The morning of July 15, Olivier and I had decided to go jigging. We knew of a place around 3 humps where in previous years we had very successful fishing. We decided to start on a large flat that is between 160 and 270 feet. Our guide, Corey could not believe his ears, he had never tried so deep before. The fish were there, down deep, as soon as we were hitting the bottom with our heavy jigs and a bit of herring, the fish were responding with very small bites. After several hours the size of the fish were not what we were looking for, so we decided to change our spot. We started trolling around 60 feet, some bites but nothing big. We proceeded nearer to the shore as it was a nice sunny warm day. The water was as clear as the northern sky, as you could see the bottom at 30 feet. Some large trout were warming up in the bright sunshine. No real luck even with smaller lures, they were not interested and our herring were not making a difference.

After lunch, we decided to fish another part of 3 humps. Many fish at about 20 feet, but nothing interesting. Over the past 20 years fishing these waters we are becoming more selective, and would rather catch less fish to try for bigger ones. We then decided to go back in 60 feet where there were bigger arches on the fishfinder. We couldn’t seem to trigger them. We were trolling with spoons and jig heads of 6-8 oz., tipped with herring but no luck. Then we asked Corey to get closer to the shore again, this time in 15-18 feet and do some speed trolling with the boat, so that our big lures were not hitting the bottom, and to give them more action. Normal troll speed is around 4km/hr. We wanted at least twice if not three times that speed. Corey was shocked to go so fast, but soon got the hang of it. I have to say that we had a great guide, he always responded well to our sometimes strange way of fishing.

Immediately, on the first pass, we started to land fish. Olivier took a 20 pounder. I got a 26 lb and more big fish. Then one hit hard, a massive hit that had the reel screaming and the rod bent in half. Corey looked on and said “bottom Michel”. “No bottom” I said. I was forced to open the drag on the reel and the battle began. It was difficult, the trout was very powerful, and we were in the shallows. The fish went towards shore, I asked Corey to gently move the boat to deeper water. He positioned the boat like a pro! The battle lasted a good ten minutes, the fish was very robust. During the fight, I thought it was bigger than the one I caught last year, but no. When it was exhausted, Corey landed it in the boat. It was 35 pounds. After a few photos we returned this beautiful fish alive in the waters of Great Slave Lake to live and fight another day. It will be larger and bigger next year and I will be waiting for its big brother…Roll on 2013…Thanks to all at Frontier Fishing Lodge for making this fishing trip a wonderful experience.

Olivier, Michel and all the French connection

July 2012

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