Fishing with Pete on Lake of the Woods

One of the reasons that I enjoy fishing so much is because of where I live.
We’re blessed here in Sunset Country with so many great fishing opportunities for a variety of species.
While bass fishing is my favourite activity on the water I do fish for everything that swims in our lakes from crappie to whitefish to pike and musky.
This past week I had to opportunity to jump in the boat with one of the first anglers to be known as a musky specialist many years ago and today his legend continues with his large following of anglers who enjoy catching large toothy critters.
Pete Maina, from Wisconsin has been known as one of the top musky and pike anglers in North America for a few decades.
He has a long history of producing TV shows and teaching people how to catch these big fish.
His outgoing personality and fun-loving attitude make him a very likeable guy.
This past season Pete has been working on a new series for YouTube called Catch’N Relief, which is a series of fishing shows that he is creating with the support of the Sunset Country Travel Association to showcase the great fishing across our region.
He has been visiting resorts and communities across Northwest Ontario and filming fishing shows, catching a variety of species but each episode has at least some focus on pike and musky fishing.
When the opportunity came up to jump in the boat with Pete for a day I was excited to spend some time with a guy that I consider a musky fishing legend.
I was hoping to learn a few things about musky fishing and I certainly did!
Our game plan was to fish for crappies and smallmouths first before trying to catch a big predator fish or two to close out the show.
We were looking to showcase the multi-species action available on Lake of the Woods, which is representative of the entire region.
The crappie spot did not let us down as we pulled up and quickly caught eight nice crappies for a good dinner once we got off the water.
It took a few minutes of driving around and looking with the electronics but once we found a little school of fish on the sonar, we caught them with ease.
Crappie fishing is excellent this time of year and if you like to ice fish, they are in the same deeper holes and basins where they will spend the winter so it’s a great time to find sweet spots for ice fishing right now.
After the crappie stop, we ran down the lake to hit a couple of humps for smallmouths.
I had been fishing for bass quite a bit over the past few weeks so I knew we would be able to catch a few goods one relatively quick.
We hit three spots and caught about a dozen or so bass, including one around five pounds which is the biggest bass I caught this year in Northwest Ontario!
After knocking off some bass action, it was time to try and catch a big fish.
In my experiences trying to capture a musky on film is not an easy feat.
I have caught a bunch of muskies in my time but I catch most of them while I’m fishing for other species.
I probably have five or six full days of fishing for muskies with a camera in the boat without a catch so my results under pressure are not great.
We moved to center section of the lake and within about five minutes of fishing I caught a nice musky! I could not believe it!
After a photo and release we kept fishing a large reef in the middle of the lake and I caught a second musky.
It was just one of those days.
Over the next few hours, we continued our big fish hunt and ended up putting six big pike in the boat as well.
Pete shared a few hot tips with me and they worked! I might be a musky guy for the rest of the season now!
You can look for Pete’s show online this coming winter and I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

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