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ry bushes. On any other trip the blueberries could have been the highlight but this trip was all about the fishing.After quickly setting up camp,we headed out in the canoe again in search of the lake’s monster bass. We cast our lines out the moment we entered the first weedy

bay;Noel and I with our fancy plugs and spinners, and Walker with his half-dead worm stuck on a bear hook. It was my idea to give Walker the defunct bait, thinking the lake’s healthy population of sunfish would keep him occupied for at least long enough for Noel and me to catch some descent-sized bass for supper.Of course in no time at all Walker had caught three bass, averaging around four pounds each. Noel and I hadn’t received a single bite. Quickly we switched to the decomposing worms and, in exchange, allowed Walker full rein on our lure boxes.Ten minutes later Walker had caught two more trophy bass—one on my scent-impregnated rub- ber frog and the other on Noel’s pink-coloured Holla-Popper. Noel and I remained fishless. I doubt Crab Lake has ever given up so many fish. In fact, Noel and I were quite mystified by Walker’s success and had to blame it

on beginners’ luck to settle our egos.Walker,on the other hand,had a different reason for catching so many lunkers. Each time he low- ered his line into the water the intrepid angler would whisper the secret code, “Here fishy,fishy,fishy.”Walker insisted that without say- ing this magical phrase,no fish would ever bite a hook.So,whether we agreed to play along for the fun of it, or that we just became completely desperate to catch fish, both Noel and I tossed out our lines and repeated the expression,“Here fishy, fishy, fishy.” Thinking back, the trip to Crab Lake wasn’t a complete success

according to Noel’s set criteria.The route was actually a two-and-a- half hour drive from his home near Toronto;Walker only carried his personal pack halfway along the portage before handing it over to his father; and Noel and I never did catch a trophy bass. Crab Lake did manage to fulfill his main objective though—Walker can’t wait until next years trip.And according to Noel, a father can’t ask for anything more perfect than that.

Kevin Callan is the author of numerous guidebooks for canoeists, including the bestseller Cottage Country Canoe Routes. The Crab Lake route, along with a number of other great weekend getaways in the Kawarthas, is included in his latest book Gone Canoeing: Weekend Wilderness Adventures in Southern Ontario.Callan’s newest book project Ontario's Lost Canoe Routes is scheduled to be released this Spring.



photo by Don Standfield

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