June 17th, 2024

May greetings from Jim and Julie’s Wabaskang Camp. I’m finally getting around to updating the first four weeks of the 2024 season. Let’s start with opening week and I’ll eventually get to the reason for the update delay.

    Julie and I arrived in camp on the 30th of April, hardly any snow on the road so no issues getting into camp. There was very little snow all winter here so the lake was still very low and had me very concerned.  All the cabins looked good and when the ice finally went off on the 5th of May we were able to fire up the water system and get down to business opening up camp.  I was able to pin my dock together even though the first section was sitting on mud but I could use jacks to lift the section up and pin it to the ramp.  Almost unbelievably the rain returned and by opening day we had plenty of water to use most of the dock and boat launch, now four weeks later the lake is well over the average level it is at this time of year so we are looking good for the remainder of the season I’m hoping. 

  Fishing for our first week of guests was very good, plenty of eater walleyes and crappies in shallow water which made them easier to find and catch. Bobber fishing and casting small plastics was worked best on opening week.  Neal Kolb released a chunky 25 1/2″ walleye, Scott Johnston and Chuck Nass both released beautiful 26 1/2″ walleyes. The big winner of the week was old timer Jim Dunham, he proudly released a pair of 27 1/2″ walleyes, his best week ever he said. Northern fishing was a bit slow with most big fish being caught in the shallows where the walleyes were hanging out.  Twister tails and live bait worked well. Tristen Kolb and Dave Schaller each released a fat 37″ northern. The biggest northern of the week was caught and released by Norby Reiff, he hooked into his 39″ monster right in front of my pump house and it gave him quite a tussle before finally coming to the net, Norby and his fishing buddy Jim had their hands full for sure and both fellas were worn out after landing and releasing their trophy.  Crappie fishing was very good as well with most fish in the 12″ to 14″ range. Shallow warm water and a bobber and minnow or worm worked well but so did tiny jugs and twister tails. Russ Schultz caught a beautiful 14″ crappie but the two biggest were caught by Lynn Artz and Dave Schaller, they both landed 15″ beauties. Bass fishing was better and better as the week went on and the water warmed. Live bait rigs and crank baits were very popular with our guests. Dave Schaller and Jim Fucile both released 18″ beauties, Dick Dunham released his 18 3/4″ trophy.  The biggest bass of the week was caught and released by Norby Reiff, his 19″ beauty was big enough to win him a hat, great job Norby.

  Week number two started out fine, cool but comfortable temperatures and good fishing. On the 28th of May Julie had gone to Dryden to go to the bank and get some groceries and of course I stayed here at camp to work on things.   I decided to fix a yard light on a pole that hadn’t been lurking properly.  I used a ladder to reach the light but when I got to the top the pole broke off at the base and I fell to the ground.   I was able to crawl back to my ATV and get back to the lodge and crawl back into the office and climb into my desk chair.  Luckily one of my guests that were still in camp saw me crawl into the office and came up to check on me.  I told the guys what happened and they helped me into their pickup and Mike Jenkins drove me to the hospital in Dryden.   Julie met us at the hospital and long story short I broke my back and pelvis. The doctors decided no surgery was needed but I stayed in the hospital for six days.  Julie held down the fort while I was in Dryden with the help of my buddy Greg who has worked at camp for us for over 20 years, luckily my daughter and her husband were there as well to give Julie a helpful hand.  Julie brought me back to camp on Monday June 3rd. I am using a walker and able to get around some now, short trips to the bait house and fish house and each day I get stronger. I sleep in a recliner in the back of the lodge since steps will be tough for quite a while yet.  The hospital staff in Dryden we’re just wonderful and I was lucky they could take care of me.   We are hoping that as a few more weeks go by I will gradually be able to resume lighter camp duties and eventually get back closer to normal.  All my guests have been so helpful taking care of what they need and keeping the fish cleaning house and even their cabins extra clean while I’m laid up.  Well, that’s the reason no updates were posted for the season but now I have plenty of “desk time” to get the book work and camp fishing updates taken care of. 

  The second week of the season was almost identical to the first with the fish all being shallow and eager to bite. Rick Pease caught and released a massive 39″ northern his first day here that easily was the biggest caught in camp on week two. Our walleye fishing was good as long as you fished shallow and slow.  Night crawlers on a small jig or slip bobber worked well but so did green or brown plastics.  Corey Katzung started things off with a nice 21 3/4″ walleye he caught trolling spinner rigs and minnows. Craig Kleinschmidt released a hefty 26 1/4″ walleye but his fish was beaten by Caleb Paulson, he released a beautiful 27″ walleye to take top honors for the week. Bass fishing was fast and furious with most fish setting up close to shore and working in beds. Twister tails and small crank baits worked well along with a bobber and worm. Mike Pease and Shayden Loger both released beautiful 18 1/2″ bass. Caleb Paulsen released the biggest bass of the week, a giant 19 1/4″ football. Nothing special on crappies this week just your normal 12″ to 13″ fish. Camp legend Gene Katzung caught a beautiful 28″ trout which was the only trout caught in camp so he was top dog once again. 

     Week three came along and more of the same referring to water depth and success. Warm shallow water held most of the fish and they were eager to bite. The bass were holding close to shore right on their beds most days and the smaller makes were very aggressive. Tube baits and small stick baits were exceptionally successful along with a simple bobber and worm or minnow. Tristen Kolb returned to camp for the second trip this season and released a chunky 18″ bass, Curtis Manternach caught and released a beautiful 19″ bass. The biggest bass of the week was skillfully caught and released by camp nuisance Neal Kolb, his 19 1/2″ bass was top of the week, great job Neal. Walleye fishing stayed best in the shallows especially mornings and evenings, jig and minnow or twister tails worked wonders all week long. Newly married Jack Phippen released a nice 27 1/2″ walleye, he is always happy to beat his sister Samantha. Neal Kolb released a 27 7/8″ walleye but his son Tristen once again won the father-son rivalry when he landed and released a giant 29″ walleye. Our northern fishing was so-so with most fish being caught while fishing the shallows for walleyes and crappies. Young Warner Huck proudly released a chunky 30″ northern on his first trip to camp. Curtis Manternach landed the biggest northern of the week, a beautiful 36″ fish. Crappie fishing was decent with plenty of fish being caught especially in the early mornings. Tristen Kolb caught a 14 5/8″ crappie only to see Uncle Tom Kolb edge him out on the free hat by catching a suspect last minute 14 3/4″ fish, too bad so sad Tristen. 

  Week four was probably the best week if the season so far. The lake is high and water up on the banks is keeping fish shallow and chasing all the bait fish and insects that are hiding in the shallow water. Mike Lammers had numerous fish over 24″ this week all released, Colton Petrasek caught a chunky 24″ walleye, Carolyn Wilson released her 24″ beauty. Dave Schaller released his 24 1/4″ trophy, Will McCord and Dan Edeker both released 27″ monsters but Will caught his first so he wins the big walleye hat for the week, too bad so sad Dan. Northern fishing was fair but still not quite ready really take off, most fish are still sluggish in the cold water and aren’t really chasing baits. Becky Voster released a chunky 32″ northern, Tom Streiff released his 35″ fish, Mike Lammers and Colton Petrasek both released their 36″ brutes.  The biggest northern of the week was caught and released by Kurt Voster, his 37″ trophy was the winner of the hat this week. Bass fishing remained best in the shallows and cloudy days saw the best action. Dan Edeker released a fat 18″ bass. Grady, Dan’s grandson released a nice 18 1/2″ bass. Randy Adams released a chunky 18 3/4″ trophy, Will McCord and Landon Harms each released 19″ bass. The biggest bass of the week was caught and released by fishing fanatic Lance Petrasek; his 20″ trophy was one of the biggest this season so far. Lots of nice crappies this week and the biggest we heard about was caught by Colton Petrasek, a whopping 14″ fish.

  Week five is here now so I’ll update again soon on how things are going, for now this is Jim from Wabaskang. 

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