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Posts Tagged ‘Bass Fishing’

Hello All,

This week has been a hot one – both in terms of temperature and the activity level of largemouth bass.

In sharp contrast to the previous two weeks, when weather fronts were playing havoc with the bite, fish are once again feeding heavily – and hitting most baits with reckless abandonment.

I fished a stretch of the Rideau River Monday and Tuesday. Wind-blown slop was the ticket, with fish holding on the outside edge and smashing flipping jigs as if their life depended on it. It made for two of my best days on the water this season and my ‘bass thumb’ certainly attests to that.

Here is a short video I shot showcasing some of the action. Always nice to get back-to-back fish, especially on film!

Good Fishing,

Justin

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Hello All,

Happy to announce that Charger Bass Boats has partnered with Go Power Sports (Portland, Ontario) for the Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show.

We will have a Charger 496 on display and will be more than happy to answer any questions – and of course – put you in your own brand new Charger boat!

Charger 496 (20 Feet 6 Inches)

Stop by the Go Power Sports booth (#1800) and meet the Charger Team, including Dave Chong, Ben Woo, Dale Minicola, Shawn Carson and myself.

See what all the fuss is about….and how a Charger is able to give you more bang for less bucks than our competitors can.

The Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show runs from February 23 to 26 and is located at 4899 Uplands Drive.

Charger Multi Species SUV 190 (19 Feet 4 Inches)

For more information:

Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show

Go Power Sports

Marine Central

Charger Boats

 

See you at the show!

Justin

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Hello All,

Being in the fishing industry, I am given the opportunity to see and test many of the latest lures, tackle and accessories. Some cross my desk that are quickly dismissed, while a select few really make me take notice. The Joe Balog’s Goby Replica is one of those baits.

Realism and attention to detail is apparent at first look. Each lure is hand painted and poured and are hand crafted from real goby samples by one of the leading swimbait manufacturers and taxidermists in the United States. You honestly would swear this bait was alive!

While fishing the Western Basin of Erie in the mid 90’s, Joe Balog observed smallmouth bass spitting up gobies by the dozens, rather than their normal diet of crayfish and shiners. It was evident the bass preferred the easy-to-catch, high protein exotics to their native forage. At that time, Balog developed the first ever goby bait, the Drop Shot Goby. But after a few years of fishing with the bait, even with the incredible success of the technique, Balog theorized that there had to be a better, more realistic way to mimic a goby to the bass. Over seven years later, the Goby Replica was born.

The bait is heavy and hugs the bottom, just like the real thing, and can be fished in water upwards of forty-feet deep. It lays at rest upright, balanced perfectly on its pectoral fins. Those same fins lightly kick when the bait is moved, just like a real goby.

The Original Goby Replica weighs one-ounce and measures four-inches in length. It is available in five colours to match goby phases and different water bodies.

These life-like lures appeal to trophy smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, lake trout, pike, muskies and more. This is one lure I can’t wait to put through its paces this coming season!

Please check out Goby Replica for more information and ordering instructions.

 

For those that aren’t aware of the history of the Goby and their introduction to the Great Lakes, here is some background information, compliments of The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters:

Distribution

Gobies belong to a large family of fish represented by many species throughout the world. Two species from eastern Europe, the round goby and the tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris) were introduced to the St. Clair River in the late 1980s. It is believed that both species arrived in North America after being transported in the ballast water of ships originating from eastern Europe. In the fall of 2005, the Ontario government amended the Ontario Fishery Regulations to make it illegal to possess round goby and tubenose goby alive.It is also illegal to use them as bait.

After being discovered in the St. Clair River in 1990, both round and tubenose gobies have been found in Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Western Lake Erie. Round gobies have also been found throughout much of Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, southern Lake Michigan, and western Lake Superior. It has been found in Michigan’s inland waters and recently in inland Ontario, at Trent Severn Waterway (between village of Hastings and Healey Falls), Rice Lake, the Pefferlaw River and Lake Simcoe at the mouth of the Pefferlaw River. The round goby has completed their dispersal throughout the five Great Lakes in less than a decade, a dispersal almost as fast as the zebra mussel. It is believed that the isolated Great Lakes populations on Lake Superior were transported by intralake ship ballast water transfers from the St. Clair River area.

Impact

Round gobies have become extremely abundant in the St. Clair River, Lake Erie and parts of Lake Ontario reaching densities of more than 100 per cubic metre of water. In some areas they have become an annoyance to anglers due to their habit of stealing bait. The round goby is an aggressive fish that can spawn several times each season. These characteristics, combined with its abundance and relatively large size, mean that the round goby will probably have an impact on native fish species. The smaller tubenose goby is not as abundant and widespread as the round goby and should not have as much of an impact.

Although it is too early to tell what impact the round goby will have in the Great Lakes, changes have already occurred in the St. Clair River. As round gobies have flourished, the abundance of the small, native, bottom-dwelling fish such as mottled sculpin and native logperch (a small relative of the yellow perch) has declined dramatically in the river. Similar changes are expected to occur where the round goby becomes abundant elsewhere. It is not clear what this will mean for larger fish species, but it could affect their feeding habits. Round gobies have also been observed feeding on the eggs and fry of sportfish and may impact on these populations. Although walleye and other predators are feeding on gobies, their populations have continued to expand despite this predation.

Prevention

Although anglers and boaters can help to prevent the spread of gobies to inland waterways, there are no known ways of eliminating gobies from a large open system such as the Great Lakes. Gobies, like many other exotic species are here to stay. Although some predators are feeding on gobies, it is unlikely that they will significantly reduce goby numbers. The proliferation of zebra mussels and quagga mussels in the Great Lakes provides an ample food supply for the round goby, and they will continue to expand their range in the Great Lakes. Early detection of isolated populations may help slow or restrict the spread of round gobies. You can do the following to prevent the spread:

* Learn to identify round gobies and if caught, kill them. Do not throw them back alive
* Do not use round gobies as baitfish
* Dispose of bait properly: Do not release bait into the water
* Always drain water from your boat, livewell, and bilge before leaving any water access
* Never dip your bait bucket into a lake or river if it contains water from another water source
* Never dump live fish from one body of water into another body of water

Yours In The Outdoors,

Justin

(click on images for full-size versions)

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Hello All,

This week offered me the chance to hit the water on two separate occasions. With the cold front of Thursday still fresh in my mind, fish activity levels – and the best baits to throw – were definite food for thought as I launched the boat Tuesday.

September 20

This morning was a mixture of sun and clouds and called for a high of 20-degrees. Although the forecast stated winds of ten clicks, the mid-morning and early afternoon period proved especially blustery.

I began working some deep weedlines in six to ten-feet of water, throwing a variety of reaction baits, including cranks, spinnerbaits, and swim baits. Although I picked up a few fish, most were on the small side. At this point, I made the decision to head up river to a section of prime slop mats, situated out from shore and in two to three-feet of water. With the sun up and the adjacent flat sparse with vegetation, it was my hope that the largemouth might be seeking shelter under this lush canopy.

Pitching Double-Wide Beavers and Pacca Craws to the edge of the slop proved to be the ticket. A few fish needed some extra coaxing, but most would shoot out and grab my offering before it reached bottom. Like previous, many of the fish were in the one to two-pound range. Boat control became extremely tough with the blowing winds, and I abandoned this tactic in hopes of finding some calmer water.

As the water warmed (from 61 to 66-degrees) the fish became more active and began hitting frogs. Slop and pads came into play at this point, and I picked up a few extra fish on a LiveTarget frog working this isolated cover. The winds became calm around 3pm, making it a perfect end to a decent outing.

Overall, a pattern was figured out. Isolated, heavy slop proved to be holding fish on the edge, and as the water temperatures rose, this same cover coughed up topwater fish, and fairly active ones at that. Although most fish were small, eleven fish wasn’t too bad for the conditions that I faced.

September 21

Headed out with my Dad on this outing, launching the boat at 10:30am. Knowing the fish activity would rise as the day wore on, I opted to run down the river to a few spots that I thought might hold fish. Sadly, I was wrong.

Back up the river to my slop area from yesterday. Dad began tossing a frog while I pitched the edge with a flipping jig. Like yesterday, the wind began blowing strongly. Typical fall day we both thought. The jig accounted for three fish while the frog had a blow up or two.

Realizing that the day was wearing on – and having very few fish in the boat – I made the decision that it was time to hit Valhalla. Regular readers of this blog will remember Valhalla – that magical place that is found under a low-lying bridge, and holding miles and miles of pads and a winding river. (For those not familiar, check out a previous post, “Discovering Valhalla.”)

Dad had not yet been but was up for the challenge. So, with both of us lying flat in the boat, we motored under the cement bridge (with less than a foot of clearance!) and began our adventure.

The one problem with Valhalla is knowing where to begin. It all looks so good – and very similar. I motored us down to some spots that had produced during previous outings and we began tossing frogs amongst the pads. A few blow up here and there, but to be honest, not the kind of action I had hoped for. Things then changed.

At the end of Valhalla is a deep trough that bottoms out at 17-feet deep. The river forms an L-shape at this junction, the current being forced against one shallow bank, then streaming at a ninety-degree angle along the route of the river. The area is ringed with pads and cane in three to four-feet of water. We began to work one section of pads and the action was immediate. I quickly boated a fish on a frog, then had another blow-up on my next cast. Dad had two seperate blow-ups, with both fish hitting the frog again on subsequent casts. One small problem – they were smoking the frogs sure enough, but just not taking them in. It was frustrating to say the least! But boy did they ever hit. My Dad easily had twenty blow-ups on his bait, but sadly couldn’t connect with any. I put three in the boat. (In retrospect, we should have downsized our frogs at this point.)

With time running out, we decided to work along the shoreline that the few houses back down onto. Lining this area is a mixture of grass and cane, pads and some slop. I began working tight to the shore with a frog while my Dad – thinking it didn’t look that good – opted to watch. On my fourth cast a fish smoked my topwater as it passed over the edge of some laydown cane. She was the fish we were looking for!

A beauty 4lb 4oz piggie, caught on a LiveTarget frog…

Was a great end to a fun adventure. Although we didn’t put a lot of fish in the boat, we certainly saw our fair share of action, culminating in my best fish of the season thus far.

I will be back to Valhalla many more times this falls…to see what treasures she is capable of coughing up.

Until next time…

Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on images to view full size)

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