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Fishing on Lake Athabasca: Day 6

As I write this, I’m sitting on the deck at Lakers Unlimited’s Spring Bay Lodge with owner Jeff Perela, the guides and the five other guests, comparing notes on the day. All three boats, two anglers each, spent the bulk of today chasing northerns on Maurice Bay, just out front of the lodge. In the few days since our arrival on Saturday, the weed growth has exploded — and remarkably fast. Where before there were barren sand patches, there are now ever-expanding weedbeds, and they’re total pike magnets. We pretty sure, in fact, that the northerns are streaming in from outside the bay, attracted by the quickly growing, oxygen-rich environment. That’s one reason we spent the day on Maurice. The other reason is that Maurice is where Dave Drobny and Dwight Hottle caught the big pike in camp yesterday.

In the end, Ted and I caught some 14 or so 40-inch-plus northerns, plus an embarrassing number of teenagers. Honestly, we once again stopped counting, but based on a rough calculation, we easily brought in 90 fish between us. Still, we haven’t succeeded in our quest to catch a 30-pounder (and my personal goal of a somewhat more modest 45-incher). Nor have we managed to catch Hottle and Drobny. In fact, they pulled out even further in the lead today, when Drobny hammered home his personal best, a 29-pounder. Good going guys. But look out tomorrow — our last day.

As for playing poker again with those two sharks…

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is Outdoor Canada's Editor-in-Chief and Brand Manager. He grew up fishing and hunting in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he began his magazine career in 1983 as assistant editor of Muskoka Life magazine. Since then, he has worked for a variety of media, both in Canada and abroad, earning numerous writing and editing awards. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named him Editor of the Year, while Outdoor Canada was honoured as Magazine of the Year (in the medium circulation category). Walsh has been at the magazine's helm since 2000.

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