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Thread: Bay of Quinte Heating Up
11-24-2015, 08:49 AM #1
Bay of Quinte Heating Up
There is a time approaching the tweener season that drains the enthusiasm out of you. You’re planning for ice but the open water season could be peaking. It’s -5, there’s snow in the driveway and all over the boat. Half of your equipment has been dismantled and put away and you’re not sure where anything is. Part of you just wants to roll over and go back to sleep. But once you have a coffee in you and you are actually ready go that same anticipation you feel during the perfect weather season starts to build.
The destination was Bay of Quinte about 2.5 hours away. I was heading down to meet friend Paul Legacy for our annual and hopefully to become traditional first fall Quinte trip of the year. Reports from the board and friends were a slow bite out in the reaches and traditional areas. High winds have kept most off the water for many days this season and the days out have produced few fish. There does seem to be a trend emerging where the big fish just don’t come in to the system while anglers can fish for them. Good number days over the last 3 years have been very sporadic with very few huge days. Nobody knows if they are coming in later when we can’t get to them or they are just not coming in at the same quantity they used to.
Many of the Reach Rats, the anglers that typically troll the area from Picton out to Adolphus Reach to the gap at Amherst Island are now searching the inner bay and Long Reach to find better concentrations of fish. According to the sonars there are a lot of fish in the traditional areas but there is a lot of different species that inhabit those waters and unless you are catching you don’t know what they are. They could be the booming population of Sheepshead or schools of whitefish or large Cisco. They could even be bass. The only thing we do know is that the number of fish being landed is not what it used to be before this 3 year trend after two server winters.
Given the information at hand our plan was to fish the rivers. The fish are not as big but you can have some big number days and wind is less of a factor. I left Orillia at 5:00 am and the roads were like a skating rink. Hwy 12 had patches of black ice and there was already cars off the road in the ditches. I watched a car ahead of me do a complete 360 degree turn and then keep driving like he was filming a chase scene in a movie. Long story short 3 hours later I arrived at the ramp.
We headed out to the first spot and on arrival Paul hooks a nice eater size fish about 3 pounds. Within 5 minutes he has another. He had rigged a ¼ ounce jig head with an artificial minnow. I was using a drop shot with a fluke style bait. One thing about fishing the river is you really don’t need a lot of tackle. I brought a deep crank bait rod, a tube rod, a drop shot and a spare. Nothing was rigged for trolling.
After a couple of quick fish and 2 or 3 loses it went dead. The sun was up and it was warm. An hour of nothing and finally I hook into one. But this was no ordinary walleye. I thought it was going to be the biggest walleye I had even seen until I saw a 48 inch musky with my fluke sticking out the side of its mouth. These are heavy Great Lakes musky. Broad across the back and deep girths unlike the Kawartha musky I had been catching. A 4 ft. Kawartha musky might weigh 12 to 15 pounds. But great Lakes musky can weigh twice as much per length particularly in late November. Needless to say it’s a lot of fish for a spinning rod. I did manage to get beside the boat and I tried to belly lift it but she wasn’t into that picture thing and she exploded in my hands and was gone.
We (Paul) picked up a few more fish but it was a slow day for that area. We’ll call it a preparation day and just have to come back one more time. The weeks ahead are typically the best so hopefully we’ll see some great results.After 250 days a year on the water and ice I still feel I need more Time on the Water
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11-24-2015, 11:19 AM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2014
Great report John.
I'll be with a few buds this week, may see you down there.You Should Have Been Here Yesterday
11-24-2015, 11:21 AM #3
Might make it Saturday Dave.After 250 days a year on the water and ice I still feel I need more Time on the Water
11-24-2015, 12:05 PM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2014
Nice job John! Can't wait to get down there!