Thanx to the planning of my two good friends, Jack and Arthur, I spent the past week-end with them, fishing the Mighty Ottawa River! Although I was sworn to secrecy by Captain Jack, about the exact spot where we were fishing, I can say that it was a number of miles downstream from Petrie Island. :-)
It didn't take long for Jack's Walleye tracking skills to put us on to some fish on his slick Eagle "magic box" out there in the 25 to 35 foot range. The current there is fairly strong and of course, I had nothing in my box that weighed more than a quarter ounce. So, like a good skipper would, Jack set me up with a heavier jig head, a cool white curly critter plastic body and dressed it up full tilt with a beautiful Emerald Shiner. Woa! Now that's what ya need out here, says I. :-)
The next flip into the wind and water, I let 'er sink on a semi-tight line and felt a slight ease-off with about fifty feet of mono out there. I lifted the rod tip slowly, keeping a nice gentle bend in it, until it showed that my set-up should be a foot or so off bottom. Just swimming there, slowly in the current. Tap! Bang! Bang! YA! Fish On! :-) The hook is well set and the fish is coming up nicely under control. Thrash, splash, thrash! Scoop! In the net like it's supposed to be done. Nice eater, what?
In all of the excitement that followed, I regret not getting a decent shot of Arthur's first ever Sauger. The good part is, I lucked out and Pentaxed him with his first ever Channel Catfish. :-) Mostly, the poor guy so far has had to content himself with some nice messes of Trout! :-)
To prove that there is indeed a healthy population of Sauger in the Big-O, my man Jack, reeled this puppy in and held it long enough for me to Digitize it for y'all! He's usually pretty quick about getting fish back in the drink or in the box so I'm pleased to see this pic turned out swell. :-) Nice one there good buddy!
One of the reasons I really love fishing the Ottawa River, is the variety of fish it holds. You never really know what you are going to catch, on any given day, at any given time. :-) How many of you have ever laid eyes on one of these fellas? Better yet, how many folks out there have ever hooked and landed one of these really neat looking fish?
This was one healthy looking and acting fish my friends. It's called a Mooneye and he had quite a few similarities to Trout, now that I come to think of it. A real sort of "pretty" fish, if you know what I mean, jelly-bean. ;-)
Of course what good trip doesn't end with a really good fish, eh? My friend, Walleye Jack, knows his stretch of this ol' river real well and comes up with decent fish even when others don't. Despite the stiff competition from Art and I, we never even came close to beating his best for the trip and as you can see here, it Was a Good'n!
Congrats on such a fine fish Jack-man! It was great being there in the Legend with you and Art, when that fatty came aboard! :-) Hey dude, we could pretty well send this shot to Ontario Out of Doors or Outdoor Canada or somebody. They like these kinds of shots for their covers you know. ;-)
Well, to make a long story a little shorter folks, this fine fishing adventure on the Ottawa couldn't have come at a better time for me. Yup, you got it. I just crossed another threshold in life. Birthday time again. Another decade has now come and gone. How else would a life long fisherman like myself, better spend his special day, than with special friends, on the water, fishing? Thank you Art! Thank you Jack! You've provided one of my best Birthday presents ever! :-)
You've helped to get my spirits rising again after going through a pretty rough last few weeks. Thanx to you boys, my attitude has risen more than a few notches and my positive energies have started to really flow again. Man, it's a powerful testimony of just what fishing and friends and fresh air, well mixed together, can have on this ol' Outdoorsy dude! <})))><
P.S. Mrs. Walleye Jack sure knows how to treat people like they are somebody! Gotta LOVE those country gals, eh! :-)
Have a good one,