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Rich Clemens

For those Heading to the West Arm of Nipissing

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Just a quick note for anyone heading up that way in the near future. Patsy and I just returned from the OFC GTG a couple hours ago and wanted to put up a few cautions for anyone interested.


The water levels as previously reported are definitely down. We broke in our new boat on this trip - somewhat literally. Some dandy scratches all along the bottom and some dings to the skeg. No real damage though and the boat/motor worked great.


The launch area was a bit of a challenge for me as I had to float the boat off as it's rather shallow there and I didn't want to risk trying to drive it off. New boat jitters I guess. Getting the Tracker back on the trailer yesterday, in the wind, was a royal PIA. Thanks to Paul and Zach for helping us out.


The concrete slabs on the launch are completely out of the water now and there is a few feet of sand to the water's edge. Better have 4-wheel drive or someone may have to be hauling ya out.


The rock next to the bridge is now out of the water and that shoal extends about 10 feet or so towards the channel. I know - as we drifted into it while waiting another boat to clear the bridge. Plenty of water to get through otherwise.


The run out to Tombstone is free and clear from all the trips I made. The shoal across from Tombstone is now out of the water, but stay closer to Tombstone, and you should be fine. Flew through there with no problems.


WARNING !!!! After passing Tombstone on the way to the bays, you'll approach an island with a tan cabin on your left. Be careful as you approach the point where this cabin is. Where we went through, it was about 4 1/2 feet and move a little further out, away from the point, and you'll be in 3 feet of water. I think Paul and Joey hit this shoal on one of their passed through. Please use caution here.


While fishing South Muskrat, be very cautious fishing the South side of South Muskrat. I marked 5 or 6 shoals that would take out the lower unit and only two of them are out of the water. The two that are out are further back in the bay, but these shoals seem to march right along the south side of the bay. Over on the north side of South Muskrat, there is another shoal, and this one marked.


The entrance to South Muskrat has two islands, one in the middle and a smaller spit of land to the North. I marked a shoal well off the western point of this island. Prop busater too and it is underwater.


The larger island, at the entrance to South Muskrat, I was fising the north shoreline, going west to east. The eastern point, the one pointing out into the West Bay, there is a dandy shoal coming off. I was wind drifting and got blown right into it - huge scratch across the bottom of the boat now. But - I was somewhat close to shore.


Along the North Shore, the one bay with Jennings Point on the right, our from the western side of the entrance to this bay is another shoal a little ways out into the bay. Maybe 50 feet or so. I hit this one while trolling.


I didn't fish North Muskrat and I didn't go into any of the bays along the North Shore. Went east as far as the little island known as musky island. Didn't travel out to Merganzer.


I'll put up a little more of a report later, but wanted to get this information out, as I know a few board members are heading that way in a week. Fishing for us was lousy and others we talked to were experiencing basically the same thing.



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