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Posts Tagged ‘Rideau River’

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,

With my good friend and fellow fishing writer, Tim Allard, recently back on Canadian soil, hitting the water for the first time together this season was high on the to-do list. This past Tuesday we made it happen.

Making the decision to hit the river for a day of heavy cover fishing, we launched the boat and headed upstream at 8:30am. Having checked the weather forecast the night before, I was expecting a 5k/10k/5k blow throughout the day. This was not to be the case. A strong easterly breeze was was working its way down the river – gusting between 15 and 20 clicks. Knowing how the river funnels the wind from every direction on this body of water, we had a feeling we might be in for a tough fish. At the least, we had our work cut out for us in terms of boat control.

Working a flat for some early roamers – using a variety of topwaters, swim baits, plastic sticks and hair jigs – had us come up empty handed. Although I generally don’t hit shallow slop until the sun has peaked higher, we headed to some prime, sheltered real estate early on to escape Mother Natures breath.

Tim put the first fish in the boat shortly after. It came from a shoreline slop mat and hit a Texas-rigged Culprit “Craw.” It was nice to see the first Ontario bass go to the guy that has been living in Aussie land for more than a year. Nothing big but the first always gets the confidence up.

While running the boat out to the main channel we came across an isolated cabbage bed. A few pitches with a YUM Money Craw and I had my first decent fish of the day. Things were beginning to look up.

At this point we made a decision to turn this outing into a bit of an adventure. Laying flat in the boat we worked our way under a small bridge. Clearence was a bit dicey, and anything bigger than the boat we were in would be a no-go. For years I’ve been wondering what the other side held – we were about to find out. Prior to heading under we hit two of my favourite shoreline trees. A 3lb 4oz fish sucked in my craw and gave me a healthy tussle.

This same tree, and exact same spot, would cough up a 3lb 6oz largie on our return trip back from under the bridge, many hours later.

I’ve been under the impression that the other side of the bridge was maybe a few acres in size. I knew it was filled with pads from peering underneath the concrete season after season. To my surprise it was much more! It is in fact a river and flows for miles, with a winding channel that ranges between 5 and 12-feet deep. The options are endless. Everything shouts bass. I coined my new place “Valhalla.”

We put a few quick fish in the boat on frogs from pad beds early on. Although we wanted to pitch jigs and plastics to every nook and cranny of this new place, the fishy water was almost overwhelming – and unfortunately, the howling wind made that almost impossible.

We plugged away at the water as we made our way downstream, picking up fish from pads, wood, and slop. I am quite eager to give the channel a workout with cranks and swim bait during the early morning period…and can’t wait to hit it up once fall arrives.

We left Valhalla after a few hours with a promise to return. The clock was reading 3pm at this point, so we made our way over to some prime slop and wood areas to end the day off. The frog bite was decent, but we did have quite a few fish just pushing water and not really connecting. Tim scored some fish with his “lob” technique – sending his Texas-rigged plastic high into the sky, so the momentum will help it penetrate the thick slop mats. His best fish of the day came this way…and fell for a flipping jig.

Other than a technical issue with the trolling motor – and a lesson learned to always carry a screwdriver and duct tape, the outing was a success. Fishing with Tim is a hoot, and the laughter and good times is something I always look forward to.

It was one of those “one fish per spot” type of days. We didn’t really find any heavy concentrations of fish, although it was apparent the early evening might have coughed up a great frog bite. It seemed to be just coming on as we headed back to the ramp.

We finished off the day with 20 largies in the boat. This was actually the goal we had set for ourselves. We definitely had a tough go with the wind on this outing, not to mention having quite a few fish come un-pegged. But that is all part and parcel in the game of fishing.

We have some new lakes we are looking forward to exploring. And I definitely will be putting some time in at Valhalla….

The previous week saw my Dad and I get in a few hours one afternoon. Shorelines were not producing (other than the fish found below) but we did do decent enough plucking away at offshore slop mats.

Seems like my Dad’s new fishing shirt brought him some luck that outing:


Until the next outing…

Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on pictures for full-size image)

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Hello All,

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…

Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on images to view full-size versions)

 

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