After a promising 2-day prefish, Magog pulls the ol' 180 and puzzles me once again. Plagued with 2 pounder after 2 pounder, getting the big bite on tourney day proved challenging.
I had the opportunity to partner up with Denny Andrade, not only a great buddy but also a fantastic smallie fisherman. We decided to invest into a solid two days of practice. Last year, I finished 5th with Scott Nagy with a weight of 15+lbs. Needless to say, my confidence was pretty high going in.
Unfortunately, our strategy that we devised from pre-fish didn't quite pan out as anticipated. On the morning of the tournament, a drastic change in conditions would change the mood and positioning of our fish. 40km/hr winds from the south along with a 9 degree temperature drop would seriously affect our pattern. Although we may have had a limit by 11am, we would spend the next 4.5hrs unsuccessfully trying to cull our smallest fish, a dinky 1lb 15oz smallie. Frustrating indeed.
All in all, I spent an incredible 3 days on the water with one of the best smallie fisherman I know, got a serious farmer tan and burnt some serious gas. But, there is still a lesson learned. When it comes to a body of water that is heavily populated with small sized fish, better to have numerous "B" spots than only a few "A" spots. A really do feel that this strategy will put the most chances in your corner. Next stop: Renegade Q1 - Lake Mississippi, On.
My good pal Maxime Chabot has been bugging me to fish a Pike event with him for years and this year it finally happened. Max has started to build a solid reputation for being quite the multi-species type angler so I knew that I'd be in good company. This was my first ever Pike tourney but I can honestly say that I was surprised at how pumped I was for it. It being the Fishin-Canada.net Big Pike Challenge on Lake Champlain out of Venise-en-Quebec.
We decided to dedicate one day only to pre-fishing to see if we could figure out how the Pike were holding, especially the big ones. To my surprise, it turns out that patterning pike is not much different from that of Bass. As we had suspected, with the lower water levels this season, along with he earlier than usual mild spring weather, offshore reefs would prove to have abundant vegetation on them. Therefore, these areas would attract greater populations of bait fish. We focussed on the deeper edges of such structures and found big toothy critters hanging out ready to smack the right presentation. On this particular day, that presentation came in the form of one of two things. A bright coloured lipless crankbait and a texas-rigged Berkley Havoc Grasspig swimbait.
On the day of the tourney, the gameplan came together beautifully. Over 100x Pike boated with our best 3 measuring a total length of 111 inches. Good enough for first place as well as the result of one of the best Pike fishing experiences ever! Big shout out to Fishin-Canada.net for putting on yet another awesome Ripple. Thanks to all that came out for the event, Max for the incredible 2 days on the water and good pal Daniel Benjafield for lending me his boat to fish the event. Water temps read 69 degrees on the main lake with bright sunny skies and a light 10k wind from the west. Next stop: Lake Memphremagog for the Pro Bass Open with great pal, Denny Andrade.
For more info on Ripple events put on by Fishin-Canada.net, click HERE