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Georgian Bay Fishing Camp: any stories?


singingdog
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We paddled past this place on our last kayak trip. Wondering if anyone knows the story behind it. Some parts looked derelict/abandoned, some buildings looked almost new. All the boats were pulled up, upside down, no motors. It's in a stunning location - right at the mouth of the French River - and I imagine the fishing is excellent. Just wondering what's happening or what happened.

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I remember fishing and camping near the lodge back in the 1980's and it was certainly remote and not easy to get to by boat. You either had to traverse down the the French River and Bad River and shoot the rapids or take the rough boat ride out the Key River and through the open bay. Fishing the bay was tricky because of all of the shoals and with the open water it was often too rough to fish or if it was cloudy you couldn't see the shoals.

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I can't imagine fishing the area around this camp from a motorboat without a very knowledgable guide, and several spare props. Several times we would be on fairly decent open-water crossings only to find ourselves in 1 FOW with no warning. It's a maze of channels and shoals out there, but some very fishy water. Saw a few monster smallies cruising the shallows. I would love to go back and do a mother-ship kayak or SUP fishing trip. Anybody have a house boat they want to lend me?

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My wife and I spent a week there back in the early 90's. Fairly rustic, but they did have a generator that they ran during daylight hours.

Fishing there can be tough and has been mentioned, reefs are everywhere!

Don't know what happened to the place as we have never gone back.

HH

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I was a regular at that camp for close to 30 years, beginning in the mid 70's as a boy, and as late as 2010. It was rugged for sure, but holding its own until the early 2000's, when the owner's health steadily declined, and the camp slowly fell into neglect/disrepair through no fault of his. He passed away a few years ago and it never really was re-opened. It is a fascinating corner of Georgian Bay as it meets The French, and it is littered with shoals like you would not believe. Having said that, I think I came to learn (and probably ding) about every one of them, and knew the area so well that we routinely fished at night.

 

With few exceptions, we generally caught quality over quantity and had to work hard for our walleyes. But The Bay in that area holds HUGE eyes and pike and smallies. I've seen hundreds of 10 lb walleyes over the years, and some 11's-12's too. One morning in particular we landed 4 10 lb walleyes from my favorite honey hole there...

 

I miss it and have great memories of that camp and the owner (he was a nice guy and a good chap).

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Fished at the camp from 1988 till just before Dave's death... After his sledding accident, he wasn't the same.. Last time I was there, it was starting to get run down.. Dave's boat broke down on our way back . Puttered in with the kicker.. Walls on the cabins were full of holes.. boats were not clean and so on... I loved that place and went every spring for pike opener... I remember my first time there... Took my own boat in.. got lost.. hit many shoals and decided that this wasn't for me...lol Went back the year after and used his boats, They were fun times and fishing was one of the best ,if not the best I've encountered... 40 pike in a weekend and the smallest being 6 lbs.. Walleye were tough, but when you caught, you caught some beauties... Caught my PB pike there.. 23 lbs and I'll never see another one... I miss Georgian Bay Camp.. Miss Dave and all the great stories and laughs we shared... RIP my good friend...

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We paddled past this place on our last kayak trip. Wondering if anyone knows the story behind it. Some parts looked derelict/abandoned, some buildings looked almost new. All the boats were pulled up, upside down, no motors. It's in a stunning location - right at the mouth of the French River - and I imagine the fishing is excellent. Just wondering what's happening or what happened.

What place? No pics? I don't have ESPN.

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It would cost a fortune to get that camp up and running again. It really went downhill in the last 10 years before it shut down. Really bad septic issues. I know the area well enough to take my boat up there in the future, via the Key. Last few years it's been deep enough to navigate. On my bucket list of things to do...

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  • 4 years later...

Was just up there last weekend on the French.  Water is really low. Lots of rocks everywhere close to top of water. Better know where to go and now WOT. Lol.
I came out of the Henvey inlet. for a Where I have a camp. The Place is ruined. Defiantly major septic issues from the past. It is and Over grown mess. Buildings are In peril. Someone has defiantly squatted in the back cabin facing the open bay. I opened a few doors and had a peak. What an amazing place it must have been at one time. Animals have defiantly made homes and feces every where. Snakes feeding grounds. I would love to make that place go again. Private or public. Needs a ton work and money. I will defiantly go back to check it out some more on my adventures. Anyone know how to get ahold of the new owners? Are the taxes even getting paid??  I love this place some one contact me please. 

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I wrote two articles about Georgian Bay Fishing Camp for Ontario Fisherman magazine back in the day.  One was about the walleye, and one about the smallmouth. 

I caught my PB walleye there one spring, about 12 pounds.  I had just paid fairly big $$$ to have a 10.5 lb walleye mounted and did not think I wanted to invest more in a fish that was not "THAT" much bigger.  I had previously asked Dave if he wanted a good walleye that he could have mounted for display and to show off at the fishing shows, and he said yes, so I kept that fish and gave it to him.  He agreed that he would put a plaque on it with my name.  Well...........Dave was not always real good about following up on stuff.  He did get the fish mounted and brought it to the Toronto Sportsman's Show, but with no plaque on it with my name.  But he always intended to get that done.  And it was a LOT bigger than the one I have on my wall.......

When he drove guests back and forth to Key River he would go through one shoal that had just a hair more room on both sides than the width of his boat.  And he would take it at full throttle.  That always got reactions from his guests........😉

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