An Ode to some Magical Places
I was born a spot namer. I can’t help it, I come from a long line of spot namers. My grandfather was a spot namer, my Dad was a spot namer and my brother and I inherited the trait. What’s a spot namer you ask? Well typically it’s a fisherman who feels the need to “christen” a location on a lake or river with a nick name. The nickname can be derived from many variables like the topography of the spot (Bald Rock Bay), the name of the person who caught fish there (Flo’s Cove), perhaps there was an accident with the boat (AS#HOLE Shoal) or it could be based on appearance (Rabbit Point). Whatever the case I am a spot namer, I can admit it and I thought I would walk through 3 that stand out in my memory.
The Hot Corner
In 2018 myself and 4 guys ventured to Nakina, Ontario to fish for a week at Ogoki Lake with Ogoki Lake Outfitters Ogoki Trip Report. Leading up to the trip we had done quite a bit of research online, created a pretty unique map and been given some starting points by Chris Brock and Jimmy V. Both had fished the lake before and were generous with their intel. One area was easily identifiable by a red cabin that was had a shoal nearby and was not far from our cabin. That spot was called Red Cabin Shoal (original I know). One rough morning (weather, not hangover rough) we headed to the red cabin and spread out looking for fish. I cruised down a shoreline that was getting pounded by the waves trolling a worm harness on a 2-ounce bottom bouncer. I had a few hesitant takes but wasn’t getting much going. Just as I was turning the boat, I noticed a small point that was really getting swamped by the waves. I turned the boat and marked a path towards the point and just as I passed the break line it was fish on. After returning a chunky walleye back to the depths I continued my path towards the “corner” of where the point and the shore met. Sure, enough I got maybe 2 boat lengths and I hooked another twin walleye. Well from there on it just got silly. I got on the radio, told the boys to come joins me and for about 2 hours it was epic. Motor out to 30 feet, deploy bouncer, head towards the “corner” and generally within 3 boat lengths of travel you hooked up (or sometimes because your human you missed the hit) I believe over that period of time we caught something like 80 fish. It was epic and the “Hot Corner” became a spot. Listen closely to our campfire conversations and it won’t take long to hear “Hot Corner” whispered in awe.
The 649 Troll
As a kid both we spent a lot of time fishing with my grandfather (Spot Namer Sr.) on Balsam Lake in the Kawarthas. I truly owe my love of the outdoors to him and my Dad (In fact it was my first post on Northern Jacks (1st Post). One year they hooked us kids up with an old 12-foot aluminum boat and a 4 horsepower Evinrude outboard. It was an incredible gift for us kids. We spent a lot of time (slowly, very slowly) learning how to fish in that boat. One day we were heading out and asked my Pop where we should go for bass. In his Scottish accent he said, “Why don’t you head out to the 649 shore”. So, a few pieces of background 1) The major lottery in Ontario at that time was Lott 649 and 2) The shore being referenced was dotted with massive cottages. Hence 649 shore. We decided to follow his advice and check it out. We got to the spot, tied on Mepps Black Furys and proceeded to troll the shoreline (slowly, very slowly). It didn’t take long before Dave hooked into a nice smallmouth. Another pass and it was my turn to hook up. I think we ended up with 5 or 6 nice bass that day. A week or so later Dave and my cousin Cameron had more success. From then on, that spot became the “649 Troll” To this day it is still a spot I always check whenever I fish Balsam Lake some 30 plus years later. Our kids have been introduced to it and it still holds fish on occasion. Occasionally one of us will turn to the other, put on our best brogue and say “Let’s head down to the 649 troll”
The Pin Cushion
I don’t get to name all the spots. On our recent trip to Slate Falls Outposts Root Bay Trip we inherited the nickname the “Pin Cushion” To be honest I can’t really give you the rationale of why it’s called the “Pin Cushion” I believe Verne Hollett the former owner of Slate Falls Outposts coined the term. I do know it first appeared on our radar in a wonderful trip report done by Mike Borger Mikes Root Bay Report. He talks about the “stupid walleye” fishing at the Pin Cushion. When our trip was switched from Miniss Lake to Root Bay we started scouring the internet for Root Bay info and Mike’s report (along with the phone call he had with my brother Dave) was helpful. As we got closer to the date, we asked Ryan about the spot and he also claimed it was “stupid”. The Pin Cushion is a narrow neck down where the Root Bay leaves Lake St Joseph and eventually reaches a dam (which I believe eventually connects with Lac Seul) A few important points 1) The Pin Cushion is about a 6 minute boat ride from the Root Bay Camp and b) It was “stupid” fishing. We love to explore when we fish a new lake and Lake St Joseph was no exception. However, we equally or more so love catching fish! Most days we ventured out to try new area’s but as the day progressed it was guaranteed someone would pop on the radios and simply say “Pin Cushion” From there it was a race to the spot where we caught 100s of fish including many of our largest. I also credit the spot for helping a crew who love to bottom bounce to begin to love (the jig still has some work to replace my bottom bouncer love) the jig. Mark and I watched a bear swim across the entrance to the Pin Cushion and motor into the bush on the other side (video below). The next time we meet I am sure conversation will turn to “Remember when you did X at the pin cushion”
So, there you have my confession. It feels good to get it off my chest. I am Andrew Gordon, and I am a spot namer.