Thursday, July 10, 2014

Canoe Fishing Tips from the Cataraqui River 2014

Don't get me wrong, I love to fish in a bad ass bass boat, or my sun dolphin pond hopper, but from time to time there is nothing more relaxing then fishing from a canoe… and if your a cheater like I'm and power your canoe with a trolling motor, its even more relaxing.

For Tips and Tricks on making the most out of each Canoe Fishing Trip you take, check out this Bass Junkies article entitled  Canoe Fishing 101. Not much has changed since I wrote that article back in 2012, but below you will find a few tips for enjoying every minute of your canoe trip.. and oh yeah catching a few fish.

Canoe fishing is great in that it forces you to pair down your gear (tackle and rods) and focus on a few techniques at a time. During this trip I placed my faith in 3 rods.. a frog rod (surprise, surprise) a medium-heavy pitching stick and a wacky worm rig set up on spinning gear (full arsenal can be found at the bottom of the page)

The frog rod is pretty self explanatory, first off its what I do, and secondly this part of the river is loaded with slop and pads.. a win win in my books. Finding fish was another storey, we only saw a total of 3 fish blow-up on our frogs of which I was able to land just one fish

My second rod choice was a medium/heavy flipping or pitching stick. I use this as a follow up bait for frog fishing as well to flip timber or rocks we come across. I find being in a canoe gives you a nice clear view of the lake (good sunglasses don't hurt either) and it allows you to get close to structure and see what it is all about, find where the holes, hideouts and shady portions are. On this trip I was not able to pull any fish on timber, but did manage one fish on a follow-up bait.. more on that in a bit.

my third and final rodt on this trip was a spinning rod rigged with a wacky worm set-up. The Rideau or Cataraqui River has many low handing trees, and while sitting low in a canoe a spinning rod/reel gives you the best chances for a good skip up under this form of cover. I find the low angle can be awkward for skipping bait casters, but a sinch for spinning gear. The wacky rig also provided me with a bait that has a slower fall then my Gambler ugly otter meaning i could cover more of the water column in hopes of finding fish.. no fish were harmed in the use of the wacky rig on this day.

Bob keep it even simpler then I did, bringing only one rod and rigging it with a Snag Proof Bobby's perfect buzz frog.. fitting I know. He put in some serious work but only managed one blow up for his first skunk of the season.

Just like when fishing from a standard bass boat, you and your canoe partner should be working as a team each throwing different baits until you find whats working. It is all to easy to both grab a worm or a frog and start firing, but in situations like this you may be missing more fish then you know. Try using baits that reach different parts of the water column. Today Bob started with a buzz frog (top water) and i pitched a wacky worm (bottom)

Follow-up baits are also key to success. When my partner or I are frog fishing from a canoe (or boat) I always have a second rod rigged up with a follow-up bait such as a gambler Ugly Otter. This came in handy on this trip when the above fish blew up on Bob's buzz frog and while he finished his retrieve I quickly grabbed my otter and flipped into the hole left by the fish.. BAM.. fish on,  before Bob could even get his frog back to the boat.. now that's team work (thanks for the assist Bob)

What I love about canoe fishing is how close it allows you to get to the water, and the fish. It truly gives you a new perspective on bodies of water you have fished for years, and those you are fishing for the first time..

Although I have fished this portion of the Rideau from the shoreline for years, this was the first time I was able to get out and fish it properly. During this trip Bob and I covered just over 1km of water up the west bank(sunny side) and then back down the east bank (shady side). Our goal is to stretch that to 2km on tip number 2.. oh yeah and land a few more fish in the process

Trip Counter:   Trip3/Lake3 - Cataraqui River

Weapons of Choice:

Dobyns DX746 - Daiwa Lexa - Nories NF60 Frog
Dobyns 734C - Daiwa Tatula - Gambler Ugly Otter

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