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Choose your preference, pick up your fishing licence and a copy of the current regulations from any of several licence issuers on the Island, and enjoy your fishin’ expedition!
For comprehensive recommendations for fishing Manitoulin, and an accompanying map, visit: Streams rehabilitates cold water streams and river ecosystems on Manitoulin.
In those days, fishing was a grand adventure, and Jim vividly remembers his mother’s stories of Senator Dawes, just up the road, where “servants dressed all in white, the cottagers arrived in chauffeur-driven limousines, stayed all summer and ate fish at every meal.
There was never any rush.” The 18- to 20-foot wooden boats with inboard motors would purr across the lake, hooks were baited by staff and shore lunches served in style.
He says: “Whether the fish is big or small, obey the law.”“All of Manitoulin is good for fishing,” Bob declares, “just go out with someone who knows.” He is quick to add, “I don’t fish for fun, I fish for food.” That’s a lot of fish-eating as he will not freeze the catch, because, in his opinion, that would affect both consistency and taste; so he and Margaret also give away fish to friends who don’t have a chance to, or can’t, fish themselves.
At Wee Point Resort on Lake Manitou near Manitowaning, Jim Hembruff loves to tell stories about the old days, when his grandfather built the fishing lodge in 1917 for the American owner who had purchased the Crown land for a resort. O’Blennis, Jim’s dad was deeded the 26 acres with lodge, cottages and boathouse, “for 20 years of service to Wee Point.” The will is framed in the lodge.
They conduct wilderness awareness tours, nature walks and other programs for children and adults.
“I fell in love with it,” he admits, and still goes out almost every day in summer with the same boyhood enthusiasm.“You have to respect limits,” he says, “the fish won’t last forever.I tell my kids: just take what you need, don’t go overboard.”Even if Sawbill Lake is off the map, there are plenty of other lakes on the Island, as well as the surrounding waters of Lake Huron, that come with near-legendary reputations for various species.The members sometimes go into schools to talk about protection of game.“Education is key,” says Ken, “we have to conserve the stock of fish for the future.”Ken’s wife, Ingrid, has run Duke’s Fish and Chips just off Highway 540 in AOK for 14 years, serving whitefish and hand-cut fries to the community and passers-by; she also takes pride in her homemade fresh-ground burgers and special baked beans.