Presented by Garmin
Believe it or not, this trip was longer in hours on the road and any other shoot of the season, and that includes New Brunswick.
The province of Ontario is a monster in physical size. It’s actually unbelievable how long it takes to drive from let’s say Toronto to beyond Kenora. How about over 20 hours and almost 2,000 km. That’s a long drive! However, when you take into account that some of the absolute best fishing in the province comes from Sunset Country in NW Ontario, most ardent anglers say it’s worth the time to get there.
We did the 20-hour drive to Kenora and then took yet another 30+ km boat ride on Lake Of The Woods to get to Uncle Marks Outpost camp.
Was it all worth it?
We beg you to try and find a nicer, better appointed, secluded outpost cabin in the entire province and if you do, is it on a body of water as productive as Lake Of The Woods?
Of course, we can’t say there aren’t any rivals to Uncle Marks but we can say, if you find one, please let us know!
Turned out to be a great trip for numbers of Walleye and Smallies along with a whack of incidental Pike (no incidental Muskie though), but no giants got to our rig (with the exception of a couple of bulbous Jumbo Perch).
One thing that surprised us in a huge way is after talking to local legend and our good friend Gord Pyzer about the invasion of Rusty Crawfish. Gord informed us that these little ravenous creatures are wreaking havoc on the weed growth as well as the established/localized crawfish population.
We did determine however that not all is doom and gloom because when we cut into some smaller Walleye and a couple of big Perch while prepping for a shore lunch, almost all of them, including the Perch had crawfish in their stomachs.
Our usual array of baits worked well here but we really concentrated on baits like a Ned Rig in green pumpkin colour. The Ned catches pretty much everything and the green pumpkin is very close to a typical crawfish colour.
We try to use as light a jig head as possible but often have to move up if the wind comes up and/or we’re in deeper water. 1/16 is on the light side and ¼ would be heavy. As for jig head colours we use green, black, brown or chartreuse (the latter only if the others aren’t working).
For line size, we almost always use a 10lb test braided line for my main line and an 8lb test fluorocarbon line (both from Yo-Zuri) for our leader material (at least 7 feet long). We like spinning rods with a medium light or medium fast action for the most part however we do sometimes use a light action 7 footer that took some getting used to. That’s used for the ultimate in finesse Ned Rigging.
The Ned Rig (an almost nothing-looking bait) has put so many fish in the boat for me that I can’t not bring them along on every shoot
As for suspending Jerkbaits, we changed things up from the 3DB 110 and went to a Yo-Zuri 3DS model. Something just a tad different.
- As well, our biggest Smallmouth came on a 5” Swimbait rigged on a jighead and worked ultra slow. I would throw that every now and then especially when entering a new area.
- We so wanted to tangle with a Muskie of any size as we brought up a Muskie rod and reel and was firing out the Yo-Zuri largest twitchbait in the 3D Inshore lineup. In typical Muskie fashion, they are always elusive… until we go Bass fishing of course!!!
Although it’s not considered a Muskie bait, we’re pretty sure in the right instance, it’ll do
GARMIN MOMENTS OF THE UNCLE MARK’S SHOOT
Our mapping became ultra-important on this shoot for a couple of reasons. First off, we had to venture close to 20 miles on Lake Of The Woods just to get to our cabin. Then of course we had to fish this incredibly intricate body of water. It would be very intimidating without a GPS unit… it could be done, but WHY???
Although this above screen shows what you may feel is a typical map of a good fishing lake, you need to realize that this is the tiniest section of this incredible body of water. We found that since we were fishing in unfamiliar water, we would take sections like the above and assess them as their own little fishing area. That way we could yay or nay it almost immediately and either fish it or move on.