Thursday, December 6, 2007
Big Fish on Red Lake, Ontario, Canada
Just about everybody who was at camp in 2007 had the same comment: "I've never caught so many big fish."
Whether they were walleye fishing or northern pike fishing, the fish on the end of the line invariably turned out to be of exceptional size.
This was actually a problem for walleye anglers who just couldn't catch a walleye under 18 inches. The conservationist that is in all of us any more says it is a waste to eat big fish but what do you do when that is all you can catch? All we could do was to eat the smallest of the big walleyes. Finally, about mid-July, smaller walleyes started showing up in the catch. This was about the time that some fishermen began catching walleyes around the edges of the deep water, often at about 16 feet. Until this point all the walleye were taken in 12 feet or less.
It was also the year of the big northern pike. Anglers using dead bait during the first couple of weeks of the season caught huge pike left and right. One of our guests caught and released two 48-inch pike and numerous other lunkers in the 40s. These were all caught with frozen ciscoes and 5/0 circle hooks. The beauty of the circle hook is that all the fish are caught in the corner of the mouth.
The monster pike bonanza continued all summer with anglers catching them on a variety of artificials. For some inexplicable reason, big pike like small lures on Red Lake. The 1/3 ounce Little Cleo was dynamite all summer. So was the #4 Mepps. Many fishermen don't bring light enough rods and reels to cast these smaller lures. A medium action spinning rod and spinning reel with 8#test monofilament is about perfect. Just keep your drag set light and you'll get these huge fish back into the boat after a great fight.
I want to thank all those fishermen who have sent us photos of their catch.