I'll start this post off with the big news... I'm really excited to announce the purchase of a new boat! Ben Beattie Outdoors is now rolling in style with a 18.5-foot Alumacraft Tournament Series Tiller. The boat is powered by a 2010 Yamaha 90HP 4-stroke motor and also features a colour Lowrance GPS/Sonar unit.
Getting it wet for the first time.
Jigging walleye with Kelly.
It's a big, spacious tiller with lots of room for fishing out of. It's rigged with splash guards for backtrolling for walleye and come spring will have a bow-mount trolling motor for casting.
So far it doesn't have a name, but sometimes these things need to be earned. At any rate, it will be tough to top the name I gave my old boat! :)
On with the fishing report... I'll start off with - what else - muskies! It took a bit of work but the new boat got slimed in fine fashion. This chunky 47-incher slurped a top water bait off the surface at primetime. Textbook!
A real pretty fish for Bryon Cole - I just love the look of Lac Seul muskies.
These last 2 fish were part of a 4 fish night... ALL of them caught on top water!
As always a few nice pike are caught while chasing muskies. Most muskie nuts disregard pike as the lesser of the Essox family but who can argue with gators like these!
That's my good buddy Mike Willems who owns Silver Water Wheel Lodge on Lac Seul. The pike was his consolation prize after we watched his 50+ inch muskie hit on the figure-8 then throw the hooks on a thrilling boatside jump. We'll get em next year buddy!!
The walleye fishing remains excellent on both Lac Seul and Minnitaki Lake. Summertime patterns of catching fish on main lake basin structure is still holding up. All the typical stuff holds fish - humps, reefs, prominent points, steep drop offs, deep flats, etc.
My wife, Kelly, shows off a nice Lac Seul walleye and an even nicer baby bump! :)
Another walleye hits the Beckman net. Overall its been a great year for catching walleye in NW Ontario.
Fall is in the air up here. Water temps are slipping out of the 70's, the nights are getting cool, the days are getting shorter and there's a smattering of yellow on the birch and aspen trees when you look in the bush on your way across the lake. That means a couple things... moose hunting and fall muskie fishing are just around the corner. I'm also looking forward to some late season lake trout fishing on Minnitaki Lake. So much to look forward to in the fall!!
Coming up, I've also got a fly-in booked for an Ontario Out of Doors article that will come out this winter. Stay tuned for some pics from that trip and more.
Cheers and good fishing,
With the summer heat on Lac Seul upon us the muskies are really hitting the Beckman net lately. Late July is typically our warmest weather of the season in NW Ontario. With the exception of a cold front last week, it's been warm and dry here this summer.
The fish have really turned on lately and it's been fun watching people catch muskie. I even snuck in a few myself :)
As always, top water is a real producer for muskies on Lac Seul. Both prop baits and walk-the-dog baits are catching fish. Most of the other fish have been on bucktails. Double 8 and double 10 blades are both producing. Fish are relating to areas with cabbage weeds and fast access to deeper water. Throw some stumps and a reef in the mix and that's a Lac Seul hot-spot for muskies!
The ladies got the muskie party started and after that we were rolling.
Paige gets her first Lac Seul muskie on a top water hit.
Missy lands her first muskie EVER on the F8 no less!! Congratulations Missy!!
This fish hammered my Shumway Flasher.
As I mentioned earlier, we had a nasty cold front come through. This was just before a 2 day trip with John and his buddies from Iowa. Day 1 was cold with a strong E wind. I knew it would be tough going and we only moved 1 fish that day. Day 2 conditions were improving so I figured we'd have a shot at prime-time. The boys had a couple good chances earlier in the day but no hooks were buried. Talk about down to the wire.... John hooked up on a top water on the LAST spot of the day!! Immediately I could see it was a good fish. To say I was a little excited when it went in the Beckman net is an understatement. Congrats John on such an awesome fish!!
52-inches of pure Lac Seul adrenaline!!
Next up I had the opportunity to fish with Brett from Thorne Bros. Thorne Bros, based in Minnesota, is the muskie headquarters of North America.
We went on a good run and boated 6 muskies in 2.5 days. The tale of the tape went like this; 44, 45, 46, 47, 49 and 51.
Brett gets a nice one in the dark.
Greg capped off a 3-fish night with this chunker about 5 mins after Brett released his fish.
Day 2 started off with a real low for me when I lost a good fish less then 10-feet from the net. Anyone who's ever fished muskie can relate to losing a fish. It's a tough pill to swallow.
We rallied hard when Brett put this fish in the Beckman. It came to the boat like a missile and absolutely crushed Brett's bucktail on the first outside turn of the figure-8. Immediately after it proceeded to clear the surface of the water by a good two-feet - not once, but twice! Just awesome!!
Two spots later and my luck changed in a big way! I was throwing the same Shumway Flasher that I lost the fish on earlier. Truth-be-told, it is the oldest and most beat up bait in my box. I think there's about 3 feathers left on it. It looks more like a rat-tail with double-8 blades then anything. Anyhow, we were making our way around a sandbar and throwing casts between the cabbage weeds when my bait got stopped. The muskie came to the surface shaking its head and we saw it was another good fish. Thankfully this one stayed pinned and Brett slid the Beckman under her.
I popped my 'fifty-cherry' with this beautiful 51-incher!!
Back on your way, thanks sweetheart!!
On day three a high-pressure system settled over us and brought with it strong west winds. We moved a few fish but nothing seemed overly interested in committing. Persistence paid off later in the day when we went back on a fish we had raised earlier. This fish absolutely hammered a Phantom Viper top water in one of the most insane and violent top side strikes I've ever seen.
What a great way to cap off an exciting muskie hunt!! Thanks to everyone I've shared a boat with recently.
Check out my audio fishing reports on the Lindy Fishing Tackle website. This is an awesome program that Lindy has set up where a team of guides and pro-staff from across North America call in with regular reports for many popular fisheries.
Until next time, good fishing!
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.