Birch Lake Fishing Report!

Wind, weeds…..and, WALLEYES! My third trip to Birch Lake, ON, with Tracy Hayward, Larry Hamlett, and Mike Woods produced almost as much success as last year’s fishing adventure with 1136 fish caught, mostly walleyes!! They’ve been flying with Kay Air Service and Outposts out of Lake Lac Seul to Birch for eleven years now. I joined the “party” three years ago. Tracy cooks, Mike and Larry clean fish and do boat chores while I do dishes and clean the cabin before the next guests are flown in Saturday morning by Peter Kay and his 1941 Beechcraft twin-engine work horse airplane. Birch Lake is a half hour plan ride mostly north and a little east of their base camp on Lac Seul. The 26,000 acre lake holds walleye, northern pike, lake trout, yellow perch, and lake whitefish. We focused on walleyes and caught pike by “accident”. Mike caught the biggest bruiser pike, a 40+ incher weighing over 20 pounds! I caught the biggest walleye which measured right at 25 inches! Bigger walleyes are there but we caught numerous fish over the 18 inch slot minimum during the week. We caught fish every spot we went with some spots producing “lights out” catching for several hours at a time. By Tuesday my right arm hurt for all the reeling in and hanging onto my rod–but, it was a “good” hurt! “Something has changed with the stage of underwater vegetation,” Tracy commented early in the week. Mike and Larry agreed. There was not the amount of underwater vegetation seen in past years. If you have a theory, please let me know. Most walleyes were caught in 7-10 feet of water in front of defined weed edge lines. Our best baits were all artificial–a Smile blade, float, three beads, then a “slow death” hook or a Worden’s Spin-n-Glow with three beads to the slow death. Leaders were around three to five feet. I was using Berkley Fireline 10/4 yellow on my reel with 15 pound fluorocarbon on the leaders. Both baitcasters and spincast reels got the baits down with bottom bouncers. Tracy and I used the Wing-It Quick Swap weights, mostly 1 1/2 ounces, while Larry and Mike used traditional bottom bouncers. We used Uncle Josh Pork Crawlers as bait until they were so chewed up from biting fish they finally feel off the hook! Mike had success pulling a 3/8 ounce jig head with a bass style ringworm. “Next year, let’s cut up some bacon and see if we can catch’em,” Tracy exclaimed! “Everybody loves bacon,” he added. We used some plastic twister tails, both single and double, but the pork was our consistent producer. Uncle Josh is no longer making these baits but if you check around the internet, you will still find some available–BUY IT!! We had changeable weather each day with the morning temp on Thursday at 40 degrees! My clothing suggestion is wear multiple layers and ALWAYS have your light weight rain gear on or close by plus WEAR your life vest, no excuses. Friday was the wettest day with afternoon rain, heavy at times, as another front moved through. “But Spike,” Larry cajoled, “we always catch our best numbers in crappy wet weather!” We caught exactly 200 fish on Friday!! Pete came in 6:30 am Saturday to pick us up and drop off six new anglers from Decatur, ILL. When the “senior” member of the group asked how fishing was, we gave him our stats but said we left some for them! We ate tasty fresh walleye three nights courtesy of Tracy’s culinary talents. We each caught our limits to bring home plus some bonus pike Larry planned to smoke for a friend. Please consider a fly-in trip to Birch Lake. Give Karen Kay a call at (807) 222-2434 to get booked. Their hallmark is excellent service and excellent fishing on their remote lake cabins. Just remember, however–you need a cook, fish cleaners and boat chore people, plus a dishwasher! Hope you enjoy the pics and send me a message with any questions you might have about the trip. My buddies did say on the way home I’m invited back again in 2018 as long as I bring plenty of dish soap and floor cleaner! Thank you for reading this report. Spike

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