Just got back from a wonderful week fishing Mijocama outfitter with my dad, kids and nephew and friends. Weather was great, the bass were on fire for the 5 days we spent up there. Upon arriving on Sunday morning, Jocelyn (the owner) mentioned that the bass had just spawned, and the fishing was "too good". He asked us to practice selective harvest, and put back the bigger fish, due to the ease of which they were being caught. So we imposed a voluntary slot size limit of 12-16 inches for keepers, everything else was to be released unless they were throat hooked or in very bad condition.
We rented 2 motorboats, one for me and my 2 younger sons Levi and Eli, aged 11 and 7. My older son Ari took my dad along with his brother Avi and my nephew Ezzy, who came along with us. Ari's boat chose to fish worms and soft plastics, while my boat decided to try topwater lures. Almost immediately, we figured out that the bass bass were onto our topwaters, as Levi got one on his second cast:
Seeing a bass hit a topwater lure in middle of the day was a very promising sign. Levi and I decided to forego the bigger 3-4 lbs bass easily caught on worms and plastics, for the thrill of a good topwater bite, as long as it lasted. As Eli hasn't perfected his casting skills which are crucial to this style of fishing, he happily agreed to let me cast and work the lures in exchange for reeling in all my fish. Didn't take long before he landed his first of the trip:
Bass weren't the only fish interested in our offerings, Levi landed his first pike on that lake shortly after, first time I've seen one hit a Pop R on that lake:
The lake's big sunfish were bedding as well, and extremely aggressive, to the point where I saw one chase a big bass off it's nest, and a couple hit our trolling motor and even Ari's boat! Needless to say, catching them was easier than easy, the kids spent a bit of time sight fishing the jumbo pumpkinseed sunfish, some weighing a pound or so:
After heading to shore to unload and BBQ some burgers, I decided to cool off with the temperature nearing the 30 degree mark. Waded in the lake with my rod and landed another nice bass:
Headed out for the evening bite. Topwater bite on the Pop R was still on fire:
Ari and his boat opted to target the bigger ones using worms and soft plastics. He beat his personal best with a whopper 21.5 inch bass that weighed in over 5 lbs. When he got back to shore, he freaked out when he realized Avi didn't snap the picture properly before he released the fish. I don't blame him, I would have freaked out too... My nephew Ezzy wanted to keep his first big bass, so Ari let it slide. As you can see, my dad was quite proud of his latest fisherman of a grandson:
Evening ended nicely with a big thunderstorm moving in. Instead of our typical bonfire / fireworks, we got to experience a real light show along with roaring thunder, all while sipping scotch and cold beer. It doesn't get much better after a long day of good fishing...
The superb topwater bite help up for the entire 5 days. I kept my original Pop R tied on all trip, probably the first time I've ever fished for 5 day with only 1 lure. I simply didn't need to switch, as the early morning and late evening surface explosions were more than I could hope for. Levi followed suit, and had a very successful trip as well. Eli was only too happy to go along with my plan:
Ari's boat did a good job on the big ones, my dad and Avi landed a good number of 3 lbs+ bass, while Ari caught them up to 4 lbs:
On our last day, I decided to head up to another lake to try our luck trolling for pike. Having been to Lac Croche a few time, I knew the fishing wouldn't be as spectacular as the bass fishing we were experiencing, but figured the kids could use some adventure. Having rented and all wheel drive SUV, I was able to negotiate the brutal ride up to that lake without any major issues. We had to walk the last few hundred yards, as the forest trail is impassable even by ATV. Carried in a small 2.5 HP motor, along with our gear, tackle, food and drinks.
Unfortunately, the pike didn't co-operate. We spent 5 hours trolling a variety of lures at different depths, as well as 1/2 hour of casting. Not one bite or follow. The kids got a lesson in patience, being confined to trolling endlessly on a small boat:
After 5.5 hours, they were quite fed up, so I headed back early, in order to get one more outing with the topwater bass fishing still on fire. I landed a few more with Eli, but Avi (who was now on my boat instead of Levi) wasn't having much luck. I finally put a worm on his line, didn't take 15 seconds and he landed a nice 3 lbs + bass:
Ari ended the trip with another 4+ lbs bass:
Needless to say, we were all more than thrilled with the results of our yearly family fishing vacation at Mijocama outfitter. The weather was great, 30+ degrees every day, with a brief afternoon thunderstorm each day to cool us off before the evening bite. The late spawn and high heat combined for some of the best bass fishing I've experience at Mijocama in years. Add the BBQ's, bonfire, fireworks, cold beer, and we got a taste a bass fisherman's paradise.
I highly recommend Mijocama outfitter as a prime destination for trophy bass fishing and family fishing trips. For more information on Mijocama outfitter, or to contact them, click http://freshwaterphil.com/mijocama-outfitter.cfm