Eyes on Picton

Picton Harbor aerial picture

Picton Harbor looking east

The calm before the storm as Picton Harbor gets ready for the Fall Brawl of trophy walleye hunters.

DCIM101GOPRO

As the last of the colours leave the trees in  Prince Edward County and all over Ontario  boats are being winterized for storage, the  diehard walleye anglers are just getting ready  for the return of Bay of Quinte trophy  walleye.  The post spawn giants head to the  main lake for  the summer to feed on alewives  and other  forage then return to the outer  reaches of the  bay starting in late October. By  the time the  first skim of ice forms in Picton  Harbor the  area becomes thick with some of  the largest  walleye in North America. Trophy hunters from  around the globe converge on Picton and  surrounding area for a chance to have their  picture with one of these spectacular fish.

Bay of Quinte giant walleye

Bay of Quinte Charters Scott Walcott with one of Quinte’s finest

  Walleye in the 7 to 12 pound range are common and every year     several fish in the 14 to 17  pound class are caught. These are very    old fish, some  approaching 20 years so they are not to be      wasted on eating.  Taxidermists create perfect life like trophy  replicas now days  so a quick picture and measurement and back    in the water  they go to spawn in the spring and keep this  extraordinary  gene pool alive. They can also be caught another  year and  become someone else’s larger trophy and story.  Thought by  many to be the best table fare from fresh water,  smaller fish  can be found as well in the more protected inland  waters of  Hay Bay, Long Reach down to Telegraph Narrows. In  fact  here is walleye to be had from Trenton to Picton not to  mention the world class fall bass fishery.

 This is a busy time of the year for charters and guides and many  are booked a year in advance. This might be the most convenient and sure way to land the fish of a life time and be in the comfort of a well-equipped boat with a guide that knows how and where to find them. A list of Charters and Guides can be found here http://www.fishingbayofquinte.com/links/guides/

It isn’t until the ice is too thick to break at the boat ramps that the season will come to an end. Unlike most tourist destinations where towns along the waterfront go dormant by November, Picton sees one of the town’s busiest months in November. The economic impact of the fishery is a major contributor to the health of local businesses. Whereas some cities and towns discourage anglers catering to higher profile optically pleasing water activities, the Bay of Quinte Tourism welcomes anglers with open arms and does everything possible to make sure visitor leave with a memorable experience.

Historically the fall walleye reconnaissance has been dominated by “the boyz” annual fishing trip. But in recent years more families have been making the journey. There is so much to see and do in the area that fish are beginning to share the limelight. Prince Edward County just happens to be Canada’s fastest growing wine region not to mention local breweries and great eateries.

If you haven’t experienced the Bay of Quinte before ice up you are missing some of Canada’s best fishing and a probability of a new personal best. It is also great training for ice fishing in this incredible fishery.

Long-Reach-ice