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A good lesson

• Read also: Those pretty big mouths

“I know now that you never know”. This sentence of the French actor (and singer) Jean Gabin takes on its full meaning and leads us to reflect.

Last fall, on a beautiful sunny day, I chased smallmouth bass in the St. Lawrence River. With my fishing partner, we teased the fish from a spot that I know and have been exploiting for over 20 years. When the water is not too low and the lines of grass are formed correctly, there are many specimens. Thanks to the electronic anchor of my electric motor, I managed to position myself there as I wished and to stay in place. Using a spinnerbait, a Pop R, a Big O and a tube, we racked up 10 average sized battlers. I then deactivated my anchor, headed to the other side of the structure and started the same ride again. We released two more. A little later, I tried again my initial favorite corner without any success. My friend Serge then said to me: “There is nothing left on the spot, we did a big cleaning and we grabbed everything”.

Before leaving the site, I tied a 1/0 hook, a 3/8 ounce tungsten sinker and impaled a Mister Twister Sassy Swimmer on it. My companion opted for the same assembly of the Drop Shot, but with a Yum Warning Shot. In less than 10 minutes, we have thwarted not one, not two more, but well and truly 20 more. I was flabbergasted to see how the fish did not want to react to certain presentations, but at the Drop Shot, it was a bit of collective euphoria.

Fewer visitors

The American shad fishery was much less productive this spring, to the great regret of many amateurs like Serge Pitre.

Courtesy picture

The American shad fishery was much less productive this spring, to the great regret of many amateurs like Serge Pitre.

The American shad is a combative species originating from the Atlantic Ocean. Each year, it stays about four weeks, approximately from mid-May to mid-June, in the waters around Montreal and the North Shore to reproduce.

According to expert Serge Pitre, “fishing for these large-scaled herring was very disappointing this year and the number of catches was really below average”. Mr. Pitre believes that the start of the migration was delayed in part because of the too cold temperature in April. “When the water level is normal, the fish concentrate in the waters of the Rivière des Prairies, near Laval or Montreal. In May, the level was so high that the shad had several other options and were able to continue their journey in the Rivière des Mille-Îles, in the river, etc., explains the fisherman who has more than 45 years of experience. So there were low concentrations in various places.”

“American shad like clear waters. Throughout his visit, the water was high and dirty. Add to this combination relentless winds that blurred the surface. The fish couldn’t even see our jigs, even though they were brightly colored”, sadly explains this enthusiast, who admits to having lost his appetite.


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