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Friday, November 9, 2018

2018 fishing season highlights

Looks like it's about that time of the year again. Just about ready to stow away my fishing gear and get ready for the ice fishing season, which will likely arrive earlier than usual this year. As usual, I'll run through some of our season highlights in pics with narrative.

2018 was another fun and informative fishing season, although I was thrown more "curveballs" that I imagined. From losing spots due to construction and closures, to extreme weather conditions, this season put me to the test a bit more than what I'm usually used to.

As always in fishing, perseverance paid off, and the entire family as well as customers and friends landed some big fish.

Starting off with predatory species, as they embody sport fishing a bit more than bottom feeders, although I do enjoy them all equally...

Bass:

Largemouth bass were my target for this species, the vast majority of time chasing bass was in areas where they are the dominant species. The kids and I all landed some nice largies to kick off the bass fishing season, fishing the Quebec bass opener at Mijocama for the 16th season in a row.




I landed some nice largemouth both from shore, and from my new float tube as well.



While I didn't target smallmouth bass too much, I did manage to land a few quality smallies as well.




Northern Pike:

Spent a lot less time targeting Northern Pike this season, but on the few days that we did, the action was good.






 Some more trophies were landed during trips to to Mijocama, and then at Le Domaine Shannon in July:







Walleye:

Another neglected sport fish species this season, the 2 landed by Avi and I were incidental, while targeting pike.



When I finally did get around to targeting walleye late in the season with my friend Mark, I did just fine under his guidance.



Musky:

I normally don't target muskies much on my own. My friend Mike took most of the musky season off, and by the time I was set to get out with Patrick, he had sold his boat for the season. However, I did manage a couple smaller muskies while targeting other species.

My first musky came shortly after the season opener, I was targeting bass during one of my first ever float tube outings. Casting a buzzbait on a light rod, the musky put up a great fight, numerous jumps, and towed me around until I subdued it and landed it by hand.




Probably my most enjoyable catch of the season.

Carp:

This had to be one of my toughest overall season fishing for carp. The late start to spring, had them sort of lethargic until mid May. The extreme heat and lack of wind we experienced most of the summer was bad enough, but almost every group that I took out all season ended up booking on the worst possible days weather wise, extreme heat, with no wind and mirror like surface.

Still, we managed to save face and land some decent fish, but nowhere near the quality and numbers of seasons past. My 2018 carp picture gallery can be viewed by clicking:
http://www.freshwaterphil.com/carp-fishing-pictures.cfm

My 2 notable catches of the season, cam 2 days apart. My biggest carp landed in 2018 was 31 lbs.


Less than 48 hours later, I took my childhood friend and his kids out for some carp fishing, while they were visiting from NY. First fish of the day, was a stunning mirror carp, just a touch under 20 lbs.


I finally stumbled onto a new spot late in the season, plan to try it again during peak season next year.


Sturgeon:

Our windiest and coldest October destroyed most of my sturgeon fishing plans, with both Mark and Patrick trying to play catchup for the crazy amount of bookings they had to cancel due to weather. Luckily, I did manage a few hours fishing sturgeon with Mark in September, and landed a couple nice sturgeons.



Other freshwater species:

Managed some incidental channel catfish while chasing carp, nothing over 10 lbs though. Some decent perch, sunfish, and small trout as well.



Ice fishing:

I particularly enjoyed my 2018 ice fishing season, exploring more lakes than ever before, landing some nice pike..




Found some good jumbo perch spots, as well as some largemouth bass:









I spent a week in Hawaii, fishing the Pacific ocean for the first time ever. As guides for big game species were too expensive for my liking, I decided to do it all from the shore on my own. Extremely rewarding, and not a trip I'll forget any time soon, read more at: 




And last but not least, my first season fishing out of my new float tube. Great way of combining a good workout on hot days with good fishing. Read about my outings at: 



All in all, another memorable fishing season in the books. Thank you all for following my adventures online. Thank you to my customers for putting your confidence in me as your fishing guide. Thank you to my family (especially my lovely wife) for putting up with my fishing addiction. And most of all, thank you dear God, for giving me the ability to pursue my dreams.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

St Lawrence multi species slam

Finally got out on a boat for the first time this fall, hoping to chase a variety of species in the St Lawrence river near Montreal. Fishing with my friend Mark, the opportunities are endless no matter what the weather conditions may be.

Our original plan was to split the day between walleye fishing, and then anchoring up for a last attempt at catching a giant lake sturgeon before the sturgeon fishing season closes next week.

As opposed to many walleye anglers that spend their time fishing for keeper sized walleye, I prefer to target the bigger ones, as I don't eat fish from the St Lawrence river. We started off well, it didn't take long for me to hook into my first walleye of the day.


A good 4 lbs or so, turned out to be my first walleye of the season, as I haven't had a chance to get out and target them since last year.

After landing another smaller one, I hooked into a bigger on about an hour or so later, this one closer to 5 lbs.


In between walleye, some nice fat smallmouth bass came to play, always a great fight on light tackle.



Around noon, we decided to anchor up and still fish for lake sturgeon. Unfortunately, the North East wind was too strong, and we weren't able to maintain proper boat control despite Mark trying every trick in the book. Oh well, there went what was likely my last shot at sturgeon until next summer, as we decided to go back to walleye fishing after and hour or so of frustration.

Drop shot fishing for walleye was slower than expected but we managed to land some more walleye.


As that bite died down after a while with the winds howling, trolling was the only option left. Another bass came to play, and then this nice surprise:


The small musky gave a great fight on light tackle, and was a welcome addition, as I haven't gone out for musky all season, due to various circumstances. Though it was quite small for a musky, it was nice and clean with stunning juvenile musky pattern.

Despite the horrible weather conditions, Mark grinded it out and performed under the worst of conditions. For those of you dedicated enough to grind it out in cold weather, the best is yet to come.
Mark still has available dates left in the next 3-4 weeks, contact him by clicking:
http://freshwaterphil.com/contactmark.cfm