Planning to visit the Key River Area of Georgian Bay some time this summer. I have not been on this web-page much the last couple of years due to other interests such as wildlife photography. Than you for your interest in this web-page. I have never placed any ads on this web-page for pay but WordPress has to offset their cost of running the blog page. I could say & write much more about The Key River Area of Georgian Bay but half the fun of wilderness camping & fishing is discovering for yourself the many marvels of the great outdoors. The Georgian Bay is big & there are many places you can explore & lots of wildlife to excite. If my blog page got you there it has served it;s purpose. Talk to the old timers who camped there in 1930 to 1950 & hear their stories of the great yellow pickerel runs, the huge pike & muskie. The fur traders who used canoes to move their goods across country. The fishing & canning industry worked this area for many years. You will see the remains of their businesses. Hope to see you there soon.
WE have Eagles nesting here in Dayton, Ohio & this blog page tells all about them.
If you want to see some really nice fish taken this year in this area go to their new website. There are also very nice photographs of the area taken by professional photographers.
Diamond Key Lodge
I went to a Bass Pro Shop Store in Perrysburg, Ohio last week when my grandson & I were going up to camp out & fish Lake Erie for a week.
I was amazed at all the new fishing tackle, rods, reels & lures & at the same time amused by it all.
People are getting addicted to fishing & fishing tackle to the point the poor fish do not have much of a chance left.
Anyone who fishes & has half a brain knows that live bait will outfish any artifical when it comes to trophy sized game fish.
Hobby is the word that describes all the madness.
The rule of thumb for fishing reels is very simple & has not changed over the years.
If it is made in Sweden it is the best you can buy & it will last for many years.
The Asian products are also improving to the point many are now excellent choices for people who can not afford the high priced Swedish reels.
When I say Asian I am now talking about American tackle companies who have everything they sell made in Asia & usually China.
Floating Rapalas are the best lures ever made, invented or sold when it comes to all around fishing all over the world. Black & silver is still the best color to use overall & especially in Georgian Bay as the water is clear for the most part.
Mister Twister grubs on jig heads will take fish anywhere & you can also ad a safety pin spinner to make a spinner bait out of them & so will the Mepps spinner or Rooster Tail which now sell for $3.69 rach if you can believe that. I have over 300 of them I took out of trees for nothing. I have a 12 foot aluminum pole with a wire wrapped over a rag on one end & it hooks the lures & pulls them out on the rag.
One friend has over 5,000 lures he pulled out of trees in our local lakes.
Bass boats start at $12,000 & go through the roof.
Use them where I fish in Georgian Bay & they will go to the junk yard in a hurry after they hit a couple of shoals going 35 mile per hour or more.
New 9.9 h.p. boat motors are up around $1,700.00 for a good one such as a Honda , Yamaha or Evinrude.
I personally do not like Mercury boat motors even though they may be alright for others.
The black color really turns me off.
Never could get parts when I needed them.
All of them are now 4 stroke & heavier than the old two strokes.
They say four strokes will out last two strokes by a wide margin & one can expect at least 3,500 hours of service.
My Johnson 9.9 is a 1985 25 years old & continues to work just fine & probably has at least 2,500 hours on it.
I can actually sell it for more than I paid for it new in 1985 if that tells you anything about Johnson boat motors of old.
My grandson sat at the fish tank & stared at the big fish for an hour while I wandered all over the store checking everything out.
I could have spent several thousand dollars easily if I had bought everything I do not have that is new.
I like to design & invent new fishing lures myself & was confused as to why no one has copied & sold some of my own concoctions which I have publically displayed on the inter-net for several years.
On public TV they have had a show teaching people how to make their own surface lures out of basswood or cedar on a wood lathe.
I would like to make my own Injured Minnows as they are getting hard to come by for under $25.00 each.
The Heddon Zara Spook is the best when it comes to big Georgian Bay smallmouth & largemouth & the only thing that works better is the old night crawler secret methods put out by Fishing Facts Magazine years ago.
I have taken many bass fishermen up to Georgian Bay & watched them try to take bass there using all the rubber stuff, spinner baits, jigs, etc. & I have out fished all of them when it comes to trohy sized fish with The Spooks or Injured Minnows. The stuff that works best in Florida also works in Georgian Bay ( Big Live Bait Fish On A Balloon Or Bobber ).
Where will it all end?
At 65 years of age my fishing energy has slowed to the point I no longer have to have all the new things out nor do I have the desire to try them.
I know that big fish are more of a stroke of luck than anything else.
I once saw a yellow rooster tail take more big yellow pickerel than any other lure & another time a purple floating plastic minnow by Rebel Lures. That week they would not touch a Rapala for some reason.
Oh well. The younger generation really does not seem to care what us older folks believe or think anymore when it comes to fishing.
I think back to my first fishing rod which had a Mitchell 300 reel on it & how excited I was & worried about the $13.00 cost.
I used that pole & reel for many years as did many of my fishing friends. Made in France.
Since that time I have acquired many fishing reels of all types & sizes & costs but still prefer the Mitchell 300 which works just fine.
I would not trade my first Swedish casting reel for any of the new ones as quite frankly it is worth more than they are in terms of money.
Use a reel for over 40 years & then sell it for five times what you paid for it says a lot about quality.
The 5000C was & is the best reel ever made & sold at a reasonable price around $35.00 to $50.00.
Maybe ten years ago or so I camped out alone for over ten days right on The Key River right across from the panfish hole.
The weather was perfect & I thought this would be a great place to camp alone as boats go up & down the river often & I could always signal one of them if I had any boat motor problems or other emergencies.
I figured if it was going to be my time to go they would have no trouble finding my remains.
Camping alone in the wilderness is not something just anyone would ever do or even consider it simply because of safety issues.
This is also bear country which means it makes it even more of a lets give it a second thought type of thing & especially so when you are not allowed to pack a gun or even bear mace.
Being alone there for 10 days with no one to talk to was a new experience for me as I myself have always liked to talk a lot according to all my friends.
The first day & night was mostly resting from the long trip up & after I had unloaded my boat & set-up camp.
I have all the latest camping gadgets & enjoy using them & playing around with them yet I have no idea why they seem to be so exciting or important to me.
I read all the books I can find on camping & how to do this or that in the wilderness.
I feel a sense of accomplishment just knowing how to camp out in the wilderness properly including all the right knots & all that.
There is a lot to learn about wilderness camping & especially so if you go the old fashioned way by canoe where bulk & weight become a major concern.
Bill Mason & Cliff Jacobson both have books out on this subject that I read several hundred times over the years so I have modeled my methods & procedures after the very best there is.
Both of them know how to keep you safe & alive in the wilderness & well fed & perfectly dry at the same time
When I finally retired I went to sleep quickly.
Woke up the next morning at 7 A.M. & got out of my tent & felt the warm morning sun.
I stretched & got busy with my Swedish camp stove to fix my morning coffee & breakfast.
Set up my lawn chair & just sat there in awe of all the beauty around me.
Birds, ducks, geese, frogs, insects & other small animals were moving about almost everywhere I looked.
You could clearly hear them communicating with each other.
Then I got to thinking about everything we humans know or don’t know.
Thinking about my past life.
Thinking about how happy & fortunate I was to have ever gotten to experience this aloneness in a beautiful place like this.
I spent the rest of the morning wandering around the area & examinedd the little wild flowers & plants & rock formations & minerals I would find embedded in solid rock.
After lunch I made a new friend when all the sea gulls came around as they usually do when you are camping out.
One of them was crippled & could not fly very well & hobbled around so he had a difficult time competing for tidbits I threw out on the rocks.
I walked over to him & handed him a few scraps & that was it.
He never left my side the whole time I was there at the campsite & keep me company even after the others flew off.
I trolled for yellow pickerel late into the nights & had to leave a lantern burning so I could find my campsite in the dark.
I would pull up in my boat & examine the area to make sure there were no bears in around my campsite before I got out.
Then I would always make a pot of coffee & burn a few twigs so I could sit around a small camp fire & listen to all the strange sounds one hears in the bush at night.
Banging rocks or cracking tree branches really gets you thinking & wondering.
During the days I would go out to the islands & explore some of them by foot.
On Dead Island I saw the rock piles where the Native People in the area bury their dead.
In the quite of this I could feel a presence like never before.
I would wonder what it was like for them.
Being born & raised & living their whole lives out in all this beauty.
This was their final resting place & sacred to them which gave me a sense of deep respect just being there alone.
Other islands were full of plants, flowers & other products of nature I had never noticed before in past years.
Almost every island there has a personality of it’s own.
Different shapes or rock formations carved out by water flows thousands of years ago.
Trees, plants & shrubs growing seeming right out of solid rock.
No two trees or plants are exactly alike.
My camping trip alone turned out to be an experience of a lifetime.
My friend would always be there close by day & night.
On my last morning when I got out of my tent mother bear & three cubs were in my campsite moving off to the right down the rock banks so I decided to pack up & leave.
When I started my boat motor for the trip back to the road my little friend was standing there on the rocks flapping his wings at me.
I simply said thanks for being my friend & left.
I will always remember that trip as I had never experienced anything like that ever before in my whole life.
The fear of being alone in the wilderness is a powerful thing until you actually muster up the nerve to actually do it for the first time.
Mother nature has it’s own way but very often we are just to busy to notice.
I learned more in those ten days being there alone than I had all the prior years of my life put together.
The native people know these things as they are taught & learn them from their elders.
It was the same when I was there as it was thousand years ago.
Nothing has really changed.
Peaceful, quite & perfect.
Back in time would be the best way I could describe how it felt.
When people say relax, everything is just the way it is supposed to be.
I think of my little crippled sea-gull friend sitting there on that rock in the Georgian Bay flapping his wings.
This is Ivan the native person that was so kind & nice to us when we camped out in The Key River Area Of The Georgian Bay.
He told us to follow him when he took out fishing parties for Key Harbour Lodge & he would show us where all the good spots were.
He always used & red & white Daredevil ( middle sized one ) & 20 pound line.
As I recall Ivan would sometimes put his head on top of the boat motor & sleep while his party was catching one fish after another in the same spot.
Ivan knew this area better than anyone & could take you places way back in very few knew about.
He knew where to find big yellow pickerel that would get stranded in deep holes when the spring flow subsided & he would take people there to catch them on night crawlers.
He knew where really big largemouth were & in fact had customers catch them on night crawlers back in the area of the bass hole.
Al Lytle also knew about surface lure fishing for largemouth back there as I can recall him taking his young son back to fish for largemouth one year after we told him they were hitting on the surface.
Ivan went way back in one day & never came out & I heard it took them three days to find his body where he had passed away.
They finally found his boat but had no idea where he had gone inland on this particular island.
Ivan knew all the islands all the way out to the Bad River & beyond.
He was trully a legend to me , countless other fishermen & outdoorsmen who were blessed to have crossed his path.