The first annual Land o Lakes Smallmouth and Largemouth Derby was held last weekend on August 17, 2013. The derby spanned across 5 different lakes in the Land O Lake region including Sharbot Lake, Loughborough, Desert, Big Gull and Kashawakamak. These lakes represented some of the best fishing Southern Ontario has to offer.
Seeing as how the derby was right in my back yard I felt compelled to attend, but I was left with a nagging question; which lake do I fish?
After much deliberation, my Uncle, who decided to join me fort he derby, and I decided on a lake we both had never fished. Our choice? Kashawakamak Lake. Renown for its smallmouth population, this lake promised to offer a change from the regular large mouth fishing I was used to and a chance to see a different lake in my neck of the woods. Although I had no experience with this lake we were confident we could make something happen.
The lake itself is 15 kilometres (9 mi) long, 0.75 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide, has a surface area of 1,159.8 hectares. The maximum depth of the lake is 22m. The lake bottom consists of sandy bays and rocky bottom with a large amount of fallen wood dotting the shores. The thing that surprised me most about the lake was the lack of weed beds around the lake. It seemed there were only a few to be found in some of the bays. This posed a big problem for me and forced me to fish outside of my comfort zone.
The derby started at 7:00 am on Saturday morning. We launched at 6:15 and had chosen a spot to start by 6:30. Not to many boats on the lake for the kick off which we had expected. Chalk this up as another reason why we decided on Kashawakamak.
My Uncle decided he would bring the Boatillac up for the derby. Let me tell you, this Lund Fisherman really does live up to the moniker, the “Cadillac of boats”.
Fishing started slow in the morning and we were cycling a variety of lures and techniques to try to coax out some fish. It wass at this point I was praying the next bay held some weeds so I could drag out a mercy largemouth to at least get on the board. No such luck.
We kept persistent and tried all sorts of different approaches and techniques.
Finally we cracked the code of the lake and the small mouth tap was turned on. The final tally was around 23 small mouth with the biggest being around 2 lb 3oz. No picture of the smallmouth though as we were kept pretty busy with fish on our rods.
Regardless of the action, we were still hungry for a monster.
(one of the few weed beds we encountered).
Considering the extreme sun, clarity of the water and lack of wind that day we were convinced the fish were deep. And so we tried deep 20 – 40 FOW water. No smallmouth but low and behold we caught a decent walleye. This was a nice surprise and it signalled the end of the day.
Sun beat and tired, we made our way back to the weigh station only see our 2lb 3oz fish was just under the third place spot.
Ah well, that’s fishing, and the lack of quality fish was offset by the numbers we caught.
The weigh station staff were friendly, and the Derby Spokesperson Ashley Rae, from Captured TV did a great job of advertising and spreading the word for the derby. Not to mention favouring one of my 5am tweets the morning of the derby (that’s dedication)! Over all it was a good experience and we will definitely return next year.
Cheers From the Wild