Saturday, January 9, 2010

Here are a couple of fishing reports I found on the web.

What an incredible trip!!! Everything was outstanding!

Got back a couple weeks ago and am finally settled enough to write a report. Sorry for the delay. I will try to write a complete report that will answer most of the questions I had before going.

We flew into Winnipeg because it was cheaper than flying into International Falls. Stayed in Kenora at the Best Western Friday night which was good enough and an easy drive (2 hrs). Got back on the road around 8am Saturday and with a few stops along the way (Bobby's in Vermillion Bay, breakfast, lunch, etc.) got to the boat ramp around 1pm. Since Kevin Geary (owner at Angler's Kingdom) doesn't seem to mind if you get there early, I plan on staying in Vermillion Bay next year to minimize the driving on Saturday and get fishing earlier.

Met the guide with no hassles at the river landing. The trip up River was an adventure in itself. It got everyone (2 Dad's and 2 kids 11/12yrs) in a great mood. Finally got to the Island. The cabins were clean. The staff was helpful and attentive. And the boats were awesome. Big, flat bottoms, nice sturdy, comfy chairs, fishing platforms, lowrance fish finders, electric start 40hp engines, fully charged and dependable batteries, live wells, etc. etc. Kevin really does put the money into the important things. I would go back for the boats even if I had to sleep on the floor. Because we spent more time on the boats! The rest of the camp was great too. Kevin is in the middle of building a new main lodge that will have a central fireplace, bar, pool table, and seating for the meals. It looks like it will be a great place to eat, drink, and relax. I am looking forward to that next year.

Fishing the first 1/2 day (Saturday) was a bit sketchy. We were trying to figure out the lake and didn't really have much success. Finally around 9pm my Bro-in-Law was saying how the Walleye tend to come onto the sandy shallows in the evenings. So, he cast a lure from the end of the dock and catches a 25 inch Walleye! From that point on we couldn't stop catching fish the rest of the entire week.

We had spent about $150 between all of us on lures and tackle for this trip. We also bought about 5lbs of leeches. For all the talk about bigger heavier tackle and lures for the bigger fish, we caught 90% of all our walleye on a simple hook with a leech and 1 or 2 split shot 6-10 inches up the line. We averaged about 100 fish per person per day (no exaggeration). Out of those 100 fish, 10 of the Walleye would be above 20 inches per day, and 1 or 2 per day would be 25 inches or above per day. My biggest Walleye was 28 inches (I caught 2 of those beasts during the week). One of them I was trolling (not back-trolling) and thought my lure got caught on a hump. It just wouldn't budge when I pulled on it. So, I backed the boat up and started reeling in to get back to where it was snagged. Finally when I was about 20 feet away, the line starts going sideways and I spent the next 15 minutes trying to reel the beast in. It was a great fight (I won!!).

The first full day, in addition to a ton of Walleye, we fished North Bay along the weeds in the evening and my son and I caught about 25 Pike, in 2 hours, ranging from 20-35 inches using 5oz Super D swimbaits. It was mid-70s all day, and perfect weather. One of those great evenings my son and I will remind ourselves of throughout the year until our next trip.

We also got Kevin Geary to guide for us on Monday early in the week. I HIGHLY recommend doing this. The lake is big (25 miles) and was a bit intimidating for me as a first timer, but you can get around it pretty well if you have been shown were to be careful and what routes are best to get around. Kevin took us all the way to the other end of the lake and pointed out a ton of great fishing spots that paid off later in the week. My son caught one of the largest Pike for the week on this day. It was 38 inches. He caught the other 2 largest pike also (all of them 38 inches). We just couldn't break the 40 inch mark for Pike or 30 inch mark for Walleye! Oh well, that will keep us coming back next year. We also fed bald eagles 20 feet from the boat, and caught a ton of walleye. I mentioned to Kevin that we would like to have a shore lunch. So, he radioed in to the staff, had them bring out the fryers to meet us at a spot mid-lake. We handed them our catch and they took them to a beach on shore, cleaned and cooked them, then they radioed us to tell us lunch was ready with all the extra trimmings (baked beans, potato salad, etc.). Talk about service!! They also invited anyone else at camp to join us. We had a great time.

One of the ways Kevin catches really big pike is to put a 6 inch dead Sucker with a lip hook and a stinger treble hook out on a big bobber and let it sit while we fish for Walleye. Eventually with all the commotion of catching Walleye, a big Pike will come by and take it. The trick is waiting for the Pike to actually try to swallow the fish. This can take 5 minutes or more of watching the Pike swim around with the fish crossways in his mouth waiting for him to turn it around before setting the hook. But once you set the hook, hold on! My son almost went in when he set the hook on a 38 inch pike and the pike took off (wish I had my video camera for that one).

I could go on for another 10 pages telling fish stories. The bottom line is that the fishing on Nungesser is fantastic. It is an easy lake to fish and Kevin makes it even easier with his knowledge and great equipment. I can't tell you specific spots because there are fish in literally thousands of places on the lake. There are some tricky places to navigate on the lake so you need to be careful and if your going top speed stay in lanes you are familiar with. If you haven't been there before, go slow the first time.

If the fishing is slower in July, I can't imagine what it would be like in May when it is supposed to be the best! I hope this helps and answers most people's questions. If you have any more questions, just post them and I will try to respond. Tight lines!

I just returned from a week on Nungesser at Angler's Kingdom and we had a great week of walleye fishing. Only one guy in our group of six was chasing pike and he didn't have great success but I think he was hampered a bit by his boat partner being more interested in walleyes. The walleye fishing was the best I've ever experienced and the fish were still pretty shallow-- generally 5-15 feet deep and piled up anywhere the wind was blowing. We drifted with 1/4 and 3/8 oz jigs tipped with minnows and slayed them. Kevin doesn't keep live bait but we had very good luck using the frozen shiners that he sells.

Kevin's boats are first-rate Lund Outfitters wth depth finder/GPS units, 40 or 50 HP 4-cycle Honda engines. The livewell and running lights worked perfectly on ours. We didn't have need for the marine radio but it is nice to know it was there. Having the GPS unit was a real plus as like most shield lakes, the lake has lots of islands, rocky shorelines, and lots of spruce trees so finding your way around is tough at first. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this lake is how rapidly you can move from 30 or 40 feet of water to 2 feet of water. You will be a very lucky boater if you don't bang into at least a couple of submerged boulders.

The trip into camp is a bit of work. The drive to the landing is on a very good logging road for about 50 km. Then you take a 10-15 minute boat ride up the Nungesser River to a waterfall that you must carry your gear around. They have a 4-wheeler with cart to help get your gear up over the hill to the next landing (only about a 100-yd walk). Then you take another 15-20 minute boat ride up the river into the lake. If the wind is blowing, the ride on the lake can be exciting. If it is raining, your gear will get soaked as you are using open boats for this travel.

All-in-all, this is a nice place to stay and you cannot beat the price. We did our own cooking so I don't have any comment about their American plan service. My main advice is to call and confirm your visit at least a couple of times in the week before you go. You don't want to be sitting at their landing on the river wondering why they haven't come to get you (this did NOT happen to us, but it might have since they sent the boats to pick up a different party than ours).

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