Carp fishing guide

Montreal carp fishing guide

Monday, September 7, 2020

Late summer carp fishing - Montreal 2020

Much of 2020 has been one of my least productive seasons for carp fishing. After catching a couple decent carp early in spring, my top three carp fishing spots went all but dead. Very low water levels along with two straight months of sunny skies and high heat, combined to push weed growth to unprecedented levels at my best spots.

With not much interest from customers in carp outings, likely due to Covid fears, I simply took time off from carping for the first time in over a decade. I spent nearly 3 months chasing bass, pike, walleye and muskies. I was able to explore new areas both on foot and from my float tube, as well as spend three 5 day trips up North in June, July and August.

Finally, I ended up having a family to take out on a guided outing at the end of July. Carp fishing was much slower than I hoped for, but they still managed to land a few small carp.


I didn't bother going back to fish for carp again until the third week in August. That outing proved to be disastrous. For the first time ever since I started guiding, we went over 9 hours without a bite, at a location which is normally my top producing spot for good numbers of carp.

Having another outing booked for the following Sunday, I did not want to put customers through another slow day of fishing. With my top three spots being completely dead, I was forced to go a scout for new spots.

After a couple evenings of walking a few kilometers of shoreline while casting for muskies and bass, I finally came along some new spots that seemed to have potential for being able to both present bait to carp, as well as being able to land them. Shore access for multiple people, and nearby parking sealed the deal. 

To field test my first new spot, I brought along my youngest son. At 8 years old, he was ready to take on his new job as my net man, being that most of the carp in the area are simply too big for him to fight at this point. After losing a large carp there on my first try, I managed a couple good ones on my next outing there.



Gotta love when a newly scouted spot gives up some trophy sized carp!


With renewed confidence, I was ready to handle the group of customers at a spot I had never done any guiding at, and only fish for carp once before.

Though the bite wasn't what I would call amazing, we got some steady action from bigger carp. Alex, Alexandra, Ian and Georgia all landed their biggest carps that day. 






Alex also managed to land a fat 29 lb muddler, which up to this point, is the heaviest carp to hit my net this year.


With good success at my new spots, my passion for carp fishing was rekindled. Here are some more pics of the carp I have been getting into recently, hope to have more nice ones to add before the end of summer.










Looking forward to catching some more fat carp this fall.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Fished le Domaine Shannon, Lac Wahoo again

 A last minute airline change cancelled some of the family vacation plans. With my 14 year old stuck in town with not much to do, I decided to head back up to Le Domaine Shannon for another 5 day trip. After Eli's major success with last month, and the very big pike I lost at boatside, we were hoping for another shot at landing a monster.

Having never been to Lac Wahoo for pike this late in the season, I wasn't sure what to expect. Amazingly, all mosquitoes and black flies were gone, after being the worst I've ever seen there only 5 weeks earlier.

With the current Covid situation, the Domaine Shannon, hast lost a huge part of their revenue for the season. Being family own for over 50 years, it's sad for them, but I'm sure they pull though. With the government paying much of the payroll due to the pandemic, at least the workers still have jobs. They have put the extra free time to good use. Lac wahoo now has a brand new outhouse, a tap with running water in the cabins, and a fish cleaning table with running water outside. With a heavy duty Princecraft boat and bran new Mercury 4 stroke outboard, the place is more inviting now than ever.


Day 1:

We get to Lac Wahoo, and I noticed a slow leak in on of my tires. being 29 km away from the main camp, and with no one else at any of the cabins closer to us, I knew I had my work cut out for me the next morning. 

Hopped out on the lake for the afternoon / evening bite after breaking camp. Trolled until the wind died down a bit, no fish in sight. Casting results were much better, we landed 13 pike. Nothing really worthy of pictures, just quick releases.

I field test my new 3d bat from Savage lures. Did manage anything on it, but I low it's crawling action.


Day 2:

Morning casting bite slowed down considerably after staring off with back to back pike on our first couple casts just before sunrise. Didn't spend too much time fishing, knowing that I had at least 3 hours of tire issues to deal with. Luckily, le domaine Shannon has a small garage at the main camp, they were happy to plug the tire for me.

After we returned, we decided to do some wading. After Eli's leech ordeal last trip, we came prepared with waders. First two casts landed Eli and I a couple nice fish.



Walleye dinner was excellent :) 

After taking a few hours off for lunch and a bit of relaxing, we were back out for the evening bite. Again, mainly smaller fish, that hit a mixed variety of Heddon Spooks, with the original Zara Spook outperforming the others.

Towards the evening, I decided to tie on a special lue. My dad zl hand crafted this topwater lure in his later years. He had never had a chance to use it, and when he passed away, I put it into my tackle box, hoping to land something on it at some point.


The lure doesn't have much action on it's own, I just pop and twitch it erratically to make it come alive. I had thrown it a bit for Largemouth bass at Mijocama, but it seemed a bit to big for bass. On my last trip to Lac Wahoo a few weeks ago, I got many missed hits at it.

Exploring a small incoming river much farther than I've ever gone before, I finally landed a good pike on my Dad's lure!


One of the more memorable moment's of this summer for me, I was happy and proud to finally put that lure to good use in my Dad's memory.


Day 3:

Morning casting bite was very short, we were chased off the lake by rain, which had been forecast for most of the day.

When it finally cleared up, I did some solo wading. Again, the first couple casts throwing a Rapala Countdown were productive. 

That silly looking breathable mask did wonders keeping the biting flies off my face and neck.




With heavy winds, I knew we would be limited to trolling again. Over the years, most of our success trolling bites on Lac Wahoo came in the 12 to 15 foot range. Mainly pike, with the occasional walleye. As the last trip and the previous day's trolling was futile, I decided to switch depths. Keeping the boat in 6 to 7 feet, I ran a spinnerbait on the shallow line right up to the weed edges, and the deeper line running Rapala J-11 or Husky Jerk in the 3-6 foot range below surface.

The trolling move paid off, Eli and I started landing pike again. My first one ended up being the biggest of the trip. Not the monster I has hoping for, but very welcome trolling catch.

After some heavy thunderstorms throughout the day, The sun came out for the late afternoon / evening bite. Unfortunately, the bite had just about died down completely, but I did manage my first pike on this Rapala xr13 topwater lure.

Day 4:

The morning bite was completely dead. Eli had some more success, catching the only fish of the morning while wading. 


Back to shallow trolling in the morning, we start to pattern the lake. I noticed that most of out success came on a small stretch of lake, which had been extremely unproductive over the past decade's trolling experiences on Lac Wahoo. Bening that those trips were always in May or July, that may have explained the noticeable difference.

Eli and I decided to focus on the productive stretch of shoreline, and sure enough, the fishing was easier than the proveriable "shooting fish in a barrel". Over the next few hours, with tallied up about 20 more pike, but they were all very small, with the biggest one maybe reaching 2 lbs. Didn't bother with pics.

Last shot at a casting bite at sunset for pike was not productive at all, but I did manage a very small walleye on my Zara spook.


Day 5:

Another dead morning for casting, not bite or follows. Straight to trolling after breakfast, again, we started hitting small pike on the same stretch of shoreline.

We ended up leaving by mid afternoon, forgoing a few more hours of trolling for hammer handle sized "snot rockets". 

All in all, a very satisfying trip for us, where we had to overcome a crazy tough bite, as well as me being able to test out many new lures. Best of all, was landing my first fish on my Dad's zl handmade creation.

Hope to make it back to Domaine Shannon next June, as that is the only month I haven't been there yet, due mainly to my kids' school schedules. Apparently the best walleye bite of the year, and I'm quite sure it would be better for bigger pike as well.

The Domaine Shannon can really use the local business this season, if any of you are considering a fishing trip between now and mid September, contact them at: http://freshwaterphil.com/ledomaineshannon.cfm 




Thursday, July 9, 2020

Le Domaine Shannon fishing trip 2020 - Lac Wahoo

Back from a 4 day trip to Le Domaine Shannon. For this trip, my 14 year old son Eli was the only one who tagged along. That suited me fine, it made the trip organizing and packing simpler, as allowed me to focus my time on guiding him throughout the fishing trip.

After our last trip there in 2018 was big success for pike, we returned to Lac Wahoo in search of more trophy pike that lac is renowned for at Le Domaine Shannon. Something about a double digit pike hitting a topwater lure around sunrise or sunset that gets me dreaming about them for months...

Day 1:

After arriving at Lac wahoo and breaking camp early in the morning, we set out to cast for pike, hoping to catch the tail end of a morning bite. Casting was not productive, so we eventually tried some trolling. Nothing doing, we headed back to shore for lunch.

Before heading out for the evening bite, we decided to do some shore fishing in a nearby creek, where we had caught some eating sized pike in the previous years. Sure enough, the creek did not disappoint, Eli and I landed a double header on our first casts, me with a pike, and he with a walleye, first one we have ever managed to catch out of that spot. One more pike a few casts later, an I was ready to head back to fillet our dinner.


Later that evening, we headed back out on Lac Wahoo for some more fishing, mainly throwing topwater lures.

Eli started off landing this nice pike:


I followed up with another keeper sized walleye, nice surprise on a Zara spook. Quite rare for that to happen...


A few casts later, I hooked into one of those double digit pike on my Zara spook. Fishing in less than 2 feet of water, I was able to see it's thick back zoom around emerging weeds as I fought it to the boat. When Eli was finally ready to net it, the pike darted under the boat. A bit of a lack of netting experience, Eli missed the second time as well, and the monster piek spit the lure a boatside. Total heartbreak for me, I had lost the big topwater pike I was dreaming of for a long time. In retrospect, I should have given Eli some tips on landing big pike (or muskies), something which he hasn't had much chance to do so far. Either way, we booth got a good look at the trophy pike, probably weighed in the 12 to 14 lbs range. That was it for the day.

Day 2:

We started off bright and early, hoping for some more topwater action. After landing some tiny pike casting, we tried some trolling. Again, nothing doing.

After lunch, we headed back to the creek again, for some shore fishing / wading. We did land some more "hammer handle" pike. The excursion ended when Eli realized he had stepped into a nest of leeches, he hopped out of the water with 3 or 4 of them stuck on his leg.

After patching him up, we head out to try trolling again. No luck, no fish in sight. When we got back to the cabin, Eli took off his water shoes, only to find another big leech that had been stuck to him for hours. He flicked it off, and it started making it's way across the floor, dripping the blood it had been feeding on. Yuck!


That evening, I added neck protection and gloves to avoid the horrendous swarms of black flies, which were worse than I have ever seen at any lake. Mosquitoes and deer flies didn't help, but my bug resistant clothing soaked in backwoods Muskol (30% deet) were very effective.


The evening bite only produced some smaller pike, nothing like what we had hoped for.

Day 3:

We hit another section of the lake at sunrise, looking for big pike. Again, only some small ones, topped off by another surprise walleye on my Zara spook.


No trophies, but our trip was getting tastier by the day. With rain in forecast for much of the day, we decided to troll back to the cabin, finally hitting our first pike on the troll, another small one.

As evening rolled in and the rain stopped, we headed out to do some more casting. We hit a new bay for the first time this trip, where I mentioned that we had caught some keeper sized walleye trolling a few years ago with my older son, as well as some decent pike.

Having lost the Zara spook I gave him, Eli went back to casting a spinnerbait. After a few casts and some more small pike, Eli finally hooked into a bigger fish. He did a good job keeping the pressure on, despite it digging bottom under our boat in about 6-8 feet of dark water. I finally got a glimpse of the big fish, and netted it. To both of our surprise, it turned out to be a monster walleye.

Measuring 30 inches and weighing 9 lbs, it not only smashed all our family walleye records, but it turned out to be the biggest recorded walleye ever landed on that lake!

Snapped a couple nice pics with a very happy Eli.




When it comes to releasing trophies, fish care is essential. We used my carp gear to land the fish, oversized mesh landing net, well wetted landing mat, and I made sure he revived it properly in the big landing net before finally releasing it back into the lake.

I still can't get over that gorgeous walleye. In 5 previous trips to Lac Wahoo, all we had ever managed was the odd eating sized walleye in the 14 to 17 inch range. I never dreamed there were walleye that bing in the lake. There are much better walleye lakes at le Domaine Shannon, containing both number of eaters, as well a trophy double digit walleye. As such, no one really targets walleye on Lac Wahoo, it's known as a big pike lake. Looks like we've changed all that...

A few more small pike near sunset ended our day.

Day 4:

Morning bite yielded a few tiny pike. An incoming heat wave, would have been nice to wade the creek for more pike, but after the leech disaster the previous day, Eli wasn't going near the water any more. Luckily, we noticed a canoe stashed away in the trees. We launched it into the creek, and sure enough, I landed some more pike.


As if we didn't have enough success with walleye on our pike trip, Eli landed another nice walleye.


Felt interesting fishing off a canoe for the first time in about 25 years.

The evening bite only produced more tiny pike. That was it for our trip as far as fishing went.

It's funny how one can sometimes think they have things figured out after a while. This trip was my 11th to Le Domaine Shannon, over which time, I had fished Lac Wahoo on 5 previous trips, some in summer, other in spring.

In previous trips, trolling was always a good fall back method when casting slowed down. We typically managed good pike, especially in the days when fishing with dead bait fish was still allowed (prior to 2017). Even when we didn't manage big pike, good numbers of smaller ones filled in, with
our best day ever yielding about 60 pike back in 2012. Walleye were simply a bi-catch on Lac Wahoo, providing a nice smile and a few tasty meals.

During this trip, everything was topsy turvy. The warm sunny days made for slow pike fishing, topwater hitting walleyes. The trolling was the slowest I have ever seen on that lake, yielding only 1 pike in 4 days. The bugs were absolutely nuts, coming thought cracks in the cabin walls despite us burning mosquito coils indoors day and night.

However, the adverse conditions brought out our resilience, which eventually paid off big time for Eli, who now holds both the family record and lake record with his spectacular catch. Another one of those priceless fishing moments that makes me proud as a father, and will remain engraved in our minds for years to come.

For anyone interested in fishing at le Domaine Shannon, they can be contacted at:
http://freshwaterphil.com/ledomaineshannon.cfm

Feel free to contact me with any questions about the different lakes I've fished there.







Friday, June 26, 2020

Mijocama bass fishing trip 2020

To say our yearly trip to Mijocama for the bass opener was a smashing success, would be an understatement. Being there for 19 years in a row at the best time of the season for bass fishing, I can safely say, this fishing trip completely shattered all previous outings to Mijocama.

The proverbial perfect storm ingredients were all there. The largemouth bass had just finished spawning, and we were in the midst of a crazy heat wave, which typically turns the bite on more than anything else at Mijocama. Adding to the fact that they had been closed up until a few days before we got there due to the Covid 19 crisis, which meant that basically no one had targeted bass on the lake in a good 8-9 months or so.

After last year's amazing topwater fishing we enjoyed, I was hoping this one would come close. I wasn't more than happy that our success outdid anything I had even imagined.

Best of all, the vast majority of our bass were caught on the surface, using topwater lures in shallow water. Can't ask for a more fun way to catch bass, everybody simply loves topwater fishing.

Some of the new family records from our trip:

11 bass 4 lbs or over were landed by us over 5 days of fishing.
Avi's 4.5 lbs bass is a new family record for topwater bass caught at Mijocama
Ari's 5.25 lbs monster bass, beat my previous 5 lbs bass, and is now our new family record at Mijocama as well.


Here as some of our bass pics.

Ari:







Avi and his big topwater bass caught on a Zara spook:


Levi spent his trip guiding a couple friends to some very good topwater bites on both Pop R's and Zara puppies.


Eli spent a good deal of time on both my boat and Ari's boat when I had the younger kids with me.




Zev's casting isn't exactly on point, so he was happy to land most of the bass that I hooked, including his biggest bass at 3.9 lbs. All caught on Pop R's





Zev enjoyed spending time with his cousin Yehuda, who was struggling to catch fish until he spent an evening on our boat. His biggest topwater bass fixed all that.



When the weather did cool down and the bass bite slowed down, the pike bite came on better than ever as well, at least when it comes to numbers. No trophies, but some good keeper sized pike for my freezer were landed by most of us.







Perfect weather allowed us to fish from the dawn and dusk bites.



Good times with family and friends, many new unforgettable moments, and great memories made. Little wonder that we return to Mijocama for our family vacation every summer for amazing bass fishing.