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.
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.
This big largemouth bass hole is way back in Sand Bay & can be full of largemouth & smallmouth bass at times that readily take surface lures. We have taken a lot of really big largemouth in this area so fish it throughly & especially way bay at the end where the creek runs into it as big largemouth sometimes hold in this warm shallow water. Also know that a nine pound smallmouth was caught in Sand Bay on a live crayfish fished 35 foot deep by the Windmill Cottage. It was taken two days before bass season opened & had to be released.
Years ago a fishermen that used to stay at Key Harbour Lodge told us all about The Walleye Spawning Grounds & allowed us to go fishing there with him in his boat.
He had an eighteen foot big lake boat with ten horse power trolling motor & down riggers hooked up.
He carried cases of Helin Flatfish in his boat & that is all he used in Georgian Bay period as did many of the best big musky fishermen of the time.
I was brought up bass fishing with the F-7 yellow flatfish with swivel & two treble hooks & red & black dots.
We would put a split shot eighteen inches ahead of the lure & it would absolutely murder smallmouth bass in Southern Ohio Creeks.
I caught, scaled, cleaned, cooked & ate the World Record Rock Bass that I personally caught with this lure & had no idea I did that until several years later when I was looking up world record fish in Sports Afield Magazine.
The record rock bass was only 2lbs. 2 ozs. & the one I ate was 3 & 1/2 pounds & all black from old age.
All the witnesses are now dead so you will just have to take my word on it or simply dis-believe.
The old time Flatfish fisherman showed us how to take the swivel hooks off & then put a single hook in the end of the lure to put a piece of nightcrawler on.
He would use a three way swivel & attach a heavy sinker that would drag along the solid rock bottom & keep the Flatfish a foot or less off the bottom.
He would let it down to the bottom & then troll backwards with his boat in reverse gear very slow.
He would do this going into the wind.
He would hook a nice yellow pickerel every thirty feet or so & had his limit in less than an hour & took us back to Key Harbour Lodge.
Since that time I have personally caught & released hundreds of yellow pickerel using this deadly method in The Old Walleye Spawning Grounds.
The small floating Rapalas also do well using this bottom trolling rig back trolled into the wind & also Mr. Twister Grubs.
The Walleye Spawning Grounds used to be a hot area for Big Yellow Pickerel & Pike not to mention hundreds of trophy smallmouth bass.
To get there you have to go through quite a few shoals so it is best to get someone to follow the first time you go by yourself.
The unique thing about this area is the banks are relatively flat & you can walk around & fish off the banks much easier than many other areas of Georgian Bay.
There are also largemouth bass back in the creeks that run into the spawning grounds & also in The Henvey Inlet where the spawning grounds is located.
One man caught a 28 pound pike almost every year he fished this area & he kept the locations secret.
I fished The Henvey Inlet all the way to the road one time & we caught a lot of really big largemouth bass on Rapalas & the perch color seemed to work the best.
Try this area out if you get a chance as it can be some of the best fishing in this area at certain times & one of the best big pike areas of the entire Georgian Bay.
Go way back in & up the creeks that feed the spawning grounds & there you will find largemouth in the deep warm water holes.
If the water is real low the spawning grounds is not as good as when the water is up high.
Troll the mouth of the area where Henvey Inlet dumps into Georgian Bay as there you will occasionally find really big muskie & pike.
Fish & troll along the steep deep cliff faces & rocks for big smallmouth & pike.
This is the best fly fishing area around as the banks are flat & smooth in the spawning grounds & perfect for long backcast.
You can get a lot of nice pike & smallmouth fly fishing there & you can do that walking around on the flat rock banks.
You will also find flat camping spots here & plenty of black bears.
This is a large area that would take many years to explore throughly.
I basically just touched on it & have only been there several times over the years.
Each time we caught plenty of smallmouth, yellow pickerel & pike plus a few largemouth.
The sportsmen in these photographs live in Sudbury, Ontario & they have a cabin out past Key Harbour over towards Henley Inlet & they also have a fishing & hunting cabin up in Northern Ontario which is great brook trout & smallmouth bass fishing & as you can see moose hunting.
They catch a lot of nice pike & muskie in Georgian Bay & also big yellow pickerel.
What a life!
I envy them & their youth.
They know what they are doing & do it well.
I would love to be up there hunting & fishing in all the different places they know about & go to frequently.
Pictures say more than a thousand words.