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.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.