Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nungesser Lake, Ontario - 6/10 thru 6/16/2011

Nungesser Lake is a fair-sized lake northeast of Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, that is best known for producing large Northern Pike.  It also has some really nice walleyes if you can find them.

Every other year since 2001, I've been fishing Nungesser Lake for a week with 3 other guys (Jay, Jeff and Chris).  2011 is our 6th trip to the lake.  The first 4 trips we fished in late July/early August.  At that time of year, the fish are typically 20 feet deep.  The past 2 trips have been in mid-June.  This early in the year, many fish are in 3 feet to 7 feet of water.

Its roughly a 13-hour road trip from central Iowa.  I'm not a fan of road trips.  But we usually see some interesting wildlife.  In the past we've seen moose, otter, and woodland caribou... but we did not see any this year.  During our road trip and while at the lake, we saw a solitary bear near the road, a mother bear with 2 cubs, deer, eagles, fox, osprey, loons, beaver, various ducks I was unable to identify, grouse, bats, and a porcupine (a first for me).  Our last night in camp, we watched a good-sized bear in our camp rummaging through our neighbor's belongings they had left outside overnight.  It was about 60 feet away from us.  We were watching out our screened window (at 3:30am), and the bear would look our way every time we whispered.  A loud  burst of flatulence from Chris spooked the bear and it then left camp.

Although I caught my first fly-rod Walleye a week or two ago in Iowa, one of my main goals at Nungesser Lake this year was to catch some more Walleyes on fly-fishing gear.  I used spinning gear for most of the trip, but I did manage to catch 5 Walleyes on fly-fishing gear this trip on a variety of fly patterns.  Its a really good fight!
Fly-Fishing for Walleyes!

With much forbearance from Jay, and also some from Jeff, I was also able to add both Yellow Perch and Northern Pike to my list of species I've caught on fly-fishing gear. Both guys were uncanny in their ability to duck my flailing casts. I did manage to hit myself in the back of the head with a heavy Clouser Deep Minnow pattern on one such cast. OUCH!
10" Yellow Perch on Fly Rod

Northern Pike on Fly Rod
Here's some of the patterns that caught fish.  The Springbrook Wunder microjig at the top caught the Yellow Perch.  The 4" Ward Bean's Jointed Minnow at the bottom caught the Pike.  The others caught walleyes.

Below is the day-by-day fishing results:
Friday, June 10, we arrived in camp. We are allowed to fish from the docks that day, but can't take the boats out until Saturday. I caught 3 Walleyes off the dock (one on a fly rod), the biggest was 20.5". I also landed 2 Northern Pike, the biggest was 30".  I left the camera in the cabin.
Saturday, June 11. Chris and I had a decent day. It was slow in the morning, when we fished a spot that produced well for us 2 years ago. We then fished an area where a creek dumped into the lake. The water was mostly 5' deep, but active fish were there. On the day, I caught 3 Pike, the biggest was a good fish of 37.5".

37.5" Northern Pike

I also caught 20 Walleyes, the biggest being 21.75". Reef Runner Cicada's worked well on the Walleyes in this area. Oh...and I caught a tree or branch that measured something like 20'. It was longer than our boat! I hooked it under water, and pulled and pulled trying to break the 10lb test Fireline....and ended up breaking the tree! You could hear it crack under water, then I pulled in the 20' section.
Here's some of Chris's fish:

Sunday, June 12. Chris and I had a good morning, fishing near that same creek, but this time we found the fish on an adjacent 6' to 13' drop-off. 3" Big Hammer swimbaits on 1/4 oz. jigheads caught the most fish. The afternoon was really slow, and we picked up just a few fish in other spots. I caught 18 Walleyes on the day. My biggest measured 19".

Here's another nice Walleye Chris caught:

Monday, June 13. This was an interesting weather day. It started out Windy. Jay took us to a weedy bay that typically holds some Pike. I connected with a Northern Pike on my first cast! It was slow going, though. We moved out to an adjacent point where the wind was pushing water at a pretty good clip past the shoreline. We caught a couple Walleyes and some mid-sized Pike here. A #4 Mepps bucktail spinner worked well for me, and Cicada blade baits caught a couple, as I recall. Jay was using 4" Big Hammer swimbaits. The wind died as a light rain hit the scene. In the afternoon, we fished a 4' to 21' drop-off and connected with a fair number of smaller Walleyes (12"-15"). I tallied 17 Walleyes (up to 17.75") and 8 Northern Pike (3 were right around 27.5" each). Most of my Walleyes hit a white 3" Berkley PowerBait Ripple Shad on a 1/8oz jighead.

Here is Jay with some of his nicer fish:

Tuesday, June 14. Jay and I fished a few different areas, and found a bunch of fish on a point that had wind and currents coming from 2 directions. It was fast fishing for Walleyes for awhile. I pretty much stayed with the 3" Ripple Shad, while Jay was chucking the 4" Big Hammers. Eventually, the Walleyes seemed to stop hitting, and we caught a number of Pike. Then that bite died. The rest of the day was pretty slow, so I had Jay take me to a large beaver dam, where I set about catching Yellow Perch with a fly rod. By days end, I had tallied 6 Yellow Perch (up to 10"), 27 Walleyes (biggest was just over 22"), and 3 small Northern Pike.

Jay with a Walleye caught on a Big Hammer Swimbait:

I believe this Walleye caught by Jay was the biggest of the week....a dandy 24.75" fish:

Wednesday, June 15. Jeff and I tried a few spots in North Bay with only a few fish to show. We then went to a spot we had confidence we'd find fish in, and did pretty well for the remainder of the day. I ended up with 36 Walleyes (biggest was 22.75"), 1 Pike, and 1 Perch. The Ripple Shad caught most of my fish.

Jeff with a nice Pike:

Perch are aggressive! This little fella attacked a #5 Mepps!!
Thursday, June 16.  Our last day of fishing for this trip.  We (ok, I) didn't want to waste any time....we returned to the area we caught fish the previous day.  Fishing ebbed and flowed throughout the day, but it was mostly good for Walleyes.  We moved a little bit but stayed in the same general area.  We also fished an area that had some good "cabbage" weeds.  A large Pike followed my #4 Mepps by the boat, then disappeared.  I remarked to Jeff that maybe it would show up on our stringer (since we had had several instances today (and on previous days this trip) of Northerns trying to eat the Walleyes on our stringer.  Within a few minutes, it did go after our stringer.  I grabbed the net and missed it the first time, but it refused to release the Walleye.  I netted in on the 2nd try, and Jeff helped me haul it into the boat.  It was a chunky Pike that measured 41.5", estimated weight right around 20lbs.

I tallied 1 Perch, 4 Pike, and 46 Walleyes (biggest measured 24") for the day.  The Ripple Shad was my best producer for the Walleyes again.

Jeff with a good Walleye:

At one point I made Jeff laugh so hard he was forced to eject a mouthful of strawberry pop over the side of the boat.  Good times!

Another great trip to Nungesser Lake in Ontario, Canada!

1 comment:

  1. looks like you had a good time!!!! some of those fish are BIG!!!