Friday, May 28, 2010
by Norm McCreight
It’s hard to talk about fishing without eventually getting to the subject of “the one that got away”. My personal favorite – or should I say worst– is a big walleye I lost on the Segise Flowage in Northwest Ontario. I’ll never forgive the “net man” (you know who you are) for smacking my trophy on the nose!
My girlfriend Rhonda’s is the lake trout she lost at Kasba Lake in the Northwest Territories, she claims she lost the fish because “the sun was in her eyes?” I’m still not sure about that one.
Normie, my oldest boy’s “one that got away” happen just this past summer musky fishing on Pipestone Lake just north of Emo, Ontario.
Pipestone Lake is famous for multi-species fishing: walleye, pike, bass, lake trout and of course the elusive musky. Fishing lore claims the musky is a fish of a thousand casts…but we only had five days, so Normie was counting on doing it in 500. My only advice was “good luck.”
When I got the call from All-Canada that I’d be heading to Pipestone Lodge my first reaction was to hit their web site and begin analyzing lake maps.
As soon as I set my eyes on Clearwater/Pipestone Lake I smiled…it is filled with islands, bays, nooks and crannies. I could see our toughest decision would be which species to fish! That’s why I love drive-in and boat-in lodges – you can bring as much tackle with you as you want.
Normie and I decided to concentrate on musky and smallmouth bass. It was August and in a deep water lake like the Clearwater Chain; walleye and lake trout would be deeper than we wanted to fish.
Pipestone Lodge is a full-service resort – owned and operated by Art and Jennifer Perchaliuk – that can only be accessed by boat and offers both American and Housekeeping plans. The eight cabins and main lodge sit on a manicured lawn connected by a lighted boardwalk. Everything was spotless and the food was great. So good that by mid-afternoon our minds began to wander about whether that night’s meal would beat the previous.
August is an excellent month for bass and musky. Bass are feeding heavy and musky aren’t as deep as northern pike. With all the finger bays and mature weed beds we should be able to catch a few of these tackle busters.
Art greeted Normie and me at Sportsman’s Landing, the jumping off spot on our adventure up to Pipestone Lodge. The boat ride in included a short hand-pulled portage to the upper lake and minutes later we could see the island lodge. Jenny, the other half of the Perchaliuk team, greeted us at the dock and got us settled in. Pipestone is a very friendly atmosphere and a truly home type setting awaits you.
We hit the water with our marked map and the push-of-a-button on my GPS. Our first quest was to catch some bass, it didn’t take us long to learn the bass weren’t as agressive we expected. I had spent most of the summer in northern Manitoba and didn’t realize the summer in Northwest Ontario had been so cold (and rainy). It was almost like we were fishing in late-June or early-July than mid-August.
The first spots we hit were points with a sharp drop off at 12 to 14 feet. The bass were sitting right on the edge. I had on a ¼ .oz jig head tipped with an oil coloured twister tail, while Normie had an oil coloured twister tail on a ¼ .oz Roadrunner. We caught smallmouth bass from 14 to 19 inches. Normie caught more bass than I did, but I caught the biggest. His Roadrunner was flashier then my bait and working it faster got the spinner working for him.
We moved to another spot Art marked on our map, it was a flat point with current. We put on a 3/8 ounce jig head with an oil coloured twister tail and caught some, but not nearly like the first spot. Mixing up our colours didn’t provide any better results. We left that spot only to return an hour or so latter. I said to Normie “you jig and I’m going to throw some cranks”, tying on a 10-foot deep diver. I like this bait because it’s made out of balsa wood and has a tendency to run head down when retrieved.
I started to catch some nice bass and Normie switched over and sure enough he caught the biggest bass of the day. The next day Normie was hot again and his bragging soon become unbearable…to the point where I found myself thinking “one day I’m going to cut that kid loose.” Probably wouldn’t make a difference though, I‘ve taught him way too much about fishing already.
The weather took a turn several days into our trip with overcast skies and rain on and off for the next two days. It didn’t bother us as we had good rain suits and a lot of patience. The fishing did slow down a bit, but really didn’t affect our results; we just had to work a little harder. With two days left – and having given the local bass population a good workout – we decide to pursue the elusive musky
Even though we had begun to master the balance of catching bass in between cold fronts, with only two days left we wanted to catch at least one musky. Besides, I didn’t drag all my Musky tackle 450 kilometers just to bring it back home.
Normie and I sat down and talked to Art about Musky fishing, he said “ Musky fishing has been a challenge all summer with all the cold fronts we’ve experienced, you’ll just need to experiment and mix up your strategy a bit.” Art suggested we talk to a group of musky fishermen in camp so we did. They agree with Art’s assertion that the weather and the Musky’s disposition were working against us…not to mention the clock, and their only advice “cast, cast, cast.”
We followed everyone’s suggestion and threw Suicks, Bulldogs, Smithwicks, Rapalas, Bucktails, large spinners and Storm soft baits. I threw lures that I don’t even know what they were called.
Then, on the last day, the sun FINALLY broke out…now I understand why early man worshiped the sun – Normie and I practically dropped to our knees and worshipped it ourselves before heading out that morning.
With only one day to catch a musky, we needed to cover as much area as possible…it was time to troll. We started by trolling bays beginning in deep water then working shallower, followed by trolling nearby exposed reefs then moving on to small islands. An hour or so before lunch we decided to troll the outside of a corner bay. Feeling hungry I made a wide turn over 50 to 60 feet of water giving me time to grab a sandwich.
As the boat straightened out – and my lure following behind – I felt a big hit and shoved the rest of my sandwich in my mouth. Standing up in the back of the boat, I set the hook (with ham and mustard dropping on my shirt) and all I could think of was “be a big musky not a hammer-handle pike.”
Trying to get Normie’s attention – with a half a sandwich in my mouth – I started pounding my foot on the boat bottom like Stomping Tom (if you know who Stomping Tom Connors is you’re a true Canadian).
Finally…Normie turned around and I motioned for him to get control of the boat so I could fight the fish. It wasn’t a big musky but I could tell at first glance, it WAS a musky. We caught the fish 10 feet down in 62 feet of water, give me a break. We measured her in the water at 37 inches and estimated it to be 15 to 17 pounds.
I’m a firm believer in Catch and Release for musky which means the fish stays in the water and I don’t even take pictures unless it’s a personal best. These actions will insure trophy fishing opportunities for everyone. It felt great just the same…the monkey was now off my back!
We spent the next two hours trolling this suspended pattern and I caught two more musky – not as big as the first – but they both fought hard. Normie on the other hand caught nothing and I found myself doing the bragging…paybacks a bitch isn’t it?
Late that afternoon I had a change of heart and I found myself really wanting Normie to get a musky too. With an hour to go, Normie was trolling a large, black musky bucktail with a florescent orange spinner.
Looking backward I was stunned to see a wake clearly forming directly behind his lure. Standing up to get a better look, I hollered to Normie “look at that fish wake behind your lure!” Suddenly the musky’s gills flared open and the huge fish uncoiled coming right out of the water with the black bucktail locked in its jaw. I’m a very good judge of big fish, especially big northern, and I got a good look at the musky and it had to be 50 inches plus!
Everything went into slow motion as I looked back and saw Normie – now on his feet with his bait-casting rod almost against his face – as he struggled to get a good set. Knowing he was in good shape, I spun back around in time to see the big fish coming straight at the boat, two-thirds out of the water, shaking its head like a mad-man.
Then, just as quickly as it started…it was over. Normie’s fish-of-a-lifetime threw that bucktail, indignantly, directly at us and swam off into the depths of Pipestone Lake.
All I could do was drop my head and utter AUGH! Out of the corner of my eye I could see Normie and he looked like someone had just “sucker punched” him.
We spent a little time analyzing what had just happened, but we both knew we did everything possible. The ride back to camp was pretty quite, and we never said a word about it over dinner. But later than night over a cocktail, Normie began to tell his “one that got away” story. Normie had already caught some trophies, so to my way of thinking…he had finally become a complete angler!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Joel Prunty, media manager – I read a Tweet this week that the famous Wildcat Café in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories is open for the summer. Can there be a bigger sign that summer is here? The Wildcat is an institution and a must see for every adventurer.
Only open in the summer, the Wildcat is Yellowknife’s oldest restaurant. The menu includes a daily fare of caribou burgers, and fresh lake trout and arctic char.
If you love to fish and hunt in Canada set a goal of getting to Yellowknife and the sooner the better. The city is fascinating with its Old Town bars, floating houses, the huge floatplane base and an incredible museum.
Plus, Yellowknife is a jumping off place to some of the best fishing lodges in Canada. Have a great adventure!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
By: Steve Cegielski, Operations Manager
Any trip to Canada produces fish stories that are hard to believe....Like the guy who boated 200 walleyes in one day. Wow, can you believe that or is that an exageration. We all tend to stretch the truth when it comes to fishing. There's no such thing as a 39.5" Pike in my books....that's getting dangerously close to a 41" pike in my books. Just kidding, but you know what I mean. I do make a point to accurately measure my large fish for personal reasons...I need to know my personal best.
Last summer my youngest son Max (6 years old) created his own fish story that will last a lifetime and I doubt if it can be repeated.
I spent the after dinner hours out trolling for Pike with Max one night during our family trip to a Northwest Ontario Fly-In outpost- Pipestone Oupposts. We spent nearly 2 hours just chatting about fishing and Canada. We were almost back to the outpost dock when I mentioned to Max to start reeling up his spoon when he said "Dad, I have a fish." Great, last second fish. As he was reeling in I questioned his fish, and he was adament that he had a fish, so he kept reeling. I now could see his spoon and no fish attached. I grabbed his line and also could feel the tug of the fish. That's an odd feeling....I could see his lure and feel a fish. Well he didn't have a fish on his lure, but had hooked someone else's line with a lure attach with a pike on that lure. I hand over hand reeled in the loose line to land his Pike. Wow, that's a first, pike for a snack and a nice spoon to fill the tackle box.
Fish stories are awesome....always eager to hear more. Hope your trips to Canada create life long stories that will be told for generations.
Monday, May 24, 2010
by Rodney Schlafer – Show Director – All-Canada Show. I love catching big pike, and if you are an avid pike or musky fisherman you too probably have lots of lures. I personally have over 100 Pike/Musky lures in my tackle box. It seems I buy a few new lures every time I go to Canada in hopes it will be the hot lure that I will throw for the entire week.
I always have a hard time deciding what lures will go on a trip and what will stay at home. Obviously if I am going on a drive-in fishing trip where weight limitations are not an issue I tend to bring more lures than if I am going on a fly-in. I always have intentions of using every lure I bring…however I seem to always go back to my favorite baits as I know they all produce.
These lures are my top 3 and tend to be what I will throw the most of all my lures. And they seem to work in all types of water.
My TOP three lures of choice
1. The red and white Daredevil
2. Mepps Musky killer orange blade with black marabou
3. Suick I have every color but tend to rely on black or red and white
If you I could only bring three lures on a Canadian fishing trip these are my lures I would bring. Although I would bring a few back-ups just in case…if you care to share your top three Pike lures email me email@example.com and I will blog about them.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Joel Prunty, media manager – Each year the All-Canada Show publishes All-Canada Adventures. This full color, 92 page magazine is packed with information and spotlights our fishing and hunting adventures for the year and provides readers ideas on all the possibilities available.
Inside you will also find valuable information on how to research, select and plan your adventure. Currently we are planning our adventures for 2011 and they are beginning to take shape. Right now we have a hunt planned with Cabela’s TV, a guys fishing adventure to northern Canada and family adventure to northwest Ontario.
If you would like a copy of the 2010 edition of All-Canada Adventures email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By: Steve Cegielski, Operations Manager
Good Luck to all the bear hunters headed to Canada in the next few weeks. Spring is a special time in the bush, everything is coming alive. Spring bear hunting gives the hunter another excuse to feed the addiction - pursuing big game.
With the early spring and ice off being a few weeks early the bear baits should be well established. Most outfitters will have multiple baits for each group of hunters. Don’t get impatient and jump baits daily….wait out that big bruin.
Even with the early warm spring weather temperatures can fluctuate greatly this time of year in Canada. On one spring bear hunt in early June I arrived wishing I had shorts and t-shirts, but by weeks end insulated layering was required.
Remember to size the bear before harvesting….all bears will look big at first glance, but remember to use known objects as a way to size up your bear…..log lengths, barrel heights, and ear to head ratio. Of course we are all looking for that trophy of a lifetime, but before you even arrive at camp decide what kind of bear your looking for and stick to your plan. If your happy to come home with no less than a color phase bear than that’s the plan. But remember don’t pass a bear on the first day that you’d shoot on the last day.
As I mention how all things come alive in the spring….I also meant eagle sized mosquitos. But, if you’re prepared with the proper face masks and clothing you’ll enjoy the sweet hum of the mosquitoes, knowing that they can’t break your first line of defense.
Definitely make your hunt a combination adventure and don’t forget or overlook the fabulous fishing in the spring. You’ll most likely be one of the first guests of the year, and the walleye should be hungry after spawning.
Monday, May 17, 2010
All-Canada Show is on Twitter
All of the staff for the All-Canada Show is up and running on Twitter. We are also posting on the All-Canada Show. http://twitter.com/allcanadashow
Rod Schlafer, Show Director
http://twitter.com/canadafish(Joel Prunty, Media Manager)
http://twitter.com/canadahunter (Steve Cegielski, Operations Manager)
http://twitter.com/canadasbestfish (Jennifer Young, owner)
Check it out and Follow Us!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Joel Prunty, media manager - When you drive across the Canadian border this summer on your fishing adventure you will not see a dumpster full of potatoes. It was always unclear as to the risk potatoes posed, but we have been notified by NOTO (Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters’ Association) that this summer American guests will NOT have to leave their potatoes at the border, nor register them when they come to fish in Canada.
Here are the conditions by which potatoes may cross the Canadian border:
* Guests are limited to 10 lbs or less per person
* Potatoes must be commercially packaged (in the original package from the store) and the potatoes should be US grade No. 1.
We have confirmed this through discussions with the Fort Frances border crossing (Canadian Border Services Agency CBSA) as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Enjoy that shorelunch with the potatoes of your choice!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By: Steve Cegielski, Operations Manager
Shows are finally done for another year. I know your thinking, haven’t All-Canada Shows been done for months? Yes, but that doesn’t mean my show schedule ended. A sister company to All-Canada Show was created a few years ago….Wolf River Expo. Wolf River Expo provides booths, tables, and chairs to other events after our busy All-Canada Show circuit is complete. I’ve been in show mode from January 1st until the middle of May. I now look at the show season as being 21 shows long. Yes, I’m glad to be done. The equipment can now assume its summer resting position in the warehouse, and I can get on with other summer tasks around the office, and warehouse.
Wolf River Expo provides high quality equipment, prompt service and competitive pricing. Check out our website if we can help organize any event in the future http://www.wolfriverexpo.com/.
Events completed just in time to plan my Canadian excursion for this summer. Hope to see you heading north this summer.
Monday, May 10, 2010
By Rodney Schlafer All-Canada Show - Show Director Last week I took a road trip across Northwestern Ontario. I was able to visit over 60 camps and attended parties for the Kenora District Camp Association (KDCA) in Vermilion Bay and the annual Sportsmen Dinner put on by the Red Lake Publicity Board. Both events were well attended and a good time was had by all. The highlight of the trip was fishing with Bill Pryndik, and I was able to land a 38” pike in the pouring rain.
Here are a few pictures from my trip
Evie Hartle – Big Hook Wilderness Camps, Karla Clark - Clarks Camps, and Marilyn, Bilsbarrow at KDCA meeting Vermilion Bay, Ontario.
John Fahlgren-Sydney Lake Lodge, and Norm McCreight enjoy some laughs
Norm and I cooking steaks mmm they were good!
Kathy and Doug from Nungesser Lake Lodge, Peter from Chimo and Diane from Canadian Fly-In Fishing enjoying the Sportsmen Dinner in Red Lake, Ontario.
Wayne working on the new lodge at Cedar Point Lodge.
The rebuild of Cedar Point Lodge, it is looking good!
Gord Bastable in his new living room at Vermilion Bay Lodge.
Jim at Eagle Lake Sportsman ready for some 4X4 fishing excursions.
38” pike caught at Golden Hook Camp – Gullrock Lake, Ontario.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Joel Prunty, media manager – Just when operators in Northwest Ontario were worried about dangerous fire conditions across the region a week of rain has diminished the risk. Up until now the spring had been very dry and the province had been fighting scattered fires in April.
Overall water levels in Northwest Ontario have been low as well and the precipitation should set the stage for a terrific walleye opener May 15th. Bill Pryndik at Golden Hook Camp near Red Lake has had pike fisherman in camp already and indicated things are really picking up with fish in the 40 inch range being caught.
The All-Canada Show’s Rod Schlafer stayed with them last Saturday and he and Bill found some time to do some casting. Several pike in the 36 to 38 inch range were caught – the first fish of the year for the All-Canada team!
Can’t wait to get started myself!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
We all need to involve kids in our outdoor passions. It's a proven fact that kids not introduced to the outdoor world of hunting and fishing will never develop a love for the sport.
I had a great chance this spring to take my boys Ben and Max turkey hunting like we do every spring. I just like to enjoy the spring mornings with the boys in the woods, and sometimes we get lucky and harvest a turkey.
I followed up that great day in the turkey woods with my boys with a following weekend turkey adventure with the Pelisek boys, Alex and Andrew. Alex held the gun this time, and Andrew got to see his big brother's turkey hunt all unfold from the camo tent. Awesome.... I know I personally have inflicted the hunting disease on all four boys for a lifetime of adventures.
Get your kids involved in your fishing and hunting Canadian trips. How about a grandkid tagging along on a Canadian bear hunt, or showing your kids the thill of enjoying a day fishing on a Canadian Lake....walleyes until their arms are tired.
Check out AllCanada.com to book that special trip that they'll never forget.
By: Jennifer Young, All-Canada Show owner
Taking a photo cannot compare to being there. Many times when I have been in Canada on a gorgeous night, with the sun setting into the water, I grab my camera to campture the moment. It seems like the lense isn't big enough to put all of the color and emotion into the final photo.
I love this picture. I believe it was taken off of the dock at Golden Hook Camp on Gullrock Lake in Ontario. Jeff and I brought the kids up there with some friends, and we had a great time all week.
Another favorite sunset was from my trip to the Arctic, Plummer's Lodge. We were at Trophy Lodge on Great Bear Lake. Looking at the image, I can hear the water lapping against the shore. In the arctic, the sunrise was only an hour after sunset, so you have lots of chances to see the beauty.
This picture was taken by John Cleveland from Eppinger. Thanks for sharing.