Keeping up with the blog didn’t go very well! I will try and give a recap of the summer. We did have one of our best fishing seasons in 2014. The weather for the most part was decent, after we got through our latest ice out since 1979. We opened on May 17th and that morning our bay was still half covered in ice. We had six parties that took the challenge for opening week. Our thanks go out to those brave fisherman who believed me when I told them they would be able to fish opening day! Ron Schaal is one of these fisherman and he hasn’t missed an opening week with us since our family purchased the lodge 35 years ago. Thanks Ron! They were all able to get out that morning and by the end of the day, the lake was open as far as you could see. Rudy and Rich never left sight of the lodge. They caught 6 Lake Trout between 30-36″, as they are cold water fish. It wasn’t quite swimming weather in the bay! We were planning to take our annual Lake Trout trip to Clearwater Lake but it was still covered in ice. We decided to do a Walleye trip instead and it turned out great! We caught a number of slot walleye as well as over the slot fish, and we had a great fish fry for lunch! Over all, the week ended up to be a decent week for weather and fishing and we will look forward to those returning guests next year during opening week!
We went from moderate weather to probably our hottest week of the summer and this was in May! It helped to eliminate any remaining ice on the lake and brought a few surprise sunburns to some unprotected fisherman. We were still experiencing a little slower occupancy at the lodge this week as there were a number of parties that believed we would have ice on the lake until June! These fisherman caught both size and quantity of fish but really had to struggle with mid 90’s weather, which is uncommon in our area, especially during May! We will have pictures from the different weeks on our photo gallery for 2014. The ones from this week are the ones with sunburned fisherman!
I will combine the month of June into one blog for two reasons. This is probably the most sought after week of the season, as everyone seems to believe that you have to fish Canada in June! After our latest ice out in 35 years, I can see their point but we have not been shut out yet. Each week in June consists of mainly long time repeat guests that make their annual fishing trip to Cedar Point Lodge. Many of our guests had said it was one of their best years of fishing to date. We will post the pictures we have received from our guests on our photo gallery. One of the most common comments made by our repeat guests is how well the slot size program has worked on Eagle Lake. We have really seen what our conservation methods have done as they have been in force on Eagle Lake for over 25 years. Each of our species is protected in limit quantities as well as size restrictions. A number of these guests comment that they wished their own DNR would use some of the same regulations in their own home state.The walleye were being caught, through most of June, in shallow water due to the later ice out and fishing in front of the lodge was as good a place as any! I kept telling our guests that and some probably thought it was because of the price of fuel!
I could use the same reason for combining the month of July as I did for June, as we again have a number of repeat guests each week and the weather is pretty similar throughout this month. I’m looking through the reservation sheet at the parties that were at the lodge in July and I see a common theme. There were a number of large families that have been coming to Cedar Point Lodge for a number of years. We have watched many of the kids that come up at this time grow up with ours and we look back at each weekly fish fry, bon-fire and the social events that we host during this month. The lake is actually warm enough to swim in at this time and we have the added bonus of being able to pick blueberries towards the middle and end of the month. I end up having the odd extra blueberry pancake breakfast at this time. There are a number of couples that have been coming for 25-35 years and groups of guys that target the larger musky. The walleye were stacked on the reefs at this time and there were a number of under water reefs through out the lake that provided ample opportunities. I finally get a chance to get out on the lake at this time of the year and enjoy my trips out with these long time friends and with Sharon and the kids as well. I always tell guests that if I can catch fish, the fishing must be good! The lodge owner in most cases doesn’t get to fish as much as you would think or we would like!
This month was popular for the first two weeks with families, before the kids had to go back to school. We have one family that has been coming up for many years. The one brother now has 10 kids coming up with him and the sister missed this year due to expecting twins. There are a number of long time families that have come up diligently at this time, and it’s great seeing the second and third generation fisherman. We have a number of father and son groups as well as a few couples at this time who’s kids are having families of their own now and not quite ready to make an annual trip to Cedar Point Lodge yet. We average around 80-85% repeat business and many of these parties have been coming for many years and are like family! One of the best parts of this business is the longtime relationships that are built with these families. They have enjoyed watching our family grow up as we have with their’s, and we look forward to hearing about their successes in life as they go from high school to college and then into the working world.
We were fishing the reefs for walleye and northern throughout this period and had the best success using 1/8 to 1/4 oz lead head jigs, tipped with either a minnow, night crawler or a leech. Lindy rigs and spinners also worked well. I couldn’t believe how successful people were trolling spinners in fairly shallow bays also at this time and catching good numbers of walleye. Normally this is a spring fishing technique.
Week 16- End of Season!
During the first three weeks of September, we had some of the best fall walleye fishing we’ve ever had. Sometimes the weather can be unstable at this time with cool weather and wind, but we had a beautiful fall and not much wind. We had a few musky hunters during this time but the bulk of them have been coming up towards the latter part of Septemberand through the whole month of October. We had a number of 50″ plus musky caught at this time and a special thanks goes out to our Essox Association of Manitoba that stays with us in mid- October each year. They had such a great outing that they have reserved two trips for next fall! We have a few parties that combine the fall fishing with small game hunting, and the grouse hunting was at a high this fall. Ryan and I were able to get a number of grouse and they were excellent to eat. Ryan has really gotten into the bird hunting with his friends and he has an awesome recipe for duck that is out of this world! We did not do any significant outfitting for hunting this fall. We had been hit hard by an extremely harsh winter that reduced our moose and deer populations. We did have one hunter for deer and he got a personal best 10 pt buck. We did utilize our one bull moose tag and we did harvest a young bull moose. Overall the season was a little down for business due to a late ice out and not doing a significant hunt in the fall. It how ever was one of the best fishing seasons we’ve had and we are looking forward to the same success in 2015! Our bookings are up at this point, compared to last year and the chalets are now already 60% booked for our main season with reservations coming in daily. If you are limited to a certain week or cabin, don’t wait too long! Our Christmas mailing just went out (4500 calendars) and the phone calls usually start coming in steadily only a few days after they go out for yearly reservations. If you are reading this and you are a repeat guest that did not receive a card, please contact us with your new address by email. Those that have reserved already and haven’t confirmed with a deposit, please do so soon as we can’t hold a reservation without a deposit. Thanks again to all of our repeat guests that have continued to make Cedar Point Lodge their vacation destination and those that are new guests to our resort! We look forward to seeing everyone in 2015! Have a Merry Christmas and best wishes in the New Year!
Pat, Sharon, Janelle, Ryan, and all of the staff at Cedar Point Lodge
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. I am in the process of drafting our first one. It will be a simple one until I get used to making them and can elaborate on the content and pictures. I will wait until one week after our mailing has been received to do this first newsletter, to give our repeat guests time to register.