Just got back from a 4 day trip to Le Domaine Shannon. Brought my 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter along for her first attempt at catching walleye fishing on Lac LeNotre. My son had been to Le Domaine Shannon in the past, but fishing for pike on a pike lake. While he's caught his more than fare share of walleye over the years, it was his first outing on Lac Lenotre.
Upon arriving, the owner told us that walleye fishing had been very difficult over the past 2 weeks prior to our arrival. Not what we wanted to hear, as there is not much of a pike fishery on Lac LeNotre aside from the occasional spring giant caught by soaking dead minnows, which is no longer legal in Quebec. As I always tell my kids, it is what it is, let's make the best of it.
After driving another 28 km to our isolated propane/solar powered cabin, I get the boat set up and head out to lac LeNotre for our first attempt at fishing for / catching some walleye, hopefully some keepers.
With a West wind blowing nicely across the lake, I got straight to business setting up a couple lines to put out, Rigged one rod with a Bite Booster lure, of which I removed the treble hooks, and led a 3 foot fluorocarbon leader with #4 Gamakatsu baitholder hook, tipped with a live worm. Second rod was rigged with a Little Joe worm harness tied to a 3 ounce bottom bouncer, again tipped with a live worm.
Having a sonar makes all the difference when it comes to walleye, for the purpose of our drifts, my cheap portable hummingbird got the job done, but it was the one time I could have used a proper unit with GPS ($$$). On our second drift, the rod with the Bite Booster loads, I know it's a nice one when it starts taking drag. I guide her to keep tension with a bent rod at all times, and my son net's the big walleye on his second try.
Measuring over the legal limit at 24 inches, I hand it to my more experienced son for the quick pic, as my daughter was unsure of whether or not she wanted to hold it.
Weighing in at 4.5 lbs, I'll say she knocked that one out of the park on her first try at walleye fishing.
My son followed up with a keeper size walleye on the little Joe harness, during the next drift over same area.
Wind suddenly died down after that drift, and were spent a bit of time trolling our rigs before calling it a days a few hours later.
The following morning, the wind & lake were way to calm for drift fishing, so we started of with more trolling. Sure enough, the first pass yielded another nice walleye for my daughter, this one measure in right at the top limit of the 53 CM (just under 21 inches) slot for keeping walleye in that region of Quebec. Weighed in at a heavy 3.2 lbs for a walleye of that length.
On the next pass, my son hooked up with a keeper size pike as well.
After catching another small walleye and pike each in the cloud some drizzling rain, the sun came out bringing in a warm front, the bite died down, and we headed back to grill some burgers on a log fire.
After getting the fire start, it was back to work for the fishing guide, aka myself :)
With weather changing for heat to thunderstorms, to near freezing single digit temperature to fog, the walleye fishing died down for the rest of the trip. We made the best of it by catching some small pike, and enjoying what we could of the local wildlife, sights and sounds of being out in the forest with a a good 4-5 kilometer stretch of lake to ourselves at most times.
Some big flocks of young red head ducks getting swimming lesson back and forth across a 5 kilometer stretch of lake / river.
All in all, a learning experience for myself, testing my kids to see how they react to being out for hours without catching much, when they are typically spoiled with non stop action of big fish like carp. They fared well for their age, though I'll probably wait until my younger ones develop more of patience before attempting to take them to Lac Lenotre for some more walleye fishing. Leaving the trip without any walleye for home as a slight let down, as our previous trips fishing for walleye in Lac Lenotre have always resulted in us catching our bag limits, in addition to our shore lunches / walleye dinners.
More information on fishing Le Domaine Shannon can be found at: