Earlier in August was a hot time on Lac Seul for muskies. In 7 days we put 13 in the boat with 6 going 50 + inches. PDeez bucktails, top water and big plastics did the damage. I was introduced to the Magnum Shadzilla by Water Wolf Lures and watched it get crushed by a 50 and a 53.5 on the SAME DAY. Talk about a game changer! Here's a look at my new favourite bait. If you haven't used one or don't have one - do yourself a favour and order a bunch now. They're a straight up fish catcher.
Now check out the highlight reel of muskie pictures in this slide show. If this doesn't make you want to start casting, nothing will!
Another long overdue report here…. what can I say, its been such a busy season. So far, so good with lots of great guests and lots of great fish in the boat. Muskies are in full swing and walleye are all over classic summer structure in the main lake basin.
Ive had some articles come out in Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine - so be sure to check those out.
I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!
Another long overdue entry here on benbeattieoutdoors.com. It's hard to believe the season has been open for a month already. So far this season has been - in a word - busy. But busy is good. And many great days have been had and many nice fish in the boat.
It's been somewhat of a different spring so far. Ice out was normal (not late, not early) but the weather has been anything but normal. Early heat was followed by cold, then hot, then cold etc. Water temps have been going up and down like a yo-yo and the result is scattered fish. On any given day I could (and have) caught walleye in 5-feet of water and 30-feet of water and everywhere in between. They are hard on the mayfly nymphs in the shallows - the big hatch still hasn't happened. I've been checking the humps in the main lake with limited success, but it won't be long until the graph lights up on the bigger basin structure.
Earlier this spring I took advantage of the first spring bear hunt in this area in 17 years. I was fortunate to harvest a color phase (cinnamon) bear with my bow. Big thanks to my buddy Troy Mansfield (Winoga Lodge) for his help and expertise. If you're looking for a bear hunt (Spring or Fall) Troy is the premier outfitter in the area.
I also had the pleasure to fish with Gord Ellis this spring. Gord is a colleague at Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine as well as a fishing promoter and radio broadcaster with CBC. It was a huge honor to be featured on CBC radio as well as in a video on their website and FaceBook page and in an article on the CBC website. Click here to read the article. The link also contains the video and a link to the radio interview.
My old friend Cory McKiel also used a picture of me in an ad for his optometry business in Thunder Bay. Cory now sells Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Costa is a sponsor of mine so I just happened to have a photo lying around for him to use. Thanks Cory!
The next phase of the season is upon us as spring transitions into summer
In my previous update I predicted May 3rd for ice out on Lac Seul…. I was pretty close. The first day that Lac Seul was completely ice free was May 5th. I know guys on the west end and SE end will say it was a few days earlier, but the last part to go out is always the centre islands between Manitoba Pt and Eagle Island. I was there, and May 5th was the day.
Yes, the water is low on Lac Seul… BUT THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL! It's always low at ice out. I've seen it much lower than this in previous years. It will come up, but we need rain badly. It's dry and we are currently under fire ban.
I did some exploring and pike fishing last week. The water was cold, ranging from 43 on the main lake to mid 50's in the back back back of bays. The pike were sluggish, but catchable. Jerkbaits and spoons seemed to work best.
I've been guiding on Lac Seul for 12 years now and this is the fist time I ran across this. Anyone know where this is? If you do, then you've been exploring!
A respectable pike that I caught while fishing with my good buddy Graham. Jerkbaits are hard to beat in cold water.
Opening day of walleye season is this saturday, May 21st. My schedule is booked pretty solid from opener till mid-september. I'll try to get some reports and pictures up when I can. Anyone interested in fall (Sept-Oct) Muskie trips let me know asap!
After cold and snow for the first half of April, it seems winter has finally given up here in Northwestern Ontario. The 2 week forecast looks warm and wet, which is good for melting the ice. It's going to be close to May 1st for ice out, but my guess is May 3rd for complete ice out on Lac Seul.
Walleye season closed on April 15th, but there's still fishable ice (for the time being) and lake trout and whitefish season remains open.
I had my buddy Brandon visit for a couple days and we chased the lakers and whities around.
We could use some rain to bring up the water levels. Here's a picture of pelican falls from a week ago - definitely not runnable with current levels
The upcoming season is going to be busy. If anyone is looking to book a trip please get in touch with me soon. I'll be back working with Moosehorn Lodge - cabins are filling up quick but some great dates remain available. Give me a call or email for details.
I apologize for the lack of updates here lately. The truth is, I didn't do a lot of ice fishing this winter, and when I did I didn't take many pictures.
I did get out last week with my buddy (and fellow Moosehorn Lodge guide) Colin Gosse for a combo day of walleye and lake trout. Colin did the guiding and put us on solid action. Walleye limits by noon, then 14 lakers to cap off a great day on the ice.
One bait that I always have tied on a rod all winter that caught both walleye and lakers is the Lindy Rattlin' Flyer Spoon. You can see it in the lake trout picture above, and that blue/silver is my favorite color.
I also had the pleasure of introducing my oldest son to ice fishing this winter. As expected, he loved the entire experience.
For anyone interested in ice out predictions, here's what going on around here... We had a huge melt last week and lost a lot of our snow. There is a lot less ice than usual for this time of year, too. I measured 18 inches of solid ice the other day. Although we are back in another cold snap, it's not cold enough to make ice, but it's currently not melting either. Once the ice starts to go it should go pretty fast. I have no doubt ice will be gone before May 1 this year.
It's shaping up to be a really busy season this year. If you're thinking about booking a trip get in touch with me ASAP as I have a limited number of days left in May-Aug. September -November muskie hunt dates are filling up too.
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.......
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer based out of Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.