Sunday, August 30, 2009

Deep water St-Francis Smallies - Part 2

August 30th, 2009

I was out on Francis again today with Caro and Marc-André to look for more deep water smallies. The winds were strong again but they were from W and SW and what a different it makes!! The ride there was very smooth compared to yesterday and even if I forgot my rain suit I didn't have to get wet. We went to the exact same deep water spot we tried yesterday to see if the opposite wind would have positive or negative effect on the fish. The result were quite the same... a lot of fish in the 2.5lbs range with a few near 3lbs. On our first spot, Caro got stung by a wasp on the neck... Those wasp have been all over the place recently and I hate them!! Caro continued fishing like a champ and even had the lunker smallmouth for most of day.

We relocated a few times and everytime the fish were getting bigger. Water temperature is around 71 in most areas we fished. The last area we fished was not as deep (20-35ft) and this time, the tube outfished the drop shot. I don't know if they were on crayfish but they were definitely looking down and not up! Marc-André shorten his leader a few times but the tubes were still catching more fish. We tried the drift sock to slow down our drift but the trolling motor ended up being the only way to slow us down enough. I wanted to try a few cast in shallower water close to a point that had been bugging me on every drift and I caught a big walleye on the tube!! We didn't weight it but it was over 6lbs for sure. For a minute I thought I had a huge smallmouth... For a walleye it gave me good fight. Before we left I caught a nice 4lbs+ smallie on the tube and on a new color... It's nice to be able to find new spots, new fishing technique, new baits and new colors all in the same weekend!

Overall, i'm really happy with what we learned this weeekend. We didn't catch any giants but I think were on the good track.

HELL on Francis!!

August 29th, 2009

They were announcing 25+ km/h East winds with gusts over 40... AND 15mm of rain but it was not enough to spot Marc-André and I from going on Francis for a Deep Fishing smallmouth study! We were obviously not going to fish the main lake with those conditions but we figured it wasn't going to be so bad around the islands. We were launching from a protected bay and it didn't look so bad so we decided to go see a bit further. I can honestly say I witnessed my biggest waves today.... Some of them had to be over 6ft.... The mustang suit was in order and I was really happy I had it on!! It's probably my best purchase over the last few years. It wasn't so much of the 25+ that was the problem but it was the fact that it was coming from the East.... Those E and NE winds are devastating on Francis.. We speared a few waves that got us soaked in less then a second but the ride wasn't so bad afterall. Thank god for all those FLW events on Lake Erie I was able to see on WFN I had a little idea on how to take those waves.

We finally got to an area where we were protected from the big winds and started looking for some nice rock piles. It took a while but we started catching a lot of fish in 15-30 ft of water on tubes and drop shots. When the wind settled down a little we decided to try another new area we had marked in 35+ ft of water. To my surprise ( I never catch fish in more then 25ft) we came across a good school a smallmouth. Most of them were a little over 2.5lbs but a lot of them couldn't resist our drop shots. The bite was so good we got to try all kind of baits and see which one worked better. One thing for sure the drop shot bite was better then the tube bite and a longer leader was in order. The drift speed was also perfect since the wind was pushing us against the current. The biggest fish was around 18inch and was a blast to fight!! We fished as deep as 47ft and still caught some decent fish.. It's a relief for me because i've been trying to find those deep smallies for quite some time now and I think I can only go from there and make it even better.

The ride back was not nearly as bad.. in fact I was able to gun it most of the way. More St-Francis tomorrow!!

Bite it already!!!

August 23rd, 2009

I was on Francis today with Caro and Dave trying some new spots in an area I had never been before.... After all the crazy bags i've been seeing this year I figured I would try a completely new area of the lake. We had very little wind so it was awsome to see the fish but we simply coudn't get them to bite.. We caught a few decent smallmouths drifting along a channel edge and in 15+ ft of water. While looking for some rock piles we noticed a nice patch of lilipads that we couldn't resist. It didn't take long before a small largemouth hit my frog... We spent about 45 mins trying for largemouth and missed a BIG one.. Those damn frogs!!

The search for new smallmouth spots was not working so well, so we decided to go back to some known good spots closer to the launch and I saw something I had never seen... I mean we always see fish in this area... but this time was just nuts! We came across a school of at least 30 smallmouths on a sand flat it was unbeliable. The smallest one must of been over 3lbs and there were several over 4lbs. They had obviously saw us so we decided to drift down for awhile to come back later with a better approach. We caught a few average sized ones on the drift but no big ones.. Just before leaving I wanted to try the smallest and most natural looking lures I had... We tried leeches, 3 and 4 inch worms, 3" gulp alive minnows, gulp alive crawfish.. All on superlight line and tiny hooks... The best we got was a follow but none of them would actually commit!! We tried for over 30 mins with everything we had but no takers.... Considering the location and the amount of fishermen in the area i'm assuming they have seen their share of lures.

I might have a tourney next weekend but if I can I am definitely going back on Francis to find those huge brown ones everyone are talking about!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Disapointing tournament...

August 22nd, 2009

We started out the day pretty well fishing for smallies off a shallow shoal.. In fact, we had 5 smallies in the livewell by 9:30 and had the rest of the day to switch them for bigger ones and maybe a few largemouths. I missed 2 smallies over 3lbs that got my really upset... and then our spot got crowed pretty quickly (the bass boat attracts all kinds of fishermen apparently) and we couldn't even fish it in the end... We even had a guy from our trail fishing 10 feet away from us!! I thought that was a bit disrespectul but it was bound to happen eventually.. They even caught a decent fish right infront of us!! At around 10:30 we decided to go see if the largies would co-operate but all my good spots were empty... Did I get there too early? Too late? Since we couldn't catch a largemouth we decided to go back to smallmouths and we managed to change a few fish but only to gain a few ounces..

At the end of the day, we get to the weight in to find out we had been DISQUALIFED because we were caught idling without our life vests.... I'm actually still a bit shocked!! Someone took a picture of us in the tournament to prove we didn't have 'em on. I found out who it was and frankly i'm not even surprised... It's amazing what some people would do to gain a spot on the final ranking of Team of the year standings. I saw people going full speed without their life vest today and others were fishing 10 feet away from me and I didn't complain to anyone... I thought this trail was mainly for fun and I had no idea some people took it this seriously. What can I say.. We did brake a rule and I respect the decision that was taken.

St-Zotique Channel Tournament

August 15th, 2009

I was fishing a fun tournament today with Caro, Marc-André and the other Caro. It was a one bass per person tournament and only largemouths were aloud. We were also limited to fish the channel on St-Francis. We did the tournament last year and had fun so we decided to bring the girls along this year. It was a VERY hot day to be on the water with no wind and the good fish were hard to find in those channels.. especially with all the warm temperature we've been having... I'm pretty sure big ones are all gone. We caught a few a fish but they were tiny and we decided to put them back in the water only to find out they had "surprise" prizes for random weights... I will managed to win a nice Husquavarna weed wacker!!

All in all it was a fun day on the water but it's hard to stay in the channels when you know there are monster smallmouth nearby...

Practicing on St-Louis for Econobass

August 14th, 2009

I was practicing with my friend Dave today for our next tournament. We will be fishing against each other come tournament day but we decided to try some new spots that way we could keep our spots... On our first spot I caught a nice 4lbs+ largemouth on a slug and that was the only one we caught... We only had a few hours of fishing and I wanted to try a few smallmouth spots that had been good in the past... We caught a few small ones and I missed a 4lbs+ that went airborn twice before spitting my tube. The sun goes down pretty quickly now so we had to call it a day. I have a picture of the largemouth but the camera died this weekend and i'm not sure I will be able to save it... Oh well!

Local Tournament on St-Louis

August 8th, 2009

I was fishing a local tournament today with my girlfriend on lake St-Louis. There was about 15 teams registered in total... We started fishing for largemouth since one of our spots was really close to the launch and I immediatly hooked a nice 4.7lbs bucket! It must of been 7:03 when I caught it... What a nice way to start the day... especially for a 3 fish tourny! We continued fishing for largemouths for another hour or so but we couldn't find another one...... On our second spot we caught 2 tiny smallmouth and Caro lost a good one on the tube.... We didn't stay there much longer since we were right in the middle of a very busy area and boat traffic was getting ridiculous. I decided to try a few one bass spot quickly and none of my fish were there so we headed to another area where I know we could catch some decent smallies. In about an hour we switched our 2 smallies about 3 times... We had to get rid of 3 smallies that were 2.10lbs+.

We ended up with 3rd place and missed the lunker only by a few ounces... We had a lot of fun and we'll make sure to do it again next year!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tough fishing on the Ottawa

August 1st, 2009

It was a tough day on the Ottawa river... The huge largemouth we had caught in practice was no where to be found unfortunatly... As a matter of fact there was only one fish over 4lbs caught during the tournament... We caught a 3lbs largemouth at around 9:30am and then it tooks the rest of the day to get another bite. It was hard for everybody but apparently it was harder for us!!! We couldn't even get 5 in the boat... We lost a few fish that would've probably helped our cause. Boat traffic was awful and it made it really hard to catch the smallmouths I wanted to get... What can I say.. We learn everyday and I will fish this place different next time i'm there that's for sure!