Here we go again! My fourteenth season is underway. There for a while it looked like maybe it was gonna be a late start, but Mother Nature cooperated enough to get the last of the ice out on May 13 (five days before the opener). Fortunately, even though we arrived in Ontario on May 6th and had to spend a few days working on some stuff “roadside”, we were able to navigate enough open water and bust through some ice in spots to arrive in camp on Friday, May 10th. Upon arrival, it was good to see that camp made it through the harsh winter here pretty well overall (no MAJOR issues). Within a couple of days, we had a great start on things and were well on our way to being prepared for our first guests of the season.
More good news I want to mention. Immediately upon arrival at the landing on May 6th, I could tell the lake level was up significantly from where it was in the fall of 2018 when I went home. As many of our late season guests will recall, the low water in late August and September was starting to make our lives more complicated when it came to transporting guests in and out on Saturday and handling the “gear” that comes with. Sure gave my back an extra workout when unloading the boat and you had to lift things another 2 feet to reach the dock! Regardless, and as we always do, we managed to navigate the low water situation and ended the year on a good note. SPRING forward to May of 2019 and the water levels are much higher in the lake, maybe still a little below average but in good condition none the less. In fact since our arrival in camp on May 10th, to date, the lake has risen another 7-8 inches from a couple of good rains we have had and continued runoff from the spring thaw.
Congratulations to Kevin Prugh and Kevin Coughlin the co-winners of the second annual Peffley’s Wilderness Camp ice out contest. Both correctly picked May 13th as the magical day, and will be rewarded for their efforts with a Peffley’s Camp hoodie (or similar apparel item of their choice). In fact, Kevin Prugh’s crew is here this week, so I am sure he will be stopping into my office soon for his hoodie. Kevin Coughlin, I will get hooked up with you soon to make arrangements to get yours sent to you since you guys won’t be in camp this year. That is unless you still want to book something… it’s not too late, haha.
So how’s the fishing you ask? Well opening week was one of ups and downs with some unstable weather and quite a bit of ENE winds during the week. Chilly nights would result in lake temps going back down from the gains it had made during the day when the sun was out. Overall lake temps seemed to bounce around for the week between 46-54 degrees depending where you were at. So there were days you had to work harder for fish, and some days that it came much easier. Regardless, everyone in camp ate well and caught plenty to take home and release during the week. The smallmouth bite was good overall and provided lot’s of action during the week also. The one “complaint” I heard early in the week was the number of 22-23″ walleye guys were catching and the lack of the 16-17″ eaters. Good complaint to hear… especially when as the week went on guys starting finding those elusive eater fish and had plenty to feast on while continuing to catch and release the trophy fish. We had several 25″ walleye caught during the week and many, as I mentioned, in that 20-24″ range. George and Jc’s crew had 37 walleyes alone >18″ for the week. Not too bad. Overall, despite some challenging weather (quite the contrast from the shirt sleeve weather for the opener in 2018), the fishing was pretty darn good.
So now week 2 is underway, and the fishing has simply been fantastic. Numbers have been great and average size of the walleyes continues to impress. Looking forward to seeing how week 2 wraps up with some fantastic weather in the forecast for the next 3 days. Highs in the low 70’s and bright sunshine throughout the period. Check our Facebook page for regular updates!