Algonquin Canoe Trip - Lower Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park

McManus Lake Canoe Trip

Algonquin Provincial Park

August 3 - 6, 2012

McManus Lake Canoe Trip - Algonquin Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors
     

Canoe Trip Reports

McManus Lake

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Day 2 - Whitson Lake to Five Mile Rapids

 

Canoe Trip Breakfast of Pancakes and SausagesI was awake by 8am but really hated wasting the chance to sleep in so I rolled over and snoozed a few times before finally getting up about a quarter to 9. Peter was actually still asleep. He has definitely adjusted to "cottage time" while I'm still on "city time".

Breakfast was pancakes and sausages this morning. We took advantage of the big stove and griddle, which we had packed because of the fire ban combined with not needing to do any portaging. Usually I stay away from pancakes on canoe trips Wild Blueberriesbecause they take too long in the small frying pans. We also found some blueberries growing nearby and Peter was generous enough to let me have 1 blueberry while he gobbled up the rest of them. We were washed up from breakfast and headed out to explore by 11am. That's pretty typical for us on these trips and one of the advantages of having a base camp.

Our first attempt to find the Petawawa River heading upstream Floating Frog - Whitson Lakefrom Whitson Lake led us to another dead end bay. The map showed it as a channel between an island and the eastern shore, but at this point in August it was definitely a dead end. The bonus was spotting another Muskie swimming by when we flushed it out of some weeds. Anyway, after a bit of backtracking we made it through the marsh and back to the main river channel.

Bottom end of Five Mile Rapids, Petawawa RiverWe arrived at the bottom end of Five Mile Rapids by 12:10pm. Five Mile Rapids is really about 3 1/2 km long and it has several pools along the way. We had to wade upstream a bit but pretty soon we could paddle again. When we got to the first pool we switched rods and did some casting. I was using worms and Peter was using Berkely Gulp minnows. Since the wind was even pushing us upstream, we didn't need to toss out our anchor bag. Smallmouth Bass - Petawawa River

Pretty soon we had both caught some Smallmouth Bass which made for a good start to the day. I even caught another Catfish which was pretty exciting. We were able to paddle and push up through the next swift to get to another pool. Here the Smallmouth were hitting even faster. Twice I dropped my hook over the side while putting the lid back on the worms and had another Smallmouth hooked before I could pick my rod up again. I caught a couple more Channel Catfish and Peter had a 16" Smallmouth Bass - Petawawa Rivercouple hooked but didn't land them. On the other hand he did land the largest Smallmouth so far - a 16" beauty.

The wind was still pushing us upstream, which was a big difference from paddling down in high water on my previous trip through here. Eventually we got pushed to the upper end of the pool and had to wade upstream again. We didn't get too far this time before getting to a point where we would be forced to portage in order to keep going. It was about 2pm and the fishing was stillFive Mile Rapid - Petawawa River good so we decided to stop for lunch, only the fish were still biting anything we tossed at them - worms, Gulp, spinners, Rapalas - so it was another 45 minutes before we got around to eating. After lunch we headed back downstream and because the wind was still blowing upstream it was more Peter catching Channel Catfish - Petawawa Riverwork going down than it had been coming up.

When we got back to the first pool we tossed out our anchor bag. This pool gets down to about 18' deep in spots. It was about 3pm by now, which is definitely not the recommended time to fish for Walleye but I figured I would be an optimist and try anyway. Peter was soon catching more Smallmouth and I caught a few too. Then we both started catching Catfish which was starting to lose its appeal. They fight hard but it's a pain to get Walleye - Petawawa Riverthe hook out of them and when I got the barb from the dorsal fin of one of them in my leg it hurt pretty good.

I did catch 1 small Walleye, so at least we were in the right place. It was small enough that we let it go but we have now officially caught both species of fish that we were after on this trip.

It was after 4pm when we headed back through the last bit of swift. We did have to wade part of this one to get back down to Whitson Lake. The wind was still in our faces and it was annoying enough that we didn't troll much on the way home. We were back at camp by 5:18pm and I started the Chili soaking while we did some casting from shore. We also treated some more drinking water. It has been really hot today and the water is going quickly.

Campsite - Whitson Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park7:15pm now and the Chili is ready. 7:44pm and the dishes are done, time to find some Walleye!

Well we fished until 9pm but only caught a couple of small Smallmouth and one really small Walleye. This one was even smaller than the Walleye we caught in the afternoon - maybe 8" long and caught in only 5' of water.

Back at camp we tidied up for the night, brushed our teeth and headed off to bed about 9:30pm.

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