The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shore fishing for musky

After my last musky outing, I decided to attempt shore fishing for musky. Though the Montreal region has no shortage of musky in it's waters, catching from the shore is quite the challenge.

To begin with, I don't have any musky gear, I sold most of it a couple years ago. What I do have left are a couple big Mepps bucktails, a musky Jitterbug and a Lucky Strike Ol' Wooden plug, probably intended for pike, as it's only 6 inches long.

My catfish / sturgeon / carp rods are too big or to cumbersome to haul around and cast all day, same goes for my bigger reels. So I took my larger bass/pike rod, a 6.5 foot Rhino. Medium action rod, has plenty of backbone, I've caught my biggest carp and catfish on that rod. My 30 series Abu Garcia reel is spooled with 20 lbs Sufix 832, so I filled the spare spool with 50 lb Power Pro just in case.

Headed out on back to back outings. First day was sunny with a cold front moving in, very windy. The spot I started at looked good on Google maps. Plenty of shoreline that looked easily accessible. After getting to the water and finding parking, I set out on foot carrying my net and rod in hand, my gear and water in the backpack.

Google maps can be deceiving. Most of the shoreline was very steep, and full of bullrushes everywhere. So much for spending the day casting the 3-4 kilometers I had planned on, I was lucky to find a couple spots that were barely accessible, and only after lots of trekking.

Changed areas after a while, to a spot I knew had occasional muskies passing through. Not much luck on the musky side, though I did have a small pike follow the Lucky Strike trolling plug I was casting. As I made my way along the shoreline, I hit a spot too shallow for my musky lures, so I tied on the one spinnerbait I brought along. Landed a small 2 lb bass on it a few casts later. Switched to 2 more fishing spots for musky, none to be seen, no hits at all.

Headed out the following day, this time by bike. Plan was to hit some spots I previously scouted in hope of getting a nice musky hit my lures. The bike gave me added versatility if required. The outing was kind of short, as I was swamped with work all morning. Finally got to the spots, started off casting a black bucktail spinner. Though I was burning it over the weed tops, it kept catching weeds every time I tried to slow down my presentation. I switched to the Musky Jitterbug. After about a dozen cast, I finally got a musky follow my lure all the way back to shore. It was small for a musky, probably under 2 feet long, but it had me thrilled. I wasn't able to figure eight a topwater lure from the shore, so I splashed it around a bit. The musky wasn't
too interested.

After casting for it repeatedly with no success, I worked my way down the shoreline with the Musky Jitterbug. No more follows, no hits either. The weedline was too thick to switch back to the bucktail lure, so I switched to the 1/2 ounce spinnerbait, more of a pike lure. Sure enough, I hooked a pike after a few casts, about 4-5 lbs. Spit the hook at the shore. Eventually switched spots, found a nice area to throw my bucktail, but no hits. I wood have liked to cast the trolling plug, but I didn't bring it on this outing knowing I was going to fish a weedier area.

I'm quite happy with the small musky following my musky Jitterbug, the pike I hooked was an added bonus. It will give me something to dream of for the next couple weeks. The kids are off school, so I should be on daddy duty, and casting musky lures with the little ones is out of the question. Will probably resort to carp or bass/pike next week, hope to chase some more muskies by boat the week after.


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