The last two weeks have provided great bass action on various Eastern Ontario Lakes. They have also given me the opportunity to fish with some of my favourite fishing partners – and truly enjoy what the great outdoors has to offer.
August 24, 2011
This was one outing I was definitely looking forward to. With my good friend Christine Cope moving out west in just over a week, getting out on the water for our last time this season was something we both relished. And although Mother Nature threw everything she had at us, we (or should I say Christine) came out triumphant in the end.
Although I had had great success the previous day on one of my favourite bodies of water, the decision was made to fish a different lake due to the wind direction and the gusts they were calling for. I was fairly certain our choice would give us some bays and shorelines that were relatively calm and fishable.
As we launched at 9am this morning, the first thing I noticed was the drastic shortfall in water levels. The lake was down a good two feet – if not a bit more. I was hoping this might force the fish into offshore cover, or at the least have them stacked up on shoreline cover that was now more visible. We were about to find out. As always, we made our predictions for the day. I pegged our totals at 19 fish with one over 4lbs – Christine was a bit more conservative with a guess of 16 bass and a big fish of 3lbs 8oz.
Making our way to a favourite bay of mine, the wind was already beginning to howl. For the most part we were protected at our first stop of the day. Although it has become a long running joke between us for her sometimes reliance on Senkos, Christine certainly is a pro when it comes to tossing these plastic stick baits. Whether it is skipping them under docks, tossing them through pads or working them over slop, I always know she will find fish with them. Within minutes she did. And then another. And another.And another.
As we made our way down the shoreline we came across a clump of pads. Christine pitched a flipping jig to the edge, and no sooner had it landed, a largie charged out and sucked it in. Unfortunately, my yelp to her of “there’s one!!!” had her set the hook prematurely and the jig came flying back at us. I certainly got the gears for that! A few more pitches in and no sign of life, so I begin to move on. Little did I know Christine had pitched back in and hooked into the fish that had previously eluded her. Good thing as it was the first decent fish in the boat – and a mid to high 3lber at that.
We left our first bay with five largies. All I added to our quota was a lowly pike.
Heading down the lake we decided to fish a series of deep trees that lay in five to 14-feet of water. This one shoreline is a “flipper’s paradise” and our hopes were high. We put three fish in the boat with another “kicker” for Christine.
A quick break for lunch and off we go in search of more fish. By now the winds are howling and the main lake itself is a steady stream of rollers and white caps. (We also found out via a text that a tornado warning had been issued!!)
Although I had some prime spots I wanted to cover on this outing, the wind relegated us to more sheltered areas of choice. The early afternoon posed a bit of a lull in terms of fishing action. Docks were not holding anything. Pretty much the same for pads. We decided to work a four to nine-foot weed flat and toss cranks. It didn’t take long for my sidekick to tag four more fish. Another pike and a “stick fish” fell prey to my lure.
With the day wearing on we both felt it best to stick with the flat pattern and continue to toss cranks. We zipped over to another area that I felt might hold fish and I proceeded to boat two and Christine had a decent fish follow. The pace of the drift was getting pretty quick at this point, so out goes the sock to slow our decent. For those that don’t have a drift sock in the boat, it is one of the best buys you can make. Can certainly save the day when the winds really howl.
After our second drift I decided to tie on a rattletrap in order to cover more water. I was rewarded with this bit of yellow that came from five feet of water.
Our count at this point was 18 bass. With about an hour left to go we made the decision to work the water back towards the launch and concentrate on docks and pads. Although they hadn’t offered us much in regards to fish thus far, this small area offers very little in the way of cover, so my hunch was they might be present. Even more so with the approaching storm.
Once again, it didn’t take long for Christine to find fish. The first fell for a flipping jig just off the edge of a patch of pads and she also had a fish come out from a dock to take a look at her offering. Hmmmm, could my hunch be paying off?
Next up was a dock with a fair bit of water underneath it. With a skillful pitch, Christine’s jig lands perfectly at the edge. A slice of the rod and I could tell straight away she was in to a good fish. She yelled for the net, and after a few tense seconds, the big girl was in the boat. High-fives ensued and the elation felt pretty good. This was the kind of fish we were both hoping she might get…especially since it would be next season before she picks up a bass rod again.
She tipped the scales at 4lb 1oz and was a perfect specimen.
It was Christine’s biggest of the year and it sure did feel good in the boat at the moment. If that wasn’t enough, her clinic continued and she put another six in the boat before we called it a day.
In the end we exceeded our prediction with the count standing at 28 largies. (Christine accounted for 21 of those fish!!) It was the perfect send off for a great friend and exactly how I had hoped our last outing would play out like.
I’m sure the bass won’t be sad to see you go…but your fishing partner will definitely miss your company. I’m already looking forward to the next time that we share a boat.
August 23, 2011
Fishing with my buddy Andy is always a memorable time. From our ridiculous goals or predictions to the mountainous amounts of junk food we fill the boat up with, it’s a guarantee that even if the fish aren’t biting, the fun will certainly be out in full force.
Having been forced to cancel our plans from the following day due to the high winds they were forecasting, we arrived on one of my favourite little lakes to nary a ripple. Our enthusiasm was high.
On the drive to the lake we discussed possible patterns and what we thought the day might bring. Our goal on this outing was 22 bass. My last outing here only produced nine (but did cough up a 4lb beauty for my Dad) so I was optimistic to say the least. I really wanted to work deep on this day and use the electronics to locate prime offshore areas.
We headed to a rock shoal first thing and began tossing topwaters. Although the area looked prime it failed to cough up a fish. I mentioned to Andy that Tim and I had located an offshore finger that was surrounded by deep water the previous year and that it had produced some nice smallies. With the aid of my Humminbird 798 SI HD combo we quickly located it and cut the motor. This spot is sweet to say the least – a few hundred yards offshore, it tops out at 8 feet and is surrounded by 22-feet of water. It harbours both pebble and boulders and has a smattering of weed on top.
We both fired a cast out (Andy was tossing a flipping jig and I had a football jig/creature bait combo) and in no time Andy is setting the hook. He quickly gets his chunky two-pound smallie in the boat, and while he is unhooking him, I give the gears to a fish on my end. Sadly, ten feet from the boat it went airborne and tossed the hook. She was a 4+ fish for sure.
We kept working the hump and continued to catch fish. My biggest came on a SPRO deep-diving crank and was caught on the deep edge of the finger itself.
When the dust settled we had ten smallies in the boat within the hour. We headed off in search of new water and worked a variety of depths. The largies were few and far between on this outing, although we did manage to get one or two from docks, deep water, and from a shallow bunch of pads.
Andy with one that came from 18-feet of water.
Sensing the largie bite wasn’t really on, we rolled the dice with the smallies and fished a few more humps and points. My creature bait (Ugly Otter) seemed to be producing quite a few more fish than Andy’s flipping jig – and it was definitely the bait they were looking for that day.
With the winds beginning to gust and the whitecaps out in full force, we headed back to our waypointed finger that had produced earlier in the day. We ended the day here and put a bunch more fish in the boat.
Twenty-four fish were swung into the boat on this outing, with all but five being smallies. It was a great change-up for myself as I pretty much target largies all season long. I will be definitely delving more into what the offshore structure can produce on this lake in future visits.
August 17, 2011
I was able to get out with my Dad for an afternoon of largie fishing on a stretch of the Rideau this day. With the sun beaming down and the temperatures hot, it was a no-brainer to head to some heavy cover and work it over with frogs and jigs.
I chose a bay that has produced great slop fish in previous years. I had yet to fish it this season so was hopeful it would once again reward us.
The slop and pads in this area just scream largemouth. Situated over two to three-feet of water, the wind blown slop on the edge seemed to be holding the most fish. It didn’t take long for them to start taking swipes at our LiveTarget frogs.
The action was fairly consistent, and for those blowups that failed to connect, a well-placed pitch of a Texas-rigged craw provided the one-two punch.
Dad picked up the big fish of the day on this outing, a beauty that went 3lb 10oz and smoked his frog in a gap between pads and slop. After burying itself in the salad I had to go in after it with the trolling motor. We were both thankful it was still on.
After a hard day on the water (ok, that was tongue in cheek!) we made our way over to our local pub for a relaxing pint. Another great day on the Rideau…and who can complain about spending some fun times with their Dad.
Until next time,
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