As we head into the second half of the summer, one huge change has caught Northwestern Ontario by storm, literally.
Huge storms tore through the region in late July, causing local flooding in many areas and massive property damage in the Nestor Falls area. The big change of all this? A drop in lake water temperatures of close to 10 degree’s F. Prior to the storms most areas were reporting 80 F and as we enter August most lakes are 68-72 F.
Before the storm
Prior to the storms cooling down the lakes, and raising water levels slightly, summer patterns were starting to settle in. Fish were using a mix of weeds and rock structure. On any given day we could find fish in both areas and with high water temps the fish were active.
Fishing the Cedar/Perrault Lake system just ahead of the storm systems for a few days, we capitalized on a great bite. Hitting the water at midday, to catch the late day majors, paid off. Landing a fish on the first spot in weeds set up a pattern we replicated all throughout the day. Seeing multiple fish in the weeds, we boated two from sloopy weeds. While we did fish rock structure, the fish were not as active on the rocks.
Seeing a boat on a spot I intended to fish, I had to rely on secondary spots. Fishing a current break between the two lakes, a historical ‘good’ spot, we put a PB in the boat for my client Mike.
Coming off a prominent rock spine, she hit way out from the boat and gave him a good fight right to the net. Bumping out to 49.5”, she was a big, heavy fish, the kind everyone comes to Canada for.
I finished off my weekend before the storm, again on Cedar Lake. Landing two fish, one from rocks on a twitch bait and one from weeds, on a bucktail. The trend of fish using classic summer spots was evident. Little did we know one day later the trend would change, big time.
After the storm
I did not get back on the water for a few days after the storm. One thing was very obvious, water levels were up, water temps were down and run off had stirred the lakes up. Fishing our normal spots was proving to be difficult, water was dirty, visibility was poor, but the fish just were not there.
Looking for areas with the best weeds, similar to post frontal conditions, did help us locate fish. Such was the amount of fish in the weeds, the only option to cover all the weeds was to short line troll over the top of them. A technique we rarely use, and one we are not great at. Trolling a small bucktail and a spinnerbait, we landed one and lost a few while covering over a mile of weed line. We were happy to score using a new technique. We finished off the day with yet again, another beautiful tiger musky.
Starting the last week of July, a week after the big storms, water temps remained stable at 70 F. Fishing in the afternoon, again timing around the moon majors seemed to be the best option. A day that proved a tough bite, with fish rolling away after lazy follows, we explored wind swept rocky shoreline. Although tough to see following in one foot waves, the fish were much more active in the wind swept areas. I was able to put two fish, including another tiger, in the net on three casts. My guest had plenty of chances to finish the day but the waves made it hard to see following fish.
Lake of the Woods Lodge New Website!!!
LOTW with Gregg Thomas
I spent a day fishing with Gregg on LOTW to close out July. The fish had different ideas for our day on the water. After several hours without a follow, Gregg put us on the main lake, windswept rock structure and it started to pay off.
Nathan raised the first fish of the day off submerged rocks and the next couple casts had a low 40’s class fish rolling in hot. Nathan hooked him in the second turn of the 8 and despite only hooked with one point in the lower jaw I slid the net under her.
We finished the day off with myself raising a similar sized fish off a very similar rock structure. With everyone reporting a tough bite across LOTW we were pretty happy to land the one.
I enjoyed spending the day fishing and chatting with Gregg and Nathan, and look forward to our next time out together.
Watch the video of this trip here,
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