The calendar says September 1 today and the weather this past week says summer is over. We've had a huge cold front come through with lots of wind and rain. Water temps have gone from 70 to 62-63 in a little over a week. It's got the muskies in a bit of a funk but things will come around as fall patterns start to establish.
The muskie hunt this summer was a good one. Every season has peaks and valleys (highs and lows) but the highs always outweigh the lows.
The blade bite was hot all summer and the new PDeez JM BELL series baits were on fire. I've never seen so many fish eat bucktails way out on the cast as I did this year and I believe the BELL makes a difference. PDeez also released a line of spinnerbaits that I caught a lot of fish on. They make a huge difference coming through heavy cabbage and not getting fouled with weeds. The 2 single hooks have incredible hooking percentage too.
Check out this massive photo gallery of some of the muskies I caught and guided this summer on Lac Seul.
This summer I started fishing with Chaos Assault Sticks muskie rods. They're incredible and for half the price of Criox, they simply can't be beat. The best part about the longer rods (I've been using a 9'6" SWAT a lot!) is that you can get them in a telescopic version. They slide down to 7'11" and fit in most rod lockers. Such an awesome feature. There are literally zero drawbacks to telescopic rods. I guarantee I could give someone a telescopic Chaos Assault Stick rod and they could fish with it all day and not even know it's telescopic. If someone tells you telescopic rods have negative aspects I guarantee they've never fished with one.
With fall right around the corner I've got trolling on the brain. Here's a trio of absolute beauties that I added to the arsenal. Top bait is a 14" minnow bait from BR Baits. Next is a DK Fifty Finder. Bottom is a Trofik 5. Bryn, Dave and Ben are all at the top of the list of the best lure makers out there. These are all gonna get smashed on Lac Seul this fall.
If you didn't notice.... white is a great color on Lac Seul!
I have a few September dates open if anyone is looking for a Muskie trip. October is fully booked. It's going to be a great fall on Lac Seul.
Thinking about booking a guided fishing trip? Here's what I have left in my schedule for the 2019 season.
Walleye - Early June (5th to the 10th) I could book one trip and June 24th to 27th I have open.
Muskie - July and August are completely booked. I have availability in Early September and one prime 5 day slot in Late October. I don't take advanced bookings for November due to the uncertainty with the weather. All November trips are arranged last minute (within a week from the trip starting).
Get in touch with me ASAP if you're thinking about setting something up. Call/Text 807 738 1114
I know a lot of guys are checking the site regularly for ice updates... so here's my new ice report. I have to push my ice out date back even farther. I think my last prediction was May 10th or 12th... it's going to be more like May 15th to 17th. With opener on the 18th it's definitely cutting it close. The entire south end will be out earlier, it's the big water between Taylor Island and Bear narrows that will be the last to go. I don't think it's going to be a problem getting up the lake for opener, but the ice will have just gone out.
I'm really excited to be able to share this news.... I've joined the Lund Boats Pro-Staff team. This is truly an honor and I look forward to running Lund boats for many years to come. Mascotto's Marine in my hometown of Sioux Lookout, Ontario is a Lund dealer and I'm excited to work with them to promote Lund Boats. Visit www.mascottos.ca for more info and to check out the inventory of great Lund boats.
Guests booking a trip will now be able to fish from a new Lund 2075 PRO-V, powered by a Mercury FourStroke 300hp V8 motor.
For those following Lac Seul ice out conditions - I'm sticking with my estimate of May 12th for complete ice out on the eastern basin of Lac Seul.
I have a few June dates available for walleye fishing and some September muskie dates. Get in touch to book a trip.
The days are getting longer and the extended forecast looks mild. Spring is definitely on its way to NW Ontario. The way it looks right now, I'll guess it's not going to be a late ice out year. (** EDIT - April 11th - As the forecast has changed, my revised guess for ice out on Lac Seul is May 12th. With opener on the 18th, it's looking like it will in fact be a close one!**) We have a lot of snow too, so hopefully that leads to high water on Lac Seul.
Despite the signs of spring, we still have plenty of ice fishing left. The best ice fishing of the season in fact. Here's a few highlights from the season so far.
I still get a kick out of seeing my writing come to life in the pages of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. I've had a handful of articles over the last few issues and even landed another cover shot on the Jan-Feb issue.
My Sioux Lookout destination feature in the 2019 Fishing Annual was a fun one to write as I was able to showcase the incredible fishing we have here in my hometown.
After running the Helix 9 on my guide boat at Winoga last season, I knew I had to have one for my own boat. This unit features Mega Down and Side Imaging and of course AutoChart Live, which is mind blowing. If you haven't seen AutoChart Live in action, you owe it to yourself to check it out! Total game changer!
Long overdue update here folks, sorry about that. It's hard to believe another season on the water has come to an end. It's snowing in Sioux Lookout today and the mercury is well below freezing. Won't be long till ice fishing season is here!
It was a great year on Lac Seul for me and my guests. My muskie obsession only grew bigger with a record setting year for numbers of fish boated. Thanks to everyone who fished with me in 2018.
Here's a sample of some of the pics from late summer and fall.
Also had the pleasure of hosting famed muskie angler and TV personality Pete Maina back in September. Pete was filming with Sunset Country Tourism and made a stop at Winoga Lodge to fish Lac Seul with myself and Troy. We had a great 'trip' and I'll be sure to share the video once it's released. Here's a snapshot of Pete and I with one of the fish we boated.
It's always cool to see my writing come to life in the pages of Ontario Out of Doors magazine. It's even better when friends are featured on the cover and in the pages of my article. Check out these shots from the Fall 2018 issue.
2019 is already shaping up to be a busy season. Dates are filling up fast, so get in touch with me ASAP if you're interested in a trip. Ice fishing packages are also available for this winter. Check out www.Winoga.com for more info.
It's no secret that I'm a muskie fanatic. I'd rather fish for muskies than anything else. The 2018 season is off to a great start. Check out some of the catches so far...
Like most muskie fishermen, I'm also a tackle junkie. I love trying new baits and here's a couple I'm really excited about.
On the left is a Trofik 5. This trolling bait is fully custom and handmade in Ontario. On the right is a Blue Water Bait Dive-and-Rise prototype. This thing is big and badass! Blue Water Baits have been hot ticket trolling baits for years and I'm lucky enough to demo the dive-and-rise. Can's wait to get both of these in the water and put them in front of some Lac Seul giants!
Last but not least, be sure to grab a copy of the August 2018 issue of Ontario Out of Doors magazine and check out my muskie column. Here's a sneak peak!
The first couple weeks of the season flew by up here on Lac Seul. We started with summer weather in May and then June kicked off with a big cold front. The warm spring had the fish very active and spread out almost everywhere you tried. Fishing was great for walleye, pike and bass. The cold front dropped temperatures over 10-15 degrees and the fishing slowed down a bit, especially in the shallows.
The cold front is over and the forecast looks good going into June. The countdown to muskie season is definitely on now!
I heard from a reliable source that the route from Deception landing to Chamberlain narrows is ICE FREE as of today, May 15th.
I know for sure that ice remains west of this route. The central basin between Windigo Pt. and Eagle Island is always the last to go out. A few more days and it'll be ice free there too.
Good luck to everyone fishing opener on Lac Seul.
I have a few June openings for walleye and select dates in July/August for Muskie only. Get in touch if you're interested in booking a trip.
The current areas, shallow bays etc. are largely ice free. You could launch a boat at several of the local boat launches. That's the good news, and the forecast is looking favorable for melting ice.... because there is still ice, quite a bit. Large basins are not open yet. It's still going to be down to the wire for opening weekend for complete ice out. No doubt there will be plenty of fishable water around Sioux Lookout on opening day... BUT... I still can't guarantee 100% ice out for all of Lac Seul and Minnitaki. Accessing the north shore of Lac Seul is still not a guarantee for opening day.... but it's going to be close. I'll try to post more ice reports within the next week. Thanks for checking benbeattieoutdoors.com
I've been getting a lot of emails and message about ice conditions. A lot of guys are worried about their opener trips, and rightfully so. My earlier prediction of May 12 for ice out isn't going to happen. At this point I'd put it at 50/50 for ice out by Opening Day (May 19th). There will definitely be fishable areas wherever there is current, but getting to the north shore of Lac Seul (Bear Narrows, Chamberlain Narrows etc.) is unlikely, in my opinion, as this point. Things could change and we do have some high temperatures and rain in the forecast. I'll try to post another update in a week or 2.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.