Angelo and I have been fortunate to be able to assist various fundraisers hoping to raise monies for good causes. In this case The Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.kellyshiresfoundation.org/ was auctioning off a day on the water with Fish’n Canada at their annual snowmobile run. The man who spearheaded our (Fish’n Canada) portion of the auction was our good buddy Jack Summers from Radioworld http://www.radioworld.ca/ . Jack is one of the hardest workers we know at not only his own business but with organizations like Kelly Shires.
Brendan McMahon of Cliffords Haulage http://www.cliffordshaulage.ca/index.html put in the highest bid during the Snow Run and was eager to get out and catch “Lakers” which he referred to as his favourite fish. Unfortunately due to his and our crazy schedules, Brendan making it on our boat was next to impossible.
Talk about a guy that is all about “giving”, not only did Brendan make the highest bid for the package which was a phenomenal amount by the way, but he then donated the day on the water as a retirement gift to one of his employees, Bob Angliss. To me, this is the ultimate in generosity, good on you Brendan.
Now Bob, there’s a character. He loves hunting and fishing, and prefers Walleye over anything else that swims. He’s a man of few words but the words he does blurt out, are usually hilarious. Reminds me a lot of my dad; full of old school sayings that can’t be repeated anywhere but on the boat or in the hunt camp.
I told Bob about the late fall Walleye fishery that the Bay of Quinte has to offer and he said “call me after deer and moose huntin”…” I said “perfect”!
On November 26th, we were heading to the Picton Harbour.
On the evening of the 25th I was telling my buddy Sean Gleeson what I was up to and he said “you need a boat driver”?
“That would be awesome” I replied. When trolling big waters like Quinte with in-line planer boards it helps to have someone on the wheel while someone else tends to the boards and baits. If you hit the wind wrong, everything could be tangled in seconds. Add a couple of drift socks off the side cleats of the Princecraft 200 Expedition and control is that much more critical. For Sean it’s a great learning process as well since he’s never fished for these cold water Walleye.
Things worked out well with Sean aboard leaving Bob to simply reel em’ in!
I stayed in touch with one of the best local Quinte guides Joe Pickstock of http://www.pbandjcharters.com/ in order to keep updated on ice conditions (launches still not frozen) and what the fish are doing. He informed me that Picton Harbour had froze in but it might be usable by the morning. He also said to use Reefrunners as baits. Info like this is priceless!
Ends up Picton was open and usable, Joe threw me a couple of Reef’s in his favourite colours and we were off.
Lets preceed the fishing with Bob’s biggest Walleye to date, about a 4 pounder. It’s a nice fish on Rice Lake where Bob spends most of his leisure time but on Quinte in the Fall, it’s not a hard number to surpass so long as the fish are biting.
It didn’t take long for us to hook into Bob’s first Walleye. Although we didn’t weigh it, Bob knew it was his biggest to date. Quick pic and quick release (Bob didn’t want to keep any big fish which is very commendable). I contacted Joe to inform him where we were and what the fish bit on and he just lost one minutes ago as well so we knew the fish were somewhat active in the area. 28 – 32 feet deep seemed to be the ticket.
About half an hour later and the board started to bounce back again. I gave Bob the rod again and a new battle ensued. Although the fish wasn’t pulling much harder than his first one, the thing about Quinte in the cold water, sometimes the big sow females don’t show their true colours in strength. As the fish approached the back of the boat near the surface, Sean and Bob both said it didn’t look too big. I said “you may be surprised boys… you usually can’t tell until it’s right beside the motor” and with saying that I scooped up Bob’s fish… a 12.25! What a monster and something that Bob or Sean have never seen before… jaw dropping for sure.
Couple of quick photo’s and it was head first back in the bay!
With the boys now pretty much freaked out at the size of the fish Bob next boats an 11+! Awesome fish again.
Next hookup and Bob tells Sean to reel it in because “I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna’ beat that 12 pounder today”
I grabbed the wheel of the boat and Sean brought in another great fish just under 10lbs.
Another bite and Bob again graciously declines; Sean boats another beauty.
We were now on our last pass, things had slowed down and for some reason I said “come’on… lets see a 15…” and no sooner did those words come out of my mouth, our outside board on the port side was ripping back so hard that I couldn’t even get the rod out of the holder! Then, as fate would have it, the board thrust forward, the rod unbuckled and the fish was gone. Was it a Pike, a hard fighting male Walleye or that elusive 15+ sow that I’ve been waiting for all my life? No one will ever know!
Quinte you still rock!
Things to remember for Fall Quinte Walleye:
Trolling Speed… use your GPS and find the right number… usually between 1.5 & 2.5 mph when trolling Crankbaits
Mark your hookups on a GPS and circle back. Certain areas will have active biting fish
Don’t just watch the rod tips, keep an eagle eye out on the boards
Change trolling speeds every now and then, Walleye follow
Drift Socks or Drift Paddles http://radioworld.ca/accessories-c-3_419.html?filter_id=238 (on Power Poles) to help slow down big motors
Rod Holders, Reef Runner 800’s, Cotton Cordell’s, Matsuo’s, Manns, Rapala’s all deep divers in shad and bright colours, a BIG net with a long handle, Long nosed pliers, Braided line (works very well for setting hooks in the rod holders) most available at SAIL http://www.sail.ca/en/home/
A Coleman Black Cat heater… warm hands work better, great under a console
Brendan at Cliffords Haulage
Jack at Radioworld
The Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation
Joe of PB & J Charters
Bob Angliss for the entertainment and great company
Sean Gleeson for his Boat Captain skills
The Walleye Gods for producing those grotesque gorgeous fat female SOWS