This Fish’n Canada episode promises to show you a different side of what Ang and Pete encounter on some of their shoots. It may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, after all most people think that as fishing television hosts, everything comes easy…Right?…WRONG! In this particular episode they hit Mother Nature’s mother-load of bad… weather “and” water conditions which are both a way out of whack! They travel to Eddie North’s Attawapiskat Adventures in Northern Ontario.
A drive to a fishing destination in Northern Ontario during the spring is usually anything but consistent in the weather department. It can be sunny and hot one minute and freezing cold the next. The drive to this destination started out in southern Ontario with temperatures in the 20’s on the Celsius scale but by the time we reached our destination of Nakina, the truck thermometer ended up hitting 0… plus we hit a freak snow storm to boot!
When the boys finally arrived at the Nakina Air Base, luckily the snow stopped and we were able to fly in to the Attawapiskat River, the home water of this adventure.
A couple of years ago The Fish’n Canada Show fished the Attawapiskat for Pike with great success… the reason being, conditions were perfect… nice warm spring days, perfect water temps and a slow meandering current. On this trip though, things were different. Reports have it that conditions are anything but perfect!
The flight to the camp ended up going great and in fact, the weather was definitely turning to the better. There is something about flying over northern Ontario that really calms and yet excites an angler at the same time. Eddie North’s Attawapiskat Adventures was the ultimate destination, a very rustic Hunting and Fishing Camp. If you are looking for a no frills affordable camp that is situated in some of Ontario’s most pristine Pike and Walleye waters… then this is definitely for you!
TOUCHDOWN & WATER LEVELS
After disembarking the plane it didn’t take long to figure out that something wasn’t quite right… it was just a question of what… until finally it clicked. The water levels looked high… there was no worn shoreline to speak of and the brush and foliage was right at and into the waters edge. Knowing that the conditions were less than perfect, the boys rigged up a variety of baits both in terms of size and actions. Under these circumstances it’s important that an angler lets the fish dictate what’s going to work not the other way around. The official word finally came out, the water levels were 6 feet higher than normal… and rising!!! Not a good thing! Could it get any worse???
So, the water levels were off the chart and in fact, higher than they had been in decades which put one foot in the grave… but all of a sudden the water temps have plummeted lower than pre-spawn… and it was well past the actual spawn period… that foot number 2!
What this equates to the reference at the head of this story… it’s not all laid out on a platter for the “Fish’n Canada boys”!
Just as expected, the big Northerns of the Attawapiskat were playing hard to get. Hammer-handles in the shallows are common place in almost all Pike areas no matter what the conditions… “and” they end up driving you nuts when you’re hunting for 40+ inch monsters!
Angelo says in the show, “With the fishing conditions being so horrible, Pete is usually of the mind frame to under-size his presentation. His first choice is a little 5” suspending minnow bait which will coax in all sized fish, even the giants. It’s a good choice BUT my theory is go big or stay home.” And it was seeming to work on this trip.
His bait of choice was a giant, white Waterwolf tube with a floating insert. It doesn’t actually float but it sinks so slow that it drives Pike and Muskie so crazy that often times they can’t resist smashing it.
“Thankfully Ang caught those couple of bigguns because that was it for the day”, said Pete. The boys would trek back to camp and re-group.
THE NEXT DAY
They found a little sweet-spot in a bay “and” Ang got Pete throwing the giant Tube. “He’s a hard man to convince but an easy man to convert” says Ang.
The Hotspot that they discovered was a grassy underwater point that was slightly different than the rest of the bay, and that, can make all the difference… and not just for Pike! Subtle differences are what it takes in order to overcome extremely negative fishing conditions.
The rest of the day turned out much better in the big Pike department. As the water heated up, the fish definitely got cranked
up so the boys decided to expand their little fishing area to the surrounding shorelines… expecting more fish to move in and start feeding… “but” their expectations were let down.
“Believe it or not, that little weed point produced about 90% of our good bites, and that was our ultimate saving grace” said Pete.
NOTES FROM THE BOYS
A PIECE OF ADVICE
The saviour for this trip to the Attawapiskat River was a big Waterwolf Tube bait made by Canadian bait manufacturer Mike Nabulsi from Deseronto Ontario.
The boys pack these giant plastics on every Northern Pike adventure they go on now and Angelo “usually” fires them out even in the harshest of conditions. The colour of choice was white for this trip as it was a couple of years ago on another stretch on the same river when Fish’n Canada shot with Hearst Air.
There are a couple of key factors when using this bait; a slow fall and sharp hooks. The retrieve the boys usually start with is a slow steady pulling or jerk followed by a 1-2 second pause to allow the bait to sink. If the fish are cranked up then a more aggressive jerking action will work better.
This bait originally came with a wood “plug” or insert giving it buoyancy of which Angelo only has one left… and he better not lose it because he swears by it. A large swimbait hook with a bit of weight will work as well. A leader is a must!
- Go Fish Ontario
- Rob Maylin – Big Carp Magazine
- Jerry Bridger – Carpworld Magazine
- Roy Russel – Carp Talk Magazine
- Dave Grove – Go Fishing Worldwide
- Taro Murata
- Paul Castellano firstname.lastname@example.org
- Len Perdic