Guide Lines from Glenn McDonald: Northwest Ontario

Musky Hunter fishing report for Aug 3/21

Hot and dry conditions have continued throughout the month of July, and with it increasingly lower lake levels. Many of the area lakes in and around Eagle Lake are at historic lows. This has not impacted on the fishing, however it has slightly changed some of the structure and how we fish it.

Water temps in the Northwestern Ontario region have stayed below the 80 degree mark for the most part. With cooler nights forecasted we should be seeing slightly cooler water as we head into August. Weed growth is at, or near summer maximum height and most weed beds are thick and heavy. 

Many fish have been using the weeds for cover during the hot, calm days. Those not in the weeds have been sliding off rock structures during daylight hours and suspending over open water.

Over the past week we fished Canyon lake, Indian Chain and spent the weekend on Eagle Lake. 

Canyon Lake was 73-75 degrees, with a very slight west wind and we moved most fish from main lake points and rocks. We bagged three, and missed four. The first hit a Lee Lures boilermaker, the fish was sitting tight to shore along bedrock next to a 25’ drop off. The next two hit my old beat up Suick thriller, in silver jailbird. The first hit from under the boat, in 25’ of water on a short line and put up quite a fight. She was a healthy 45”er. The second hit the same Suick way out from the boat and was slightly shorter than the previous fish. 

The highlight of the Canyon trip was my 10 yr old daughter, Kenzie getting hooked up on a Lake X Lures Fat Bastard, all caught on video. Sadly this one came unpinned at the boat, but nonetheless it was very exciting. Look for the youtube video to post in the coming weeks.

Indian Lake Chain was very slow the day we were out, we only moved a couple fish. The one we caught was a special fish though.

Fishing a weed patch behind a rock pile, tight to shore, in an area I caught a four footer in the past, Dave Chaval was throwing a prototype spinnerbait from DropTine Tackle. He got rocked way out from the boat and the fish had all the power of a big musky. When she rolled close to the boat we could see she was a big tiger! It wasn’t until we pulled her from the bag that we saw the extreme snub nose on her. She bumped out at 43.5” and will be very recognizable for anglers in the future.

Eagle Lake brought us some highs, lows and heartbreaks, as Eagle Lake usually does. Richard Madussi and I fished pretty hard for the better part of two and a half days. The video was running the whole time and we missed fish in the 8, we dropped fish we had hooked up, we had more lazy follows than I can count. My wife, Kyla and her sister, Kendra spent some time with the camera running and they also had their share of heartbreaks. They raised a couple 50 class fish both evenings they were out. They did come away with a cool blind figure 8 strike from under the boat!

Richard and I boated a few small fish and were running out of ideas to get these big girls to move. As the wind picked up from the north, bringing two foot rollers to the main lake, we decided to stop at a main lake rock pile and try a reverse drift. The key to getting fish moving was to cast up wind and pull our baits down wind, into the face of a musky facing into the wind.

About 5 casts into the top side of the rock pile my rod was doubled over. I knew right away it was a good fish, she was staying down deep and pumping her head hard. In the heavy wind and waves it was a struggle to keep her away from the trolling motor and in a position to slide the net under her. We had one shot and Richard was able to scoop her. 

She ate my Harvey Baits Javelin way out and she crushed the head of the bait so hard she broke the epoxy around the screw in weight. I didn’t know her true size until I reached in to hoist her out of the bag. As soon as I saw her in the bag I knew she was gonna be heavy. As I slid her on the board we were pumped to see a true Eagle Lake beast, 51” long!

We worked hard for a good bite on Eagle Lake, but a positive musky attitude paid off. Sticking with confidence baits, and fishing areas we had confidence in really helped as well. 

Video will be posted on my youtube over the next month or so, check it out here

Fishing should remain good with stable weather on the forecast and favourable new moon conditions coming. The open border in a weeks time should see American anglers greeted with fantastic fishing!

Gregg Thomas

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