Sometimes I look at the condition of the boats in these Cetacea pages and wonder if the owners ever use them! Are these old classics just show boats that never see the water? Dayton, Ohio fisherman and Whaler renovator Barry Burtenshaw recently showed us his 1974 Montauk to which he added an engine setback bracket this spring. To test the new engine set up, Barry, his two sons, and a couple of friends hauled the classic Whaler to Phillip Edward Island in extreme northern Lake Huron/Georgian Bay for a week of fishing the beautiful but rocky waters of Collins Inlet, Mill Lake and Beaverstone Bay.
Phillip Edward Island is pretty obscure. It is located in the extreme northern shoreline of Georgian Bay, the huge eastern one-third of Lake Huron. From the lake inland for about fifty miles there is very limited population and development, and in many places there is really no population, other than bears! Reaching this area by car means a long 50-mile ride down two lane Route-637 from the main highway. From there it is about 700 miles to Dayton. It is a long haul, but the location is beautiful and the fishing is very good.
"My father-in-law has been going fishing at the same location almost every year since 1978. Last year I went again and took my boys for the first time. They had such a great time we went back this year. This time I hauled my 1974 Montauk. We stayed at Mill Lake Lodge and had a great time. Caught lots of fish. Here's a few pictures for Cetacea."
Phillip Edward Island in Georgian Bay
The remote northern shore of Georgian Bay includes a huge area with almost no roads. Behind Phillip Edward Island lies Collins Inlet, Mill Lake, and Beaverstone Bay.
PhotoCredit: JWH - Reference: 43-1
Montauk On the Road
A Boston Whaler 17-Montauk can be towed with a moderate sized car or van. Barry, his two boys, and two other adults, their gear, and the Montauk, were all transported 700 miles northward from Dayton, Ohio to Beaverstone Bay in this compact rig. From launch ramp at Chikanishing Creek in Killarney Provincial Park it is about a ten mile run up Collins Inlet to Mill Lake Lodge. The Montauk hauled all five fishermen and their gear up to the Lodge.
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-2
Fishing Beaverstone Bay
Barry and his two boys, Matthew and Daniel, fishing in Beaverstone Bay.
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-3
Montauk at the dock at Mill Lake Lodge
When you come down to the boat in the morning and find a scene like this, you get the feeling you are going to catch some fish. Note the wooden cleats on the pier, typical in this part of Canada.
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-4
Shore Lunch at Toad Island
After a long morning of fishing, the guys take a break and a trip ashore for lunch at Toad Island.
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-5
"Matthew with a nice walleye, the only one caught this trip. He got it late in the evening in a bay right across from the lodge. We were casting spoons for northern pike."
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-6
Learning to Fish
"Daniel, 10 years old, with a big pike. He looks pretty happy here. Especially since the day before he caught himself with musky lure. He snagged himself in the top of his thigh with one of the hooks of a treble hook. I had to force the point through the skin so I could cut the barb off to remove it. So he ended up with two holes about an inch and a half apart. Looked like he'd been bit by a big snake."
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-7
"Here's what can happen when the engine meets one of those beautiful rocks. We were headed in about 5:30 pm on the fifth day, cruising about 25 mph when we hit HARD. I tilted the engine up to check and saw that the skeg and prop were damaged. Since I was out in the middle of Beaverstone I lowered the engine down, fired it up, and headed for the dock. It still ran fine. I was able to do 23 mph at the same rpm. So I'm thinking, it can't be that bad. After I got to the dock I realized that the lower unit casing was destroyed. Fortunately I didn't scrap up the bottom of the boat. So I rented a camp boat for the next day and had my boat towed back to the launch ramp on the last day. It cost $1,800 to replace the lower unit casing and the prop. I only had to pay the $250 deductible."
PhotoCredit: Barry Burtenshaw - Reference: 43-8
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Author: James W. Hebert