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Exploring Geraldton’s Kenogamisis Lake

Gordon Smedley hoists a fat 26-inch walleye from Northwestern Ontario’s Kenogamisis Lake. • Credit: James Smedley Outdoors


"That looks like an obvious spot," I say to my Dad as I point to a narrows where the dark waters of Kenogamisis Lake are funnelled under the Highway 11 bridge just east of Geraldton. I throttle back and lower a 2-ounce bottom bouncer trailing a leech as the current draw us through the narrows.

Just as we emerge from the shadow of the bridge a sharp tugging prompts me to set the hook. My Dad watches over his shoulder as I stretch my hand around a broad 17-inch walleye then clumsily sets the hook into a surprise walleye that hits his jig and gulp minnow combo. "I guess there’s a few fish here," he says with a broad grin. The main narrows at the highway bridge is only the third spot we’ve tried on Kenogamisis Lake but so far everyone has produced fish.

We arrived at MacLeod Provincial Park yesterday afternoon and set up our tent in one of the 120 pine-shaded campsites sandwiched between the Lake and Highway11. It’s a convenient base from which to explore sprawling Kenogamisis Lake. What we find is a shallow main lake basin where running weed edges and shoreline with bottom bouncers and leech-tipped spinners connect with 15- to 18-inch fish in water no deeper than 10 feet. We’re working our way across one of many shallow flat bays when my Dad leans back on his rod.

MacLeod Provincial Park Location

"Good one?" I ask. Dad cocks his head to the side as he assesses the weight of the fish that seems to be swimming easily towards the boat, “Not sure,” he says. I see the lure in the water and the white of its tail a good distance behind. "Nice walleye!" I cry reaching for the net. As if just realizing it's been hooked the greenback sounds powerfully beneath the boat drawing Dad’s line dangerously close to the outboard. But Dad keeps the pressure on and the 26-inch fish eventually surfaces to the landing net. "That’s the biggest walleye I’ve ever caught," he says with a grin before sliding her back in.

By mid-afternoon, we’ve worked our way north, to a current area near a railway bridge. We slide the anchor down and dangle jigs and leeches just off the bottom. Dad hands me a sandwich as I prop my feet up on the gunwales.

Since before I could walk Dad and I have logged a lot of time together in boats. "It's good to spend a bit of time on the water," I say as I lift and drop my rod tip. Dad smiles and nods, "I really haven’t been out enough this year," he says. We do our best to rectify the situation and after a few full days of checking out the productive waters of Kenogamisis Lake slide by like a phantom.

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