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Hey again... heading to french river lodge on ox bay for the first time, renting a boat... see many prop destroyed by rock on the french, so im curious how far out of the bay i may have to travel to find fish and limit my risk of hitting something/getting lost? 

Not looking for spots to fish, just areas to avoid... i am sure the lodge operator will give me a map/run down of what to avoid, but curious... and bait, suggestions? (Crankbaits, vertical jigs, live?)

Just lookin for a fish or 2 as wife and i are only there for 5 days and have a boat for 2 of them.. and don'twanna hear the "you can'teven catch a small fish..." all the way home and for the next 30yrs :) lol

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1 hour ago, phatbassturd said:

Hey again... heading to french river lodge on ox bay for the first time, renting a boat... see many prop destroyed by rock on the french, so im curious how far out of the bay i may have to travel to find fish and limit my risk of hitting something/getting lost? 

Not looking for spots to fish, just areas to avoid... i am sure the lodge operator will give me a map/run down of what to avoid, but curious... and bait, suggestions? (Crankbaits, vertical jigs, live?)

Just lookin for a fish or 2 as wife and i are only there for 5 days and have a boat for 2 of them.. and don'twanna hear the "you can'teven catch a small fish..." all the way home and for the next 30yrs :) lol

Stop at the French river trading post right before your turn off to Hartley Bay Road for a waterproof map. (Not sure if the lodge sells them) Ask the guys at the lodge to put x marks on good areas. They’ll tell you hazards to avoid like tinnermans rock, rapids etc. I’ve only been a few times but had decent luck with crank baits, spinner baits and both white and pumpkinseed Gary Yamamoto grubs. There’s some big Muskie right around the lodge area. Saw a monster chasing a pike follow.

Re; rocks; you sound like a novice boater. Just be careful and you’ll do ok. Ask your wife to keep watch up front. Go slow in areas you aren’t sure of. Go wide around points as points usually indicate shallows right off of them, sometimes far reaching. Watch wave patterns/splashes or surface water. Changes in water patterns can indicate shallows/rocks. IIRC, their boats are tillers without depthfinders. Watch kijiji or marketplace for used portables. I have one for rental boats and my canoe, it’s basic but tells you what water your in and can help you find shoals you didn’t know were there. (The good ones with fish on them) 

 

 

 

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Stay in the middle of the channel in most places and you'll be fine.    What are you going to be fishing for?     If you want walleyes, I did real well above Dallas rapids vertical jigging spoons tipped with a piece of worm.     If heading towards Dallas be on the look out for a huge rock right in the middle of the channel once you make your right hand turn off the main channel.   I stick to the left side when going in, go slow the first time and mark it, then it's nothing to worry about.   You'll also want to be careful about half way down the main outlet, there's a bit of a zigzag there.  Again, go slow the first time and after that you're golden.     I wouldn't waste my time with Canoe channel, but I would head east from the lodge and check out the rapids below the train bridge.  Should be able to get into some walleye there as well (Be on the look out for big toothy critters as well) 

Be weary of the slot on the French, especially for walleye.  

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Thanks for the replies and info!! I am a novice boater, for real, its my second time out in 30yrs, so its a bit overwhelming... last trip was on jumping caribou lake in temagami, still rocks, but nothing of this magnitude!!

As for fish, walleye is the target.. pike are good and so are bass. Was given some ice fishing jigs (rapala jigging minows) and told they will be the ticket!! Bringing everything from cranks to soft plastics... to panfish lures... 

 

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Just a heads up, things have really changed in the last few days as they are working on the new highway, the turn off to get onto Hartley Bay Rd, won't show properly on a GPS. I am not sure if the French River Trading Post is open anymore, the new 4 lane Highway is going to drastically reduce their business but there were a bunch of cars there today.

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If you are coming in Hartley Bay Rd. you want to be very careful, there is a lot of work being done on the road, they are putting in new culverts and cleaning out ditches...... just slow down please!

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15 hours ago, Big Cliff said:

Just a heads up, things have really changed in the last few days as they are working on the new highway, the turn off to get onto Hartley Bay Rd, won't show properly on a GPS. I am not sure if the French River Trading Post is open anymore, the new 4 lane Highway is going to drastically reduce their business but there were a bunch of cars there today.

That’s too bad, it looked like they did a steady business. Will they have to relocate, or will there be a service road for them?

We bought a big heavy blanket there late last fall to keep the wife warm in the boat. I need another because I stole it from her when we got home. That blanket saved my sanity while on the water. Happy wife, happy life.

really good fudge there too. 

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15 hours ago, Big Cliff said:

Just a heads up, things have really changed in the last few days as they are working on the new highway, the turn off to get onto Hartley Bay Rd, won't show properly on a GPS. I am not sure if the French River Trading Post is open anymore, the new 4 lane Highway is going to drastically reduce their business but there were a bunch of cars there today.

Been two years since we were up that way.  French river trading post is open - just opened recently according to their page on FB.  The turn off to Hartley Bay is just past the trading post.  From what we had heard, there is to be an exit off the four-lane to access FRTP and old RT 69.   Just not sure how close it will actually be.  Hoping we can get back to fish the French here in September and see how much progress has been made in those two years 

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2 minutes ago, Hack_Fisherman said:

That’s too bad, it looked like they did a steady business. Will they have to relocate, or will there be a service road for them?

We bought a big heavy blanket there late last fall to keep the wife warm in the boat. I need another because I stole it from her when we got home. That blanket saved my sanity while on the water. Happy wife, happy life.

really good fudge there too. 

The four lane has shut down a lot of the trading posts that used to dot 69.   Moose Lake TP closed a few years ago and we always enjoyed stopping there on the way through.   Will be interesting to see if FRTP survives.

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1 hour ago, woodenboater said:

four lanes have put the brakes on many towns that were on 11, all so traffic can moves faster with fewer slowdowns. Not looking forward to 69 when it's all said and done.

Well I do have to say that it sure makes the drive up from Lindsay a lot faster, just over 3 hours door to door and I set my cruse an about 10 over. Right now the whole Hartley Bay road thing is a total mess, there is an Alstone quarry, right after you get off the highway, detours, and they are doing a lot of work on Hartley Bay Rd. itself. The trading post might do ok if they upgrade it to a service center but I can't see a lot of people getting off the 4 lane and stopping to buy souvenirs.

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30 minutes ago, Big Cliff said:

 but I can't see a lot of people getting off the 4 lane and stopping to buy souvenirs.

But it's a great place to stop and eat when  your on a long drive.

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15 hours ago, woodenboater said:

four lanes have put the brakes on many towns that were on 11, all so traffic can moves faster with fewer slowdowns. Not looking forward to 69 when it's all said and done.

Highway upgrades do make it much safer though. Gasoline alley used to be a nightmare for traffic hazards.  Wondering if that’s changed now with a lot of businesses gone. I heard MTO bought up many(??) I don’t go that way often and never on a weekend. The thought of pulling out with a big trailer or motor home in the weekend rush...I’d never stop.
 

And there’s always the “oops, we missed it, oh well, we’ll hit it on the way home” thing with these places which rarely happens on the way back. Seems like everyone is in an all fire hurry to get to the destination now. 
 

Edited by Hack_Fisherman
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1 hour ago, misfish said:

Just look at what new hwy 11 did to Sunridge . Ghost town.

Or Trout Creek that use to have 4 gas stations, none now. I'm amazed Sundridge and South River have held on as well as they have... We still go through most times and buy our Groceries at the South River Foodland for a quick in and out.

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42 minutes ago, irishfield said:

Or Trout Creek that use to have 4 gas stations, none now. I'm amazed Sundridge and South River have held on as well as they have... We still go through most times and buy our Groceries at the South River Foodland for a quick in and out.

We used to shop there too Wayne and usually stopped in for breakfast too. Nice to see the new hiways being built but also sad to see so many places going under because none of the tourists go through town anymore.

Not much work up that way either so when the small shops are forced to shut down where do they go to find more work ?

Edited by lew
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Don't get me wrong, I like shorter dives as well but seeing towns become shells of what they used to be is hard. I have land near Sundridge, and Lake Bernard is definitely part of what keeps that town going.

Funny story. I used to do canoe trips from Round Lake into North Tea etc and always stopped at the Blue Roof after the trip. Been a few years so when I went to the Blue Roof, I was like, ' this is weird, it used to be on 11, not main street small-town '. 

Powassan seems still pretty active (Original Bug Shirt Company is there), but haven't driven through Trout Creek.

On 69, there was a popular Shell (Esso ?) and burger joint I think north of Parry Sound (another must stop after canoeing the Magnetawan) and afaik, there's no sign at all that this place every existed.

I guess I miss the random stops at small town gas stations and coffee shops.

 

sorry for the walk down memory lane haha

Edited by woodenboater
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Drove by the French river trading post last week, it seems that the only entrance to the shop is on the south bound lanes of 69. Lots of construction going on from the French River bridge to past the Alban exit.

HH

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12 hours ago, lew said:

Not much work up that way either so when the small shops are forced to shut down where do they go to find more work ?

This is why I don’t live & work up there as much as I’d like nothing more. Not enough year round work for me. 
 

and I suspect they hang on as long as possible until they have no choice but to leave for better prospects. 

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Stopped in at FRTP yesterday, had a nice chat and contributed to the local economy. At this point they think they will be able to stay open after the new highway is open, I think they would be better off if it was a full service stop with fuel, there is nothing else from Magnetawan to Sudbury. The turn off to Hartley Bay Rd. just gets more confusing by the day and there are a lot of heavy trucks running the road, be really careful especially going into some of those blind curves, those guys take up a lot of road and tend to move pretty fast. 

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Thanks for all the insight here folks!! 

Miss seeing some of the old names on the board from the early 2000s!!

We are traveling with friends who are at the french river lodge yearly, so we will follow them in, but will let em know it may be a bit of an annoyance getting in there!!

Tell ya im sure nervous about the river and rocks, so much so i may just hang out in the bay for the 3 days i have the boat... im sure theres fish in oxbay worth chasing, just out front of the lodge? 

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