As of July 24, we have hosted nine five-day groups at Scott Lake Lodge, exactly half of our 90-day 2018 season. So, is this glass of perfectly clear Scott Lake water half-empty or half-full?

We’re kidding. Of course, it’s half-full. Scott Lake Lodge is that kind of place. Actually, we don’t even like half-full glasses—be it water, wine, beer or spirits we make sure all the glasses around here are brimming full. And that’s exactly what happened over the first 45-days. We have half of a glass and half of a season that’s full of huge fish.

It’s hard to imagine a better overall half-season that what we have experienced this year. There were some weeks with better fishing of course. Fishing in the far north is all about weather: typically, the warmer the better. Some of our groups encountered nasty cold fronts that dramatically slowed things down, but overall, the fishing was sensational. This is, after all, not the kind of fishing lodge where you should have been here last year, or ten years ago. This was the year to be at Scott Lake Lodge and we’re not indulging in speculation. We have the numbers. They do tell a story.

Big smiles and big trout.

That story has been BIG FISH, lots of big fish. In our first 45 days our intrepid anglers have landed 1,164 trophy fish. That’s a bigger number than the full season totals for all but six in our twenty-one-year history, all of those within the past eight years. It’s the really big pike though that have this half-full glass just jammed with huge fish (it’s a big glass by the way). By our standards a huge pike is one in our “super-sized” category, a fish of 45” or more. That’s for most anglers a true fish of a lifetime. Well, that adrenaline-inducing experience of tying into a 45+ pike has happened 100 times already this season.

“That adrenaline-inducing experience of tying into a 45+ pike has happened 100 times already this season”

To put that number in perspective, over the past 21 seasons the average number of super-sized pike was 42—for the full season. We are well on our way to blowing away our all time over 45” number of 138 set last season. It will happen. The second half of the season is typically when the giants go one the prowl in their annual fall feeding binge. If we look at pike over 47”, a size we call the “megas”, we have a similar story. Our anglers have landed 20 of those so far this season, against a 21-year full-season average of just 9.  Between 2004 and 2010 the average was 4.5 of the mega size. So, something is happening here. We have had roughly the same number of guests every season since the 2000 season. It’s not more anglers. For pike, both the total number of trophy fish (40” or more) and the super-sized numbers have exploded. Why? Lots of factors: more fly out options with fish that haven’t ever seen a lure (from 3 to 22 over the past 21 seasons); more experienced guides (average tenure now is 17 seasons at Scott); better fish handling (lower mortality); better anglers (our repeat customer rate is now around 85%) and maybe most importantly, warmer water that creates conditions for faster growth rates. All speculation of course but the numbers are real.

Behind all those real numbers are real stories. Probably every one of the 240 anglers who have jumped off a floatplane onto our docks this summer has three of four stories of big fish landed or lost; stories of over-the-top shore lunches and superb dinners at the lodge ; stories of friendships made or renewed; and simple stories of loon calls, the sight of an eagle arcing across the sky or the sound of the loons calling in the night, and the rare experience of being in a pristine wilderness with all comforts of home (probably more comforts). No one’s story, though, can match Jim McDougal’s who on a single day landed seven trophy pike including a 45, a 46 and a whopping 49.5 incher. Kurt Vincellete has his 49.5 story as well. Russ Geseme has stories involving two 45s and two 47s. Dave Dalvey can remember fourteen trophies from his trip. Peter Myhre would have a difficult time remembering all his trophies—29 pike trophies in five days! Andrew Troop will always remember his massive 44” lake trout as will Brian Spaly remember his fat 44. And some youngsters will have memories of Scott for a long time as they kicked off their fishing careers. Fifteen-year-old Linus Maurer and thirteen-year-old Ben Matherly both landed 48” pike. Fourteen-year-olds Thomas Purcell and Greta Hall become some of the youngest members ever of our 100+Club. So many fish. So many memories. Now we will wait and see just how full that glass can get as we fish out the remaining 45 days of the 2018 season.

Now’s The Time to Book for 2019

If you don’t think that this is the time to book your 2019 trip you should read the above report again. In our long history we have never seen so many fish and so many big fish. If you were at Scott 10, 15 or 20 years ago, you would find a different place—better facilities, more experienced guides, better equipment and most definitely better fishing. We always allow guests to rebook their week, guide and cabin before they leave the island so we are not booking for August of 2019 yet but we are open to book for June and July. A few of our 2019 weeks are fully booked but many are open for your next fishing adventure.

Don’t miss your chance to get a prime week. Email our guide/sales manager Jon Wimpney at right now. He’s on the water during the day but catches up on emails/phone calls in the evening. He will call you the same day or the next day after you contact him. Our wifi calling works just fine here on the 60th parallel. For general information about the lodge or travel options call our customer service office in Wisconsin at 888/830-9525 (call 715/362-7031 from Canada). Yes, do it now.