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.