Saturday, July 28, 2012

Family has a firm grasp on northern pike fishing

The Konechne family tried their hand at northern pike fishing last week and did very well.
In the top photo father Marvin lifts a chunky pike from the net while son Andy looks on.
Andy and brother Chris took a sidetrip to a nearby lake in a canoe and got a big one back there as well (bottom photo). Brothers Lucas and Brad also were in on the action, especially the walleye fishing.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Don't read this if you are hungry!

Here was the dessert prepared by our cook, Jenn Bucci, tonight.
It is blueberry cream cheese tart.
The rest of the meal included roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed carrots and garden salad.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Great summer weather also brings forest fires

We're having a wonderful summer with lots of sunny weather. But along with the great fishing and the suntans, a warm, dry summer also brings forest fires.
None of the fires is close to us. The nearest was the one shown in the bottom photo taken by Bow Narrows anglers Brad and Jill Shields a couple of weeks ago that started in Woodland Caribou Wilderness Park, probably about 10 miles from camp. It is history now following a drenching rain one night last week. However, other fires sprang up along the Manitoba-Ontario border, way northwest of Red Lake.
These are not a threat to us but can produce some smoky days and spectacular sunsets like this one I took last week.
Forest fire is a routine fact of life here in the Boreal Forest. We have lots of dry weather and with it, lots of thunderstorms. With umpteen million acres of dry forest to ignite, it's no surprise that some of the lightning strikes start forest fires. If man didn't suppress these fires, virtually every square inch of land would burn at least once every 200 years.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has an excellent system of detecting the fires and puts most of them out before they grow to immense size and become uncontrollable.
Still, there are times when so many fires start at once that some do get away.
In wilderness parks like Woodland Caribou, the protocol is to let lightning-caused fires burn since it is a natural process and one that some Boreal Forest tree species count on to regenerate.
Wildlife too has adapted to forest fire. The blazes renews the forest and turns it back to an early succession stage.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Taking time to 'smell the roses'

When Sam and I get away from camp for an hour or so in the evening we aren't always beating the water to a froth fishing.
We frequently pay attention to little features along the shoreline such as this patch of bluebell flowers growing on a rocky island.
I've also discovered something else this summer. The wind stirs up the lake water bringing the cold water down below to the surface. The air in these places feels like it is air-conditioned. In one instance I had to motor to a different location because it was just too chilly for bare arms.
My experience is that fish don't appreciate the chilly temp. They hit best where the water is warmer.
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nice day for a kayak paddle

Cousins Matt, top, and Casey Marvin took to the camp kayaks on a hot day this week.
You could say they took to it like a duck to water.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

This insect repellent works for ankle biter flies

Repel Sportsman Max insect repellent will keep those pesky ankle biter flies off your bare feet and legs for nearly eight hours!
It has 40 per cent DEET which is a key but so is the fact that it is a cream, not a spray.
The cream does not evaporate as quickly and that's critical when you are fishing in a boat on a hot, sunny day.
Ankle biters, aka stable flies, are the worst pest for us here at Bow Narrows Camp. They hang out in the boats and love to "nibble" on your bare legs and feet, making wearing shorts and sandals a misery.
Thanks for this discovery goes to George Muckenfuss and Alice Baughman (my niece) from Ridgeville, SC.
We knew that insect sprays had to be at least 30 per cent DEET to have an effect on the ankle biters but it also had to be applied hourly to be effective. This Repel cream lasts just about the whole day!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The parade of big fish goes on and on

Owen Eads caught and released this beautiful 41.5-inch northern pike at Bow Narrows Camp on Wednesday.
Young Casey Marvin wonders when it will be his turn but the truth is he has also boated some good-sized fish on his first trip to Bow Narrows.
Grandpa Duane Marvin snapped this photo.
It's amazing how great the fishing for big fish can be when everyone lets the big ones go.
Eat the smaller ones -- they're the best for the skillet. Let these big jobs give someone else a thrill and do the spawning required to keep our lake one of the best in the world.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The weather has been absolutely wonderful

For more than three weeks now the weather has been utterly fantastic. Kinsey Baughman's great sunset scene captures it all. You can almost feel the cool evening air, hear the loons calling and smell the pines in her photo.
Most of the daytime highs have been 75-80 or so (22-26 C) with night temperatures in the low 60s F (about 14 C).
We get a thunderstorm in the evening every few days.
Today was one of the hottest with the temp reaching 30 C or 90 F.
Are the fish biting? YES!
Check out the chunky 40-inch pike angler Dennis Elfering caught and released yesterday. There have been a lot of fish approaching that size caught and released this week.
You can still catch walleyes on small silver spoons or spinners while fishing for pike. Frankly, I expect that situation to stay the same until the weather cools off in late August. Our fish love warm water. They only go deep when the deeper water warms up. Meanwhile, they are also in the shallows.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lots of fish caught during our Family Week

My family departed camp today after our annual Family Week when we are closed to all but family members.
We had a great time and caught lots of fish, especially northern pike which is what we all prefer. My great-niece Kinsey boated this 38.5-inch northern pike, scooped into the landing net by her father, Mac, on Friday.
It was released unharmed as were the many dozens of other big fish we caught.
Nobody in our group took fish home but we ate fish every day for supper, choosing 21-24-inch pike or 14-16-inch walleye.
We caught a lot of walleye while casting for pike. These were in three-to-six feet of water and gobbled our pike lures fished on steel leaders.
I think I got the largest pike this year, a first for me. It was 40 inches. It turned out to be quite an experience as I was fishing alone and trying out a new lure with two sets of treble hooks, something I don't normally do. The fish had taken the lure deep into its gills and I had just successfully extracted the deepest treble when the fish flopped out of my grip and buried the top treble into my thigh.
Fortunately the fish came off the lure at the same time. I quickly released the pike and then pulled out the hook through my pants. I've done this procedure dozens of times on other people but never through clothing. It worked fine and I proceeded to fish and got several more large fish, including a 24-inch walleye before I got another treble in my thumb! That was enough for me. I have now replaced the trebles on these lures with single siwash hooks. The lures still work great but the hazard in handling is way less.
Brenda even got out fishing this year, something that seldom happens. Her first fish was over 31 inches and her next was a feisty 22-inch walleye.
Our favorite pike lures are 2/5-oz Little Cleos, Mepps Wolf, Len Thompson, Krocodile and other spoons of this weight and size, #4 and #5 Mepps and Blue Fox spinners, Beetle Spins, 1/4 and 3/8-oz jigs with plastic twister tails, Zara Spook and Live Target Walking Frog top water lures.
We caught dozens of walleyes without live bait. Most of these were 14-16 inches but we also got many 22-24 inches. Boy, do those larger walleye fight! Every time we hooked into one we mistook it for a really big pike until we could get a look at it.
The 12 of us caught well over 1,000 northern pike during the week and many dozens of walleyes. I'm proud to say the only fish we killed were the 7-10 "eaters" we kept each day for supper.
All the big fish were released unharmed.
Nice job, guys and gals!
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Monday, July 2, 2012

This duo didn't let the weather "rain" on their trip

The weather the last two weeks has been spectacular, with lots of sunny skies and warm but not hot temperatures. The same couldn't be said three weeks ago when Lisa and Scott Harton were in camp. It rained every day and was decidedly cool.
No matter, Lisa and Scott fished just about every daylight hour while they were here anyway and caught a bunch including these lunker lake trout which they caught and released.
If I remember right, Lisa is holding a 37-inch trout and Scott has a 33 or 34 inch fish. Both are beautiful and were promptly let go. Big trout are the norm here and it is the catching of little lakers that really makes the news because it shows the fish are reproducing again. That's why we were even more excited to hear about an 18-inch trout that Scott caught while walleye fishing.
That fish would only be a few years old.
Getting back to rainy weather, if we never had any than we wouldn't have spectacular rainbows either. Isn't the one framing Lisa awesome?
Nice photos, Scott and Lisa; thanks so much for sharing them.
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