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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Mijocama bass fishing - June 2023

 After a surprisingly good pike fishing trip to Mijocama a couple weeks earlier, I headed back to Mijocama hoping to target largemouth bass with my family. Late June has been our set date for our yearly Mijocama trip for over 20 years now, and over those years, we've landed many hundreds of largemouth bass, and some really big ones at that.

With forest fires still raging strong throughout Quebec, not only were we facing a strict no fire ban, but we were driving up through thick haze and smoke to get there. An eerie haze covered most of the Southern portion of the province, and we were also facing a week of forecast heavy rain.

I paired up with my son Avi, while 2 of my other sons shared a boat, along with their girlfriends. My youngest son opted to stay on shore to fish for sunfish from our dock, and chase turtles.

Day 1: 

We arrived at Mijocama around noon, got out boats set up and broke camp. While unloading, I realized that I had left a good potion of our planned meals at home, namly all the chicken I had prepared for 8 of us. This meant that we would be substituting the chicken with fresh caught fish. Sure enough, I landed our first bass at my first spot, noce topwater hit in middle of the day was a welcome surprise, and we had some protein lined up too.

After landing another keeper size bass, I followed up with a small pike as well.

Day 2: 

Tough morning with nothing interesting to show for. By mid afternoon, Avi caught his first bass of the trip, which ended up being the biggest one for the week.

I also spent some time targeting sunfish with my younger son Zev. Seem like he didn't have much patience sight fishing for the giant pumpkinseed sunfish guarding their nests, optin to rather fish big schools of small fish for non stop action.

Evening bite yielded a few more largemouth for me, amid the pretty nasty horsefly and mosquitoes. Luckily I was dressed for the occasion.

Rain rolled in just around dark, so we called it a day.

Day 3:

Rain cleared up early enough for us to get back out on the water mid morning, but I was solo. With strong wind and nt much bass action, I headed to one of out better pike spots. First cast hooked into a surprise bass, which turned out to be the last one of the trip for any of us.

Next cast landed me a small pike

After not much to show for during the afternoon, we started actively targeting pike during the evening. Avi landed the biggest one of the day.

Day 4: 

After a night of heavy rain and wind, Avi got a late start to the morning bite, but we were immediately rewarded with a double header, landing 2 pike simultaneously. Again, Avi managed the bigger of the two.

A few more smaller pike, and we headed in for brunch. As my other kids were leaving, we helped pack and see them off, leaving Avi and I| alone to fish together for the rest of the trip. 

Just as were were going to head out to chase some more pike, my son Levi came back to report some car trouble. Luckily, it was still driveable, and after a couple hours ordeal, we manage to resolve the issue by driving to a mechanic in Gracefield. Once that was done, and he was finally on his way, Avi and I headed out for some more pike fishing.

Again, he managed the biggest of the evening, and of the trip up to that point.

That was it for the day.

Day 5:

We finally woke up to a nice sunny/calm day. Again, no bass to show for, we just decided to stick with pike for the rest of the day. We managed a few more eater sized pike, and then, mid afternoon, Avi hooked into our biggest of the trip, measuring 33/34 inches.

After that, the bite died down completely, but lucky for us, they had finally lifted the fire ban. |We fished until sunset.

Later that night, we enjoyed and big bonfire with a large group of my friends that had rented some of the other chalets, along with good drinks and some spectacular fireworks, which were long overdue. We packed it up and left early the following morning.

It seems that the largemouth bass fishery that once made Mijocama has started to fade out over the last few years. Drastically less bass, and not as many big ones since 2021. However, the pike have taken their place, with numbers we have never seen before, in a large variety of sizes / year classes. I was lucky enough to harvest 6 bass of 5 pike to make up for the chicken meals I accidentally left behind, but bass numbers and sizes were significantly weaker than what I have become used to catching at Mijocama.

As well, the outfitter has been put of for sale, and with the possibility of real estate builders buying it, we'll have to wait and see whether or not we will be able to keep on fishing Mijocama in years to come.

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