S: Fishing Journal - 2009/2010
FC: Fishing Journal Manotak Lodge - Ontario, Canada 2009 - 2010
1: May 29 - June 7, 2009
2: Friday, May 29 We left home at 8:00 a.m. Saw a black bear along the highway near Chippewa Falls on Highway 29. It was 11:00 in the morning! Arrived in Orr, Minnesota at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30 Left Orr at 6:57 a.m. Saw an eagle on the side of the road not longer after leaving Orr. Arrived at Manotak Lodge at 1:11 p.m., too early to check-in so we went to Dutchies! Went out fishing in the evening just outside Jackfish but didn't catch anything. Sunday, May 31 Fishing for the day included one walleye on the blue x-rap and one very small northern.
3: Monday, June 1 Today was an interesting day of fishing. We fished Jackfish in the morning (0) and the big wall at Hatfield (1 perch, 1 whitefish). In the afternoon, we fished near Drum Island where John caught 2 northern (you guessed it - the blue x-rap). We decided to head to Ord River even though we usually fish there in the morning. Between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m., we caught 7 walleye (6 keepers). There was not another boat in sight - we had the whole river to ourselves!
4: Tuesday, June 2 We started out cool this morning with a cabin temperature of 47 degrees (new record). We headed to Jackfish where John caught this sweet 17-1/2 inch bass as well as two northern. In the afternoon, we went to Ear Falls to look for something snacky. We saw a huge moose on the way home - BIG! We fished from 4:00 - 5:00 at Ord River and picked up 3 walleyes and a nice log (minnows).
5: Wednesday, June 3 We fished Jackfish (0) and Drum Island where John caught 2 northern on his blue x-rap. We went chub fishing in the afternoon and caught a 23" and 27" northern.
6: Thursday, June 4 Fished Ord River in the morning and were rewarded with 5 walleye (one 20"). Quite a ride coming back - 3 footers - Yikes! Afternoon fishing: 3 perch, 2 northern (one 28" for my buddy, John) | Friday, June 5 Cold, rain, wind but 2 perch and 2 northern. Saturday, June 6 Heading home! Left at 7:00 a.m., arrived home at 8:45 p.m. Rain all the way home. Saw 3 deer, 1 moose, 1 fox and 1 coyote! What a week!
7: July 31 - August 8, 2009
8: Friday, July 31 Left home at 8:12 a.m. - sunny, beautiful day to travel! We arrived in Orr at 4:12 p.m. Saturday, August 1 Left Orr at 7:13 a.m. - cloudy, windy. Arrived at the border at 8:15 a.m. and reached the checkpoint at 9:35 a.m. We arrived at Manotak at 1:50 p.m. to find that Mike has broken his ankle and was no longer at the lodge. He had been replaced by Earl! Sunday, August 2 Mostly sunny day with a morning temperature of 48 degrees. Warmed up to high 60's. Fishing was slow all day. We had lunch with Davis and Diane at our picnic table. They brought us pecans, peanuts and peaches! After a supper of grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, we fished at Big Manotak for about 10 minutes. John suggested the sandbar so we headed there. Good thing he did! Walleye started biting about 7:45 p.m. in 25-28 feet of water in line with the tower and the point of Hatfield. John was in the zone and was "one" with the walleye. Caught 8 walleye (lost 1 bass) and headed back to camp at 8:25 p.m. I don't think Mary caught any!
9: Cabin 12 Our home away from home!
10: Monday, August 3 Cloudy, Drizzle and 50 degrees. We slept in until 7:30 after our big night catching walleyes! There was moderate to heavy rain by noon. Fished Whale Rock (0) and Camp Island (2 walleye, 3 perch). Rained most of the day. Evening fishing was windy and choppy. Fished Dave's Point and Hatfield Island. John caught a 16-3/4" walleye. | Tuesday, August 4 Very windy! Caught 1 walleye and 1 bass in the morning. Had lunch with Davis & Diane at Hatfield. Rain showers in afternoon and evening - some heavy. Evening fishing - very windy but caught 1 bass at Manotak Island and 1 walleye at the sandbar. | Wednesday, August 5 Cloudy - 52 degrees Fished Sucker Island (0); shosreline along Snake Pit (0); Hopeless Bay (2 beautiful walleye in 15-20 ft.). Connie caught one of the walleye while using the Little Jane! Mix of sun and clouds and rain showers for most of the day until a thunderstorm chased us off the lake. Called Davis & Diane to warn them but were not able to touch base. They came the long way around Manotak to find us and went right into the storm. Close call to be sure!
11: Thursday, August 6 The skies finally cleared and became mostly sunny. Beautiful day - we were able to take off our rain suits. Fished Hopeless Bay (0); Camp Island (0); Dunes (0); cove past Whale Rock (1 bass); Bill's Point (1 small northern). We had lunch with Davis & Diane in the cove in the Whale Rock narrows. Not sure what took Connie's line but it would have been nice to find out. Knot let loose. Davis caught a 24", 6 lbs. walleye later in the day.
12: Friday, August 7 Mostly sunny and 50 degrees. We fished Hopeless Bay (1 walleye); Dave's point (0); the wall (0); Drum Island (2 bass, 1 large pike follow). Connie caught her first fish by casting - I think she's hooked! Clouds rolled in, breezy. It was 74 degrees at 1:30 p.m. - we began packing up. | Saturday, August 8 Left Fish Camp at 6:22 a.m.; arrived at the border crossing line at 10:33 a.m. Crossed through the border at 11:31 a.m. We ate supper at the A&W in Stanley (home of Evan Anderson). It was a cold, rainy, windy week and the fishing was a bit slim! However, I cannot imagine a better vacation than fishing with my best buddy!
13: May 28 - June 4, 2010
15: Friday, May 28 We left home at 8:22 am with a starting mileage of 28727.0. The weather was sunny, beautiful with a temperature of 66 degrees. Our ETA in Orr, Minnesota was 10:02 pm! The corn looks to be about 4-5 inches due to a warm and sunny spring. We stopped for a picnic lunch (ham & cheese sandwiches, fruit, yogurt) at Bloomer's at 11:35 am. Our ETA was getting better - now 7:36 p.m. We passed through Superior, WI at 2:00 pm where the temperature was 60 degrees and continued on through Duluth. The traffic signals were in our favor and I believe that is the quickest we have ever driven through Duluth! That place is always under construction! We arrived in Orr at 4:15 pm after logging 435.1 miles with a drive time of 7 hours, 12 minutes. Mileage was 29161.8. We ate supper at the Gateway Inn dining room. Since we could not decide what to have we shared a hamburger, chicken strips and fries. I also had a house salad.
16: Saturday, May 29 We left Orr at 6:15 am to see if we could get a jump at the border crossing. It was sunny and 52 degrees. Jim's is 25 miles from Orr. Our ETA was 1:55 pm. We arrived at the border at 7:26 am to find that the line was quite long. However, all four stations were open so we moved through quite quickly passing through at 8:11 am. Our ETA was now 2:25 pm. | We had a picnic lunch at Vermillion Bay in the parking lot during a thunderstorm and pouring rain. It was quite nice! Arrived a bit early at Manotak Lodge (1:05 pm) so, of course, we headed to Dutchie's. Total driving time for the trip was 13 hours, 7 minutes. Our trip mileage was 693.5. Our supper consisted of grilled burgers and deli salad. We headed out fishing at 5:45 pm to Hatfield Island. John caught a 27" northern on a purple/ white flash rap. It was cloudy, windy with three foot rollers on the way back to camp. We shopped at "Linda's" and each bought a raincoat. John also bought a cap. Cabin 10 was our home this week.
17: Sunday, May 30 It was a cloudy, windy day with occasional showers throughout the day. The high temperature was 70 degrees with a low of 46 degrees. A few boats headed out but it was pretty rough! John had blueberry pancakes for breakfast and I was scheduled to have scrambled eggs but the power went out just as soon as I poured the eggs in the fry pan! The power was out for a couple of hours but the toilets worked so no harm done. Phil & Mickie arrived at 9:30 am. They started out late on Saturday due to a meeting they scheduled since they had the wrong week for fishing written on their calendar! They stayed in Dryden on Saturday night and drove up to Manotak on Sunday morning. They said the weather in Dryden was sunny and were surprised at how crummy the weather was at Manotak. For lunch, John and I had sandwiches, fruit and yogurt. We spent the entire afternoon playing Dominoes with Phil & Mickie. It was really a riot since John and I were just learning the game and didn't quite have the strategy figure out. We played from 2:00 until about 5:00! We noticed that the wind had finally died down so we all decided to grab a quick supper and head out fishing. We had "real quick" chili and hit the water! John caught a 29" northern on a chub: Connie caught a 25" and 23" northern - all outside Jackfish. We came in and warmed up with hot cocoa (delicious) and triple popcorn!
18: Monday, May 31 Beautiful morning - sunshine splashed the cabin, no wind with a temperature of 44 degrees. We headed to Ord River and did a good job of catching walleyes (7). John landed a 19-1/2 incher and caught two of the walleyes on a blue x-rap. Connie caught two itty, bitty perch. All of the walleyes were "good eaters" between 15-17 inches, They were really beautiful fish! Afternoon fishing took us to Hatfield Island (1 walleye) and Jackfish to fish with chubs. Connie caught a 33-1/2 inch northern and John landed a 30 incher. This could be our best fishing day ever! I love our new minnow net!
19: Tuesday, June 1 Today started out mostly cloudy, however, it became mostly sunny late morning. We caught 5 walleyes and one perch at Ord River. We headed to Jackfish and caught 1 walleye and 1 bass, then back to the cabin for lunch. Afternoon fishing took us back to Jackfish for a bit of "chub" fishing. John caught a 30" northern and Connie caught three northerns - 25, 26 and 29 inches. The afternoon turned partly sunny with occasional showers. Evening fishing was successful as well, Connie caught a 25" and 31-1/2" northern. It was a beautiful evening!
20: Wednesday, June 2 Today, we head to the walk-in lake with Phil & Mickie! We met with Dave at 8:00 am to get the "skinny" on what we could expect for the day. The day is sunny and the temperature is 50 degrees as the four of us head over to Ord Bay in Phil & Mickie's boat. Mickie is the captain of the ship as we begin this adventure. We are looking for two red ribbons that mark the beginning of the trail. We will pull the boat up on the shore and out of the water as far as possible. We have our knee boots on since we will need to get in the water to pull the boat up.
21: We start walking the moose trail at 9:00 am. The trail was extremely muddy (just as Dave said it would be) with thick, gooey, boot-sucking mud! The mosquitoes made themselves known as well. We hiked for 1 hour (scared up a moose) before coming to a clearing. Before us was a beautiful, isolated lake! The scene was breathtaking - gorgeous! This is the epitome of being in the Canadian wilderness.
22: The boats we had to fish in were small and old but seaworthy! John fell off the bench trying to start our motor. He was afraid the handle of the motor would not make it through the day! We fished most of the day by the "stump" while Mickie & Phil fished by the "uprooted tree". We had a picnic lunch in the boat but John dropped his sandwich because he got a bite just as he was taking a bite! We didn't have much chance to take a break as the fish just kept biting. We admired how pretty the fish were - gold in color and bright - they were really something to see! | The four of us caught 138 walleyes in 5 hours! Not bad for a day's work! We also caught a 26" northern and one 12 inch perch. The day was full of sunshine and light winds. We left around 3:45 to start our walk back to the boat. We saw an incredibly, huge beaver dam in the woods. A picture would not do it justice. The wind had picked up in the afternoon on the big lake but the ride back to camp was not too choppy. What an incredible day! For supper, John had walleye, potato pancakes and baked beans. I had leftover chili. Neither of us won the fishing contest!
23: Thursday, June 3 Today, we were out on the water by 7:00 am which sets a new world's record for us! It was sunny, clear and 48 degrees. The lake was like glass so we headed over to Ord River. We caught 3 walleyes (lost a couple) and 1 perch. On to Jackfish but no luck. We headed back to camp for lunch and the temperature was 74 degrees. NIce day! | After lunch, we headed to Sucker Island (0) and then back to Ord River where all heck broke loose! We caught 3 walleyes and 3 perch. But then, John got hit by a 31 inch northern on his ultralight (Sensation 4 lb. test). He fought it like a trooper since there was nothing he could do but wait for the fish to tire. The northern "tail walked" twice! It was just amazing! | I don't think I have ever had so much fun watching someone land a fish! While he was working his catch, I caught a 24 inch northern which was the ugliest fish I have ever seen! Luckily, as I got him to the boat, he snapped my line - he was ugly! Today was an incredibly beautiful day - sunny, warm, fluffy clouds and fishing with my best buddy!
24: Friday, June 4 We are heading home due to thunderstorms and lots of rain! We left Manotak at 8:00 am with a starting mileage of 29484.2. Our ETA is 5:40 am! We decided to take the Dryden route for a change, however, we decided we really prefer the Sioux Narrows route. We arrived at the border at 12:00 noon and were through by 12:40 pm. We ate lunch at the Subway in International Falls and continued our trek home. We stopped for supper at Culver's in Rice Lake and arrived home at 9:54 pm. Our total trip drive time was 27 hours, 47 minutes. Our mileage for the trip home was 692.5 miles and our total trip mileage was 1455 miles. It is good to be sleeping in our own bed tonight. Can't wait until August!
25: July 30 - August 7, 2010
26: Friday, July 30 We left home at 8:22 am. The weather was great for traveling - sunny and 73 degrees. Our ETA on the GPS was 9:27 pm (458 miles). Our starting mileage was 32297. We called Davis & Diane at 9:30 am to find out "where in the world" they were. They were already 30 miles south of Duluth! We missed Highway 29 in Wausau (the GPS took us a different way and, since we were busy chatting, we didn't notice) so we took Highway 51N to Ironwood and then Highway 2W to Superior. It was a beautiful drive (two lane) so I'm happy we made the mistake! We stopped for our picnic lunch in the parking lot of the Bad River Casino east of Ashland. I think that's the closest we have ever been to a casino (wait, we went to the casino gas station in Watersmeet). We visited the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. It was really interesting. They had a Great Lakes rock puzzle in the gift shop but it seemed a bit expensive. I will do a search on the internet to see if I can find it for less. I also want to do a search on the Apostle Islands and see what they have to offer. We passed through Superior/Duluth at 3:00 pm in light rain and a temperature of 68 degrees. We arrived in Orr at 5:15 pm with mileage of 432.9 for the day. Diane called this evening so we chatted with her a bit. They are already in International Falls.
27: Saturday, July 31 We left Orr at 6:49 am The weather was foggy and 64 degrees. Our ETA in Manotak was 2:48 pm. We stopped at Jim's for breakfast (milk, snack bar). We arrived at the border at 7:55 am. We drove right across the bridge to the train tracks underneath the electronic sign - now we wait at a dead stop for about 5 minutes. However, the line starts moving and at 8:12 am we are out of there!! Our ETA is now 2:28 pm. We stopped at Cloverleaf Grocery in Emo. Great store with good produce, bakery, deli and a much needed bathroom! We saw a yellow lab puppy trotting down the side of the road this morning as pleased as could be that he was out and about. He suddenly stopped and I think he realized that he was lost! I would like to have scooped him up and brought him home. But the bird in the middle of the road was the best! John was driving along and this bird (grouse?) was standing in the middle of the road. We assumed the bird would fly away or move as we approached. Not so! We drove right over him and, we we looked in the mirrors, he was still standing in the middle of the road! It was hysterical! We arrived in Vermillion Bay at 12:27 pm with an ETA of 1:48 (Sneak was very happy)! Once again, we blew right past Buster's Barbecue (Sneak was not happy). It was sunny and 75 degrees so we ate our picnic lunch in the parking lot and smiled a lot as we knew we had only 40 miles left to go! At 1:01 pm, we made the turn north to head to Manotak. We arrived at 1:42 pm - it was partly cloudy and 78 degrees. Davis & Diane had already arrived so we stopped to see them before we unpacked. Just before suppertime, Davis & Diane stopped by our cabin bringing all sorts of goodies - pecans, peanuts, an Alabama magnet and my new, custom made fishing pole! What a wonderful surprise. They are really special friends. We had a supper of grilled hamburgers and mac & cheese. The evening was now cloudy with light showers but we headed out to the sandbar where we caught 3 walleyes between 8:45 and 9:05 pm.
28: Sunday, August 1 We were up at 6:45 am and fishing by 8:15 am. The weather was sunny and 60 degrees. We caught one bass at Hopeless Bay and then headed to the cove near Whale Rock. We caught 3 bass (one at 15-1/2 inches and one at 13 inches) on a blue beetle spinner and blue ratt'l trap; 1 perch and 3 walleyes (in five minutes). | After lunch, we headed to Big Manotak and caught 2 bass and 1 walleye (18-1/2 inches). We lost 5 bass! Davis & Diane caught up with us so we visited with them a bit. It was a beautiful day becoming mostly sunny. We could see an incredible thunderstorm in the distance - probably at Ear Falls. After supper, we fished Big Manotak and the sand bar but didn't catch anything.
29: Monday, August 2 We fished along Snakepit shoreline and caught 5 bass and 1 northern. Used the Christmas lights beetle spinner for 2 bass and the northern. We moved over to the coves near Whale Rock and caught two walleyes on beetle spinners. Davis & Diane met us in the coves for lunch. We did not catch anything after lunch. We headed back to camp at 3:45 due to thunder and lightening. What could we do? Off to Dutchie's for ice cream! Sneak was happy! After supper, we fished Big Manotak and caught 3 walleyes (16-3/4 & 17-1/2 inches) and 2 bass. There was a very powerful thunderstorm during the night! Very powerful!
30: Tuesday, August 3 Sunny to partly sunny all day, warm (79 degrees)! Headed to Camp Island to begin our fishing day. The wind picked up so we decided to try Hatfield Island. Nice day of fishing - 8 bass (two 14 inch) and 3 walleyes (16-1/2 and 18-1/4). After supper, we fished Big Manotak. What a beautiful evening for fishing! No walleye but three nice bass (15 inch).
31: Wednesday, August 4 We tried Sucker Island this morning but had only1walleye to show for it. The day was cloudy but 72 degrees. We worked our way into Grassy Bay. John had a very nice northern follow his lure right up to the boat! He didn't see the fish so pulled his lure up, however, as John's lure came out of the water the northern decided to grab my jig! Unbelievable! Of course, he kept going with my jig so that's the last we saw of him. We continued on to Hatfield Island but we did not catch a single fish!! | Thursday, August 5 Today is very windy, partly sunny with a high of 64 degrees. We started out at Hatfield Island due to the wind. A very large northern followed John's lure to the boat but would not take the bait (so to speak). We decided to try our luck at Big Manotak where we caught 6 bass. Fishing ended early today as we needed to get ready for Diane's birthday celebration. We are having dinner in the big lodge tonight! After a very enjoyable dinner of steak and shrimp, we headed out to Big Manotak and caught one bass.
32: Friday, August 6 Today is sunny and calm with a high temperature of 70. Our cabin temperature this morning was 52 degrees which was a bit chilly! Since it was 45 degrees outside, it wasn't much different than sleeping in a tent! We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast before heading out fishing. We need to hit most of our spots today since this will be our last day fishing for almost a year! We went to Hopeless Bay, the coves, Hatfield #1 and Hatfield #2 as well as Drum Island. The wind continued to pick up during the day so fishing was quite slow. The highlight of the day was having lunch with Davis and Diane. We really enjoy meeting them out on the lake for lunch when fishing permits. We won't see them for a year but we'll be in touch. (We did catch a 23" northern at Hatfield.) Today we settle up with Linda, pack up and start thinking about next year. We scheduled a two week trip next August! We will be arriving at Manotak Lodge on July 30, 2011!
33: Saturday, August 7 Today we woke up at 5:00 am to a clear and sunny day, great for traveling! We left the cabin at 6:05 am with a starting mileage of 33012.4 and an ETA of 3:32 am. Sneak is not happy! We arrived at the border at 10;05 am and finally cleared customs at 11:56 am. Lunch was a Subway in International Falls and supper was at Culver's in Rothschild. | We arrived home at 9:10 pm - tired but happy to be home! Our mileage for the day was 695.5 and 1410.8 for the entire trip. It's hard to believe that it will be almost a year before we return to Manotak but that time will pass quickly. In the meantime, we'll look through our journal and remember all the good times we had this year. So, until next year . . .