Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 STUFF's getting awfully close to fishing season....figure I better do a quick update.... First - I apologize for not updating sooner - but I haven't been entirely quiet. I've posted some stuff to our Facebook page (Branch's Seine River Lodge) as well as our Twitter account (@seineriverlodge). Please "like" or follow" us or whatever. And please post / tweet etc comments, questions etc.

 Well - quickly - 2011 was a great year. Fishing overall was very good. Walleye populations were high and I really think the smallies and lots of huge smallies. Had one guest who has fished the chain for over 20 years say that July 2011 was his overall best for big fish of all species.

 New stuff? Well, crappie are hitting the Atikokan area in a big way. Nice ones too - seen lots 12" - 15" from guys ice fishing. They're about 10 miles upstream right now, and general consensus is that they'll be on the Seine Chain very soon (if not already). Some concern as to the effect they'll have on the walleye, although there seem to be some lakes around that have both good walleye crappie fishing. Many lakes saw smallies overtake 'eyes but we're lucky - they both seem to flourish on our system. Have the Milow group planning to do some crappie fishing in June and will monitor it and, if it seems good (which we believe it will), we will be promoting crappie along with all our other species in 2013!

 New stuff for 2012....Well, we're in the process of renovating all the cabins - some a little freshen up, some (cabin #3) with portions gutted. Every cabin will see at least some new windows. Freshening up the office and seriously looking at starting another new cabin sometime this year. Just bought a bunch of new couches, plus getting a handful of new going to be buying some new boats and motors etc etc.

And.....the weather in March has been fantastic! The last few days have been in the mid seventies. The snow is pretty much all gone and the lake is opening up very quickly. If it keeps like this it'll be open by April. We're loving it as it has given us a head start on the yard work etc. BUT - I know that this warm spring and early break up sounds alarms for all you fisher folk out there. Usually, our ice is out the end of April - give or take a day or two. If conditions are fairly normal, spawns happen "on schedule" (for lack of a better term) and fishing - at least through the end of June - is relatively predictable. Then when this happens a wrench is thrown into the whole scenario. Spawns are early and lots of fishermen are not sure what to expect and face the uncertainty of how to fish, where to fish, what to use etc. A lot of people book the same week every years and get a comfort level of what to expect. Anyway - at this point it seems like it will be an early break up - BUT the jury is still out as far as spawns. I've seen very warm springs before - and boldly predicted early spawns, only to see the weather cool down and seem like it will never warm up. One warm spring / early break up year - since spawns are triggered by water temperatures - the spawns wound up being REALLY late and I looked (and felt) like a fool. So - don't panic yet...we still have a bit of time and anything can happen.

 Been an overall milder winter. We did wind up getting quite a bit of snow - likely some of the best snowmobiling conditions around...speaking of which we will be promoting our winter sledding & ice fishing much more. Had a great meeting with Kim Cross from our award winning Atikokan Sno Ho Club last week and looking forward to working with them promoting our world class snowmobiling as well as X Country Skiing and ice fishing. BTW - check out the snowmobiling video on our snowmobiling page to see the awesome trails and scenery this winter:

 Also - new ways to process fishing licenses this year. The MNR is issuing us a POS machine to process. We'll see how that goes, but one good development is that you can now buy your fishing licenses on's the link:

 Anyway - we're getting ready as I'm sure you all are. It is looking very busy for us this year and we thank you for that. Will post some stuff soon including some of the cabin reno pics....thanks as always to all of our friends for all the help with yard cleanup, rnos and repairs this spring - Richard, Garry, Howie, Darryl, Cora, Darcy....THANKS VERY MUCH!! Talk to ya'll soon!