We all know one of those guys; the fisherman who routinely out fishes the rest of the group. Is it just good fortune or is there something else involved? I can’t speak to all fishing situations, but there are several similarities shared by our consistently successful guests. Sure, fortune plays a role, but consistent success occurs when chance happens to those that are prepared for it. The odds of being a successful trophy angler improve exponentially with increased preparation and effort. The first step is to choose a body of water that supports a trophy fishery. If you have read this far into our website, then you know that Lac Seul definitely fills this square.
Preparation & Effort
If it were simple and easy, then everybody would catch big fish all the time. It usually isn’t and it wouldn’t be as much fun if it were. The average size distribution of fish in a population is generally pyramid shaped. In a healthy population there are always many more small fish than big fish. Especially during the summer months, the biggest walleyes school by size and the largest pike seek out specific habitat. In both cases, the largest fish in the ecosystem separate themselves from the more numerous smaller members of the species. This means that for the greater part of the season, anglers have to decide whether they want to fish for action or for size.
Reality is that we all spend part of the morning fishing for smaller fish for shore lunch. The choice to leave a spot with good action to go in search of atrophy sounds simple enough, but it often takes mental preparation, effort, and stamina to stick with areas that are known for big fish, but not for volume. To be consistently successful boating big fish, you have to have a trophy fish mind set and stick to it.
Confidence in a spot makes it easier to hold out, but it’s difficult to have confidence when you only fish a lake a few days every year. The use of a knowledgeable and experienced guide can greatly increase confidence and improve your odds of success. The term “guide” gets thrown around quite loosely at times and most of us have either experienced a terrible guided day or at least have heard stories. It is understandable why some of our new guests arrive with more than a healthy bit of skepticism for the quality of the guide staff. Doubts quickly disappear when guests realize that Silver Water Wheel Guides average over 5 years experience, work together as a team and are on the water every day of the season looking for new patterns, presentations, and locations.
The cumulative experience and knowledge of the guide staff is another tool that our consistently successful anglers use to improve their odds. The guides know where all of the big ones were caught that season and the seasons before. Areas that attract trophy class fish at a specific time of year tend to draw big fish every year. Confidence based on the guide’s knowledge and experience keeps anglers attention focused on a big fish spot even when volume is down.
The last common denominator shared by our guests who seem to routinely “get lucky” is the use of quality equipment. I’m not talking about gimmicks and gadgets, just solid, high-quality rods, reels, line, and tackle. Yes, that 30 year old spin cast reel with 20 year old line on that buggy whip rod with metal line guides can still be used to catch a walleye. But why catch “a walleye” when you can catch 10.
There are many fishing situations where the only difference between those catching and those not, is the quality of equipment those anglers chose to bring to Canada with them. Especially during the summer months, jig fishing in deeper water can be extremely productive for big walleyes. The use of a quality, fast action, high modulus graphite spinning rod allows the angler to detect the slight difference between a “bump” on the bottom and a “bump” by a fish. When jig fishing; if you can’t feel `em, you can’t catch `em.
The key to good equipment for pike is to not let yourself get out muscled. Yeah, we have all heard the story about that guy who landed that huge pike with walleye gear and no leader. We tend to forget the number of stories of broken lines, bent hooks, and lost fish. Anglers who gear up heavier for pike not only improve their odds of landing a big fish, but they also have the option of casting the larger spoons and spinners that really appeal to the giants. Yes, you can occasionally land a big pike on light tackle, but you are not in control of the fight and every time the fish dives under the boat or back into the weed-bed, your chances of boating it decrease dramatically. By gearing up, you can better control the fish and the fight. If you have to, you have the option of horsing him out of a weed-bed before he buries himself and throws the hook.
It really boils down to odds and opportunities. What are the odds of landing a great fish given a certain set of tools and conditions. You have already increased your chances of having the opportunity by choosing to fish Silver Water Wheel Lodge, why not improve your odds of capitalizing on that opportunity by gearing up with quality equipment.
“I’d rather be Lucky and Good!” Fortune and chance will always play a role in angling, but our consistently successful guests have shown that it is possible to stack the deck in their favor. If you are truly looking to land a giant, the formula is fairly simple;
- Select a body of water that supports a Trophy Fishery.
- Mentally prepare yourself to stay the course in search of a giant, even when the lure of volume is tempting. Be ready to put forth the extra effort. If it were easy, everybody would be able to do it.
- If possible, research and hire a knowledgeable and experienced guide.
- Invest in quality equipment.
Successful trophy angling is contagious. Catch one giant and you’ll be looking harder for another. Eventually, you may just become another one of our guests who “Catches the fish of a lifetime …again!”