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Lake Erie’s Walleye hatch largest in 20 years! A balance of Commercial fishing and Recreational angling help the lake succeed.

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In 2018 Lake Erie experienced it's best walleye spawns in  modern history! That spawn will allow recreational anglers, charter captains and commercial fishermen to flourish.  Ontario permits a highly regulated commercial  fishery that allows licensed commercial boats to gill net many types of fish with Walleye being one of the most sought after eating fish in the world.  Many anglers get frustrated with Commercial Fisherman believing  the long strings of gill nets literally empty the lake of Walleye. This however is not entirely true. Yes the gill nets catch many Walleyes but while they are set  but consider this, they also catch a large amount of non sought after fish like Freshwater Drum, Silver Bass and evasive species such as White Perch.

Anyone that has spent any time trolling on Lake Erie with numerous rods (Lake Erie allows two rods per person) will tell you there is nothing more frustrating than having any of the  previously mentioned fish load up on your lines spinning around tangling your lines and possibly breaking lines losing expensive baits such as Rapala Tail dancers and Dipsy Divers. The Commercial Fisherman are highly regulated and also target those nuisance fish typically shipping them overseas to markets in China and Japan.  By taking those course fish out of the lake  at the same rate of Walleyes. The Commercial Fishery helps balance the number of fish species in the lake.  Trust me I too get frustrated when I accidently troll into a poorly marked gill net losing valuable equipment.  However I am thankful that our MNFR in conjunction with input from many oversight committees such as the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.  allow commercial fishing on Lake Erie.  Now back to that spectacular 2018 spawn, why did this spawn occur?  Well only Mother Nature knows exactly why the 2018 was blessed, however there are some indicators that do contribute to a great spawn.  2018 had an early winter warm-up, but that was quickly followed by a sudden cold spell from mid-March into April, which appears to have influenced a protracted spawning period. The cold early spring likely aligned the production of zooplankton with the walleye hatch, providing an abundance of food for the tiny walleye to feed on.

 With that being said the future of Lake Erie's Walleye Fishing looks extremely bright! Hook up you boat or contact reputable charter and get out there to enjoy this fantastic fishery as its going to be extremely good for years to come!

Jeremie Brooks

www.trophytakerfishing.com


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Bass Fishing on Lower Buckhorn Lake

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Fish TV had the pleasure of staying at the Westwind Inn

One of the greatest things about our job is the beautiful places we get to visit when we are filming. This summer, the Fish TV crew loaded up the Tundra, hooked up the Lund, and headed into the Kawarthas to film a new Fish TV episode on Lower Buckhorn Lake.

 

We had the pleasure of being hosted by the Westwind Inn. This resort is fantastic! It is an all-inclusive vacation resort hotel / country inn situated on 60 scenic and peaceful acres. The resort is only 1.5 hours from Toronto yet you would think you were way up North.

 

westwind inn sign and exterior

westwind inn sign and exterior

 

The fishing was phenomenal and the variety was great. There was muskie, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills, and perch just waiting for us! Every day was a great day on the water! You can head out on a guided fishing trip or just travel around the lake on your own. The boat launch and docking facilities make it very easy to bring your own boat. If you don’t have a boat, there are boat rentals nearby or, if you choose, the resort offers free use of kayaks, canoes, pedal boats or water bikes to enjoy. You can even book a boat cruise if you are just looking for some quiet time on the lake.

 

leo stakos walleye lower buckhorn lake

Leo Stakos walleye lower buckhorn lake

 

We chose to film a largemouth and smallmouth bass show and are we ever glad we did! The lake has beautiful structure from rocks, to islands, to underwater points so, being summer time we focused on weeds in about 5 to 8 feet of water. We looked for weed flats that had big holes in the weeds and we dunked flipping jigs for the largemouth and did really well and caught fish 4 pounds or better. When we went for the smallmouth, we looked for rocky points with weeds on them in about 12-to-15 feet of water and used a dropshot rig and also swimbaits and caught a ton of fish. If you want to fish a lake that has very little pressure on it, Lower Buckhorn is the one.

 

Read more Here: https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/westwind-inn-fishing-for-bass-on-lower-buckhorn-lake

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Official Ice Fishing In Ontario Report

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Check out this link for Official ice fishing in Ontario Report.

https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/ice-fishing-conditions-report

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The 5 Deadliest Ice Fishing Lures for Lake Trout

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In last week's blog, I discussed why the simple soft plastic tube jig may be the single best lure that you can use to catch lake trout in the winter time in Northern Ontario

But, here's is an important point to consider. When you're ice fishing in the northern half of fish-filled Ontario, you're allowed to use two lines. So, it is always a wise strategy to bait your second rod with a lure other than a tube jig.

When you do this, it shows the fish something different and offers them a alternative meal. And many days, the trout will tell you they find the dessert that you're presenting to them to be more appealing than the main course.

Case in point: I was ice fishing for lake trout one time in Thunder Bay in Lake Superior, and had augured two holes in the ice about 40 to 50 feet apart. As is my custom, I would jig one rod for five or 10 minutes, then lay it down, walk over to the second rod and jig it for a similar length of time. And I'd repeat the process, fishing any number of holes, throughout the course of the day.

On this particular occasion, however, I was sitting on my snowmachine jigging a William's Ice Spoon. After the requisite five or 10 minutes at the hole, I laid the rod on the seat of my snowmachine and started walking over to my second hole several feet away.

That is when I heard a strange noise, turned around and saw my ice fishing rod being unceremoniously tugged off the seat of my snowmachine and headed down the hole. Fortunately, I was able to intercept it before it vanished and fought a gorgeous 12- to 15-pound lake trout the surface.

Feeling pretty satisfied, I sat back down on my snowmachine and started jigging again for another 10 minutes or so. Then, I laid down my rod again and started walking over to my second rod….

Read More Here: https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/the-five-deadliest-ice-fishing-lures-for-lake-trout

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Double Trouble for Fall Crappies

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CHECK OUT THIS EXPERT TRICK FOR CATCHING FALL CRAPPIES IN NORTHERN ONTARIO



 

What is with all the rain we've been receiving this autumn in Northwestern Ontario? If any more falls, I’m going to start researching plans for how to build an ark. Weather gods, if you're listening, it is called Sunset Country.

 

All joking aside, it stopped raining long enough the other day, after I picked up grandson, Liam, from high school, for us to launch the small tiller handle aluminum backtroller we keep ready for our back-country adventures into one of our favourite crappie lakes.

 

We only had a couple of hours of fishing until darkness descended, so time was of the essence if we were going to catch dinner. I must be honest—after the first 30 minutes or so, it was looking mighty iffy. As a matter of fact, I asked Liam, only half jokingly, how he liked his hot dogs.

 

Grandson With FishGord Pyzer's grandson, Liam, scores big while fishing with tandem rigs for fall crappies

He looked at me with a mock frown and scowl on his face and growled, "Without relish."

 

Fortunately, my worries were fleeting, and our stomachs need not have growled in protest, thanks to two things a Northern Ontario fall crappie angler should never leave home without: tandem jig rigs and a drift sock.

 

Holding 2 CrappiesTandem jigs and wind socks spell double trouble for fall crappies in Northern Ontario

As the name implies, tandem rigging involves fishing with two small jigs attached to your line, typically dressed with live minnows or small soft plastic grubs and creature baits. And while I never scoff when it happens, the object of tandem rigging is not necessarily to catch two crappies at the same time. Instead, you tandem rig to make your jigs stand out in such a way as to appear to be a school of easy-to-eat minnows. And with two hooks in the water, you have twice as many chances of catching a fish.

 

It is important to mention, too, that while some crappie anglers have tried the tactic and tangled up their lines. You can avoid the hindrance completely and ...READ MORE HERE https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/double-trouble-for-fall-crappies-in-northwestern-ontario

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The Eyes Have It

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Spend enough time around ice anglers who fish for walleyes and yellow perch in Northern Ontario and you'll soon find yourself immersed in the ever-persistent debate focused on the best presentation to offer the fish—an artificial lure or live bait?

Well, here is a surprise because many days the answer is neither.

 

Indeed, we've been enjoying a scorching ice bite this winter for big, beautiful, jumbo yellow perch. Most days it has been hard to catch a striped bandit under a foot in length, with most of the tasty oversized fish averaging between 13 and 14 inches.

 

That is stout.

 

yellow perch on ice

And the perch bite has been so knock-on-wood consistently good that most days we've not even targeted their bigger, bolder, beautiful walleye cousins. Seems more than enough nice opal eyes have simply shown up on the ends of our lines, as bonus happen chances.

 

What we've been using for bait, on the other hand, is something I've relied on since I was a young kid ice fishing for perch on Lake Simcoe's famous Cook's Bay. It is the eye that I have carefully removed from one of the fish that we've already placed on ice.

 

Carefully pinned to end of a jig or dangling below a small spoon or jigging minnow, there is absolutely nothing quite like it. It looks, smells and tastes like what the fish are eating.

 

eye and lure perch presentation

 

A good friend, Dr. Bruce Tufts, a fish physiologist at Queen’s University and superb angler, often talks about "super stimuli"—things that make fish flip head-over-heels and open up their mouths wide when they see it.

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Heat Wave? Cold Front? No Problem.

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A widely held belief amongst anglers is that fishing is usually the most challenging the first couple of days after a cold front passes through an area. And cold front can be a misnomer, because in a sweltering hot summer like the one we are currently experiencing across Northern Ontario, it can actually be a welcome relief from the heat and humidity.

walleye-fishing

Early last week, for example, the temperature moderated significantly here in Northwestern Ontario, when a cold front pushed through Sunset Country, dropping the daytime "feels like" temperatures from the mid-90° F / mid-30° C mark to the much more pleasant mid-70° F / mid-20° C range.

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What typically happens when a front like this moves through the area is that the walleyes, bass, muskies, and pike go on a feeding frenzy just prior to the arrival of the weather. In fact, they feed so ravenously that the next few days, when the puffy white clouds and bright blue sky arrive—classic hallmarks of a front's passage—the fish are much less hungry. Indeed, they are laid back, relaxed, and generally taking life easy.

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Anglers have long countered the effects of a cold front by scaling back their tackle, using light finesse tactics, and slowing down their presentations to a snail-like crawl.  A classic example is walleye anglers draping light jigs tipped with small minnows over the side of the boat. It's like offering a well-fed diner a chocolate-covered mint as he or she walks out of the restaurant at the end of a satisfying meal. Who can refuse it, right?

Read More Here: https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/go-big-go-fast-go-northern-ontario?s

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World Class Speckle Trout Fishing

World Class Speckle Trout Fishing

John Winters' fishing friend, Randy Beamish, with perhaps the greatest trophy in freshwater: a magnificent, wild Ontario brook trout

 

Algonquin Park's brook trout lakes are a national treasure.



 

 

“Brook trout are symbolic of the wilderness,” says good friend and trout enthusiast John Winters, who notes that the brilliantly beautiful char demand pure water, typically found only in small remote pristine headwaters. “The lakes are sensitive to human disturbances and because of their low productivity, brook trout populations are vulnerable to over-fishing.

 

john-winters1Retired Algonquin Park Superintendent John Winters says that brook trout are symbols of pristine wilderness and prized by anglers around the world

“It is why brook trout, some folks also call them speckle trout, are one of the most sought-after fish in the world. They are the state fish in eight states in the United States, where sadly, few naturally self-sustaining populations remain today.”

 

john-wintes2Trout enthusiast John Winters, shown here with a typical Algonquin Park brook trout, says paddling a quiet canoe, catching and releasing wild trout and keeping a couple of smaller fish for shore lunch is a great day in paradise

That this is not the case, however, in south central Ontario's awesome Algonquin Wilderness Provincial Park, where for many years Winters served as the Park Superintendent, and where trout enthusiasts from around the world make bucket-list pilgrimages.

 

“There are many lakes in Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada, that support non-native brook trout populations,” says Winters. “The fish are raised in hatcheries and stocked to provide superb put-and-delayed take angling opportunities.

 

“But there are very few examples of these stocked trout ever successfully reproducing, in spite of the tens of millions that are planted each year.  This means that the lakes in Algonquin Park represent the most southerly self-sustaining brook trout populations on Earth.”

 

brook-trout1If there was ever a candidate for Ontario's provincial fish, Gord Pyzer believes it would be the brook trout, as displayed here by fishing friend Mark Stiffel

These same small, picture-postcard, granite-bottomed lakes—most are less than 40 hectares in size—are located on what Winters calls the “dome,” the highest point of land in this part of Ontario. Small underground springs, seepages, and streams flow off the dome into larger rivers forming parts of the Muskoka and Ottawa River watersheds.

 

Another characteristic of the dome lakes is that they are clear and cold, with surface water temperatures generally reaching only 20° C and bottom temperatures ranging between a chilly 13 ° C and 18° C, even in the middle of summer. Cold, oxygen-rich spring water bubbles up from the bottom to keep the lakes invigorated and refreshed.

 

“Fishing for brook trout in streams and rivers is not difficult,” says Winters, “but in these naturally self-sustaining lakes it's a different story.  Read more here https://www.northernontario.travel/fishing/world-class-speckle-trout-fishing-in-algonquin-park?s=

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