Week 7 Update: Lucky 7’s produce a 2017 Season Record for Trophies!

Week 7 Update: Lucky 7’s produce a 2017 Season Record for Trophies!

Lucky 7’s…the seventh week of the season, seventh month of the year of 2017 had Scott Lake Lodge guests full of luck. This week was hot, both weather wise and on the fishing front. Despite being on the 60th line of latitude Scott Lake sees hot weather in the summer. Mother nature put on a show for the first 3 days of week 7, with calm waters, blue skies and temperatures in the mid 80s. This was important for 2 reasons, first the big northern pike that lurk in Scott and the surrounding flyouts got hungry, and second the cold water loving lake trout dropped into the holes. This created a perfect storm for the guides and guests plying our waters, trout concentrated in the depths and giant pike started on a feeding frenzy. This week was proof, any week of the year at Scott Lake Lodge can be the best…the fish don’t care if it’s June, July or August, when the conditions are right, they chow down!!

Nothing is sweeter than being in the right place at the right time, our guides have a knack for putting our guests in just that situation and week 7 was no different. 159 trophies hit the nets this past week, and some were giants! In the shallows, the big pike came early and often to Scott guests. Jake and Justin Linaberger started hot with a bunch of big pike, they topped out at 42” and 43.5” pike respectively. Justin added a 40” jumbo laker to his tally, not to be outdone Jake hauled up a giant 43” laker. The drags were screaming in their boat that day! The pair did a walk and wade for grayling, with much success, adding both their names to the 100+ club roster. Gene Brzek, in the boat and rapids with guide T-bag was throwing flies to big pike and on day 1 put a cast in front of a most accommodating 44” northern. Gene had a hard time deciding which fought harder, the big pike or the 39” laker that didn’t want to leave the bottom. After an afternoon in the grayling rapids Mr. Brzek notched a trophy triple and 100+ club entry.

Despite some summer storms, Steve Keith put on a clinic for big pike, Steve had just about every number over 40” topping out with a mammoth 47” water wolf, that came charging out of some flooded grass to inhale his bait. Steve made the 100+ club with a 39.5” trout and a day 5 grayling from the rapids on the Dubwant River. A week like Steve’s doesn’t often get overshadowed by his fishing partner, but the other side of Cory Craig’s boat for the week Rhys Reese put on a show…. numerous big pike came to hand for Rhys, but none bigger than his personal best 48.5” leviathan! Rhys rolled lucky 7s out of the gate because he followed up his big pike with a monster 42” laker…that was just the first morning! After a fast start Rhys waited all the way until the last day to catch his grayling, 18.5” of artic sail fish gave Rhys 109” of Scott Lake fish, a lofty mark for the year. The Fierbaugh’s fished hard and came up big with many “overs” and many just under that they admitted fought even harder than the big ones. Tim Fierbaugh caught fire on day 4 of his trip bringing 7 pike over 40” to the boat. Partners Frances Sun and Daniel Speilman, were in the boat with Jan this week. Both had a blast, both caught trophy triples. Daniel hit the 100+ club with beauty grayling, a 38” Abitau Lake trout and a magnum Scott Lake pike, measuring on a tight tape 48.75” to take the honors for pike on week 7.

The guests weren’t the only ones catching big fish. Office manager Mason, had Claire out for a fish on her birthday, it wasn’t long until she celebrated in style with a 43”er!

If we could script a week to repeat 16 times at Scott Lake, this would be it, great weather, great fishing and great company. No wonder nearly all of our guests chose to rebook with us before leaving…the highest compliment we can receive.

Week 6 Update : Fireworks On And Off The Water

Week 6 Update : Fireworks On And Off The Water

At fishing lodges around the world, you often hear: “Should have been here last week”. Well, the guests at Scott Lake Lodge who arrived at Scott on July 4th were celebrating all week and they were saying: “Good thing we were here this week.” It was a week of fishing fireworks.

Finally, we started getting some consistently sunny days with some real heat that kicked the big pike right in the fins. It was a week of lots of fish and lots of big fish—141 trophy sized fish to be exact. Everyone was getting in on the action, but Mike and Chris Newbury had more action than they could handle. They landed 13 trophy pike in a single day and their guide stopped measuring fish when they hit the baker’s dozen. They had never experienced anything like it. At the end of the day they were exhausted. That’s a measure of a great fishing day. Even up here we’re not used to seeing so many big fish. In these five days of July there were monster pike on the screen every night: 45s landed by Tom and John Faulkenberry, Malcolm Myers, Kevin Denney and Bob Nettune; 46s landed by Mike Newbury, Jim Hambright and, yes again, Bob Nettune; a beautiful 47 landed by Ed Reisdorf and a massive 48.5” northern pike landed by Brad Sailsbury. Brad’s big pike gave him a good shot at earning the 100+Club jacket and he came through with big lake trout and grayling getting the honor with a total of 104.5 total trophy inches. Trevor Myers will have numbers totally 106 inches embroidered on his jacket. And Gary Peters will have a jacket with exactly 100 as his total.

It wasn’t just a big pike story this week. Now that the summer heat has pushed the lakers down into the deep holes on Scott Lake and our fly out lakes they can be successfully targeted, thanks to the electronics that can pinpoint the fish (but not make them eat). C. B. Young’s guide saw some nice “arcs” down deep and C.B. hooked up with some gorgeous lake trout, a 40, a 41 and a 43 incher. Trevor Myers hit the jackpot when he landed four monsters, a 38, a 39, a 40 and a 43” fat trout. Those are all fish of a lifetime. This season those fish of a lifetime just keep coming, especially the pike. We are now at 18 pike of 47” or better this season, still tracking to beat last year’s record number of these fish recently described by a Facebook fan as “hogs with gills”. Let’s hope our guides can keep calling in the hogs.

It was more than the big fish that make this week at Scott a real Fourth of July celebration of fishing. It was the pleasant weather, the many moose and bear sightings, the loons calling at night, the stories of wonderful shore lunches and especially the animated conversations around the dinner table. It’s not the big fish that make Scott Lake Lodge special: it’s the special people who come here. If a week of fishing and fun like this is something you can handle, why not get in touch with guide and sales manager Jon Wimpney (j5@scottlakelodge.com)…don’t get caught saying “I wish I had booked last year”

 

Week 5 Update:  Despite The Weather, The Trophies Keep Coming

Week 5 Update: Despite The Weather, The Trophies Keep Coming

It was an auspicious week. We didn’t just celebrate Canada Day on July 1 with flags, toasts, a rousing performance of O Canada and a glorious feast of elk loins, maple glazed cedar plank salmon and ribeye steak topped off by a Maple Leaf birthday cake; We celebrated the 150th birthday of our host country, the land of polite people, hockey madness, French fries with gravy AND cheese and the land of giant northern pike. To make that point absolutely clear, our intrepid group of anglers put on a real pike show for the week. Leading the way, with one of the best pike days ever seen here, John Green put his guide’s memory skills to the test. Without writing things down could you remember this string of landed trophy pike: a massive 48-inch pike, two 44s, a 43, a 42, a 41, a 40.5 and a 40? John wasn’t alone with big fish: there were 28 trophy pike caught on that day alone. For the week, there were seven pike over 45”, our designation of a “supersized” pike. Gerry O’Brien got his personal best with a 47 on the first day. John Green two days after his orgy of big pike caught another 47 and added three more trophy pike. On that day, though, he played cameraman more than a few times for his fishing partner, Brent Laing, who landed not just a hefty 46.5” pike but he added six more trophy pike to his memorable day. We specialize in memorable days here. All 26 anglers in camp caught at least one trophy pike. That’s spreading the love around. Jim Klenk did double duty this week, landing a 45” pike and one of the biggest trout of the season, a very fat 42 incher. Earl Zagrodnik kept another iconic Canadian fish in the mix. He and his fishing partner, nephew James Zagroknik, had a spectacular grayling day on a river 30 miles north of Scott Lake. Earl landed a dandy, a 19 incher. With so many big fish with big teeth around, the arctic grayling tends to be a forgotten player. For those with a love of fly fishing a day on one of the rivers in our region can be very satisfying, even their most memorable day of the trip, as it was for Earl and James. Gerry O’Brien successfully went after grayling on his final day, getting a 16.5” sailfish of the north and hitting 101 total trophy inches to earn his 100+Club jacket. His fishing partner Andrew Troop just missed the jacket but got his Trophy Triple hat as a reminder of his great week. Quite a week that boat had. Weather-wise this was not a perfect week by any means. On the third day of the trip a cold front moved in with a nasty east wind, predictably dropping the trophy count to just ten that day. The temperatures changed the next day, maybe too fast. It hit 80 but in the far north with that kind of heat often something gives. It did. We had a savage thunderstorm. Being in a boat with graphite fishing rods that double nicely as lightning rods just isn’t smart. Most of the boats on Scott Lake came in early that day and just enjoyed the light show from shore. But that was only on Scott Lake. On our fly out lakes our anglers (16 of them that day) enjoyed a perfect day, proving yet again that all weather is local. All in all: it was an excellent week, with 93 trophies landed, and, despite some bad weather, three more hog pike were put in the books. Through five groups we have now tallied nine 47” pike, six 48” and one 51”, putting us on track to meet or beat the all-time big fish record of last season when 34 pike of 47 or better were caught. Stay tuned.
Week 4 Review :  Return of the sun, return of the trophies.

Week 4 Review : Return of the sun, return of the trophies.

WEEK 4 UPDATE: Back to back years, back to back trophy fish!

Does lightning ever strike the same place twice? Can two pike of exactly the same size in two separate lakes ever be caught on the same day exactly a year apart? How lucky or good can one angler be? These are questions as deep as our northern lakes, but one would have to ask Joe Novicki. He has the answers. And they are all “yes”. In June of 2016 on Joe’s 33rd trip to Scott Lake Lodge since 1997, he set the bar for big pike at Scott Lake Lodge with an impressive 51 incher. In June of 2017 on his 34th trip, he put the bar right back there by landing an even heavier 51” pike, the kind with big shoulders. And the same day he put three more trophy notches in a belt that now has more notches than leather. And again his long suffering fishing partner, Bill Calabresa, got to play cameraman for the second straight year. (Joe got even but we’ll get to that later.) It’s a great fish story and many others were written during our fourth week of the season. Jim MacDougall used his fly rod like a magic wand to bring pike of 48,45,44,44,41 and 40” under his spell. Then on bait casting gear added lake trout of 36 and 37”. Allen Wortz Jr. got in the big pike game, landing a 47 and a pair of 45s. His fishing partner, Craig Mataczynski, joined the fun with a 45 and three others over 40”. On his first ever Canadian fishing trip Joey Manship brought five trophy pike to the boat. His dad, Mike, contributed two more. Judy and Conrad Schmidt, on their 33rd trip, teamed up for five trophy pike. So for some more southern fishing lodges these numbers might add up to a pretty damn good season. For lodges in our neighborhood, that might constitute a solid week. Here at Scott Lake Lodge all of that happened in JUST ONE DAY, the first day this group hit the water. Yes ONE DAY.

Well, we cheated. We had a day of beautiful sunshine and just the right winds. Sun is the secret sauce for pike fishing. And this group got lucky. We had sun most of the time for all five days of their trip and the fishing reflected it. Our guides and anglers did have to contend with some vicious east winds that made travel by boat a bit more of an adventure than most people enjoy, but the fishing more than made up for it. The big fish just kept on rolling in. Connor Dannewitz hit the big time with a 48” pike adding a 45” and a 42” to the day. His dad, Chuck, got four trophy pike that day as well. After their big day on Day 1 of their trip the Manship duo, Mike and Joey, together landed nine trophy pike in a single day. Phil Robers and Andre Lechowicz each had a four- trophy pike outing.

Our old friends Bill Calabresa and Joe Novicki were in camp for ten days and never took their feet off the gas pedal. Every year they are gunning for the 100+Club jacket. After Bill got his massive 45.5” lake trout, he got serious about pike and grayling. Then Joe got the 51” pike and put himself in a good position for a run. Both got big grayling but Joe couldn’t put up a big trout number. So on the last day Bill bags a 46” pike to give him a huge total—109.5 inches, a number that will be tough to beat. Joe ended his quest at 106.5”, a very healthy number. Both will proudly wear their jackets. Jim MacDougall also joined the Club, getting 102.5 total inches. Steve Doerter ended his trip with a big fish, a fat 40” lake trout. The best part about this week: everyone got into the trophy game. All 26 anglers in camp got a trophy pike pin. A grand total of 137 trophy fish were caught, 122 of them pike, on this windy but sunny week. Want to have the same kind of fishing on a trip next year? Just pick a week with five straight sunny days. Any week of our season could be the very best or the most challenging of the season. So just come up whenever you can.

Week 3 Review: A Week of Two Extremes

Week 3 Review: A Week of Two Extremes

When the Sun Shines, the Fishing Shines

You’ve read this in other updates but some things are just plain true and deserve repetition: when the sun shines the pike fishing shines. In the early season water temperature is the #1 factor in pike fishing success—they just crave warm water. Clearly sun on the water is how the shallow bays get warm enough for huge fish to go into water just inches deep where they can be spotted and often caught.

In Week 3 we had more proof for the premise. When we had sunny days, our anglers just hammered them. When it was cool and cloudy, fishing was tougher. On this group’s first day on the water it was blue skies on Scott and all water in our fishing territory, all nine million acres of it. The trophy stack for our nightly after-dinner trophy announce- ments (it’s like dessert after dessert) was as thick as some of our massive pike. Twenty out of twenty-six of our guests got the trophy pike pins that evening. There was a whopping total of 40 trophy pike caught in a single day with four of them of 46” or better.

Foster Graf had quite a day, landing four trophy pike topped by his personal best, a fat and beautiful 47 incher, but dad, Mark Graf, did more than take pictures that day. He caught seven trophies with a 46 at the top end. Now that’s father/son bonding. Long time regulars Joe Calabresa and Joe Novicki teamed up for seven trophies on Day 1.

It was fun while it lasted, but a mean north wind and some clouds stopped the party. On the second day, our gang struggled a bit, cut- ting the daily trophy award stack in half. And then on the third day everything just shut down. We had a real blow from the north, making boating and fishing less than the enjoyable pursuit it should be. Instead of fishing most of our guests were playing cards in the main lodge, keeping warm and comfortable.

With rather large waves it wasn’t comfortable in the boats but a few weathered the storm. Rory Wright and John Kroner stayed out all day, even having shore lunch. John was rewarded with a 44” pike. Hunter Larson had a rough boat ride to a spot about 20 minutes from the lodge when he found himself tied to a 47.5” pike.

But the real story on that windy, wavy day was at the end of Bill Calabresa’s line. He and his partner were trolling for trout less than 100 yards from the island where Scott Lake Lodge is based. About 90 seconds after the big Shad Rap hit the water, Bill had a tug, a big one. In the wild wind and waves, it was an exciting fight but about 15 minutes later Bill had his biggest trout ever—a massive 45.5” beauty. They were back in the toasty lodge for lunch. That’s efficiency in fishing. There were only four trophies on the big screen after dinner when we show off the “catches of the day” but two were monsters.

The weather and fishing settled down for the final two days of the trip. Lots more big fish graced the TV screen. Jim MacDougall watched his 47’ pike go public. David Thome saw his 46 and 47, the results of one fine day on the water. But the best story of the week was the father/son quest for the 100+Club jacket, the reward for getting allthree of Scott’s gamefish in trophy size where the collective measurement hits or exceeds 100”. It’s a tough thing to do. Since both dad, Greg Larson, and son, Hunter Larson, had already caught big pike and trout, they flew on their final day to a river about 35 miles north of Scott Lake to find a big grayling. Their script turned into reality. Both landed big grayling and both hit the same number for their jacket—102 total inches. They will proudly wear their customized jacket as a reminder of a great 2017 adventure.

The rest of the group will have touchstones of their trip as well. Everyone leaves with a thumb drive full of photographs taken by their guide. And everyone leaves with the most important digital impressions—those neural imprints deep in the brain than can retrieve the magical moments of an experience without having to plug in anything.

Week 2 Update – The Return of Summer

Week 2 Update – The Return of Summer

     

 

The Return of Summer

What a difference some sunshine makes! During our first week (we call our 5-day trips weeks because, well, just because it’s easier) of operations, there were precious few times when the rays of the intense sub-arctic sun hit the faces of our anglers in their boats or the backs of our pike in their bays. That changed in Week 2 and so did the fishing. It was a fantastic week on Scott Lake and our 18 fly out lakes with some amazing individual days.

Trophy Fishing is Heating Up!

Let’s start with a day that John Heinmiller will never forget. John and his wife Julie have a cabin in northern Minnesota where big pike do fall into nets now and then, but nothing prepared him for the experience of having ten pike over 40” end up in his guide’s boat in a single day. These weren’t skinny pike with length and no body. These were healthy, battling fish with substantial girths, one topping out at 46”. That’s a good day of fishing. Peggy Light had two incredible days of fishing. On her first day of the trip she got a 45” pike with four more trophy pike. On her second day she bagged a six-pack of pike with another 45. Mike Rogers and Jameson Viljaste were a two-man wrecking crew, getting 30 of the 147 (that’s a big number) of trophy pike caught this week. They have some destroyed spinners as mementos.

Along with some enchanting sunsets (around midnight), wonderful shore lunches, lots of bear sightings, dozens of loon, eagle and osprey sightings, those fish plus a few big lake trout and grayling created some powerful memories. Few more powerful though than the ones fueled by the images of four-feet, yes 48 inches, of beautiful pike in your guide’s hands. Bob Noble, after over 50 years of fishing throughout Canada, now as that memory. It was his biggest ever. Joe Daugherty equaled his personal best, also caught at Scott, with his 48” pike, caught on his fly rod no less. It was Joe’s 40th trip to Scott (he’s not that old—he just comes to Scott more than once a season, a smart man). Will they ever beat those marks? We might find out next season because like many of the other Week 2 guests they will be back in 2018 for more.

We are off to a great start in 2017. Our thanks to our Week 2 guests for making the trip north.