Just got back from my yearly family fishing vacation, we spent a week up in the Gatineau valley region of Quebec with my dad, 3 of my sons and some friends.
The weather co-operated for the most part, but overall, fishing was tougher than the past few years. The evening bites was particularly slow in comparison to my previous trips there, it was almost non existent this year.
We all still managed to catch decent fish, and I have a few more good fishing stories to tell. Here is a rough day by day summary of the fishing.
Sunday June 20th. We arrive at about 12:30, unload, get the boats a rods set up, we're on the water by 2:00 PM. I have my 2 younger sons, while my older son takes my dad on his boat. Only big fish landed is a 2.5 lb bass that actually leaped out of the water to take my brand new Zara Puppy. I'm happy with the topwater catch, and release the bass as we're still a few days before the bass opener in that zone.
Monday June 21st. The topwater bite is non existent. My buddy catches a giant 5 lb bass in about 20 feet on a tube, but other than that, bass fishing is slow. I take my two younger ones out for some jumbo pumpkinseed sunfish, they land them up to 10 inches big.
My 9 year old Avi also landed a Jumbo 12 inch perch. I filleted it, only to find a couple dozen worms in the flesh.
Tuesday, June 22nd. I land another 2.5 lb bass around 7:00 AM. I head back to the cabin, pick up my son, and fish until 9:00 AM, at which time I manage a nice 4.5 lb Northern Pike. Finally, some decent shore lunch, and I get some more Y-bone removal practice to boot.
We spend the rest of the afternoon landing big Pumpkin seed sunfish and smaller bass up to 1.5 lbs.
Wednesday June 23rd. Finally, the long awaited bass opener. I head out for the morning bite, and we hit instant success. First cast, my son Avi lands a 2 lb bass.
Next cast, I hook into a 3-3.5 lb bass. As I hand the rod to Avi to fight the fish telling him not to let it run into the trees, the fish dives into a sunken tree and gets caught up at about 15-20 feet down. I wait for it to come free but it doesn't. I snap the line, and start again.
I cast to another sunken tree, and hit another big bass. Again, it runs directly into the branches. This time it's caught up at about 6 or 7 feet suspended over 25 feet. I see it stuck in the sunken tree, and decide I've had enough. I undress, tell my son not to do as I do, and jump in. Despite not having goggles, I see the fish enough to be able to grab it by the mouth, rip it free from the trees and hook, swim back to the surface, and dump the 3 pounder into the boat. Another great fishing moment, and story that will probably remain etched in my son's mind for years to come.
We head back to the cabin, while my older son and dad go out. They also mange a few nice bass, up to 3 lbs.
During the early afternoon, we experience an earthquake, first ever felt by the owner of the in his 54 years. Some of my buddies are lucky enough to be out on the water at the time, not much chance one would ever experience an earthquake while out on a lake. Some felt it in the water, other just heard the forest rumbling. I was on land, as were the rest of my family. Turned out to measure 5.0 on the Richter scale and was centered about 100 KM away.
Thursday, June 24th. After a night of heavy rain and and overcast daybreak, I head out with Avi again, as Levi can't seem to wake up after having too much fun around the late bonfires and fireworks. He manages another quick 2 lb bass, while I land a nice 3.25 lb bass, which turns out to be the biggest one of the trip for me. The rain chases us off the lake, besides, I'm in over my head with another 1/2 dozen bass to fillet for my dad and friends.
The sun shows up by mid afternoon, along with a cold front. The lake is now buzzing with high powered bass boats, as la fete national brings the yearly crowds in to fish the opening weekend. Not much of a bite that evening, I head off to pack it in about 8:30 PM. We leave on Friday morning.
Time to start dreaming/planing about the next year's outing.
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