fishingfrenchlakeFriday Casey picked me up for a day of fishing French lake for some of those feisty chain pickerel. We had both checked the weather network and Friday was suppose to be hot with 20–30 km/hr winds.

Actually the sun was so strong that the wind was a bit of a blessing and some relief from the heat.

I wasn’t about to forget sunscreen again so I while we were trolling to our first fishing spot of the day I put on lots of sunscreen and arrange my fishing gear. I did miss a spot, right were I would button up the top of my shirt and today it’s bright red and itchy. A good example of the pain I would be in had I forgot sunscreen, again.

frenchlakeverycalmmorning
French Lake

Fishing started rather slow. I was thinking the weather and rain had dropped the water temperature a bit and might take a couple of hours to heat up again to get those pickerel active.

I Think I Need More Electrolytes

While watching the weather channel to see what kind of a day to expect I heard a section on drinking something to replace electrolytes lost during activities and sweating.

Well when I go fishing I put every ounce of energy I can into it and pay for it the next day. I tend to feel like I had been drinking booze for the entire day so the following day would always be liking enduring a hangover, even though I never drink alcohol on the days I go fishing.

I mentioned it to Jamie the other day when we were fishing the Cannan river. He told me he doesn’t bring water and would rather bring Gatorade instead. So I decided I would try that myself and brought two large bottles of Gatorade.

Well it didn’t seem to make a difference as I felt like I had a hangover all day Saturday, although I don’t have headaches, just that completely burned out feeling. The thing is I am willing to go through the suffering the next day because fishing is just so much fun.

Casey looked at the Gatorade and said it looked like I put too much water in my grape coolaid and it tasted like it too.

What’s Up With The Pickerel

We fished for quite a while and never saw a pickerel and any fish move at all.

I think with the weather and rain we’ve had in the past week the water temp had probably dropped and the pickerel were waiting for the sun to get high enough to warm them up. It didn’t take long before we started seeing some movement.

When they did start moving they would turn for the lure and then stop. They weren’t quite energetic enough yet.

I Love Red Senko Style Worms

I like using confidence baits and if the fish are active I try lots of other lures to gain even more confidence baits. So, I started with the trusty Senko style 5” red worms. I’ve caught hundreds and hundreds of pickerel using it and it’s definitely a confidence bait.

The thing is once the pickerel started getting active they were only grabbing the tail end of the senko and then of course when I tried to set the hook they would shred the end of the worm. It was still fun to see they were getting more active as the day went on.

first pickerel of the day on french lakeCasey mentioned adding a stinger hook to see if that would help and of course that was just about the time I landed the first pickerel of the day.

Yeah it’s not very big at 19” but it had fins and was in the boat and I wanted a picture for my blog as well as claiming that first fish of the day.

For my U.S. visitors you can find some red worms that will work great on eBay. Check them out.

For those of you who are Proud Canadian here is a sample for you.

Not Much Competition For Water

I really like fishing during the week days, Monday thru Friday as most young fishers are working. I think we only saw 4 boats all day. So we had plenty of elbow room any where we moved to.

Both Casey and I were now getting a lot of action and having a blast, although we still weren’t landing much. They would either not be hooked or they would get right into the weeds and get off. We didn’t give up and go home with our tails between our legs though.

As they got more aggressive I started getting more of them to the boat and lost a few at the boat but also landed a few. I think the fact I was in the front of the boat, standing on the deck gave me a bit of an advantage because I could hold the pickerel higher in the water so they were getting into less weeds.

Getting Those Pickerel Out of The Weeds

Casey had the boat positioned so that we would cast to the weeds and try to get the pickerel to come out of the weeds to take the bait but they weren’t having any of that. They were tight in the weeds and didn’t want to leave the protection.

I think the sun was to intense or perhaps it just makes them to vulnerable to birds of prey, but whatever the reason they weren’t coming out, even for a juicy red worm.

Then Clouds Formed or Moved In

I am not sure how long we had been fishing but I had about 6 pickerel when the sun was blocked by a huge set of clouds. It was an immediate relief for us as it was getting intense out there.

clouds
Clouds Were A Blessing Today

Immediately the pickerel started coming out of the weeds, a little. It was like the difference between night and day and they became as aggressive as I remember them being. I managed to land two more pickerel before Casey landed his first of the day.

I was glad to see him finally get one as I know how much I hate getting skunked.

They actually became so aggressive they were jumping out of the water and right over top of the baits. I think they needed glasses or something, but it sure was fun watching them leap from the water.

Then just as fast as they clouds hid the sun they disappeared and the pickerel stopped just as fast. They were right back into the weeds and reluctant to leave them. So we kept fishing the weeds. I landed a couple more as did Casey.

It was getting hotter and hotter, to the point I was soaking a towel and putting it under my hat and down my back. That felt so darn good and brought my body temperature down to a more comfortable level.

The score was James with 8 pickerel, Casey with 2 pickerel. My biggest to this point was 22” so I had the most and the biggest. Casey of course wasn’t finished.

caseygetbiggestpickerelofthedayI believe I was at 10 pickerel and Casey was at 3 pickerel when he hooked into his final fish of the day and it looked like a good one.

We were both pretty excited and when it jumped the excitement level jumped as well. Casey was sure it was more that 25” long.

I of course was telling him it was likely 22” inches, teasing of course and when I tried to get it in the net I did every thing but. It just seemed to get out of the way every time I tried. I was feeling bad as I was sure it was going to get away and I’d be walking home.

So glad I didn’t let it get away because it’s a heck of a walk home. Casey landed and measure it. It was a 24” chain pickerel and was the biggest fish of the day, so far, because I wasn’t done yet.

The score was now 8 to 4 in my favour.

I caught a couple more and then another. I was at 12 pickerel for the day but my best was still only 22”. Casey landed another puttingh his score for the day at 5 pickerel but had the best so far. Then a huge pickerel jumped clean over my bait and was gone.

I tried for some time but couldn’t get him to return.

Casey was getting a lot of strikes but deep in the weeds, just like I was. Just couldn’t get them to the boat through the weeds.

pickerel number 13I tossed out a frog and dragged it across the top of the weeds bringing a few pickerel closer to the boat and then went back to the red senko and hooked into another nice sized pickerel.

Casey netted it like a pro, the first try. I was excited that it might just be the same size as Casey’s best of the day, but it was 23 and an 1/8th, not quite enough. That was fish number 13 and our final fish for the day. At the end of our day the finally score James 13 and Casey 5 chain pickerel.

zoom on the moon
Using a Canon VIXIA HFR32


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