Spring arrived early in Sioux Lookout this year. We didn't get much snow this winter and for the most part it melted by mid-march. All signs point to an early ice out on Lac Seul. Water levels on all surrounding lakes are low. It's normal for water levels to fluctuate over the course of the year, but things are definitely starting out on the low side. Quading around on Minnitaki the last couple weeks, I've seen rocks poking up through the ice that I've never seen before.
With the predicted early ice out and low water levels it should be the perfect year to scout new areas on Lac Seul. I never stop learning new water to fish, and this is the best time to learn new routes and hazards. My prediction is that I'll be launching my Lund at deception on May 1st this year.
THE BORDER - Nobody in the outfitting/guiding/tourism business is expecting the border to open in time for fishing opener on May 15th. The most frustrating part remains that there's no indication/information on WHEN it will reopen. There has been no plan or framework provided for when and what the border reopening will look like. This makes it difficult to plan for the upcoming season.
I'm prepared to endure another season of no US clients by catering/marketing to Canadian fishermen. But rest assured my US friends/clients, as soon as the border opens I'll be ready!
With the ice season pretty much in the rear view mirror, I'll share a picture of my favourite catch of the season. This Minnitaki Lake lake trout is one I'll remember.
I've been busy this winter writing articles for Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. Look for several coming out this spring/summer, including one called Record Breaking Musky Water. Any guesses which 3 Ontario musky fisheries made the list?
Here's a look at a recent piece that I did for Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine about props.
For the first half of the 2021 season I'll be back in my 2021 Lund ProV 1975. I'll run this boat until sometime in late July/early August when my 2022 Lund arrives. I'm on the fence about which boat to run next... either another 1975 ProV or back to a 2025 Impact like I had in 2020. Both amazing boats!
I'm super proud and honored to represent Lund Boats as a Pro-Staff memeber. Running a Lund boat is a dream come true. As always, a huge shoutout and thank you to both Lund Boats and my local Lund dealer Mascotto's Marine here in Sioux Lookout. Exciting happenings at Mascotto's right now with a huge renovation under way. Be sure to check them out next time you're in Sioux Lookout. For those currently interested in a boat, you better act fast... the market for boats continues to be hot and inventory is moving quickly.
Here's some new gear I'm really excited about trying this summer - the all new 10-foot Chaos 20/20 telescopic Assault Stick with Revolution Reel seat. What a beauty!
If you're still on the fence about telescopic muskie rods - after 2 years of exclusively using them - I can tell you there's zero downside. When in use, you'd never know it's telescopic. At the end of the day, collapse it and it fits easily in rod lockers, trucks, SUV's etc. Major win.
Me and my good friend Paul at PDeez Musky Inlines are going to have a big announcement soon. For the last 6 seasons I've exclusively been using Paul's blades on Lac Seul. They're the best out there, and they keep getting better. A couple season's ago his BELL lineup changed the game and this year's product launch is going to send the muskies into a tailspin. Click the picture below to visit the PDeez website. Send me a message and I'll tell you my top 5 all time favorite Lac Seul colors.
Shoutout to my fellow Ontario OUT OF DOORS writer and local Bass fishing legend Jeff Gustafson. Incase you live on another planet, Jeff won the Bassmaster ELITE event at the Tennessee River Back in February. Jeff is a Kenora guy who grew up fishing Lake of the Woods. It was awesome to watch him hoist that trophy over his head and also to see the unbelievable amount of support from the local and national fishing community. Gussy represents Canada well and we're all super proud of his accomplishments.
Another cool product I'm looking forward to using this season is some new Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Every year I like to try new frames - this year they're DIEGO.
My all-time favourite frame is Reefton, so we'll see how DIEGO compares. These Blue Mirror lenses are perfect for bright sunny days. When it's overcast I use Green Mirror and when it's really low light conditions I use Silver Sunrise Mirror.
The next update should include an on the water fishing report! This should be a great year for chasing ice out lake trout.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.