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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
|arrive Friday July 25, 2003||1||10||2 whitefish, 1 sucker||14|
|Monday||1||20||20 whitefish, 21 perch||62|
|Tuesday||3||13||3 whitefish, 18 perch||37|
|Friday Aug 2, return home||-----||-------||------||-------|
|Totals||12||117||26 whitefish, 40 perch, 1 sucker||196|
|ate at the lake||2||20|
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
This report is located at http://dept.physics.upenn.edu/~wk/LacPoutrincourt2003.html