On July 3, several hours after my last post, Tackle Shop roused me from a sound sleep by pounding on my apartment window at 4:30am. All I knew the day before was our destination, Trenton, so it was a complete surprise to see the Russian in the van and a stop along the way to pick up another long lost friend...Treefrog. So at the crack of dawn I found myself surrounded by three characters en route to one of my favorite fishing holes.
What makes Trenton so special is the fact that it's the first of 45 locks on the Trent Severn Waterway which connects Lake Ontario in the south to Georgian Bay, 250 miles to the northwest on Lake Huron. In the first ten miles north of the Bay of Quinte there are five locks and dams where at any time there is the chance of catching any species that swims in the Great Lakes, all easily accessible and wadeable for the adventurous angler.
Our collective anticipation was like a living thing pushing us toward an unknown goal, ever increasing as the distance to our destination dwindled until we parked the van and scrambled down to the river in search of a prime location to land a dream. Tackle Shop and Treefrog immediately rigged up and took position on the near wing of the dam, amazed at the large schools of giant carp playing follow the leader in and out of the current, while the Russian and I started pitching heavy metal, wading near the tailout of the plunge pool several hundred yards downstream. This was only the second time this year that I'd started the day out with the spinning gear and I was quickly rewarded for that decision with a strike that nearly ripped the rod from my hands. After almost a minute of questioning myself what I'd hooked into, a "nearly subdued" 20"+ smallmouth swam between my legs and impaled the treble hook into my calf, thus securing his freedom and supplying me with a painful fish tale.
|He was grinning ear to ear right up to when I snapped this pic|
Next in line for a surprise was the Russian. He'd been cycling through his tackle until a #5 Mepps struck gold. Close to five minutes were spent "winching" in line, only to have the river monster take it back again, until finally what looked like an ancient piece of driftwood in the depths coalesced into a trophy sized musky right at our feet! Too bad we don't use wire leaders as I'm sure the Russian would have loved to have had a picture of the beast and kept his Mepps at the same time!
By this time TS and Treefrog had quit the dam for quieter waters and joined us to fish a back eddy. I'd switched to my fly rod hoping for a large predator, but kept myself amused with the occasional small bass and rockbass. Several times over the next few hours we'd witnessed monstrous fish jump and roll right before us, but unfortunately we'd had our chances earlier in the day and there were few decent takes by noon. A few hours before we packed up the Russian pointed out what must have been a sturgeon "breaching" in the center of the pool
|TS & the Russian...an angling cold war|
|Frankford lock tailout|
|anyone know what this bug is?|