On this page, I will attempt to keep an updated daily/weekly account of summer fishing activities with special emphasis on species of fish being caught, depths (if applicable), water temperatures, color & type of lures and any other pertinent information that could be of assistance and a benefit to our fishing guests.
The winter report on local snowmobile trail conditions for snowmobilers can be found on the snowmobile page. Winter ice fishing reports can be found on the Ice Fishing page. Information will be limited to what's biting best this week. Ice depths will be posted as received from local anglers.
We encourage catch and release of the larger fish of all species to retain limit catches for future generations. Don't forget the camera!
All of this information should only be viewed as a guideline and should never be misinterpreted as cold hard facts in any sense of legal obligations. Absolutely no liability will be associated with this and all users assume all responsibility and consequences resulting from their own actions taken from this information.
A NOTICE TO ALL SPRING FISHERMEN:
The MNR has cancelled our spring fishing opportunities for most species, effective March 15 through the 3rd Saturday in May (i.e. the two-four weekend). This new law will do absolutely nothing to protect the spawning size females of all species; it only stops people from fishing for them for a couple months but come spring, it's open seasons on them again. As a lodge owner, this takes a big bite out of the income that is derived from late winter and early spring fishing. As a sport fisherman, it stops your enjoyment of the sport when the black flies and mosquitoes haven't began yet. Your annual fishing license should be just that ... a license to allow you to fish ALL YEAR.
There are also major changes to the fishing zones across the province. Seasons have also changed. Slot sizes on some species have also changed. READ AND UNDERSTAND these regulations before going fishing!
Full details can be obtained in the annual fishing regulation booklet available from authorized license outlets (but not from the MNR offices; it's not their job offering this info any longer) or at the following site: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/027028ex.htm . I URGE EVERYONE TO VOICE THEIR OBJECTIONS TO THIS REGULATION.
Possible alternatives could include:
reduction in our daily limit (3 to 2 fish, for lake trout),
slot size changes (release the spawners, all species),
reduce the number of lines for winter fishing from 2 to 1,
total ban on gorge style hooks (to allow for live release of some fish)
Contact (in writing) your MPP (if you are an Ontario resident) as well as the current Minister of Natural Resources. Encourage your families, co-workers and friends to submit a letter. You do not have to be a resident of Ontario to object to this regulation. The future of fishing is in everyone's hands!
UPDATE: Further information will be posted here as I receive it.
Occasionally, fishermen will catch a fish (usually a walleye in Temagami area lakes) that has a stainless steel jaw tag in its bottom lip. The first question that is usually asked is "Am I allowed to keep it?" That depends on the size of the fish; if it is in the slot size, then the answer is unquestionably "NO". However, if it is not a slotted fish, then you can legally keep it. Before you toss it into the live well or onto your stringer, please think of the reasons that this fish has been tagged in the first place. Whether it is a male or female walleye, it was caught in a trap net in a creek or river that is known to be used as a spawning area in the spring of the year. These nets are the property of the MNR and have been placed there by volunteers from the local Temagami and Area Fish Involvement Program (TAFIP) which collects the spawn and raises young walleye to be placed back in a number of different area lakes and to assist Nature in keeping a healthy population of fish for anglers to harvest in future years. This particular fish was stripped of some of its roe or sperm and then both the weights and measurements were recorded before being tagged and then released back into the lake. MNR supplied TAFIP with the tags. The jaw tag has a 6- or 7-digit number on it that identifies this fish and the year that it was tagged. If you do decide to keep it, please return the tag to TAFIP in Temagami so they can update their data on it. It is also requested that you report the length and weight of the fish as well as the date and name of the lake on which it was caught. If you'd like to keep the tag as a souvenir, that's also allowed but please forward on the info described above as well as the tag number.
The other option would be to weigh and measure the fish, record the tag number for TAFIP (705-569-3240) and then release it back into the lake. This will tell TAFIP how much that fish has grown since it was tagged. If it is caught again at a later date (possibly years from now) and the info is recorded again, it would greatly add to the knowledge base on the health and sustainability of the species in that particular lake. At the present time, only walleye in Lake Temagami and the Cassels-Rabbit lake system have been tagged.
The odds of catching a tagged fish are about the same as winning a lottery. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of fish that use a spawning area every year. A small percentage of these are caught in the trap nets. Of these fish, even a smaller percentage are ever tagged. As a volunteer with TAFIP, I helped tag about 30 or 40 fish in both lakes in 2009. To give us a good cross-section of all the fish in the lakes, both males and females were tagged and the weights ranged from less than a pound (a male) to one female that tipped the scales at just under 7 pounds. Needless to say, we had much bigger fish in the 10 to 12 pound range that we chose not to tag. The reason that these large fish were not tagged is because we are more interested in how fast they grow and younger ones will grow a lot faster than these older fish.
So ... enjoy your fishing opportunities and perhaps you just might catch a tagged fish. Recording the info and then returning it to the lake (after all the pictures are taken) will assist in proper management plans for a sustainable fishery not just for you to enjoy but for your children and grandchildren to enjoy for years to come. As for the walleye pictured above, it was a 17 inch, 2-pound male that was tagged and released back into Lake Temagami in 2009.
Who owns these keys?
Somebody left these two sets of keys in the grey Silvercraft boat last fall. I found them when they fell out from under the seat as I flipped the boat over for use this spring. I do not know how long they were there on the floor last summer but I don't recall seeing them at any time nor were they reported to me by other customers. Both fobs were connected but I separated them before taking this photo. All five of the keys are identical with Stanley stamped on one side and the number 810 stamped on the other side and each will open the same lock. The two key fobs are also unique. One has an ellipse with Canada stamped on both the front & back and inside is another free spinning ellipse (in chrome or shiny metal) with nothing stamped on it. The other fob appears as a lock (but isn't) with a metal roped cable that spring-releases to remove the keys. There aren't any stampings on this fob. If these are your keys, phone or email me and I will quickly send them back to you.
2021 SUMMER FISHING REPORT.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Fishing was slow when the lodge could finally open on June 11 but it really picked up last weekend. Bass were the most common species being caught with some walleye and the odd pike. By Sunday, walleye were close to bass in total catches. Pike were still slow and the big surprise was a herring of about a pound. Those fishermen are all gone now and I haven't had a chance to wet a line yet so it's anybody's guess on how they are biting since yesterday's rain of 0.6 inches and a drastic drop in temperatures going into single digits at night. I doubt if that helped the fishing at all.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Water levels have been up to normal for a couple weeks now and the walleye, unusually early, have finished their annual spring spawn, as have the suckers. Male bass are now guarding their nest sites and waiting for the females to arrive and lay some eggs. Although the MNR opened bass season last year and again this spring in mid May, I do not agree with this concept of taking the males and leaving the eggs and/or young minnows to be food for predator fish such as perch or rock bass. The MNR's reason for opening the bass season this early is that they think there is a problen with the walleye regeneration in area lakes. My take on this statement is that somebody should remind their rocket scientists in Peterborough that if there is a problem with regeration, it isn't the bass that are setting the gill nets. Therefore, I have very bluntly told all of my customers to leave them alone until July when they have abandonned the nest sites or else they can find a new place to fish next year. All of my customers understand this and there's never been any further discussions on this topic. This lake has excellent bass fishing all summer long and I intend on keeping it this way for future generations of new fishermen. Overall, fishing has been slower than normal for pike, walleye and lake trout this season for the few people (mostly locals, due to the covid travel restrictions) that I have talked to but all species have been on the hook.
April 25, 2021. It's been an unusually early spring this year with the snow melting quickly. The lake was free of ice a couple weeks ago but the water level has been very low and rising slowly. We are still between 3 and 4 feet below normal summer operating levels. Hopefully it will be up when the walleye spawn in the next few weeks. Below freezing temperatures are common at night but the days are usually warm enough for just a light jacket.
2020 SUMMER FISHING REPORT.
November, 2020. All the boats and motors are now out of the water and stored for the winter. Overall, it was a good summer on the water but there were a few irregularities. I totally disagree with the changes to the bass season where it opened in May, right before they spawned. I asked all my customers to NOT keep any bass before the end of June and they were in total agreement on that. Come summer, we caught as many bass as, if not more than, we caught any other summer. Northern pike were noticably few in numbers all summer long with none being caught in several weekly stretches. Most of the caught pike were released due to their small weight and length. It was on into September before any significant amount were caught and kept. We never caught a single male pike all year. Males are easy to differentiate from females because of their rough and slimy skin (as compared to females which are smooth and slimy). For years, I've had customers release any males being caught since it is such a rare occasion to catch one that we feel they need to be there for the spring spawn. Again, they listen and agree with me. Walleye numbers were up all summer and late August & most of September produced good catches in both days and evenings. Thanks to everybody for keeping me busy on the cleaning table with your catches and I look forward to a repeat of the many selfies, laughs, stories and jokes that we shared again next summer. This will probably be the last posting for 2020.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020. There's been a few changes in the fishing over the past couple weeks. The numbers of bass have decreaased significantly and walleye numbers have skyrocketed. Was this due to the water temperatures dropping around 5 degrees Celsius in the same period of time? Some anglers are still targeting the bass and doing quite well but others are bringing in a lot more 15 to 17 inch walleye. Pike, as it's been all summer, are still surprisingly rare this year. Fires have not been a concern lately because of all the rain that we have received on a regular basis. The few blueberries that were out there have now all disappeared and bears are still looking for food sources in camps and town garbage pails. Fall mushrooms are now found in plentiful supply in some areas and common in others.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Fishing guests have slowed down this past week but their fishing certainly hasn't. Again, bass are the predominant species being caught and walleye is a close second. Still, pike are a lot slower than normal this summer for reasons unknown. Bugs are gone for another year, including the pesky deer flies. You might see a few mosquitoes around 9:00 or later for a few minutes but even they are scarce now. Lots of rain this past week has kept fire dangers to a minimum. Blueberries are on but scare everywhere.
Thursday, July 23, 2020. Fishing has been good lately although it's been different than many of the past summers. As usual, there seems to be no end to lots of eating-size bass up to 2 or 2 1/2 pounds and all guests are asked to release bigger ones to maintain a plentiful supply for future generations of fishermen. There's decent catches of walleye coming in also but, like bass, we release all fish over the slot size for the same reasons mentioned above. The big surprise is the lack of pike this summer. This lake is well known for lots of northern pike but I've only seen single catches every couple weeks, which is very strange, to say the least. Black flies are gone, deer flies are still plentiful, sufficient rains have kept the fire hazzards down and blueberries should be starting soon. Oh, and wild edible mushrooms are starting 2 or 3 weeks ahead of normal. It's a good summer.
Saturday, July 4, 2020. As expected, bass has been the main fish being caught this past week partly because the extreme heat has really warmed the water and they are more active in these higher temperatures. Also, they have finished spawning and guarding their nest/eggs for the past month and they are hungry again. Walleye were a distant second and pike were hard to come by. The lone 2-pound lake trout was caught on a yellow spoon at the shoreline in 6 feet of water. When I cleaned it, the belly was full of inch-long walleye. There have been a few forest fires reported in the area after a thunderstorm with all the lights and noises passed through here a week ago. We did get 3/4 inch of rain with it but it has long since evaporated and the bush is very dry again. Why we haven't had a complete fire ban issued is anybody's guess. Exercise extreme caution with any shore lunch fires and wet the ground down both BEFORE and AFTER you have the camp fire. Black flies are all but gone now and mosquitoes are slowing down also.
Saturday, June 27, 2020. Fishing has been extremely good for the past couple weeks with gurests returning home with full counts of walleye, pike and bass. They reported a wide variety of colors and lures so it seems you can throw anything from the tacklebox at the fish for positive results. The bass eggs have all hatched and there are few signs of any of the little guys hanging around the docks now. Sufficient rains have helped keep the fire hazzard reasonably low. Black flies are almost gone with a few still showing up just before dark and this could possibly be due to the unusuall high amount of dragonflies that constantly devour them but the mosquitoes haven't let off a bit.
Saturday, June 13, 2020. Well, we got through the Covid lock-down and things are slowly getting back to normal.... with restrictions such as social distancing and no meal plans but we can have campfires and lots of fishing. We are open and on the surface, it's business as usual. Fishing for all species has been good this past week, even among the clouds of black flies and mosquitoes. We have had sufficient rains and there isn't a restricted fire zone in the area but caution is urged with all campfires, as usual.
Monday, May 4, 2020. It' still cold and we're getting lots of frosts at night but the bay in front of the lodge was ice-free late yesterday afternoon. Water levels are rising quickly and with another couple feet of water, we will be at normal summer operating levels. There is still snow in the bush and on some back roads but that is shrinking on a daily basis. Fishing season opens in 2 weeknds, May 16, and I know the water levels will be up to normal long before then. The MNR has cancelled all burning, fire pits and campfires indefinitely due to the Corona virus pandemic. However, gas-fired camping stoves are allowed with extreme caution. Bear season opened on May 1 and both bear & bear tracks have been seen on a regular basis so if you're fishing from shore, you might want to watch your back (and creel) for unwelcomed guests.
2019 SUMMER FISHING REPORT.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Open water fishing is officially over for another year. Two days ago, the bay in front of the lodge was wide open and today it is froze completely over. Right up to the end, shoreline fishing was good for the few brave souls that withstood the cold weather and iced-up lines. Several trout were caught and released as season closed about 6 weeks ago. A couple small pike and some legal size walleye were also brought in. Stocked speckle and lake trout lakes produced the best fishing results with some in the 4 pound range for both species. The boats are now all out of the water and turned over for another year. This winter will be the first winter that we will not be offering the usual ice fishing packages with hut rentals. It will be bring your own pop-up tents and augers but we we will still provide our all-you-can-eat meal plans and accommodations with all reseervations. This will probably be the last posting on this page for this year. See you back here in May for another year of great open water fishing updates.
Saturday, September 21, 2019. There's been fewer fishing guests lately but everyone is satisfied with their efforts. Walleye are still the most common catches with pike running a close second. Very few bass have appeared on the cutting board for a couple weeks. As usual, lure styles are not as important as colors and gold/black works the best, especially in the last couple hours before sunset. Chrome is best during sunny afternoons and blues/white does the job on cloudy days. If any of the locals are reading this and haven't had a chance to pick some big blueberries, there are still tons of them everywhere in the forestry cut on the west side of Highway 11 at the S-bends just south of Latchford. A friend and I filled a 5-gallon pail in under 2 hours earlier this week.
Friday, September 6, 2019. Water temperatures in the lake are cooling off now since we've had several nights lately with single digit numbers. Hence, the fishing has changed because of this. Most of the larger bass have left the shallows and are hanging out in the 10 to 30 foot depths ... right where most of the bait fish are found. There are still a few bass under a pound closer to shore. The pike also have migrated to greater depths with very few being found in less than 10 feet of water. Surprisingly, there are lots of walleye in the shallows. The vast majority of the fish that I have cleaned for guests during the past couple of weeks have been walleye with some days being the only species showing up on the cleaning table. As expected, the majority of them were caught within a 2 hour slot before dark and black & gold body baits were the preferred lures. Worms on a black jig or a brass spinner with a yellow-spotted black blade were close second choices. For the lake trout fishermen, don't forget that the season closes at the end of September in most lakes. We've had lots of rain lately so forest fires are not a big problem. Blueberries are still plentiful but smaller this year while mushrooms are just starting to show for the fall harvest.
Thursday, August 22, 2019. Cooler weather has really turned on the walleye which are the main counts of the fish being brought in now. On different occasions, they were the only species showing up on the cleaning table. Guests were all saying that it doesn't really matter what you toss at them; the important thing is to be there at the time of the bite which lasts for less than an hour before dark every night. Black, gold and silver were preforming best for color. Bass and pike are also being caught but in lesser numbers. Along with the cooler weather, we've received appreciable amounts of rain on a regular basis so the blueberries are getting bigger and sweeter now. There are also a lot more mushrooms everywhere now with excellent showing of some of the more delicious ones. Look at the mushroom page report if you're interested in some of Natures finest delacasies.
Friday, August 9, 2019. Fishing success has remained well above normal for this time of year. As expected for the hottest days of summer, walleye has slowed somewhat but bass and pike have remained constant. Again, it doesn't really matter what shape or style of lures you prefer such as spoons, body bait or spinners, colors can predict your chances of filling the stringers and blacks & gold work well for walleye, yellow or chrome attract more pike while greens, oranges or reds are bass magnets. Blues are a poor color choice when waters are warm enough to swim in. All species are still being found in depths of 3 to 10 feet near drop offs, weed beds and underwater structures like logs or rocks. We've finally received the much needed rains we were hoping for with 2 major downpours of 1.5 and over 2 inches during the last week. This will definitely help the blueberries which have been small & sour so far this summer and late summer wild mushrooms will soon be plentiful. Forest fires have also been reduced or extinguished with these rains. It has been nice to see an unusual amount of the Monarch butterflies during the past few weeks with lots of milkweed plants being munched on and several pupae hanging under protective overhead structures.
Saturday, July 27, 2019. These past couple weeks have seen some of the best fishing that we've experienced in years. All species including bass, pike and walleye were producing well and hitting on anything that was tossed their way. Worms, leeches or artificial baits in all profiles and colors did the trick. One group of 5 guys caught 153 fish on one day and brought 4 of them home for dinner that evening. Let's hope that this trends continues for a few more weeks to come. For anyone having a shore lunch or campsite fire, please be extra cautious with all fires as the forest is extremely dry. I'm really surprised that we haven't had a complete fire ban yet. Black flies are gone but mosquitoes and deer flies took up the challenge for them. Blueberries are hard to find and are small and not very sweet due to the dry conditions but they are just starting to produce fruit.
Sunday, July 14, 2019. It's been a few days since the bass have hatched and all the small fry are everywhere along the docks and shoreline now. Some of the males have left the area while others can still be seen gaurding their offspring and can easily be caught. Again, I've asked guests to leave them alone and if they can see bass in the weater, to please go fish somewhere else in a lot deeper water. Blackflies are basically gone with only the occasional ones showing up in the last light before evening darkness sets in. We do have plenty of deer flies and some horse flies to deal with. A serious lack of precipitation has left the bush very dry and although we are not currently under a fire ban as of yet, please be very careful with all campfires and shore lunches. Fishing remains good to excellent for all species and there's not any particular color of lures that are producing better results than others so get out there, enjoy some time on the water and bring home dinner.
Sunday, June 30, 2019. It's been good to excellent fishing lately with equal catches of pike annd walleye. I've been telling guests that if they're catching bass, then they are fishing too close to shore as the males are still gaurding their nest sites and the eggs haven't hatched yet. There aren't any fish, including even minnows, in less than 10 feet of water so stay farther out from shore to catch fish. Black flies and other pesky biters are plentiful and the dragon flies are just starting to emerge and eat every one of them that they find. Be patient, they will disappear eventually.Basss season has been open for a week now and I'm still asking guests to release all bass caught so they can protect the eggs and then the little fry which should be hatching within another week or so.
Sunday, June 16, 2019. Fishing has continued to improve all week with pike being the big leader in total count with walleye coming second. The largest pike that made it into the boat was estimated at around 12 to 14 pounds, but was quickly released after a quick cell phone pic. It was Nick's personal best weight for pike. Although it weighed more, that pike was small in comparison to a monster whitefish that was caught a couple days earlier. Gord M. from Orillia was bouncing a jig and a minnow off bottom in 20 to 25 feet of water when it hit and soon he had the largest whitefish ever caught here at the lodge in the 33 years less 4 days that we've owned it. It's the beauty pictured below that tipped the scalles at 6 pounds. Congratulations Gord!
Monday, June 3, 2019. Fishing has picked up a bit over the weekend and the walleye are finally starting to bite. Chrome & blue lures and worms worked equally well during the last 2 or 3 hours before sunset. Lots of bass were tossed back as that season doesn't open for another 3 weeks (fourth Saturday) but they haven't even started to spawn so they'll still be on the nests at that time. A couple pike made it up to the side of the boat but self-released when they seen the net coming their way.
Friday, May 24, 2019. This past opening weekend for fishing had probably the poorest catches in recent memory. Of course, the weather didn't help with non-stop rains and high east winds both of which didn't make for ideal fishing conditions. It was close but the ice did go off the lake a day or two before people arrived for the Saturday opener. For those that did venture out for an hour or two each day, results were dismal with only one lake trout weighing around 4 pounds being caught. Nobody has been fishing this week either, partially because of more rains and gusty winds. The last residual snow in the yard finally melted yesterday. Warmer temperatures and more agreeable weather is predicted for the next week so let's hope the fish bite better.
Monday, May 13, 2019. The ice is melting but not nearly as fast as a lot of people would like to see it leaving. The bay in front of the lodge is 90% ice-free tonight and any slight breeze tomorrow will clean it all out. As for the main lakes, there's still plenty of ice from shore to shore. We need wind and sun to disolve that ice and the weather report is calling for rain tomorrow with clouds for the rest of the week. The good news is that temperatures will be above freezing both days and nights. Stay tuned in a couple days for another update.
Friday, May 10, 2019. I've been receiving several calls lately about when will the ice be off the lake and can people start fishing next weekend when season opens. I don't know .... but it is getting thinner every day and as of tonight, the bay in front of the lodge is about half free of ice. The main lake still appears to have white ice and my guess is that it will all be open for next weekend if we get suffucient sun and wind to break it all up. Water levels are presently at normal summer levels as hydro is probably holding back as much water as possible in this lake system to ease the flooding downstream, particularily around Mattawa. Water temperatures in Net Creek, a prime walleye spawing area, is at 2 C. It's doubtful if will be warmed up to 7 C. which is the preferred temperature for them to spawn. This means the fishing season will be open and they haven't had one last chance to dump a huge amount of eggs before the MNR says it's legal to keep and eat these large females, most of which are over the slot size of 23 inches. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? I'll post again when this bay and the main lake is ice-free.
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