With a fresh foot of snow on the ground, winter is definitely here to stay. The boat is tucked away in the garage and that's a wrap on the 2015 softwater season. Overall it was a good fall on the water. Hunting season is in full swing, which is a nice distraction while we wait for ice.
Check out the current (November/December) issue of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine for a deer hunting feature I wrote called North Woods Bucks. I'm still chasing whitetail but hope to have a good report by the end of the season.
Even though we're having a warm September so far in Northwestern Ontario, Summer is over. The leaves are changing, water temps are dropping and there's a lot less boats on the lake. It's a welcomed change of pace after a busy summer.
As always, the summer goes by so fast. It was a good one, with a lot of days on the lake and a lot of fish in the boat. Here's a few photo highlights from some multi-species action.
Fall is the best time of the year with open hunting seasons and big muskie to be caught. Stay tuned for more outdoor adventures.
Summer is flying by here in northwestern Ontario. Its been a wild ride weather wise - right now we're in the middle of a heatwave, but just 10 days ago we were battling high wind, rain and cool temps. One day the high didn't even reach 60F.
Despite the wild weather, the fishing has remained good. Of course some days are better than others, but that's fishing. Summertime walleye spots like humps, prominent points and deep flats produce steady action. The best depths can range from 15-30 feet, depending on the day. One thing I've noticed is that the stronger the wind, the shallower the big walleye will position themselves on structure.
It's hard to beat jigging with live bait for catching walleye. I use Lindy Jigs and my top colors are glow, chartreuse, pink, orange and red. There's something about feeling the classic 'walleye tap' then setting the hook that I'll never get tired of.
Targeting pike is a great way to spend an afternoon on Lac Seul. There's a lot more action than muskie fishing and we run into some great pike out here.
The muskie chase is never easy, but as I say it's a lot of work for a lot of reward.
I caught these 2 muskies on the same night on my new favorite color PDeez bucktail - Italian Stallion. Click the link to visit the website and check out that hot color.
This next fish was an awesome boat side top-water strike for my guest Mark. Good times!
Check out the lead page for my latest Ontario OUT OF DOORS feature article. All the photos in this article are by my friend Suzie Hughdie, who did a great job. The article is about jigging for summertime lake trout. It's a great way to catch lakers in the summer without the hassle or cost of downriggers.
Just this past week we put this technique to the test. Here's my guest Mike with a nice summertime laker.
There's still plenty of summer left, but fall - the best time of the year - is within sight. Stay tuned!
We're solidly into the 2015 muskie season and the big Esox have been hitting the Beckman net. There's a definite trend this year with seeing and catching more 30-inch class muskies, which is a great sign for the future. There must have been an excellent spawn a few years back and I'm excited to watch this year class of fish grow up.
Of course, Lac Seul is well known for producing world class trophy size muskies and this year hasn't disappointed. Although not in my boat, I know of two 55-inch fish that have been caught this year already. I've has some big-big's follow and the average fish is truly impressive in length and girth. Girth is largely what separates Lac Seul from other fisheries - our muskies are simply built bigger around.
I always tell people that muskie fishing is a lot of work for a lot of reward. It's more like hunting than fishing, actually. Chasing big fish and accepting that not every day will end with a fish in the net. Fortunately, the days when a fish is landed more than make up for all the hard work and fishless days.
Here's a few highlights from this season so far.
I had an incredible opportunity to guide a group of guys from Italy. They are dedicated big pike fishermen from the best pike waters in Europe. They decided to tackle North America's biggest Esox - Muskie - and film their pursuit for an Italian TV show. With camera's rolling, we landed 4 muskies the first day, with this big 50-incher stealing the show.
The excitement and emotion surrounding this catch is something I'll never forget.
The chase continues.......
Spring is quickly giving way to summer here in Sioux Lookout. The days are long and the fishing is great. Since the season started almost a month ago its been multi-species fishing at its best. Big walleye, pike and bass have all been targeted and caught. May and June are phenomenal months for fishing on Lac Seul.
Here's a few highlights of some fish from this spring.
This saturday, June 20th, is opening day of muskie season. I can't wait to start chasing these monsters around Lac Seul again. Fishing after dark is always a part of my strategy for putting muskie in the boat. Be sure to pick up a a copy of the June issue of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine for my Moonlight Muskie article. Here's a sneak peak....
After such a great season last year with PDeez Muskie Inlines, I'm exclusively throwing their blades this year. With unmatched color combinations, the best performance and no-jam flash, they are taking a big bite out of the competition. And brand new this year is the ClikBustr - a topwater buzz bait that's already proving to be a big fish catcher.
Get in touch with me about a fall muskie trip ASAP. I've got some openings but things are filling up quick. June, July and August are fully booked but September and Oct can be dynamite for big muskies.
The long range forecast looks really good for melting ice. My ice out prediction for Lac Seul is sometime during the first week of May. Opening day this year is May 16th. I'm confident it won't be anything like last year, where ice remained on opening day. Keep checking back and I'll post some pictures of the boat launches and lakes as they open up.
With open water just around the corner this article I wrote on boat batter chargers is a timely one. Click HERE to read it on the Ontario OUT OF DOORS website.
I'm also happy to announce a partnership with Costa Del Mar. They make the best polarized sunglasses in the world. If you spend any amount of time on the water you won't believe the difference their lenses make. Check out the Costa website by clicking on the image below.
I didn't ice fish a ton this winter and I know the updates here have been few and far between. I'll close out my ice season with one last walleye picture.
My guiding schedule for the summer is really filling up fast. If you want to set up a trip, get in touch with me soon.
For the first time in many years, I hung my buck tag on the Christmas tree. Since I hunted late in the season, I missed all the good early ice we had this year. I got on the ice the day after hunting season closed and hit the ground running.
Just in time for ice fishing season is the current issue of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. It's aways a huge honour to be on the cover of a magazine. Big thanks to my friend James Smedley for coming up last winter to snap this picture.
The boat's put away and the lakes are icing up as I write this - the 2014 soft-water season is officially over. It was another great year with a lot of big fish and memories made on the water. Thanks to everyone who fished with me, all my sponsors, supporters, family, friends and everyone who reads my website.
Although I didn't get as much time on the water this fall as I'd have liked to I certainly ended the year with a bang. This trophy muskie is a prime example of the girth Lac Seul fish can get late in the season.
To make it even more exciting, this fish hit boatside on a Figure-8.
With a little bit of luck I'll be posting my 2014 whitetail deer hunt report soon. Just need that right buck to appear. And the first ice fish report isn't that far off either.
Fall is the best time of year here in Northwestern Ontario with hunting seasons open and fat fall fish to be caught. We've had weather that's all over the charts - from snow and howling cold wind to sunny, hot and calm. Overall things have been going well in the woods and on the water.
Last month I snuck out with my photographer friend Suzie Hughdie for a photo shoot for an upcoming Ontario OUT OF DOORS article. We fished hard all day for muskie and had half-a-dozen follows but no takers. Suzie still captured some great images that will surely run in the magazine. Here's a peek at one of my favourites.
Tossing big rubber baits and trolling big cranks for muskies on Lac Seul is a staple in the fall. It's never easy to catch a muskie, but the rewards are huge.
Two nice fish on the same day that couldn't resist big bulldawgs.
My good buddy Graham got it done trolling a 10-inch Jake for this Lac Seul 'lunge.
Although my walleye fishing effort slows down in the fall while I chase muskies, I still do manage to get out a bit. The fish are so chunky this time of year. We even caught one trolling for muskie on a 10" plug. Everything's strapping on the feed-bag in the fall!
Hunting season got off to a good start with ruffed grouse. Numbers are decent this year. Here's my buddy Graham with a limit of mature ruffies.
Our group didn't get an adult moose tag this year. Tag numbers were cut by 87% in our area. We still hunted a few days for a calf but came up empty handed. Finding fresh sign - or much sign at all - was a chore. We looked around at our usual go-to areas and it's pretty evident moose numbers are hurting here. Lets hope for an easier winter than we've had the last 2 years. Less hunting pressure should help as well.
Still some more muskie fishing and deer hunting coming up this fall. I'm pretty sure the next walleye picture you see on here will be when I'm standing on the ice. Not too far off now.
Both last season and this season, August had great muskie fishing. Both years were late ice out years and I think it just took until August for the water temps to stabilize in the 70's and the fish to be more predictable and reliable.
Top-water baits and blades burned over cabbage are the top producers for summertime muskies on Lac Seul. This year I've been exclusively using PDEEZ MUSKIE INLINES - specifically the LSG's and the BIG TENS, and they are flawless. They run true, are well built and straight-up catch fish. The colour combinations available are unreal - take a look at their website.
Big muskies aren't the only Esox game on Lac Seul. Check out this monster 44-inch pike I caught. Biggest of my life. Long and thick.
I don't chase walleye as much late in the season as I do in May and June, but they are still very catchable. Humps, reefs, flats and other structure in main lake basins are where the fish are. They are chasing big pelagic forage like this cisco that a walleye purged in my net. It's no wonder Lac Seul produces big, fat walleye.
Fall is just around the corner in Northwestern Ontario. Lake surface temperatures are are on the decline and there's a smattering of yellow starting to appear in the trees. Hunting season is fast approaching and so is the hunt for monster fall muskies. Lots to look forward to.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer based out of Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.