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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fishing for walleye and pike at Le Domaine Shannon

Just got back from a 4 day trip up North to Le Domaine Shannon, for the second time is as many months. This time, I took along Ari, as my others kids are all out of town visiting their grand parents. A friend of mine joined us for a couple days as well.

My first trip to Le Domaine Shannon was in August 2010, at which time we fished Lac LeNotre for walleye. We did quite well back then, so we decided to head back to the same lake. this time around, we fished another area of the lake, as we got a cabin on the extreme opposite side of Lac Lenotre. The area gets significantly more fishing pressure than the North side of the lake, given it's accessibility by portage from the main camp.

We were luck enough to have a boat on a small adjacent lake as well, in case the fishing or weather on Lac Lenotre was tough.

Day 1:

We arrived early in the morning, then made the treacherous trek out to our cabin. Road was by far the worst I've ever been on at le Domaine Shannon, but luckily, my CRV has AWD and a bit more clearance than the cars I've used to go up there in the past.

Unloaded the cabin, and made the short drive to our boat on Lac Lenotre. Spent a few hours locating schools of walleye at different depths. Being that we were in the heat of the day with not a cloud in sight, I didn't expect much. A couple missed hits in a few hours, we headed back to the cabin for lunch.

After lunch, we decided to map out the small lake we were on with my sonar. In contrast to Lac Lenotre, which is a big/deep oligotrophic lake, the one we were on is a very shallow eutrophic lake, mainly under 5 feet deep and choked with weeds. The lake gets very little fishing pressure, as it's mainly used for moose hunting. We managed to find a decent 10-15 foot trench, and trolled a bit. Caught our first keeper sized pike and walleye of the trip.

Now that we had something for our frying pan, we headed back to Lac Lenotre to try to catch some more walleye. We were having a tough time locating shallow schools, most were showing up deeper than 45 feet, so tough to target. Ari finally marked a couple on the sonar at 25 feet, cast out a big 1/2 ounce jig and worm, and got an instant hit. I knew it was a nice walleye from the bend in his rod, but was surprised to see how big it actually was when it came up.

Spectacular 6 lbs walleye, Ari's biggest walleye to date!

Not much else biting, but the sunset was nice after a long day of fishing.

Day 2:

Next morning, we headed out on Lac Lenotre again, in hopes of trying to target the deep water walleye. We set up a couple lines with some 3 ounce bottom bouncers, with live worms rigged on worm harnesses. We drifted over depths 30 to 70 feet, most of the walleye schools marking at 45-55 feet. After a couple hours, I got my first hookup. Fish put up a nice fight, I was shocked to see it when it surfaced and Ari netted my first ever ling cod.

I've seen them caught on ice before, but never actually caught one, nor knew that they existed in Lac Lenotre. Definitely wasn't expecting on in the heat of the day in bright sun, but it did come out of a 50 foot trench. Strange looking fish, but I was very happy with a new species to add to my list.

We were joined later on in the day, by my friend David Lazare, aka the rockin rabbi. David has limited fishing experience, mainly caught a few perch on worms in the past. He had never been this deep into the woods before, nor on lakes the size of Lac Lenotre. The We drift fished for an evening bite without much success.

Day 3: 

Strong winds were blowing by early morning, and increasing cloud cover signalled the end of the heat wave we had the previous couple days. Again, we tried drift fishing, as trolling or vertical jigging we just about impossible due to the winds gusting close to 40 KM/H.

David managed the only fish of the short outing, a small walleye below slot size:

Rain start falling shortly after, so we headed back to the cabin for lunch and to get into our rain gear.

Due to the ever increasing winds, we decided to head back to the safety and ease of fishing the small lake we were on. Success didn't take long, we landed some nice keeper sized walleye quite easily in the rain.

David caught his first few pike, and biggest fish ever:

Headed back to the cabin before dark, ready for the tedious job of making shore lunch (dinner):

Day 4: After a long night of over eating and lots of tequila shots until the wee hours of the morning, we slept in. David was a bit under the weather, so Ari and I headed out in the rain, agains sticking to the small lake due to high winds and rain. Fishing was slower, but during a short sunny break, we managed to land some more walleye one after the other.

Later that evening, the walleye bite died down, but pike were still on. 

As David had left, Ari and I called it an early night. 

Day 5:

Woke up to near freezing temps of about 5 degrees Celcius, and heavy rain. We cancelled our original plan of trying to gun to the other end of Lac Lenotre by boat, due to the miserable weather, and decided to call it an early trip. Headed back home with a nice mess of walleye and pike for my freezer. 

After 4 day of chasing fish for my belly and freezer, I think I'm ready for something a bit bigger.

I highly recommend Le Domaine Shannon for anyone interested in fishing for walleye or trophy in a clean, pristine setting of the deep woods of Quebec. For more information on or to contact Le Domaine Shannon, click: 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thats a nice fish

cheers leonard