Our good friend Ric, who’s been making a killing fishing Toronto Islands (on multiple outings) , headed over to Ontario Place to check out the situation. Ric has been hard at work trying to get a Pike on his fly rod and while he still hasn’t succeeded, this experience sure opened his eyes to carp fishing.
We got down there and started spotting fish to cast to. I’ve had the fly rod out a couple of times this season and have been able to raise a lot of fish. Still can’t get one to commit though. So anyways, the fly I’m throwing this big clown head. The pike were really spooky and weren’t really responding but as I’m working one a nice carp swims up to the fly and just sucks it in. It happened right in front of Doug and myself and we just kind of turned and said.
“Did you see that?”
So before he could spit it I reared back on the rod and set the hook hard! At first she didn’t really understand what was going on and just sat there but then…. Game On!! I gave Doug my camera and then spent the next 10 minutes trying to deal with the sheer strength of this fish. Thanks for the great camera work Doug!
Man these things are just so strong! I have new found strength in my knots after this fish! She was just mowing down the towers of weeds through out the whole area! The rod is a Cortland GRX 9WT. She was definitely put to the test.
Every time I got her in she would just turn and bolt! Nothing I could do but just hold on. My arms were starting to burn and I just wanted to get her off so I started to really lay into her. Finally I got her in. Man was she heavy! Lots of lamprey marks on a lot of the fish this year! Not just carp! This one had 3 or 4 of them.
After a few she was good to go! And so was I! Unfortunately, Ontario Place is now open and we were asked to leave not long after. You can’t fish anywhere from the the first bay on the east side all the way the parking lot on the west side. Now that they’re open they really will enforce this so yet another spot is closed off to us shore guys.
Man, I had a great time and would love to get into one of these guys on the fly in my float boat!
I really do have a whole new respect for these fish and will probably target more of them this summer.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my little saga! Take care!!
This morning Clive and I took a trip down the block to a fishing garage sale. It was an interesting match up of gear, mostly European gear, carp fishing gear, carp rods, rod holders, etc. Clive picked up some Maraboo to make some dress Musky spinners for later this year, and I picked up some swivels and a few crankbaits for under 10 bucks. The crankbaits, and swivels actually, are all made by a company called Jaxon, I’ve never heard of them personally, but these crankbaits look sweet.
Then, of course, it was back to the Toronto Islands for some more Pike fishing. We really could have used some cloud cover today as the sun was beating down on us through out the day and pushing pike back to colder water. Even though it was a very slow day Clive still managed to pick up this nice Pike with his hand-made spinner bait. I didn’t catch anything but I found this decaying Pike skull on the shore and took some pictures of it. Talk about teeth, eh!
With Clive back from the British Virgin Islands, it only took us a day to get our gear ready and head back to the Toronto Islands for some pike fishing. Clive has been building some Mepps-like french spinners for himself, mostly with large blades for targeting big pike and musky. We figured that this would be the perfect time and place to test them out, and it definitely was.
We arrived at the Toronto Islands at noon, deciding to sleep in and head up for the afternoon bite. It didn’t take more than 10 or 12 casts before Clive was pulling in a nice 30″+ pike. I was pretty impressed, but when he pulled in another 30″+ pike, no more than 20 minutes later, I knew it was time for me to switch to an in-line spinner. Unfortunately, Clive didn’t make another similar spinner with the same type of blade, so I used my trustworthy Mepps #5.
As the day progressed we caught a few more smaller, “hammer handle”, pike as the day progressed. I started to get a little worried that I wasn’t going to catch a decent sized pike on this trip, and considering my last few trips to Toronto Islands (other than that nice Walleye), it looked like I would just be taking more pictures than anything.
Sure enough, no more than five minutes later it happened. (Click the picture or link below for more images, including one of Clive’s home-made lure. Again all photos were taken on my new Kodak V570)
When Ontario got its first Bass Pro Shop I was very excited. I had never visited a Bass Pro in the America and was excited to see the selection of fishing tackle. As far as tackle shops go in Ontario, there is nothing that compares to the selection that Bass Pro has, but in America there is more competition from other huge tackle stores.
While on a recent road trip I had the chance to stop at a Cabela’s and I was extremely impressed with the store. The amount of fishing equipment at Cabela’s was far greater then that of the Ontario Bass Pro. There was so much gear that the store was quite overwhelming. Besides the fishing equipment, there was several impressive aquariums filled with several fish that I have not seen in the Bass Pro aquarium.
The biggest difference is that Cabela’s had a big selection of saltwater equipment, and Bass Pro Shop in Ontario has none. In defense of Bass Pro, the Ontario location is nowhere near the ocean.
Here are a few photos from my visit to Cabela’s in Hamburg Pennsylvania.