Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Long Weekend in the Whiteshell

We headed up to the whiteshell for a few days with boat and canoe in tow.  The winding 307 is a fun drive when the traffic isn't thick.  We reached our destination with a few rain showers, set up camp and built a fire, had a few drinks and hit the hay listening to the tree frogs and loons long into the night.

Saturday morning, bright and early the sun was just beginning to rise and my wife informed me she was sick with a cold.  The initial plan to portage into a lake was out of the picture so Tom and I took the boat out on one of the many lakes to see what we could find.  We arrived at the launch to see a few empty trailers and plenty of vehicles, we launched the boat as many more were pulling in to do the same.

We headed towards an island and began to troll some cranks, we drifted and casted some cranks and spoons as well, found a few pike and a small walleye. As the sun heated up a few dragon fly's set up shop around the boat and some mink frogs were calling all around us as we drifted down the river and hit up some perch for an hour or two, before it was time for lunch.

After some food and shade we hit a few shore spots that we picked out on a map and landed some snot rockets and a few more golden orange walleye.  Can't help but think that a week or two earlier would have made all the difference in the world.  Some turkey vultures were circling above and a bald eagle passed over as well.  Water clarity wherever we went was unbelievable. Quick bite to eat and off on the boat for the evening bite.

That night we trolled and casted at another lake looking for any structure or appealing areas to fish. A few perch caught and a few pike landed as well, a couple lures lost, luckily no expensive ones. The loons were out in full force with calls being heard in all directions.  We had a nice fish fry for a late night snack around the fire with some awesome kabobs as well. Fire flys all around and the stars bright above the same chorus from the previous night ran on long into the night as we hashed out Sundays plan of attack

Sunday we worked the same lake as we did the night before with even more success.  The scenery was incredible with the rock cliffs of islands and points supporting trees, shrubs and flowers and weedy bays full of lily pads in bloom.  It wasn't long before we had our first fish and the pike we were catching seemed a bit bigger than 90 % of the fish we would see on stringers being walked through camp or the carcases in the fish cleaning station garbage cans.  We came onto some nice perch again with a 14 inch plus hitting a large perch pattern crank, lost it by the boat couldn't believe it hit such a large lure.  Tried to find some walleye but couldn't seem to, still had a blast coming across fish almost every 20 feet.  Some snacks in the shade and a bit of rest to beat the mid day heat and it was off for some shore fishing.

The evening bite was hot as well, Tom played with top water baits getting tons of strikes, wife jigged for perch landing good numbers and a variety of sizes, and I enjoyed watching a mother loon with 7 young near by while I casted for pike and jigged for some perch.  The fish fly hatch was very evident all around us, and in the fish we kept for a snack. 

Monday morning we went back to where we had the most luck, we worked some weed lines and some humps we had found and landed some nice pike. The top water lure wasn't quite as hot as the evening, but my trusty JKM Tackle crank bait was not disappointing me, I did not re tie all morning.  As the sun shone bright over head we knew we still had to pack up and make the drive home so we decided on a spot to make a hail mary troll in an area we had yet to try.  Half way through on the edge of some cabbage I got a good hit with some head shakes and after an enjoyable fight, landed the last fish of the trip another nice eater walleye

We may not have landed any huge trophy fish, although two jumbo perch were lost at the boat, but we all had a blast, learning new waters and trying new techniques, figuring it out on our own.  It was very rewarding and I can honestly say that fish has never tasted better.  We released lots of fish that
others would have kept to eat, but selective conservation isn't always a priority for some.  The abundance and variety of wildlife was a real treat and on our way out of the park we saw a sand hill crane breeding pair with their young in the ditch.  A great goodbye to an awesome part of the