Dave Schabell
Bill Hagedorn, Ryan Anderson, The Beitings and Vesios
Spanish River Fishing Trip
The 2008 Blue Heron Fishing Trip will probably go down in history as "The Gods Must Be
Crazy" trip.  As Blue Heron proprietor Cal Matheson said on more than one occasion - "This
weather is the shits" - and for the most part, he was right, as strong prevailing west winds
were seemingly a daily occurance, high temperatures in the forties early on, and even a
mid-morning snow shower on one occasion.
Whereas in 2007 we experienced an early spring with lots
of hot, dry, calm weather, this year the winds and cool
temperatures were relentless as winter refused to
relinquish its grip on the Canadian wilderness, and the
weather cycles that we normally experience starting on
Week One didn't occur until much later this spring.
With that being said the fish didn't mind, and again
literally hundreds came over the side of the boat during
our stay from May 15th through June 14.
The walleye run was seemingly delayed a week or so but
was hot and heavy when they cranked up, but the pike
were right on schedule - big and plentiful, and I managed to scare up a few monster crappie
(14 inch class) back in "No-Fish" Bay.  The bass that we encountered were fabulous.  Several
in the 20 inch class were caught, photoed and released immediately to continue in their
spawning rituals.
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Again this year we caught many quality
Northern Pike, with a pair of 35 inchers, two
34 inchers and many in the 30 - 32 inch class.
The pike at right measures 45 inches, weighed
nearly 20 pounds, and is among the largest
that I have ever caught in my life.  I suspect
that he is one of the biggest, if not the biggest,
ever caught by a fisherman from the Blue
Heron.  I checked with Wayne Janzen the
previous proprietor and he stated that in his
11 years of running the camp, 42 inches had
been the largest on record.
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 32 day stay, there were only three
or four known unavoidable fatalities or
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.
Despite the weather, a low water basin, and the cost of gas, we had a wonderful stay at the Blue Heron again this
year.  The fishing seems to improve on an annual basis.
Good friends, good food, and good conditions all combine to make for wonderful memories.  We are truly blessed.
God willing, we will be back again during the spring of 2009.
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Ryan Anderson - 2nd Trip
Dave Schabell  -  18th Trip
Some of the weed patches which are normally prevelent starting Week Two were just beginning to show up when we
departed in mid-June.
The late spring did however, provide ample opportunities to observe quite a few bald eagles this year.
Ryan Anderson, Bill Hagedorn, and I teamed up for Weeks One and Two, with Bill having to depart to join his family on
an Alaskan cruise, while Ryan and I finished out Weeks Three and Four, with Roger Beiting's party which included the
Vesio's group, with us during Week Three.
We don't go hungry at fish camp.
A typical week's menu includes steaks,
chicken breasts, pork chops, spaghetti and
meat balls, stew, and of course, lots of fish.
The local populations of crappie were
again healthy with two fish caught
that measured at 14 inches.
A 14 inch black crappie is a big fish by
southern United States standards, let
alone Canada.  The fish shown hit a 4
inch fluke, being fished on a
baitcaster, with 10 pound test line and
a wire leader.  Impressive!
While the weather was quite
tough this year, it made you
appreciate the beautiful days.
Bill Hagedorn joined
the "Husky Musky"
club this year,
catching this pretty
26 inch "baby" while
trolling for walleye
in front of camp.
Overall, our group
caught three
muskies this trip.
Plus 20 inch walleye
were plentiful during
the walleye run.
Bill Hagedorn  -  10th Trip
I was really disappointed that Ryan didn't catch this fish.  It
was caught at a known big pike hangout and he made two casts
into the spot where the fish was caught prior to my catching
Cal Matheson, the personable owner of the
Blue Heron, traveled with us one day to learn
the ropes of navigating in and out of
Frenchman's Bay, and to observe our
Unfortunately, it was another windy day, which
severely restricted our fishing spots, and
diminished our use of top water baits.  We still
managed to put a few fish in the boat that day.
Cal and his wife Deborah run a first-class
operation, and go well above the normal call of
duty to see that their guests have a great time.
10 YO Blake Beiting - 1st Trip
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