: Key River, Georgian Bay area???? Anyone???
03-15-2011, 03:11 PM
Hey All. new to the board here. what a great site!!! my buddy showed me this, and i couldnt wait to create an account here!!! its nice to see im not the only one who loves to talk about fishing just as much as actually going. was wondering, has anyone from the board fished the key river??? This is our groups first time going, and just checkin to see if anyone had any feedback. normally we go to northern quebec to my buddies family cabin there, but with my buddies havin kids and wives now, this was the only group trip we were able to get in this year. was hopin someone here had a few tips, info, etc. any feedback is good feedback!!!!! thanks abunch everyone!!!!!
03-16-2011, 06:28 AM
Hey, I used to go to Lac Remigny in QC , north of Kipawa, but have stayed at Key Harbour Lodge at mouth of Key River for the last two years for a change of venue and in search of bigger pike. We stayed during first week of July. You might search for Key River at ohiogamefishing.com. I caught a 42" pike last July and lost it's twin at the boat on the same day.
We parked vehicle and launched boat at general store on route 69 and navigated about 8 or 10 miles down the river (lotsa boat traffic, no luck fishing a holdiay week). From camp, we navigated around the thousands of submerged boulders, shoals, exposed rocks, and islands to find a few weedy bays that held some decent walleye and pike. It's a place to catch quality, not so much on quantity based on our experience.
If you go, don't venture out without gps or at least a detailed map, the ability to read a map, and compass as you can easily get quite lost in the thousands of islands. It all looks the same after a while.
Georgian Bay is huge and not all the water is productive. You will need someone to point out a few areas to get you started catching fish instead of spending 2 days searching for them. We liked to find 4' - 8' weedy areas near deep water, but different weather and time of year change everything.
Key Harbour Lodge is decent for the price and the owner is very helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
03-16-2011, 01:19 PM
thanks for the response Ohiojmj. i will deinitley be checking out the ohiogamefishing site as well.
thats a little disheartening to find out about all the boat traffic along the Key, as our cabin is basically right off hwy 69. But at the same time, i had assumed that the key saw a fair share of traffic.
thats nice however, to hear about the size of the pike you had caught while you were there. ive heard so many good things about the georgian bay area, and so many negative things at the same time. i was told to really work the area between the key river and pickerel river. apparently the pike fishing is great, and the walleyes are a little hard to get on to, but once theyre found, it can compete with anywhere else in ontario. also curious, what were you using for the pike? walleyes?
i was warned about the GPS and map, to have that with me, but i was also warned about the boat props gettin ruined. how was the water level when you were there, and did you have any issues with running aground anywhere?
thanks again for the response!!!! hope to hear back
03-16-2011, 02:44 PM
Sounds like your camp is right across route 69 from the general store that I mentioned. We may have had trouble with the river fishing because the weather was really hot, river somewhat low and Canadian holiday. We certainly didn't try fishing all the way back toward route 69 either since we had access to all of GB from the the Key Harbour Lodge.
We found some nice weed beds mixed with deep water here and there at the north end of Happy Face Island, Puddick Island, and Dokis Island. (http://www.diamondkeylodge.com/Brochures/Area_Maps/Mouth%20Of%20Key%20River%20Delta.pdf) I'm suggesting the east-west passage across the north end of these islands and into area called Pickerel River Eastern Outlet and into Bowens Bay. Also, if you head north into river channel from Bowens Bay, you come across an entrance to some weeded bays to the east before you get to the Fallen Rock Narrows. We caught decent pike and walleye in the E-W passage and the bays off the river. Aslo, Sand bay produced some walleye and pike. You'll find N-S deep toughs along weed beds in many of the bays. Had little luck if not near weeds. Some big stretches of water had little but rocks and some smallmouth hear and there.
We caught a few pike/walleye with Rapalas, Bombers, and Mepps plus similar types except when bite was hot. We had some success with Williams Wablers with tough bite, but most of our luck came with home made or store bought worm harnesses, both July 1 trips. Best harness had #3 4 or 5 colorado in hammered gold or silver and one or two hooks with a fat nightcrawler. Used single splitshot and trolled slowly. We're not jiggers.
The 42" pike came out out of Henvey Bay which is in the opposite direction when you head out of the Key R. mouth. Again, the key to our hot weather fishing success was cabbage weed beds near deep water, fishing early morning or late afternoon. Middle afternoon produced if the wind blew and chop picked up. Caught six 24" walleye and a couple decent pike with my son on a windy cool rainy afternoon. Quality, not quantity is what to expect from our experience.
Oh about the rocks: BRING A SPARE PROP AND A WRENCH. Doesn't hurt to have a spare nut, retainer, thrust washer. My Humminbird 788CI guided us well, except it would not show an occasional submerged boulder. Wasn't paying attention one morning and idled into a 0-10' zone with a quick thump, I lost a chunk of skeg and dinged up a prop. the rubber bushing failed/spun the next day. Bummer. On first trip to this area of 1000's of islands and shoals, go slow, look out ahead for the submerged rocks. Only the designated naviagation channels between red/green buoys are safe for speed and even there, the buoys can confuse you as the navigable water snakes around massive shoals or shallow water. I can't say enough about respecting the dangers in GB.
03-16-2011, 08:21 PM
wow! great info here!! thanks a ton ohiojmj!!! the stretch you pointed out at the north of the islands looks pretty challenging to navigate, but looks like it will be a lot of fun to fish. i bet the scenery will be unreal there as well!!! the more i study the map you posted, the more i wish i had more than 5 days on GB to fish. it looks like i could spend 5 days just wettin a line around those 3 islands.
definitley gonna be bringing a spare prop with me!!!! knock on wood we manage to keep the boats off the rocks. ive heard that GB can be an awfully savage body of water, so i can appreciate what your saying about giving the utmost respects to the dangers that can occur. how were the MNR there? ive heard they can be a bit of nuisance, just because of the amount of traffic those waters can see.
Thanks again for the info!!! June cant come soon enough!!! im glad that i have a reference point to start, rather than wasting a day or 2 looking for the weedbeds. i will be sure to post some pics and send you a message after our trip, maybe i can point out some areas that were successful for us in addition to yours. thanks again for all the great help!!!! happy fishin!!!!
03-17-2011, 06:46 AM
That map shows only some of the islands and none of the rocks. We followed our path on the chartplotter marking spots that had uncharted or extra hazards. Depths can go from 40' to 1.5' in a matter of a few feet. Get a map with contours and expect the camp owner to show his recommended spots and routes to get there.
If I recall, we generally went straight out from Key River mouth into some big water (than can get great lakes chop) and turned into Dokis Channel, west of the island to take us up into the desired weed beds and region of interest to the north. Even trolling E-W in that area N of those islands was a challange since most shoals and rock formations are generally N-S. You might check out Genesee Bay; not sure about navigating Pickerel from Bowens to that bay though. That river has decent flow and somewhat narrow areas north of Bowens. Had no luck fishing in the River, but only tried a few times. Weeds near deeper water were key.
All I can say if you journey to Henvey Bay is to head straight out from Key river mouth and turn left to follow the red and green navigation bouys. The many smooth granite islands and exposed rocks are an amazing sight.
I look forward to your report. Not sure where I'm spending a week up in Canada this year, but I'm going somewhere.
03-17-2011, 12:54 PM
thanks for all the great tips!!! i definitley saw some channels i would like to troll through. im gettin hungry thinking about a nice shore lunch on one of the islands in the area!!! i dont think were going to spend much time in the rivers. more than likely well stay close to the deeper waters and weeds like you had said. especially that none of us a familiar with bodies of water like GB.
Thanks again for all the help. hope you have a great time when you come up to the great north. let me know where you end up going and if you had a successful fish or not. happy fishin!!!!!
04-10-2011, 12:04 AM
Well i have spent a lot of time up that way. We would put in the Key River, boat out, and camp out at a place called Fox Bay. All I can say is Awesome! Huge walleyes our biggest was 13lbs. Lots over 10lbs!! Big pike, muskies, and smallies. but the walleyes are amazing. Night time trolling with minnow baits produces best, follow the shorelines in the bay. Daytime casting deeper weed edges with jigm. Protected so the winds dont cause you any grief, Again caution with the rocks, spare prop for sure. Also beware there are Rattlesnakes, bears and other animals.
Best of luck! Sure took me by surprise seeing your post asking about the Key River! You won't be disappointed!