The weather called for a pretty decent wind on Saturday so Mike and I loaded up the old Sea Nymph on the trailer Friday night and decided to go try our luck in the Island-filled waters of Lake St-Lawrence to try and hide from the big-water waves. It definitely payed off. Well, for me anyway. I boated 4 walleye and dropped 3 more on the way up. And I also boated my second biggest lifetime smallmouth as a bonus fish seen here. She really was a freak fish. I wish I had taken a picture of the girth or had a scale but I am 99% sure it was over 6lbs. I tend to under-exagerrate fish weights as a general rule but this was truly a giant. When your fingers can’t fully reach around the tail of a smallmouth you know you have a nice one.
Mike wasn’t so lucky but he did manage a few bass. The strange thing is he was using the exact same equipment I was, using the same 8lbs test Fireline, 5 and a 1/2 ounce sinker, three-way swivel and Northland Spinner tipped with a night-crawler. The only difference was that I was using a chartreuse spinner and he was using a silver one. We concluded that the ass-woopin’ was due to difference in colour 🙂
We fished deep as the fish were holding on the drop-off edge of a 50 foot deep flat. Most fish came out of anywhere from 62 to 80 feet of water, with one coming from the deepest part of the structure we were fishing at 85 feet. Needless to say, he had a slight case of the bends when he surfaced. As you can see, this is catch n keep fishing for sure.
The bass we were catching came from the top of the flat but they seem to be more resiliant to decompression sickness. They don’t have any problems zooming back to the depths and for the most part they actually come up to the surface when hooked even when they are 50 feet down. The walleye, as most of you will know, definitely don’t want to come to the surface, quite the contrary. They want to hug bottom and heading to the surface is like getting dragged into outer space for them. So the walleye pretty much have to be kept. According to the 2007-2008 Guide to Eating Ontario Sportfish an adult can safely consume 4 portions of walleye under 28 inches long per month. Anything over 28 inches has a pretty good chance of ending up on my wall anyway. So we kept the walleye and released the bass except for one that looked like it wouldn’t make it.
I missed a big fish first thing in the morning and then missed two smaller ones as I fought them upward. With the no-stretch lines and the 5 and 1/2 ounces of weight it’s really easy for the fish to fight free of the hook so you need to really concentrate on never leaving any slack in the line on the way up. I think the bigger walleye I missed in the morning was probably in the 4 pound range. It stopped me dead on our drift and pulled drag. I managed to bring her up maybe 15 feet and then felt a headshake and gone…Oh well, that’s part of the game right?
All in all we had a great day. Real simple method, lots of action, and a feast fit for a king at the end of the day. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back out there and exploring that area some more.
Tight lines, Jigger.