Those of you in Canada’s western provinces realize just how good your natural resources for hunting and fishing actually are. For those living in Ontario and farther east, you may not have a grasp on just how good our western neighbours 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 to 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.
The plan was to hit shallow spawning areas of Last Mountain, throwing very specific lures—a swimbait to be exact. The reason? Rob has fished this lake so much that he has dialled in the presentation to a specific bait. Colour choice is the only variable.
Swimbaits are best known for being big Bass lures, especially in the United States. That being 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 are 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 swimbait. These are hand poured and have a unique square-shaped tail, giving the bait incredible action. Rob has tried a variety of different swimbait but swears that this is the perfect choice for Last Mountain Lake.
NO HAMMER-HANDLES 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, about 40 km northwest of the city of Regina. It flows into the Qu’Appelle River via Last Mountain Creek, which flows past Craven. The lake 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 two 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. It was the dirtier-watered weed bay, however, that ultimately gave up the biggest fish.
As a bonus, the guys also tied into some superb Walleye. Rob and his team state that the Walleye fishing in October is nothing short of spectacular.
The end result of all this fishing was excellent. Lots of fish and, believe it or not, they’re pretty much all on the bigger side—no hammer-handles.
This western Canadian Pike adventure definitely showed Pete the importance of choosing the correct bait. “Trust me,” he says. “I tried the old reliables like spoons, spinners, jerkbaits, et cetera, but the swimbaits truly brought the magic to Last Mountain Lake.”