June 27, 2014
Ross & his wife Margaret were in Montreal on a convention and took some time to fish with me today. Not having ever fished for these species before, there would be several firsts for them. Despite the completely flat water, it was almost picture perfect too. Unfortunately for us though, the torrential rainfall from a recent storm followed by high north winds had the water really muddy. It was going to be interesting to say the least! We set the lines shortly after 7:30 and I began searching for walleye with a troll. Almost immediately one of the reels fired and when I passed it over to Ross, it was gone. The second fish to eat was a bass and he went to the air even before the reel fired. It also came unpinned and we were zero for two! Not a good start but we had all day to make up for the loss and I was confident. We trolled all over, marking plenty of fish high in the water column but very little activity was had. Time for a change and a relocation! We were off to an area that should have plenty of fish, but they would be mostly pike. After a rather cold start it would be a welcomed thing! Well we spent close to an hour all over this area and I didn’t mark much. In fact not one reel even fired and this was a first for me. I soon realized that this wasn’t working and shifted gears completely. We were headed for smallmouth and going to cast reaction baits to see if we could get bit! Ross had fished for many salt water fish before but never for smallmouth and I wanted him to experience just how hard they hit. He would be throwing a spinnerbait and hopefully getting crushed! Margaret on the other hand had barely fished before and needed a little coaching on the basics. I would have her throwing a tiny crankbait and hopefully it would work out for her as well. I gave Ross a demonstration cast with the spinnerbait and instantly got hammered. They were here and he was ready to do battle with them. I think it may have also been his first cast as well that he got hit and was into a nice chunky 3 pounder. This would continue for a while as we had no plans on leaving until they stopped biting. Margaret was just happy to be learning how to cast properly and loving the casting thing. Hooking up would only be a bonus! Well eventually she got just that and another 3 pounder went airborne ripping line off the reel. It really looked like she was going to land this fish but the tiny hooks pulled out right at the boat. She looked a little disappointed but that would change soon. Although Ross had caught several bass he was now missing most of the hits. I don’t think the fish were actually hitting to eat and short strikes were more common. Time to relocate and we made a long run to cool off. It was beginning to heat up and those damn bugs were out! By now there were a lot more boats on the water and it would only get worse. This was the start of a long weekend and many people would be cutting out of work early to extend it. Flat calm conditions would soon turn rough and the waves would be from all directions. I would take advantage of it before it got too bad. This next place looked terrible with the water color but I knew there had to be some regardless. Unfortunately they were also short striking here and Margaret landed the only bass in almost an hour. She had finally been rewarded for her casting skills and got to feel just how hard they fight. This one made it into the net and a few pics had to be taken. After a little longer in this area, I decided to pull the plug once again and change it up to trolling. The sun had been out for several hours warming the water and hopefully the fish had a changed attitude. It was still a grind but at least we had several fish hit the lures. For most of them however, I had to throttle down to lock them up. The bites were still garbage but pike & walleye were actually coming in the boat from time to time now. By covering water I was able to put the lines over several fish and managed to lock them up. I really had to monitor the lines plenty though as they weren’t firing the reels very well. On a few occasions I noticed more of a bend in the rod and sure enough, there was a fish at the end. One of them even had a walleye of almost four pounds attached! The water temps were still around 67 degrees and it really showed. When we finally pulled the lines again I decided to finish the day with a little more casting for bass. Margaret was eager to get back to what she had learned and was once again rewarded with another smallmouth. Ross too had a couple of others but the boat traffic here had the fish messed up. They weren’t too active and we called it a day after more misses. They had come all the way from Texas and caught 4 new species of fish each today and enjoyed doing it. Several new techniques were seen and used and fish were caught on all of them. I’m sure that if they ever get back to Montreal, I will be getting a call again. They thoroughly loved the lake and despite the inactivity by the fish, fended quite well. Days like these make you appreciate the easy high number ones only more. I can’t wait to get back and get even!!