Well, we are now in the closing week of the season. There are no guests left, and we are just in the midst of locking everything up for the winter. However, we did find some time to go out walleye fishing this morning. We were able to land a dozen walleyes in just over an hour. Although that does not sound impressive, consider that 7 of them were 24″ plus, and we were fishing in 55 feet of water! We had a double-header of 26.5″ and 27″! We were using jigging spoons and the action was hot! Thankfully, with our slow reeling, we were able to keep all the walleyes alive (because reeling in fish from deep water can give them the bends, and they can’t get back down). The trophy count still stands at 254.
Well, as the sun sets earlier in the day and the leaves turn to a beautiful array of colours, we now start to prepare for the summer 2005. Gerry, Lorraine, and several volunteers are at Aikens closing up the camp in preparation of the upcoming winter. In all, 2004 was another fantastic season! Despite experiencing the coldest summer on record in the past 150 years, we were still able to have some great fishing and some great times at Aikens. Many memories were made and the final trophy totals stand at 181 (pending any more from the remaining staff). We will keep updating this newsletter over the course of the winter. Have a great year!
Today a man name Scot Rob decided to go into Bonaventure to do what most guides at Aiken’s consider to be the best pike fishing around here. This is harder than the average day of fishing with 2 portages and about 45 minutes of entry time. When inside they started hitting the pike, and hard. There was numerous pike caught(probably around 30 slots) but the catch that defined the pike fishing in Bon was the 48 inch monster around 30 minutes before the end of the day. This is a hoss of a fish that is the biggest this year by 3 inches! So when you make the trip to Aikens ask your guide about Bon and mabye you will catch the fish of a lifetime!
The summer here in Manitoba is the worst on record but the fishing is still the same high standard. There is alot of differences in this year from the others, the main one is that there is no spot that is a constant supply of great fishing(like the Saddle in other years). The Pro-Staff Guides have done a fantastic job of working the whole lake and have shown no fear of trying something new. This has been to the benefit of the guests because the fishing has been varied and very profitable for trophies. Chris’s corner has been the most consistant of the lake’s many spots and there have been 10 trophies there in the last week, but keep posted for updates because the fish are just as confused by the weather as we are. The Aikens lake staff are staying one step ahead of the fish and the guests are wet and satisfied at the end of the day so you’ll hear no complaints from here.
The weather here at Aikens’ has taken a huge upswing with blue skies and a lake of glass for the past three days. The fishing has been doing great and the guest could not be happier with being able to spend their days on this breath taking lake. Some guests are even taken their afternoons off of fishing to enjoy lounging on the front beach or relaxing at the dock. The attitude around the Lodge could not be better as everyone is enjoying their work and their time off more than ever. The Saddle is definetly enjoying the heat as well as the schools of fish roam the most consistent spot on the lake and it won’t be long until one of the guides breaks the record of guiding 8 trophies in a day!!!!! Maybe that guests will be YOU! Hope to see you soon.
A burbot catch is usually an odd ball in a night of fishing for trout or big walleyes… but for one night the Wet Rock burbot bite of 2004 was as consistent as it gets. The eel/fish were commanding the waters at 48ft to 51ft directly south of the Wet Rock and two lucky fishermen were there to cash in. Colin McInnes and Tim Konstaniuk were on hand to reap the first burbot trophies in two years. Colin cranked in his two Master Angler burbots 15 minutes apart! All told around 10 burbot were caught in around an hour of fishing with no other species being caught in that hour. The two fortunate guides were quoted as being pleased but somewhat disgusted by the slick greasy skin of the burbot and the difficulty of measuring them because of there eel like tails. The Wet Rock hasn’t yielded anything like this before or since and the phenomenom cannot be explained - however these boys need no explanation…..just a good hook set!
Jon Hesse, a former NFL middle-linebacker, tonight achieved the greatest pinnacle in sporting history. Nevermind that he was part of the Elway-led 1997 Denver Broncos Super-Bowl winning team, tonight in front of dozens of adoring fans Hesse won the famous Chicken Toss. For those who need to be brought up to speed, a new tradition has been born at Aikens this summer - and it starts with a rubber chicken. Late at night, these birds can be seen taking flight in the clubroom, hopefully to land in a soup pot. Each throw costs a dollar, and the winner takes all. Despite being the 6th winner of the evening, Hesse did rake in the largest pot… a $22 windfall. Said Hesse: “This is the greatest achievement of my life, even more presitigious than that Super Bowl thing or whatever it’s called”. The staff at Aikens couldn’t agree more. Jon Hesse, you are a true champion. Those rubber chickens are hot on you, player.
Winnipeg’s double A baseball team has always been a fantastic supporter of local children’s charities. Through their “Field of Dreams” foundation, the have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity. In an effort to help them raise even more money this year, we donated a three-day trip to Aikens Lake. The club raffled off tickets at $2 per, and the trip was for two people to join Paul Edmonds (the voice of the Goldeyes on CJOB) and Donnie Smith (ace reliever for the Goldeyes) on the trip to Aikens. All told, they were able to raise more than $5,000 for local children’s charities. We’d like to thank all people who purchased a ticket. We hope Paul and Donnie have a great time at Aikens with their guests.
Bob Brown, the retired Outdoor Editor of the Fort Dodge Messenger, will again grace us with his presence from August 13th to 18th, 2004. Bob has fished, hunted and written stories about Manitoba for over forty years and will be returning to Aikens Lake for the fourth time in 30 years. Last year, he was quoted as saying, “In over 40 years of fishing in and writing about Canada, the three occasions I had to fish Aikens Lake provided me with the best walleye fishing of my career.” Keep on truckin’ eh…Bob! If it is true that every day spent fishing will not be deducted as part of your lifetime, then you will surely still be writing at 100.
From July 29th to August 3rd, 2004, we will he honoured by a return visit from Doug Stange, editor in chief of In-Fisherman. Doug will be joined by the crew of In-Fisherman Television to produce a segment for their educational TV series on “Basin Trolling Tactics” as well as other aspects of angling the bountes of Aikens Lake. Doug’s return after too many years will be an exciting time to share old memories and capture new ones. Yeah Doug…eh?