These beautiful big mouths | The Journal of Montreal
Among the 115 species living in our waters, several are known to be fierce adversaries.
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Trout, char, salmon (including landlocked salmon) and predators are positioned at the top of the podium when it comes to fighters. The smallmouth bass also occupies an enviable place in the list of opponents.
In the United States, the most popular species by far is the largemouth bass. Many American television channels such as Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network devote a large part of their programming to this fish. There are even gigantic associations like Major League Fishing, Bass Master, Bass Pro Shop Fishing Tours, etc., which organize monster and super publicized competitions. Store chains such as Bass Pro Shop and Cabala’s among others or companies like Tackle Warehouse and Tackle Direct mainly specialize in everything related to these centrarchids. According to several speakers, more than six lures out of ten, in the world, are developed for the market of bass.
When we think of the big mouth, we often allude to the St. Lawrence River, lakes Saint-Pierre, Saint-François, Saint-Louis, Deux-Montagnes, Memphrémagog and the Ottawa and Richelieu rivers. There are also several other bodies of water, especially in the Outaouais, which are home to this beautiful family of fish.
Some outfitters occasionally add largemouth bass to the list of fish that can be teased in their lakes. I must confess to you that in certain cases, it is about a confusion of species or this one is not very present there.
A few years ago, while leafing through the FPQ’s outfitter’s guide, I was surprised to see that an innkeeper in the Pointe-Comfort forest in Outaouais was promoting bass fishing, and this , inexpensively. The inset photo in this renowned reference work featured a magnificent specimen.
When you arrive at Mijocama Outfitter and meet the owner, you literally feel like he’s a modern-day Daniel Boone. Jocelyn Vachon, 66, was a professional trapper from age 12 to age 60. He also guided for Sépaq for three decades. For this chic guy, nature has no secrets.
Located 350 km from Montreal, the site has eight chalets rated two to four stars by the FPQ and can accommodate from 2 to 12 guests. Everything is included, with propane, kitchenette and BBQ. A generator is in operation from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. to allow you to recharge the batteries of your boat, if necessary. Accommodation packages start at $50 per day per person, plus what you need to fish, a la carte. There is also a 25-place campsite with toilet block. As other amenities and services, note that there are two boat ramps, LED lighting, the possibility of kayaking, canoeing, pedal boating, swimming, etc.
From Highway 50, you can access this fish-rich territory via Gracefield. You will then only have 10 km of well-maintained forest roads to cover. From the metropolis, the total distance will be shorter if you go through Notre-Dame-du-Laus. On the other hand, you will have to travel over 25 km of perfectly passable garnotte.
Let’s talk fishing
The outfitter’s star species is the largemouth bass. « Each year, my clientele foils a little more than fifty pallets weighing more than 5 pounds, without however crossing the 6-pound mark, » explains the owner, Jocelyn Vachon. We encourage the release of large specimens to ensure the maintenance of our fishing quality. »
In the main body of water bordering all the chalets, Giles Lake, apart from the big mouth, there are also pike that can weigh up to 6 kg as well as yellow perch.
In other bodies of water, rod handlers can tease stocked lake trout, speckled and rainbow trout as well as smallmouth and largemouth. ATV owners looking to hit the trails can head to four separate lakes to catch smallmouth bass and pike.
A little bit of technique
Largemouth bass like the proximity of grassy, shallow bays. You can then outsmart them with surface frogs, Moss Boss weed scoops, Buzz Baits, Yum Pulse or Tip Toad soft lures, etc.
Remember, however, that during my last three visits to Mijocama, I had much more success at depths varying from 3 to 7 meters.
- Texas style: Using a 1⁄4 or 3/8 ounce taper sinker and a 4/0 or 5/0 size off center hook, introduce a dummy crawfish like the Yum Spine Craw, Mister Twister Buzz Bug or the Power Craw and make it hop close to the bottom. At the slightest touch or if you feel restrained, shoe without delay.
- Vibrating head: Thanks to a round Shaky head with a beveled angle to hold the offering in place, you can present flexible worms of all sizes on the seabed. Just lightly wiggle the rod tip to instill the desired action.
- Jig and soft tail: A jig with a thick skirt made of silicone, rubber or other similar material, on which we insert an imitation crayfish or an oversized minnow, works well when catapulted near logs.
- Suspension Devon: These elongated crankbaits like the Smithwick Suspending Rattlin’ Rogue, Bomber Suspending Pro Long A, Bandit Suspending Minnow and the like sink when retrieved and come to rest in the water column during stops as if they wanted to taunt their opponents.
▶For more information, call 819 449-8943 or visit the website mijocama.ca