This past Sunday afforded me the opportunity to fish with my good friend Christine Cope. Our time on the water is fairly limited with her past MP training, and since she is about to embark to Cold Lake, Alberta for an extended stay, getting in a few trips to the lake is definitely our hope.
Growing tired of the smallmouth game up in North Bay, Christine was itching for a day of heavy cover largies. It was off to my stretch of the Rideau River.
The heat had been insane leading up to this excursion but a small front came through the night before that diminished the humidity greatly. One thing I noticed immediately upon launching this morning – an east wind. The wind had not blown from this direction once in all of my trips to the river this season, and as the old adage goes, “wind from the east….fish bite least.” I hoped this wouldn’t be the case.
We started off the morning fishing some shallow flats with a mixture of vegetation. I was alternating between a Wake Bait and Swim Bait, while Christine stuck to her old faithful, a soft stick bait. Within 30 minutes we had two on the topwater and one on the “stick”, but all were fairly small in size.
The frog bite was completely off this day. In fact, we failed to coax a single blow-up. The frog/slop bite has been hot leading up to this outing, so I was scratching my head somewhat. Hmmm, east wind curse??
The shallow water slop/shoreline bite was also off. Although we did pick off a few fish, for the most part, it was a scattered bite and more of a “one fish from a spot” kind of deal. We decided it was time to seek out different water.
Taking a run down the river we came across some slop patches that were located a considerable distance from shore. These were situated over two to three-feet of water and covered a mud/sand bottom. Our luck finally changed. We began to pick off fish by pitching craws or creature baits to the edges. I picked off two quick fish but then lost my next three. (Not something you want to do on a tough-bite day!)
Next stop was a point. This point always holds a fish or two. It is pretty much guaranteed. And for an obvious reason – slop over a rock bottom. Largies LOVE holding over rock in these shallow, fertile lakes. There are often not many spots like these to be found, but if you can, generally you will find fish.
Christine pitched her creature bait to the edge of the slop, and like clock work, a largie wandered out and sucked it in. This was a strange largemouth. It had the head of a much bigger fish, but boy was it’s body suffering from malnutrition. Still, a decent fish and Christine’s best of the day.
It was taken from the edge of slop right behind her in this first image.
We picked up a few more fish from an undercut cane island before calling it a day. But not before jumping in for a refreshing dip.
The fishing was certainly sub-standard on this day. We put 13 fish in the boat but certainly worked hard for them. Did the east wind affect the fish on this outing? Perhaps. It certainly makes for an interesting discussion.
Regardless of the poor results, spending time with a friend and catching up over many laughs is what fishing is all about. Let’s face it – catching fish is a bonus on an outing like this!
Until next time…
(click on images to view full-size versions)