Carp fishing guide

Montreal carp fishing guide

Friday, June 28, 2019

Mijocama bass fishing trip 2019

For the 17th year in a row, we visited Mijocama outfitter for some early season bass fishing in Quebec's zone 10 (Outaouais region). Brought along 6 of my kids for this one, leaving my wife with a well deserved vacation, as my eldest daughter no longer lives at home.

Luckily for me, the 4 eldest boys can fend for themselves by now, as the two younger ones need more attention while spending 5 days in the woods on a remote lake. I paired the eldest boys with each other, renting them a couple of motor boats for improved efficiency.

As usual, my plan was to stick to fishing topwater lures on early mornings and late evenings with the younger ones, and spending the hot part of the day in the shade or in the lake with them. Thank God, the story played out wonderfully...

Day 1:

After arriving at the camp around noon, we got the boats, set up fishing gear, and unloaded out gear and food into our chalet. With the kids horsing around on shore after lunch, I decided to troll a bit, as it was way to early in the day and windy to attempt throwing any topwater lures. Didn't have to go far, first pass on a nearby spot landed this small pike, first fish of the trip.



Headed out for the first evening of topwater bass fishing with my two youngest kids later that evening. Plan was to cast a Pop R and let them take turns reeling in the fish, while letting Chaya practice her casting accuracy.

After landing her first sunfish of the trip on the Pop R, Zev was up for next fish. It took quite a while, but as it gets darker, the bigger bass start to feed. Sure enough, I hooked into a nice 2.5 lb largemouth bass, handed him the rod, and he did a good job hanging on and fighting the fish until I landed it for him. As you can see, the fish was hungry, and very well hooked.


As the bugs got unbearable for the younger ones, I headed in for the night about 1/2 hour later.

Day 2: 

Headed out alone bright and early, kids were all asleep after staying up late for a bonfire with fireworks, followed by scary movie. Got into a good topwater morning bite shortly after sunrise, landing back to back bass at 5:30 am, followed by a couple more before the kids woke up. Nothing over 15 inches or so, but being the first one out on a pristine lake during the morning solitude is priceless.

With Jimmy and his cabin having a good dozen children, my 2 younger kids spent much time playing there. To the point where they were having too much fun to come out fishing with me for the evening bite. 

Eli was overjoyed that his younger siblings weren't fishing, and he immediately decided to fish topwater lures on my boat. It has been a couple years since we fished together at Mijocama, and he'd been struggling to catch fish while out with his brothers, as they tend to prefer to take care of themselves first.

I gladly took him up, and decided to spend the evening focusing on topwater fishing techniques like accurate casting, reading the water, etc. Being in the front of the boat with the first cast at every potential spot, with a guide hat has well over 100 fishing days of experience on that given lake, has it's benefits.

After explaining it all to him over a good 15 to 20 minutes, I was quite surprised at his casting skill level. It didn't take long before Eli was into his first bass of the trip.


We spend the next hour or so hooking and missing smaller bass, and even a double header of aggressive sunfish throwing the same lure:


As the light starts to fade at sunset, the bass caught, start growing in size:


Forcing Eli to withstand some of the worst mosquito conditions we've encountered in years, and even some black flies which are normally long gone by late June, eventually paid off. Eli and I landed two solid bass (2.5 and 3 lbs) on back to back casts.



It was almost night when we finally reached our cabin.

Day 3:

Heavy rain overnight and into mid morning, we lost our chance at a morning bite, foregoing it for some well needed sleep. After Eli's success, I was surprised that my eldest son Ari wanted to come along with me that evening, as yet again, my two youngest decided to favor junk food and games over spending time with their dad casting while they fought off swarms of mosquitoes. 

It was the first time in 4 years that Ari was back to Mijocama with us. Prior to then his last 5 or 6 seasons were spent guiding my aging dad of blessed memory, while I tending to various groups of younger siblings over the years. So it was probably our first time fishing Giles lake together in a good 10 years or so.

As opposed to Eli, he decided to try his own topwater lures. After giving him the same rundown of my spots and technique, Ari started off by catching a large perch on his Rapala Skitter Pop.


As we hit my second spot, I struggled to maintain boat position in the wind with the trolling motor, long enough to give Ari a shot at hitting some spots. Ari hooked into the biggest bass I've ever seen hit a topwater lure on that given lake (Giles lake). The big bass put up a crazy fight, jumping 3 to 4 times, and making runs towards submerged trees. Ari fish fighting level, matched his accurate casting, and he managed to lane the big bass on his Rapala Skitter Pop.


One of those moments in a fisherman's life that makes him a proud dad.

The fish weighed in at 4.5 lbs, and it must have just spawned judging by it's tail. Ari measured the fish for some master angler program he plans to submit it to, a nice 21 inches.



With heavy winds still blowing by 8 PM. we struggled to find calm water. The winds finally started subsiding after 8:30 PM. Again, I pushed Ari to stay out through some tough bug swarms, and the move paid off with some more bass, including this big 3.75 lbs bass just before dark.


Day 4: 

Being our last full day of the trip, Eli was to head out with me for the morning bite. As he slept in, I ended up running into Ari on the water, as we was up bright and early, getting on the water before I did.


He ended up joining me again, and the move paid off nicely for him, landing another big topwater bass, this time on a Chug Bug.


With some mid morning rain stopping after lunch time, I headed out to toll for pike with one of the less skilled father and sons in the group. Knowing that casting lures accurately was out of the question, trolling provided a simpler solution. Eyal was sure happy he came along, landed his first ever pike, while trolling a Rapala Countdown:



That evening, I ended up with both Eli and Zev on my boat, plan was to cast out topwater lures and take turns letting Zev bring in some fish. Eli produced results again, they tag teamed this bass:


Eli manages to land more bass on his own:


As well as one of the smallest pike I've seen caught on a lure.


That being the last night out, Eli booked me again for the following morning.

Day 5:

After having the best topwater fishing (sizewise) we ever encountered at Mijocama, I decided to switch things up. My friend Jimmy had dialed into his best pike bite on the lake in many years, I hit his spot and pattern. Didn't take long, this one fell for a quickly retrieved spinnerbait around 6:30 AM. 


Ended up being my last catch of the trip. Funny enough how my first and last catches on a bass fishing trip both ended up being pike.

Being up at Mijocama with the largest group since we started going there in 2002, many of the other boats found good success as well.

Ari landed a pike and some bass:


Avi did OK on numbers, but sizes were below his average:


My nephew Ezzy landed a big bass in the 4 lbs range, while being guided by Avi.


As I previously mentioned, Jimmy got into some good pike fishing, and decided to forego the topwater bites in order to chase these toothy critters with a spinnerbait.





All in all, a truly fabulous trip, with near perfect weather, good times with many old and new friends, lots of quality family memories made, and great fishing. I enjoyed the solitude of morning bites remembering the times I fished the lake with by dad, and thanks to the multitude of our group, I was able to recite kaddish (mourners prayer) for him every morning, afternoon, and evening. Hoping for many more good ones in the future.

For those of you wanting to experience fishing some of the biggest bass in Quebec's Outaouais region, Mijocama is the place to be. For more info, see:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Trolling for walleye and pike

Finally got out out for another outing with my friend Mark today. We were hoping that the forecast sunshine would warm water up enough for a good walleye bite, but unfortunately, we had heavy cloud cover most of the day.

First bite of the day trolling, landed Zev his first ever walleye. Real beauty, what a way to start the day, and introduce him to this new species!



After that bite, we kept trolling various crankbaits. The pike took over, starting off with a double header for Ari and Zev.


Ari and Zev kept taking turns landing pike on the trolling rods, we ended up with a whopping 32 landed pike for the day, despite trying to locate walleyes much of the time. Here are a couple nice ones Ari Landed.



Later on in the day just before the end of our outing, Ari landed another nice walleye, his first of the season.


With a total of 32 pike, 3 walleyes, and a couple smallmouth bass that hit our trolling lines, this outing was the most productive of the 2019 so far.

As usual Mark had every running smoothly, and somehow managed not to lose his cool with my 7 year old Zev being an uber brat most of the day.

I highly recommend Mark as a guide, he is available for guided outings throughout the year. Contact Mark by clicking: http://freshwaterphil.com/contactmark.cfm

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fishing etiquette in the talmud





Much of the time spent carp fishing is the waiting game. Once rods are setup up, there can be hours between bites on a slow day. Especially when fishing alone, I'll take along a tractate f the talmud to learn while fishing. The solitude really lets my mind get into it, without any interruption between bites.

The talmud was written about 1600-1700 years ago, in what is now modern day Israel. The various tractes discuss most of what comprised Jewish law at the time. Most interesting to me, are the tractates that discuss monetary laws and litigation. I recently got started on tractate Bava Batra, which is the longest tractate in the talmud, and quite complex as well.

Every once in a while, I'll come across a passage or discussion related to fishing, which I find quite fitting when I'm actually fishing while learning it. Of course, the fishing practiced in talmudic times was sustenance based. I'm quite sure anyone practicing catch ans release in those days would have been committed to the insane asylum...

Prospecting a new carp spot the other day, I came across a discussion related to fishing laws, which  would probably fall under etiquette in modern times.

To quote page 21B:

If a fisherman discovered the lair of a particular fish, and spread his net between that fish and it's lair, other fishermen must distance their nets from the fish, as far as the fish swims in one spell, up to one "parsah" (equivalent to 2.5 - 3 miles). Even though the first fisherman has not yet acquired the fish, he can prevent other fishermen from taking it. Once fish set their sights on food, they will certainly swim to it. Therefore, if a fisherman sets a trap with food near the lair of a fish, the fish is viewed as if it were already in his hands, If another fisherman would then take the fish, that would be tantamount to taking it directly from that fisherman (theft).

Evidently, talmudic law would have something to say about modern days "googans" (aka spot thieves), especially ones fishing a spot pre-baited by someone else.

Equally interesting to me as a carper, is the fact that people were prebaiting for thousands of years, as in all likelihood, the fish referred to in the talmudic passage were probably carp. The talmud was compiled in the Galilee, where the only bodies of water are the Kinneret and Jordan River, and native species of kosher fish big enough to fight over were likely carp.

Funny how some things don't change with time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

First pike fishing trip of the season

Finally headed out on my friend Mike's boat with Eli, looking to land our first pike and possibly walleyes of the season. We were fortunate to be on board on Mike's new Lund for it's maiden voyage, hoping to get it well slimed.

Weather was calm and sunny, pike didn't take too long too co-operate with out trolling plans. Eli landed his first pike of the season. Nothing big, but a good start.



After landing a couple more pike, we eventually snagged what we thought was a rocky bottom in shallow water. Turning the boat around to free the line, Mike noticed that the bottom had "moved", and that we were actually hooked into a big one. After Eli fighting if for a bit, I correctly assumed that we had foul hooked a decent sized sturgeon, as no other fish in our river have that sort of power. Sure enough, Eli landed a nice 4 foot sturgeon after a brutal fight on a bass rod.


I shot some video footage of the battle, which I'll post here in the coming days...

After hooking a couple nice sized smallmouth bass on the next pass, we moved off to another spot, as they are out of season.

Our next spot proved very productive, and the pike were substantially bigger as well.




Eli fought most of them, except for a double header we landed after landing once of the bigger ones. Nearly a triple header. Once of the twisted while Eli had his hand in it's jaw, shredding his finger.


After landing a good 15 pike or so, we made one more stop on the way back, Eli landed his first walleye of the season, followed by another small pike.


All in all, another great day on the water with Mike for our first boat outing of the season, hope to have many more coming up.

Mike offers guided trips for pike an walleye before the start of musky season in 3 weeks. He can be contacted from my recommended guides page at:  http://freshwaterphil.com/fishing-guides.cfm


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Passover carp fishing with my kids

Kids off school for passover, took advantage of the nice forecast last Thursday to take them out some carp fishing.

While most people associate the Jewish holiday of Passover with eating matza balls and drinking wine, for the orthodox observant Jew, there is a lot more to it. Passover is a very restrictive holiday when it comes to anything made with flour. Aside from the prohibition of eating bread or any form of leavened wheat, the restriction trickles down owning or handling anything edible containing even minute quantities of flour than wasn't produced as matza.

What does all this have to do with carp fishing? Well, for starters, I produce my my own boilies as carp bait. With flour being one of the ingredients, I can't use them during the 8 days of passover. Nor can I use store bought boilies and a variety of other commercial baits, as many of them fall under the same restriction.

This left me with good old canned corn as my option for carp bait. While corn can be very good for carp bait, it has 2 major limitations:

1) Chumming range is severely reduced. While I can chum boilies out over 150 feet by catapult, or better yet, tie them directly to my line using PVA stringers and cast them up to about 400 feet out, canned corn only has a catapult range of about 50 feet, and would melt through PVA to quickly to be properly deployed. This limits chummed carp fishing using corn to close range only (without the use of spodding).

2) Quite often, nuisance species such as sunfish, perch and gobies tend to peck corn nibblets off before carp have the time to get to them. This further limits carp fishing range to areas that hold smaller concentrations of these species.

With the ice only having thawed a couple days before the outing, our chances at hooking a carp were slim to begin with. The only thing we had going for us was the forecast, which called for a balmy high of 17C with no wind. The area I fish this time of year, is a very shallow bay that heats up significantly quicker than the rest of the deep waters surrounding it, during and immediately after ice out. This effect tends to draw warmer water species, and especially carp, like a magnet.

With the high predicted to warm up starting around 10 AM, we got setup up shortly after that. Unfortunately, the forecast was completely off. Ground temp was around 7C, heavy cloud cover, and moderate wind. Kids were cold, they stayed in the car most of the morning, and not a fish in sight for the first 4 hour of the outing. Zev seemed to lose his patience and took it out on the guide.




Finally, clouds started clearing, and the sunshine arrived around 2 PM. Within minutes, the first run of the season resulted in Eli landing his first carp of 2019.


Far from being a monster, but still very welcome after 4 hours or so of nothing.

Within minutes, the second run, this time Chaya took the rod. She fought the fish up to shore, a feisty carp in the 12 lbs range, but it spit the hook a few feet away from the landing net.

Keeping things fair, Zev was up next. Took about 1/2 hour for the next run, and with a bit of help from Dad on the rod and Eli with the landing net, Zev had his first carp of the season on the mat.


No that the 2 boys had landed carp, Chaya was up for another shot. Sure enough, within a couple minutes, we had another screaming run, this time the fish was a bit bigger. She di a pretty good job fighting it, until it ran straight into a large patch of bullrushes along the steep bank we were on. As I tried to muscle it away for her, the carp spit the hook. Too bad, would have liked to get a look at that one...

Having lost 2 carp and with less than 1 hour left to our outing, she didn't despair. 20 minutes later, we were into our 5th carp of the afternoon, which she finally landed.



All landed carp were released in top shape.



Having landed one carp each and a couple more good battles, the outing turned out even better than I originally imagined, due to not being able to use my boilies. Seems like the combination of patience, experience, light chumming, sunshine, and a very good knowledge of that spot, all came together to make for another memorable holiday outing with the little ones.

Now that the carp are finally on the feed, I should be back to guiding for them in the next couple weeks.

For more information on your shot at landing good numbers of these hard fighting fish,
Click: http://www.freshwaterphil.com/carp-fishing-guide.cfm




Friday, April 12, 2019

Big game shark fishing Fort Lauderdale

Sport fishing addictions vary between different anglers. Target species, locations, methods, and of course size and numbers, are what drive the people that enjoy our favorite pastime.

Those of you that know me can attest to my passion for big game fishing, more than most. Having fished freshwater species most of my life, I've been lucky enough to catch almost every species on my bucket list. 

Saltwater fishing is an entirely different ballgame. Countless big game opportunities around the planet exist of many various of ocean dwelling monsters, but few can rival the thrill of battling with big sharks. Being one of the Apex predators, they inspire fear into swimmers and surfers, and awe to their admirers. Even more so to those that are fortunate enough to target and battle them on rod and reel.

As my daughter recently got married and moved to Florida, I decided to cap of our endless winter by going to visit her. As she only gets off work in the evening, I invited my friends Mike and Yohann to join me on my latest big game shark fishing adventure.

After arriving at the Bed and Breakfast house in Pompano Beach on Sunday night, I headed off for morning prayers and Chabad of Fort Lauderdale, as I'm currently reciting daily service prayers for my late father. Very convenient to have Chabad synagogues around the globe.


After a late breakfast at a local eatery nearby, we headed to the Bahai Mar marina in Fort Lauderdale to meet up with our charter service, Marlin My Darlin. Plan was for them to put us onto some big hammerhead sharks that migrate South every April and May.

We got to the marina, to find a very nice 53 foot yacht, complete with lounge, kitchen, bedroom, toilet and shower. Equipped with twin Cummins engines that generate a good 1500 HP, ell the latest electronics, outriggers, and heavy duty gear + tackle, I got the feeling that we were going to have a blast over the next 3 days of big game sport fishing with them.


Nice to have air conditioned lounge on board.


I preferred the breeze on the captain's deck, which also made for interesting conversations with both the captain and first mate.



First order of the day, is catching bait. Oily and strong smelling bonitas seems to be a favorite out there, so we set up 5 rods to troll at a good 5-8 miles per hour, in hopes of crossing some big schools of these pelagic fish. 

It took a bit longer than expected, but we eventually found some. I landed my first "baitfish":


After catching some more bait, the crew switched up the gear and got the big rods on deck.


JJ split the bonitas in half.


He then proceeded to rig them onto to some of the biggest and baddest of rods and reel combos I've used.



Once rigged, the bait is let out on flat line behind the boat, tipped with balloons which both help keep the bait on top, and also act as strike indicators. Another rod is fitted with a big sinker and fish mid column, anywhere from 200 to 300 feet deep.



The beauty of fishing this region of Florida, is that the gulf stream is only a couple miles from shore, a few minutes boat ride from the marina. Every spring, big hammerhead sharks make their way down the Florida coast on their way to spawning ground in Mexico. The boat is set up in or near the current, which flows Northward. It is then held in place by thrusting the engines to keep it stationary. This creates a bloody chum slick wafting North, right into the ultra sensitive noses of the big hammerhead heading South. As they follow the scent trail, they eventually find the fresh cut bait waiting for them.

It tooks a while, but as I was up on the upper deck chatting with Captain Matt, one of the balloons disappeared, and the the reel went off screaming, while our first hammerhead shark peeled line off at lighting speed. 

Our plan was to take turns fighting the big shark until we tired it enough to get some boatside pics before releasing it, as Florida forbids keeping that Hammerhead sharks, as well as even bringing them on board.

I can't begin to explain the power these beast have, the video at the bottom of this post, may give you a rough idea. Here are some nice pics we shot in between taking turns fighting the fish and shooting video clips.

Our first hammerhead shark of the trip was about 9 feet long, somewhere in the 250 to 300 lbs range. Was brave enough to get up close and get this pic of this strange yet magnificent beast's head.


Notice the huge girth on this big shark.


They aren't referred to as "T-heads" for nothing, and those big sickle like dorsal fins are quite impressive as well.



And of course mandatory pics of all of us, as we each taking 2 turns at fighting the big hammerhead shark to get it tired enough at boat side.




JJ did a great job handling the big shark boatside, long enough for us to get the shots an footage.



He then proceeded to grab the T head and make sure is was well revived before releasing it.



Having landed a nice specimen of our target species, the mood on the boat turned was more relaxed. We had come a long way and spent a good deal of hard earned cash on our trip. Personally, I enjoy soaking big baits waiting for a monster hit. Mike and Yohann we both on board with me, but I did get a feeling that both the captain and mate were a bit unsure if we could handle possibly not getting any bites. Once our first catch was out of the way, I reassured them that we had known what we were in for, and that we were OK with doing the same for the following couple days.

Didn't get any more hits, except for a tiny shark that was hooked on the deeper line. We didn't know it was even there, until we pulled in the lines at days' end before heading back to the marina.

The following day, forecast of for wind, rain, and chance of heavy storms all afternoon. We agreed to get a head start on our outing around mid morning. I was up bright and early as always, and got a nice pic of the sunrise before the clouds moved in.


Unlike the first day, the trolling bite was very good. We caught our bonitas as bait in no time, and hit some other pelagic species we kept for the table as well.

Mike landed a nice kingfish.


Shortly after, all 5 lines got hit, with 4 of them getting cut off within seconds. Yohann was lucky enough to land one of the 5 wahoos, a tasty species with razor sharp teeth.


He capped of our trolling session with his first blackfin tuna, one of the most delicious species in the region.


Cameron got the first balloon line for sharks into the water, and before it even got to the desired distance, it was grabbed by a hungry hammerhead within less than 15 seconds.

We each got one turn fighting it, and landed the smallest shark of the trip, probably about 7.5 feet long, under 200 lbs.


Matt shot a nice pic for us from the Captain's deck.


While our hopes were high, the rest of the day was silent. Just as well, we stayed in the lounge thought the rain.

The following day was our last chance at possibly landing multiple of bigger hammerhead over 10 feet, which is about as big a most of the mograting shark re in that region.

After a nice breakfast, we stopped at Basspro shops to check out their fish tank.



With some monster bass in the 12-15 lbs range, and giant redfish, yours truly couldn't resist goofing around.


Back to fishing for bait.



After catching enough bonitas for bait, we helped JJ pull in the lines. Luckily, I was about to get the last line out when another tasty blackfin came to play. 


Made for a very tasty breakfast for Mike and I the following morning.



Or new captain for the day was Tom, the senior Captain in the fleet, with over 40 years of experience. After a report of seeing Hammerheads cruising at the surface over 400 feet, he knew exactly where to setup shop.

To make a long story short, we hit the more hammerheads that afternoon. The first one was the biggest, a monster pushing 11 feet / 350 lbs. I fought it hard for 15 minutes before passing Yohann the ord for a chance. Unfortunately, we must have been tail or fin wrapped above the leaders, and it managed to chafe and break the 100 lbs test mono line shortly after.

Next fish was Mike's turn. He fought it hard on the only reel spool with heavy braid, while Yohann waited for his chance to help once Mike tired. For the first time, I Enjoyed just relaxing and wathcing the fight from the top deck in the breeze, having a much better view and idea of what was going on. Mike finally got that shark next to the boat, but when it turn and ran, the line snapped and the big shark was gone.

With only half hour left to the outing, we figured that was all, but we were surprised when a third hammerhead hit within a couple minutes. This time, Yohann to the line, but he was gassed within minutes. This fish just kept pulling downwards, I think Yohann's inexperience caused him to tire too quickly. He handed me the rod, and while fighting the shark, I pointed out what I was doing as far as technique, which trumps raw power any time you are fishing for big, powerful game fish.

I fought the shark all the way to the boat, but before Mike had a chance, the fight was over when JJ grabbed the leaders. Unfortunately, the 8 foot hammerhead spit the hook just as we were getting set to get some pictures. 

By far our most productive day, I just took the time to soak in what was likely the best sportfishing trip of my life, in over 40 years since I've started fishing.

The following vide will yield a slight idea of the excitement we had on board, as well as the raw power these sharks can generate during a brutal fight.



Again, I have to thank the wonderful crew members of Marlin my Darlin sport fishing charters, Captain Matt and Tom, and mates JJ and Cameron. Having fished with many guides across the continent over the years, they rank at the top of the game. Their seamless coordination, matched with their knowledge is second to none. As for the impressive boat, impressive gear and friendly service, I'd like to thank Rick, owner of Marlin My Darlin charters.



If ever you find yourself in the Fort Lauderdale region of Florida looking to fish, I have no doubt they can put you onto whichever species are biting at the time. April and May is prime time for hammerheads, for those of you that think you may be up to the big game challenge, the next 6 weeks would be the time to book your hammerhead shark fishing trip for. Visit their web site at:

Also would like to thank my friends Mike and Yohann for joining this memorable trip, splitting the costs and helping to land these powerful and magnificent beasts the good Lord has put in our oceans. Having battled with them has added appreciation of His creations, and the true thanks and glory are all his.