Dave Schabell / Mark Schabell
Andy Schabell / Nick Schack / Justin Kremer
Spanish River Fishing Trip
May 15th - June 7th
Over the three weeks spent in Canada this trip, there was certainly a
contrast in weather. When we arrived and for the majority of Week
One the water temperature stayed at about 46 degrees and the daytime
temperatures rarely left the forties. The uniform of the day included
long underwear, and many layers of clothes. (Right)
Beginning on Week Two (May 24th) the sun came out, the water
temperatures climbed into the mid-fifties with daytime temperatures
in the sixties and, unlike 2013 when I was never afforded the
opportunity to fish in white pants, I wore them for the majority of the
remainder of the trip. As noted in the picture at left, I even fished in
shirt-sleeves one afternoon. The west wind which also plagued us in
2013 was a rare visitor, making fishing the big water of the bay, that
much more enjoyable.
We saw moose, a bear that had climbed to the top of a tree, and a
mulititude of eagles.
|We did not make a trip to the Blue Heron in 2012, opting out for a fly-in trip to Pine Portage instead.
We have booked three weeks for 2015
|This is the scene we were greeted with when Mark and I arrived in camp on
Day One, May 15th. Heavy rain, combined with a late spring run off had
resulted in high, chocolate milk muddy cold water, that was pouring into our
primary fishing spots out in the bay. It would be three weeks before boats
would dock at camp. While fearing the absolute worse, this trip evolved into
one of our very best.
While not getting out to
fish on either the first or
second day that we were in
camp, Andy Schabell and
Nick Schack joined us on
Day Three, Saturday, May
17th. The winds died down
and we were able to put our
boats in at a downtown
marina and go fishing. We
battled the muddy water
conditions in the bay for the
first day, before the
youngsters went seeking
clear water and Northern
Pike. Their efforts were
rewarded with 10 pike
between 31 and 37 inches.
|Andy and Nick came to Canada with hopes of boating their first-ever Muskies.
Their efforts were rewarded on their last day in camp, when Andy caught a 51 inch,
camp-record monster (left) and Nick Schack caught a 49 incher an hour later at a
different location. We had fished the usual muskie spots two days prior and didn't
get a hit, but the boys were persistent and their efforts paid off.
|Andy wore a gizmo camera called a Go-Pro on his head while fighting his Muskie and watching Nick fight his.
CLICK ON THEIR RESPECTIVE PICTURES TO WATCH THE VIDEO
Brother Mark, by his own admission, had a great trip,
shows off a couple of his many, many, fish caught on
Week One. During one period he caught six fish on
eight casts. His favorite lure was a Chatterbait - It didn't
snag. Also Andy with a nice smallie.
This was not Nick Schack's first trip to the Blue Heron, but was certainly his best. Early in the week Nick was overjoyed to catch his first ever Muskie, the little guy
pictured above, that is until he caught Bubba (featured above) a few days later. Nick and Andy were the kings of the trophy pike on Week one. Nick is shown here
with a 36 inch Northern, and with a smallmouth bass that hit a pike plug in the same bay.
Unfortunately my primary fishing partner Bill
Hagedorn was unable to make the trip, at home
recovering from torn rotator cuff surgery.
What a difference a week makes. Week Two
was gorgeous. The sun came out the
temperatures warmed up, the trees started to
grow leaves and the fish continued to bite.
I was unable to find a fishing partner for this
week but that didn't keep me from fishing twice
daily, and I put a lot of nice fish in the boat.
Conspicuous by their absence were the lack of
walleye - we caught one Week One, and I caught
one Week Two. I was surprised and
disappointed that we didn't catch a crappie on
this trip. The walleye showed up in abundance
during Week Three.
|On Saturday, May 31st my nephew Justin
Kremer arrived in camp, and so did the walleye.
Each evening just before dark we would troll
across from camp for walleyes. The first night
I caught three and Justin none. I told him he
sucked at walleye fishing. Each night
thereafter, it was Justin who won the Walleye
Wars. We had a great time together and
caught some quality fish.
|You can't beat fresh fish, and it doesn't get any
fresher than this. From the cleaning table to the
kitchen table in less than 24 hours.
The walleye really turned on Week 3. We had
enough for dinner and a limit to take home.
All other fish were caught on artificial bait,
photoed, and released.
|The Ship's Bell removed as a memorial
from the Edmund Fitzgerald, which lies
17 miles west of Whitefish Point
What started as a late-winter, flooded, cold, windy
condition, returned to normal conditions for Week
Three when the boats were permitted to dock at
In the photo at left you can see the aftermath of the
flood from two weeks back.
While I missed fishing with my regular partners,
Bill Hagedorn and Ryan Anderson, who both vow
to return in 2015, I certainly enjoyed fishing with
my brother Mark, Andy, Nick Schack and my
The fishing just seems to get better and better each
year, and this year despite the early trip challenges
was one of our best ever.
Our hats are off to the Mathesons, who made the
very best of really tough early season conditions,
and like a duck working hard beneath the surface,
made it look smooth and easy on the surface.
Since I was traveling home solo, I took the opportunity to spend the weekend of June 7th and 8th in Saulte Saint Marie, Michigan and realized one of my lifelong
wishes - to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point in Lake Superior. The museum and restorations far exceeded my expectations and I spent
myself spending much more time their than anticipated.
I strongly suggest anyone looking for a vacation adventure to consider the Mackinac City/Mackinac Island, Saulte Ste Marie area.