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Fushing White Lake Ontario-1
Posted by: Royal
Date: January 01, 2017 10:44PM
Fishing White Lake 1
One advantage of growing older is the fact that you have experienced many different things. Many that post here can attest to that. Someone will post something and it will bring back a memory that had been long lost, like the one about trying to cut the deers throat. Dumb but many of the things I have done have been dumb. I have sorta blocked out most but it just takes a little reminder to bring them back.

I am gonna do something a little bit different. I am going to post this under one header but am going to stick with things that I have experienced on my many fishing trips. Most of them will be Canadian trips but maybe I will have others. I will just do them as they come to me. I will just add them under this post to save room. I will get a little long winded at times but that is just me. I know no other way of telling some storys and encourage others to do the same. This is the place for long posts

I used to fish a lot. A lot like three or four times a week, from ice out till ice in. I used to ice fish but never took to it well.

What I thought I would do is post some of my memories of my Canadian fishing trips. I have mentioned them before but there have been so many and with so many people over the years that sometimes they get blurred a bit. It is somethimes hard to remember what lake or with who or what year something happened but as I think of them, I will just add them to this post.

I will tell them as best as I can remember but since I have made 20 trips into the bush and the first was in 1963 or 1964, some things get sorta confused like.

My first trip is pretty clear to me though. I am not saying that my brothers memory of it or my cousins memory of it might vary from mine but this is my story. They can do their own. Well Gary can as Bruce died last year.

As a young boy I always dreamed of fishing in Canada. Canada was a magic place in Field and Stream and Outdoor Life where the lakes were full of huge Pike and Walleye. The problem was that these lakes were not as accessable back then as they are now. There was no I-75 running the length of my state, Michigan straight through the Soo and into that magic land of Canada. Land of many dreams.

I lived in Keego Harbor and we had two daughters, Sherry and Carolyn. We had a small cottage like dump of 800 sq ft and not much in the way of money. I worked at Fisher Body's in Pontiac on production and there was not much money to spare. I neve, figured I would ever fish those lakes that I dreamed of but what the dreams are what makes life worth living.

I had a neighbor across the street, Orie Ellenwood, who lived to fish. I was about 24 or so and he was about 45, which made him an old man to me. He was an ice fisherman too and actually seemed to enjoy it.

Orie also went to Canada every spring to fish the Walleye run, which is right after ice out. He also made a fall trip. I would pump him every time I could about these trips and I never really knew if he was pulling my leg or not. I rememeber him telling me that he would have to weight his bait pretty heavily to get it down to the bottom fast or the dang pike would tear it up. He wanted Walleye and wanted big ones.

The lake he went to was White Lake, which is right on highway 17, north of Lake Superior. It is about 20 miles north of the little village of White River Ontario. I got a Ontario map and studied it, I found White River, followed the road north and there was White Lake! Man it was a big lake too. It was over 10 miles long and maybe 5 wide in places.

I started thinking about making a trip up there but with who. I usually fished alone but my cousin Bruce, who I joined the Marines with and went through boot camp with was a fisherman. We used to fish together quite a bit. My brother Gary was not a fisherman but when I started talking about making a trip he joined in too. I asked Bruce and he was interested too.

We didn't have much in the way of equiptment though. I had a boat, a 14 ft Starcraft Explorer with a 5 1/2 hp Evenrude on it. Not much of a motor for that lake but what the heck, it is what we had.

We had no camping gear to speak of, no tent and not much else. We sure didn't have much money to buy any either.

We started making plans, like we really had a clue what it would take. Fishing gear I had. At least fishing gear for bass. None of us knew diddly about fishing Pike or Walleye though but if they were as thick as the books said and Orie said, we could just dip them out of the dang lake. Orie did tell us that we should get Rapallas though. They were fairly new back then and Monkey Wards had them on sale for 80 cents each!! For some reason I remember that. I liked Rapallas as I had had great success with them for pike on Van Etten Lake near Oscoda, in the past.

We all three stocked up on Rapallas, maybe 10 each and leaders. We were not gonna be using live bait because it was too hard to keep or even get up there. We had no clue what we were getting ourselves into really.

We really had plenty of time to plan this trip as we had started thinking about it in the winter and our time off was not until September. I borrowed a tent from a friend at work, not one of these modern tents but one made of heavy canvas and there was no screen for it either. Heck, was a screen really necessary? Black flys were only there in the spring anyway. Skeeters could not be all that bad, could they?

Gary had to buy all new fishing gear, as I rememeber it. He was not married and could get away with that. We amassed a huge pile of gear on my garage floor, over the ensuing months, trying to think of everything.If we forgot anything, we were screwed. We had no idea where we would be camping, Orie suggested one of the many islands because Bear could be a problem. That was a real danger, but what did we know?

Bruce was a year older than I and Gary two years younger. Bruce was a computer tech and he started with IBM in 1960 when we got out of the Marines. He and I were about as much different as a dog and a popcycle stick. He was very bright and was the type of guy that enjoyed problems. He would dig into a problem and chew on that sucker until he bested it and he usually did. Then he lost his interest. Take golf as an example. He had a bad ticker and had his first heart attack at the age of about 26. The doc told him to take up golf for the exercise. He was a short little runt, legs about as long as a turtle and he walked like a bloody duck which our DI was quick to bring to his attention, but that is another story.

Bruce took up golf and studyed it like it was a problem to be solved. He practiced at the range and golfed. In those years I rarely saw him I had little interest in Pasture Pool. The little sucker played golf until he was a one handycap and quit. Lost his interest. He got into astronomy. This was many years ago. He wanted to photograph the planets and stars but to do this he had to have a tracking system because the planets are constantly moving and the photos were timelaps shots. Did he buy a system? No. The goofy sucker went to a junk electronics store and bought a bunch of servo's and other magic junk and designed his own. It took a while but it worked great.

He wanted a computer program to these photos but there was none at the time so he designed his own program and ended up selling a bunch on the web. He learned programming to do this. The guy was friggin nuts but he and I got g just fine. For some reason he always called me a "Rat Bastud" He did for years Heck I could go on and on about the goofy sucker but this is about our first Canadian fishing trip. I figure you ought to know the people involved. I can see this is gonna be a long sucker but I don't know any other way to tell a story. Bruce and I were different but we could be together and always be able to finish the others sentences. It was wierd, like we could read each others minds.

I had two brothers Gary and Skip. None of us are much alike in any way. I never had much ot do with Skip as I did not believe in his life choices and Gary and I never had much in common either. He was into motorcycles, I think he has four but he has always been single, except for a couple marriges that lasted a year or so. He was always able to do as he chose. Gary always had a sensible way about him. He wants something he will study it and know all about it before he buys. Me? I buy it and then think about it. That is why I have a house full of THINGS! I never had any sense. Gary and I always got along, as adults but never did much together. Gary joined the Marines after I got out. Like me, he worked at GM as an electrician and is about to retire.

Well back to the story.

Like I said, none of us knew what to expect on a Canadian fishing trip other than lots of fish without having to work for them. Right? That is how Field and Stream discribed it but of course those guys flew into the great lakes like Great Slave Lake and we were going to White Lake. Now White Lake was not a great name for a Canadian lake like Lake Nimigosinda or Lake Gopukeyourgutsout or some exositic named lake like that but we did not care because Orie said there was great fishing in this lake! To a young kid like me Orie was a hero because he was "THE MAN" He had fished in Canada and I knew nobody else that had back then.

That summer the only thing I could think about was the great fishing we were gonna have in Canada. We slowly assembled our gear on my garage floor. Tent, cooler, Colman stove, fishing gear-enough for ten men, Boat and motor, extra gas cans as there we had to take plenty back on the lake because it would be a long way to get more. It would take time too and our time was gonna be used hauling in huge Pike and Walleye. I prefered the Pike because they were bigger. I heard of a 12 lb walleye coming out of White Lake though and the largest any of us caught-not our first year, was a 9 pounder my buddy Jay- of the Lorenze Lake story caught.

We read everything we could find about Pike and Walleye fishing. I drove Orie nuts about where to go and how to fish. He told us he only fished Walleye and did all his fishing in the Shabodic River, which flowed into the lake at the north end. That was a bloody long way from the launch site but we would check it out. He said a lot of people fish down there and I prefered to fish away from others. It is funny but I never saw the Shebodic river until my sixth trip to the lake.

Well the great day came and we had the boat loaded and all our gear was jammed in it, covered with canvas. That boat was loaded!! I didn't know where the heck we were gonna set but we would worry about that 620 miles north of where we were now.

That poor old Nash Rambler I had could hardly pull that load but it did. I always timmed my departure from my home at a time so that we would arrive at the Soo at dawn. I wanted to be able to see the country. And what beautiful country it is.

We would take I-75 north and it ends at the Soo. We would cross the bridge, which is the border and then head north on Highway 17, which follows the norther shore of Lake Superior. What a wonderful drive. The road sucked back then because it was before they rebuilt it. I think they started rebuilding, they rerouted it too, in about 1967 or 68, I am not sure but the original road really sucked. That had to be the crookedist dang road in existance because it twisted around and between every dang little pond and lake on the north shore! They were just beautiful though and we wanted to stop and fish ever dang one of them and there were at least 50 of the things. The country is extremely rough though, all what we would call mountains in Michigan and rock! I saw telephone poles that were set in holes drilled in the dang bedrock! After we got out of the Soo a ways there were not even any telephone poles and the next town was Wawa! That was a long way north of where we were!

There were places that we were high above Lake Superior and we could see probably a hundred miles out and there was not a boat to be seen. None! There were places that the bluffs came out of the lake an went up hundreds of feet. We were watching every dang little lake and pond for Moose and we saw some along the road north of Wawa. We were all in hog heaven and the excitement kept three tired guys awake. The new road was straightened quite a bit and some of the small ponds were just filled in. The old road just went around them. There are parts of the old road still in existance but not much. That road was rough too!! It was like taking a dang tow track through the Michigan northland. I remember telling Bruce that it looked like the road crew just took trucks of tar and dumped them on the hills and let it be road.

Some of the hills were really something too. There is one hill, south of Wawa and runs along the big lake that is 5 miles long! I was going up that thing with my Rambler, towing all our gear and kept going slower and slower. By the time we topped out my gas pedal was on the dang floor.

We stopped at Wawa for gas. Only place to get it. It was and is a small town on a beautiful lake, Wawa Lake. Wawa is the place I wrote about where my buddy was in a bar having a burger and a beer and an Indian got mouthy with a Mounty anthed the Mounty just shot him. Another time and another story.

We gased up and headed north toward the little town of White River and then on to White Lake. We were really getting fired up and seeing all the lakes stoked the fires.

I have to tell you that in the hundreds of miles we traveled north of the Soo we saw only a couple houses back then. There was nothing for miles and miles. Not a telephone pole or a gas station. It is a bit different now but not back then. There is not much now but at least if you got in trouble there would be a chance of help. Mary and I took the drive around Lake Superior a couple years ago and it is much more civilized now days.

We finally arrived at White River and it was not much. We had to stop to buy our fishing licensed and call home to let our familys know we had made it. I saw a pay phone and walked over to the booth. It was a dang Crank Phone!! In a phone booth. I didn't know how the hell to use a crank phone but figured I could not go wrong by cranking it! I picked up the reciever and stuck it to my ear and cranked the sucker. An operator came on and I gave her the phone number and she took care of the rest.

I can not remember what time we got to the lake, it must have been around eleven in the morning, maybe a little earlier, I am just guessing but there was gonna be plenty of time to find a camping site. It did not get dark until after 10pm up there.

We were not gonna camp at a campsite. There were none. We were gonna launch the boat and head north. That is what Orie said to do. We had a map of the lake and he said we could camp anywhere we wanted. There were absolutely no homes on the lake or roads anywhere near it other than highway 17 that we were on. We could camp anywhere at all. Heck that was easy enough.

We finally got to the lake and crossed the bridge at the narrows. The boat launch was just across the bridge and to the right. We pulled off the road and drove to the launch. There were maybe a dozen cars there, most from Michigan we noticed. I swung the car around and backed the boat to the water. We pulled the tarp off and loaded our fishing tackle, which was in the car. I backed the boat in and after it was floating and Gary had the rope I pulled the car and trailer out and parked it.

Man was I excited. I was a bit disappointed though because there was nothing exciting about the launch area. It was all flat land and grubby looking. Nothing like the wonderful lakes we were seeing along the highway but what the heck, we were there.

We three climbed in the boat and I took the motor, started it up and headed out to the chanel and north. Man was that a lot of water and we had no clue where we were going or where we were gonna camp. We had no clue what that lake was like or what we were getting ourselves into. Hell we never even listened to a weather forcast but we didn't care. We were on a northern Ontario lake and that was like heaven to us.

Well I just et an threw out a little corn for the deer. I am setting my deck waiting

for the deer and figured it was a good time to write a little more.

Now Bruce, Gary and I were heading north on White Lake in my boat, loaded with camping

and fishing gear. My little 5 and a half horse Evinrude was doing all it could to make

it up the lake. The lake was dead calm and we never realized how fortunate we were.

Ever since we had gotten into Canada at the Soo we had seen these idyllic lakes, shores

lined with fallen cedars and pine. Now we were finally on a Canadian lake and it was

just a huge body of water. I was disappointed at what I was seeing. For one thing were

we were there were no hills. It was fairly level country, not like Texas but when I

looked up lake all I could see was a sliver of the far shore. It was a long way off and

you can see by the map that once you were out on the lake it was impossible to know

where you were. Heck, it would not have done us any good if we had known where we were

because we had no clue where to go. I just headed north.

Bruce ask me where we were going and I just nodded ahead but I didn't know. He asked

where we were gonna camp and I told him that Orie said that an island was best, because

of the bear. If you look at the map you can see quite a few islands--A deer just came

to visit me :D- Nope, there are two of them- anyway, because of the size of the lake

and the area it was impossible to even distinguish an island. I told Bruce and Gary

that I was gonna stay near the right hand shore and look for a place to set up camp.

I kept heading north and everything looked the same. I edged toward shore and it made

me nervous because I had seen rocks sticking up out of the water in the middle of the

bloody lake. Last thing I wanted to do is bust a prop on some under water obstacle.

Finally Gary pointed ahead and toward shore and said, "Is that an island?" I looked and

it sure looked like it, a small one but at least something to head toward. As we

approached the small island we slowed down and looked at the bottom. It was sandy and

even though the water is stained with Tannin we could see bottom in ten ft of water.

This was because of the sandy bottom. We looked and was amazed! We saw Pike! The

dang things were all over the place. Wholey Crap! This was it. There were some big

suckers too! We were all standing up by now and I slowly cruised around the island and

I bet we saw over twenty nice pike. Man we were excited now. We could not fish yet

though because our gear was at the bottom of the dang boat somewhere. Man we had to

set up camp and start a casting to those baby's.

I headed toward the island and asked if it was OK with them to camp there. Hell yes it

is they said in unison. Man we were pumped. I easily bumped the boat to the shore and

Bruce, who was in the bow, jumped out with the bow line to tie us off. There was not a

lot of vegetation on the island, some small pines but that was OK. There were pike all

over the place and some dang nice ones.

Bruce looked around and asked where I wanted to set up camp. Heck, I don't care, what

do I know. We tied the boat up and started looking around. Crap! It is all rock! I

asked Gary to give me a tent peg and a hatchet, which he did. I walked around that

little island and tried to find a place to drive a tent peg in and there was no place.

Well Crap! :(

We were sure not gonna camp there! We jumped back in the boat and headed to shore but

it soon got so shallow that we could not get within a hundred feet of the shore.

Double crap!

Well we went out deeper and headed north again. We could always come back to, what we

for ever after called, Pike Island. The real name was Rock Bolt Island but to us it was

Pike island.

As I cruised north I could get closer to shore, From time to time I would go up to shore

and Bruce would jump out with tent peg and hatchet in hand and try to drive the peg in.

Time after time we did this until we finally found a place that we could.

There was a sandy beach there and low pines, maybe ten or fifteen ft high, I can not

remember for sure but that is the impression I have. It has been a long time. There was

a lot of underbrush we had to clear to make a camp site but with a bit of work it was

soon cleared. Now we had to set up the tent. That was one heavy arsed tent and we

rolled it out, Gary asked where the poles were. I looked sorta stupid I imaging because

I did not remember any poles. Heck we had not bothered setting up the tent at home and

now we had no poles. Well we would just have to cut some.

Like we knew how to do that. Duh! We staked out the tent, dang thing did not have a

floor. I didn't know that either and started figuring out what we needed for poles. We

finally cut some poles and managed to set the tent up. Man that was one piece of crap

tent I had borrowed but what the heck, we were in a Canadian lake and only a couple

miles from Pike Island. What could go wrong?

Like I said, there was a sandy beach, about ten or fifteen feet deep as I remember it

and we pulled the boat up as far as we could, after emptying it out and as it was

getting pretty late by this time, decided to whip up some food and relax. The fish

would wait.

The tent was fairly big, I forget how big but it was big enough for our sleeping bags

and a card table we brought for our camp stove and such. Man we were prepared. Yeah

right :(

I whipped up something for dinner, I forget what but we went out on the beach and ate,

setting on a log and watching the sun go down on one beautiful day. Life was good. We

could hear the loons calling and those pesky Canadian Jays were actually trying to take

food from us. How cute. Those dang things can be a pain but we did not know it at the


The next morning was clear but there were some nasty looking clouds off to the west. We

ignored them and got out gear ready for a days fishing. One of us suggested taking the

rain gear, probably Gary as he has a bit of sense and it was a great decision.

We loaded up and headed for Pike Island and true adventure. We closed in on the

island-Hummmmmm, dang Blue Jay just scared off my deer :( anyone know how to cook

Jay?:D-anyway, we closed in on the island and as per agreement, nobody was to cast

until everyone was ready. It was probably my idea as I was running the motor :D

We putted in close and looked around. Not a dang Pike to be seen! Not one!! Where the

hell have they gone? Gotta be around somewhere! We started a casting and liked to have

worn our arms out but not a fish. We tried trolling around the island but still no


The sky was getting darker and the wind was picking up and we decided to get into our

rain gear. It started raining and then pouring! I suspect that is what drove the fish

away was the front coming in but we kept fishing and fishing but didn't catch anything

that I remember. We had better catch something because we brought very little meat,

depending on fish for our meat.

We looked across the lake and could not even see across it now. Heck, it was hard to

see across it on a clear day, it was so dang big. It was funny but setting down we

could faintly see the other side, on a clear day that is but if we stood up we could

see the sand of the beaches, where there were beaches. The shore we camped on was the

only one with much in the way of beach. In the spring, when I came for the rest of my

trips to White Lake, the water was so high that there was no beach at all. In fact,

where we set up our tent was only about five feet from the water line in the spring.

We didn't know where the hell to fish and we were afraid to wander too far from camp in

that weather. Heck, we would have done well to find it if we got out of eye sight of

it. Everything looked the same on that shore and the idea of getting lost on that dang

lake sucked. This was before GPS and we only had a compass. I was thrown out of Boy

Scouts before I mastered that sucker too but Bruce bailed us out on that one. I just

didn't trust the boy and wanted to go slow and not get lost.

The problem with the Canadian lakes up in the Algoma country is that they are all

stained and thus you can not see the weed beds. I like fishing the edges of weed beds

but where the heck are they? We started a looking and found none. Heck, we needed


I decided to start trolling, if nothing else with would eventually snag weeds and find

the weed beds. We all put on a floating Rapalla and off with went. We trolled a ways

and we were a ways off shore. This whole shoreline was shallow. All of a sudden one of

us gets a strike. It was more of a tug and pull. I slipped the motor out of gear and

started reeling in when I got one on too. We reeled them in and they were both

Walleye. Not huge but good eating size, maybe 12 to 15 inches, if memory serves me. We

tossed them in the live box and started trolling again.
The problem with Walleye is that they are school fish and if you stay on the school you

catch fish, if you loose them you are wasting time. What I have done and it is illegal,

is tie a line with a balloon on the first fish and toss it back over board. The fish

will swim back to the school,towing the balloon and you just follow and fish the balloon.

Works great. The problem is we had not balloon, in fact if we had had one with us we

would not have known that trick anyway at the time.

Needless to say, we soon lost the school but not until we caught enough fish for

dinner. I am guessing but I think we had maybe eight fish.

I was getting bored of looking at that same dang shoreline and so were they. We didn't

come to Canada to look at no dang boring shoreline and what the heck, life is an

adventure ain't it?

It was still early and we were not far from camp, I was watching for it and it was

hard to see at all and I doubt that we were more than a mile or so away from it! We

decided that since it was only eight or nine in the morning and it does not get dark

until after 10 pm we might as well go back to camp, put the fish in the live box we

had, which are now illegal I understand, get food for a shore lunch and explore a bit.

Everyone agreed.

We headed for camp and got a package of hotdogs, bread and what ever else we wanted to

eat, threw the fish in the live box and I asked, "Where to?" and got a pair of shrugs.

Well we had a dang compass and were on the south east shore so we ought to be able to

find our way back if we came back early! Right? Lets do it. and we done it.

Now to give you folks some idea where were were on the map. See that itty bitty island

under the "H" on White Lake? That is Pike Island. See where the "E" is on Lake? That

is near where we camped. See that little peninsula above the "W" in White Lake? That is

where we ended up on our first excursion.

Well we could not see diddly as it was still raining. I will tell you right now. It

rained almost every dang minute for the full nine days we were on that lake. Nine days!

It would let up and just be misty at times but it never cleared up once unless it was

at night and that did us no good. Anyway, we could not see the far shore and just

headed out to the west, following the compass. We must have passed those islands but I

don't really remember them on that excursion. We headed west until we saw the

shoreline. That was sorta spooky because we knew there were huge rock outcroppings in

the middle of the bloody lake and the water was low. I had to watch for them.

We got the the west shore and found that little bay, behind the Peninsula. It was

beautiful! Lots of Pine and Beach trees and the beaver had really been busy. There were

trees leaning every which way. A beaver can chew down a tree and build a dam but they

can not aim a tree worth a crap. I have seen some dang huge tree, chewed plum through

by a beaver and it fall about a dang foot before it is leaning on the next tree. Gotta

Pizz off that beaver!

This little bay, it is not all that small but compared to the lake it is little, was

really nice. It was covered with reeds and lillypads and the pads were in about four

feet of water. Lots of room under them to hide lunkers and the pike love those

conditions. The shore and the water up in the belly of the cove was littered with years of logs and other floatsam. They were flating with lots of whater under them to hide fish. We watched the reeds and lillys and could see fish working through them, a swurl her and a dash there. Man the exctememt was building. I just knew we were going to catch fish. Down home I would see the same thing while bass fishing the same type of area. They will wander under the cover grabbing anything living thing that they can get their mouth on, minnows, frogs, perch, other pike or walleye fry. One time I was reeling in a 16 inch walleye and a pike hit it. Didn't just hit it but fought me for it! The pike was huge and finally let the walleye go.


Royal, Didn't think I would be
Posted by: Ron J
Date: January 03, 2017 07:25AM
On a lake with you this morning! Gotta go to work! Will be back tonight though.. enjoying the ride..:thumbup:

I came in a little later on this... but I am loving it..
Posted by: Mikie
Date: January 10, 2017 12:44PM
Hospitals suck.. but I came home and what a great way to come home.. an adventure with Royal..

Although I gotta say.. big lake ? 5 miles long?? Umm.. a mere puddle by our standards.. :lol:

Thank you my friend

I will read the other part now


"There's no present like the time"

"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"

Thanks Guys. :D It was about 10 miles long and 5 wide.
Posted by: Royal
Date: January 10, 2017 02:57PM
Nothing like that damned up Columbia River we detected on for sure :D


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