When I hear the words ‘fishing’ and ‘Saskatchewan’ together, it brings a smile to my face and a flutter of excitement in my heart. Although I have only been to Saskatchewan twice so far, both adventures have literally been epic! I truly mean it, the kind of fishing experiences that dreams are made of!
My first trip to Saskatchewan took place last winter. I flew out to host seminars at the Regina Outdoor Sports Show and while there, I had the opportunity to meet up with fellow presenters, Jason and Jeff Matity (of MatitysGetFishing.com). These two anglers (who happen to be brothers) are some of the kindest people I’ve met throughout my travels and we became friends pretty quickly after our day on the ice. Their mandate is sharing information and helping anglers catch more fish, so be sure to check out their website mentioned above. Thanks to Jeff and Jason I was able to catch the biggest northern pike of my life at the time during my visit! You can read about that adventure here which included a 43.5-inch long pike with a girth of 20-inches! WAH! I’ll never forget the giant head coming up out of the ice hole! This was a two-part trip with lots of amazing catches and is pretty photo-heavy! I hope you enjoy!
Part One! Last Mountain Lake.
You can bet that when another opportunity came about to fish in Saskatchewan, there was no hesitation. I was beyond excited and pretty much sleep deprived until I finally departed on this trip as I was so excited at getting another crack at some giant fish. Tourism Saskatchewan brought me in this time and of course I made plans to fish with the Matity’s again for the first part of this trip. This time we fished on Last Mountain Lake where Jeff has been a guide for over 10 years at G&S Marina Outfitters. I had heard a lot about Last Mountain Lake as it’s a hot spot for giant walleye and pike alike bringing in anglers from around the globe. G&S is the only full service outfitter on the lake providing all the comforts of home plus everything you’ll need to do some serious fishing. They have 12 cozy and quaint cabins (heated and air conditioned), boat rentals, guides, a marina, store, restaurant and more.
Upon my arrival the first afternoon, I dropped my suitcase off at my cabin and headed out on the water with Jeff, his son Ben, and Jason. I had the pleasure of taking Jason out fishing last summer when he visited Ottawa, but I hadn’t seen Jeff and Ben since my last visit to the province. It was great seeing everyone again! These guys feel like family now! We shared some good laughs together, what a hilarious crew 🙂
We made a short run out in the boat, got rigged up with some bottom bouncers and some of Ben’s homemade blades and were into fish before we knew it! There were lots of walleye coming aboard! I was pretty thrilled to be on the water right off the hop and into some fish right away! These guys sure know their way around Last Mountain Lake.
We kept a few smaller walleye on the first evening to contribute to a fish-fry that was taking place at G&S Marina Outfitters. It was great chatting with Rob (the owner of G&S) and his daughter Kendra. I also had the chance to meet Donna (Rob’s wife) the following day. They are such a nice family and all work very hard to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience while staying with them. By the way, the fish-fry was absolutely delicious!
After the fish fry, I settled in and snapped some photos around the property. What a gorgeous location! G&S Marina Outfitters is located right inside Rowan’s Ravine Provincial Park on the east shore of Last Mountain Lake.
Below are additional images of the accommodations, restaurant and boat launch. Click to enlarge the images.
The next few days were dedicated to fishing, fishing, fishing! I had the opportunity to try out some lures I hadn’t tried before and was able to catch fish on each of them! My favourites were: the Fergie Special, Big Hammer Swimbaits, and the Reel Bait Flasher Jigs under a float. I’ve used spoons, swimbaits and float presentations many times back home, but these were all pretty unique in their own way and have been very successful for the Matity’s along with other guests on the lake! I picked up some Big Hammer Swimbaits at the Marina Store to try back at home and the Matity’s were so kind as to send me home with some of their personal stash of the Fergie Spoons. Here are a few photos of our catches over the span of my visit (and a new personal best for me)!
Now you’re wondering about that epic pike photo you saw at the beginning of this post?! Well let me tell you all about it! After 3 fantastic days of fishing, it was our final morning on Last Mountain Lake before I would be heading to Lake Diefenbaker for the second half of my trip. We had some very successful walleye fishing so Jeff wanted to focus on targeting pike and see if we could locate some big females. At this point my largest pike and fish of the trip was the 37-incher posted above. I was up against a 43.5-inch fish if I wanted to beat my personal best pike from my last visit to Saskatchewan. Time was ticking! We were nearing the end of our last outing together and would soon need to head off the water. The area we were fishing was thick with weeds and we were casting the Big Hammer Swimbaits and burning them over top. Ben hooked into a nice pike that tried to bury him in the weeds. He worked it, held the spool, and lifted up to pop this fish free and out of the weeds. What a beauty measuring at 40-inches! We were pretty excited at the sight of this quality pike and were convinced there had to be more around!
A few more casts and my swimbait was SMASHED by a fish that took off towards the other shoreline! There was almost no stopping this fish! I gained some ground on it and as it got closer, like Ben’s fish, it decided to dig down into the weeds and bury itself. I was able to lift on it and pop it free but down it went again. Once more pop and it was now getting closer to the boat! I remember hearing something along the lines of “That’s what my biggest pike ever did….” from Ben, and then he fell silent in the moment of truth when this fish was getting close to the net. We all fell silent because a fish like this can cause great heartbreak if lost at the boat! By this point, we saw the head. A MONSTROUS HEAD! The fish started to roll and tried to bolt downward but Jeff was able to slide the net under the belly and tail! WHEW! Success! At this point, I was screaming and we were all celebrating with high-fives. We quickly measured the fish, snapped some photos and I released her on camera. “Forty-four freaking inches” is what I said in the video, ha,ha! What a fish! I had the shakes for about an hour afterward. Here is another photo just because and you can find the release video below.
This was literally the last fish of the morning for me, and I was absolutely OK with that! This is the type of fish I was dreaming about! Thank you so much: Jeff, Jason, Ben, Rob, Donna and Kendra for having me! It was the trip of a lifetime with the fish of a lifetime! At the rate, it only makes perfect sense to visit Saskatchewan again and aim for another personal best 😉
Part Two! Lake Diefenbaker.
As if this already amazing trip couldn’t get any better, I would now be fishing with the Konrads for a few days on Lake Diefenbaker! I hopped on a bus from Regina to Saskatoon where I would be meeting up with Sean and Adam Konrad (known as the Fishing Geeks). These identical twin brothers are household names and have achieved angling greatness as the holders of the World Record Rainbow Trout AND the World Record Burbot! You can read more about their amazing catches on their website and see their frequent BIG fish on their social media pages. (Here is a link to their Instagram, and Facebook pages.) I was fortunate to meet these two through the Alumacraft Boats team and was really excited at the opportunity to be able to get out on the water with them! Adam and Sean are both incredible anglers and people. I think there’s something in the water in Saskatchewan 😉
Needless to say, the Konrads are dialed in! I was super excited and feeling quite privileged to get out on the water with these guys especially after having recently watched them on 39 Hours. If you haven’t seen it, give it a watch! 39 Hours was a competition documented on YouTube by Uncut Angling. Three teams of highly knowledgeable and skilled anglers fished for 39 hours straight with the longest fish of any species earning them a point. I won’t spoil the outcome, but it was an a very unique format and fun to watch! There was a lot of buzz about this show within the angling community. I’m really hoping there’s another series!
This part of my adventure would be completely different from the first half as we would be spending most of our time fishing at night. Night time photography is a little trickier, but we did get into some quality fish and managed some great photos as well! The first night I fished with Sean (as Adam would be joining us the following evening after work). We were into some fish right away on crankbaits and it was on that evening that I was lucky enough to land my biggest walleye of the trip at 31-inches! It’s quite a thrill in the dark not knowing which species you may have on and not to mention this lake is home to many species.
The walleye action was pretty much non-stop! We were able to get into some other species as well, including a first for me! Sean landed this gnarly northern pike that looks as if it could have been in an altercation with a pelican, perhaps? And were there ever a lot of pelicans on Last Mountain Lake and on Diefenbaker! Pelicans aren’t native back home. The size and wingspan of these massive birds blew me away. I wasn’t able to get very close to any to snap a photo (I’ll need to pick up a telefoto lens for next time).
Although we do have whitefish back home, I hadn’t yet spent much time on them or had I landed one yet. I was pretty excited to land my first on this trip followed by several others! They grow quite big on Diefenbaker and are pretty scrappy too! With the amount of wiggle in these fish, it was easier to keep them in the net and in the water for a photo in the low light conditions. Here’s one of my first ever whitefish!
We did a bit of fishing in the daytime as well, but the night time provided the best success. When the Konrad’s are fishing on Lake Diefenbaker, especially for the monstrous trout, they are typically fishing at night. For this portion of my trip I stayed in Saskatoon (at the Saskatoon Inn) and rented a car from Enterprise at the airport to drive out to Lake Diefenbaker each evening. The hotel was recommended by the Konrad’s and it was a great choice! It was very clean, comfortable, quiet and central to anything I needed. I slept like a baby when I did sleep!
The drive through the countryside to and from Diefenbaker was beautiful. Saskatchewan has such a stunning and vast landscape, the kind of images you see on the wallpaper of your computer. I got to witness some gorgeous sunsets and sunrises on this trip and also experienced the craziest lightning storm of my life! You can see these storms rolling in from miles and miles away since the landscape is so flat. On the evening of the storm, we had to wait it out in the car for a couple hours until it passed by as lightning was striking all around us. It was quite a show lighting everything up every few moments in the darkness. I was thankful to be able to fish each day of this trip and also catch quality fish everyday! Here are a few photos taken during the daytime on Diefenbaker:
And that’s a wrap! What a trip! The trout eluded me this time, but it just gives me yet another reason to visit Saskatchewan again! I had such a great time with the Konrad’s fishing at night, something I don’t often do back home. The fishing was fantastic all around on this trip and I couldn’t have asked for better people to spend my time in Saskatchewan with! Thanks, Sean and Adam! I had a blast with you guys!
Thank you for taking the time to read about this adventure! You can find me updating more frequently on social media:
Awesome ,hopefully I can go up north and do some walleye fishing. I love the blog great photos and stories thank you enjoy what’s left off your summer and Fish on ! 🎣 👏👏👌😎👍
Hello Ashley,excellent photos and fishing.
That is an awesome write up! I take my kids fishing at Last Mountain Lake (and in Fort Qu’Appelle). It’s how I get them out of the house.