Fishing Trip Report

Lac Poutrincourt

July 25 - August 2, 2003

Anglers Lamar Kahler, Walter Kononenko and Casper Smerroskie celebrating a great day on the Lake.




final road leading to Lac Poutrincourt

We arrived at the main camp of Domaine Poutrincount early Friday morning July 25, 2003. It was a beautiful day, cool and sunny. We spent the previous night at the usual motel and had a hardy Canadienne breakfast in La Dore. The truck, boat and gas cans were completely full of gas. Andre and Eric Cauchon met us as we drove up and we started to prepare the boat for launching. Eric took the control of the truck and trailer to unload Cas' boat. We paid Andre at the lodge the balance for the trip and also for one week's Quebec Province fishing license. Eric was having a little problem launching the boat from the trailer. The lake was much lower from the year before. It was down by a foot or so. Eric finally used the technique of backing up the truck and trailer fast and slamming abruptly with the intend of jarring the boat loose. Eric had to do this several times before the boat came loose and started to float on the water. We quickly loaded up our boat and the Domaine Poutrincourt's freight canoe and we were off for our fishing adventure.


boat launch

We initially had reserved cabin 3 for this week. Andre told us that the previous guests at the cabin had poured bacon grease down the kitchen sink. As it turned out a black bear got a whiff of the scent and he came looking for a meal. The bear tore out wooden siding on the outside of the cabin as he tried to get to the sink. As Andre further explained, after the guests left Eric had spent couple nights at the cabin hoping to get rid of the nuisance bear. A bear that starts to destroy property and is close to people can be dangerous. Eric is a deputy game warden on the Domaine and this was the proper thing to do, since trapping this critter was impractical. The bear did not return the nights Eric spent there waiting for him. So Andre graciously offered us Cabin 4, which is right next door to Cabin 3, but is much larger. Cabin 4 can sleep 8 people while cabin 3 can sleep 4 (but not comfortably). Andre also said that some clients had cancelled their reservations and the bookings were not as they were in the past and that made Cabin 4 available for us for this week. We were extremely happy for this turn of events. For the next week we always kept the bear in back of our minds as we stayed at the cabin.

As soon as we unpacked and moved our stuff into the cabin we got the boat loaded up with fishing gear and we were off for fishing. We headed toward the Back Bay and the first thing we noticed was that the water was indeed low. We had to go very slowly through the buoy marked channel and we were seeing rocks everywhere. We caught couple of whitefish and a small pike, which we returned to the water. Not too much action here. We headed back to the cabin for a quick lunch then we headed to the Hotspot. There the action picked up a little. We each caught 3 to 4 walleyes. Today's totals (Friday 7/25) were 2 whitefish, 1 pike, 1 sucker and 10 walleyes. We kept 4 walleyes to eat. Friday evening around 8 PM heavy rain started. Overall for the first fishing day it was a good day on the lake.

Saturday (7/26) morning we went back to the Hotspot and caught 1 whitefish, 2 pike and seven walleyes. We kept the 2 pike and 2 walleyes. In the afternoon we decided to fish the Honey Hole up on the Normandin River. Again the water was much lower than last year's, we hit a few rocks on the way up above the Falls. Below the falls we came across a huge dead pike near the bank with a sea gull starting to feed on it - as the saying goes "nothing goes to waste in nature". Lamar and Walt each caught a decent size pike trolling at the Honey Hole and couple of walleyes. The fishing was pretty good. Note that we caught Bubba's kids today, but not Bubba at the Honey Hole. On the way back to the cabin we again hit an unseen rock and the propeller was damaged, but still functionable. Cas foresaw something like this happening and he bought a spare prop for this trip. We we got back to the cabin Cas backed up the boat onto the pole landing area in front of cabin 4. We tied the boat to a tree and Cas quickly and efficiently replaced the damaged prop with the new one. The operation went smoothly and within 10 minutes the boat was operational again. It took us longer to get the boat in position than it took Cas to change the prop. Note that a replacement prop for the 50-HP Mercury motor is about $150. We tied the boat up at the dock and it started to rain and it would rain all night.

Sunday (7/27) morning sat in cabin waiting for the rain to stop. There was one good lightning strike across the lake, which lit up the sky. At 9 AM we were still stuck at the cabin. It was 60-degrees F and we were in a storm. Clouds were coming in from the east. Lamar said that when he got up at 5:30 AM the temperature was 65-degrees.

Cas went out to the boat to check it out and found that the cleats were being loosened by the boat going up and down. Cas retied the boat to the boat seats. After another half hour Cas decided to move the boat away from the dock because the wind was howling across the lake and the waves were giving the boat a beating. Cas and Walt reparked the boat in the protective cove right at the mouth of the Normandin River not far from the cabin. We drive the boat into the cove and pushed the boat into weeds and tied it to a tree. We then had to wade some 6 feet through weeds towards shore. We then found the peat moss tundra trail back to the cabin. This was not the first time Cas had to do this. Several years prior he had a similar situation. It's nice to know the area and what to do in an emergency situation.

Being stuck at the cabin by the rain and high winds we decided it was a good time to do steaks on the grill. We also fired up the wood burning stove in the cabin. We grilled the streaks and had a great meal. Toward evening the wind died down and we decided to go out and do some fishing. We headed out to the big island in front of the cabin and to our surprise the wind was still blowing and it was rougher than we expected. We did some trolling for 30 minutes and caught a nice pike and a baby walleye. We kept the pike and threw the walleye back in. Eric came by to check up on us and after seeing that we were drenched to the skin and fishing decided that we were OK. Tried some jigging, but the wind. rain and big waves were not conductive to fishing and we decided to head back to the cabin. Immediately we hit a rock in what normally would be in 4-feet of water. The fish finder was registering 4' - 3' - 2' -3' - 4' - 5'. The waves were picking us up and down between the swells, Anyway we then slowly made our way away from the island into deeper water and headed back to the cabin. We parked the boat again in the protective cove for safety. Interestingly, we looked up the Normandin River and the river looked as peaceful as before we left. The trees were blocking the wind and the river looked quite calm and lovely. We got back to the cabin and started to dry out. Lamar got the fire in the stove working and Cas as always took care of filleting the pike. So this day, Sunday July 27 was a disaster with respect to fishing, for we caught only 2 fish, but not that bad because the steak supper took our minds off the weather for a short time and got us out for for adventurous boating. It should be noted that Cas was so exhausted that he took a power nap after the steak dinner and when he woke up he actually thought or saw 4 members of the Swedish Bikini Team parachuting into our camp and he was troubled that there were only 3 ... anyway a nice dream (no photos). Strange things can happen when you are in the deep woods and we have only been here for 3 days so far.


Cas


our cabin


Lamar


Monday, July 28. The day started out cloudy and no rain. Cas got the boat out of the protective cove and came around to pick us up. We ran out of our Pennsylvania night crawlers. We were fortunate to find a few containers of leftover nightcrawlers in the icehouse left by previous guests. We headed for the Normandin River in the morning. Fishing today was not that bad. We caught 10 walleyes and about 20 perch. After lunch we stayed in the river by the beaver lodge and continued to catch walleyes, perch and whitefish. We also caught 1 skinny pike and Lamar lost one "hell-of-a-pike" right at the boat. The pike bit off the line. Lamar did not have a steel leader this time. The most productive bait was definitely the worms/nightcrawlers.

Monday's was also a "fish dinner" where we fried about 6 walleyes on the grill on olive olive and seasoning. Very tasty fish. After dinner we went out again this time to the "Hotspot", the this year the "Hotspot" was not hot anymore. We returned to the river back to the beaver lodge and caught few more walleyes. The temperature at 9:00 PM was 57-degree F.

Monday night we noticed couple times movement in the cabin. We were not alone. After careful watching and listening we saw glimpses of mice running around the cabin. There was a mouse trap in the cabin and we stuffed some soft cheese into the mechanism. And in the morning, we had a dead mouse in the trap. For couple days we have noticed couple large garter snakes in the grass near the walkway near the pole ramp tree. So Walt thought this would be a nice way to recycle the mouse. The mouse was dropped off where the snakes were the previous day. While we were eating breakfast we heard the trap go off and we had mouse # 2. Again we took the mouse out to where the snakes hung out.


Lamar with a nice pike



Tuesday, July 29. After breakfast we headed out to the beaver lodge on the Normandin River. Again we started to catch lots of fish, walleyes, whitefish and perch. Fishing was comfortable. Cas anchored the boat and we jigged and threw out different lures and spoons with occasional strikes. We even saw the local resident, the beaver, swimming around his lodge. In order to get a scenery change Cas decided to get back to the "Hotspot", since we were 'told' by the fishing calendar that Monday through Thursday of this week were to be excellent fishing days. So off we went to the Hotspot. And this time the fishing was indeed better. We caught 9 walleyes and a few perch before we headed back to the cabin for lunch.

When we got back to the cabin we noticed that our mice were not where we left them in the morning, but instead one of the snakes was laying there with 2 noticeable lumps in the middle. The mice were in the process of being recycled. We had our lunch and again headed back to the Hotspot. Actually we went beyond the Hotspot as far as maybe 1/2 mile from cabin 6. Then Cas turned the boat around and started to troll back to the Hotspot. About 100 yards from our Hotspot, Lamar threw his favorite lure, the Mepps black and silver minnow, towards shore and he was lucky enough to hook up, land and release a nice 25-inch pike. Took photos and talked about last year's pike. This was a nice pike, but last year's were of course bigger, both longer by at least by 10" and also had some girth (they were 34 - 35"). Lamar was quite please that he caught a nice big pike again. Anyway, after trolling to the Hotspot we started to drift and jig. We didn't get any bits and Cas decided to go to the 45-foot hole, which was on the north side of the large island that was visible from our cabin. The lake at this time was calm as a mirror. There was another boat there and we kept our distance. Cas made several runs to find the 45' hole, but we were not sure that we found it. This was a little frustrating until a 'fish' showed up on the fishfinder. Cas stopped the motor and within seconds Lamar was able to hookup with what Walt called a "good trout sized" walleye. (around 13' or so). Lamar returned the walleye back into the lake.

Then things got pretty quiet again, so Cas started up the boat and continued to make sweeps until we 'spotted a fish' on the fishfinder, Cas stopped the boat and we started jigging again and again Lamar hooked up with a nice sized walleye. Now were stayed put because Cas was reading off the fishfinder "fish-after-fish" on the screen. So we stayed put. Now all of us started to catch walleyes. We caught 9 good sized walleyes from this spot. We had some good fishing at the end of this day as well as some good photography as well. The sun was going down way back over our cabin and we took some beautiful pictures. We finally decided that it was time to go back to the cabin and call it a good fishing day. Again Cas cleaned the caught fish, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and in the fading light Cas took out to dump the fish guts in the lake. The evening was just perfect with a beautiful sunset with the lake, islands and loons to make it a picture perfect memory (and some of it captured on film).

While sitting around the kitchen table at 10 PM we heard the mouse trap set - we got the 4th mouse. Took out the mouse to the snake area and reset the trap.

Note that we are continuing to use the wood stove for heat - It's warm and toasty in the cabin or is it the effect of Jack Daniel's or the Crown Royal.

Later on Tuesday evening we had some more excitement, the fifth mouse was caught and Cas and Walt had some fun trying to catch a bat that was flying around inside the cabin. We caught it and threw it outside where it belonged. What an exciting ending to a good fishing day, between mice, bear, fishing and bats - we wondered what will be next!


Wednesday morning, July 30th, we went out to the 45' Hole and caught 6 walleyes and couple pike. The we headed out to our old Hotspot and caught 19 walleyes. Wow, the fishing is pretty today. Came in at 3 PM for supper and had another fish dinner consisting of 6 walleyes and 1 pike in addition to grilled chicken breasts with the 'original' Jack Daniels No. 7 barbecue grilling sauce. This meal consisted of the pan fried fish and the chicken on the grill, grilled baked potatoes and onions wrapped in aluminum foil. Wow, what a meal. We certainly ate very well on this trip. It's funny how the weather changed while we were eating supper. In the morning and into the early afternoon the lake was just perfect and flat. After we came in around 3 PM and while we were preparing the food large Cumulus clouds rolled in and really churned up the lake. Cas again got worried about having the boat tied up at the dock. At this time we we docking and tying the boat on the starboard side, since we didn't want to further stress the cleats on the port side.

After supper at 5:30 PM we took off for fishing and from this point on we were fishing for fun. We had 3 freezer bags of 6 walleye fillets each and one bag of 4 fillets of pike. The lake again began to calm down and became smooth as a mirror. We hit the 45'Hole and we didn't see any fish on the fishfinder, so we headed to the Hotspot2 (100 yards from the Hotspot). Lamar immediately caught 2 walleyes, a puppy and a large keeper, but we already had our limits to take home and this beautiful fish was put back. We sat for another half hour without any nipples and Cas decided to go across the lake and for the first time silently troll using the electric trolling motor, to silently fish the coves where we had some action and lost a large pike. The is the area where we had to go to to escape the storm that blew up last year. That was an exciting trip in itself, because the main motor's propeller was fouled up with fishing line and we had to make it across on the 5 HP motor. (See last year's report on that traverse).

The big Pike


Walt with the "catch of a lifetime"
Pike measured 42", estimated weight 25 lbs.

As the story unfolds, we got to the other side and Cas started the electric motor we we started to throw our weedless lures toward the shore. We went through one small cove and started to fish into the larger cove. As we were taking turns throwing the lures toward shoe, Walt while waiting for the Cas and Lamar's turn to cast decided to throw his Johnson's Silver Minnow spoon into a clump of lilies and weeds about 30 yards on the other side of the boat. The spoon landed in the lilies and Walt started to reel in and immediately the drag started to work and he thought that the lure got hung up. Walt called out the he was stuck and continued to reel in with the drag engaged. The boat was still moving slowly and Cas and Lamar reeled in their lines and Cas took control of the boat to swing in around.

Walt's line was heavy with the drag still going out, which was consistent of being stuck on the bottom, but as we got closer we all saw something come out of the water. It looked like an alligator head and Cas yelled out 'that's a fish!" Walt continued to reel in as Cas continued to bring the boat closer to the fish. Then we all got a glimpse of the fish, it was a huge northern pike. It was in the water and not moving anywhere. As we got closer all of a sudden the line pulled up a clump of lilies with lots of visible mud in the water. By this time we were 5 to 10 yards from the pike. Cas steered the boat closer to the pike and Lamar was already waiting to scoop up the fish with the boat net. Finally Lamar got the pike into the net and with some effort brought the threshing pike into the boat.

What a monster of a fish. This was a huge trophy northern pike. We got all excited and Walt and Lamar got out the cameras and we started to record this "once-in-the-lifetime" catch - at least for Walt. We took photos while Cas first took the pike out of the net. Then Cas gave the trophy to Walt, so that photos of Walt with the trophy were taken. After photographing Cas placed the pike back in the water. The pike slowly started to work its gills and it some effort swam away. Wow! again. All this action took place in a very short time. It must have been less than a minute from the time the pike was hooked to the time he was in the net. It seemed much longer at that time. The pike managed to wrap himself around the clump of lily pads and got stuck there, not being able to move. He only managed to get his head out of the water couple of times, but that was no jumping or runs as one would expect from a large northern pike. Cas thinks that maybe the pike was forced into the mud as Walt tried to reel him in. This was because of the clump of water lilies and mud that we saw right before we netted the pike.

The pike measured 42" and had a good girth. We talked about the weight and our estimate was it had to be at least 25 lbs or heavier. It was much heavier than last year's pike. This was a group effort. Walt hooked the pike, Cas controlled the boat and Lamar netted it. Cas then took the pike out of the net, we took the photos, and finally Cas released it back into the lake. That was some excitement. We're told that this does not happen often. This was a catch of a lifetime for Walt. (Thanks Cas and Lamar for giving me this great fishing opportunity - Walt). During the moment of excitement we forgot to take photos of Lamar with this trophy (our apologies Lamar - Cas and Walt). We then headed back to camp with the excitement still in the air. This excitement continued into the evening with congratulatory celebrations over Jack Daniels and Crown Royal.


Thursday July 31 our last fishing day. Overnight we caught the 7th mouse, which we placed in the grass. Toward evening there were no visible signs of mice or of snakes in the area, so the assumption is that the snake ate them. As usual we left the camp at 6:30 in the morning and fished the Hotspot (caught 10 walleyes, 2 perch and a small pike, all released). Later we boated over to the beaver's lodge at near the mouth of the Normandin River. There we caught several more perch and a walleye. Later in the evening we sat around the table, talked fishing and about the past and future trips we had in mind. The following day we would be going home and we started to tidy up, pack our stuff and clean the cabin. This was a pleasant cabin to stay at. Walt especially, enjoyed the stay at the cabin, since it was still a dream of his to have a cabin in similar circumstances to enjoy the outdoor experience and adventure.


Cas' final walleye


Friday July 31 - final day. Eric showed up with Domaine Poutrincourt's freight canoe at 7 AM. We loaded up our boat as well as the freight canoe and made our way back to the basecamp. We unloaded our boat and the canoe, and got the truck and trailer ready for the boat. Eric noticed that the left trailer tire was damaged and one of Eric's men helped to replace it with a spare that Cas had attached to the boat trailer. With the trailer tire replaced the control of loading the boat was given over to Eric. Since the lake was low Eric had his men soap up the supporting skids on the trailer with liquid soap and Eric then piloted the boat onto the trailer. Once aligned and with the bow supported Eric tied the cable to the bow and winched up the boat easily to its proper position. We gave the fish tally to Andre and we were off for home. The first stop would be Mike's in Saint-Felicien. There we had an enjoyable Canadienne breakfast that was out of this world. Then we were off on the long trip home. We finally made it to Cas' house early Saturday morning after driving 18 hours with 2 stops for meals and 875 miles.

What a nice fishing adventure we had this year.



sunset



trout


Domaine Poutrincout Pourvoire - Outfitter
Andre Cauchon - the father
Eric Cauchon - son
C.P. 60
La Dore, Quebec,
Canada G8J 1Y4

1-800 561-2296
www.poutrincourt.qc.ca
Link to Domaine Poutrincourt


Slot limits on Lac Poutrincourt for walleyes and pike:

Walleye - can keep between 12 to 18-inches, undersize and oversize throw back into lake.
Northern Pike - can keep between 18 to 28 inches, otherwise return to lake

Some statistics for this trip:

Distance traveled from Cas' house in Shamokin to the Main Camp Lac Poutrincourt is 875 miles.


This trip would be Cas' 13th time to Lac Poutrincourt, Lamar's 9th and Walt's second.
It was nice to be back. We all felt comfortable and at home on this lake.


Per Cas with regard to color of lures for fishing for walleyes on this lake:
"when dark and cloudy use dark lures, when clear and sunny use bright",
however spunky nightcrawlers always provide god action.


The fishing spots in this report have been named by us and can be referred from
our last year's Trip report


Numbers of Fish Caught, Released and Consumed
pike walleye other Day's total
arrive Friday July 25, 2003 1 10 2 whitefish, 1 sucker 14
Saturday 3 9 1 whitefish 13
Sunday, storm 1 1 - 2
Monday 1 20 20 whitefish, 21 perch 62
Tuesday 3 13 3 whitefish, 18 perch 37
Wednesday 1 25 - 26
Thursday 2 39 1 perch 42
Friday Aug 2, return home ----- ------- ------ -------
Totals 12 117 26 whitefish, 40 perch, 1 sucker 196
Pike and Walleye consumed
pike walleye
ate at the lake 2 20
took home 4 18
----- ---- ----
Totals 6 38


Cameras used:
Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 35 mm film camera.and Olympus D400 digital camera (1 Mp)
Film: Kodak Kodacolor ASA 200 print film and Fujicolor ASA 200 color print film


photos and trip report by Walter Kononenko
September 15, 2003
email Walt Kononenko

This report is located at http://dept.physics.upenn.edu/~wk/LacPoutrincourt2003.html