Saturday, August 24, 2013

No trouble for new "Moose Club" member

Tyler Tyson hoists a hefty northern pike for the camera before releasing it back to the waters of Red Lake last week. In the background and acting as guide is Tyler's father-in-law, Jeff Preuss.
Tyler was the only member of Bob Preuss's group that wasn't already a member of the "Moose Club," whose disciples must catch at least two northern pike over 32 inches.
(I swear the criteria for membership used to be to catch ONE pike over 32 inches but with newbie Tyler along and after he caught a qualifying pike on one of his first days the bar was suddenly raised to needing TWO pike over 32 inches.)
No matter, Tyler met that requirement handily, I think even on the same day.
I could be wrong, of course, but this is how legends are made.
Incidentally, one of Tyler's big pike was hooked deeply and rather than damage the magnificent fish, possibly even killing it, the decision was made to use a pair of sidecutters and cut the offending hook off from the treble and quickly release the fish.
It's a great idea to carry a set of medium-sized sidecutters just for this purpose. The pike should be able to shed the hook over time without ill effect.
Click to go back to our website 
Click to see the latest on the blog

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lake trout and walleye this family's specialty

Tammy catches lake trout but apparently, doesn't hold them for photos!

Lorin Conkle with a nice evening walleye

A double-rainbow was the bonus on a rainy day

Awesome sunset
Tammy and Lorin Conkle were here recently during a really cold week when the walleye and lake trout actually got turned upside down. The lake trout came toward the surface and the walleye went to deep water. It didn't take long before the Conkle-Williams-Boyer group figured out what was going on and started catching fish.
After two really cold weeks and about a month of cooler-than-normal weather, now the temperature is back in the high 70s and low 80s F (20-30 C). Pike are shallow, walleyes 20-30 feet and lake trout 45-65 feet.
Thanks to Tammy and daughter Rachel for these great photos!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Letter from first-timer says it all

Here we go!

This one was not so big
Debi and sister Brenda

Dear Dan and Brenda,

Visiting Bow Narrows for the first time with my family, Brenda, Carl and Tom Cieplik, was the most breath taking and exhilarating vacation I have ever experienced.  Knowing what to expect from all of the videos and pictures I have seen from my sister did not compare to what I actually lived through.  From the thrill and excitement of catching a 35 inch northern pike to relaxing in the boat and watching the sunset gave me just a taste of what God's world is really about.  Your camp felt like a home to me.  The accommodations were so warm and inviting (even to the bat in our cabin) not to mention the food that you cooked daily was out of this world by far the best I have ever tasted.  I have done nothing but talk about this trip to everyone back home insisting that they need to put Bow Narrows on the top of their vacation travel list. 

I wanted to thank you both for the wonderful adventure and life learning experience.  I absolutely will be returning.

Thank you again,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Yowser! That's a big fish!

Nathan Manni hoists a giant, 41-inch, 20-pound northern pike before releasing it to the waters of Red Lake a few days ago.
The young angler reports he took the behemoth on a spinner bait.
This isn't the first time Nathan has been feted on this blog. He is also known for his walleye-catching skills.
He was here with his mom and dad, Amy and Scott, his younger brother, Josh, and grandpa, Tom. They all did well on walleye which is really this family's specialty. As I heard it, mom Amy got the largest walleye, a 27-incher. But get this, Josh caught a 30-inch walleye back in Minnesota before even coming to Red Lake!
There were a lot of big northern pike taken at camp last week. The weather has "smartened up" and the fish are settling back into their favourite haunts.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

September-like weather has settled in

Misty mornings come from cool air temperatures
Dark skies and showers in the late afternoons
The last two weeks have been decidedly cool, more like September than August.
Today was no exception. Puffy clouds filled the sky and brought cool showers in the afternoon.
The lake has been steaming in the mornings which is a sign of the heat leaving. There has also been a lot of wind to stir up the normal layers of different water temperatures. The astonishing result last week was that people caught lake trout while fishing for walleye in about 20 feet of water and people fishing for lake trout in 45 feet caught walleye.
Things are starting to return to normal again although the days are still cool. Just about every cabin has a fire burning in the wood stove.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Smallmouth bass unusual fish for Red Lake

Mike Lundy holds up 15-inch smallmouth bass taken in Red Lake
Bow Narrows anglers Mike and Tate Lundy got a surprise a little while back when the fish on the end of Mike's line turned out to be a smallmouth bass! It is only the second verified smallmouth ever taken at our camp.
Smallmouth bass are actually an invasive species in Red Lake. They are abundant in lakes far to the south but are not native in this area. The species seems to be making a relentless migration northward.
I have heard that misguided individuals actually stocked the bass in small lakes on the Red Lake water system. It is probably only a matter of time before they become commonplace.
It is always a bad idea to introduce a new species to an ecosystem. For one thing, the lake can only support a certain amount of fish. When you put a new species into a lake, a native species is going to suffer.
In many lakes between Red Lake and the U.S. border, the species that suffered was walleye. Those lakes now have great smallmouth fishing and not-so-good walleye fishing.
Here on Red Lake we have excellent walleye fishing and would just as soon keep it that way.
Biologists have told me that the smallies will remain a marginal species as long as the walleye population is healthy. However, if the walleye population becomes overfished or undergoes some other stress, the bass could someday take over. That is what happened on the other lakes.
That day is probably a long way off for Red Lake. Smallmouth bass here are still an extreme rarity.
Incidentally, if you look in the photo above you will see that Mike and Tate were using a drift sock while fishing. They didn't use it while trolling, just to slow their drift while casting for northern pike.
They reported it worked beautifully.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fifty-inch-pike angler tells the story in his own words

Fifty-inch northern pike caught and released by Rob Frye at Bow Narrows Camp
George Cies, netman on the monster pike, shows off a whopper 27-inch walleye

"So, if you're reading this blog, I assume you're checking on conditions for an upcoming trip. Well fishing was awesome.
If you're reading this blog because you're looking for a future camp location, well I highly recommend this camp as to the outstanding Food, Staff and awesome fishing.
Now, for the whopping fish story, lol:
"The lure"
Our group of eight stayed the week of July 27th-Aug 3rd, 2013. The first afternoon started off slow but quickly rebounded the following day. We primarily fished for Walleye and Pike but others in the camp were catching Lake Trout and White Fish as well, with most of our luck coming from Pipestone and Trout Bays. While fishing on Wednesday (our fifth day), George Cies and myself were trolling the SW wall of Trout Bay in about 24 ft of water with a black & white deep diving Shad Rap, when all of a sudden my line came to a dead stop. I told George "Stop!, Back up. I have a snag." My line wasn't budging an inch.
 Then while backing up the boat, the line went under the boat at which point my drag took off like crazy.  I yelled to George "shut off the motor, my line is in the prop." George looked at me and said "the motor IS off."
 At this point, the fight was on. As I attempted to pull this beast to the top numerous times, it continued to dive every time I thought it was ready to surface. The third time this beast dove it didn't stop, it headed for deeper water taking almost all my line out through my drag. George started up the boat and the chase was on.
 When it finally came to a stop George jumped up, grabbed the dip net and prepared for the landing. I advised him "Get ready, it's coming up." I knew it was ready to surface any second so I  looked down to see where I could step to get a better position when I heard George utter " HOLY SXXX.".
I looked up to see a look on his face that can't be described, lol.
 I looked over the side to see a freaking DINOSAUR of a fish surface.  George, quick with the net, scooped, reached over the side grabbing net and pulling it into the boat all in one motion. For the next 60 seconds, I think the bait shop back in Red Lake (20+ miles away) could hear George and myself high fiving and laughing. While attempting to retrieve the lure from its mouth, the pike slowly closed its mouth biting down on my net, shredding it, leaving a gaping hole in my net.
 Now the decision, Keep or Release? I always said if I ever caught a fish anywhere over 40 inches, I'd have to keep it. Not the case. After landing it, both George and myself took all the pics and measurements needed to back our story (lol) and to support a replica.
 After quickly accomplishing our pics and measurements we returned this dinosaur to the water. It remained boatside for less than 10 minutes before a couple quick flips of its tail disappearing back to the depths of Trout Bay. Hopefully, the next person lucky enough to experience this as I have, will also return this magnificent creature back to its depth. 
 I have had many tell me I was crazy for releasing this beast. No, killing such an magnificent animal is crazy. I've never claimed to be a professional angler nor tried to be. How many professional anglers do you know that have caught a 50-inch (35Lb+) Pike on 8Lb test line? lol.
 Let me tell all of you reading this, that a fish of this size was not and cannot be caught by just one person. I want to thank George Cies again for being my partner that day and helping make this story possible."

Thanks again, Dan & Brenda for such an amazing stay and a lifetime memory.

Rob Frye

DeKalb IL.