This was probably one of our most anticipated fall fishing trips of the season. For one, it was an exotic location in having to launch on Lake Nipigon, travel the big lake and then find the mouth of the Sturgeon River. Once in the river it was a gorgeous early morning boat ride up stream through all the bends and rays of morning sunlight as we cut through the rivers rising mist; truly a spectacular site for a couple of exited anglers.
Once we arrived at our first fishing spot, we really had no idea what to expect. It was a slow moving deep turn in the meandering Sturgeon.
“We fired our first casts” says Pete “and Ang suddenly whispers out something like MY GOD THERE’S LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF WHITEFISH RIGHT UNDER OUR BOAT”
“As I looked down somewhat skeptical to his said number, indeed he wasn’t telling a fish story; the river bend was virtually loaded with Whities”!
As the boys fished this pool like they have never fished before it was very evident, the fish weren’t interested in their offerings. Spinners, spoons, tiny cranks, WORMS… no matter what they tried… na-da!
Now it’s tough to pull Ang and Pete from a thousand fish that they are targeting however through an in-boat meeting they decided to move up-river.
Next spot was a straight stretch with gorgeous wood entering the water along the shoreline. Trees and logs; snaggy but definitely worth checking.
Almost instantly Ang gets pounded by a fish “Problem was,” says Angelo “it was a big Speckled Trout.
“Not that I don’t like catching big Specks, that’s for sure, it’s that they were in the river spawning and out of season” and with that the boys made a quick release and were fishing again in no time.
Minutes later Ang sets again… another Speck… time to leave this spot. Although they could see Whitefish among the Trout, they didn’t want to disturb any more of the spawners, a nice call.
Onward and upward to the start of the river; a waterfalls area near a hydro plant. Here’s where the tides turned.
The similarity to this area vs down river was the abundance of Whitefish… the difference… they could be caught!
We have to let you in on a funny story here. As the boys left the studio for this shoot they made an emergency “5 minutes before closing” stop at the Oshawa SAIL store to grab some small spinners. Pete ran in, grabbed 5 or 6 different sizes and colors and they closed the doors behind him. Now fast forward to the waterfalls area that the boys are fishing in this story and you guessed it… only one of those spinners was working. Here’s how the choice as to who got the winner went.
Pete opened the SAIL bag and said “Ang, take your pick” to which Angelo grabbed a smallish Mepps… probably a size 1 or 2. Pete then grabbed the same lure only in the next size down. Once the boys started fishing, Pete’s smaller spinner was working wonders while Ang’s… not so much.
Pete, feeling the searing stares of Ang said “Here you use this one…”
They exchanged spinners and guess what. Nope not what you were thinking. Pete still kept catching fish while Ang… not so much.
Well Angelo not being the man to lay down in submission studied everything… speed Pete was reeling, time from when the spinner hit the water to start of retrieve, line size… EVERYTHING!!!
After all was exhausted, Angelo finally found the issue. Unbeknown to either of the boys, Pete’s reel had a slightly slower gear ratio than Ang’s. So what looked like the same retrieve speed at the handle, was actually a slightly slower speed in reality.
Once Angelo slowed down, bang… fish after fish to the boat.
That folks is what can happen in fishing. A subtle difference can change an entire day on the water.
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s great fishing, we drove from Toronto on Highway 400 North to Barrie, where we took Highway 11 for the next 1200 km, ending up at Road 801.
From there it’s a short 5 kilometres to Pasha Lake Cabins.
There are plenty of fishing and hunting opportunities here with the unique option of driving to little hidden destinations that pay off big time and are only accessible to Pasha Lake customers.
HOTSPOT brought to you by SAIL
N49° 40.888’ W88° 00.323’
Todays Hotspot is a section of the Sturgeon River in Northern Ontario. The Waypoint on the screen will get you there. This river pool loads up with Whitefish in the fall making them easy to access with a boat. There is limited access from shore as well.
Try casting and slowly reeling a small #2 spinner right through the school of fish. Whitefish in general are somewhat hard to hook because of their sucker-like mouth so a steady sweeping hookset will usually do the trick. If you are releasing fish then please try not to exhaust them during the fight as they are quite a delicate species. By the way, Whitefish taste great either smoked or fried.