Well I just got back and it was in some ways disappointing, and in other ways awesome. Here's the rundown!
I went up to a small lake in the Haliburton area with my parents, to my grandmother's cottage. I was in search of pike. Last time I was there 4 years ago, the pike fishing was insane to say the least.
We got the gear loaded up and we were on our way. My parents being the nerds they are had to stop at a flea market in Coboconk on the way.. I hate shopping, so I stayed outside with the dog. But when I looked behind the flea market I saw a big opening and trees on the other side.. that looks like a river! So I grabbed my fishing gear and started walking.. I found a nice little opening on what I guess is the Trent/Severn system above Balsam Lake. Nice looking spot.
So I put on my favourite bucktail, a beat up "Osprey" red and yellow. 4 casts, and smack! Fish on!! I wasnt sure what was in the water I was fishing, I couldnt tell if it was a pike or musky, but sure enough it was my first DOCUMENTED musky of 2006. A scrappy little guy, pretty good for 4 casts from shore in a new spot though!
Sorry for the ground pic.. alone in the bush and holding the dog leash with one hand, this was the best I could do. I literally walked right into the river after and revived the musky for about 5 minutes, and finally it kicked off and swam to the depths.
So after a few more casts I guess the family had enough shopping, back on route to the lake formerly known as pike-land.
When we got there I didnt wait for everyone else to do their thing, I ran right to the dock and started casting, I couldnt help it! lol First cast with a Husky Jerk, 3 pound smallie. It shook the hook right at the shore though. A few more casts, 1 lber, I landed it but no pic. And finally one more, about 2lbs, once again shook the hook. I couldnt believe it! My pike lake had turned to smallie heaven! But I still wanted pike.
I learned something yesterday and today. It's very difficult to fish from a paddle boat alone. But I did it, and even managed to stand up and fish with little trouble for the whole time. I put on the trusty bucktail and started covering water. I must have circled the whole lake casting that thing, looking for a pike. NOTHING! Then finally, I get a hit.. hmmm thats not a pike, its not even a bass.. I then started jumping for joy when I realized it was the KING OF ALL SPORTFISH!
haha, sometimes you gotta ask "What the heck was that fish thinking?!"
Well, long story short, pike fishing was for some reason non-existent. This was the disappointing part. I cant believe how much a lake can change in 4 years. I tried Shad Raps, spinnerbaits, bucktails, Husky Jerks, X Raps.. not even the bass were sniffing at them. I talked to a local in the evening and he told me that some ******** on the lake had kept over 240 pike last summer and since then there's been nothing but bass! Come on 240!! Who needs that much pike!
Well anyways, the scenery throughout the day was great as always.
I did a little topwater bassin' in the evening, had a hit from a huge fish but missed it, a few more hits and finally got about a 1 pounder before the sun set completely. Then the bugs and the bats came out and I headed in.
Day 2 I decided to just target bass. I put a scum frog, a senko and a Ripplin' Redfin on.
The senko just nailed bass left and right all day, unfortunately they were mostly this size:
Once again "what was that fish thinking!"
The Scum Frog caught 2 very small LM but no pics.. whats the point. Also some rock bass.
I think the secret to big fish is to put on the crappiest, most beat up lure in the box. My Ripplin' Redfin was torn apart from years of pike fishing, but I tossed it anyway.. and sure enough within a few casts I had my biggest smallie of the year - SUCCESS!
Tripods = my new best friend.
Well after that we had to run.
It was nice to end the trip on that note but I was quite upset about the lack of pike. OH well, big smallies are higher on my list than a stinky old snake.
We were going to stop at a spot on Lake Simcoe on the way home but every spot we went to said no tresspassing or no fishing, so we just drove home.
A great couple of days in my favourite area of Ontario.