Published June 22, 2012, 07:40 AM

Action great at Amisk Lake

Laurie and I motor my Lund Alaskan about four miles to the northern shore of what locals call “The Big Island” at Amisk Lake, Saskatchewan. There we drift off a beach of limestone rock and in minutes each hook a four-pound pike for our first supper on this two-week trip.

By: Bernie Kuntz, The Jamestown Sun

(First of two parts)

Laurie and I motor my Lund Alaskan about four miles to the northern shore of what locals call “The Big Island” at Amisk Lake, Saskatchewan. There we drift off a beach of limestone rock and in minutes each hook a four-pound pike for our first supper on this two-week trip.

When the first drops of rain patter on the lake’s surface we quickly don rain gear, and just in time, because a downpour ensues, eases a bit, then resumes with a fury. Half an hour later I run the bilge pump, fire up the 90-horse Honda, and we return to camp.

A drizzly, grey day greets us the next morning. We cruise 11 miles across the lake to the inlet of the Sturgeon-Weir River, where several boats already are fishing for walleyes. We cast small spoons, hook a couple pike and one small walleye. Suddenly, I get a strike from a very heavy fish that runs toward the river. I am powerless to stop it. The fish goes to the left, then to the right. I keep pressure on the fish, careful not to break the eight-pound test line. Ten minutes later I get a glimpse of the big pike and gasp, “It’s 20 pounds or more!”

By this time a couple boats are watching the action. I bring the big pike to the boat three times before it presents a netting opportunity. Laurie nets the pike, but it is so heavy I have to grab the rim of the net and help hoist the fish into the boat. The pike thrashes in the net, straightening the hooks on the little Dardevle Imp in grey scale pattern. As gently as possible I untangle the fish, measure it and hold it up for a photo. Some South Dakota fishermen move closer, and one fellow helps me resuscitate the fish for a couple minutes. Then, with a powerful swish of its tail, the pike disappears into the depths.

The pike was more than 43 inches in length, broad across the back, deep in the body. Later, I examine provincial length/weight charts and determine that it weighed about 22 pounds — the second largest pike I ever have taken!

We switch to floating Rapalas, trolling up into the river, then back out into the estuary, regularly hooking walleyes — eight in all, keeping a few to eat.

A day later in the narrows of Sturgeon Bay, I hook a good pike on a black-and-while Imp, measure the 38-plus inch fish and release it. The chart says it weighed 14-15 pounds.

The following day we spend a slow half day in McKenzie Bay where Laurie uses a gold floating Rapala to catch and release a 28-1/2 inch walleye — a fish of eight or nine pounds.

Thursday of that week gives us the best weather of the trip, the sun shining and white clouds are across the sky. We fish in Warehouse Bay, Laurie catches and releases a couple pike, I take a couple walleyes on a yellow Rapala Husky Jerk, and return to camp. That afternoon we drive in to Flin Flon to buy more groceries and return just in time to witness a big storm front moving in. The wind rages the rest of the day, all night and the entire following day, keeping us tucked in our cabin.

We return to Warehouse Bay in a grey mist, and in three hours of fishing we enjoy brisk action. I watch as a big pike swirls for 10 feet, following my five-of-diamonds Imp. It strikes, I miss, then the fish wallops the lure again and I manage to hook it. After a scrappy battle I land the 38-inch pike, hooked too deeply to release. It is about a 13-pound fish.

I catch a couple walleyes on a frog pattern Imp before switching to the yellow Rapala Husky Jerk, which for some reason, always produces for me in this bay. I take walleyes 21-, 25- and 25-1/2-inches, releasing the two big ones.

The grey weather continues but so does the excellent fishing. I’ll tell you about it next week!

Bernie Kuntz, a Jamestown native, has been an Outdoors columnist for the Sun since 1974

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