The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lake St Francis fishing season opener




I finally got my boat launched and made it out a couple days after the season opener for Northern pike in the new Zone 20 of the St Lawrence River in Eastern Ontario. I brought my 7 year old son Avi (pikeman) along, as he earned a few fishing trips / days off school for “straight A” report cards.

We started off targeting an area I scouted on my navigational map of Lake St Francis, it turned out to be the perfect spot. A soon as we arrived and cut the motor, we were sitting on a school of decent sized pike. As we started casting lures at them bigger ones moved in following our lures. No hits for about 45 minutes, we had about 25 follows by pike ranging in the 8-12 lb class. We tried trolling for about an hour, saw many more pike lying lazily in about 10-12 feet of water, still no hits. I finally hooked one after about 2 hours, turned out to be an 8.5 lb pike, caught on a
CD-11 rainbow trout pattern Rapala countdown. We fished on. Again we started getting more follows, but no more bites. The final insult was a very nice specimen that followed 3-4 times, then finally turned and slapped my lure with it’s tail! I was kicking myself all day for not stopping to pick up some big shiners or suckers on the way, I’ll know better next time.

We move to another spot, almost instantly the menu changed to bass. I started by catching a 3.5 lb largemouth bass, Next fish was nothing less than amazing, my buddy hooked into a huge smallmouth bass, when we finally got it in the boat it weighed in at exactly 6 lbs, measured 22 inches. By far the largest smallie I have ever seen caught, obviously my buddie's PB (my PB is 5 lbs). My 7 year old caught the next bass, turned out to be a 3 lb smallie, he was barley able to bring it to the boat, needless to say it was his PB too. After a few more hours of smaller bass, we headed back to see if the pike had changed their habits as the day warmed up, unfortunately we got more of the same. Few follows from big fish, no hookups.

I hope to return this week, I plan to have some nice 5-6 inch live suckers to drop on their heads when they come chasing our lures.

To view the footage of the pike I caught,
click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAutnwFMal0

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