Welcome to Week IX of 'Fishing Parkland Shorelines.' Like most of us I am a novice fisherman, loving to fish, but far from an expert. In the following weeks I'll attempt to give those anglers who love to fish but just don't have access to a boat a look at some of the options in the Yorkton area where you can fish from shore, and hopefully catch some fish for a good summer fry.
So last week we were at Lady Lake northeast of Preeceville for some unsuccessful trout fishing.
But that was not the end of our little excursion. With some trial and error we found Nelson Lake. Not nearly as pretty as the trout lake, it was likewise without shore fishing areas, at least that we could find.
However, I had been told Schutte Lake was offering up some good fishing.
It was going to take us on an adventure to find though.
Knowing it was west of Endeavour, getting that far was easy. It was a highway drive with signage.
Signage is important. It is something lacking when trying to find some of the lakes in the Preeceville/Sturgis area. The whereabouts of Twin Lakes remains a mystery.
But back to Endeavour and a stop for directions. "Go straight west" I am told.
A couple of miles west there is a correction line on the grid swinging north. There is a lesser road going straight west. So we stay the course straight ahead.
Yes you guessed it, we should have followed the correction line, a small nuance of getting directions the source might have explained.
Once back on the right road we roll on west coming to the few buildings which constitute what remains of the community of Rockford. Our source said nothing of getting to Rockford. We must have missed something. We retreat, finally finding some locals gathered on the road for a chat. They explain the elusive lake is just past -- yes you guessed it again -- Rockford. That was another nugget of information which would have been useful in terms of directions.
As it turns out Schutte Lake is right beside the road, just past the small community.
Our first stop is the small campground. There are a few campers amid the tall grass, but no shore area.
Back to the road. There is a boat launch and we are now desperate to fish, so we give it a shot.
My son goes out on the dock. A big old pike follows his hook in, high enough in the water to see, but passes on a bite. He figures it went under the dock so tosses the hook out only a few feet. Bang! The pike swims out and strikes the hook.
As I watch his rod bend to the pike's attempted escape my rod twitches too.
We land two nice pike almost simultaneously.
But that's it, at least for the dock.
A boat comes in and the two old-timers tell us there's spot on the southwest corner of the lake, although it's a bit hard to get too. They say the walleye even bite there, although add we won't catch any casting spoons.
We head to the area. Yes it was steep, to the point of becoming a Prairie Mountain Goat to get down the slope, or at least it seemed that way.
Once down the grade though, we found a truly idyllic spot. The area was set in the trees, with lots of room for a cast backswing, yet leaving the fisherman protected from sun and wind. Someone had built a fire pit if so inclined. You could spend a lot of quality fishing time at the best spot found on the parkland tour so far.
I heed the regulars' suggestion and load up a jig. In short order I get a hit. It had nice fight. It felt good-sized. It was for a sucker, which had swallowed the hook to the point I could not even see it.
That was the lone jig hit.
Adam goes with a spoon and brings in a walleye (remember the exceptions to perception rule of fishing).
So I too opt for a spoon.
Over the afternoon, standing only a few feet apart using the same hook, Adam caught three walleye. I caught three pike. Yes, fish are finicky critters.
Now the numbers were huge, and the size just average, but given the amazing spot, and even the ambitious descent of the hill, it was an absolutely great day of shore fishing. I hope one day to return to that spot and just soak in the tranquility with an occasional interruption to land a fish.