The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Friday, July 6, 2018

Canada float tube fishing - Season 1

I recently got myself a float tube to fish from. I've never tried one yet despite having fished for over 40 years, so I'm excited about messing around with my new toy. I plan to chronicle my season in this blog post. Episodes will be posted below in reverse chronological order, in order to give you the latest story / report at the top of this post.


Episode #4 - July 5 2018: Cooling off in heat wave

After a week up North bass fishing with the kids, we came back just in time for the start of one of most brutal July heat waves to hit Quebec in many years. With the ground temperature up near the 40C mark, and humidex factors even hotter, any outdoor activities were tough. I had a couple days of guided outings for carp in waters that felt like bathtub temperature, but on the final day of the heat wave, and not having been able to bike or shore fish, I finally made it out for a couple hours of float tube bass fishing on the "Teton".

Getting in the water made all the difference, I was able to get in a good workout and fish at the same time, all while staying comfortably cooler than I would have been if I were standing on dry ground, let alone pedalling a bike.

Luckily for me, it didn't take long, caught this chunky bass on my second cast, using a Pop R as usual.



Heading up North to fish for pike next week, hope to explore some more areas from my Teton float tube when I get back.


Episode #3 - June 20 2018: Surprise catch

Warm weather and strong winds were in the forecast the last day of spring. As I only had that date left for a quick afternoon outing, I planned to hit a spot that would be sheltered from most of the wind gusts. Sure enough, water was quiet calm despite the wind gusting up to 40 km/h at some of my other spots.

Plan was to cast a variety of topwater lures, while making passes paddling up and down the bank with my fins.

The outing started off with a bang, caught a small pike on my Pop R on the first cast. Luckily, it din't cut the line.


I then proceeded to land 3 largemouth bass on my first pass up the bank, all on the Pop R as well.
Little wonder it's one of my favorite lures.




Despite the good bite, I resolved to try a new lure with each pass, so when it was time to head back to my starting point, I switched gears completely, and tied on a Booyah Counterstrike buzzbait, hoping the quick retrieve would trigger some more aggressive fish, and possibly a bigger pike.

I didn't take long. My third cast drew a massive topwater strike. As soon as the bigger fish jumped, I knew I had hooked into my first musky of the season.

Being in a float tube without proper musky landing gear, I just hoped it would all come together properly, i.e. a safely landed fish, no injuries, some good pics, and successful release.

I had to let the musky fight itself out before attempting to land it by hand, it towed my float tube around a bit, as it peeled drag from my reel. My brand new Ugly Stik elite that I had purchased about 2 hours before hooking the musky held up well, and once it tired, I snapped a pic with the Booyah Counterstrike buzzbait still hooked up.


Luckily, I was able to grab the musky by it's jaw without worrying about treble hooks, as the buzzbait comes with a single hook. Hooked in the side of it's mouth, I didn't need any pliers.


Got a selfie in my float tune with the musky. Best I could do under the circumstances, as I was alone.


And a nice pic of me reviving it, moments before it splashed off with a burst of energy.


Super pumped that my first topwater musky came on a float tube with light bass gear. Made it all the more exciting, as the musky was a good 36-38 inches long.

And the result of using my hand as the landing net:



Got a short video clip as well.



I kept moving along, in hindsight, I probably should have made a couple more passes with the buzzbait at the same area. No more hits, I tied on my Zara spook.Was having some issues with the spook picking up weeds on most casts, but just before switching up, I noticed a nice splash in an open pocket of a thick mat of weeds. A perfect cast landed spot on in the small opening, and a nice topwater explosion hit on the first twitch of my lure.

Another hungry bass on board the "Teton".


Bite died down after that catch. After missed hit on a Spro frog, and nothing doing trolling a spinnerbait for a while, heavy clouds moved in towards evening, so I called it a day.

Going to give the float tube a well deserved rest, as I'll be chasing bass from a boat most of next week.




Episode #2 - June 17 2018: Topwater trial

After field testing my new float tube the previous week, I waited for a warm evening with not much wind to try topwater fishing for bass, as bass season just opened 2 days prior to my outing. I also test a new Ugly stik GX2 rod (which I later exchanged) using a PopR.

Getting a late afternoon start to my outing, the water was at it's warmest peak of the day. Smaller largemouth bass were very aggressive, to the point where I landed 2 bass on the same lure at the same time. Very similar to the pic of my son I posted to my tip of the week post last week.


Later that evening, a couple bigger ones hit my topwater lure, though not the size I was hoping for, still a great fight from the float tube from a couple of bass up to about 15 inches.


Had planned to cast a buzzbait as well, but I jus stuck with a Pop R all outing, as the bite was good. Will have to try the buzzbait next time.

Episode #1 - June 10 2018: The field test

Ari was invite to fish a small privatized lake in the lower Laurentians by a friend that has a chalet on the lake. Apparently, they privately stock the lake with some rainbow trout every spring, so he was hoping to catch some nice trout for dinner.

Not being much of a trout fisherman, I wasn't really planning to go along, but with my new float tube arriving two days prior, I figured |I'd get to field test it on a small lake with no current and not much wind.

After unloading, setting up, and inflating the float tube, I was ready to launch from the dock. Gotta love a flaot tube named "Teton" if you're from Quebec!



I set up a small flasher spoon a few feet ahead of a baitholder hook baited with a live worm, and start slow trolling, by propelling the float tube backwards using fins/flippers on my wading shoes. My neoprene waders held up well to the frigid water in the mountain lake. No trout came to play, but did catch a load of mid sized sunfish, perch, rockbass and a few tiny smallmouth bass.



Aside from being able to target smaller waterways with little to no boat traffic, I get a bit of a workout kicking my way from spot to spot to catch fish.

Think I'm going to enjoy this new toy.

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