Opening Walleye season on Murkey Creek, Northern Ontario

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Feb 1, 2013
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It’s that time of year up here in Northern Ontario…walleye season opened on Saturday. Yesterday, we took the 20 footer and canoed way up an obscure place where no one would ever go…no luck. One day too early, the fish were still spawning.

Today we headed up Murky Creek, a usually languid small creek that contains nothing but pike for most of the year. However, for about two weeks after the spawn, it is one of the hottest fishing places around. I had heard reports that they still weren’t there, but we took a chance today. Put in at around noon and paddled upstream five kilometers to the junction of a small stream.

By the way, Kim, if you are reading this, I love my bent shaft paddle, thanks for sending me to the darkside, couldn’t live without it now. Going to have to buy Irene one now too.



A couple of guys were already there in a boat, and as we arrived, they hauled out a huge walleye, and then threw it back. The regulations up here only permit you to keep one walleye over 18 inches, so they had obviously broken that record already.
Shortly after that, Irene hooked into a big one, and the fun had started. A few minutes later, she got another one.



We had forgotten our measuring tape, and they both looked close to 18 inches. After a half hour or so, I was starting to feel a skunking coming on for myself, so I suggested that we paddle another couple of kilometers to a campsite I knew and brew up some coffee. Pulled out my Vital furnace and perculated some coffee in no time.


The Baileys made it quite tolerable.



The obligatory selfie!



We decided to call it a day, as we weren’t sure if our fish were already in violation of the rules, and everything we saw coming out of the water from other boats had been big. We took the Honeymoon canoe out today, it’s a very sweet paddle!



When we got back home, we measured the fishies, and sure enough, one was just under 18 and the other was slightly over.



Now for those of you who know how to fillet fish, you can skip the next pics, I just thought I’d throw in a short tutorial for anyone wanting to learn. I start off by cutting just behind the front fins.


Then I cut up from the bunghole to the cut by the throat.



Then I cut down and around the rib cage. Some people just slice straight down and cut the rib cage out later, but I like to surgically remove it as I go.


Here is the fillet peeled off.


Then I take the skin off.


Last thing I do is remove the little ridge of bones in the center.


Into the frying pan.


With the fried onions and potatoes


And the most dangerous foods to marriage, beans.


And here’s what you get.


I’ve gained a lot of weight since I’ve been married, but I gotta say it’s been worth every mouthful. My wife is a fantastic cook, and she loves fishing. Here’s another secret….she can fillet fish too, I don’t like that one getting out, because then I’ll have competition from every male fisherman in the region. Life is good!
 
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Joined
Aug 23, 2013
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924
Location
Red Lake, Ontario
Now THAT is northern gourmet. Potatoes beans and walleye!

I clean my fish the same way with the rib cage but leave the tail attached until filleting. Gives me something to hold onto. I'll often just leave the two filets and tail as one piece and bring them home like that. Keeps the warden happy and less fish guts in my home trash for the bears to rummage through.
 
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Jan 5, 2014
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Hey Mem, is there a spot to fish on the Crib Road on the river that goes from Burrows to Alfred?
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Yup, there are two places. The first one is the culverts a few K in, and the second one is a few clicks further at the bridge between Alfred and Burrows. Those are very popular places for people who don't have boats. Walleye don't really start biting till after 8:30 or so. I hear there are lots of pike there right now too. I took tomorrow off, and am headed up Murky again for the creek. Good place for you to throw your canoe in too, go upstream around 5 k to the opening of the creek that flows out of Murkey Lake. Should be lots of fish there right now. Only problem, is at all of those places right now, they tend to get crowded in the evening. You got a boat and motor, or just the canoe?
 
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Jan 5, 2014
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Just the canoe for now, have the motor and all accessories, just no boat yet. Our boats are stashed at the deer hunt camp south of Parry Sound. Looking at picking up a boat and trailer for here soon though. The Mrs. picked up a new rod and reel at Skinners last weekend (it matches her boots you know..) and wants to try it out. Lol
 
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Jun 12, 2012
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Location
Appleton, Maine
Nice report, very nice fish. You guys look like you had a good winter, the picture of the canoe, bride and fish is special. Wish I didn't have such skinny arms, I'd get a crossed paddle tatoo too..ha, maybe I'll get just a kids paddle by itself.

Your cleaning tutorial was helpful, the meat of the walleye is so good, you never want to waste a piece. That dinner plate looked delicious, your coffee stop is what it's all about, Thanks for sharing.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Wow Memaquay, that was great! I'd say you hit the jackpot in the wife department! It's a lot clearer now how you manage those long distances in your canoe.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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That seems like a fair deal. Irene catches 'em, and you clean 'em. Ha! Seriously though, it sure was a nice way to start the season; a good paddle, shore side coffee break, and some fine fresh fish at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing the season opener.
 
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