Montreal fishing spots

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Two ice fishing bass records in one afternoon

 Continuing along with this winter's theme of ice fishing new lakes and rivers, I headed back to a lake that I fished for the first time a couple months ago. Being mid December, the lake had just froze over at the time, and Ari and I struggle to catch three tiny perch all day.

Something didn't add up, as some summer outings from my float tube on that lake were quite the success, both for mid sized largemouth and smallmouth bass in big numbers, as well as some decent perch. 

As we weren't even marking them on our electronics at the time, I was wondering if they happened to bury into mud bottom, or possibly have been spook as we walked over them on clear, thin ice, over clear water.

As it's been in the back of my mind since December, I decided to head back to that lake again today, to see if I would would have any better success. At worst, I would get to give my new Ion G2 electric auger another workout, and see how well the battery would hold up in colder weather, with the morning low of -18 C when I arrived., warming up to -6 C after noon.

Got to the lake around mid morning, to find about 13 inches a ice, over triple as think as it was when I first ice fished there in December. Also a good 12 to 14 inches of snow cover, so spooking fish was a lot less likely. Spent the first half of the day not catching much other than a few small perch and a small largemouth bass. I kept running and gunning, power fishing and drilling holes every few minutes. The Ion auger was perfect for the job, light, and super quick. I alternated between a Rapala W3 Jigging Rap, and Yo Zuri rattle bait, both tipped with a mealworm.

Around 1 PM, I finally landed a nice jumbo perch, caught jigging a rattlebait suspended over 29 feet of water. 

As I moved closer to the shoreline, I eventually found myself over 21 to 24 feet of water in most holes. That's when I hit the motherload.

I started off catching this nice 14 inch largemouth bass on a Rapala w3 jigging rap. Turned out to be the first of many, and also biggest largemouth bass of the day.

A few holes later, I hit a small school of smallmouth bass, I managed to land two out of three hookups, though I almost sure I caught it again as soon as I dropped my lure down the ice hole again on the next drop.

The second one at 15 inches, turned out to be biggest fish of the day.

As I get drilling more holes, I ended up hitting a few honeyholes. These are the ones that ice fishing dreams are made of. These few holes had schools of largemouth bass in the 12 to 13 inch range. What they lacked for in size, they made up in being more aggressive than I'm used to seeing.

The magic depth was 21 to 22 feet. Strangely enough, the bass would hit mainly the Yo Zuri Rattlebait aggressively only in 4 to 6 feet off bottom. Anything higher or lower than that range, just resulted in follows, but as soon as ice fishing lure entered the strike zone depth, it was an immediate hit. Over the next 2 hours or so, I managed to land 13 consecutive largemouth bass. 

The tally of 15 landed largemouth bass, beat my previous ice record of 12 bass. As they were mostly landed in about 2 hours before dark, the action was intense to say the least

The 2 smallmouth bass I landed also beat my previous record (and only other one I'eve ever caught on ice) that I caught last month.

Needless to say, weather and time permitting, I'll be back!

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