Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Back from Lac Seul

Typical walleye, 18 - 22 inches
Last Monday, May 23rd, I left with my neighbor Pete Sipe and a new guy, John Loeffler to meet Bruce at Lac Seul Outposts on Lac Seul.  The last 2 years I had the luxury of flying up however this year we decided to take my boat and dispense with the flying.  The drive really isn't too bad, about 470 miles to the Deception Bay boat landing where we launch the boats and head out to the outpost camp, 36 miles by water.  Because of the strong US Dollar we decided it was easier to shop in Canada for both out food and refreshments.  Unfortunately because Monday the 23rd was a National Holiday, Victoria Day, a celebration of England's Queen Victoria, prior to Canada's independence from Britain, Lots of stores were closed.  It is somewhat like our Memorial Day here in the US as it signals the start of Summer.  Although the grocery stores were open till 6:00 pm, the Government run liquor stores, LCBO were closed and we were relegated to whatever was left over at camp.  Luckily there always seems to be plenty and I had included a few bottles from home that helped!  We did stop at the Ojibway Outfitters Bait shop in Sioux Lookout to get our parking permit and a couple dozen really large (3-5 inch) rainbow minnows which hopefully would attract larger walleyes.  After leaving home at around 5:00 AM we finally reached the landing at 3:30.  It was interesting as we were stopped by the police just outside of Sioux Lookout, it was a holiday and they were looking for drivers drinking and driving. We told the officer that we were heading for Lac Seul and he mentioned that he was fishing there yesterday.  I asked him if he went through the Rags, a short cut to the outpost but with the low water levels it was questionable if one could get a boat through.  He said......."No problem, went through there yesterday with our pontoon!"  I thanked him and appreciated his time and work as well as the tip on the Rags.  You see, bypassing the Rags means going around another 8 miles which means more gas.  We idled through the Rags as my depth finder showed 1 1/2 feet at it's shallowest.  One good thing is that it is a muck bottom and not rock so even if you hit the bottom with the propeller, little damage will be done.  It was interesting as I didn't kick up an mud or sand going through.  Lac Seul can be very challenging to drive and this would be my first time solo from the landing to camp.  The map I have has the houseboat routes and I have the trails from Bruce's old GPS as well, Pete isn't shy to add his 2 cents on which way to go. Nevertheless it's somewhat nerve racking to be cruising in 40 feet of water then all of a sudden the bottom comes up to 5 feet and back down to 40 in an instant. Even though our routes are tested and true, it gives one a bit of pause to think about what you just went over.   Oh well, we made it to the outpost successfully without an incident!

Another gorgeous Lac Seul Sunset
One of the nice things about going with Bruce is meeting new friends. This was my 6th trip to the video! Either way camp and each trip in itself is quite an adventure.  This year I met a new guy, John Loeffler, friends of the rest of the crew however new to me.  He was quite an interesting guy, was retired at a relatively young age and he had pretty much the same personality as I have, which made for some amazing moments!  John and Pete fished in my boat which always presents a problem because I can be quite anal in my care of the boat, for instance, everyone has to wash the sand off their shoes before entering, no feet on the gunnels, stuff like that.  Well luckily both my crew members understood, or should I say know that they are going to fish in comfort so no use rocking the boat! Now fish slime is another issue and is welcome because in the end it washes off with water. Speaking of fish slime, I did catch John in one of his more graceful moments in the boat, spreading fish slime all over the place.  Check out this Youtube Link of that exciting moment!  Like last spring because of the low water, just north of the camp is a sand bar sticking out into the channel.  I had done quite well last year catching a walleye every cast however this time I only caught 2 and they were quite small. It's a great advantage point to watch the sun go down and this time was no exception.

We fished 3 main areas, across the channel, Tom's Point, and we tried going south to Tuk bay.  The best was around camp as the water was 60 degrees and the spawn had been over with for a number of weeks.  Fishing wasn't as good as it was in previous years yet my estimates were I had caught over 200 walleyes for the 3 days we were fishing, not bad.  We really didn't land any big walleyes with the largest about 24.5 inches, never the less we caught plenty of those 21 - 24 inch fish and they were all plump and healthy.  I had gotten some good tips from my friend Paul Wenaas, who fishes that area quite a bit yet the low water really spooked us from going into some of those back bays that he had clearly marked.  Maybe next year.  The original plan was to stay until Saturday yet somewhere the wires got crossed and we headed home on Friday morning.  Beggars can't be choosers and I simply just appreciate the opportunity to fish with the boys.  We ate fish Monday night, Tuesday, and Thursday with my famous Steak a la Kienitz on Wednesday.  Anticipating that we were going to stay another day it was a scramble on Thursday, catch enough fish to take home but make sure everything in camp got cooked.  Because I enjoy filleting the fish, I cleaned 28 walleyes on Thursday afternoon, enough for each of us to take 4 fish home.  One has to leave the skin on and package them 1 fish to a bag.  I definitely look forward to getting back up there again as Lac Seul is fishing paradise less than 10 hours away!


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Here's a tip from a guy that I know that goes to Lac Seuel Outpost twice a year. When he crosses the border at International Falls/Fort Frances, he buys all his booze at the duty free shop. Problem solved!

Dave Anderson said...

Yeah, lessons learned!!