The Land O’Lakes region of Ontario boasts some of the most outstanding fishing, hunting, hiking, ATVing—and on it goes!—that this great province has to offer.
"I used to live in the town of Napanee," says Pete Bowman, "and that’s where Hwy 41 starts. It heads straight north passing through some amazing wilderness and passing by tons of lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with fish."
"As a kid," Pete continues, "we used to fish Beaver Lake, the Madawaska River, Hydes Creek, Lime Lake, and the list goes on and on. We never did, however, fish Kashwakamak… and it’s always been on my list!"
With that said, Pete and Ang decided to give it a shot, but not alone. They brought along Nik, Angelo’s grandson, and Hunter, Pete’s oldest son.
Along with getting out to fish, the adults decided to start teaching the boys a few of the finer points of fishing. Ang was to teach Hunter how to use a baitcaster (Nik learned the weekend before on Lake Scugog with Grandpa) while Pete would teach Nik how to skip Senkos along the water for a low trajectory presentation.
The first classroom setting was at the Fernleigh boat-docking area. Easy to access as well as easy to film.
"These kids are naturals," Ang says; "in no time they were pulling off what most adults take seasons to accomplish."
Next step was on the boat directly in front of the lodge… and again they passed with flying colors.
The purpose of teaching these young anglers the above techniques was not to have them repeat these and only these techniques for this shoot, but more of an addition to their growing fishing arsenals. If they needed to baitcast or skip here on Kashwakamak then fine, but if not… no problem.
With the mornings being training time, it meant the evenings were fishing time… and the boys liked that!
It didn’t take Ang and Pete long to figure the bass were in post spawn and the mayfly hatch in full force, making their targets a bit finicky—however… the young lads came through. Slowly working shallow bays for both large and smallmouth bass, they picked apart Kash with finesse style techniques.
Now remember, when taking kids on a fishing trip it cannot be all about fishing. For instance, on our lunch breaks Nik learned how to drive a golf cart impeccably around the property. Don’t ask how he absconded with such a vehicle, but let’s just say he’s a driver!
While Nik drove around in his electric Nascar, Hunter hit the tennis court, but not for tennis. He set up a garbage can against the fence and threw hook shot after hook shot looking for that sweet sound of a three-pointer, of which he made lots! Trips like these are all about the fun!
Getting back to the fishing, on the final full day of fishing, Ang and Pete gave the boys a treat as well as the ultimate test. They walked them into a small-secluded lake and set them out by themselves in a rickety old 12-foot aluminum with a couple of paddles, an anchor, two spinning rods, and a sandwich bag of hooks and Senkos.
"We weren’t sure what to expect," says Pete.
"But the boys performed remarkably," continues Ang, "It made Pete and I very proud."
They did great on catching bass, on casting from a small boat, on netting each other’s fish, on paddling to new locations, and just plain having a good ol’ boys' fishin’ trip… awesome indeed!
Kashwakamak impressed Ang and Pete so much with all the potential that they want to return "well after the mayfly hatch" and give it a going-over. Lodge owner Kevin recommends coming back in the fall for some amazing bassin’… maybe with the kids…maybe without??? Hmmm…