For those of you who live in Canada’s western provinces, you realize just how good your natural resources of hunting and fishing actually are. For those living in Ontario and east, you may not have a grasp on just “how” good our western neighbors have it. This Fish’n Canada episode took Pete to the province of Saskatchewan, about an hour north of Regina on Last Mountain Lake in search of big, early season Northern Pike.
Upon arrival in Regina, Pete and the crew met up with Fishing Saskatchewan’s Andrew “Smitty” Smith who has been an instrumental component in setting up pretty much all of Fish’n Canada’s recent Saskatchewan shoots.
Smitty had arranged to have a Princecraft/Mercury combo set up for the shoot through Silvester RV as well as stocking the boys cottage with food and locally “designed” beverages. He’s a hard working man that loves fishing… an excellent combo.
After a short drive Pete teamed up with Rob Schulz of G & S Marina Outfitters, who from what we’ve heard, is “THE MAIN MAN” when it comes to Pike fishing in this area. Rob said the fishing should be good.
The plan was to hit shallow spawning areas of Last Mountain throwing very specific lures… swimbaits to be exact. The reason… because Rob has fished this lake so much that he has dialed in the presentation to a specific bait, it’s only the color choice that is the variable.
Swimbaits are best known for being big bass lures especially in the USA. That said, a predator fish is a predator fish, so if they work in the south, they’ll certainly work in the north… and not just for Bass!
They come in an assortment of sizes, shapes, and materials, all of which have their place. There’s hard and soft bodies, full bodied and jointed, hollow and solid and finally straight, paddle or boot tailed.
For this episode Pete and Rob were throwing 5″ Big Hammer swimbaits. These are hand poured and have a unique square shaped tail, giving the bait incredible action. Rob has tried a variety of different swimbaits but swears that this is the perfect choice for Last Mountain Lake.
No Hammerhandles Found Here
Last Mountain Lake, also known as Long Lake, is a prairie lake formed from glaciation 11,000 years ago. It is located in south central Saskatchewan, Canada, about 40 km (25 mi) northwest of the city of Regina. It flows into the Qu’Appelle River via Last Mountain Creek which flows past Craven. It is approximately 93 km long, and only 3 km wide at its widest point.
It is the largest naturally occurring body of water in southern Saskatchewan, although Lake Diefenbaker (created by damming) is larger. The lake was named for a Plains Cree legend about the Great Spirit shovelling dirt from the valley the lake now occupies and forming Last Mountain Hills east of Duval. The lake is a popular resort area for residents of southeastern Saskatchewan.
The 2 types of areas the boys fished were a shallow soft bottomed weedy bay, as well as rocky bottomed main lake bays and points. They both produced, however it was the dirtier watered weed bay that ultimately gave up the biggest fish.
As a bonus, the guys also tied into some superb quality Walleye while Pike fishing. Rob and his team state that the Walleye fishing in October is nothing short of spectacular. That’s another shoot on the list!!!
The end result of all fishing was… EXCELLENT! Lots of fish and believe it or not, pretty much all on the bigger side… no hammerhandles.
This western Canadian Pike adventure most definitely showed Pete the importance of choosing the correct bait. “Trust me” he says “I tried the ol’ reliables like spoons, spinners, jerkbaits etc, but the swimbaits truly brought the magic to Last Mountain Lake”.
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s great Pike fishing, I first flew from Toronto to Regina Saskatchewan. From there I drove north on Highway 11 to Lumsden. Next I turned North on Highway 20 and followed the road through the scenic Qu’Appelle Valley past Craven. Just before I reached Bulyea, I turned West on Highway 220, which took me to Rowans Ravine Provincial Park and G&S Marina Outfitters on Last Mountain Lake.