We fished it Wednesday, and will cover it tomorrow.  But for 4 days we fished Lake of the Woods.

With over 65,000 miles of shoreline, and 14,500 islands, it can be a daunting place.  I have fished many places, but this is the biggest mother around.  You head a mile from the ramp and you are out there, and when you turn around it all looks the same.  A GPS and a good map are absolutely necessary.

And along with the islands, there are reefs, rock hard granite reefs, that will eat a lower unit in a heart beat.  In fact, one of the rental boats where we stayed sheared one off while we were there.   They are everywhere, and caution is a must.  But in our case we had Clyde, who over 20 years has learned this massive monster with just a map in hand.  We had a high dollar GPS with the mapping, and it was indispensable.  It had a main passage line that allowed us to get around, and then an easy idle to the areas we wanted to fish.

And the contours on the map allowed us to finally narrow down those places that were the best.  What we learned in the week was a drop in the bucket.  But I wanted to say, if you ever wanted to take the trip of a lifetime, this is the place.

After I cover the rest of the trip, 3 more days after this report, I will blog one more how-to of things you need to know if you visit.  I have been lots of places I wanted, and did, return to, but this is one that I will fish again and again until I kick the  bucket.  It is just that awesome.

And unfortunately the internet went down, and they were unable to restore it.  Sort of took the fun out of my expectation of blogging every day, but oh well.  Better late then never.  So sorry I have not posted much, I will get caught up.  But after 10 million casts with heavier tackle, and a 30 hour straight drive, it has taken this old body a couple of days to catch up.


Today we made a decision to fish for pike awhile, and then head quite a ways up the lake and fish a couple of reefs we had not fished yet.  So today would be a combo day, some pike fishing, and then some trolling.

As we headed up a different arm of the lake this time, we split off and set a 11:00 meet time.  The day was already wet and blowing, and there was a 20 degree temp drop from the day before, our third cold front in less than 4 days.

As we idled to some islands, I noticed a log sticking up in the middle of a pass between 2 islands.  In Lake of the Woods, it is all a pass between 2 islands.  So we headed in there and did not have a bite until it flattened out to about 2 foot when you got out the back side.  With the cold front the last thing I thought would happen, did.  A really big, a hoss of a muskie, followed it from really shallow water.  He was no more interested in eating than the man in the moon.  But what a sight, a fish big enough to eat your dog sitting by the boat.  Wow!

We caught a few pike until it was time to meet, but nothing worth mentioning.  Basically all week we alternated between a spinnerbait, buzzbait, jerkbait, and rattle trap style baits.  So at 11:00 we headed to meet Clyde and John, and off to the big reef we went.

This reef was about as big as a house with deep water on one side and an island on the other.  We started trolling Shad Raps and crankbaits and Jeff ended up losing 2 big fish right off the bat.  It was tough on him as both were big.  I notice that since we were in about 10 foof when they bit, and we were getting hung up some, it was time to switch to a Rattle Trap.  And the next three you see here were my next 3 bites!

This was a big pike I caught trolling.  Notice the cove in the back ground, more on that with Thursday’s report.

This was my first, and biggest walleye of the trip, a couple ounces shy of 7 pounds.   He came back with us from Canada and will soon make an awesome meal.

This was the second walleye off that reef, he weighed 5 pounds.

We trolled for quite a while but had no more bites.  As we had a big run across open water, and the wind was howling, we decided to leave about 2 and fish our way back.

The next pattern we tried was coves, out of the wind, with the sun on them.  Of course right after we made the long rough run the wind laid and the sun came out.  We tried several of that kind of cove, but were not having the kind of luck we were looking for.  But do not get me wrong, a long period even when it is slow is maybe 15 minutes without a bite.  Those pike are everywhere.

Then we were in the back of a shallow pocket with logs laying down when I saw a muskie following my jerk bait.  I did the figure 8 at boat side and just like on TV he rolled up and ate it.  When that happens, it is like it is in slow motion, almost a dream.  So she ate, and I did it all right, and after a cool fight in the net she went.  Not a really big one by their standards, but for me, they were getting bigger.  And as we could not legally target them as the season was opening the next week, we were happy with any muskie.  And of course, as it is on my bucket list, I was thrilled.

This muskie followed a gold jerk bait out of a log, and when he came to the boat I used the figure 8 with my rod and he smashed it with about a foot of line out.  This was my third of the week and the only one that jumped.  It was awesome. 

 The last area we fished was full of pike.  None were giants, but we caught a ton of them on buzzbait and spinnerbait.  We finished out the day catching them until we quit.

Tomorrow the plan is to catch a Lake Trout.  I have never caught one, so we will be fishing on Crow Lake out of the resort.  So we will see how that goes.

Stop in next time for Day 5 of the great Canada trip.  The fishing has been good, and we are having a good time.  Hopefully there is some big fish in our future.  So thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines.



About Redfishlaw

I am a retired attorney who just loves to fish. I was a freshwater guide for about 20 years and now have moved to the salt. I am not the greatest fisherman, but I am committed. So if you love fishing, and want to learn what little I have to offer, stop by anytime.
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