Winter jackets, toques, and warm socks were called for this past Saturday as Darrell and I headed to Belwood Lake. After some rainy days the water was high, the water clarity was reduced, and the temperatures were downright frigid for mid-May (enough to make me thankful for the pair of gloves we keep in the safety bag). With the Belwood Lions Pike Derby looming on the horizon (May 24-25, 2014), we wanted to get out on the lake to see how things were shaping up ahead of time.
Cold temperatures worked in our favour and we achieved the near impossible task of fishing Belwood on a long weekend without a mass of boats to navigate around. By the afternoon we had the upper end of the lake to ourselves, and could fish whatever spots we felt like tossing a lure to. Having so much room also allowed us to test the boat motor at leisure, seeing how well Darrell’s repairs had worked. It passed with flying colours.
The lake was eerily quiet for this time of year. No carp spawning in the shallows, nothing surfacing, very few boat motors whirring, and no water skiers. Searching for fish was a good excuse to work on our casting; mine is certainly rusty after the long winter. Spinnerbaits and jerk baits allowed us to cover the water quickly. While working around the willows, Darrell got the first fish of the day on a white & chartreuse spinnerbait – a nice out-of-season smallmouth bass that was quickly released after a picture.
While I had been cycling through lures, it wasn’t until I tied on a big orange & chartreuse spinnerbait with double blades that I finally had some action. A few casts later I had a small pike coming in gangbusters until he saw the boat, stopped, looked at the lure that was still dangling in the water, then spun around and zipped away. It gave me a good laugh.
As the afternoon passed by I found myself losing energy and decided to try a lazy drop-shot. Normally I would pay a lot more attention to what was going on, but I was looking around and just letting my bait, a small plastic worm, drag along with the boat. Of course, that’s when a pike decided it was just what he wanted and I had a fun time reeling him in.
As a scouting mission, the day was a bust. Conditions will be a lot different for the pike derby this coming weekend. However, as a day on the water, it was a total success – fresh air, relaxation, and a few fish. Perfect!
The Belwood Lions Pike Derby is this weekend, May 24-25, 2014, and is sure to be another awesome event. It’s a catch and release derby with a $2,000 first prize, and everyone stands the chance at catching the winning fish. Whether it’s your first time on the lake, or you’re a seasoned pro, I’d say everyone’s odds are about equal, which is part of the fun. If you don’t have your tickets yet, no worries. We usually buy ours first thing Saturday morning at Belwood Hall. Even if you don’t catch a fish, stick around Sunday afternoon to cheer on the winner, and you’ll quite likely walk away with a door prize. Then again, there’s no better prize than time on the water. Get out there and have some fun!
For more details about the Pike Derby, check out the event flyer.