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Monthly Archives: April 2013

When Walleye Don’t Bite & Video

When They Just Won’t Bite

All of us have had tough days on the water – bad weather, equipment failure and fish that just refuse to bite. Walleye fishing is often a game of chance, and when these fish shut down, you’ll find yourself cursing all the way back to the lodge. There are a number of techniques and adaptations that anglers can use that can turn finicky fish into biters, and with practice and patience, you can turn that bad day into a good one, and fill that live well up to the limit in the process!

Weather Conditions
weather coming inWeather plays a very important role in walleye activity, and a lack of optimum conditions will usually result in a sub-par day. Due to their light-sensitive eyes, a walleye will be most active during overcast days. They will also be more likely to roam and feed while the wind is blowing, as this causes wave action that breaks up sun penetration.  Unfortunately for anglers, these variables are not always the most comfortable to fish in – they will, however, provide positive results.
If you happen to be out, and the sun is shining and the wind is still, what should you do to ensure that you get bit? If you happen to be fishing in the shallow section of the lake, then your best course of action is to search out the lushest, greenest weeds available and present a jig to the walleye that will be seeking shade and cover underneath. Slow, methodical lifts of a buck tail or twister tail will do the trick, and the addition of live bait may coax the inactive walleye to become more co-operative.
During very sunny days your best option is to fish deeper, while keying-in on productive structure areas. Searching out break lines and drop-offs and jigging the area thoroughly, or running a live-bait rig or bottom bouncer, will do the trick.   A key to remember is this – the more miserable the weather, the faster the retrieve.   Sunny, beautiful days call for a slower presentation and added searching to find those inactive fish.

Location
It is common knowledge that walleye are fish that relate to the bottom structure and will be found hugging the lower part of the water column the majority of the time. This is true in most cases, but there are times when walleye will suspend mid-way through the water column.
Walleye are feeding machines, and will follow baitfish when actively feeding. If the resident baitfish are ten feet from bottom, then the rapalaTrollsToMinnow_v1opportunistic walleye will be close at hand.

Experimentation is the key, and jigging a spoon (similar to ice fishing) at different depths, or trying different models of diving crank baits will connect you to fish quicker. Many of the better-quality fish finders will display baitfish schools on their screens. Some effective technique when   running the lake, is to throw out a marker buoy to mark the baitfish, then drift back over the area with the above mentioned lures. It is a different dimension to walleye angling that is worth trying when the fishing becomes fruitless.

Be Versatile
One of the biggest mistakes a walleye angler can make is to stick to a technique when it isn’t working. Changing things up are key to putting more fish in the boat, and essential in turning “sniffers” into “biters.”

When out on the water, make sure that you carry a large assortment of crank baits. Be sure to include different color combinations and in varying weights and sizes in order to test what the walleye wants that particular day. There have been days out on the water when the only color that the walleye would show any interest in was red, and if you had the misfortune of not owning any cranks in that particular color, then your day could prove to be a disaster.
If there is more than one person in the boat while trolling, it is best to run completely opposite crank baits. Troll with different color combinations, shapes and sizes, in order to see what the fish prefer. If one angler has a run of two or more fish in a row, then you have stumbled upon a pattern, and at this point it is best to change over to match their lure.

Relying on live bait is not always the best option. Although many may believe this statement is false, there are times when live bait will hinder your fishing.  An example of this occurred during one season opener on the lake was with two fishing buddies and one was slow trolling a crank bait and a worm rig. Attached to the spinner rig was a fat, juicy night crawler. Although it was hooking into numerous perch, the walleye were just not co-operating.   The other person, on the other hand, had two fish in on the stringer already that was caught on the crank.   So the guy fishing with live bait did the unthinkable (to him) and removed the live bait while replacing it with a plastic worm in a motor oil color. Two trolling passes later and he had two nice sized walleye on the stringer as well.  They soon figured out what the walleye were looking for that day. Experiment with different lures and techniques until you find that one that works best under the conditions that you are faced with.

Walleye fishing is a tough game to play at times, yet the resourceful and smart angler will always figure the puzzle out. Pay attention to details while out on the water and don’t be afraid to try something new – the results might just surprise you!

 
 

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Video

Video on Jumbo Walleye Fishing

 

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LIFE IS BETTER……

Life is Better

 

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THE MOOSE – Bold, Majestic & Potentially Dangerous

moose at night
If you’ve ever driven any distance through the Canadian bush – especially endless miles of tree-lined, two-lane highways, then you will know about the moose as they often move about our Canadian highways freely.

There are foreboding signs along the way featuring outlines of these hulking creatures nonchalantly strolling across your path. The message is not one of protecting the environment, it is one of avoiding mortal danger and a warning to YOU.

Moose-warning

An uneasy feeling starts to set in right about dusk, when the light of the sky darkens enough to match the light thrown by your high-beams.

If you know about the threat of the moose you will tend to slow down just a little, and your eyes will skirt furtively for motion and shadows along the treeline. Because you do not want to hit a moose. If you do, it will almost certainly be THE event of your day.

Although generally timid, the males become very bold during the breeding season, when the female  sutter a loud call, which can be heard from up to 2 miles away, and are often mistaken for lowing cattle; at such times they fight both with their antlers and their hoofs. Fierce clashing of antlers between males is also not uncommon during the rutting season.

The female gives birth to one or two young at a time, which are not spotted. The gestation period for a moose is about 216-240 days. After the young are born, they drink the mother’s milk, which is very high in fat and other nutrients. Because of the milk, the calf grows very fast.

moose-down-the-road-from

The cow moose is reported to kill more people in Canada than any other animal (far exceeding the toll of the grizzly bear). These large animals can be extremely protective of their young, and caution should be exercised when approaching a cow moose.

In the spring, moose can often been seen in drainage ditches at the side of roads, taking advantage of road salt which has run off the road. These minerals replace electrolytes missing from their winter diet. However, this is where the most potential danger lies in these locations as the moose will imagesCAIAXVDYcome out to the open for various reasons one especially to get away from the flies.

So on your journey up to Wawang Lake be sure to heed the warning signs – keep your eyes peeled and scan the timberline on each side of the road for these majestic animals.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Adventure, Moose, Moose sightings, Wildlife

 

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BIG BLACK

haidaIt was a clear, crisp and extremely cold January morning as Terry stepped out the back door of our log house when suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks.  In the tree line  just 100’ from the house sat a black animal looking intently and directly at Terry.  Squinting his eyes against the bright sun, Terry couldn’t believe what he was looking at.  His first thought;  a black bear?  Could it be out from hibernation at this time of the year?   No, it’s much too early for them to wander out this time the winter– could it be he thought again, questioning what he was looking at?

He blinked a second time, against the bright morning sun, mystified at what was he seeing when suddenly to the right from the corner of his eye, Terry caught a glimpse of a flash just within the thick undergrowth of timber known as the boreal forest.  It was another animal and it ran right behind the black one except this one was grey!  Hmmm, he then realized it was wolves.   His curiosity now satisfied he noticed that as fast as the grey colored wolf had sped by, the black one immediately got up and quickly followed after.  Then throughout the entire bush the air was filled with the eerie, unnerving sound of howling.  The wailing echoed all around and he quickly scanned the vast timber anticipating seeing  more – but didn’t.  They were warning the others he thought;  to run, to get away – quick!   It sounded by the urgency of their screams.Wolf Howling

He watched the two wolves run past the house towards the lake but didn’t see any others.   Giving no mind to the snow covering  the seat, he quickly jumped onto his snow machine and was a little surprised that it started on the first pull.  Pleased with the ease of it starting he gave the throttle a couple revs, spun the machine around and headed down to the beach in search of the wolves.  Following the shoreline he came upon where their tracks came out of the thick timber – just about where he thought they would too and noticed that they had headed out onto the open expanse of Wawang Lake.  He lifted his hand over his brow, shielding his eyes from the sun hoping to see some sign of them but he didn’t see anything.  Not detecting any sign or movement on ice in the direction they had gone he decided to try and chase them down anyways and headed out following the fresh trail.

There were four wolves in all he guessed counting the distinct tracks left in the newly fallen snow from last night.  Looking over the windshield the icy wind felt like steel rivets hitting his bare face and his eyes watered from the intense cold.   Invigorated by the hunt,  he drove on and had to frequently wipe his eyes from the frozen tears that were now forming on his lower eye lashes.   Man he thought those animals are fast, as he took another wipe with his glove, when unexpectedly there they were, right in front, fanned out, fully stretched out and running full speed with the big HaliburtonWolves (176 of 106)black in the lead.  Terry could see that there were two black and one was obviously the Alfa male – since he was BIG, very big – the size of a small bear in fact.   Two of the wolves were noticeably smaller and Terry soon realized that this was a small pack.

As a trapper, his intention was to bring down the big black wolf as the pelt would bring in a pretty nice bounty to pay our bills and provide a nice spread of fresh food for our table.  Ever so slowly he began coming up alongside them to their right.  Whether it was the sound of the machine or its shadow, the wolves abruptly veered away and picked up speed trying to distance themselves from this unknown danger.  Squeezing down hard on the throttle he kept up with them and at the same time he noticed the wolves were beginning to show signs of fatigue yet steadily raced on as their tongues hung out, loosely flopping out of the side of their mouths, and frost condensing on their muzzles – but they weren’t slowing down any.  It wasn’t in their nature to give up and if they did – hmmmm, it then ran through Terry’s mind that he could be facing a wee bit of a problem here.  Four against one and he estimated the big one out-weighed him by at least 25 lb. –  then he remembered he did have his trusted side arm strapped to his hip and this would give him an edge since the sharp gun blast would scare them off from an attack, if it came to that.   At least he hoped so and as this scene unfolded in his mind he slid his hand down to his hip and unhooked his holster…..just in case he thought.

Paquets_running wolves
The shoreline across from the lodge was beginning to draw closer and Terry watched in admiration at the wolves’ stamina and couldn’t help but respect them for  their sheer determination to flee danger – and it was at that moment he decided against breaking up this family.  Mom and Dad still had much to teach those young he thought and best left to have engrained the values, customs and traditions into those young than for them to turn into outsiders or misfits he thought – no, there’s enough of them out there as it is.

Easing up on the throttle, he began to slow the machine down as he watched the wolves make distance between him and them.  Stopping the machine he noticed that they had now reached the timberline and quickly disappeared in the bush with the only trace left of them was their tracks.  It then ran across his mind how easily he could’ve taken BIG Black   – oh, but what the heck he thought as he shrugged his shoulders while the muscles in his jaw twitched just below his earlobe (a common characteristic when he’s in methodical thinking mode) we still had lots of moose meat left and some walleye from our last ice fishing trip as he quickly inventoried our pantry in his mind.   We’d be fine he thought again, and we always were – fine.

Now had it been a large pack known for ravaging and destroying the large & small game  in our area the outcome would’ve been much different.  Terry would not have remained this composed nor would he have controlled his own hunters’ trait.  Large wolf packs are common in our area that can consist of 30 or more.  These packs are vicious and can be very deadly by killing off the moose, black bear and other small game animals including their Terryyoung.   Basically, slaughtering and greatly reducing the wildlife needlessly.

Trapping in Ontario is all about day-to-day management and assessing each and every situation while out in the field – as Terry did at this time and has done so on many other occasions over the years.  Contrary to what some might believe, trappers manage their areas and realistically speaking they simply don’t kill every animal they see, as a matter of fact this couldn’t be farther from the truth since much thought goes into a season of trapping, like for instance how many beaver can be taken from a beaver house.  Breeding stock needs to be left in order to sustain the trap line for years to come.  Our family has trapped for almost 100 years and we’re proud to pass this honorable tradition onto our next generation – like the generation did before us and  just like our neighbors – the wolves.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Personal Stories, Trappers, Wildlife

 

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TIPS TO CATCHING SPRING WALLEYE

 walleye1871If hooking a big walleye is the plan then Wawang Lake is where you want to go whether it’s spring, summer or fall . While walleye are rather active and generally numbers are much easier to find during the spring, but catching BIG trophy sized walleye happens all season long.  Catching these big guys still takes some tactics to reel them in. If the plan is to drop a line, hook a fish and go home happy within a few minutes, the outcome could be disappointment.

Although springtime is the favorite for walleye fishing, anglers need to keep a few things in mind. Everything from actual weather conditions to location and bait can impact the outcome of a fishing trip. The trick is really gauging the action carefully before picking a spot to stay at.    Walleyes like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes and fall they will move into shallower water depending on light and wave activity.

Location Matters in The Spring

imagesCA9GUKSFWhen the waters are thawing, but haven’t turned warm just yet, the shallows are generally the place to go. Anglers often quickly find a few key spots that work very well in the spring months.

It’s important to keep in mind that changing weather patterns can affect where walleye happen to be on a particular day or night. Many anglers swear by very shallow, night fishing to catch walleye during the cooler spring days but this is not always true. Slightly warmer, less windy days might find them a little further out though.

Some places to seek them out include:

  • Shallow points and mid-depths. While walleye are known to move into deeper waters when the temperatures heat up, early spring won’t generally find them there yet. Look along sunken islands and in mid- to rather shallow points by boat. If electronics do not turn up fish action, move on.
  • On-shore/wading. Many anglers find they are better off leaving the boat at home for springtime fishing, especially in the early days of spring. The fish are often found in very shallow waters that can be fished from shore or from piers.
  • Picking The Right Equipment. Having the right bait and equipment cannot be stressed enough when walleye is the catch of choice. These fish have changing preferences. What they enjoy in the hotter summer months is not necessarily what they’ll bite in the spring. Some of the suggested bait and tackle recommendations for springtime angling include:
  • Tackle. Rigs with live bait and live bait with slip bobbers are generally the preferred means for catching walleye during the spring months. Keep in mind if it’s early spring, walleye are getting ready to move to their spawning grounds, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Bait. Walleye tend to gravitate well toward minnows and night crawlers during the early spring months. In some areas, they might prefer noshing on insect larvae like during a mayfly hatch. For this reason, some anglers swear by using marabou jigs and other similar lures.

walleyeSpring is typically the one of best times of year to hook a winning walleye, but that doesn’t mean the prospect will always be easy.

The temperatures this time of year, especially in early spring, can be brutal on anglers. Exercising a bit of patience, finding the right spots and paying heed to weather patterns can make a difference.

Remember, the landscape can change from day to day. On cooler days (or nights), they are often found very close to shore, but mid-level areas might hold them when the temperatures start to turn up just a bit.

 

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THE AQUATIC MOOSE

Moose feed on a large variety of foods. They browse on the twigs and leaves of many kinds of plants.. Grasses and marsh plants are also sought.

Aquatic vegetation growing in lakes and streams is particularly relished in summer. During this season of the year, animals are        seen at the edges of water or feeding in it.   Adult moose will stand virtually submerged in deep water, lowering their heads        underwater, grazing for long periods of time on underwater growth.   Where a moose cannot reach these succulent plants, it can actually dive in deep water (up to 20 feet), remaining below for up to  one minute.

 
 

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CANADIAN LYNX – The Ghost of the Wilderness

lynx

These stealthy cats avoid humans and hunt at night, so they are rarely seen.  So if you’ve had the opportunity to see one of these animals while in Canada then consider yourself very fortunate.   The lynx is a solitary cat that haunts, stalks and hunts in our remote northern Ontario forests in and around Wawang Lake Resort.  Although we’ve been at Wawang Lake for over 40 years now we have actually only seen these animals a few times.

Lynx are covered with beautiful thick fur that keeps them warm during long, frigid Canadian winters. Their large paws are also furry and hit the ground with a spreading toe motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes.

The Canada lynx is a good climber and swimmer; it constructs rough shelters under fallen trees or rock ledges. It has a thick coat and broad paws, and is twice as effective as bobcats at supporting its weight on the snow.


Canada Lynx_family

Lynx eat mice, squirrels, and birds, but prefer the snowshoe hare. The lynx are so dependent on this prey that their populations fluctuate with a periodic plunge in snowshoe hare numbers that occurs about every ten years.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Lynx, Lynx Cat, Wildlife

 

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Hot Dog Nation | Quick Dish Recipes

See on Scoop.itWalleye

Tucson Hot Dogs Recipe. Tucson Arizona’s Mexican influence can be found all around this beautiful American Southwest city, so it’s no surprise there’s a touch of Mexico on their hot dogs. Classically known as the Sonoran …

See on quick-dish.tablespoon.com

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in recipes

 

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Meanwhile at Wawang Lake – The Bear Cub

TRUE STORY:

 bear cub

A few years back, a logger driving southbound on the Graham Rd noticed the cutest, tiny bear cub that was sitting at the side of the road, he stopped. The logger got out of the truck and looked all around – no momma.

He carefully picked up the cute, docile cub and gently placed him on the passenger seat of his truck. The logger began driving when only a mile down the road, slammed on …the brakes, slid to a stop and flew out the door.

When the cub realized where he was – he went into a frenzy, clawed and chewed on the logger – snarled and sliced the whole interior of the vehicle. When the cub was done he scampered out of the truck and ran back up the road towards his momma who was now barreling down the road towards the logger….yikes!!

The logger jumped into the truck, shifted into gear and in the rear view mirror noticed that momma bear stopped and sniff her cub as they met up – then momma suddenly stood up, angrily spun around and swiped the air in the loggers direction……… real mad.

The logger was left in shreds as he bled profusely and his brand new truck was sliced, diced and completely in ruins.

The MORAL of the story is?

 

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