Monday, October 19, 2009

Battling the NE winds!

October 18th, 2009

We were out again a bit later then usual today with Dave and Caro for another try at some fall smallies. Water temps are still in the low 50's in most areas we fished but the fish are still biting well with a slower approach. We started shallow on two spots and I was the only to get a bite on the tube. Dave and I tried moving baits for a while in shallower water and I only got one follow.... I knew right away that we had to switch to a slower presentation. It wasn't until we tried drifting in deeper water that I hooked a good 4lbs smallmouth on the drop shot. Caro followed with a nice one just as big shorty after. I knew this drift was hot so I decided to do it over a few times while they were biting. Caro and I were catching them but Dave was having a hard time and he was feeling the pressure!! Guys hate to see someone else catch fish when they are not.... and now... he was being outfish by a girl!! :P He finally caught his first fish and it was good one but not as big as the two momma's Caro and I had caught.

We decided to try the same pattern in a few similiar areas and caught fish here and there but nothing big enough... We stopped fishing it was past 6pm and the sun was almost out! We must of caught over 20 smallies today and some really decent fish but we were still missing one or two giants! I know they are there somewhere and it's only a matter of time before I find at least one.

You gotta hate those NE Winds!!

October 17th, 2009

I was suppose to take a kid fishing today on St-Louis but they were announcing strong NE Winds and cold weather... I had to postpone my trip on Lake St-Louis with Gabriel but I promised him we were going to get a decent day before the end of the season! Caro and I decided to try a calmer area on a different lake where I knew the wind wouldn't be that bad. We felt a bit lazy this morning and decided to trade a few hours of fishing for a bit more sleep!! We've been having a few cold nights recently so i'm pretty sure the morning fishing is not as good anyways (yeah right.. who am I kidding?). Water temps are now in the low 50's in most areas.

I decided to try a few areas I had marked on my GPS that could potentially hold some good smallies. Caro hates it when I try new spots because she wants to catch fish and she wants to catch them NOW!! It was a good thing I tried though because I caught the biggest fish of the day on this new spot!! It's always nice when you mark a spot on the GPS before actually going and when you get there you catch a 4lbs+ ..

We drifted for the remainder of the day all the way till 6pm and caught some fish but it wasn't a very productive day afterall. The NE winds coming at 15-20kmh is really making it hard to drift properly over my good spots and I wasn't able to make the right ajustments before the end of the day.

More fall footballs!

October 12th, 2009

I was back on the water again with Marc-André today to try to find more spots for next year. Marc and I decided we are going to do the SUPERBASS trail ( so we are trying to find as many spots as possible for next season. Water temps were still in the mid 50's and we had a 10kmh W wind for most of the day.

We started shallow as usual and caught a few smallmouths in the 2.5lbs range. It didn't take long before we decided to go find some new drifts in deeper water... The first few drifts didn't really pay off.. I was trying to explore the areas I had fish with my dad 2 days before but it seemed like the fish had moved a bit. We finally managed to get one or two fish over 3+ and made sure to mark them on the GPS... We continued on with our drifts picking up fish here and there when I finally hooked something that felt more then decent. She was fighting more then any other fish this season.... After a hard fought battle, Marc was able to net her for me and we both couldn't believe how big it was. Not long after my big fish, Marc also hooked another good one in close to 30fow. At that point we thought we might have a chance at a 20lbs bag for our 5 biggest if we could catch one or two other 3-4 pounders.

Unfortunately, we had to call it a day and I knew we were around the same weight as usual... I was really anxious to see how much my big fish weight though. After having another good look at her I was quiet sure she was over 5lbs and I usually guess too light that way i'm always happily surprised if it's heavier. My dad and I had lost the scale at the fall tournament so this was a brand new scale (the same berkley TEC). The weight showed 4.10lbs.... We weighed it 3 times just to make sure and that's pretty much what it was give or take an ounce every time. Now that I think of it, we should've at least measure her because she felt and looked much bigger then the 4lbs i've been catching lately. I will try to test the scale with some sort of weight to see if maybe it's off?!

Overall, it was a very nice day for Team Belanger-Barretti with another bag of about 18lbs. We've been catching so many nice fish lately and i'm pretty sure the huge ones will come soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friendly fall tourney Chez Grand-Man

October 10th, 2009

I fished this tournament last year with my dad and we had a lot of fun so we decided to do it again this year. Although we had a decent day last year I decided to fish another area of the lake this year. Water temps were in the mid 50's and we had a small breeze in the morning with stronger West winds in the afternoon.

We started our day shallow hoping to find some active fish and we did! On my first cast I caught a 2.5lbs smallie on the jerkbait but it was barely hooked. After seeing a few follow I decided to see if they would bite the crankbait better and they did... I hooked 2 other in the same size and lost a 4lbs+ when she went airborne. I knew they were there so I decided to try a goby immitation. The goby worked really well but for some reason I had a really hard time getting a good hookset. I lost 3 good fish in a row and I decided to give the tube a try since all my tubes are rigged on braid I though maybe I would get a better hookup ratio. Apparently this was the right choice because I didn't lose another fish after that. My dad was also throwing a tube but he wasn't getting nearly as many bites as I was. I usually don't think the color matters much when fishing tubes but apparently my color made the difference because I was catching all the fish!

We switched from shallow to deep almost all day but the better fish came from deep water at a specific dept. We caught our 2 biggest fish at the same time!! I really didn't want to lose any of them so I netted mine and then helped my dad with his. We caught close to 40 smallies today and we had a decent bag but we were missing another good one to have a chance at a top 3. I knew the guys would show up with at least 16-17lbs for 3 smallies...

We weighed in a respectable 11.11lbs and it was good for a 5th place. We finished in 7th place last year so I guess were slowly going up!!

Full results and pictures can be found here :

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stuck at 18lbs

Oct 5th, 2009

After having 2 not so great days on the water this weekend, Caro and I decided to head back to lake St-Francis to catch some nice smallmouths and to find a few new spots for my tournament next weekend. We drove all the way the area where we were going to fish instead of taking the boat for the ride.. We had a lot of West winds and the forecast was calling for rain but we were lucky enough to stay dry all day. We started shallow with jerkbaits, cranbaits, tubes and gobies and couldn't convince them to bite. We saw a few very good fish that I marked on the GPS.. i'm not sure if we spooked them but they just wouldn't bite and the strong current made it very hard to control the boat.

I decided to try another shallow area with the jerkbait and I caught a very good 3lbs+ smallmouth. Caro also caught a few smaller fish with the tube. I had a few follow on the jerkbait so I decided to try a crankbait with a slower retrieve. The next 5 fish were decent size and they were hitting that crankbait very hard!!! I missed a fish that would've been easily over 4lbs on a shallow rock pile... The shallow bite slowed down a bit so I figured we would try to fish deeper water. We caught 1 or 2 fish on almost every drift and some of them were good ones in the 3lbs range. One of the fish I caught today was not the biggest fish but it was definitely that fattest fish I have ever caught. They are feeding heavily now and it shows!

We had to cut our day short with the storm approaching... It was too bad because we had a good bite going and I had a few more areas I wanted to try. We stopped for pictures and i'm pretty confident we had around 16-18lbs again. No big fish today but I know this area will produce some big fish for me soon! I have a good feeling for our tournament next weekend.

Bad day on the St-Lawrence..

Oct 4th, 2009

My friend Marc-André was organizing a friendly tournament on the St-Lawrence today and I decided to do it with Caro. It was our 2nd time there this year so I didn't really know what to expect. I know this place is usually very good in the fall so I was hoping it was going to be a good day. Water temp is still in the high 50's in most areas and the wind was manageable. We got to the launch only to find out we were only 3 boats and I was the only one willing to do the tournament anyways... We ended up fishing for fun finally and I guess it was a good thing because we couldn't find any fish over 2.5lbs... We must of caught over 20 smallmouth today and they were a lot of fun to catch, but we are usually able to find a 3 or 4lbs fish at this time of the year. I'm assuming we were a bit too early and it should be better later this fall. Only time will tell!

Cranking for some smallies!

October 3rd, 2009

After all those fishing trips on Francis I decided to go see what was going on on the St-Louis today with Caro. Water temps are in the high 50's now and I decided it was time to give the crankbaits a try. I have stupid amount them, a nice crankbait rod and yet I never fish with crankbaits. It only took a few cast before I hooked a good smallmouth on the good ol' Cotton Cordell Big O. It only hit the rear treble so I wasn't sure if they were telling me to try a slower and more subtle approach. Caro was fishing with a tube so I sticked with my crankbait and caught a few more decent fish. It wasn't one fish after the other but we were still catching fish and it was fun to finally catch them on a crankbait.

We didn't fish for a very long time but I was able to mark at least 2-3 new spots on the GPS. I've told myself that I need to find at least one new spot everytime i'm on the water and I think it helped it a whole lot this year.

Figuring out the puzzle, one piece at a time

Sept 27th, 2009

After seeing all those big smallmouths yesterday I decided to go back on Francis in order to try to find a few of them. I keep hearing about a pattern and it seems to be way to catch those big bass so I headed out with Caro hoping to figure it out. The weather was suppose to be awful with East winds and rain but they were dead wrong.... We got there and it was almost perfect to find new spots.. the only thing we were missing was the sun. We didn't fish for a very long time but I was able to mark a few spots on the GPS where I would like to try in the future. I tried looking for more active fish with the jerkbait but I was only able to get one small bass with it. Knowing they were a bit sluggish I knew the right approach was probably the tube or a slower presentation with a weightless worm but I was looking for spots and let's just say the tube doesn't really cover a lot of water. Looking for new spots is not always the most exciting thing but it's the only way to find new fish and eliminate water at the same time.

No fish worthy pictures today!

Fishin-Canada friendly tourney makes history!

Sept 26th, 2009

I was fishing a "Ripple" from today with Marc-André on Francis. When we signed up for this tourney we had no idea so many people would show up. Not only were there a lot of people but all the best anglers in QC were there. Everyone was talking about a potential 30lbs bag of smallies!! I kept telling myself it was impossible... How can anyone have an average of 6lbs per fish?!? Forget average... I have never even caught one in the 6lbs range. I know Francis holds a good amount of 6lbs+ fish but to get 5 in a day seemed nearly impossible to me.

Knowing the competition was as tough as it gets we still went and gave everything we had. We fished an area where I was confident we could get at least 16-18lbs and I was hoping for a big one to help us get closer to 20lbs. Even with 20lbs I knew we had no chance with all the bags that had been brought to the scale recently on this lake.

We started off shallow hoping to find a few active fish but we were quickly disappointed.... We didn't even get a fish to follow our baits. We tried for a little less then an hour and decided to try another pattern in deeper water. We started catching a lot of fish and had to cull a few of them when we were done with this drift. We mostly drifted in different areas where I had caught some good fish in the past and that's basically how we caught all our fish. At the end of the day I knew we were missing one kicker fish to have a decent bag so I headed out to an area where I usually can catch a 4+ but we got there too late. We only had about 20 mins to fish and wasn't enough...

I though we had about 16lbs but I always guess less that way i'm not disappointed when I see the final weight. I was happy to hear that we had over 17lbs even if I knew it wasn't good enough for a top 10. Full results can been seen here

Just like the week before at the classic, guys were showing up at the scale with ridiculous weights... A few over 25lbs and finally... the magic number came up : 30.35lbs!! Nigel Toughey and Charles Sim not only broke the 30lbs barrier but they also broke the Canadian Record for 5 bass without a single largemouth. They're biggest fish tipped the scale at 7.15lbs.... It was just awesome to be able to see all those huge smallmouths in person.

Francis is officially the best smallmouth fishery in my book and I live only 30mins away!

Just learning, no fishing!

Sept 19, 2009

I was invited by a friend to participate at the ProBass Canada Classic as an observer today. I always say the best way to learn is to watch how other more experienced anglers catch fish. Eventhough I have been fishing mostly for bass in the last few years I always learn TONS when i'm fishing with someone I've never fished with before. There was a draw before the blast off and I was lucky to get a team of experienced anglers... They knew the lake pretty well since they both lived in Cornwall and they were fishing an area where I had already been in the past. It was really nice to see the way they fished as it was very different from what I'm used to. It was nothing out of the ordinary but they were using crankbaits and zara's in the morning and even though I have all those lures, I don't usually have enough confidence to use them long enough to catch a fish. I was also surprised to see they were mostly using braid for everything... from crankbaits to drop shot. I usually like to put a fluorocarbon leader on everything when I fish clear water but they showed me it didn't matter one bit since they were catching fish after fish. The shallow bite wasn't that great so they decided to try a little deeper and apparently it was the ticket because most of their fish if not all came from 30+ fow.

I was really impressed with what they had in the livewell... I honestly though they had close to 20lbs at one point but I didn't realize that all the fish were all filled with air since they hadn't been fizzed.

They finally weighed in a bag of 17lbs and some change.... Not a bad day but far from enough in order to cut a cheque at the classic... especially on Francis!

I was lucky to witnessed some crazy weights... 7 teams came in with over 24lbs with the biggest one at nearly 28lbs!! Those are just insane weights for smallies... I can't even think of another lake that would produce so many 5lbs+ smallouths. I had heard about some big bags on Erie and Simcoe but never as big as this.

I had a lot of fun today and I will definitely take some and leave some from what I saw and i'm sure it will help me catch more fish in the future. One thing is for sure I will get my crankbaits out and give them an honest chance this time.