The mighty Laker

Today, anglers venture into the open waters between the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and the Western Islands in search of salmon. Up to the 1930s, however, these waters were said to be the place where the mighty lake trout began its autumn migration from the depths to their traditional inner spawning waters.

Fishermen and guides of the day would seek word of catches outside of Moose Deer Point in late October and early November, then head out to troll deeply with copper wire line off the Pine Islands, Watchers, and Giant’s Tomb for the most prized catch of the season. Alas, by the early 1950s native lake trout had been almost wiped out by the predatory sea lamprey and probably commercial over-fishing.

When they first got to know each other at Minnicognashene Island, former guide Frank Rourke would tantalize Kenneth With by recounting tales of trout fishing near the Westerns. Dad took those stories seriously but was never able to share the experience. For years hanging in hope on the wall of his boathouse was a special short fishing rod and reel loaded with copper wire, to be used only for lake trout, should the chance arise.

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