Hey all, been a while since I've posted a report. here's my favorite outing for the year:
Got out for my annual guys trip camping/fishing/canoeing. Normally the plan is to drive for a couple hours then spend a couple hours portaging and paddling to a lake we will set up camp on for a few days and fish the crap out of with the goal that it will be remote enough to not really encounter many people. This year a couple friends couldn't commit to the full 5days we go for so the plan needed to be altered. After doing some research on different lakes and getting advice from Bowslayer here on the boards I decided on a lake near Restoule provincial park. This lake was chosen as it had road access, somewhat with a pickup/suv only really. I didn't want to have to do any portaging if some friends were going to come up to meet us half way. The original plan for the main four of us was to take two vehicles with the canoes up and then use my pickup to ferry in the gear from the other car. This seemed like a large waste of time so i set out to build a rack to hold both canoes on the truck:
With this in place we met up and loaded everything on the truck. The road in was pretty much exactly as Bowslayer told me about; not an issue for a pickup/suv but i really wouldn't want to take a car or van down it. I just got my new pickup this year so went slow and cautious. actually got out of the truck 2 or 3 times to check the best side/path of the road to take. Being canadian shield country there were a couple hills topped with solid rock that if you didn't know what was on the back side before committing to it you could end up teter-tottering your vehicle on it. taking it slow it was no problem at all though.
We got to the launch around 11am and met a guy pulling out his tinny from the lake. This was a wednesday morning so I was starting to worry this was going to be a more popular spot than i had hoped for. It turns out after that we had the lake to ourselves until saturday and then only 2 or 3 tinnies for a couple hours.
After a relatively short paddle we came to an island with a beautiful campsite and even a newly built outhouse. Someone must go there quite often to go to the effort of building that and we were quite grateful for it. We quickly set up camp and headed out for some fishing. knowing it was a bass lake we were prepared.
we always have a contest amongst the group for largest bass and since i won last year i was feeling the pressure to defend my title. My buddy however put up a nice largie to start the trip the first afternoon with this one:
It took me until friday evening to top it with a 4.3 on a spinnerbait in near darkness
The next day I picked up a better one at 4.54 which i really thought was over 5 with how fat his belly was (i haven't broken the nickel since i was a kid).
On the final day for the morning fish I decided it was time to use some of the 2 dozen live worms i brought along. Unfortunately the box must have been uncovered during the rain we had as all but one of the worms was gone. Generally the box holds them well but if too much water gets in they can get skinny enough to escape. Oh well i figured i might as well put the last one to use....and that i did. Upon arriving at what early on in the trip became our favorite spot on the lake i casted him out there and got my biggest of the trip; a solid 4.82:
After catching a few more smaller ones on plastics it was time to head back and tear down camp.
Last day group shot:
We got packed up pretty quick and with how beautiful the day was we decided to fish our way back. after a couple smaller fish my buddy casts his spinnerbait on one of the last casts of the trip and just a stones throw away from the launch. He hooks into a good one but with all the gear in the canoe couldn't grab it himself. pointing his rod in my direction I lipped him and immediately felt my heart sink. I was CERTAIN he had just bested my biggest with only moments left in the trip!
With a quick weigh on the scale it came in at 4.52! I was safe and the title remained mine! I was especially glad that it didn't beat my second best as my best fish was caught with live bait and i probably would've had to take an asterisks beside this win if that was the case.
All in all we caught tons of fish both largies and smallies (my biggest smallie being around 3.5 but fought harder than any of the big largies). The lake was great and once we figured out a good pattern it was very consistent. The weather was decent, only one day of constant rain but wasn't very windy or cold that day so wasn't terrible. It was nice to do one of these trips without portaging (this is our 7th year). since we didn't have to haul anything we all brought in plenty of beer and a few steaks so it was quite a nice trip compared to previous.
Again a big thanks to Bowslayer for the intel on the surrounding area, fishing and travel conditions. Your input was invaluable!
next year is my buddies turn to pick the spot and he will have a tough time doing better than this one!