The trip to Mink Lake started shortly after Janice got off work. We left Leduc for Slave Lake, Alberta a three hour drive for the night and a late supper at Boston Pizza.
The next morning we had a one and a half hour drive to Mink Lake with a stop at Utikuma Lake to see what the trail looked like due in part to all the snow we had in the month of December.
We drove on the lake to about one km, from shore and talked to Ron the president of the Western Canadian Walleye Tournament. He had caught a few walleye the day before but on Saturday at 9am the bite was not happening. I had lost some fuel from my auger and Ron drop a little from his auger tank to give me a 1/2 full tank as he was leaving by noon on Saturday.
We left Utikuma lake and headed to Mink for perch. On arrival we noticed there was another tent where I wanted to fish near weeds where perch can hide when jack fish are around. He had brought his sled and blocked the access to the lake. So Janice and I took the auger and tackle to about 300 yds to the left side of the lake and drilled a few holes to start the fishing. The previous week I had gone to Waiu Lake and had used shrimp for bait and this proved as a terrific move, thanks for the tip Seth on the zapping for 30 sec. Perch feed on shrimp and when presented to them in a larger quantity its gulp time.
So Janice starts catching perch but the first few are small and so we threw them back in hopes of bigger ones. My first fish was a jack and I decided to keep him as it was around the 10 pound size and covered it with snow to keep it cool and not freeze. Janice was getting cold so she heads for the truck to warm up and I went along with her so I could bring back a one man tent so when she came back I’d have a warm tent ready for her. I started to catch big perch shortly after I got back, as well as the odd hammer handle when I noticed my sweetie was on her way back for more fishing and then she’s into some bigger perch.
Shortly after her arrival two local Cree natives walked to our location and we started talking about what we had caught so far and asked if I had caught any jacks. I said yes and told them I could help them catch some. I fetched my jack lure a medium size ruby eyed flasher and within a few seconds and I mean a few seconds I get into a 17 pound jack, fortunately I use suffix 20 pound test line and with jack that can go to 25 pounds its necessary. The 6 pound mono dia. also helps when using wire worms for 10 pound whites.
The two guys were impressed when I told them that this wouldn’t take long! It wasn’t long before we had our limit of ten perch with the biggest being 12 inches long and the smallest was 10. In all it was a great time but 17 years prior when I first visited this lake the perch were 14 to 15 inches in size and with a 30 limit and two day possession my son David and I went home with some beautiful perch.
The drive back to Utikuma took about 40 minutes and we drove on to the lake where Ron had previously drilled holes. It was after three in the afternoon when we got there and fishing started shortly afterwards. Since the perch liked shrimp I decided to try it as bait for walleye. Using the ruby eyed spoon and a # 2 treble hook I had shrimp covering the all points. Again my first fish was a jack, I must be jinxed but it sure fell great to play a big snake for a few minutes. It wasn’t till 4 pm when I got my first walleye and it was in the three pound range a nice fish to start for wallies.
The next bite I got I thought I had another jack but to my surprise it was a 5 pound + walter. The guy next to me 80 feet away was with Trevor Davies a walleye tournament fisherman, and he was very interested in what I was using to catch these fish. I tried to hide the ruby eyed spoon they’ve been very good to me in the past as a flasher to attract fish of varied species be it walleye, perch, trout, and the dreaded jack. Usually I just use it without the treble hook because it gives me great action when fluttering down and spinning upwards. Then I jerk it three to five times, pull it out quickly and drop down the bait and wait for a quick hit.
Using this method really works for whites but you have to have the w/w ready for them or you’ll miss the catch as they are curious and just swim by. For walleye its just to flash and catch. I lost two more big fish one right at the hole the other half way down. The half way down one was on for a little while and it didn’t give me the jack fish action it was all walleye. Damn! My poor Janice never had a bite the hour and a half we were there. So after two walleye we left for our motel and a well deserved supper in Slave Lake.
The next morning we left for Utikuma lake at 7:30 to be there for the morning bite that never came we fished till noon and since Janice had to work on Monday we headed for Leduc to fillet our catch. It was our first outing this winter and I must say Janice is the greatest person to fish with she never complains and in most cases she’s the one with the biggest fish and the most. I always say women are more in touch with the fish than we are. Lol. I expect to do another trip to Waiu Lake with her and staying in Lac La Biche, over the weekend.
Tight lines everyone and a Happy New Year!