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Author Topic: My 2022 open water reports - Part 1.  (Read 247 times)

Water Wolf

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My 2022 open water reports - Part 1.
« on: Dec 31, 2022, 01:16 AM »
Hi All,
Attached are my open water fishing reports for the entire open water season. ;D

WARNING - you are in for a long read, should you choose to accept this challenge, lol. ;)

My posts for the month of May. :)


May was an up and down month in my area, temperature wise. The first week, we had a few days with above normal temps. at +24 deg C / 75 deg F. For the next 3 weeks after that, it flip flopped between normal and below normal temps, with more below normal days.  ::)

We received good amounts of rain, and, yes, even snow. There were a few times when the ground was white again. We were needing the moisture though. Some of the lakes and sloughs were starting to get back to normal levels, and, some sloughs were overflowing.

The wetter conditions kick started the tick and mosquito season, and, they came out in full force, bothering both man and beast. :P

Local bird life returned with a welcome burst of song and color, after what felt like a long and cold winter.
Avian flu is, once again, lurking on the horizon and threatening here in SK. Some wild birds that were found dead tested positive for it, as did some cases of domestic fowl.  :o

I tried planting few flowers and veggie seeds early in May, but, had to keep covering them when the nights dipped below the freezing mark.
I wasn't sure how well they would do with all that stress,but, that's gardening in SK.
We have such a short growing season here, we have to make every day count.

I was getting ready, and, looking forward to the new fishing and gardening season ahead.



May 16th.
My first trip out for the new open water season!
My destination - Fishing Lake, in an area I was hoping the fish would be staging at after their spawn.

My family joined me, but, more for the ride and company, as they found it a bit too chilly to fish.

It was indeed a cool day.  It was +15 deg C / 59 deg F. The sky was cloudy, and, the now ice free lake, was a cold steel grey color with rolling waves.
A fair wind was whipping from the E to SE keeping things chilly.


Not surprisingly, I was the only one out there.
My uncle did join me to fish for 20 min. or so, before he got cold and went back to the vehicle.
For the rest of the time, the only others out there fishing were of the animal kind. A little mink was running around the area in search of whatever it could find, perhaps seeking a dead fish that may have washed up on the beach. There were also numerous fish-eating birds, like terns, diving for small fish along the shoreline and reed bed. Horned grebes were successfully diving for fish, and, coming up with one each time. A few ducks and gulls were out looking for fish and other aquatic life as well.

I fished from 5:11 pm - 6:22 pm.

Fishing was great for me too, and, on my very first cast I had a strike. I cast back to the same area and a fish hit again, and, it was hooked. A brief fight ensued and I land my first fish of the open water season, Yeah! :clapping:

It sure felt good to feel that tug on the line again.
This one was bleeding a bit, not sure why as it was only hooked in the roof the the mouth, but I keep it none-the-less, for a future meal.

A short time later my uncle hooks his 1 fish of the trip.

He is happy with his catch, and, keeps it also.

From there on, all the other fish go back.

The action was non stop for me with fish hitting frequently and hard. No little taps or nips this time, it was a full out crushing / inhaling of the lure.
They were hungry and feeding hard after their spawning run.

My final tally was 10 pike.
My uncle caught 1 pike.

This was the last fish of the day, and, just by a small margin, the largest.


It probably did not matter what we threw that day, but, my uncle caught his pike on a small spoon, and, all my fish went for a Storm wildeye swimbait.
The wildeye swimbaits tend to be producers for me, season after season, any time of year.

I filleted the 2 pike.  Both of them were stuffed full of fresh water shrimp, and, stickleback fish.
I feel, the abundance of shrimp in the lake, add an extra bit of flavor to the pike and walleye there. The pike fillets, in particular, are a bit more pink than pike from other lakes, where there are less shrimp for them to eat.

In the end, it was a very fun outing for all of us. Here's to more days like that.

I hope all of you had a good start to your season as well. :)


May 26th.
This would be my 2nd trip out. I though I would return to the same area of Fishing Lake as last time and see if the bite would continue.

When I got to the lake I was happy to see that it had gone up a bit more since my last visit. I would say it was now close to normal levels.  The recent heavy rains have the creeks full, and, flowing into the lake, so, I anticipate it may rise a bit more.

Once I got my gear together I shore fished from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

It was a dandy evening by the water with nice temps at +22 deg C / 72 deg F, not too hot, but, not too cold. A wind from the NW kept things decent with mainly sunny skies.

The only anglers out there were in a boat nearly in the middle of the lake. They came in just a bit before I left.

Once again, the wildlife was hard at it trying to get in on the action too.  There were dive bombing terns and fishing horned grebes. Thankfully the swallows and purple martins were doing their part by eating those annoying mosquitoes that seemed to be out in thick clouds.  Everybody was happily doing their job.

On this trip, I though I would try, a new to me bait. I used the Berkley Powerbait's Agent E, in the 3" size, and, goby color.
This lake, and, SK. does not have gobys, but, I thought it would match the stickleback fish that are commonly on the menu at Fishing Lake, along with the numerous freshwater shrimp.

This swimbait has a decent tail kick action, and, a small rattle, plus a light scent. I was wondering if the unusual looking weed guard would affect the hookups, but, it didn't seem to, or, at least, not for the pike and walleye I found. This might work for other fish species as well. I could see trout, perch, crappie or bluegills, liking the smallest sizes this swimbait comes in.

The fishing was OK that evening, and, it didn't take too long for them to let me know they were around.

The bites came in regular intervals. 
In the end, I caught, and, released 6 fish, 4 pike and 2 walleye.
I had some unknown fish shake off half way in, plus, a few nibbles / tail nips.
I think those tail nips might have been walleye because, they were hitting quite lite, but, the pike were still hitting hard, inhaling the bait.

The first fish of the trip, this pike.


The first walleye of the new open water season. 8)


The largest pike of the night, but, not by much, as all the pike, this time, were similar in size.


The 2nd walleye was the bigger of the two.
It was a fat 20 incher.


In the end it was nice late afternoon / evening by the water. I left the lake to the sound of a great horned owl hooting from across the water, and, just as I was packing up, a large white headed, bald eagle flew over to bid me adieu.

A shot of the lake as the sun set across it.





Here are a few other non-fishing photos from the month.

On the night of May 15th I went out after dark to watch the rising of the Blood Flower full moon. It was a nice clear, but, cool night, so I watched form the vehicle for the entire time.  It was in the lunar eclipse, from 9:30 pm - 12:00 am.

There is alot going on in our skies when you take the time to look up - lol. :w00t:
While I watched the blood moon rise, I also saw the international space station orbit just over the rising moon.
I wish I had a photo of that, but, it was gone past the moon and out of site before I could get to the camera. I also saw 2 planes and 1 satellite silently glide over.

Nature was on full display that night. The frogs were singing in the sloughs and wet ditches, the coyotes were howling at the moon, the horned owl was hooting, the stars were out, and, to the North, the Aurora danced delicately in captivating waves of light across the thermosphere above. What a great night it was.

I snapped a few photos of the moon through it's phases, but, my camera has poor night vision. :-\

The Blood Flower full moon in it's full eclipse phase. 8)


It's starting to move out of earth's shadow now, and a thin red line can be seen in the upper right sphere.


The event is over now, and, a regular full moon reveals itself again.
That green dot is lens flair from the moon.



This photo is one of many Baltimore Orioles I had in my yard.
The count so far is 7.

They seem to show no fear of me, which is nice as I can get fairly close to photograph them.


They are a regal looking bird with their orange and black plumage.







My posts for the month of June.


June started off a bit cool at night.  We had several days, in the first week, where the night temps dipped below freezing in many parts of SK., including my own.
This was not the best news for folks with newly planted flower or veggie beds. My own plants did get a bit of frost damage, that I hoped would not set them back too badly. :-\

The next 2 weeks of June were unsettled with several, cool and stormy days of rain with lightening and even a bit of hail in this area, but, thankfully no damage was done.

At the end of June the temps were back to normal, but, the storms stuck around for the last bit of June.  June 29th really stands out, as it was a very active storm day for SK.
Many areas reported strong winds, intense lighting, heavy rains and hail. Not too far from my location there were 3 tornadoes that touch down on the same day. :o
The first one was around the town of Watrous at the beach community of Little Manitou Lake, a lake known for it's mineral rich healing waters.
The 2nd was near Last Mountain Lake and the 3rd, was the closest to me, as it touched down near the town of Foam Lake. Foam Lake is not too far from Fishing Lake, where I usually fish.
Thankfully there was no loss of human or animal life, but, I do know that the tornado by Foam Lake did some major damage to 1 farm yard. It destroyed everything the farmer had, but, his house.  :(

A local youtuber to the area known for his humor and quick wit made a youtube video of the destruction the tornado caused to the farm yard. :wacko:
Here is a link to his video, to see the aftermath of the tornado --->


Despite the stormy weather ,I was able to make it out to Fishing Lake twice this month.


June 4th.
This would be my first trip of the month.
I returned to shore fish in the same area of Fishing Lake that I tried in May.

I did a bit of evening fishing from 6: 15 pm - 8:30 pm.

It was another nice evening at the lake with sunny skies, some wind from the N, and, +19 deg C / 66 deg F temps.

There was no one else shore fishing, but, there were 2 boats out on the water.
One was along the far shoreline, and, the other was just a short distance out from me.

It appeared that the lake had risen some again since the last time out, good news.

There was also a bit more weed growth now, and, I was hooking into it fairly often.

The fish were active, busting bait fish right near the shoreline not too far from my feet.
I had a good view of several of them as they fed. It was a bit like watching them in winter on the underwater camera.

The fish were not really interested at all in the baits I presented them.  They stayed focused on the schools of tiny fish going by. I did have 3 that gave a half hearted bite at the lures, but, in the end only I only landed 1 fish, down the shoreline a ways, from where the pike were jumping.

The pike. :)

It hit a spoon that I painted myself.


What was biting fine were the hordes mosquitoes, along with a few ticks and black flies. :P
The biting bugs are out in full force now.  The extra water, warmth and long grass had supported their success for another season.
This was not the summer for shorts, no matter how hot it gets.


In the end I enjoyed being out again, and, not being skunked.




June 28th.
On this trip I though I would try a different spot so I chose a creek that flows out of Fishing Lake.
I usually try this spot in the early spring, but, held off until now.
I was not sure what to expect.  Usually, as the water warms in this area, the fish move on and out, but, then again, we have had lots of fresh flowing water.
Only one way to find out is to try, and, that's what I did. :whistling:

No one else was fishing there when I arrived, except for a few terns that were diving for little fish and some puddle ducks.

The water at the creek was not very deep at all, there was a fair amount of floating algae already, plus, it was quite weedy, but, though I would give it a go for a while.

I set up and fished from 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm.

The weather was nice, with mainly sunny skies, a lite wind from the E, and, +20 deg C / 68 deg F temps.

On my 2nd cast I caught a pike, nice. :)


3 casts later I get a good thump, followed by several decent line burning runs.  This felt like a decent fish. When it got closer, I could see that it was a walleye. After a couple more runs I was able to get it into the reeds along the bank. I then saw that it was a good sized walleye. What a shock, I was not expecting that fish. :w00t:

After a measurement and photo It was returned to the creek.
It was 26.8" long. Who knew that a tiny, shallow, weedy, algae filled, creek could produce a walleye of that size.

She went for my hand painted black and chartreuse yellow spoon.

This walleye was very nicely colored - a nice dark gold. It was way different than the pale yellow walleyes I usually encounter in Fishing Lake and surrounding lakes.  8)


A short time later, I hear a motor running, and, getting closer. I look around, and, am a bit surprised to see a man in a boat, coming towards me, from up the creek. ???
He stopped to chat for a bit. He had a sonar with him, and, said most of the creek was 2 feet deep except for the little area I was fishing, which he said was about 4 feet deep -  a bit of a hole there, that's probably why the fish were there.
He said that he had no luck so far in the few spot he had tried, but, said he was just out exploring for fun anyway.  After his chat, he chugged his way further up stream, and, out of site.
He came back down stream past me again a hour or so before I left.  Still no fish for him, he said.

I had a steady bite the whole time I was there, and, did not have to wait too long between strikes.
It seemed that after 1 or 2 fish hit a particular lure that was it for that one and I would have to start using another lure to get them to strike again.

Half way through the trip, I caught a pike that tangled my own line in some other broken off line in the water, so, when I tried to land the fish, I gained an extra lure, a Northland Mimic Minnow swimbait. It's not often that I gain lures by the end of the day, so for me, that was a bonus catch. :w00t:


One in the water.



This is the bigger pike of the afternoon.


I am not sure if it was the storm that was suppose to hit the next day, but, whatever triggered the fish it was a most enjoyable afternoon / evening full of action. Best of all, the fish were the only things biting this time, no mosquitoes, tick or back flies at all.
My final tally is 8 fish, 7 pike and the 1 walleye, all of which went back to fight another day. :)

Thy rod and thy net, they comfort me...


This would be the last fishing trip this month.


A few bonus non-fishing photos for the month of June.

In my yard the Jenny / House Wrens had set up in some of my nest boxes.
They are feisty little birds who don't mind displacing far larger birds from their area, and are often disagreeing amongst themselves. :laugh:


At the lake, "The Angry Bird"  looks at the new tenant ( a tree swallow) as it looks back at him.  Everybody is keeping an eye on the other guy. :flex:



On one of the trips to the lake, I pass a bison heard, and see the cows with this year's crop of calves.

Lots of little red rockets running around now. :D

There is always 1 or 2 bison that are on guard.
This one looking at me with the camera is one of them.
She made a certain call / grunt, and, they all left the area.




See you all on IceShanty!

 



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