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A co-worker of mine went up to Georgian Bay and was telling me about a 17 fish day he had, just outside of the hatchery there. A goal of mine this year was to catch my first Lake Trout - it was supposed to be a Simcoe Lake Trout, but this late in the season... I wasn't going to get too fussy where it came from!
Bob from the shop mentioned he would like to smack a few too, so we decided to head up on a Thursday and see what we could put together. Bob decided to bring his buddy Tom too, good thing I have a decent sized cab on this Sierra. We piled all our gear into the back and took the 90 minute drive north. We were actually a bit surprised that there wasn't more huts out there. The last time I ventured this way (see Can You Ice Fish There?) there was a bit more traffic. Must be those February blues.
Either way, we packed up and made the walk out to the "Big Sound". The weather was perfect! There was no wind and beautiful blue bird skies. We made our way out to a point that quickly dropped off into 90 ft of water. The finder actually read 110 though. After we drilled our holes the action started pretty quickly. Bob and Tom threw down some minnows on bottom and had them picked off a few times. Tom and I started marking on the bottom, Tom yelled out that he had hooked up. We saw a few turns of the reel as I brought the camera over but he came unpinned by the time I got there.
I walked back to my rod and reel. I had left the bail open so it was sitting on the bottom. I picked up and saw the mark on bottom still. After a few jiggles, I felt the tip stay in place when I jiggled - the jiggle turned into and slam of the rod upwards as fast as I could. I had hooked up!! All I could feel was dead weight, not what I was expecting. I wasn't sure it was a Lake Trout at all until a few minutes later when the tip of the rod started to bounce. Every bounce up felt like the fish had come off!
Suddenly, there she was. Her beautiful Trout face poking up from her watery home. Bob helped me get her on ice and we high fived over my first ever Trout! She was 23.75", just below the slot size for a keeper. I don't normally keep fish but Bob likes the taste so we kept her.
We stayed in the spot for a bit longer before we had another hit. There were lots of marks but it wasn't until Bob put on a Williams half and half and started ripping it before we hooked up again. She was a little trout but it got the skunk off Bob. After that, the bite started to die off. Since we stopped marking, we decided to hole hop and work our way back to the truck while looking for Rainbows.
We didn't mark anything until our last hole. Even then, it was just here and there. I had actually stopped jigging and was talking to Bob when I looked down and noticed a mark staring at my lure. I did a quick jiggle and felt something put it in its mouth. I set the hook hard and watched my medium heavy rod bend right over. This fish was good! I'm not sure if it was a Rainbow or Laker but whatever it was, it popped off the hook near the hole. I may have been my knot getting stuck on the bottom of the hole or just a coincidence that it was stuck on the hole after she bounced off... but I wish I could have seen her.
We gave it a few minutes but the marks went away. Bob kept talking about getting a hamburger, I think it's his secret favorite ending or road trips so we took him to Harvey's. All in all, it was a decent day. Amazing weather and some good times with a few guys who love fishing.