As the 2012 season at Scott Lake Lodge moved through August, we had a bow wave of huge fish to pull us through the month. It was nothing short of amazing. According to conventional fishing wisdom, August is a month to stay home and watch fishing shows on TV. “You can’t get big pike in August” is a refrain here all over the north country. Some fools believe pike lose their teeth in August and can’t even feed. Others just believe the water to be too warm to catch fat, healthy pike. Those skeptics should have been watching the real life fishing show here at Scott. On the 60th parallel the big pike really get moving in the fall, a season here that starts right around August 1st. As in most seasons, this year our pike fishing rocked in August and the trout fishing wasn’t shabby either.
When the final group of anglers left our dock late early in the evening of August 24th they were a tired bunch, wore out from a week of pike wrestling. When the fishing and the counting was done, it was pretty obvious that our anglers caught an amazing number of huge fish in the final third of the season. And for a lot of anglers size does matter. While June and early July always produced the big numbers and often the most trophy pike (fish 40 inches or better), it’s usually August that produces the really, really big fish. Some fisherman may lie but our Scott Lake Lodge trophy numbers don’t. We don’t ask guides to do daily fish counts (fishing here isn’t a competition) but we do recognize big fish and keep track of trophy sized pike, trout and grayling. The numbers for August were more than impressive. There were 340 trophies caught in 24 days in August, an average of 14 per day. (Since we were full up every week all season, we are looking at apples to apples or trophy to trophy comparisons.) June had 240 trophies in 20 days, an average of 12 per day and July had 401 trophies in 31 days, an average of 13 per day. In August big trout were solid with ten trout over 40”, double the number in June for about the same number of days fished. July has always been the peak time for giant trout. This year was no exception with 22 over 40”, nearly one per day.
But when we look at the “supersized” pike category, those at or over 45 inches we see an entirely different story: August is when the big gals go grocery shopping. This August in 24 days of fishing Scott anglers landed 26 pike over that fish of a lifetime size and nine of those fish were real whoppers at 46.5 inches or longer. There were two at 47, two at 49 and the fish of the summer, the 51 inch goliath described in an earlier update. July had plenty of supersized pike with 14 in 31 days of fishing and June had 12 in 20 days of fishing, but it doesn’t take a math whiz to see that August was the month to catch the really big pike. This August was blessed with a long run of very mild weather. But as in most years August had a lot of wind, a condition big fish and our guides just love. The flat, hot glassy days are great for boat rides but not for big fish. The final day of the 2012 season put a big red line under the big fish theme: Peter Myhre and Connie Schmidt both got 46.5” pike on Scott and Dave Ellis added a 45.5”, also on Scott.
The fall season had all the other elements late season Scott guests love: migrating geese and loons, some incredible northern lights, cool nights for sleeping and no bugs. What’s not to love? The 2012 year will be remembered for fantastic fishing, superb dinning, lively post dinner fish photos, great shore lunches, some memorable evening bonfires and the best customer service team this lodge has ever put together (that’s saying a lot for a lodge that built a reputation as the lodge with the friendliest, most personalized customer service in Canada). Our thanks to each of the 30 Scott Lake team members for going above and beyond normal effort delivering what we like to call “extreme customer service”. And thanks as well to the people who made this wonderful year possible—the 2012 customers who invested in the Scott Experience. We are every bit as proud of our customers as our staff. They arrive with a great attitude, looking for fish and fun. We hope all of Scott’s nearly 400 guests left with a feeling that they had experienced the best fishing trip of their lives.
And 2012 will be remembered fondly by Scott Lake Lodge management as the year with the highest rebooking rate in our history. On closing day this year we were sitting with deposits for 330 anglers. Only 380 were at Scott in 2012. That’s an off the charts rebooking rate of 91%. Guests like something about the place. But mainly 2012 will be remembered as the year when the “big ones DIDN’T get away”.