Yesterday (May 24th), Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge began its 20th season in the capable hands of the Turenne family. Gerry & Lorraine and now Pit & Julie have ensured top quality fishing and a world class experience to outdoor people since 1989! Their hard-work and devotion make our lodge one of the finest of the business. Of course they could not have done it alone... yesterday we bade farewell to our beloved Molly's and Dolly's, who proved yet again that anything is within the realm of possibility with another astounding week of work in preparation for our first guests of the season. As the volunteers were leaving, the incoming planes ushered in the majority of our full season staff (save a few finishing up their school year). They brought the nicest weather we've seen this year with them (70 degrees and sunny). It was all smiles on the dock as people were excited to get another season under way! The staff had the better part of a day to unpack and prepare until the 4:30 PM plane brought in our first guests of the season!
Here's a recap of the staff's first day... After getting settled in, the initial staff meeting took place. This was a very positive meeting that set the tone for a fantastic season! Soon after lunch, every able body took part in a peninsula-wide scouring and clean up. They picked up anything and everything that was lying around, once again proving to what extent Aikens is a great stewards of this untouched wilderness. In the evening, after the first of many delicious dinners in Chef Jimmy & Élise's kitchen, many of the guides and staff spent their first evening back with some relaxing Lund time. After a great sunset, Big Molly's bar welcomed a host of staff and guests who rejoiced at being back to their favorite watering hole.
This morning the Aikens machine went into full swing! Six groups of fishermen set out in hopes of coming home with the biggest fish story. As of 5:00PM the winner was Rick Ward from Burlington, Ont. On his first day at Aikens (morning, actually), Rick caught a fish that many anglers dream of catching. Fishing with his brother Gary and Mitch (one of our returning experienced guides) at the Honey Hole, he jigged up a large 41" Pike! Congratulations Rick... Hopefully this sets the tone for a strong guiding season! We also had 2nd trophy reeled up today... this one by Sean Tucker of California who brought in a 22-1/2" Whitefish at the Fastwaters. Although the weather didn't cooperate today (high winds, rain, and near-freezing temps), at least the fish did!
Fishing wise, as mentioned, the big pike are still very active. Water temperature in the Back Bay is floating around 55 degrees, whereas the main lake is still in the mid to high forties. Walleyes are still spawning, and are a bit sluggish, but it won't be long before they start getting hungry! Lake Trout are still being caught along the rocky shorelines and in a few bays (Cookie Jar is holding quite a few). With more and more boats taking to the lake, we should be seeing alot more action in the weeks to come.