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Fireside Lodge Weekly Fishing Report
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 6/19/04 to 6/26/04
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 6/19 to 6/26 2004
Hello to all from Fireside Lodge in Northwest Ontario, Canada. We have just ended our 6th week of being open for the 2004 fishing season, and what a great week of fishing it was. It started with a father and son who have returned to Fireside Lodge for nine consecutive years. Mike and Dustin Lapresi from Tucker, Ga. were back to fish for those fantastic fighters of fresh water, Smallmouth Bass. They had fun catching a lot of Smallmouth the way they like the best, which is topwater fishing. Because of the weather being different this year a pattern could not be developed, but they adapted having to change locations and presentations several times during their stay. They averaged about 22 to 25 Smallmouth per day, and said on most days had as many surface strikes that never hooked up. They both went home with Master Anglers Award Smallmouth both at 18.5 Inches, and are already making plans for their 10th consecutive return in 2005.
Tim Stewart and Bryan Neel from Rochester, Mn were at Fireside Lodge for their first time, and really enjoyed themselves. The first day they concentrated on Smallmouth and caught a good number, and some good size Smallies. Another 2 days while Northern Pike fishing the caught over 30 and over 20 Northern Pike catching many good size fish that were 30 inches or larger. On this day they also caught some Smallmouth in the evening. On one of their days they targeted Muskie and caught 3, and had many follows, Tim landing all three. That's a great day of Muskie fishing. Tim and Bryan enjoyed their stay at Fireside Lodge getting away from the stress of their work lives.
Formally known as the "Tom Nayder Group," Because of Tom being the head organizer, now better known as the Lonely Mans Lures Fishing Team" renamed by Tom himself. This team consists of Tom from Orland Park, IL, sons Alan & Joel from Tinley Park and Chicago, IL, sister Leah Bezin from Berwyn, IL, and other friends James & Paul Sobczak from Homer Glen, IL, and Plano, Tx, David Sivecik, from Chicago, IL, and Shawn Cummings from Evergreen Park, IL. This is the 6th consecutive year this group has returned to experience the fabulous fishing we have to offer, and fabulous fishing they had, despite the windy, rainy, cool weather they had to fish in all week long. Tom being detailed, gave me an exact count of fish caught by his group which totaled 465 fish. WOW!! Half of these fish were caught on a fly rod, which is a great feat. This group concentrates on toothy critters and it shows in their totals as they caught 86 Smallmouth Bass, 358 Northern Pike and 21 Muskie. Yes, you read that correctly, 21 Muskie between 8 people for 6 day of fishing. That's great Muskie fishing. Largest Smallmouth caught was a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth at 18.5 inches by Joel and in second place was Leah with two 18 inch Master Anglers Smallmouth, Shawn caught the largest Northern Pike at an absolutely HUGE 42 inches and Dave was in second place with a 40 incher, both qualifying for a Master Anglers Award, and in the Muskie category Alan took both first and second place by catching two at 38 inches. Alan and Shawn were fishing buddies all week long and ended up in first and second place for fish totals, with Shawn at the top catching 78 total, and Alan a close second landing 67 fish, while being the captain all week long. Shawn had accomplished catching his first fish ever on a fly rod, and was tops in Muskie numbers landing 12 of these fierce fighters. Brothers Jim and Paul were relentless in the cold, wind, and rain all week keeping a positive attitude all week, motivating all the others of the Lonely Man Lure Fishing Team. Remember that name as I am sure they will be solicited for hi dollar fees to speak at all the winter fishing shows in 2005? Maybe 2006? Well, Maybe!
Doc (John) and Judy Hogan, from Pewaukee, Wi., were back at Fireside Lodge............ Well, I can't tell you for exactly how long because it was much longer than my tenure at Fireside Lodge. I think they started coming to Fireside Lodge almost 30 years ago, when their children were small, and made fabulous memories as a family. Now Doc and Judy continue to make memories together, and friends, as they have been here so often during the same time period that most of our guests, being return guests themselves, have gotten to know these two on a first name basis. You will find Doc often discussing Muskie fishing locations with people at supper, or giving pointers on the large lake map in the main lodge area. Doc is, and has been for many years a very avid Muskie angler, looking only to catch Muskie while at Fireside Lodge. During their stay they had 10 Muskie hooked, and landed 6 of these magnificent fish. Doc told me that their percentage of hook ups to landed Muskie was 600 percent, and I told him if he was playing baseball with that percentage he would be making about $10,000,000 per year. Both Doc and Judy also caught a good number of Northern Pike with the largest being 36 inches, caught by Doc. Judy took the prize by catching the biggest Muskie at 35 inches. They had a great stay at Fireside Lodge, and have already made their reservations for 2005.
Donald Rathje and his son Andrew from Downers Grove, IL were back to Fireside Lodge for their fourth time and very excited as always. On their first day they went strictly Muskie hunting and caught 2, lost several, and had some follows. On their second day they caught 32 Northern Pike, Andrew caught a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth at 18 inches and they caught 3 more Muskie. Another day while just fishing for Muskie they had many follows and Andrew caught 2 more Muskie at 33 and 34 inches. On their last day they finished strong catching 39 Northern Pike and 1 Muskie with a lot of the fish being over 30 inches. Fabulous fishing, great fun, and another set of wonderful memories made by Don and Andrew. Thanks for choosing Fireside Lodge as your father and son bonding time.
Tim Bergen, sons Joe and Adam, and nephew Tim Komenda from Orland Park, IL, and father and son Gerald and Jerry Curran from Hickory Hills and Romeoville, IL, and Mark Foster from Palos Heights, IL, were back to Fireside Lodge for their third consecutive year. This is a great family trip with a lot of excitement and anticipation. On their first day they caught 55 Northern Pike, and being fathers day all the kids bought their father a gift at the tackle shop. What more can any father want than to be fishing with his sons of Father's day, and then get fishing tackle for a gift. These boys have done this the last three years, and their challenge is to buy the tackle without their father seeing them. The catch on their second day was just as good as the first with Tim B and Tim K catching 25 Northern Pike, and Tim B landed a GIANT 20.25 inch Master Anglers Smallmouth Bass. Mark also caught a HUGE Master Anglers Smallmouth Bass at 20 inches, and along with Joe caught 14 Northern Pike. Gerald, Jerry, and Adam fished together catching 16 Northern Pike, and Adam caught 8 with one being a big 32 inches, and Jerry caught his first ever Muskie, a 31 incher. On their final day they fished for Muskie only, and were successful with Jerry catching a nice 34 incher, and Joe did a great netting job. Tim B caught the biggest, a 38 inch Muskie, and while Adam did a superb job netting his fathers fish, Adam had a disadvantage because of his youth and size, so as he netted this fish Tim had to put his rod down and grab the hoop of the net with one hand, and grabbed Adam by his life vest with the other hand to secure the fish. They had a very successful release, and a fantastic father and son memory. After all, that is what this is all about, the memories. Thanks for choosing Fireside Lodge for this special time spent with family, and this group has already reserved the same time in 2005 to make another set of memories.
Return guests Robert Fischer, and Chris Grimes from Frederick and Thurmont, Md., this time came with friend Dennis Winters and his son Joe also from Frederick, Md. They had loads of fun and had also caught lot of fish. Bob started out with a bang catching a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth Bass, at a very BIG 19 inches, and the next day while catching 30 nice Smallmouth with Chris caught another Giant Smallmouth at 19.5 inches, along with 12 Northern Pike. On the following day father and son combo of Dennis and Joe caught a lot of Smallmouth Bass. This group had a super day catching Muskie as Dennis and Joe, who never caught a Muskie before in their lives ended up catching 8 in one day, and Chris caught 3, and Bob caught two. That's 13 Muskie caught by this group in one day WOW!!!!!!!! Bob and Chris also caught 13 Northern Pike and 23 Smallmouth. That's a day that will be very hard to beat, but it will sure be fun trying. On their last day they caught 25 to 30 Smallmouth Bass per boat, and Bob landed a 34 inch Muskie. This group caught 19 Muskie total, and Bob and Chris caught 7 Master Anglers Award Smallmouth Bass between 18 to 19.5 inches. They all had a great trip, and went home with sad faces, because they all had a good time and wanted to stay.
Phil Spahr and his sons Tim and Brad from Fairborn, Oh, and Marlborough, Ma were back to Fireside Lodge for their fourth consecutive year. These three are a pleasure to have around as they are the most positive anglers, which I believe always turns into positive fishing experiences. Every year they have come to Fireside Lodge they have done great, and this year was, as quoted from Phil, better than ever. Their first full day of fishing they caught 41 Northern Pike, with 15 being between 30 to 34 inches. Another day they caught as many, and a lot were bigger fish. Several of their days were focused on Muskie fishing and they did great seeing lots of follows and in 6 days landed 8 Muskie. Brad catching 5, Tim catching 2 and Phil one. So they all shared in this category. They also caught Smallmouth throughout the week with Phil being the top Smallmouth angler of the group by catching a Master Anglers Award Smallmouth Bass measuring 18 inches, and boy was it fat. These three have fun not only fishing, but viewing wildlife, and are great conversationalists. I really enjoy talking with them as we did many evenings in the lodge. Before leaving they made their reservations for 2005, and we are all looking forward to seeing them again.
Bob McCrosky and son Andrew from Kalamazoo, Mi, back for their 4th consecutive year, and friends Bob Severt and son Brandon from Coldwater, Mi, and Paul Sanford with Son Dave from Portsmouth, NH were back for their second trip to Fireside Lodge. They had a very good time and caught a lot of nice fish during their stay. On the first day Bob and Andy caught a lot of Northern Pike, and both caught some larger Pike 35 to 37 inches. A crazy event that happened to Bob was, while fighting a small Northern Pike a 37" Northern attacked the smaller Pike and would not let go right up to being netted by Andy. Yes, we have a picture on our lodge viewer of both fish in the water laying side by side. Dave Sanford started a streak of a Muskie a day which lasted 3 consecutive days. The second and third were easy compared to his first, which found him fishing alone and trying to land a mid 30" Muskie by himself. Well, he did it with a lasting story to tell. Dave and father Paul enjoyed catching Northern Pike consistently all week and made another memorable trip at Fireside Lodge. Another day found Bob and son Andy catching 30 Northern Pike with Bob landing the biggest, a 35 incher. You could always find Bob Severt and son Brandon smiling and enjoying each others company. They did well fishing all week and being Brandon's first fishing trip to Canada, initiated him to how cool and wet it could be in late June. We again had another below normal week in temperatures, with rain every day, but with positive attitudes like Bob and Brandon had, you would never know the weather was bad.
Father and son Paul and Tony Capecchi from Inner Grove Heights, Mn were back for their second year in a row. They had a dream fishing trip as they caught a ton of fish. Starting out on their day of arrival they caught 18 Northern Pike in just a few hours. 1st day they caught over 60 Northern Pike with only 12 being under 30 inches and Tony caught 2 Muskie. 2nd day they caught at least 75 all between 26 to 35 inches, and Tony caught 2 more Muskie. 3rd day they caught 46 Northern Pike and half were 30 to 35 inches, and Tony caught 3 more Muskie. On the forth day they caught 36 Northern Pike, with most between 30 to 35 inches, and yes for the fourth day in a row Tony caught a Muskie. It was in the last spot of the day, on the last few casts. Fifth day brought them 40 fish, 12 nice Smallmouth, with several being Master Anglers Samllmouth at 19.5 inches, one Muskie to make it 5 days in a row that Tony caught a Muskie, and the rest were Northern Pike. The final day found them having their best day catching 85 Northern Pike, and Tony made it 6 Muskie days in a row by landing three. Before this trip Tony had never caught a Muskie before and ended up catching one every day, and caught a total of twelve. Tony also caught 5 Master Angler Award Smallmouth, two at 19.5 inches, two 18.5 inchers and one at 18 inches. A good story was when Tony was trying to eat a sandwich at lunch time he left his rod dangling over the side of the boat, and the lure was just under the waters suface. That's when a 19.5 inch Smallmouth came up and smacked his lure almost dragging his fishing rod in the water. Tony recovered in time grabbing his rod, put his sandwich down, landed this MONSTER Smallmouth, had a picture taken then finished his lunch. Great Story, and many great memories made by this father and son. Before leaving they made their reservations for 2005 to continue their Fireside Lodge memory book.
Hot Lures of the week: Mepps #5, Blue Fox Spinner, and Plastic Tubes
Master Anglers Awards caught: Smallmouth Bass 22, largest 20.25 inches
Northern Pike 2, largest 42 inches
Muskie caught for the week: Total 82 caught, Largest caught 38 inches
That's all for this weeks Fireside Lodge fishing news, so until next week, "Keep On Fish'n". Alan