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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Le Domaine Shannon fishing trip 2020 - Lac Wahoo

Back from a 4 day trip to Le Domaine Shannon. For this trip, my 14 year old son Eli was the only one who tagged along. That suited me fine, it made the trip organizing and packing simpler, as allowed me to focus my time on guiding him throughout the fishing trip.

After our last trip there in 2018 was big success for pike, we returned to Lac Wahoo in search of more trophy pike that lac is renowned for at Le Domaine Shannon. Something about a double digit pike hitting a topwater lure around sunrise or sunset that gets me dreaming about them for months...

Day 1:

After arriving at Lac wahoo and breaking camp early in the morning, we set out to cast for pike, hoping to catch the tail end of a morning bite. Casting was not productive, so we eventually tried some trolling. Nothing doing, we headed back to shore for lunch.

Before heading out for the evening bite, we decided to do some shore fishing in a nearby creek, where we had caught some eating sized pike in the previous years. Sure enough, the creek did not disappoint, Eli and I landed a double header on our first casts, me with a pike, and he with a walleye, first one we have ever managed to catch out of that spot. One more pike a few casts later, an I was ready to head back to fillet our dinner.

Later that evening, we headed back out on Lac Wahoo for some more fishing, mainly throwing topwater lures.

Eli started off landing this nice pike:

I followed up with another keeper sized walleye, nice surprise on a Zara spook. Quite rare for that to happen...

A few casts later, I hooked into one of those double digit pike on my Zara spook. Fishing in less than 2 feet of water, I was able to see it's thick back zoom around emerging weeds as I fought it to the boat. When Eli was finally ready to net it, the pike darted under the boat. A bit of a lack of netting experience, Eli missed the second time as well, and the monster piek spit the lure a boatside. Total heartbreak for me, I had lost the big topwater pike I was dreaming of for a long time. In retrospect, I should have given Eli some tips on landing big pike (or muskies), something which he hasn't had much chance to do so far. Either way, we booth got a good look at the trophy pike, probably weighed in the 12 to 14 lbs range. That was it for the day.

Day 2:

We started off bright and early, hoping for some more topwater action. After landing some tiny pike casting, we tried some trolling. Again, nothing doing.

After lunch, we headed back to the creek again, for some shore fishing / wading. We did land some more "hammer handle" pike. The excursion ended when Eli realized he had stepped into a nest of leeches, he hopped out of the water with 3 or 4 of them stuck on his leg.

After patching him up, we head out to try trolling again. No luck, no fish in sight. When we got back to the cabin, Eli took off his water shoes, only to find another big leech that had been stuck to him for hours. He flicked it off, and it started making it's way across the floor, dripping the blood it had been feeding on. Yuck!

That evening, I added neck protection and gloves to avoid the horrendous swarms of black flies, which were worse than I have ever seen at any lake. Mosquitoes and deer flies didn't help, but my bug resistant clothing soaked in backwoods Muskol (30% deet) were very effective.

The evening bite only produced some smaller pike, nothing like what we had hoped for.

Day 3:

We hit another section of the lake at sunrise, looking for big pike. Again, only some small ones, topped off by another surprise walleye on my Zara spook.

No trophies, but our trip was getting tastier by the day. With rain in forecast for much of the day, we decided to troll back to the cabin, finally hitting our first pike on the troll, another small one.

As evening rolled in and the rain stopped, we headed out to do some more casting. We hit a new bay for the first time this trip, where I mentioned that we had caught some keeper sized walleye trolling a few years ago with my older son, as well as some decent pike.

Having lost the Zara spook I gave him, Eli went back to casting a spinnerbait. After a few casts and some more small pike, Eli finally hooked into a bigger fish. He did a good job keeping the pressure on, despite it digging bottom under our boat in about 6-8 feet of dark water. I finally got a glimpse of the big fish, and netted it. To both of our surprise, it turned out to be a monster walleye.

Measuring 30 inches and weighing 9 lbs, it not only smashed all our family walleye records, but it turned out to be the biggest recorded walleye ever landed on that lake!

Snapped a couple nice pics with a very happy Eli.

When it comes to releasing trophies, fish care is essential. We used my carp gear to land the fish, oversized mesh landing net, well wetted landing mat, and I made sure he revived it properly in the big landing net before finally releasing it back into the lake.

I still can't get over that gorgeous walleye. In 5 previous trips to Lac Wahoo, all we had ever managed was the odd eating sized walleye in the 14 to 17 inch range. I never dreamed there were walleye that bing in the lake. There are much better walleye lakes at le Domaine Shannon, containing both number of eaters, as well a trophy double digit walleye. As such, no one really targets walleye on Lac Wahoo, it's known as a big pike lake. Looks like we've changed all that...

A few more small pike near sunset ended our day.

Day 4:

Morning bite yielded a few tiny pike. An incoming heat wave, would have been nice to wade the creek for more pike, but after the leech disaster the previous day, Eli wasn't going near the water any more. Luckily, we noticed a canoe stashed away in the trees. We launched it into the creek, and sure enough, I landed some more pike.

As if we didn't have enough success with walleye on our pike trip, Eli landed another nice walleye.

Felt interesting fishing off a canoe for the first time in about 25 years.

The evening bite only produced more tiny pike. That was it for our trip as far as fishing went.

It's funny how one can sometimes think they have things figured out after a while. This trip was my 11th to Le Domaine Shannon, over which time, I had fished Lac Wahoo on 5 previous trips, some in summer, other in spring.

In previous trips, trolling was always a good fall back method when casting slowed down. We typically managed good pike, especially in the days when fishing with dead bait fish was still allowed (prior to 2017). Even when we didn't manage big pike, good numbers of smaller ones filled in, with
our best day ever yielding about 60 pike back in 2012. Walleye were simply a bi-catch on Lac Wahoo, providing a nice smile and a few tasty meals.

During this trip, everything was topsy turvy. The warm sunny days made for slow pike fishing, topwater hitting walleyes. The trolling was the slowest I have ever seen on that lake, yielding only 1 pike in 4 days. The bugs were absolutely nuts, coming thought cracks in the cabin walls despite us burning mosquito coils indoors day and night.

However, the adverse conditions brought out our resilience, which eventually paid off big time for Eli, who now holds both the family record and lake record with his spectacular catch. Another one of those priceless fishing moments that makes me proud as a father, and will remain engraved in our minds for years to come.

For anyone interested in fishing at le Domaine Shannon, they can be contacted at:

Feel free to contact me with any questions about the different lakes I've fished there.


Mendy B. said...

Great catches.

Mendy B. said...

Great catches.