Southern Ontario is still in the grip of a drought. Water levels are extremely low and the temperatures seem to stay above 30 almost every day. Typically I would say these conditions do not bode well for fishing. However chances to fish with my family are few and far between so we didn’t let that dissuade us this weekend.
We started the day off at the launch in Deseronto and took a quick trip down Long Reach. we did a little scouting in some deep water and tried a few favourite spots. The day started off with a bang as the first cast immediately landed a chunky largemouth in a favourite hole of mine. Not the species we were looking for but a fish is a fish.
We moved on to a different area and played around fishing in varying depths of water ranging from 11 to 25 FOW. Fishing was slow following the first largemouth and we decided to leave our first stop and head to a shoal not to far away.
The area seemed pretty crowded so we slowly approached so as to avoid interfering with other boats. We trolled the outer edges of the shoal for a while until the crowd thinned and we were able to move in a bit closer. Suddenly the bite turned on and the fishing heated up. The first fish we landed was a decent fresh water drum caught on a spinner bait. The fish put up a good fight with a few good drag peeling runs. Sheepshead may have a bad reputation for being ugly and smelly, but man are they fun to catch.
We continued to fluctuate our depths, make a gradual approach to the shoal as we did each pass. We seemed to find the sweet spot as we started to catch the odd smaller walleye mixed with perch and white bass. Action steadily increased over the course of an hour and a half until finally we started get a few stronger hits. One of those hits turned into a chunky 3+ lb walleye for my brother. As a bonus, this was the first Walleye he has caught since we were kids (some 20+ years ago)!
The four of us ended up caching 10 walleye in total on top of the countless perch and white bass which made for a very action packed morning. Finally around 11:20 we decided we would do one more pass over one of the most productive area which happened to be right beside the shoal in 14 FOW.
Of course the last ditch effort paid off as my dad announced to the group he had hooked up, and of course it had to be the biggest fish of the day. That’s just how fishing goes. My dads claims of “this is a big one” were confirmed as the drag on his older real started to scream with strain. The fish was making some impressive runs and didn’t seem to want to give up. As I hung over the side of the boat with the net in hand, it seemed like the fish would never make it to the surface. Finally my Dad wrestled the fish into the awaiting net. What a tank too, a healthy 4.25 lb walleye. Bigger than the other fish we caught which we guessed were in the 1lb range. To make matters even better, the fish was caught on an old south bend spinner bait that was handed down to Dad from his father and that looked like it was 300 years old. The fish was nice but the excitement on his face was nicer.
The day was done and we returned home with a full live well of fish. We don’t always keep fish, in fact we rarely do, but in this instance the fish looked too appetizing to pass up.
I’m glad the heat didn’t effect the walleye bite too much. I’m also glad we caught fish. I’m most glad that my brother made his triumphant return to catching walleye.
I find it strangely fitting that we all got shown up by Dad. It puts things in perspective a bit. Maybe we have all the gear, a big boat, new rods, etc. But regardless of all that, days like today teach us that nothing is more valuable on the water than experience. Oh, and maybe that 300 year old south bend spinner that seemed to work so well. Now excuse me while I go spend a few hours scouring antique lure sites…..
Cheers from the Lake,