This episode is a classic example of why you should never judge a book by its cover, had Ang done so we probably would have missed out on a great opportunity to discover yet another tremendous Canadian fishing adventure.
We got a call from the CEO of Fort McMurray Tourism in Alberta, making wild claims of giant Pike and Walleye that were being caught at a lake called Winefred. “Now I don’t know about you but I always thought Fort McMurray was an oil town… not a fishing mecca right??? WRONG”, says Angelo.
It doesn’t take much to get Ang’s attention especially when you start talking about 20 pound plus Northerns in a secluded gem of a lake surrounded by the Boreal Forest… and Frank’s statement is all it took!
“My partner for today’s adventure is good friend Patrick Walsh Editor and Chief of this country’s most influential national outdoors publication, Outdoor Canada Magazine. Patrick and I have known each other for years but have never had the opportunity to travel and fish together… that’s all about to change. This might be the beginning of a beautiful thing or the end of a wonderful friendship.”
or the end of a wonderful friendship”
Winefred Lake is a large body of water located in the north-eastern quadrant of Alberta. It’s actually in the most southerly reaches of the municipality of Wood Buffalo which stretches all the way up to the border of the North West Territories.
Situated between Cold Lake and Fort McMurray the remote but accessible Winefred Lake Lodge, home base for today’s episode, is 50 miles away from the closest community, the Hamlet of Conklin Alberta. Folks if you have any phobias about being in the wilderness this is not for you.
“Although this lake is known primarily for its insane Walleye fishing Patrick and I both agreed that we would focus our attention on Winefred Lakes trophy size Northern Pike and it didn’t take long for the action to begin…” says Ang in his ever excited fashion!
In this episode Angelo states that it’s great to see Patrick in action on the business end of a fishing rod but make no mistake about it this guy is one of the best magazine executives in the industry and it’s no coincidence that he’s in charge of Canada’s biggest national outdoor publication.
“One of the most satisfying elements of my job is the opportunity to share great fishing experiences with others, and of course being able to broadcast those moments with a television audience puts it over the top, I think Patrick feels the same about his job…”
There is very little mapping available for this body of water and so little is known about the fishing patterns that you could be days or weeks hunting down these giant fresh water predators, fortunately for Ang and Pat, another friend of Fish’n Canada and well known Alberta guide Ray Kohlruss was on hand in the searching process. Ray has had some firsthand experience fishing the giant gators of Winefred.
As the fishing commenced Ang stated “although we were faced with post cold front conditions these big burley critters were still quite willing to bite, I can only imagine how aggressive they’d be if they were really cranked up.” and from there on it was Monster Pike time… lots of pulling, splashing and screaming!
“Both big and small baits seemed to work… everything from a Double Willow Spinnerbait with #7 blades to a minuscule little in-line spinner that is normally thrown for Walleye.”
MORE GREAT FISHING ACTION
It’s one thing to have a trophy fishery, but to truly call a place world class you need much more, you need the right philosophy and it usually starts at the top. Earlier I had a chance to ask Lodge manager Carol Regular why people should come to Winefred Lake Lodge.
Patrick On The Stick —
Angelo says of Patrick, “You know for a magazine guy he’s not half bad… although I’ve known Patrick forever I’ve never seen this side of him, and I’ve got to say, fishing definitely brings out the best in him.” Encouraging words coming from a Canadian Anglers Hall of Fame inductee.
Together Ang and Pat went on to not only bust the Alberta Cold Front’s attempt to slow down the fishing, but as well spent some quality over due time on this beautiful gem of a lake in Northern Alberta… Walleye next trip, that’s for sure!!