Montreal fishing spots

Montreal fishing spots

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Early spring float tube fishing

 With a splendid week of double digit highs, I was happy to finally get out on open water for some early spring fishing. Though most of the shallow slack water areas I fish still have ice cover, I know of a spot where the water would be open due to a warmer water inflow into a shallow marsh.

Being surrounded in thick mud, I preferred to use my float tube to navigate the marsh. Luckily, my neoprene waders are very warm, and I used a pair of thermal socks just be be sure I'd be comfortable spending a good 6 hours in the water.

Being my first time ever fishing the spot, I started off following conventional wisdom. Early spring and cold water would normally have most predatory species sort of lethargic, so I slow fished with a mixed or wacky rigged worms, swimbaits, and jigs. As the water was shallower than I'm normally used to, and being that I don't particularly enjoy slow fishing with plastics, I eventually switched to throwing a spinnerbait. Took a while, but I eventually hooked and landed my first pike of the spring.

I eventually scaled down my presentation, switching to a small gold spinner, probably #2 to #3 in size. I dressed it with a feathered treble hook. The switch paid off, and I landed 2 more pike, losing a third right next to the float tube, which also turned out to be the biggest pike of the day. A bit later on, I also landed my first bowfin of the season, it was quite small, and managed to hop off the hook just as I was about to snap a picture holding it up by the line.

I ended the day with a very nice slab of a crappie, my first since late 2019.

After the successful outing, I decided to head back to the same area the following day. As the pike were hitting shallow, I was hoping to get at least one hit on a topwater lure. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was completely off, and the wind and current made it nearly impossible to present topwaters for most of the day.

Instead of topwater lures, I opted to cast shallow running jointed Rapalas in a couple patterns. Both landed some pike within the first hour or so into my outing.

After trying a bigger Williams Wabbler spoon as well as a Pop R, I switched back to the small spinner I had used the previous day. The bite picked up, and I managed to land another 7 pike, losing a couple as well.

By mid afternoon, the pike bite slowed down, but I kept at it. Eventually, I hooked and landed another bowfin. Not huge, but bigger than the one I hooked the previous day.

With about 1 hour to go in my outing, the wind calmed down enough for me to attempt using another topwater lure. I opted to ty on a Zara Spook, which I casted for a good 45 minutes or so, before tying my small spinner back on, for the last pass of the day before heading home.

I was sure glad I did, as I hooked into bigger bowfin within a few casts. For those of you than never had the pleasure fighting a bowfin, they are quite powerful for their size, and have endless stamina. Good fight from the float tube too.

Measuring 21 inches, I didn't bother trying to weigh it from the float tube, I'd guess in the 2.5 to 3 lbs range. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and head to head home.

I may head back there again next week, depending on the weather, and fishing condition elsewhere. The one thing I did learn, is that I'll be much better off having some sort of lip gripper tool on board when targeting big bowfins, as they are nearly impossible to get a good hold of for float tube selfies, and those sharp teeth can easily make a mess of my fingers if not handled properly.

Either way, this new spot will go onto my list for late winter / early spring float tube outings.

1 comment:

Sergiy said...

amazing report :) thank you very much and have a good luck!