Thread: Trip to Key River/Georgian Bay
08-07-2012, 11:49 PM #1
Trip to Key River/Georgian Bay
Just got back from spending a week up at the Key River with my dad to target walleye and bass. We didn't fish the river at all because of the heavy boat traffic, but rather shot out into Georgian Bay to enjoy the peace and quiet.
The first couple of days we had luck with smallies as they seemed to hit just about anything thrown in front of them including crankbaits and worm harnesses (which were being used to target walleye).
On the third day we decided to try a spot where we had luck with walleye last year. After fishing for about an hour and not having any luck I was questioning our location. The wind really picked up and although it was sunny, I decided that we should try some drift fishing in 25 - 30 of water with a worm harness. After about 15 minutes I hooked my first walleye of the day/trip, a little 12 incher that went back into the water. We kept drifting for about a kilometer with no further luck and we decided to turn around and use the kicker motor to head back. After about 20 minutes of trying to operate the kicker and keep my rig on the bottom in a heavy wind, I was ready to pack it in when I felt that classic walleye "tick, tick" on the end of my line. I let the rod tip load up, then set the hook. Instantly I could tell that it was a decent fish. It began pulling drag and after about a 5 minute battle and several runs, I landed a 4 lb walleye that we kept for dinner...patience does pay off! I also managed at nice 15 incher shortly afterwards that we kept as well.
The following day we decided to try another spot that had brought previous walleye success, this time in shallower (14-16 feet) water as it was overcast and windy. Using a worm harness I hooked a 15 inch fish within 15 minutes and as we continued drifting by a shoal, my dad yells "yep, I got one". He was using one of my brother's home made June Bugs with a worm. Knowing my dad, he usually keeps his drag ultra lose so even a 1 lb bass will sound like a 20 lb fish. Leisurely taking my time to reel in and grab the net, I notice that this fish is pulling drag like crazy, not wanting to reveal itself. We manage to get the fish into the net and to my amazement it is a 6 lb walleye. We continue fishing and go back to this one shoal. As we pass the same spot, I feel a fish hit my worm harness and set the hook....another walleye. This time he's 20.5 inches so he goes back in the lake because of the Georgian Bay slot. For our last pass at this spot I decide to try a Rapala tail dancer. Within about 2 minutes I feel a strike, but it gets off. About 30 seconds later I feel another hit, but this time the fish is still on the line. I reel in another slot fish, about 20 inches who goes back into the lake. After all the hot walleye action we decide to head in. It was one of those awesome situations where they were hungry and seem to hit everything.
The next day we decide to do some exploring, out and around Henvey Inlet. It was sunny with very little wind, making fishing difficult. After only catching a 4 lb pike in a shallow weedy bay, we decide to change locations and start heading back towards the river. We started trolling around some shoals and managed a handful of decent size smallies.
After speaking to a local cottager at the dock, the following day we decide to try out one of his "hot spots". Although it was sunny out, the wind was probably blowing 15-20 knots, making boat control a problem. We mainly drifted and trolled with the kicker. I managed to have a couple of fish on, but never saw or landed them. Around 2:00 p.m. we decide to move to a group of islands and troll again. As we round a point I feel a hit on my Rapala tail dancer. I had a lot of line out so I'm not sure what it is, but as I turn around I see a splash. Being in 15 feet of water and hitting at a point, I think that it must be another smallie. I start reeling in and realize that this fish has some weight to it and is pulling drag like crazy. It stays down, which puzzles me as all the bass we had caught during the week were jumping like crazy. After a number of minutes I see this fish...which at first resembles a fence post. Instantly I'm thinking Musky because of the size, but soon realize that it's a monster pike. I almost soil my pants realizing that this monster is on my line. As we net it, we notice that my lure is no where to be seen. This fish absolutely inhaled my tail dancer and luckily I had a 2 inch swivel on or else it would have sawed through my 25 lb flurocarbon leader like nothing. After taking our time to carefully get the hooks out, we take a few pictures of the fish and measure it to be approximately 42 inches in length. Not wanting to put any more stress on the fish, I carefully revive it, watching it swim away to be caught another day. This was by far my personal best pike, as my previous best was 33 inches and 7-8 lbs. Absolutely my fish of the trip . Based upon the length/weight calculations that I've found, I would guess this fish was 17 - 20 lbs.
The last day we headed back out to our first walleye spot, knowing that the winds were going to get really wild; 30+ knots. After spending 3 hours drifting and trolling, I manage to catch a micro 8 inch walleye on a worm harness....you couldn't have even turned this fish into a fish stick, so he went back into the lake to put on some weight. By about 2:30 p.m. we decide to start heading in as the wind and waves are really picking up. We manage a couple of small pike and bass, but realize that the wind and waves are too crazy to try to fish in. We end up taking a back way behind the northern islands to get us back towards the Key River. As we get into the channel we're greeted by 7 foot waves. Luckily we don't have far to go, so we end up back in the river, only to be greeted by 3 foot waves! We get back to Camp Dore and ask some of the other fisherman how they made out and hear that they had similar luck on the final day, except that they were smart and headed in much earlier than us - before the crazy wind.
All in all it was a fun trip and I can say that Georgian Bay is a fish factory that produces "quality" not "quantity" of fish.
08-08-2012, 12:26 AM #2
Great report and photos! Those are some nice walleye and a great personal best pike! Fantastic first post.
I give it 5 stars and a thank you!
08-08-2012, 12:28 AM #3
Now that I think of it a buddy of mine from work was up in the same area last weekend. I thought perhaps you might be part of his crew but I checked your profile and I just think it's coincidence. That or Toronto really is still small town Canada :P
08-08-2012, 07:53 AM #4
You may recognize this guy from 4 Eel Fishing episode 5. Captain Karl is my brother. Looks like while I was busy on my honeymoon, Karl and the old man snuck off and caught a wack of fish without me! S&$t! Nice fish, buddy! Welcome to the board!
08-08-2012, 10:53 AM #5
Already blaming your lack of fishing on marriage?
08-08-2012, 12:21 PM #6
There are actually 3-4 fishing lodges in the area. We stayed at Camp Dore which is right at HWY 69, on the west side of the bridge. There was a group of people staying there fishing who were part of a family reunion. Me and the old man did speak to one of them (who was staying in the cabin beside us). They were targeting smallies and pike - doing okay.
That's right Kokemachine, you missed out on a great trip. I only wish that you would have been there to film the landing of the monster pike...nice to relive that moment over and over. We'll have to get out for a weekend sometime soon.
08-08-2012, 05:52 PM #7
So KokeMachine if Captain Karl is your brother does he also sound like you?
08-08-2012, 07:12 PM #8
Ha! He and I may not look alike but the voice is nearly identical. He was showing me a video the other day that had lots of Kokemachine style commentary and I was like, "I don't remember filming this...?". Turned out that it was Captain Karl on the commentary.
08-08-2012, 07:18 PM #9
haha that's awesome!
08-09-2012, 04:17 PM #10
Congrats on the PB pike and kudos for the great report. Cheers CaseyMoney cant buy happiness, but it can buy fishin tackle and that is almost the same thing!!