Braggin' rights blog #1

Braggin' rights blog #1

This is a long one. For those who just like reading about fishing experiences. Dating back to 2020 at the start of the covid craziness.

How has your covid season been?

Got laid off in early may sat around for a week or so and then opted to use this government sponsored vacation time to check off a bucket list trip. To see as much of ontario as possible!

I live in niagara, as a result I travel to go camping and exploring whenever I get the chance, but I have never had this much time off before. I had only been as far as hearst before this trip, but I have always been drawn to the idea of exploring this great province that I call home. So after figuring i might not get another chance like this to have so much time off at once I packed the car loaded the dog in and hit the road on May 23rd.

I'll keep it strictly about fishing from here on I promise. ( if you are interested in more of the story just pm me there were some pretty crazy events that took place along the way.)

The first couple days not much to report on the fishing couple small pike and what not. The first big success I found was while driving from sudbury towards Espanola. Turning down a road just out of curiosity as to where it would take me I found a lake/marina that as I would come to find out holds some monster gills. It was actually my dog who caught onto this first. But once I saw what he was looking at and saw the size I put down my jerkbaits and swimbaits and grabbed my ultra light and small box and started casting towards any piece of shallow shaded structure. I cannot recall just how many gills I caught the next 3 hrs they were everywhere. But what I do recall is finally getting a double digit gill. At just over 10" and I know for a fact I saw plenty more still in the water by the time I called it quits and hit the road again. Set-up was a bobber and worm or a small jig head and cricket like plastic.

Moving on from that was again just the odd pike here and there and less impressive gills and perch in little lakes just off the road. That is until we started to head north from Sault Ste.Marie. I grew up fishing a couple rivers along the eastern shore of superior so I kinda knew what to expect but this was also quite a bit early in the year than I would typically have come up camping with my grandparents when I was younger. But I knew that if you put enough time into walking these little creeks and rivers its going to pay off. And sure enough it did over and over again could be some of the most consistent river fishing I've had to date. Every river seemed to be load full of rainbow and brookies (specs) again nothing fancy, couple split shots depending on current and depth and a worm or in some of the larger and calmer pool small inline spinners tipped with little worm pieces. Didnt photograph many as we all know how delicate these fish can be even with proper care and quick releases. The stretch between the sault and wawa is near and dear to me and it really showed off the entire 3 or 4 days I was driving through.

The after crossing through wawa I made the choice to go check out manitouwadge for a day I was now in new territory for me. What fun this turned into. Fished by a small bridge got busted off and that was about it there. On my back into the town I saw someone fishing a spot I stopped to talk to him a bit, he was a local and fellow fishing addict. He invited me to come on down and cast a line so I did, and as we shared fishing stories and chatted the pike fishing just got better and better. I think at one point I hooked up with a pike on 5 or 6 casts in a row. Nothing giant but always fun, biggest was probably 25-26". It was a crazy flurry that seemed to stop as abruptly as it started. Easily caught over ten pike at that spot and introduced the young man to a couple different lures and tactics that helped me. Set-up was a 7'1" medheavy with 15 or 20lb braid and 14lb mono leader both a shallow jerkbait and spoon worked well.

Ended up in terrace bay shortly after and once off the highway I stopped at almost every accessible body of water I saw. This is where having a boat would have come in handy. I caught my first walleye of the trip on in this area. A bunch of pike and just about hooked into a snapping turtle (unintentionally) looking back im sure the fishing could have been alot better by downsizing or slowing down possibly with a jig but I stuck with throwing 6" jerkbaits all day. Still a good day caught well over 10 fish but like I said could have and had I not been too stubborn to change would have been a much more productive day.

The next stretch was the longest I went without really fishing hard. From terrace bay to thunder bay the fishing and for me the weather during this stretch was pretty difficult. I dont really recall catching much other than when I changed route and headed up towards armstong. Casting a line into every body of water saw along the way. But the fishing was tough. I was on nice steep rocky banks and could see weed edges, or points but it just seemed like the fish were shut off. Whether that be due to the front that had just rolled through or just really weren't interested in what I was doing not sure, but other than and couple small pike and even smaller walleye not much to say about those days. I did manage to finally catch a fish out of lake superior though during my time in thunder bay caught a nice small mouth and about a 28" pike casting around marinas and launches.

So if terrace bay to thunder bay was the trips lull (only in terms of fishing though some amazing non fishing related things took place in this time frame) the next two plus weeks were definatly the high point. Most of the fish pictures posted come from the next parts of the trip. If you look at a map it becomes clear to see that I was about to enter areas where it looks like the lakes cover more surface area than the land. I choose to take the lower highway 11 route while going west and I'd take the northern highway 17 heading back east. There were two times on this trip where in 4 casts I caught a bass, a walleye, and a pike, I was never able to do it in three casts unfortunately. This fishing in the quetico/atikokan area is just insane especially in terms of reliable lake access as well as both quality and quantity of fish. I went up towards turtle river provincal park for a day and although I didn't have a 4x4 truck I was still able to drive close enough to where it was only a short walk down a path away. And although to ultimately get to the park you need a boat i was able to fish from shore at the launch off area. First cast in produced the 21" walleye, another couple casts and I got a nice smallmouth, then another, and another, then another walleye, then a small mouth, then a walleye. It was kinda the perfect setup, there had been a consistent wind over the last couple days all blowing in the same direction and as luck would have it where the launch point was; was a bay that was wide open to that incoming wind plus with very overcast skies with periods of misting rain and even periods of sun. It all worked for me as I stayed there for most of my day and the longest I went without a fish was maybe 30 mins. They were hitting on everything, jerkbaits, swimbaits, jigs, spinners, even some Topwater produced for me. I can only imagine what that lake would be like from a boat. Insane! And much of the atikokan area is like that. At least that was my experience over then next two days. But as we left that area we came to one of the bucket list stops on the trip. The very very well known smallmouth making machine Rainy lake. I got my first glimpse of the lake from a rest/viewing area and much to my surprise there was a path going down to the water as well. So I grab a couple rods and put a couple bass boxes together and me and the dog walked on down. We saw lay downs, long boulder points smooth Rock faces that dove into the water. Right away I'm thinking this is going to be too easy, I'm going to hook into a giant rainy lake smally within 5 mins. I was wrong, fished for about an hour and a half with just one bite. So I pick myself up and keep on moving there are alot of public launches and a long bridge system still to fish. 10 mins into fishing the first launch fish on, okay here is my rainy lake smallie... nope pike, then another, then another, and another. 8 pike on a ned rig at the first spot. Okay move on. Next spot similar thing. Then finally the next spot produces right away almost 18" inch smallie. Not a giant but it still counts i got my rainy lake smallie. I keep fishing and get to the bridge. At the second stop along the bridge I hook into something big at the end of my cast and never even saw it, could it have been my giant pb smallie I dont know. It definatly has some giants in it thats for sure. Looking at Google maps it occurs to me that in a day or so I will be looking at lake of the woods for the very first time..!

To know my excitement you need to know about how much I enjoy fishing, the highs and lows, the learning and teaching, the hooksets and linebreaks, the big jumps and hard digs, the puzzle pieces of a new lake and the picture when you've put it together, everything about it. But not just fishing the outdoor experience in general whether its hiking, camping, hunting, with or without a fishing rod (with a fishing rod preferred though). You also need to know that I have been trying to find the time to make a trip to this lake possible for years now. From what seems like forever ago I have been watching videos, reading magazine artricles, looking at blogs, research data, anything I could to make my inaction with this lake the best it can be. I feel like a kid on christmas eve.

Now we start on the trip to the big one lake of the woods. The lake that largely inspired this whole trip. We take the 71 up through nestor falls and sioux narrows. Along the route we stopped at a little rest area just outside the fish sanctuary there is an old worn out stair case going down to the lake. Here it goes first spot first casts on my dream lake, lake of the woods. Let's just say it did not disappoint. So it was a super sunny blue sky day and everywhere I had been, everyone had been telling me that I had missed the shore fishing walleye bite by about two weeks. But I figured its lake of the woods who knows what I'll hook into. Maybe four casts in I get hammered. Just over 20" walleye couple more casts similar result, they aren't playing around about biting today. As I work along the shore I notice that anytime I can see a large boulder out 15'-20' feet off shore I'm getting hit usually just out 10' or so from it. While I'm not sure how deep I'm fishing I know I'm getting down anywhere between 4'-9' depending on the jerkbait I'm throwing. All in all I caught upwards of 10 walleye smallest being dinner a pair of 17"ers biggest being a 22" and four pike kept one pike which I gave to the owner of nestor falls bait and tackle after learning that he prefers them to most other fish as a thank you for taking the time to help me out and telling me about some local shore spots to try. I also lost something "BIG" after catching the walleye I wanted for dinner I switched things up, I put the medium and medium heavy jerkbait and swimbait rods away and got out my 7'6"heavy rod. This rod has an abu reel that holds up to a 24lb drag tension on it. Throwing a big gold and silver Williams spoon just a couple casts in the spoon hits the water and while letting it fall it get demolished. My line jumps probably a good 5+ feet I turn the reel handle to click over from free spool and hammer back a hard hookset. I dont even think the fish turned slightly, this is a heavy action bass rod not a musky rod but still I am looking that this rod bending over like an ultralight. At this point I figure it's just about waiting the fish out and playing it to shore. I know I hammeres at least one of the spoons trebles home on that hookset and I'm using 50lb braided mainline to a 30lb flouro coated leader whats going to break that, nothing in my experience but then again I have never fished lake of the woods. I was hooked up for probably a good 10 mins and had moments where I was definately winning, but again this reel has a 24lb drag system and it was cranked most of the way down and this fish barely seemed to notice it was taking line at will it seemed. Finally I started to really gain some ground but that would be as close as I'd come to landing this giant. Through the tea stained waters of lake of the woods I caught a glimpse of what looked looked like a greenish brown side about 15 feet from shore as it turned one last time snapping my leader line as if at will and to say "it's been fun, but I have somewhere better to be right now". The heart break of that moment, the thrill of the fight, the mystery of what ever was at the end of my line, now the craving to go back again in search of what it could have been. That is fishing, and that is my addiction. And all this happened within probably about 3hrs.

We continue our drive north stopping where ever I see access to the big lake. Got a couple more bass and a pike as the day continued but nothing too notable. As we approach the end of highway 71 looking back at the last day or two Lake of the woods has already both spoiled me and broke my heart just in the short time I got to experience it. But next stop will be kenora... Next stop will be... Kenora!

Turning left at the top of 71 I waste little time when driving into kenora and as we get into town right away I get a feeling like this is a fisherman's town. You can't drive more than two house widths without seeing a boat on a front yard or driveway. It seems like almost every truck has a tinner in the bed and the marinas might as well be the town hall because it seems like there are more people occupying them then anything else in town. But like any good fisherman knows the first stop in kenora needs to be paying a visit to husky the musky. Maybe even through a prayer in while you're at it (if thats your thing). So we go see husky and then the next stop we make is to lake of the woods sports headquarters. To talk with some local fish heads and maybe get some info on the local waters, bites, and possible areas to throw a line. While in their I am told about a town lake called, rabbit lake, supposed to hold good bass, largies, smallmouth, and hybrid. Awesome! Bass fishing is what I know and I haven't done nearly any of it other than the day or two at rainy lake and I haven't caught a largie since last fall. Right away when I pull up to the bank I can feel the difference in community. In parts of ontario it seems like fishing is frowned upon or fishermen are seen as vandals if we are seen fishing around a dock or out "near" not on or in someones property line. But in kenora people would openly give me permission to not only fish around their docks but allowed me access as well. People would stop to talk fishing, different techniques, stages of fish cycles, hot spots, recent success, fishing is celebrated not shunned. I met a guy who was also bank fishing who recently bought a curado DC. He noticed that, that is what I was using as well but I was easily out casting him with a lighter lure by at least 15 meters. He came up and asked me about the rod I had it on because its seems to help me cast further. It was on my e6x 7'1" medium heavy. But as we talked and I found out he had just bought that curado I asked if I could use it for a couple casts and I'd let him use mine in return. He agreed we switched rods and the first thing i did once he bombed a cast out and started fishing was dial back his spool tensioner so that there was some wiggle in the spool. I cast out with his rod and when he saw how for his lure went he asked what I did. I chuckled and explained to him about the spool tension knob and pros and cons of tightening and loosing it, and that with a reel like a DC there isn't much use to tightening it because backlashes are so rare and minor even when they do occur. We switched our rods back to each other and continued fishing and chatting for a while. I caught a couple nice smallies and hybrids on a regular swimbait and an underspin, and I managed to flip out to a really nice largie and get her to go with a creature bait. Now I knew there were bass in the lake, I assumed pike aswell but while using a little 3.8 keitech I was surprised when not once, not twice, not three times, but on four occasions I hooked into and caught nice 13+ inch crappie. Talk about spoiled. Bonus. Caught alot of fish on my first day in kenora tons of bass, 4 nice crappie and two small pike. Not bad kenora... not bad at all.

The next day I opted for something off the beaten path a little. I was going to head up towards caribou falls. I only went as far as white dog dam. I found a couple spots along the way to pull over and fish. And all I can really say is eater walleye and decent 25"-32" pike are very plentiful up that way. Each road side lake produced a couple fish and probably had more to offer if I fished them longer than the hour and a bit I choose to stay for. Just after crossing white dog dam up a little ways there was an access point so I pulled over made lunch and casted around hooked into a really thick, very strong, pike about 30" or so. Nothing else after that. As I started to head back and crossed over the dam I saw a little spot to park with a trail heading down so me and the dog did just that. And it took us right along the Winnipeg River shoreline. Ended up getting just one 23"-24" pike and taking a little momento photo with the pooch. On the way back I fished alot of the same spots with alot of the same success. Bottom line we weren't going hungry.

The following day was a bit worse for weather with a decent amount of rain and possible storm moving in I figured I'd stay local and fish another lake in town for a bit. So I figured it would probably have bass in it and because it had been so long since I had thrown a spinner I decided that, that was what I was going to throw today. Didnt get anything at the first spot. Moved to the opposite shoreline where the wind was blowing towards. And right away a pike bonanza started, within 40mins I lost count of how many I had caught. But they fight hard and were keeping me entertained while it was still decent out. But if pike are known for their side to side darting action and thrashing around when they are brought to shore, walleye must be known for their digging down and head shakes. So when I hooked into a fish and my rod was bouncing at the tip and I didnt get a darting left or right I found it odd, well right up until I got to to shore and saw it was a nice walleye. Awesome! It was just about time too as not even 30 mins later the rain really hit and wouldn't let up for majority of the day. When it finally did let up we went back out in search of more lakes. By this point in my trip I had noticed a very definitive pattern. For me personally and the way I was choosing to fish I wanted to see three things in a lake before I decided to really give it some time. This had been true from as far south as back home in niagara to as far west as kenora as far north as pickle lake and as far east as the Ontario/Quebec boarder and everywhere in between. But I'll talk about that at the end. Anyway we went ahead and because I had already fished along the 596/525 I figured it was only right to switch over and start my run up the 658 and beyond. Again the lakes along this route were super plentiful with fish of all sizes. Bass, pike, walleye, it was a toss up as to what I'd be hooking into next but thats part of the fun, at least for me. By this point in time crowne land was open for overnight camping so we stayed out the night and resumed our adventure in the morning. I wanted to try my luck at fishing seperation lake as according to the back roads map book giant walleye are known to live there. To say that hooking a fish had lost some of the surprise would be an understatement, I had been so spoiled with both quality and quantity over the last couple day since rainy lake that each place I stopped at I brought in a 10, 5, 3, gone rule. If I dont get bit on the first ten fish I'm gone, then it would drop down to for the next 5 fish if I dont get bit within 5 casts of my last fish I'm gone, after that it would be 3 casts without a hit and I was moving on to the next lake. I dont think there was a stop I made that didn't make it to at least the first 3 cast fish. We finally get to seperation lake and starting fishing the shoreline and 4 casts in I get broken off. Chalk that up to not checking my leader line for knicks in it enough. I retie and start back out couple casts in I hook into a little smallie, couple more casts I hook up with a small walleye but notice that it has something else in its mouth. Bring it up to shore and their is my previously snapped off swimbait. I remove both hooks and calmly remind the little guy that overeating isn't always a good idea and let him swim away hook free. Around then a family comes in on their boat and as I am talking I catch two more smallie, nothing to crazy for size, but they are telling me about the lake and how the fishing is once you get off shore and get at it from a boat. I am instantly jealous. They are telling me about numerous 20+ inch walleye that they had caught just that day alone and followed it up by saying it was just kinda an average day on the lake..... what.... I have caught a couple over 20 on this trip but just how unenthused and run of the mill he made that sound told me it really is a big bite lake. Unfortunately though it wasn't meant for me. As other than a couple more bass seperation lake kept its beasts separate from me. There is always next time

The next couple days were a write off as a crazy heat wave kept us at a beach all day only casting a line for 30 mins to an hour in the later evenings to catch dinner once the temps had started to drop down a little. But that is how solid the fishing is up that way... I literally only need an hour to confidently catch fish for dinner that night.

So after the heat wave I decided it was time to keep moving we drove to the ontario manitoba boarder just to say I've been there done that... not much to it. And the we started back east. We didn't get too far though. We made it from kenora to dryden in a day of traveling. The amount of road accessible lakes along the way made any really driving impossible. Although the fishing was much the same as I had come to expect from this area there was one lake in particular that grabbed a bit more of my attention then the rest. Link lake is not a big lake but in sure its deep and I'm sure pretty hard to access if even possible other than the rock rubble side along the highway. But the reward for sliding and navigating down the steep rocky slope is at least in my experience better than average pike fishing. I landed 9 hooked into at least 15. The smallest was around 28" the biggest was easily mid 30"s but what made this lake stand out was how thick they all were. When a 28" pike has a 3-4" thick back you know you are into a healthy population of fish. These were some strong, and very aggressive fish. It made for an awesome two hours of fishing the darting runs, freight train like strikes, they only downside is they never stopped fighting even when id be trying to remove the hook and send them on their way.they were still thrashing around. Luckily I was just using a swimbait at this point, dealing with the multiple trebles of a jerkbait would have been a nightmare. Finally got into dryden and calmed down after the circus of a day of fishing, I can't remember the last time I caught that many good pike in such a short time period.

The next day was supposed to be about fishing lac seul another bucket list lake I was anxious to cast a line into. Unfortunately the route I tried to take had been blocked off and after taking two more shots at driving to its shoreline failing both times I called it quits on trying to fish that lake... for now. So instead I decided I'd check off a different kind of bucket list item. Driving up to picke lake. According to Google the furthest north you can drive on a maintianed road in ontario. Fishing along the way up to my surprise was largely dominated by smallmouth bass. Every lake I stopped at had them in abundance. With the odd pike or walleye mixed in, and they were hitting everything. I even debated grabbing a leaf, hooking it, and casting it out with a couple split shots, just to see how far I could take this. Biggest smallie was about 17" average was 15" or so, but this was defiantly a numbers game not size. As I got into pickle lake a front started to move in. There is a public dock that i debated trying my luck off of but as the wind increased so did the waves to the point where it would not have made for a good time out on that dock. The unfortunate thing is that from what I saw of pickle lake it doesn't get deep quick from shore so that dock was probably going to be my only option to access some likely fish holding water. I drove all that way I need to at least try it. I walked out on the dock and start to fan cast but even with throwing heavier swimbaits, jerkbaits with weight transfer systems, tube jigs the wind wasn't allowing me the distance I wanted and the waves weren't allowing me the control over the bait I needed. Plus I felt like I was standing on a soccer ball the entire time unable to stay balanced for too long at a time. But hey I tried. Having done this, this marked that last of the big three check points of my trip fish lake of the woods explore kenora and drive to the ontario manitoba boarder and drive as far noth as I can on maintained roads in ontario. It was officially time to start the trek home.... sort of... .

So the next day when I woke up I knew I had to get to the other side of nipigon before night fall so the night before I parked by a lake that looked like it would be holding fish so I could take care of catching dinner and cover some ground. Well it didn't take long 5am rolled around through on a Hoodie socks and sweats and went to the water. Maybe 4 casts in almost 18" walleye, two casts later slightly smaller walleye okay dinners done. Just do some fun fishing for a little since I didn't plan on doing much of that during the day. Couple more walleye and just before leaving a nice chunky 16" smallie, curious about the difference I decided to keep that aswell. Did all my driving got set up for the night made dinner left one walleye in the cooler but cooked the smallie and smaller walleye for dinner to compare. Honestly I knew which was which because I cooked them but in terms of taste, texture, color, and all that couldn't tell the difference. Just goes to show its more about the water the fish come from then the species they happen to be. We stayed the night just south of beardmore. The following day was another long drive day, as my best buddy has just started working for a hunting lodge this year so we haven't been able to fish much so we worked it out that we would meet up at his families camp just a couple hours from him on his day off. So I fished a couple lakes along the way including nagagamisis a place I was familiar with from a previous camping trip I had taken years in previous years. Stopped of just for a short 20 casts max tons of fish or no fish all I was doing was 20 casts. It didn't disappoint. Gave up a beautiful 6 lb pike which wasn't very long but like the pike from link lake super super thick. A couple other small pike followed but when 20 casts were up, that was it time to hit the road again. I kept driving pretty much non stop until I got within 40 mins of my buddies camp and he said he would be at camp for around 630. So realizing I had some time to kill and I was now in an area I was familiar with I picked a couple lakes to go hit from shore for the first time. Didnt take long before I had my limit of 17-18" walleye and informed my buddy that I had dinner for tonight taken care of. And kept fun fishing I was right by a boat launch that we commonly used while at camp and people loading their boats seemed to be in shock of my shoreline success. One guy came up and inquired as to what I was using. A simple gold and grey swimbait with a 1/2 -5/8oz swimbait head. While talking to him I was yet again told about how the walleye shouldn't be in this close to shore they should have pushed off "weeks ago" but again we will get to why I had confidence that they would be there at the end. He also informed me that they had a pretty tough day and that they were one shy of their limit and that was all that they caught despite putting in a solid days effort. So I said if he wanted to round it off and was able to get to where I was id be happy to let him use my rod to get his 8th. He came down and I gave him my rod and let him know what I was doing. "You have to bomb a cast out there but aim to keep it in this general area *pointing outward* they seem to be stacked up 25-30 meters out around there." Three casts later he dings a chunky 16+ incher and while shaking his head and laughing calls it a day. I pick off a couple more and eventually call it a day as well. Still have to fillet them and cookem up before 630. That didn't happen I stayed fishing to long. So when my buddy got to camp we opted to do dinner after so we loaded up a little tinner in his truck and headed out for a lake. We fished until 11pm or so with the bite really turning on around 830-9 ish just catch an release all night. We already had dinner we didn't need any more. Caught some nice fish 20+ inchers. He caught one about 22-23". Headed back to camp and made dinner and called it a night. Woke up the next day and went into town to get some supplies needed at camp and some groceries to keep their. While at camp we were told about a lake we should try. So we looked it up and made a gameplan to give that lake a try. While on route we spotted another lake that looked pretty good on the map and looked like it had good access so we changed our mind and tried to get there instead. It didn't work, the trail in was pretty over grown and there was a large washout at the bottom, not something you wanna do 30km back in the bush with only one truck. So we changed back to our original plan. We got to the lake and launched the boat right away we knew it wasn't a walleye lake but that it could still hold big pike potentially as the water clarity was super clear we had like 20' visibility. Which we have fished other lakes with similar clarity and done exceptional for big pike for in the passed. So we both start out with divers I started with a smaller diver that hit about 10' and as we turn and cover the first point I get hit, I set the hook and right away I know its not a pike and the water it far too clear for walleye. For years I have caught brook trout and rainbows in rivers but I had never though I had always wanted to, I had never caught a brook trout in lake. And as the fish got closer to the boat it turned and I saw that super white belly and when it came beside the boat I was able to see it, my first and only lake caught brook (speckled) trout. I was beyond happy though it was only a little 2lber I didn't care. I wasnt planning on it I didn't even think about it for this trip but there I was having caught it unexpectedly. We made a pass around the entire lake without another hit, so we got off the lake and tried another old favorite. Not too much happening, I had a small walleye and pike, had a bigger eye swipe at my jerkbait right beside the boat but miss, we didn't stay long there either. We went back to where we were the night before, tried what we were doing the previous night with little success outside of the one 22-23" I got ... okay something had to change and the fish didn't seem like they were changing anytime soon. So he goes to his old faithful slow dragging a wormharness and just start getting hit on every pass. So I eventually decide to slow it down too I put the jerkbait away and go to just slow dragging a jig and leech, now we are both hooking up pretty steady not sure how many we caught but we couldn't stay long, as there was a storm coming in and we both still had to pack up to be on the road early the next morning. And that concludes the fishing side of my trip around ontario. As the next day I only fished for maybe a half hour without a bite because I was largely driving through a storm most of the way home.

Anyway like I mentioned there were three things I looked for and its pretty simple.

Rip rap!
The large stones they use on the side of road ways that go along the sides of lake. The steeper the better. I'm not sure the rock size used is as much a factor but anytime I found a steep rock rubble base leading into the lake I knew I was going to get bit, just didn't know what it was that was going to bite.

Secondary structure!
If you have 300 meters of rip rap how do you know where to cast to better your odds, sure you can fish the entire thing, but if you can focus on the key spots you can cover that area quicker catch more fish on fewer casts and ultimately get to more lakes in a day and catch more fish. So secondary structures like really large boulders detached from the rip rap by 10-15', submerged trees that have washed up and gotten stuck against or between the rubble, weed clumps (especially broadleaf weeds) that you can work the edges of or come just barely over top of, and lastly the corners or sides, almost all of these man made rock slopes have ends to them, a natural point that shoots out, maybe they built right at the end of the lake and as a result you have long sides at either end of the rip rap, maybe they only put the rocks on a section where the ground was elevated and where the road comes down closer to the lakes level there isn't any rocks, that man made to natural bottom edge will hold fish

Wind blown!
You are confined to the shore, so you can't go out to the middle of the lake to where the fish are. Use the wind to your advantage when possible. If you have two stretches of rip rap one that is on the west side of a lake and the other on the east and the wind the last three days has been blowing west to east focus on the eastern bank alot of that lakes ecosystem will be getting pushed in towards those rocks, bait fish will be bunched up against that windblown bank and that will bring the fish in closer to the banks where you have a chance at actually hooking up with them. Also if you don't have access to the wind blown side of the lake but you do have access to a side where the wind is blowing across it those secondary structures become key especially sudden points, like if you find rock rubble that runs out a couple extra feet and drops off into deeper water or grass lines that run out and break up some of that commotion with the waves just at the tip of the last visible piece of grass. Fish will use those structures to ambush prey and at the same time wait out the weather until its becomes more favorable for them to move on

Side note, lure selection is was a big part of my success. I went on this trip with lures I knew I could cast out quite a ways even into the wind. Things like jerkbaits with weight transfer system built in, heavier than normal swimbait head 1/2oz or bigger, heavier more compact casting spoons like little cleos, and things along those lines that cut through the air and cover distance well even in stronger winds. While the fish are accessible from shore they aren't always right along the bank.

All spelling and grammar stiffs eat your heart out im sure there are lots to complain about. Cheers!
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