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Friday, August 17, 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.

After my first season using the Teton float tube, I'm quite happy with it. Available on at:

Episode #6 - August 14 2018: Another scorcher

After a couple weeks of intense travelling to Hawaii, New York and Florida, I was more ready to kick back and relax in the Teton again. I decided to prospect a couple spots over a 3 to 40 hour period in the afternoon / evening heat.

My first spot has a small population of nice sized muskies. I don't own much musky tackle, so I decided to throw my musky jitterbug. Perfect topwater lure for the weed choked spot I was fishing, and light enough to be able to cast using a conventional medium action spinning rod. Managed one topwater hit in about 1.5 hours of casting, though I couldn't tell how big it was, didn't seem huge.

Moved on to my second spot looking for some bass or pike. No hits on my spinnerbait, I eventually tied on my trusted Pop R, which produced a couple smaller bass up to about 14 inches.

Opting for action shots with the bass, I discovered that calm water produces some interesting mirror images. Fish in the first pic almost looks like it has two heads.

With more warm weather in the forecast, I'll likely be back at it very shortly.

Episode #5 - July 26 2018: Nice to be back

Between my trip up North, guided carp outings ,and stormy weather, I hadn't been out on the Teton float tube for 3 weeks. After catching some big smallmouth bass on topwater lures during my morning bike ride earlier in the week, I decided to head out for an evening of chasing largemouth bass. Storms were gone, high humidity had us back in another heat wave. Water was quite warm, but enough to keep me cool until dark.

With the winding gusting close to 30 KM/h, I decided to tie on a Pop R, and cast shoreline structure while drifting with the wind. Sook about 20 minutes to get my first hit, and aggressive largemouth bass inhaled my lure.

Drift continued for another hour and a half or so, during which time I hooked another couple bass, largest one a bit under 3 lbs.

After having drifted a good kilometer or so over close to 2 hours, I decided to work my way back against the wind. This being to workout portion of my outing, I decided to tie on a spinnerbait, and casted / slow trolled back to my launch point over the next 45 minutes. The strategy worked out well, I ended up landing another 5 largemouth bass on the spinnerbait.

Got off the water shortly after sunset, close to 8:30 PM. with 8 largemouth bass landed in 3 hours, another successful outing and good workout at the same time had me sleeping well that night.

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 float 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.

After my first season using the Teton float tube, I'm quite happy with it. Available on at:

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