Temagami 2010: Day 4, Tuesday, July 20

Temagami 2010: Day 4, Tuesday, July 20

I forgot to mention that yesterday (Monday) we went for a walk over to Finlayson Point Provincial Park. There’s a really great campground that Mom and Dad used to camp at when they were younger (before kids). Dad showed me the site they usually stayed at; great view of the lake, close to the dock, and the fish cleaning station is right across the street!

Dad sitting on the bench near the campsite where he and Mom used to camp
Today was hot. Mostly clear skies and very, very sunny. I forgot to put on sunblock, and could feel my skin cooking. No burn, but I felt exhausted when we finally came inside. We took our tiny minnows over to Caribou and fished there for a little. No bites. Nothing. So we decided to go out on the boat to the little bay near Carson Island. When we arrived there was another boat in the bay. I think they were casting and still fishing. We trolled along the shore and had a few bites, but it didn’t amount to much. While we were out on the lake Dad untwisting our fishing lines (which requires one person to drive the boat slowly while the other lets out all of the line on the bail and then reel it back up again)

We headed back to the dock at Temagami Shores to swim. The water was so warm! I couldn’t believe it. I have vivid memories from childhood of jumping into a 60-some-degree Lake Temagami. The temp was well in the 70s. I swam to the island across the lake – about a quarter of a mile. I took the noodle with me in case I got tired. Stacy and I swim that distance all the time in the lake up at the Mountain House, but here I was crossing a heavy boat and plane traffic area. I made it to the island, hung out on the rocks for a few minutes, and swam back. There was a plane taking off and landing in the water in between the island and the dock, so I was careful not to get in its way. I’m sure the bright blue noodle helped.

Ate freshly caught walleye for dinner and headed back out on the lake for some evening fishing. We had a blast! Bites pretty soon after we got our lines in the water; lots of little bass and one little walleye. The fish seem to be in deeper water, about 20-25 feet deep. It’s a bit tricky to get your line that deep (without getting hung up) but the rewards are worth it. Dad caught another “keeper” walleye – about 16/17 inches. As we were trolling right by Island 4, I felt a HUGE tug on my line. I thought I caught bottom, but as Dad always says: Bottom doesn’t give.

And this gave. I had a fish! A big fish! It fought hard, stayed down – very typical walleye behavior. My favorite part is when you start to see the fish emerge from the water. It’s still about 10 feet down when you see it. Dad netted it and it was indeed big! Not a trophy size, but a nice 23 inches! Just about 4 centimeters to short to keep. He was a “slotter” and we had to throw him back.

My “slotter” walleye — 23 inches!

The “slot” is any walleye from 18 to 24 inches you have to throw back. Those fish are usually the spawners. It takes a walleye about 5 years to reach 18 inches. A walleye that is 5 lbs usually spawns over 35,000 eggs a season. The slot was introduced quite a few years ago now – maybe seven. It was introduced because so many people were keeping those fish that were of prime spawning age. Even though it’s kind of annoying to have to throw back your fish, I think it’s a really important rule. Dad and I have noticed that there are a lot more little fish in the lake than there has ever been, so it’s definitely working.

We got a picture and threw the big guy back. Actually, with walleye, you have to sort of swish them in the water until they come to. It’s a very tense moment. I know it seems a bit ironic, but the last thing you want to happen is to have the fish die. The fish finally did swim out of Dad’s hand and so we were happy.

I put on a new worm and as I was letting out my line for 17 feet, a bass hit! It’s always a bit awkward when a fish hits and you still have your bail open. I brought him in and he was a keeper! The first big bass we’ve caught this trip.

The bass I caught right after the walleye. I didn’t even have my bail set yet!

We quit soon after because it was getting dark and we need to get a full night of sleep. We plan to wake up at 5:30 and head down to Island Bay (40 minutes/25 miles down the lake) to fish in the morning.

Fish Count (Keepers):

1 – Bass (Gina): Tuesday, Day 4
    where: Island 4
    bait: worm harness

1 – Walleye (Dad): Tuesday, Day 4
    where: Island 4
    bait: worm harness

“Slotter” Count:

1 – Walleye (Gina): Tuesday, Day 4
    where: Island 4
    bait: worm harness
    size: 23.2 inches

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About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • trail runner • cheese slinger • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
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