Nathan Hartle explains how the Blue Moon affected fishing in Northwest Ontario

With all of the hype last week about the "Blue Moon", did you ever wonder how it affected fishing conditions?

Blue Moon Over Big Hook:

Story by: Nathan Hartle of Big Hook Wilderness Camp

The title of this blog could very well be a good title for a movie someday. We just experienced a Blue Moon in the far north of Ontario. Disappointingly, it wasn’t actually blue; the term is a misnomer. In fact, a blue moon isn't any different to any other full moon. In the past, a blue moon was used to mean "rare," but now the name is given to any full moon that is the second to appear in one calendar month.

According to some fishing/lunar calendars, and take their advice with a grain of salt, fishing should have been slow during this time. Now after talking with the majority of our guests on the round of camp checks, fishing is by no means slow.  Good numbers are being boated at just about every outpost. 

However, trophies for both species have been a little shy this past week and maybe, just maybe, the moon does have something to do with it. 

As a guide, I can understand the effects of a full moon.  When I used to fish in the Gulf of Mexico all winter, a full moon absolutely meant that fishing was going to shut down, as the fish fed during the evening hours.  Up here at Big Hook, I believe fish will feed during a moonlit night but not to the same extent.  This week, we had a huge low pressure track right over the top of NW Ontario.  This drastic barometric change will affect the fishing.  The front side of a low, as the barometer is falling, is a fisherman's friend.  However, the backside of a low and a skyrocketing barometer, in my opinion; is a fisherman's enemy.



Pike are being found just about everywhere throughout the bodies of water.  Most fish are prowling through thick weeds chasing perch. Ripping bucktails and johnson silver minnows though the cabbage are a favorite technique of mine.  Remember not to cast in the same place twice, work your casting pattern like a clock.  First cast at one o'clock, then two, three and so forth.

Contradicting my previous paragraph, several lakes like Central for example, the bigger fish have been located on deep rocky humps while walleye fishing.  Big open water baits are in order to reach those deeper fish. Depth raiders and bull dawgs are two of my favorite lures to reef fish.  Black is always a good color.  You'll need to beef up your tackle as these lures pack some poundage. 

Last week, Cocos was the hot outpost with 30 northern released over 35".



Walleye are beginning to descend as the summer progresses.  Most fish are hovering around 15 ft on reefs and points. Trolling is still effective along ledges.  However, jigging is still king.  The wind blown shores have been dominant.  This week we have had west winds about every day and looking at the extended forecast, our westerly winds should continue for several more days.

A steady west wind is good news for walleye fisherman, as the fish should be stacked on the eastern shores. The majority of the time, bait fish will congregate along the windy shores chasing bugs and other sources of food. Toss 3/8 oz jigs with various tail colors or slowly back troll and jig next to the boat (my favorite).  Try to match the colors with atmosphere; light days, use light light colors and conversely with dark days.

Last week, the big walleye lake was none other than South.  Although the boys didn't crack thirty numerous 25-29" fish were boated and released.


Good luck on the water everyone,

- Nathan

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