Our final open week of 2018 started out with exceptional weather having temperatures in the low to mid 70’s with very lite winds, but by mid week things changed and a Northern Cold Front pushed its way into the area dropping the temps into the mid 50 degree range for the high on Wednesday moderating by the weeks end. Fishing for Northern Pike and Muskie was ignited by the weather change, as you will see below.
Todd Cambron and Reed Thacker from Indianola, IA returned for their 5th consecutive year. DOA they started things off by catching 14 Smallmouth Bass on a new plastic rig they purchased from my tackle shop and never used before.
1st day was a fabulous day fishing Little Vermilion Lake catching over 35 fish of 3 species mostly being Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike and Todd seemed to have the hot hand and caught the bigger fish landing an 18-inch Trophy Smallmouth Bass, very fat 31-inch Northern Pike, and a HUGE 39-inch Tiger Muskie all on the Pink Ned Rig. This made for a Great Day and Fabulous fun. 2nd day they did well again on the Pink Ned Rig catching both Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike.
3rd and final day, boy the time flies on a 3-day trip, they caught a few Smallmouth Bass but got into some Northern Pike trolling with Reed catching a very large 39-inch Northern Pike. Their final humble words about their fishing is they are still learning, which all fishers are, and we intend to keep leaning more when they return again in 2019.
Long time return guests Steve & Debra Johnson from Halltown, MO. were back to chase Little Vermilion Lake BIG Smallmouth Bass. 1st day out they caught 4 Smallmouth and 4 Pike which was much slower for them than usual and after talking with Todd and Reed (above), who did well on Pink TRD Finesse Worms, Steve purchased a pack. Well they worked well catching Smallmouth and a lot of Northern Pike. At supper Steve & Debra stopped by the tackle shop and purchased two more bags.
3rd day was even better catching a bunch of Northern Pike and 8 sizable Smallmouth Bass on the same bait. 4th day they had a very good morning catching mostly Northern Pike with some
–> Smallmouth Bass mixed in, Debra really having a good day. 5th day Steve while fishing alone caught 22 Smallmouth Bass and several Pike and said none of the Smallmouth Bass were small, one being a 19.5-inch trophy. 6th and final day they were faced with severe cold front conditions with sunny skies, temps in the mid 50’s and high winds however Steve did better than he expected finding those bigger Smallmouth Bass he loves to catch landing another GIANT 19.5-inch Trophy. Both had an enjoyable stay with us at Fireside Lodge hoping to return in 2019.
Return guest since 2003 Ed Bromeier from Boone, NC returned with his wife Millie for her first time fishing at Fireside Lodge. 1st day their trolling methods did not work well so we talked at the map to develop a plan for day two.
2nd day they had a great day catching 18 Northern Pike and Millie caught her 1st, 2nd and 3rd Northern Pike ever, and had a smile ear to ear in the dinning room that evening. Also Ed lost what they estimated to be a 38-inch Northern Pike in the netting process.
3rd day was an even BIGGER success as they caught a lot of Northern Pike even bigger than the previous day. A lot of the pike were 32 to 38-inches, sometimes struggling to get the fish in the net, and Millie for it being only her 3rd day ever fishing caught some of the bigger 35 to 38 inch Northern Pike.
4th day was another good day catching larger Northern Pike using their same technique of trolling a Blue Fox Spinner, Millie again catching the larger of the Pike ranging 32 to 37 inches, and all were very heavy. They also had a special experience having a Bald Eagle swoop down only about 15 feet from their boat and snatch a fishing out of the water flying off with it’s catch. They could hardly comprehend what they just witnessed and told their story in the dinning room with excitement as they were visualizing what they had seen earlier that day.
5th day a cold front came through driving the temps down into the mid 50’s for most of the day but these two did very well catching more big Northern Pike and Ed caught his first Muskie landing a beauty of a Tiger Muskie right around 37-38-inches. This was Ed’s goal and he was thrilled to accomplish this fish feat. 6th and final day was also very good exploring new waters and catching many average size Northern Pike. Both left having a wonderful time fishing and meeting new Fireside Lodge friends in the dinning room, and Millie enjoyed herself so much she was talking about making their reservation early for 2019.
William Witte from West Chester, OH returned for his second time and his wife Sherry for her 1st visit with us at Fireside Lodge. 1st day was a slower day catching but a fantastic day fishing enjoying a super weather day. 2nd day was better and had such fabulous weather they could not help but have a great day on the water, the fish cooperating catching a mix of Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike. They also had some great conversations at suppertime with the other couples in the dinning room. 3rd and final only half day, because Sherry needed to be back at work on Tuesday, during the short time they had they did well catching a number of good size Smallmouth Bass finishing their trip on a high note. Both left wishing they had a little more time but thoroughly enjoyed the time they had.
Bryan Neel III and Tim Stewart from Rochester, MN returned for their 16th consecutive year to hunt down BIG Toothy Critters. 1st day was FABULOUS Fishing catching 28 Northern Pike Bryan catching two very BIG fishing one at 39-inches and the other being a Master Anglers Award Trophy Northern Pike measuring 42-inchs. To top this after supper Tim caught the fish of a lifetime landing another Trophy Northern Pike, a 48-inch Monstrous fish, while fishing a Zara Spook surface lure.
2nd day they had a good day catching 15+ Northern Pike saying they missed three good fish coming off during the fight. 3rd day was another very good day catching Northern Pike and Tim came up with another Trophy Northern Pike measuring 40.5-inches.
4th day was terrific day for these two catching 31 Northern Pike only counting the sizable fish, plus Bryan caught another Trophy Northern Pike measuring right at 40-inches and Tim caught a HUGE Master Anglers Award 45-inch Muskie. The unusual thing about this Muskie is that it had a series of old healing wounds along both sides of it’s back. Tim and Bryan felt as if another fish grabbed and T-Boned this fish creating these wounds before releasing its hold.
So for Tim and Bryan that would be 4 Master Anglers Award Trophy Northern Pike and one Trophy Muskie in 4 days of fishing. I found them quietly celebrating on their deck after supper with a cigar. 5th day brought in a fall type cold front with no rain but cold temps in the mid 50 degree range with high winds, and as expected this made it a bit more challenging finding fish but they still caught 16 nice Pike in the 30 to mid 30-inch range. 6th day was about the same as day 5.
7th and final day was a picture perfect weather day with temps in the mid 60’s and sunny, enjoying it until the final minutes catching Northern Pike and soaking up the wilderness surroundings we have at Fireside Lodge. Before departing they were already planning a return trip in 2019.
Long time return guest Charlie McDermid from Bozeman, MT with son Bill from Niwot, CO and good friend Frank Wright from Denver, CO were very excited to arrive and start chasing Charlie’s favorite freshwater fish, Muskie.
1st day fishing they had a blast getting some follows and hunting for the big toothy critters. 2nd day was a success catching fish for all and a BIG success for both Charlie and Bill, with Bill catching a Master Anglers award Smallmouth Bass measuring 18.5-inches and Charlie landing a very large 38-inch Northern Pike. All said it was a great day fishing and the weather was just FABULOUS.
3rd day they all had the best fishing day of their lives hunting Muskie. They had countless follows, hooked 10 and landed 4 between 30-37-inches, saw some monsters and each person landed a Muskie. They also caught 8 Northern Pike all 35 to 39-inches saying every fish was very fat and healthy looking. To date this will be the top day in the many McDermid Muskie expeditions.
They definitely had a pre frontal Muskie bite as that evening a cold front surged the area driving down the temperatures into the 50’s on their 4th day with strong gusty winds. This made for some tough boat control and had them catching a half dozen Northern Pike.
5th day they were back at catching Muskie with Charlie having the hot hand landing two Muskie in one day which is something he has never done in his 80 plus years of Muskie fishing. That makes 6 Muskie landed, photographed, and released and at least another half dozen hooked and lost. They said this is undoubtedly the best Muskie fishing trip ever in the many years of McDermid Musky fishing adventures.
6th and final day the big fish just kept coming doing well on Northern Pike and Frank caught his biggest ever landing a very large 39-inch husky Northern Pike. All went home very excited about their Fireside Lodge fishing experience and were already plotting their return in 2019.
Bob and Carol Beaumel from West Chester, OH returned to Fireside Lodge for their 3rd visit and were very happy to be back. 1st day was spent getting some of the rust off and catching a few fish. 2nd day was a very good day catching Northern Pike and a half dozed Smallmouth Bass. 3rd day fishing was similar to day two but Bob said he had the biggest Smallmouth Bass of his life on and up to the boat only to have it come unhooked before he could land the fish. Carol spent half the day just enjoying our peaceful wilderness surroundings at Fireside Lodge. 4th day had Bob facing cold front conditions making it hard to fish in the windy conditions, but made the best of things catching some nice Northern Pike. 5th day had him a Carol catching Pike and some great Smallmouth Bass with Carol catching the biggest Northern Pike and Master Anglers Award Smallmouth Bass measuring 18-inches with a huge fat belly. 6th and final day Bob got into the Smallmouth Bass as they soaked up the wilderness surrounding before having to return to the city life. Both had a wonderful trip adding a little momentary peace to their lives, and we hope to see Bob and Carol again in the near future.
Rodney Vannoy Sr, from Madison, TN, with son Rod and his son Jacob from Arnold, MO were all very happy to arrive at Fireside Lodge for their first time for a three generations getaway.
1st day was a good day catching Northern Pike with Rodney landing 8 good size Pike plus he caught a very heavy 34-inch Tiger Muskie. 2nd day they portaged to a lake that has been hot lately however a severe cold front blew in overnight that changed everything. They had an excellent day having countless follows from BIG Muskie and each landing one in the mid 30-inch range. They both said it was very exciting seeing all those BIG Musky. 3rd day was again getting some BIG Muskie follows and landing several Northern Pike.
4th and final day they had a terrific day catching many Smallmouth Bass and Rod said the pike were coming so fast that it was hard to keep up with them. They all had their best day and Jacob caught a BIG Smallmouth Bass plus a couple of really nice Northern Pike. Rod SR and Rod said that their stay with us at Fireside Lodge far exceeded their expectations making some wonderful three generation memories.
Long time return guest Gary Johnson was back for his 3rd time this year with son Josh also with Gary’s group was other sons Pete for his 2nd time, Kevin for his 1st, and Pete’s father-in-law Steve Trafacanta for his 2nd time in 2018, all from Midlothian, IL. They were all thrilled to be back to chase fall Muskie. First day had them catching 17 fish by suppertime and Steve had the fish of the day catching a 37-inch Northern Pike.
2nd day had them catching over 20 Northern Pike. 3rd day all were excited to have another family
member joining them, Musky Pete, who had to come a few days later because of work commitments of which we will blame Pete for bringing in the severe cold front that arrived just about the time he did, however Pete has to be highly commended for making a great effort to be with family even if for just a few days. The reason for name Musky Pete is that when he was here this July he landed a beautiful 52 inch Trophy Muskie, so all the cards on the table now.
On this day they had a good day fishing for Northern Pike plus Kevin, Josh, and Steve got into some good size Smallmouth Bass on the Magic Pink Ned Rig. 4th day was another great day catching Northern Pike, and while in search of the BIG Muskie Gary was finding them but could not get them to hit. Gary said he saw 5-6 giant fish hoping that the last day would be the day. Steve also caught another big Northern Pike at 38.5-inches keeping him on the leader board.
On the last day Pete and Steve were on a mission to have Steve catch his first Muskie ever. Steve had a few on during their last trip but lost both. That morning we were discussing tactics and locations at the tackle shop and at the end I went out on a limb telling Steve I guarantee he will catch his first Muskie ever today.
Well within the first 5 minutes of fishing Steve hooked and landed his first Muskie and immediately after that Pete caught a Muskie, and that’s why we call him Musky Pete. By the end of the day they caught 5 with Steve catching his second Musky and Pete landing a HUGE 41-inch Muskie. Gary, Josh and Kevin also had a good day catching bigger Northern Pike. Gary stated at supper how he could not believe the trip went so fast, and all left making wonderful family fishing memoires.
Special Note: This is our final fishing report for 2018 so Audrey and I would like to thank all of our guests from this year and the last 29-years for making the success we have had a Fireside Lodge possible. It is all of you that bring energy to Fireside Lodge and make it come alive. Also all the friendships we have developed with our guests over these 29-years is way beyond our expectations, and we thank you all for making that possible. As I write this we are hard at work already preparing for the opening of our 30th fishing season in 2019. We have already received a number of early reservations and for those of you planning to visit us in 2019 you may want to start planning early so your preferred dates are available. With that we wish you all a wonderful fall and winter, and hope to see you in our 30th year. Thanks Audrey and Alan.
Next Fishing Report will be May of 2019.
Make sure to go to our website below to see some GREAT Fish Photos. For Fabulous Fishing Video, Wildlife Events, and Current Happenings go to our Social Sites Below.
Hot Lures: Rad Dog Spinner Bait Blue Fox Spinner, Mepps Muskie Giant Killer, Ned Rig, Top Prop, Zara Spook, Mepps Muskie Killer, Yo-Zuri Suspend Twitch Bait,
Catches of The Week: 48–Inch Northern Pike, 42, 40.5, 40, several 39 and 38 Inch Northern Pike and Many 35 to 37-inches, 45-Inch Muskie 13 Muskie 32 to 39 -inches
Well, that’s it for this weeks Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report, Please stay tuned for next weeks report. Until then “Keep On Fish’n” Alan