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Canada/Champlain 2012


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#1 fishingsj

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:42 AM

Took the annual voyage to the Lake Champlain Islands this year... but made a pit stop in Canada (Ottawa Region) before hand. Here goes...

Day 1 -- Was staying about 200/300 yards from the Rideau river, so i figured day 1 I would have to check it out. One thing i can say about this river is that it looks incredibly fishy. Unfortunately, it seemed as if there was not a whole lot of fish to be found. Fished a 4 mile stretch in a kayak with my old man, we notched a dozen to a dozen and a half smallmouth, the two biggest being 4lbs a piece, with the rest in the 1-3 range. We caught a bunch of 8-10 inchers too.

Here is the old man with one of the bigger smallmouths
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Day 2 -- We hit the road to go up about 2 hours north of Ottawa and went to a lake about 5-10 kilos from the town we were staying in. We didn't stop the car however, and were suprised when we got out and it was a whopping 64 degrees, in August! :rolleyes:. Needless to say this was not exactly what the forecast had predicted (mid 70's). However we took to the lake and found some mild success. We caught about 3 dozen pike (all the size of pickerel, so it was slightly annoying), and a dozen or so bass (1-3 lbs). I also caught my first musky, all 18 inches of it B) . Still a beautiful fish and it gave a hell of a strike on a topwater. Only real issue with the lake was the size was a little big and we really should have brought our boat, but still a good time.

Day 3 -- We took the yaks in to Algonquin Park. An intensely beautiful place. However we were a bit concerned that the weather had dipped to 59 degrees, and rain. The fish laid those concerns to rest. I was adjusting the line release knob on my baitcaster at the launch and i caught a nice 2lb smallmouth. After a short period of missed hooksets ( I blame the cold :P ) It was all fish for the rest of the day. Ended with ~80 bass during a rainy cold front, and about 50 were smallies too. I also managed to fall in the lake twice, which was much warmer than the air outside anyway.

A nice Smallmouth from Algonquin
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Cool Rock Wall
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Day 4 -- Back in Ottawa, i decided to head out on a lower stretch of the Rideau. I had read online that this area was home to "miles of weedlines." This was no exaggeration. I spinner baited the crap out of them, along with some senko's as well. Caught 5 bass and a ton of baby pike, but the big and even medium ones were elusive (i didn't brake two feet on a pike in canada, which was pretty disappointing).

After this we headed down to a place we know a little better, Lake Champlain. We found out quickly that the lake was about 2 feet down, which left about 6 inches of water over our two honey holes :angry: . Last year these spots produced five 5lb+ largemouth over only 3 days of fishing (along with my pb bowfin at 10.5 lbs). So we decided to try out some newer water. We headed to alburg passage thinking that the fish would be there for the deeper water. We were not disappointed. Notched about 80 largemouth over two days, only one pushing 5 lbs but a lot of 3-4 lbers.

A couple of the nicer fish from Champlain
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Just shy of 5lbs on this one
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The rest of the week was slower, we tried a local lake called arrowhead mountain lake only to find it was heavily pressured, though i did catch a nice smallmouth and nice largemouth. We fished an incredibly windy day with 3-4 foot swells in an area we snagged about 25 nice pike from last year, but this year we had no such luck, boating only a couple bowfin, though the biggest was about 9.5 lbs. Real nasty fish, but i kinda like them :D

9.5
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Overall we landed a lot of fish (bout 300), and more importantly found some time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. A special thanks to Dano for some help with finding some beautiful fish holes in Canada! Algonquin Park is definitely worth seeing even if you are not a fishing person. Definately one of the most picturesque places left in north america.
In the end the moment you catch that monster fish isnt the only one you remember. Its the struggles leading to that fish, the lessons learned, and the bonds formed that are the true great memory

#2 dano

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

i'm glad you did the algonquin trip. that place is a fishermans paradise. i am assuming you were on sec.

what lake did you fish on day 2, 2 hours north of ottawa? interesting that you found pike and muskie together on a lake. thats usually a sign of a natural muskie lake, overriden by pike at some point. at least up in that region, thats how it goes.
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#3 dano

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:19 AM

and that bowfin is awesome! nice catch.
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#4 fishingsj

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:35 PM

Day 2 was actually Corry lake, it seemed to have a whole mess of pike in the vegetation on the sides. It seemed like the cold weather turned them on because the top water bite was nuts...

In Algonquin we were at sec... That place was so cool. I'm not sure if the cold front effected the fishing or not, but if it did then I can only imagine how great it must be on a good weather day!

The bowfin fishing in Champlain is arguably the best anywhere in the world. Last year I took 5 that went for 40 pounds, this year 3 for 22. That's without targeting them, but with the low water levels they were super active back in the mud. They were coming up and breathing and hanging in packs. I saw one that had to be pushing 15 pounds too, really cool experience (if you dont hate bowfin)
In the end the moment you catch that monster fish isnt the only one you remember. Its the struggles leading to that fish, the lessons learned, and the bonds formed that are the true great memory

#5 CO

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:58 PM

Day 2 was actually Corry lake, it seemed to have a whole mess of pike in the vegetation on the sides. It seemed like the cold weather turned them on because the top water bite was nuts...

In Algonquin we were at sec... That place was so cool. I'm not sure if the cold front effected the fishing or not, but if it did then I can only imagine how great it must be on a good weather day!

The bowfin fishing in Champlain is arguably the best anywhere in the world. Last year I took 5 that went for 40 pounds, this year 3 for 22. That's without targeting them, but with the low water levels they were super active back in the mud. They were coming up and breathing and hanging in packs. I saw one that had to be pushing 15 pounds too, really cool experience (if you dont hate bowfin)



I would think Florida has the best population. I know I have had days where we can catch 10-20 a day without going after them. In Florida they are considered trash and locals don't even boat them but up in the NE they are considered prize game fish and people get pictures with them, it is pretty funny the regional difference.

#6 dano

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:37 AM

Day 2 was actually Corry lake, it seemed to have a whole mess of pike in the vegetation on the sides. It seemed like the cold weather turned them on because the top water bite was nuts...

In Algonquin we were at sec... That place was so cool. I'm not sure if the cold front effected the fishing or not, but if it did then I can only imagine how great it must be on a good weather day!

The bowfin fishing in Champlain is arguably the best anywhere in the world. Last year I took 5 that went for 40 pounds, this year 3 for 22. That's without targeting them, but with the low water levels they were super active back in the mud. They were coming up and breathing and hanging in packs. I saw one that had to be pushing 15 pounds too, really cool experience (if you dont hate bowfin)



wow, thats actually really bad news that you had all those pike in Cory. We've seen this coming, actually. A few years ago, we caught pike in another muskie lake that is connected to Cory, and we said shit, these pike better not invade Cory. Sounds like the inevidable happened. Not good for the muskies. its a small lake and there is not enough room for both species. pike spawn earlier then muskies, and the pike fingerlings eat the muskie fry. bad news! do you have any pictures, are you positive they were pike and not juvenile muskies? The muskies in that system have some distinct patterns, not quite like hybrid/tiger muskies, but they are not "clear" muskies. and when they are juveniles, they tend to have more patterning. theres some real big largemouth bass hanging in cory too. its a very interesting lake. those fish are all canibals. there are a few rogue muskies in there that feed on other muskies. many stories of small muskies getting destroyed by large muskies boatside.

sec lake is just incredible. that place is TEEMING with bass, and some quality size at that. did you try fishing the deeper water at all, instead of casting the bank structure. alot of times, we find the biggest bass down deeper. those bass in sec are actually considered invasive. algonquin has a few lakes that have been invaded by bass and pike. the locals hate it, because the lakes in alqonquin are known as some of the last pristine brook trout lakes around. once bass, and pike get in, its bad news for the brook trout.
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#7 fishingsj

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:21 PM

They were all short so I didn't snap any pics, but I'm 100% sure that they were predominantly pike. Way too bluegreen to be musky. I caught the one musky and it was a very different fish. It is possible there were a couple mistaken identities because i started to do boat side releases, but certainly at least 90% were pike.

The bass fishing in sec lake is beyond incredible. We went up an entire rock shore line throwing senkos, jigs, and other plastics and were just beating the smallmouth up and even catching the occasional largemouth. We did do some deeper fishing, but the biggest three fish actually came from less than two feet of water. Didn't catch much deep, it was incredibly wet and cold and somewhat windy at times, so we hugged the shoreline for wind protection (really to prevent us from blowing to the back of the lake too much). That is why i said i need to get back there at some point, so i can experience sec in the sunlight :P
In the end the moment you catch that monster fish isnt the only one you remember. Its the struggles leading to that fish, the lessons learned, and the bonds formed that are the true great memory

#8 dano

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

its not that hard to believe you were catching pike in cory. like i said, we've seen this coming. its just disappointing that the inevitable is happening. cory is a special lake for me, been going there since i was a kid to catch muskies (even though they are generally on the smaller side). there are other muskies systems in the area, but access is restricted by the military since 9/11.

sec can be brutal when its windy. not many places to hide, and it gets choppy for a canoe/kayak if you are going across the middle of the lake. we experienced that this year. not really anywhere to hide from the wind. if we wouldve had an anchor, it wouldve made fishing much easier. this year, 90 percent of the time i was holding the boat in position while my dad and nephew Ryan fished. sec on a calm sunny day is just as you would imagine, a fishing paradise! i'd definitely give it a second look. if you really want to be adventurous there, you can hike a couple trails that connect from sec to other smaller lakes. these lakes are basically untouched by fishing pressure, but it is a bitch to get there. you need to be up to the adventure/challenge.
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