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C-Otter fishing adventure on Lake Superior

 
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Avidmagnum12



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 565
City/Region: Ocklawaha
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2011
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Otter
Photos: C-Otter
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:57 pm    Post subject: C-Otter fishing adventure on Lake Superior Reply with quote

We are ever so slowly heading back to Florida after 4 months of boating in Wisconsin and Michigan. Our walleye fishing in central Wisconsin was less than stellar but we caught all we wanted to eat. Wisconsin is family time and itís always great to get together with loved ones. Lake Superior travel and fishing is a high that I canít fully describe. Joyce and I started at ďCamp ClowĒ in LíAnse Michigan on Keweenaw Bay. Pat Clow is the ultimate C-Brat host who allows us to camp in her yard and prepares many delicious treats for us when we are not out fishing. Of course itís our ďjobĒ to supply the fish for dinner. Itís taken us a few years to figure out where we could reliably catch Lake Trout but catch them we did. My fishing partner and boat driver only likes to fish for 2 to 3 hours but thatís enough time to catch dinner and some to give away. Records show 24 lake trout kept in 7 days. Joyce likes lake trout because they are what she calls ďcivilized fishĒ. That is you donít have to get up early to catch them and they are delicious! On our fishing trips we generally eat fish 4 out of 5 days. We like smaller fish, 18 to 20 inches or so as they are just enough for a meal for two.

Next installment will be on Isle Royal.

_________________
Tom and Joyce Schulke

2011 CD 25 "C-Otter" 07/2015 to present
2011 CD 25 "My Girl" 06/2015 renamed C-Otter
2004 CD 22 Commuter "Out2C" 03/10 to 06/15
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Avidmagnum12



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 565
City/Region: Ocklawaha
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2011
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Otter
Photos: C-Otter
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isle Royal National Park is said to have the least visitors but most return visits of any National Park. It is part of Michigan and one must have a Michigan fishing license to fish the waters of Lake Superior around the island. While you can boat over from Michigan we cross from Grand Portage Minnesota. The Ojibwa tribe have a great marina and boat launch there and as we planed to stay out for a month we purchased a season pass. This allowed us unlimited parking and boat launching. This came in handy later on!

Going to ďThe IslandĒ for a month takes a little planing and some experience helps. This being our fifth trip we knew that there are very little supplies available. Fuel was $5.36 a gallon and when we crossed they did not know when the new shipment would come in so we took an extra 27 gallons with us. Also took 13 dozen eggs. Most stored in a forward hatch kept cool by Lake Superior waters. Other food stores to last 5 weeks in case weather held us up......which did happen. Eating fish for dinner 4 out of 5 days helped keep room in our Engel Freezer for breakfast meats and only limited other beef and pork for dinner. Phone and internet are sketchy at best and we do not plan on it at all. We do have a Garmin InReach for emergency communication, weather and texts.

Our 25 mile crossing to Windigo was uneventful on seas less than I foot. At Windigo we met Eric, a park ranger C-Dory 22 owner. We had a delightful time visiting with him and his family. The next day Coby Smith turned up and we headed to Todd Harbor to spend the night and go fishing. Iíve never fished that area before but we were easily able to limit out on Lake Trout, so fish on the grill that night. Bill Roche showed up on the Mystery Girl. Colby likes to fish and will clean them but he gave me ice cream out of his freezer if I would clean them. Thatís a deal!

We had Mike on the Little Joe join us for a day at McCargo cove. Since everyone was traveling on a different schedule we all split up and went our different ways although Colby came back our way for some Northern Pike cleaning lessons and to treat me with more ice cream!

Joyce and I normally fished for 2 to 3 fish a day. One to eat, one for the freezer and one to give away to back packers. After eating Dehydrated food for some days most are more than ready for some real food. What was fun was when some would bring us berries in trade. This happened after most of our fresh fruit was gone. Met some wonderful folks! When we were at Belle Isle we had a cruiser show up and tell us how he was telling his buddy a half hour before how someone gave him a fish last year. Of course it was us and so we gave him another one.

We fished 28 days and never got skunked. The water temperature was right for King Salmon this year. I found running 2 or 3 colors of lead core with 100í of 20 lb mono behind a plainer board to be very effective. Itís fun to have a King take off and become airborne.

Total fish caught was well over 100 including Lake Trout, Coho, Kings, Steelhead, Perch, Pike (including one over 40 inches) and White Fish. We released a lot but also filled our freezer.

More to come.....Tom
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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 3492
City/Region: Madison
State or Province: WI
C-Dory Year: 2009
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Traveler
Photos: C-Traveler and Midnight-Flyer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick addition. The other thing about using Grand Portage MN to launch from is the crossing is only about 23 miles. Coming over from michigan is about 60 miles I believe. Lake Superior can get nasty in a rather short time if a gale blows in. And it's not just the fishing at Isle Royale that makes for a great time. The scenery is spectacular and there is plenty of trails to hike. There are many coves and bays that allow one to hide from any nasty weather than moves in. But it is quite remote and off the electronic grid. Although I did notice since several years ago, it seemed like I was able to get limited cell service a few times around the north side, and even in some of the inside bays. Perhaps improved cell towers (Canada) or my iphone 7 has a better antenna than my previous phone. BTW, I hate cleaning fish, so will somewhat happily give up ice cream to anyone that saves me from that job. lol. It was great to do some fishing with Tom, and cruising with Bill. I had the least amount of time available, so this time spent all my time on the north half of the park. Which seems to be the better fishing anyway. Colby
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Molly Brown



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 349
City/Region: Punta Gorda
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 24 Tomcat
Vessel Name: MOLLY BROWN
Photos: Molly Brown
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey All...

I'm always impressed how you guys really get around. My day will come, lol. Special regards to Pat Clow if you see her on your way back. Looking forward to your story telling at Hontoon!

James

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James, Betty and Luna cat on the TomCat Molly Brown
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hank clow



Joined: 13 Aug 2011
Posts: 92
City/Region: L'Anse
State or Province: MI
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Meri Aura
Photos: Meri Aura
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Camp Clow is looking forward to next season and visits from C-Brats as they explore the wonders of Lake Superior. Visitation was pretty limited this year as we followed covid protocol. Those of you planning to include Isle Royale in your itinerary keep in mind their VERY strict rule prohibiting domestic animals aboard any vessel, even if the pet never goes ashore.

One of the many joys of C-Bratting at Camp Clow includes gathering for meals.....how many ways can you prepare Lake Trout? Have safe and adventurous winters everyone and we look forward to seeing you in June 2022.

Pat Clow
Meri Aura
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Molly Brown



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 349
City/Region: Punta Gorda
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 24 Tomcat
Vessel Name: MOLLY BROWN
Photos: Molly Brown
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesnít bode well for us thenÖ..we always seem to have a critter on board and I donít/canít cook. Still, my goal someday is to make sure we visit your ďcampĒ some day. I personally donít know anyone more fun than you Pat.

Peace and joy to you,
James
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Avidmagnum12



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 565
City/Region: Ocklawaha
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2011
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Otter
Photos: C-Otter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After 31 days on Isle Royal we returned to Grand Portage to prepare for our planed trip to Yellowstone National Park. This required a good washing and cleaning for boat inspections. Verizon did not work at Grand Portage so we drove about 30 miles to do laundry read emails and make phone calls. We had been invited back to Camp Clow and visit Lee and Jan Murray who own a 25 named the Tully B. We also received a note that our friends from Colorado were not going to make Yellowstone. Called our daughter and she canceled their trip to the park because of work. Itís interesting....we make plans and God sometimes laughs at them. We just did not have peace in continuing the trip out west and decided to return to Isle Royal for another 10 days, (we did have that season pass for parking) go to Camp Clow, drive down to Wisconsin and make a family visit and go visit Lee and Jan. So after shopping for more supplies back to Grand Portage and then Isle Royal. The first trip we circumnavigated the Island and this time stayed on the Northern side. More great fishing and hiking. Lots of moose sightings. We were also able to watch the first raising of the Ojibwa tribal flag on Isle Royal. It was a proud moment for the tribe and a good group was in attendance. The day after we made our way back to our truck and loaded up the C-Otter. About an hour down the road we noticed that the temperature was rising on one wheel. Not good! On inspection it was found that one pin backed out of the caliper and allowed it to rub on the wheel. I wrote about this in a earlier posting. If we would have gone to Yellowstone it would have been a major problem as we had to wait 6 days for parts. No trailer brakes for that long of a trip was not an option. We carefully drove to Camp Clow to deal with the problem.

James...while Isle Royal will not work for you there is lots of great cruising around Camp Clow. As for meals....Pat is the ultimate cook and her deserts are out of this world! Always good to hear from you.

Iíll report more on the Keweenaw next posting........Tom
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Molly Brown



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 349
City/Region: Punta Gorda
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 24 Tomcat
Vessel Name: MOLLY BROWN
Photos: Molly Brown
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your trips up there sure entice me to head up that way,no doubt. Always enjoy reading about yours and Joyceís adventures. Soon as you and the witch (❤️) head south I know itís almost time for Hontoon 😀
Good luck with the trailer, itís always something but I know your well prepared for most anything.

Safe travels,
James
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Avidmagnum12



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 565
City/Region: Ocklawaha
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2011
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Otter
Photos: C-Otter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to Camp Clow. Trailering back to LíAnse was slow and easy with lots of spacing between vehicles. The brakes on our F250 are excellent but with a 8500 lb tow load was not a lot of fun. Tried to get it fixed on the way but nobody had parts. Keweenaw bay is a great place to cruise and fish for salmon and lake trout. Our first day out we caught 9 and limited out the second day. After that we quit after 3 or 4 fish. The last day in the area we fished the Huron islands.....one of my favorite spots. Itís so pretty cruising around the islands that I donít even care if I catch fish. And it actually looked like for a time that we were going to get ďskunkedĒ. We then changed things up and finished deeper water and scored three fish including the biggest lake trout for the trip. Of course Joyce reeled it in and I netted it while the auto pilot drove. She lets me bring in the smaller fish. Itís always difficult to leave the ďcampĒ but we will be looking forward to next year. Iíve had to go back to my diet as I gained a bit on ď camp foodĒ!

We are now down by Lee and Janís enjoying their hospitality. What a summer itís been! Till next time ......Tom
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