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Fireside Lodge Weekly Fishing Report
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 6/8 to 6/15 2002
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 6/8 to 6/15 2002
Hello from Fireside Lodge in Northwest Ontario. Usually the fishing, fun, and wildlife are the biggest stories, but this week the weather was the big event. At the beginning of this week we got dumped on by a north eastern storm which just would not go away. One day all we could do is try to keep up with keeping the boats from sinking. Along with this heavy rain temperatures dropped, and this made everything change in the lake. Before this the Smallmouth were getting ready to spawn, however after the surface water temperatures dropped from 6 to 8 degrees, the Bass backed off of their spawning areas. This rain was so bad that all roads coming north from International Falls, Mn., Fort Frances area were closed, and Fort Frances was being referred to as an island. Also Atikokan has its worst flooding ever. Despite the wet cold weather people came and enjoyed their week of fishing at Fireside Lodge.
The F-Troop (named after the 60"s TV series) arrived at Fireside Lodge for their 3rd consecutive year. They consisted of Fred Shadrick, from Troy, Mi., son Matt, from Hingham, Ma., Clark Benton, from Grand Rapids, Mi., Bruno Leon, from Santa Fe, NM., son John, from Cypress, Tx., James Titus, from Allentown, NJ., Robert Gail, from Danville, Ca., James Daniels, from Chicago, IL., and Martin Jeakle, from Berkley, Mi. This is quite a group that has fun not only fishing, but just enjoying each others company in a great wilderness environment. They enjoy traditional evening card games, have special event nights, and have a trophy award sitting on the table of their cabin, which they add to every year. They even have a Flag they put outside their cabin, which reads "F-Troop". The flag was missing in action this year. This group, through this rough weather week, did not have their best fishing year, but did enjoy catching Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike throughout their stay. One day Fred had some great action on Muskie getting 9 huge follows which just teased him, almost taking his bait several times. Was he ever excited about seeing these big fish. Another highlight was Bruno catching his biggest Pike at 33 inches. Fun was had by all and we thank all for coming. Next year F-Troop will continue their traditional trip for their 20th consecutive year at Fireside Lodge.
The Emery Family Mat, Theresa, and son Dan drove all the way from Brookville, Pa., to experience what we have at Fireside Lodge. Having been in Canada a number of times, they never caught any big Pike, and that is what they were shooting for. Just on their second day son, Dan landed a 29" Pike, and father Mat caught a 36"er. Both were there personal best. Also Dan caught his first Muskie which was a heavy 34 inches. The Next day they all caught some nice Northern Pike, and Mat caught a 41" Master Anglers Award Pike. Theresa also caught her personal best at 29 inches. After catching this Pike Mat came to my tackle shop very excited that he was able to catch a trophy Northern Pike. Another memorable day was when they portaged to a lake and caught 23 nice size Pike in about 6 hours. In all this family had a great fishing trip and made some wonderful memories, which is the biggest catch of all.
Doc Caswell from Medina, Tx., returned for his second year, with friend Bill Hartley, from Portage, Mi. These two were a pleasure to have around as they were gentlemen and good conversationalists. They also did well catching some BIG fish during their stay. On just their first full day of fishing they both caught Master Anglers Award fish with Doc catching a huge 19" Smallmouth, and Bill very surprised with his catch ofa GIANT 34+ inch Lake Trout. Despite the tough weather conditions these two did well during the rest of their stay catching some Pike in the mid high thirty inch range, and also caught a number of Pike 26 to 29 inches.
Harry Heersema, from Mears, Mi., with son Rich, from Traverse City, Mi., Ben Jeffries, from Montaque, Mi., and Scot Riggles, from Louisville, Ky., were all at Fireside Lodge for their first time. Harry, being very experienced at fishing in Canadian waters, was even stumped with the fishing this week because of the unusual cool, and wet conditions which dropped our water temperatures by 6-8 degrees in 3 days!!!! But experience and perseverance paid off for Harry as he landed the fish of his life. He hooked into and landed a absolutely GIANT 52 inch Muskie. The fish was so big that he had a hard time landing it in our 48" cradle. What was he using? A 1/2 oz 5 of diamonds Daredevle. This is where Harry's experience in fishing showed through, as he probably knew that when cold conditions create a negative fish activity, going to small baits will usually work better. Good call Harry. Rich took the top Smallmouth of the group with a Master Anglers Award Bass at 18 inches. The rest of the week this group caught some nice Pike and Smallmouth, and they thoroughly enjoyed the lodge atmosphere, and the surroundings around them.
John Quertermus, from Richland, Mi., was back to Fireside Lodge with old friends Jon Gaffney, from Beverly Hills, Ca., and John Geyer, from Naperville, IL. They were here for a short 3 day stay, and from 1PM to 5PM (only 5 hours) they caught 7 Muskie and 14 Northern Pike up to 34 inches. WOW!!! John's comment was "they remembered me". John has been a long time guest of Fireside and knows the waters extremely well. By the end of the second day their count was up to 38 Muskie and Northern Pike up to 20lbs. These fellow had a great three days of fishing, and found it great to have a reunion at Fireside Lodge.
Bob Johnson, from Bristol, In., and sons Jason, from Boise, ID., and Jared, from South Bend, In. were all very happy to be at Fireside Lodge for their first time. These three had such a good time together they were constantly smiling and having great conversation. Jason, caught his first Muskie ever, and they all ended up having the first time experience of accidentally catching Lake Trout. All big at 29 to 31 inches. Jared, also caught a big Master Anglers Award Smallmouth at 18.5 inches. They all also caught Smallmouth and Northern Pike throughout their stay, and just had a fabulous time enjoying the wilderness atmosphere we have to offer at Fireside Lodge.
Ron Sisley and Rhonda Carson, from Suadi Arabia, and father Chuck Sisley, from Janesville, Wi. were all at Fireside Lodge for their first time. No that is not a typo, Ron and Rhonda came all the way from Saudi Arabia to Fireside Lodge. Both are US citizens, and they are working on contract work in Saudi Arabia, however they do live there, Ron for 14 years. On their day of arrival when checking them in, I found out Chuck at 85 years old from Wisconsin, (Muskie capitol of the US) had never caught a Muskie. I assured him he would go home catching one during their 4 days of fishing. Well shortly into their 2nd day Chuck hooked and landed the first Muskie of his long fishing career. It was a 38 inch beauty, of which I saw the digital picture. Ron promised me he would send this picture to me so I can upload it on my web site, so look for it there in the near future. Well Chuck was so satisfied after his catch, and it was so cold and wet, he decided to take a nap in the afternoon, reminisce and give Ron and Rhonda a chance to land a big one. Guess what?? they did, landing a some large Pike and a few Muskie. They did very well catching some bigger Pike and good size Muskie every day. Ron would come to the tackle shop daily to show his digital pictures to me, and they surely caught some nice looking fish. Thanks for the effort, and congratulations to Chuck on his first Muskie.
Dennis Stehlik and son Mike, from Wheaton, IL were back for Dennis's 4th time. Smallmouth is what they were after, and as Dennis knows from his very successful previous fishing trips to Fireside, the Smallmouth grow big and in numbers. This trip they did catch some good size Smallmouth with Mike taking the top Smallmouth with a 18.75" Master Anglers Award Smallmouth. Because of the weather the numbers were not there, as in past trips. They were faced with the toughest conditions, as the Smallmouth were about to spawn the week before, but the 8 degrees drop in water temperatures pushed them back, and put them in very negative mood. While still catching some quality Smallmouth they had a pleasant surprise of having action hooking and catching Muskie, while fishing for Smallmouth. In fact one day while fishing for Smallmouth, Mike landed 3 Muskie, lost one at the boat, and had 3 break off. This was on Bass tackle with no leader and light line. What exciting fun.
Marlin Bergman, and Kurt Hohnstrater, from Ankeny, Ia., Jay Miller, from Rynnells, Ia., and David Stucker, from Johnston, Ia., were all at Fireside lodge for the first time. These fellows were here to catch Smallmouth, and they persevered through the toughest weather conditions you could face for Smallmouth. Getting cold wet conditions, with water temps dropping from 6-8 degrees in 3 days, and pushing the bass off their spawning beds makes for tough fishing conditions. However this group still caught Smallmouth every day , and on some days had catches of 15+ per boat. At this time I should be reporting catches of 50+ per boat, but mother nature does what she pleases, and there is nothing any body can do about it. This group also caught some big Smallies, and Marlin went home aNorthwest Ontario Master Angler in the Smallmouth division twice, both measuring out at 18 inches. Kurt also caught a HUGE Lake Trout at 32 inches. This is also very unusual at this time of year, because the Trout are usually retreating into cooler depths where the are unreachable by Smallmouth fishers.
That's it for this weeks fishing report at Fireside Lodge. Hope you enjoyed reading about the catches, personal experiences, and the memories made by this weeks Fireside Lodge guests. Please stay tuned for next weeks report from the Great Northwest Ontario region. Until next week "Keep On Fish'n" Alan