My brother and I usually make 2 three day float trips each year, one in spring one in fall. About a year ago brother called and asked me if I wanted to skip the floats and go to Canada for a week of kayak fishing some lakes that boats couldn't get to. I was game for sure!! So 2 weeks ago my brother, 2 friends, and I headed for Crystal Beach resort near Atikokan, Ontario. My 2 friends would be fishing from the boat and my brother and I from our kayaks. We loaded up on a Saturday morning in a torrential rainstorm and headed out about 11am. We reached Orr, Minnesota at about midnight. A 630 am start had us at the Canadian border at around 8 am. Then things got interesting. I guess I was "randomly" selected for a background check. Not cool. I knew going in that doing stupid things in my early 20s was not going to make my Canadian border crossing simple. After about an hour of interrogation, telling my story about how I was railroaded by the cops, (which was true, I had the sheriffs daughter pregnant), and a few tears (I'm not to proud to well up a few tears if it helps get me on the water! Haha) I was in! Cost me $200 for a temporary permit but I was able to fish. By the time we were done getting food, checking in and and all that good stuff there wasnt much time to fish that day. Day 1 on the water was a lot of rain and learning. After talking to the owner and telling him we were in yaks he sent us to some more remote type lakes. He told us about slim lake which was a fairly small lake in comparison to most the others. It was on the other side of the lake we were staying on which was a 5 min drive and a good drag to the water. The truck was occupied at the time so we opted to make the 2.5 mile paddle across the lake we were staying on at 3 PM then take the little connector creeks that connected the lakes. It was work but those LITTLE TINY creeks were neat. They were the width of the kayak and twisty. It was fun. And worth it. 16 -18" smallies were hammering spinnerbaits and some homemade jigs that a guy made for me. I really wanted to get some pics of fish with the homemade stuff but pics in a yak while its raining is not always easy. We didn't fish long on that lake day 1 because of the late start but we took off at 5am on day 2 for slim lake again. Once again we paddled it. I didn't know at the time that these we be short paddles in comparison to what we would get into later in the week. Once we got to slim lake we started catching fish immediately. Now I know a lot of people find the pike annoying when smallmouth fishing but I was on a mission from the moment I found out I was going to canada to catch and get a picture with a 40 incher. About an hour in I started slow rolling a spinnerbait in some deeper water. I was rolling through about 25 ft of water when I felt a couple small ticks. I set the hook and felt like a log. Then it slowly started moving to the right. Then slowly back to the left. The fish never really powered off but slowly went side to side and felt heavy. After about 5 min I got my first look. It was big and I watched it go right under my coosa hd about 10 ft deep. I slowly worked him back and forth till he was right by me. I was excited! Brother paddled over to me with the gopro and started recording. As I finally got the fish close enough I lipped him with my fish grips and removed my spinnerbait. Brother says "you got that on both lips? Your gonna regret that!" I reply, " no it's just one lip." He couldn't tell from his angle and thought I had both lips. Then it happened. I pulled the fish out of the water, he thrashed, and slipped from the grips, then disappeared 😥😢😭. I later learned that our grips just didn't work for the pike as we lost many more smaller ones. The video doesn't do the fish justice as they rarely do. I'll see if I can post the video but it will have to be a Facebook link. Later that day we got caught in a terrible thunder storm. Hail and lightnight with a nasty headwind for our paddle back to camp. Day 3 we talked the 2 friends into renting a canoe and taking in the more remote experience with us. It was 3.5 mile paddle across marmion lake to a wicked Portage up a creek to get to a place called husband lake. We started off doing really well but the wind got ferocious and made fishing from kayaks and canoes nearly impossible. We spent the day trying though and didn't do to bad. At the end of the day the 2 friends informed us that they were glad they did it but never again. By the time we made it to the back end of husband lake it was about a 6 mile paddle back to the truck. Lol. Day 4 we took the boat and the kayaks to crooked pine lake. The buddies stayed on crooked pine while brother and I portaged up a bluff and hit another small like. Topwater was on. Tons of fish. Nothing under 17" and 3 that were over 20. Beautiful fish in those 2 lakes.
Awesome trip and we saw 3 moose and 1 bear. Never got a shot at another big pike