Greetings from Jim and Julie’s Wabaskang Camp. Week 11 of the 2023 season has come and gone and our guests left camp with smiles on their faces. Of course, we are dealing with extremely dry conditions currently here at camp and are very cautious about any use of open flames at this time. We did get some rain last week but not enough to change the dry conditions in the bush. The lake is low but our guests are still managing to access all areas so far. There are some decent rain chances in the forecast so Julie and I are optimistic that relief will come soon.
Northern fishing was once again very good last week with plenty of trophies being caught and released. As usual the biggest brutes were caught on Sandcats, Reef Hogs, and Suicks. The weeds have finally thickened up now and many of the monster northern are lurking on the deep edges attacking any unsuspecting prey that swims by. We also had some giants caught fishing isolated rock piles and shallow humps surrounded by deep water. Leroy Bray released a 34” northern while trolling open water right at sunset, he also landed and released a monster 41” northern later in the week that was his personal best, I guess a new boat does make him a better fisherman. Geoff Bray was impressed by what his father Leroy managed to catch especially since Geoff’s best was only a released 37” but I know next year will be his year again. Lucas Halla was all smiles when he caught a beautiful 38” northern, his fish is going home to hang on the wall, nice catch Lucas. No matter how much it hurts to admit it my friend Chad Peterson is a great northern fisherman. He casts huge baits for giant northern and obviously has the touch that his brother Todd can only dream about. Chad released a 36”, 37 1/2”, 39”, 40”, 42”, and his biggest a 42 1/2” beauty that easily won him the big fish if the week award, so sad to see his younger brother Todd try so hard and keep up a game face even though he was completely out-classed this time around.
Bass fishing was decent this week with plenty of the incredible fighters being caught and released. Usually, a simple jig and minnow or crawler caught the big bass along with crank baits and tube jigs. Jace Halla caught a bass that gave a 4-year-old all he could handle. Paigelynn Hoskins released a chunky 18” bass that filled her grandparents Sherry and Monty with pride. Luke Prunuske released his 18 1/2” bass that made the trip for him and father Dave, plenty of father and son memories were made by those two last week. Bonnie Oliver had all three of her sons in camp with her last week and when she caught and released her 18 3/4” trophy all the boys could do was scratch their heads. The biggest bass of the week was released by Craig Jennings, his 19 1/2” beauty even surprised him I believe, some skill but more luck I am thinking.
Walleye fishing slowed up some last week but still had done very nice fish being caught and released. The fish are in a transitional mode right now and one day they are feeding shallow and the next they might be in deeper water. Our guests had good luck using spinner rigs with minnows or crawlers and bottom bouncers also caught their fair share of fish. Keith Oliver impressed his mother Bonnie when he released a chunky 26″ walleye, Kendal Oliver jumped onto the Oliver band wagon and released a beautiful 26 3/4″ walleye, maybe brother Kevin will get his chance next season. Sandi Paulson was very excited when she caught a 24 1/2″ walleye. Brian Reidy also snagged a 24 1/2″ walleye his first trip to camp. Reid Obermeyer was fishing with grandma and grandpa Anita and Leroy and he managed to land a 22″ walleye all by himself, not an easy thing to do for a young and energetic 8-year-old. Geoff Bray released a 27 1/2″ walleye he caught while night trolling open water with big stick baits, he was hopeful to win the big fish if the week but his dreams were crushed by Mike Lepak, Mike caught and released a chunky 28″ walleye in Keynote, his personal best.
We should mention my buddy Chad Peterson caught and released a beautiful 46″ musky this week, poor brother Todd once again could only watch and learn from the master.
Crappie fishing has slowed from earlier in the season but we did have a husband-and-wife combo that had a bit of a rivalry going. Lynn Scott was excited about her 12″ crappie only to see husband Mark come along and ruin her dreams with his 12 1/2″ crappie, probably a quiet ride home to Iowa.
Remember to get your licenses before you arrive in camp and bring me a copy or I can copy it here. Dutchies General Store just up the road can take care of your licensing and grocery/beverage needs as well. Don’t leave camp without planning at least one meal at the Whiskey Jack Restaurant, you will love the great food and friendly atmosphere that Laura and Graham provide. That’s it for week 11, talk soon. This is Jim from Wabaskang.