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Thursday, June 15, 2023

Mijocama pike fishing, June 2023

A few weeks ago, my friend Jimmy and I planned a pike fishing trip to Le domaine Shannon. Unfortunately, a few days before the trip, the entire region was evacuated due to the forest fire situation throughout most of Quebec. Figuring our week was lost, I called Mijocama hoping they were still open and had room for us. Luckily, they did.

I have been fishing Mijocama since 2002, and throughout the years, Giles lake has been great for bass. However, bass season was closed for the week, opening only on Thursday morning, at which time we were leaving for home.

The pike fishery at Mijocama has fluctuated throughout the years. It went from being OK , to almost non existent, and then has rebounded again over the last few seasons. I don't typically spend much time targeting pike at Mijocama, many of the pike I have caught there were mixed in with bass. This time, out plan was to target prime pike spots throughout the 4 day fishing trip, and for me, there is no one I'd rather go at it than my friend Jimmy.

With dreadful weather forecast for most of the trip, I wasn't too hopeful. On the drive up, I jokingly mentioned imagining leaving both of our bag limits of pike...

Day 1:

We got to Mijocama and started fishing mid afternoon. With the lake flat calm, I tied on a topwater walking mullet than had produced dozens of pike during my previous trip to le Domaine Shannon during July 2022. First spot we hit produced a follow from from a big pike on Jimmy's line. A couple cast later, I got the first hit, turned out to be a nice sized bass, promptly released after unhooking it.

Moving onto out next spot, I hooked the first pike of the trip casting a spinner. 

Jimmy followed up with a couple more pike before sunset, and just like than, we already had three keeper pike for the fillet table.

Day 2:

The following morning started off with light, intermittent  drizzle. After casting deeper for pike without any success, we decided to try casting topwater lures shallower, near fallen trees and timber. No pike, but I caught a jumbo pumpkinseed sunfish, and Jimmy landed a hefty bass. Again, both released after a quick picture.

The rain intensified, and forced us back to the cabin. The two person cabin we rented for the trip (the Marina), is built on piling in the lake. Perfect for fishing from our porch. I landed another pike from the porch, and got to work filleting our catches.

After a tasty shore lunch of battered pike pan fried in butter, the rain dies down, and was replaced by strong wind. Figuring we would get a good drift, we headed back to our prime pike spot on the lake. After a few passes, we figured out their strange pattern of hitting near surface over deeper water than normal.

Jimmy was on fire, catching pike on his spinnerbait nearly on every pass. This bigger pike ended up being the biggest pike of the trip, and we released it in good condition, as I prefer to harvest smaller ones.

The evening bite produced some more keeper sized pike, mixed in with the occasional bass as well.

Day 3: 

Jimmy and i spent much of the day fan casting pike spots, and intermittent trolling. The casting bit eventually picked up, and I started catching more pike using a Rapala Husky jerk fished with a "twitch and pause" cadence. Mainly keeper sized fish for both of us. 

Once the wind died down and the black flies came out close to sunset, wen landed some smaller pike on topwater lures, including the smallest on of the trip. Not much bigger than my lure!

Luckily for us, the forecast was totally off, and we enjoyed a splendid Mijocama sunset.

Day 4:

By far the best weather, but toughest fishing conditions. After managing a couple small pike mid morning, Jimmy landed another nice pike after noon. 

That turned out to be our last fish of the trip, despite us fishing hard for another 6 hours or so.

All in all, this fishing trip was all about surprises. From Mijocama being open when much of the rest of Quebec was shut down, to the weather forecast being infinitely better than forecast, to the virtually non existent mosquitoes we were dreading that never showed up, and to not getting one trolling bite all trip.

Biggest surprise of all was leaving Mijocama with 2 bag limits of deboned pike fillets (12 pike), for the first time in over 20 years. From trips with amazing success, to others that have been dismal, Giles lake never ceases to surprise us with new adventure. Hoping to be back there very soon for our family trip later this month.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a productive trip