It's hard to believe it's already August! The summer is flying by as usual. July was busy, with a lot of days on the water and a lot of nice fish in the boat. Big pike, walleye, muskie and lakers have dominated my time.
Predictably, the walleye are on the humps and other structure in and around the main lake basins. Right now we're catching lots of fish in 25- to- 32 feet of water. For all the fish caught though, one that I won't forget was a monster walleye that broke my guest off before I could net it. It was, by far, the biggest walleye I've ever seen.
Of course, some nice fish have managed to hit the Beckman net. Here's just a few.
It's nice to shift gears every once and a while and do something a little bit different. Jigging for lake trout in the summertime is a really fun way to catch them vs. downrigging. We use 4-inch tube jigs with 1 oz lead heads and are able to fish as deep as 100-feet of water. We got on some today in 74-feet on a deep hump. It's a blast to battle lakers from the depths on spinning gear.
I love catching all kinds of different fish, but deep down I'm an Esox junkie! Big pike and especially big muskie really get my heart pumping.
I've put some really nice fish in the net lately.
Big pike are amazing creatures, but their size and appeal is shadowed by the other Esox that inhabits Lac Seul - Muskie! They're never easy to catch but the rewards are huge.
Tom's first muskie ever came on the figure-8.
Dave has caught a lot of muskies, but we both still got a trill from watching this one eat on the figure 8 as well.
Last week an old friend of mine came up with his dad to chase muskies. I've never seen July weather like we had - cold, wet and windy. Highs were in the low 50's - and this is usually the warmest week of the year in Northwestern Ontario. We battled the elements and were rewarded for our efforts with some nice fish.
The icing on the cake was this fat 50-incher that Todd's Dad, Ben, caught on a bulldawg.
They are already talking about another trip next summer to collect some of the other big ones that we saw but didn't catch.
I'll wrap this update up with a beautiful Lac Seul sunset shot that Todd took. Anyone that fishes muskies would want to be on the water at this time of day, with a sky like this.
Wow, time flies. It's hard to believe its been over a month since my last update. Since then there's been a lot of days spent on the lake and a lot of fish in the boat. All that translates to many happy guests at Moosehorn Lodge.
Overall fishing has been good this summer, with high numbers of walleye hitting the net. This time of year, walleye are scattered on main lake basin structure like humps, reefs, flats and islands with deep water access. 100-plus fish days are the norm. Jigging Lindy Jigs tipped with minnows is all it takes to catch fish.
Here's a typical Lac Seul over-slot summertime walleye.
Corey from Wisconsin with another nice 'eye.
Here's a walleye with a big appetite - That's a 10" muskie bait in its mouth!
Speaking of muskie - these big predators have also been making regular appearances in the Beckman net.
Here's Kevin from Thunder Bay with his first muskie ever, caught on a top-water bait.
This feisty muskie crushed a topwater bait at the side of the boat. Always a thrill!
Bruce, from Minnesota, got this nice muskie on the first spot of the morning. Everyone in the boat got to see it eat a spinnerbait about 30-feet out.
Lac Seul muskie love topwater baits... here's another boat side topwater fish caught on a Psycho Sister.
Here's a beautiful muskie I caught trolling recently. It hammered a Legend Perch bait 25-feet behind the boat.
Check out those teeth on the release shot!
I had a great time with Rocco and Amy from Illinois. Check out these awesome pike they caught last week. It was Amy's first fishing trip to Canada but that didn't stop her from catching the big fish of the trip. Great pike Amy!
I'm happy to announce a partnership with 50 Inch Apparel. Check them out online at www.fiftyinchcrew.com They make some awesome muskie themed clothing.
In other news, I'm happy to share this photo from a project I called 'pimp my ride'. My boat got a serious upgrade thanks to Humminbird and Minn Kota.
That's an 80-lb Minn Kota Terrova complete with iPilot and a Humminbird 788 ci HD combo. Fish beware!
Stay tuned for more muskie and walleye fishing as we get closer to fall. I know August will go by as fast as July did.
With Canada Day 2011 in the books, that means we're solidly in the summer stretch of the 2011 season. You know it's summer when the walleye are in the main lake basin, big muskies are on the prowl, lake trout are in 70-feet, the cabbage weeds are at the surface and water temps are over 70F.
There's been big changes in walleye location over the last couple of weeks on Lac Seul. Most importantly, they have arrived in large numbers on their summer haunts in and around the main lake basin. Reefs, humps and islands in the big water are holding fish. Looking back, the last couple weeks have been some of the best walleye fishing of the year. High volume days and big fish too.
I had a great time with Wendy and her husband, Rob, from Winnipeg. As usual, lady luck came through and Wendy landed two 28-inch walleye.
Clayton Johnson from Illinois shows off a nice walleye while his nephew, Gage, unhooks another one in the background.
Tim Rowley from Acton, Ontario took his buddies money two days in a row.
Happy guests at Moosehorn Lodge!
The best depths on the main lake basin structure has been 18-24 feet. Vertical jigging with 1/4 oz Lindy Jigs has been catching all the fish. Hot colours are glow, chartreuse, orange and pink. I really like the googly eyes on these jigs and also how there's never any paint covering the line tie!
Not to be overlooked is the weed walleye bite that is also happening on Lac Seul right now. Drop a jig and minnow in 8-12 feet in front of a weedline and see if you can count to 10 before getting a bite. For the most part there are high numbers of fish in the 14-18 inch range in the weeds, but don't be surprised if a trophy makes an appearance as well.
The muskies continue to hit the Beckman net as well. Had a chance to fish with Brett Ericson from Thorne Bros. last week. Thorne Bros. is the premier muskie shop in the US and they also specialize in custom rod building, ice fishing and much more.
We had a 1 hour window where were we moved 5 muskies and caught 2 of them, including my first of the season. A 46-inch fish that ate a top-raider.
Fast forward a week and I had the chance to fish with a couple good buddies as well as my wife for an evening hunt. It was a picture perfect night for muskies and Dave 'iced the cake' with this chunky 49.5-incher. Congrats Dave on your PB muskie!! This fish ate a double 10 bucktail on the figure-8.
I had a chance to fish lake trout last week on Big Vermilion Lake for an afternoon with Rich and Matt from Chicago. These guys are a laugh a minute and we had a fun afternoon jigging up lakers out of 70-feet.
Double header for Matt and myself.
Rich with an over-slot lake trout.
Matt with a dark grey laker.
Looking ahead, more hot summertime action on Lac Seul. I'm looking forward to chasing more walleye, trout and monster muskies. Also looking forward to getting out for walleye on the deep summertime humps on Minnitaki. Minnitaki is another walleye factory in our system of lakes here in Sioux Lookout. Too often it lives in the shadow of Lac Seul, but every year some of the best days of the season happen on Minnitaki.
Cheers everyone, and good fishing.
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.