This large pike put up an excellent struggle and brightened what had been in any other case a gradual morning.
All pictures by Sandy Hays
After two days of incredible smallmouth fishing at Hawk Lake Lodge, we determined to move for a smaller lake identified for its nice pike inhabitants. Sandy and I as soon as once more teamed up with information Jeff Blum for a really brief boat trip, adopted by a hike to Shannon Lake. We weren’t accosted by a single grouse on the trail, which I thought-about a great signal.
In a single day, a chilly entrance had moved in, bringing cloud cowl and wind. Any angler is aware of that such a change in atmospheric stress can put the fishing off the boil, and certain sufficient, we began out slowly. A pair “hammer handles,” or small pike, smashed a streamer, however there have been lengthy intervals of inactivity. Shannon is among the smaller lakes that HLL fishes, however it’s obtained loads of nice cowl from which a pike can ambush bait or perch.
The girth and shoulders on this Esox had been spectacular, an indication of a wholesome forage base within the lake.
As we made our approach alongside a rock wall that didn’t look so nice, nevertheless, I briefly took my eye off my fly on the finish of a presentation. I head Jeff say, “Hey!” and after I returned my consideration to the flashy baitfish sample, it was within the jaws of an enormous pike. The fish was extremely broad-shouldered and pulled arduous, trying to return to deeper water. Jeff did a bang-up job netting the beast, and there have been fist bumps throughout.
The fish was merely attractive, with lovely markings, a fats stomach, and broad snout. It taped out at 34 inches, however its girth was much more spectacular than the size. After we snapped a number of pictures, we despatched her again to the depths.
Information Jeff Blume reveals off one in every of many mouse-caught smallmouths.
Since Shannon Lake didn’t look like a hotspot that day, we determined to return to Cliff Lake to proceed the mousing experiment we’d begun the day earlier than. It turned out to be an excellent concept. Sandy and I threw numerous mouse patterns for about three hours and caught maybe a dozen fats smallmouths–and we missed about the identical quantity. Some fish would assault the mouse sample ferociously, however the greater bronzebacks would merely inhale the deer-hair flies.
It was a beautiful strategy to finish our keep at Hawk Lake Lodge. Our three days had taken us to simply 5 of the 19 out there lakes, in order I sit in Winnipeg Airport able to return dwelling, I’ve loads of incentive to return.