Wednesday, June 19, 2013



On June 6 I left Jo and the motor home at the RV park in Colona IL and drove the Jeep 400 miles north to join Cousin Ken at his home in Eagle River WI for his annual fishing trip to Canada. The fishing camp is a 500 mile drive from Eagle River and is located on Indian Lake north of Ignace Ontario. Ken and Linda’s son Tim joined us at their home Friday afternoon and the three of us departed early Sat AM.


On Friday  I helped Ken to roll his fishing boat and trailer out of his garage to prepare it for the trip. The boat has a Suzuki 4 stroke 140 hp outboard motor. It was ideally equipped for the kinds of fishing we did.


Ken and I loaded the back of his GMC as much as we could before Tim arrived. Among other things, he took a special propane stove on which sat a large tank for oil for deep fat frying the walleyes we were to catch and eat.



From left, Linda, Ken and Tim Strong




Here is our first fuel stop at Duluth MN.



And here is the last fuel stop at Grand Portage MN just before crossing the border into Canada.


It was a clear sunny day, so Ken stopped at the  Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Ontario. Here is part of the upper falls.


And here is the lower part of the falls.

IMG_4831 We stopped at this store in Ignace Ontario to buy our Canada fishing licenses. But Gramma was closed, so we went elsewhere. It was about 6 PM when we arrived in Ignace.


Entrance to our fishing camp. For more info, Google the name to reach their web site. Indian Lake’s outflow forms the Agimac River near the camp.


Here are the buildings for the camp as seen from our boat. Our cabin is the left half of the nearest brown building.


Closeup of our porch and part of our cabin. I was told that the buildings’  first use was as barracks for the Canadian  army.



Finally, here is our dock and the boats of our party.   The other members of our party (who fished out of the red boat) were Dale Ingram (a retired fire dept. captain), his son Ed and 13 year old grandson Lucas. They are from Ohio and arrived at the camp ahead of us. Dale was our cook and had a spaghetti dinner ready for us when we arrived. Dale bought all of the supplies in Ohio, transported them to the camp and did all of the great cooking. For desserts he made a cake, baked two pies and brought lots of ice cream!


On our first day of fishing, I learned the techniques of catching walleyes. I had not fished for them before, so I had a lot to learn.


We used light tackle – 6 lb test line on spinning reels. Ken is demonstrating the terminal tackle used – a lead weight held off the bottom while trolling by a 6” stiff wire, with a similar standoff wire  on one side to which the 3 ft leader to the hook is attached.


At the end of the leader is a floating jig with a no. 1 hook to which a live leech is attached. A leech is better bait than a minnow as it lives in a small bucket for several days and on the hook it lives much longer and can withstand the damage in catching three or four walleyes. It does take a bit of practice to double hook it, though.  The rig was trolled at about 1 mph.


On the first day of fishing, I caught 4 walleyes. Above is  my largest.

Ken and Tim were great teachers, but  mine were the only ones caught  in our boat that day.IMG_4844

I also caught this one.


Ken carefully measures each fish. Our limit per person was 3 walleyes under 18 “ and one over. We found it difficult to fill out on the smaller ones. We caught a lot of large ones only to have to return them to the lake. Can you imagine throwing back a 26” walleye?

The total for our group was 97 fish caught, of which 74 were walleyes. Our group filled out with a total of 18 under 18”, 6 over 18 “ (in the range of 25 – 28”) 12 lake trout, and a few northern pike. Compared to walleyes, northerns are less desirable as they are much thinner and have a bone structure which yields less meat if filleted.


One afternoon we walked over to the falls/rapids on the Agimac River. Tim said that he would like to take a kayak down them. Not me!IMG_4858



Tim caught a 18.5” smallmouth bass. It was returned to the lake. 

Tim is wearing a wet suit as trolling at 1 mph on a windy day may be quite cold. Tim sat in front and ran the electric rolling motor.


Ken  holds a day’s catch from our boat to take them to the fish cleaning shack. It is nicely equipped with cutting boards and running water. Ken filleted all of he fish caught by our group and I helped for a few filleting sessions.


Ken uses an electric knife to do the filleting. Walleyes are much like  trout for filleting

Regulations require that some skin be left on fish so its species can be identified. Ken stops the cut next to the skin near the end, leaving a little skin still attached, and then cuts off the skin so as to leave a few inches of skin loose but attached to the fillet for identification. Our catch was not inspected by game wardens, but inspections happen frequently.


The electric knife is used even to trim out the ribs.



This gentleman is filleting a northern.  A piece of meat is taken off the top of he back and thin slices are taken off each side, leaving the wide bones attached to the spine.


One afternoon our group went to nearby Lake Victoria to catch lake trout. Launching the boats there was a challenge. After about 3 hours of trolling at 3 mph our group limited out with 12 trout running 19 to 24”. They looked a lot like brook trout, but considerably larger. Sorry, no pictures!


Here is Lucas with the largest walleye he caught.


Ken with another catch of the day from our boat on the way to the fish cleaning shack.



Which of these two pictures was taken with the camera  upside down? This is a view from a window of our cabin and shows the part of the lake in which the docks are located.


Tim in his familiar post with the trolling motor controller in his lap and the depth/fish finder  right of the steering wheel rotated so he can see it from his seat in the bow. His trolling to keep us in the correct water depth was the reason we caught so many fish.



We spent most of our time fishing along the shore in this area. Dale’s boat is in the background.


IMG_4886  Dining and living area of our cabin.


Here is the kitchen area. It has a gas stove, a good supply of mismatched dishes and utensils, and a nice chest freezer for freezing our fish. Electricity was supplied by a generator to the camp, there was no cell phone service, but the camp had wifi via satellite.


Ken with our largest fish of our last day.


Same walleye, probably 27”. Grass now is on it because in handling, the fish wiggled and I dropped it. Some other fish, perhaps a northern, had taken off part of its tail.