Friday, July 29, 2011

Label your luggage and belongings! Fishing is great!

When our camp boat, the Lickety Split takes you to and from camp, you will be traveling with many other guests. Everyone's luggage and belongings will be placed in one large hold, mixed together. How will you be able to differentiate your things from others?
On any given trip we will be carrying three or four night breathing machines, all in black carrying bags.
We will have many identical tackle boxes, duffel bags and plastic totes. Guess how many people have things in plastic shopping bags, bring rubber boots, etc. How about loose fishing rods? Boy do these all look alike.
It isn't unusual for many people to bring the same model of fish finder.
Is it any wonder that time and again people head home with the wrong belongings.
Here's what you need to do: Get a roll of tape and a Magic Marker and mark every one of your things with your name. The more bizarre the color of tape the better.
Mark your things at home but bring the tape and marker to mark things you purchase along the way, such as tackle, bags of snacks, cases of pop, etc.
On a different topic, people are wondering how the fishing is?
Walleyes are biting great, on all the usual baits such as worms and leeches, fished on Little Joe-type spinners and jigs. All colors work at various times.
Northern pike are biting great, on all the usual lures such as spoons and spinners.
For more on what to bring, look back at some of the previous 300+ blogs. There is a ream of material there.
The weather is beautiful; the fish are biting. Get up here and get at it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The lake is everybody's way to cool off

Brian Spillar and son, Keenan, snapped this great photo of a large cow moose wading in the shallows during a hot spell we had last week.
They reported the moose was unperturbed by their presence just as long as they didn't approach too closely.
So far we have only had three hot days with temps in the 90s. The rest of the summer has been 75-80 F with little rain. In fact, the lake level is lower than we've seen it in the last decade.
The forest fires are pretty much history. You can even have shore lunch fires again.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trouble getting connected to write blog

Once again, I'm finding it difficult to connect to the Internet to write this blog. It's taken weeks of attempts just to make this connection today.
We can get e-mails, check the weather forecast, even see websites. But connecting to the blog program is a different matter. Our radio-telephone connection seems to be too slow for that.
I suspect there is something new to the program that makes it especially cumbersome. I've grown weary of the high-tech world. I'm a writer, not a computer expert.
But I'll continue trying.
So, back to the present. The weather, the fishing and everything else has just been beautiful this summer. We've had a total of three hot days, last week, otherwise the temperature has been 70-80 F every day.
There are lots of forest fires in Northwestern Ontario but none anywhere close to camp.
We had a couple of rains last week and that reduced the fire danger somewhat; however, shore lunch fires are still not permitted by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finally, seven more ruffed grouse join the world

It seemed to take them forever but the seven eggs under our faithful mother grouse joined the world today!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This is one dedicated mother grouse

This hen ruffed grouse is sitting on her nest at the base of a large quaking aspen tree, right alongside a trail where we pass with the golf cart. She refuses to be scared away from her seven eggs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Those hokey duck lures might just work!

Look what Ben Godin, our outside worker and fish cleaner, found in the stomach of a northern pike -- a duckling!
It's hard to identify downy ducklings but our best guess is that this is a goldeneye.
It was in the stomach of a 26-inch pike.

Lots of trouble understanding fish limits

We've had a rash of problems with new guests understanding Ontario's fish limit regulations.
Daily limits and possession limits are exactly equal. This means you can have one day's limit in your possession which means in the freezer, in your cabin fridge, in the lodge fridge and in your boat.
If you have the conservation licence that comes free with our fishing packages, then the limit is two walleye and two northern pike. If you buy the full-size licence, the limit is four walleye and four pike.
No matter which licence you get, you are only allowed to have in your possession one walleye over 18 inches. You cannot have any northern pike in the slot-size of 27.5-35.5 inches and you can only have one larger than the slot size.
The problems always arise from people who want to make sure they have "THE LIMIT" to take home. So they quickly sock away their entire allowable catch in the freezer. Then they bring in more fish to eat at camp.
This makes them over-limit on their possession. All the fish they are allowed to have are already in the freezer. They cannot keep any more unless they want to first take some out of the freezer and eat them.
We've also had people who want to replace some of the fish in the freezer with bigger ones. For example, they saved a 22-inch walleye and then later caught a 24-inch walleye. When they do this they are, again, over-limit, now both for numbers of fish and also fish over 18 inches.
Incidentally, if you are a conservationist, you would never keep ANY walleyes over 18 inches. Ditto for big northern pike.
You would only use your legal right to keep that big walleye or pike over 35.5 inches in the instances where you accidentally killed the fish. Big fish are poor eating choices and are the major reproducers. Walleyes under 18 inches and pike under the slot size are the ones you want to keep.
We have had people who knew they were maxed out on their limits bring in fish anyway, saying it was for "the camp limit." There is no such thing! Fish for yourself. Believe it or not, everyone is capable of providing his own fish.
The sensible thing to do if you want to take fish home, is to eat fish at camp early in the week and save fish to take home near the end of the week.
Lots of people choose to eat fish fresh at camp and take no fish home with them. Some just save suitable fish the last day. If they don't take home "THE LIMIT" so what? They just wanted some fish for a fish fry for the family. A couple of 22-26 inch northern pike and a walleye or two will do the trick.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The pike are big and chunky

We have had some great pike caught and released this summer. Here angler Greg Tanko shows the camera one of the hefty pike he caught while fishing at Bow Narrows.
It has been a glorious summer so far. The weather has been wonderfully warm and dry and the fishing has been excellent.
We have had a lot of comments from guests wondering how Sam is doing after the surgery to remove the hook from his stomach. He is absolutely fine! The thing that hurt Sam the most was his being confined to the lodge for the first couple of weeks. Sam really enjoys meeting our guests when the Lickety Split comes into the dock and it demoralized him to have to watch from the window.