Kayak Fishing in Canada has been at the top of my bucket list for years and I was able to fulfill that dream a few weeks ago. After preparing for weeks and watching musky fishing videos on YouTube every night, my family took me to the airport in my hometown of Bremen in Northern Germany. The security check at the Bremen airport was done quickly, this time no wrong bomb alert as in my trip to Panama a few months ago. But I had to unpack my GoPro’s because they were recognized in the scanner as a cake. What the hell? Really, cake?
The first destination was the huge airport in Frankfurt and from there I flew to Montreal. A very enjoyable long-haul flight, even though my neighbor moved restlessly for eight hours in her seat. The entry into Montreal went very smoothly (Europeans need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a current passport to fly to or transit through Canada) and after another security check the destination Ottawa was reached with a small airplane in less than 30 minutes. Here I could already see from the air how many huge lakes and rivers as well as beautiful forests will await me in the next two weeks. All in all, I was on the road for 16 hours, had traveled well over 6,000 km and was finally picked up by my buddy James at the airport. Arrived at his home we had delicious seafood, a cold beer and I made my tackle ready for the next day. I had no time for a jet lag, after six hours of sleep and breakfast at Tim Hortons we drove across the Trans-Canada Highway to Algonquin Provincial Park (200 km away), to spend the next two nights in the wilderness. By that time, I had seen Canada only in the dark, but as the sun came out, I could see the incredible beauty of different colored trees in the fall. Like in fairy tales!
The 7,725 km² Algonquin Park with over 2,400 lakes is the most beautiful national park in Canada’s east and is far from civilization. The landscape is breathtaking, that’s how I imagined Canada! The stay in the park costs a few dollars per night and every visitor must sign up when entering and also check out when leaving the park. This ensures, among other things, that search parties have to be sent in case you have messed with one of the many black bears.
After many kilometers on a dirt road and arriving at the beautiful Lake Traverse we had to leave the car, because from here we had to paddle with our complete equipment on the kayaks to our basecamp. We decided to set up our tents later in the day because we really wanted to go fishing right away! My goal was to catch at least one musky in the next two days and I could not believe it when James caught a little musky on the fifth cast who said goodbye with a big jump. OK, I thought to myself, should the fish of ten thousand casts be easier to catch? Not really, because while James had caught some more muskies and smallies, it took me a bit longer to find and understand the target fish. But then a few muskies attacked my bait and two of them hooked off next to the kayak. Full of adrenaline, I was confident that it could work out with a musky on the kayak the next day.
In the early evening we paddled to the camp, set up our tents, collected firewood and spent a great evening around the campfire with delicious steaks and a glass of red wine. The temperatures dropped to 0 degrees Celsius and the night in the tent was pretty cold. At midnight, the wolves howled under the full moon and I must admit that I was a little scarded to leave the tent for peeing at night because of the many bears in the area. In Germany there are only cows, squirrels and rabbits. Nothing that kills you.
The next day we started early in the morning with coffee and oakmeal, warming ourselves up by the campfire and paddling out into the lake in thick fog. I changed my bait strategy and tried the good old spinner. Not 20 minutes later I had my first musky on the kayak! Wow, what a feeling. Mission done, my cheer was heard throughout Algonquin Park! It was followed by some attacks until we had a another surprise guest at the kayaks. A huge trophy buck thought James was a pretty female and ran right up to him in the water. Very impressive! Slightly intimidated, James said “Hey buddy” to the buck and it noticed the mistake. The buck ran into the woods and the hashtag F**kbuck was born as the running gag for the next two weeks.
At lunchtime we fortified ourselves with bacon & eggs, then James could catch a total of four muskies while I lost another musky at the kayak. It was getting dark and we paddled back to the camp, where we sat comfortably by the campfire again. The next morning we packed our tents and had a few ours left to fish. The muskies were hungry and I managed to persuade two more muskies to a photo shoot on the kayak. What a great ending to our first days fishing in beautiful Ontario, which will burn into my memory!
In the next few days we wanted to fish for bass in different lakes in the surrounding area. You can read in the next part, if it worked!
My musky kayak fishing tackle:
Although I had heavy equipment with me, I was able to fish very well with the Gamakatsu Akilas XH rod and a Shimano TwinPower. Line: PowerPro Braided. Leader: Climax Haruna Fluorocarbon 1.00 mm.
PS: English is not my native language, I apologize for a few grammatical mistakes.
Check out my Instagram for more photos: @denniskieselhorst