Out and a-boat, from Belwood to Muskoka for Father’s Day
Outdoor Canada Kingfisher 1925 Flex Sport has been getting a good workout lately, including a recent all-day outing on Belwood Lake at Belwood Conservation Area near Fergus, Ontario. Outdoor Canada’s editorial brain trust of Scott Gardner, Bob Sexton and yours truly met up with Derek Strub Friday morning to check out some of Belwood’s walleye hot spots. Not only is Derek the conservation area’s superintendent, he’s also, as many of you no doubt know, an accomplished tournament angler, so we knew we were in good hands.
In short order, Derek had us on the fish and we spent the morning bottom-bouncing before he had to get back to work. From about 10 a.m. onwards, we switched over to fishing for pike—all we caught were hammer-handles, but it was good fun picking apart the small lake’s isolated structure. We’ll be sure to make a return visit once bass season opens (that’s this Saturday here in southern Ontario). Want to learn more about Belwood Lake? Click here.
Then on Saturday, I hiked the boat up to my parents’ home in Bracebridge, in the heart of Ontario’s Muskoka region. The plan was to fish with my dad on Sunday morning to celebrate Father’s Day. Our ultimate destination? The mouth of the Muskoka River, thanks to some good intell from Outdoor Canada contributor and local resident Leavon Peleikis.
You see, Lake Muskoka walleye come up the river to spawn and, consequently, the river is off-limits to fishing from April 1 through to June 15. So when the sanctuary restriction was lifted on Saturday, Leavon was out on the water first thing in the morning and in short order he and his buddies had caught some 20 fish—all by 6 a.m.! As Leavon described it, the fish were stacked right up.
With lightning storms in the forecast for Sunday morning, Dad and I decided to hit the river Saturday night instead, bringing along his friend Frank MacNaughtan and my youngest, 10-year-old Molly. Of course, we got out to the mouth of the river only to find a dozen or so other boats full of anglers with the same idea as us. No mind—we still caught fish.
That night, Dad and I made a plan to rise early Sunday morning, check the weather and head back out if the coast was clear. It was, and again we boated out to the mouth, but with the front moving in, the fish were far less cooperative. But it was Father’s Day, and I could think of no better place to be than on my old home waters, fishing with my dad.