Polar Bear Blog

Fishing a day off for polar bear guides

Mike and Nolan. Carp and Catfish.
Mike and Nolan. Carp and Catfish.

by Nolan Booth, Director of Lodge Operations, Churchill Wild

It’s almost time for polar bear season and our guests (and us!) will soon be out walking with our favourite carnivores, the polar bears, but in the meantime…

We’re always working towards providing the ultimate adventure for our guests, so if we’re not out running one of our polar bear safaris or building a new lodge, we’re eagerly on the prowl for new experiences our guests might like to try during their stay in Manitoba.

Once we get rolling into the July-thru-November polar bear watching season, there is no time for rest and relaxation, and guests of both our polar bear safaris and North Knife Lake Wilderness Lodge fishing trips often ask us about fishing in Winnipeg.

So in the spirit of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…

Churchill Wild owner Mike Reimer calls me to say he’ll be picking me up for an important meeting at 6 a.m. on the river. The river? Sounds good to me already! Meeting time arrives quickly and after a 30 minute drive to Selkirk we are met by City Cats guide and owner Todd Longley. He tells us that we are in for a treat.

A 15 minute boat ride ensues before we get the anchor set and the rods in the water. Within 10 minutes we have our first double header and the action continues to be hot and heavy. Meeting going really well so far!

Todd tells us he has a 15 minute rule and if the rods are not tipping by deadline we’ll be on the move in search of the big cats. We move once, and I’m not really sure we even waited the entire 15 minutes.

Mike and I chat about the new build underway at Seal River Lodge, and about some of the things we’re working on for the upcoming season, but in all honesty… in four hours of fishing we managed to spin around 25 cats in and out of the boat (we practice catch and release) along with a massive carp and a drum bass.

Obviously, playing that morning was more important than working. We landed eight Master Anglers and I won The Big Fish Award of the day with a 37-inch crusher. I’m sure Mike will outfish me many times in the future. Maybe.

There isn’t much time for detailed conversation and polar bear exams when you’re hauling in 10 to 30 pound catfish one after another. The main discussion was more along the lines of…

“Can you pass me another shrimp, Mike?”

“No no, I meant bait.”

“Not the last fish you caught.”

All kidding aside, a big thanks goes out to Todd Longley, who is well known as the Rock ‘N Roll Fisherman and the owner of City Cats. One of Manitoba’s premier professional fishermen, Todd provides us with an excellent option for guests who want to test their angling skills against some of the biggest and best fighting fish Manitoba has to offer, before or after their polar bear safaris. Thank you Todd!

Nolan with 37-inch catfish. Mike with thumbs up.
Nolan with 37-inch catfish. Mike with thumbs up.

 

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