Bill Hagedorn, Ryan Anderson, Chris Hagedorn, and Jeff Hesse
Spanish River Fishing Trip
We were welcomed to the Blue Heron for the 17th consecutive year on Thursday, May 17th by
new owners Cal and Deborah Matheson who were still scrambling to get the camp in order for
the official first arrivals that coming Saturday.
They have made many visible changes to the place, most notably the new dock, which is much
wider and more spacious and stable than the previous finger-slip arrangement. While it took
some getting used to it proved to be quite serviceable and with little to no current in the
river, was quite easy to negotiate.
The cabins had been completely redone, with the interiors painted a yellow which reminded us
of being back home in our SyCenter gym. All of the former dishware and cookwear had been
replaced by matching sets and wine glasses were even provided. A propane grill was located
outside of our door, which made the majority of our main-course cooking that much easier.
New bunk-beds had been installe and the bathroom vanity had also been replaced and the fish
cleaning shack also had a new look. There was a tank of fresh water in each kitchen where
you could even store your minnows. Just kidding - the water was for drinking.
As oldtimers who had become accoustomed to how things had been since 1991, it took
adjusting, but all in all, the facilities are nice and while it didn't feel the same without Wayne
and Kathleen in charge, the new owners could not have been more accomodating and cordial.
We wish them a long and successful stay!!!
The walleye/pickerel fishing was incredible again this year. Too good
in fact, as it seemed that everyday that we went out we had to
navigate around 25 or 30 boats which were drifting in the river,
We caught as many walleye as we wanted, even though we'd much
rather catch a fierce fighting pike, but the walleye were everywhere,
sometimes as shallow as in four feet of water. Nothing tops a meal of
fresh caught walleye and we indulged more often on this trip than
ever before in the past.
We would eat breakfast in the morning while watching the
dew-worm-dippers (the name given to those who drift using
nightcrawlers) catch walleye right out in front of camp. Interestingly
enough 100% of the fish that we caught on this year's trip were all
caught on artificial bait, and the myriad of walleye that came over the
side of the boat either hit grubs or crankbaits. Both Bill and Ryan
Anderson caught walleye that weighed in at five pounds. The
majority caught were in the 17 to 19 inch range.
We caught many quality Northern Pike this
trip, with a 36 inch fish being tops, along
with a pair of 34 inchers, several in the 32
inch category and a bunch of 30 inchers.
The pike fishery is certainly on the rebound
after being down for several years.
Every fish that we caught on this trip, with
the exception of a few walleye that we kept
for dinner were caught and released. Of the
hundreds and hundreds of fish that we
caught during our 30 day stay, there were
only three known unavoidable fatalities.
|Above Bill Hagedorn is displaying one of the
several largemouth bass that we caught and
released on this trip. Largemouth, a
predominantly warm water fish are rarely
found in Northern Ontario. Previous to this
year we had only caught three or four in all
of the years that we have been coming to the
Blue Heron since 1991.
We always manage to catch a few quality
Black Crappie, and this year was no
exception. They too were caught on 3 inch
Mr. Twister grubs.
Bass season does not open until the last Saturday in June in Ontario, but by
throwing plugs we inevitably connected with a few who had completed their
spawning duties and moved out into deeper water. We couldn't help but take
a quick picture of the larger ones and then sent them on their way.
In addition to the species shown here
we also caught a number of rock bass,
perch, a sucker, and a catfish.
We also witnessed a small sturgeon
being caught and released. A first for
We did not catch any muskie this trip
but the group with us during week one
did boat two.
As usual we sighted a number of bald
eagles, osprey and a few bears this trip.
All in all, again it was a wonderful trip. Even after fishing for 30 days and catching hundreds of fish we could have
The weather was hot and dry, which hurt the water levels some, but it also helped keep the bugs in check, which were
virtually non-existent compared to last year.
God willing, we will be back again during the spring of 2008.
|Dave Schabell - 17th Trip
|Bill Hagedorn - 10th Trip