Its been a great fall in Northwestern Ontario. I spent a lot of time chasing muskies on Lac Seul but also visited Eagle Lake and Lake of the Woods. We are so lucky here in NW Ontario to have three world-class muskie destinations within a few hours from each other. Read more about my muskie adventures next fall in Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine.
Overall the fishing was pretty good. I had my share of fish-less days - but the days where you catch one or two makes up for that in a hurry. I broke my personal best twice this fall - both on the same lucky 10" Jake.
Trolling dominated for big fish once the water cooled down to the low 50's and into the 40's. I rigged my boat out with Salty Down-East rod holders, mounted on Bert's Custom Tackle bracket and track. My new Thorne Bros custom trolling rod turned out to be a big fish magnet!!
I definitely had luck on my side, or maybe it was just that white Jake that did it all, but I got my share of nice fish. Here's a few shots of some fall-time muskies.
This next fish I caught while out with Ontario OUT OF DOORS writer and photographer Tim Allard. Tim was up for a muskie photo shoot for the magazine and this big girl decided she wanted to be a star! You'll have to wait for next fall to see more pics in Ontario OUT OF DOORS. Thanks to Tim for coming up and capturing some incredible shots!
This next fish stands as my personal best muskie to date at 53". It was the only fish of the day and it came on the last run of the day... I was literally 100-yards from pulling the chute and heading home. I guess the old saying is true - 'It ain't over 'til it's over'.
I had the chance to fish Lake of the Woods with Ryan Marlowe, owner of Figure 8 Baits in Kenora. Figure 8 Baits is the premier muskie shop in Canada.
We battled some rough weather with high winds, cold, rain and snow - but got 5 muskies to the boat. Here's a couple of the better fish.
Ryan with a nice fish that slammed his lure seconds after he popped it free from a snag.
With temperatures remaining below freezing and a few inches of snow on the ground its time to call and end to the 2011 muskie season. Time to start the count down to June 16th 2012!
Shifting gears to another favourite fall past time - Hunting - makes putting away the muskie rods a little easier. After a moose-less moose hunt in October I was really hoping to get a deer for the freezer.
I was more than happy to see this nice buck walk out the other morning. 50-yard shot and he dropped where he was standing.
Looking ahead I see -18C in the forecast and that means one thing.... ICE FISHING is coming soon! I already fired up the snowmobile and I just got my Lindy order in the mail so I'm all set for another season on the ice. Darters, Slick Jigs, Rattlin' Flyer Spoons and much more - check out their awesome selection of ice fishing tackle on their web site www.lindyfishingtackle.com
You can also hear my audio fishing reports for the upcoming ice fishing season on the Lindy National Audio Fishing Reports page. Look for the first report sometime in early-mid December.
See you on the ice!
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.