The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fishing big smallmouth bass in October

Sunny skies and no wind, we decided to take advantage of one of the last few good fishing days in October, as my boat will likely be winterized in the next week or so, unless I manage to sell it before then.

As clear windless days are a rarity in October, we decided to cruise around the gin clear waters of Lake St Francis in search of trophy smallmouth bass which can hit 7 lbs this time of the year. Our plan was to fish some deeper areas or target the ones we spot visually in shallower water.

On our way out, we spotted a small carp and a very nice Esox, not sure if it was a big pike or small musky. We fished the areas adjacent to the seaway, until we drifted right over 2 monster smallies in about 3-4 feet of water. We anchored about 60 feet away, and started casting towards them. My buddy tried tubes and Senkos unsuccessfully.

I started with a CD 11 Rapala Countdown, then decided to try something "crazy". I found a rig my son had tied for catching small perch, basically a sinker with about 6 inches of line leading to a small #8 or #10 hook. I buried it into a live worm so as to keep it weedless. I bounced it along the bottom very slowly, and on my 3rd cast, I hooked into one of the monsters. On it's first jumped, it snaped the hook right off the rig, looks like my son didn't bother stress testing the knot.

The fish was a true fall monster, one of the biggest if not the biggest smallmouth bass I have ever hooked (my PB is 5.1/2 lbs). We got a very good look at it, as it jumped about 3 feet out of the water, conservative estimate of 5 lbs, very possibly over 6. Needles to say, I was mad at myself for not checking the knot / rig before putting it on. Still, It felt good hooking into a smally that big in a situation where they usually won't hit much.

The fish didn't go far, we saw it cruising around, no longer interested in our offerings. We tried to catch the other one, also a nice one easily over 4 lbs. This one wouldn't bite, we even managed to bounce our lines off it's back.

Eventually, we headed to calmer waters as the wind picked up, managed a small largemouth on a tube and a big bluegill on a worm.

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