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 3 - Whitson Lake to McManus Lake

 

MSR Mutha Hubba TentIt was REALLY hot last night. We left both vestibules rolled up hoping for a breeze but didn't get much. This was after a constant wind all day. Go figure. It took forever to get to sleep and when we did a thunder storm drifted through so I got up to tied out the guy lines on the tent fly and close up the vestibules just in case. In the end it just drizzled a bit which is unfortunate because this area really needs rain. I just hope the lightning didn't start up any more fires. We dozed until quarter to 10am or so before Green & Leapord Froggetting up. Then to make up for being lazy we decided on the oatmeal instead of the fruit dumpling so we could get going sooner. It's 10:40am now and we're about half packed up.

We were packed up and on the water around 11:30am. We are heading back to McManus Lake to give ourselves a head start on the trip home tomorrow. The bonus is that we can take our time fishing today. Whitson Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

We trolled slowly down Whitson Lake. I was trying an X-Rap and Peter tried his Blue Fox diver. Neither one worked out so we paddled into the bay along the southwest side of the lake and tried casting into the weeds for a bit. Still no luck so around 12:30pm we headed down the swift towards Smith Lake.

Heading down the swift from Whitson Lake to Smith LakeWe scraped bottom a bit and there were a couple of spots we had to wade a few feet but overall it was an easy ride. At the bottom end of the portage we stopped to try a few casts and the Smallmouth were happy to hit all the worms, Gulp and Powerbait that we threw at them. We even caught a few more Channel Catfish but for the most part we caught Smallmouth. The fishing was so good that we stayed there for an hour and a half before continuing on out into Smallmouth Bass, Smith LakeSmith Lake. This trip has certainly been the most consistent Bass fishing that I've ever had in Algonquin Provincial Park.

About 2:10pm we headed downstream into Smith Lake. I switched up to trolling a spinner bait while Peter was casting with his Gulp. The wind was heading our direction so I was mostly just paddling enough to steer.

There is a big weedy area about 1/4 of the way down Smith Lake and it was near the bottom end of this that we caught our first Muskie on the way in. As we neared the weedy section from the north end, I cleaned some more weeds off my lure and tossed it back out before starting to paddle us toward river right and the more open channel. That meant dragging the lure over one of the many sunken logs Walleye, Smith Lake, Algonquin Provincial Parkbut spinner baits are good for that sort of thing.

Heading downstream again I saw the rod bend as the lure bounced over the log and then it bent again. I figured I was just picking up more weeds as it was pretty shallow so I picked up the rod to pull it in and clean off the lure again. These weeds seemed to be fighting back though and it was soon clear that I had a fish hooked. As it got closer, I could see what looked like the largest Bass I had ever caught. I'd been hoping for another Muskie but this Bass was plenty big enough to make up for not being a Muskie. Then Peter said "That's not a Bass, look at the eyes."

28" Walleye, Smith Lake, Algonquin Provincial ParkInstead of a Bass, I had hooked a monster Walleye. I used the net for this one and after a picture I measured it at 28" long. I'm pretty sure that beats the biggest Pike that I've ever caught. (I even double checked my notes from my Killarney trip last year and the biggest pike on that trip was only 27".) By the way - this was 2:30 in the afternoon in about 5' of water (although I suspect I hooked the fish before it shoaled up) although it was completely overcast and raining.

Of course after that fish we had to paddle back up the lake. I had Peter switch to a spinner bait and trolled back through there but didn't catch anything. We anchored and cast for a bit but only caught a few Smallmouth. So we eventually headed on downstream, trolling past more sunken logs and weeds towards McManus Lake.

Heading down the swift from Smith Lake to McManus LakeJust after 4:30pm we started down the swift from Smith Lake to McManus Lake. Again there were a couple of spots where we both had to get out and we picked up a few more scrapes on the canoe but we made it down easily enough.

The first campsite on river left was open so we headed over to set up camp. We arrived at the campsite about 4:50pm and Peter had a very late lunch while I started the spaghetti sauce rehydrating and set up the tent. Cooking S'Mores over the camp stove during the fire ban

There was a good strong breeze blowing and it is much cooler than it was yesterday. That is going to be good news for sleeping but it meant that it took forever to boil water for the spaghetti. We cooked S'mores over the camp stove for desert. It worked well enough to make the marshmallows squishy but they certainly weren't golden brown. By 7:30pm we had the dishes cleaned up and headed over to fish the bottom of the swift.

Rapids can be a good fishing spot at any time and as night falls, McManus Lake, Algonquin Provincial Parkfish can come up looking for food getting washed down the river. We caught a bunch more Smallmouth and I even managed to catch a few more small Walleye. Still didn't manage to get Peter one though. We stuck with it until about 9:30pm before snagging one last time and then heading back to get ready for bed.

It's about 10:30pm now, Peter has already drifted off to sleep and I'll be right behind him.

 

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