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Author Topic: My 2020 open water season.  (Read 1038 times)

Water Wolf

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My 2020 open water season.
« on: Jun 07, 2020, 06:12 PM »
Hi All,
Here are my 2020 open water season reports. :w00t:

May 7th.
This was my first trip out to dust off the open water rod and wet a few hooks.

I was hoping that the full flower super moon that night might have a positive effect on the fishing, and so, put it to the test.

I fished from 6:10 pm - 8:40 pm at 2 different spots.

It was a cloudy evening with the odd sunny break. The temp was + 12 deg C / 54 deg F and there was some wind from the E to NE.

Spot 1 was at Fishing Lake.
The lake itself was not totally ice free yet, but, I found an area, in a bay, where there was enough open water to make a full cast.
 I fished on 1 side of the bay while, on the other side, 3 - 5 other anglers were fishing.

None of us seemed to have any luck at all.  After an hour of pulling in nothing but a few weeds, and seeing only schools of small minnows and shrimp passing by, it was time to move.
The fish will usually let you know in some way, if they are around, be it a tap, strike or even a splash, so, if I don't see any of these indications I usually move until I do.

Spot 2 was a shallow creek.  There was no one else around.
On my third cast I get a strike, and land my first fish of the new open water season.
This pike.

It sure felt good to feel to that tug again. :)

I found out that the creek was the place to be that evening with the pike hitting fairly consistently.
After half an hour I had 5 more. :o
Barbless hooks made it easy to take a quick photo and send them on their way.

I fish for another half hour, but as it got dark the bites began to slow a bit.
The ones that did hit, bit lighter and were able to shake free, when they jumped.

All in all I was happy with my first trip of the season and was glad I moved.
Maybe the super moon did have a positive effect on the fish. It would seem so.

I know where I will try my luck when I go again.  I hope that they are still as aggressive next time around.

A few other photos from the evening.

The end to a nice evening. :)

May 11th.
I eagerly head back to the same area as I had luck at on my first time out.
I fish that area, plus a few other spots, from 5:00 pm - 9:15 pm

For the last few days, temps have been below average for this time of year, and this was no exception at only +8 deg C / 46 deg F with some wind from the N to NW and a mix of sun and cloud.
Thankfully, as it got later, it calmed right down.

Spot 1 was the same creek that I had luck at before.

There are no other anglers around and I start fishing.

It is interesting how a spot can be so hot one time and then dead the next, as was the case this time.  :P
I fished for a good long while with only 1 small nip at the lure near the start and then nothing the rest of the way through.
Time to move on.

Spot 2 was at Whitesand / Pelican Lake.
 I did not fish it at all last winter, so, thought I would give it a shot now.

The lake was completely ice free, and very clear. It was also very low, the lowest I have seen it for a while in spring.

There was lots of bird activity around in the form of gulls, geese, greebs, ducks and, of course, pelicans, which the lake was named after.

I also give this area a good long try, and, did a little bit better, landing a pike half an hour or so before I move on. :)

Spot 3 would be my last move of the day and I am back at Fishing Lake.
By now the sun is just starting to set in the sky.  I saw a fair amount of fish activity around with a few jumping near the shore line and others just a bit further out.

I was only in this area for a half hour, but, glad I went there in the end.
I could see large schools of minnows slowly moving along the shore line by my feet. That's what the fish were busting at the surface. I would watch for a splash and then throw my lure near it.
That seemed to work as I landed 3 pike and a walleye.
The 3 pike on average were some of the largest I have landed sofar this season, with the last fish of the eveing being a fair chunk. :laugh:

This was my first walleye of the season, and a nice bonus catch for me as well. :)

All the fish went back.  I was glad I did put them back this time, as one of the pike released a few eggs when I lifted her from the net. It would seem that their spawn is not over yet.

In the end I am satisfied with my results for the night.

May 19th.
This would be my last trip this month.

I return to Fishing Lake and set up in the spot I had luck at before.
I shore fished from 5:09 pm - 7:15pm.

We had a bit of a heat wave for a few days and this was the warmest day sofar this year.
Earlier on the temp was + 29 deg C / 84 deg F, but, by the time I got to the lake it cooled a bit to +26 deg C / 79 deg F.
There was just a bit of cloud cover, and the wind shifted back and forth from the N to NW.

Another group of anglers had the same idea as me, and arrive just as I started to fish.
There were 3 adults and 2 children.  They set up slip floats down the shoreline from me.
I did see them land and release a pike while I was there, + had 3 other fish that tugged their floats down, but, were not hooked.

Another angler sets up to my left later on in the afternoon.  They lose a pike as they try to hoist it up onto shore.

I was able to land a pike an hour or so into the fishing.
It was no monster, but, was still better than a skunk. :laugh:

I did manage to land 2 more pike no more than 5 min apart a few min before I left.
They were a bit bigger than the first one, but, the camera run out of juice, so no photos.

All the fish went back that evening.

I plugged the camera in the charger in case another photo opportunity pops up.

The ticks were out as well, (and have been for some time now).
I pulled a few of them off my clothing as I fished.

On the way home, the camera had charged just enough for a shot of the lake.

All in all it was a dandy afternoon / evening by the water.
I am happy with how the fishing was this May.

Hoping for continued luck in June and hope you all have had good fishing luck as well. ;D



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Re: My 2020 open water season.
« Reply #1 on: Jun 07, 2020, 08:41 PM »
Thanks for the updates!  We were supposed to come up to Kuroki this year and hit Fishing Lake, Stoney and Tobin but the Covid have us trapped down here.... Hopefully next year!!  Keep up with the updates please!!


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Re: My 2020 open water season.
« Reply #2 on: Jun 07, 2020, 10:26 PM »
great post WW, thanks for the pics and good luck this season!
got a fish on the line and my boat on the water
and it's gettin' near time to take the cows to the slaughter

Water Wolf

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Re: My 2020 open water season.
« Reply #3 on: Jul 16, 2020, 11:33 PM »
Hi WyoMinFisher & ran7ger, thanks guys.  :)

Yeah hopefully it will get better next year.
In the meantime here is another update for the month of June.

Hi all,
Here are my reports for the month of June.

June 5th.
This would be my first trip of the month.
There was a full "Strawberry" moon this night, so I was hoping it would yeild some fishing results.

On the way to the lake, I pass the same herd of bison I saw this winter, and stopped to snap a few photos.
This is the heard of females with their new spring calves.

A real prairie scene from days gone by. 8)

The little ones were bucking and kicking all around. 
The adults, now shedding their heavy winter coats were slowly rubbing at the patches of loose looking hair from their hides.

Spot 1.
This is the spot where I fished a few times previously, in May, and, today I fish from 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm.
I am the only one out shore fishing this day.

The weather is a mix of sun and cloud with + 18 deg C / 64 deg F temps, and wind from the SW, that switched to the W later in the day.

There is a bit of boat activity at the boat launch across from me, and while I was there, I see 9 boats and 1 personal water craft
(sea-doo) come and go. Some boats are fishing, other are tubing or water skiing.
For the boats that troll past me, I don't see anyone catch a fish.

I do have some luck, and land this pike after an hour of fishing. :)

The fish flies are also out, good thing they don't bite. :P

An hour before I leave spot 1, I land another pike.

This one is larger and gave several runs before unwillingly coming ashore.

At 6:00 pm I stop for a bite to eat. I found that "The Lakeside Lodge" is open again, and is doing
only take out now for the time being. That's fine with me, and I order a meal to go.

Spot 2.
After eating I fish for a while longer in the 2nd spot from 7:45 pm - 8:15 pm.

On my 2nd cast I land another pike.

I pick up 1 more at 8:00 pm, but no picture this time.

The last fish stayed for a meal, but, the others went back.

I stay until I see the full moon of June rising above the lake.

All in all a nice trip out. ;D

June 12th.
I decide that I am going to try a different lake this time, and set out for Last Mountain Lake.
This lake holds a number of opportunities regarding fish species, but I am focused on, and set up for, carp this time.

I ask mom if she would like to join me and she does. She does not fish every time she goes, but, still enjoys the day out whenever she goes.

On the way to the lake we pass several fields of cows and a field of bulls, 12 in total.
This guy posed so nicely, I had to stop and take his picture.

That's a lot of bull! :w00t:

As we get to the area of Last Mountain Lake where I intend to fish, I see something very unique. It's a raven, but, not just any raven.  This particular raven is 1 of 7 and was all brown in color.
At first, I though it might be just dusty, or, a hawk and raven interacting with each other, but, I got a good clear look as it flew by very close to the vehicle, and, it was indeed a chocolate brown raven. :o
I am able to get a quick picture of it as it flys by.

As we watch we see a 2nd raven that is also brown, but, not quite as brown as the one I got the photo of.
We watched until the group of ravens float over the field and are out of sight.

On doing further research at home, there is a raven species that is brown (the fan-tailed raven), but, it's in Eastern Africa, so I concluded that this must be a color phase of a common raven, that we have here in SK. and North America, very neat. We were both happy to get a glimpse of them.

We check a few spots along the lake until I see what looks like a good spot for carp, on a wind blown shoreline in a small bay.

Other anglers think the same thing, and 2 of them set up the same time as me.
They are geared up for carp as well, with the long rods and bite alarms. 
I don't have a carp rod, but, use my regular 6 foot Shakespeare ugly stick rod and 15 lb Power pro braided line.
I see it's way too windy to throw any bait out, when I tried, it just blew back at me, landing at my feet.  On the end of my line I have a pickerel rig. I have caught carp on, corn, worms and even frozen minnows in the past. This time I offer them 2 choices, a fresh night crawler on 1 hook and a few kernels of corn on the other.

I fish that area from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

It was a nice afternoon / evening with mainly sunny skies and temps at + 26 deg C / 79  deg F.
A strong wind from the SE whipped up the waves in the small bay, blowing right toward us on shore and cooling the temp significantly.

It was only 10 min into the fishing, when we hear the squeal of the bite alarm go off on the pole of the anglers beside me. He stands up and set the rod into a fish. When he got it closer to shore I could see a carp splashing about. At least I know I picked an area that does have carp in it on this day.
The fish was landed and I heard him say 15 lbs when he showed the other angler the fish - nice.
He decided to keep the carp and tied a rope through it's gill plate and placed it back in the water.

For most of the time I was there I spent much of it checking bait, to make sure I still had some, and enjoyed watching the bountiful bird life around me. There was a warbling meadowlark, who sang the whole time I was there.  There were pelicans, terns and grebes that fished just a few feet out from us, and,ducks, geese, gulls and other bird life on the fly.

At 6:00 pm more anglers show up to fish for carp.  This is turning into quite a popular spot.
By the time everyone arrives, there are 8 anglers, including myself, out fishing from shore, and
2 anglers, who fish the area from their boat.

My action did not start until later - at 7:00 pm.
I had my rod sitting in my homemade rod holder when the fish struck. The clip-on bells and rod tip both disappeared into the waves right at shore. I take the rod from the holder and set the hook.  The fight was on. The fish made quite a few line burning runs that stripped off 80 % to 90 % of my line each time. What a fighter.  I thought the fish was almost on the other side of the small bay each time it ran. While it ran, I could feel the line and sinker ticking along the bottom, through the weeds and over the snags, all the while I am hoping that the line holds, and is not being frayed too much. As it got closer to shore, it made several good jumps in an attempt to throw the hook. I could see it was a carp and looks to be a big one at that. The closer it got the larger it looked. By the time I have it near shore, it's forced to swim on it's side in the shallow water.  Mom comes over when she realizes the fight I'm having, and, I maneuver the carp into the net and, she pins it down. My net is inadequate for this size of fish. :laugh:

I am now looking at my new personal best carp. 8)

Mom runs back for the camera and scale, while I make sure to keep the carp in the water.
I only take her out of the water for 2 quick photos and a weight.

I weigh her in the net so she is nicely supported, and when I subtract the net's weight, she weighed in at
30.1 lbs. 

She is also now my new heaviest fish to date, double bonus, woo hoo! :w00t:

I am glad I got to weigh her before she broke the net.  She proved too much for most of the rubber webbing holding the net to the frame. I'm going to need a bigger net. :whistling:

Looking at her in the water, I could see she was a big female who had not yet spawned. She was built like a 5 gallon pail and just as round. Her belly was so tight that the scales on her, near the bottom were sticking straight out. I have never seen such a fat fish.

I had no desire to keep such a nice big fish that gave me a great fight for over 15 minutes, so I let her go without hesitation. She had to swim back out on her side, to deeper water, but once she got upright again, she really sped off nice and strong and was gone as quickly as she arrived. 
What a rush!
My hands were a bit shaky after that fish, lol. ;D

In the end, she was my only bite that day, but, sure glad it happened.

When I got home I thought I would look back and find a photo of one of my first carp a few years ago.
This wee guy was it. :azn:

It was roughly 6" long. A perch sized carp.
Quite a difference between then and now, lol.

I will definitely be trying Last Mountain Lake again for carp sometime soon.

All in all it was a great day with a unique raven spotted and my new largest fish ever.
I was also glad I could share these moments with mom.  She is the one who got me into fishing in the first place, when I was young. :)

June 19th.
After the fun we had last time, mom and I decide to try for carp again.
We head off to the spot at Last Mountain Lake where I caught the big girl a week ago.

When we get to the lake we see there is no one else around in the intended swim / fishing spot.

There was, however, a truck and trailer parked right on shore and into the water, right on the spot
where I caught the carp last week. :P
Oh well, I move a bit further down the shore line, and set up carp rigs for both me and mom.

We shore fish from 3:40 pm - 7:30 pm.

The weather is mainly cloudy with a stronger wind from the NW, switching to the N, half way through the trip. When the wind switched it got quite nasty even whipping up a few white caps and a foam line.
The temp was + 17 deg C / 63 deg F, but it sure felt much cooler, with the wind. I am glad I had my heavier sweater with me.

Not too long after setting up, we have a group of 3 angler come in and ask about the fishing. I let them know I just set up, but, tell them I am going for carp. They say they are also. They drive off and set up a long way down the same shore line and fish for the same length of time as me, not sure how they did.

Not too long after that, 4 more anglers show up and fish not far from me along the same shoreline as well.
They all are casting, and fish for over an hour.  I never seen any fish landed.

At 5:05 pm, I get a hit and the line peels off. It's a steady pace. It does feel like a carp.  Sure enough,
when it jumps, trying to throw the hook - its a carp! This fight is definitely not as long as the big girl last week, but it was decent none the less.  Mom comes over and nets it for me while I back up keeping the tension on the line as I drag it closer to shore.
Good thing I fixed my net this week. ;D

The sight of the landed fish brought thumbs up and words of encouragement from the anglers beside me. :thumbup_smilie:

After  a quick photo and weight check it's off again.
It weighs in at 13 lbs

No skunk today. :)

There must have been a school passing by as only 10 min later and I get another bite. This fish peels off more line and at a faster rate than the first one. It also feels like a carp, and again is verified when it leaps from the water, shining a nice gold color in the light. It is indeed bigger than the first and takes several long line burning runs, before it's tamed. Mom is right on the spot with the net, and lands this carp too.
It also gets a quick weight check and 2 photos before it's off.
It's quite a bit thicker and longer than the first.
The weight is 23 lbs, yeah! ;D

Here's looking at you. ;)

Both fish seemed to hit when the wind was a bit calmer, from the NW.  When the skies darkened, and the wind increased from the N, it seemed to shut the fish right off.
They did seem to like it when the sun was out a bit more and waters not as rough.  Not sure if that's the case all the time with carp, but, this was what I thought I observed today. :-\

I only had 1 bump on my line after that.  A carp either lightly tapped the bait, or one just swam into my line, but, that was it for the day.  Two carp would be my limit today - and that suited me just fine.

On the way home I stopped to take this photo.

I though it was kind of neat with the sun set projecting the tree's shadow on the gravel pile.

The gravel pile looks a bit like a pyramid. 8)

Another photo I could not resist on the way home, was this old barn , also in it's sunset days.

In conclusion I spent another fun afternoon / evening in the pursuit of fish.
Carp are a species I don't go for often, but, when I do, I always enjoy fishing them.
I will definitely be going for them again in the future. :w00t:

On a different note,
I was out working in my yard on June 26th, when I saw something orange pass by my head.
I though at first it was an old leaf that fell from one of the nearby trees with the wind, but, when I took a closer look, I saw that it was a butterfly, and not just any butterfly, but a monarch butterfly. 8)

This was the first time I have seen a monarch butterfly in many years, and only the 4th one, I have seen ever, so I had to get a photo of it.

It looked tired, maybe from it's migration N, that happens in late June here in SK. 
It was still very nervous, and would not let me get too close.  I did manage to get close enough that I could positively identify it as not being a viceroy butterfly, which looks almost identical to the monarch butterfly, except for an extra line on the lower wings, which it did not have.

Here's the photo. :)

It was taken at the only distance it would allow, on a cedar bush, in the front yard.

I wish I would have had some milkweed plants to offer the monarch butterflies.  They apparently lay their eggs only on milkweed.  Note to self for next year's planting. :whistling:

I saw another monarch on July 3rd., but, it would not sit still for a photo.



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Re: My 2020 open water season.
« Reply #4 on: Jul 17, 2020, 05:11 AM »

 Wolf Thanks for sharing 👍


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