Just after noon today, Tackle Box decided he wanted to get out for a few hours but didn't want to travel too far. Our destination was a tiny pothole lake we'd discovered the year before, Haynes Lake. Only a 20 minute drive north of Toronto on a dusty side road, Haynes boasts an extremely healthy population of bass, pike and panfish. Earlier this year, on a return from another local lake, we stopped at Haynes to witness bass and schools of crappie cruising the crystal clear, cool shallows along the shoreline. During this stopover, a Natural Resources Officer mentioned the lake was over 50 feet deep and he'd witnessed a 20lb pike caught there the year before. What more could you want from a lake smaller than an average city block. Strangely enough there was no mention of this lake being closed to the public.
|Haynes Lake As Seen From the Road|
There were only a few hours of daylight left by the time we met our friend Robyn Graves at the side of the lake. No matter though, because this was mostly an exploratory mission to chart the depths and figure out what else lived beneath the ice. I drilled my first hole twenty paces out from Leslie St. and found 22 feet of water with a clean sand bottom! Another ten paces out and 40 feet. This was certainly going to be interesting. After drilling a dozen holes along the northern shore in water ranging from 15 to 50 feet, I'd marked neither fish nor weeds, and I was starting to think that regardless of it's diminutive size, this lake was not going to give up it's secrets easily or quickly.
It was at this point where the search came to a grinding halt in the form of sprightly senior and her dog. As we met in the middle of the lake and exchanged pleasantries, I was politely informed (with a definite undercurrent of threat) that the lake was private property and we would have to leave immediately. Of course I mentioned the complete lack of signs or fences indicating some sort of ownership and also the fact that the lake's shoreline was less than 10 feet from the road constituting right of way, but the old woman would not be swayed from her campaign to keep the lake to herself. Not wanting to get the authorities involved over a few fish, I was surprised how easy it was to convinced my friends to pack it in after just 45 minutes, considering one of our party rarely backs down from a challenge.
In my previous 20 posts I've tried to inform, inspire, entertain and amuse. Up until now it never occurred to me to lash out because for me fishing is a relaxing pastime, not a reason to get wired. If I have offended or disappointed you by this rant... I apologize. If you feel strongly in favor or against outting the greedy, let me know, leave a comment, make your mark and be counted. Only the obscene will be edited.