A typical stack of smallmouth bass on a Lake Nipissing shoal. We sat on this one for three solid hours, catching them as fast as we could get our jigs, drop shots and blade baits down.
Slobland Flicks' Kyle Garon with a trolling fish from a wild few days in September. Now that's how you break in a new boat! Stay tuned for some exciting news from both the Slobland boys, Bushey Angle Guided Fishing and our friends at Drifter Tackle.
Now this kid can fish. For Carter's 10th birthday, his grandparents booked him a surprise trip with me. The French River is crawling with walleye this size. The four of us caught close to 200 bass and walleye that day in September. Way to go, buddy! Bushey Angle Guided Fishing offers discounts for anyone fishing with kids.
Silvery, fatty forage is everywhere on this system. Here's a bite-sized sucker. The Live Crappie 10" Jake is ideal for water full of herring, whitefish, small trout and suckers. What a deadly bait. We took muskies and pike both casting and trolling them.
Full-Service guiding means great shorelunches. I'm working my way through a morning of walleye, not far from The Keystone Shoal.
Mary Anne from New York with a typical French River smallmouth. Fish like this are everywhere and we caught 'em pretty well at will, most days. This one cranked a Bass Magnet tube.
Late in August, what started out as a pretty routine, 3-day filming and photo assignment for Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine at Chaudiere Lodge on the Upper French River kind of took on a life of its own. Ownership sat me down at the end of my stay and asked if I'd be interested in guiding for them, at the lodge. I was able to rejigger my existing book of guests with Bushey Angle Guided Fishing, set up shop there and let 'er rip. On our second night in camp, OOD Managing Editor Ray Blades and I got to watch The Tragically Hip's send off show, on the big screen, in the lodge. Gordie and the boys set the tone for a hell of a run, up there.
The rest, as they say, is history. Chaudiere is a Full-Service Resort and it sits on some of the most gorgeous and productive water anywhere in the world. Guests from all over the US and Canada keep the place packed all season. Happy guests are the #1 reason I guide and this place has them in spades.
Both the main river and her headwaters, at Lake Nipissing, are absolutely infested with fish. The smallmouth fishery there, along with the largemouth fishery, is totally overlooked. That patch of water has the best fishing for smallies of anywhere I've fished in my life, hands down. Average size is impressive and there are some really big ones, too. Finding schools as big as a house is common. Once you're on them, you can boat them non-stop for hours.
My best walleye day with 3 guests aboard was 209. There's not a whole lot in life that beats getting clunked every single time your bait hits the bottom. This whole area is being really carefully managed, in terms of future walleye stocks. Fish need to be over 18.1" to take out. A couple massive year classes of fish under that length have exploded in the past three years and they number in the millions. On top of that, every single spot on both the lake and river is capable of kicking out big walleyes, and we ran into them daily. It's heaven on earth. I fish a lot of vertical presentations on light gear, just as with the smallmouth. The potential number--and size-- of walleye up there five years from now is mind boggling.
Muskie will always be my favorite species to target and both the Upper French and Lake Nipissing are as good as it gets, for huge girths as well as numbers. The muskie fishing is like the walleye fishing: plenty of fish to go around and the chance for a giant every day. The rock, weed and open water habitat is all just perfect. Casting, trolling or jigging, there's a hundred lifetimes worth of spots. Some huge fish have been taken within earshot of Chaudiere, including a pair of 53 inchers this season. My go-to for both casting and trolling was Live Series, 10" Jakes from Drifter Tackle and SlobTail bucktails, from my buddies Matt O'Brien, Kyle Garon and Pat Tryon, at Slobland Flicks. These guys are three of the best muskie guides you'll find. Kyle and I broke in his new Ranger in early September with five fish in two days, including two over the fifty inch mark. I missed one of my biggest casting fish in years on a 9" Shadzilla, out in Lake Nipissing one day, with guests from Ohio on board. Those are the best soft baits I've fished.
The bite up there for jumbo perch, pike and sheephead is also terrific. Having such a mix of water (from sheltered, interior river stuff to the main lake) and so many species to target, really made for some great guide trips---sometimes twice a day. As I like to say, Happy Guests = Happy Guide!
This October, November and December, Bushey Angle Guided Fishing returns to its regularly scheduled programming! Bjg muskies, walleyes, smallmouth and jumbo perch. If you're looking for a fishing trip you'll love, I'm all ears. Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, The Trent System and The Bay of Quinte are pretty primed up, this time of year. For ice fishing trips, now's as good a time as any to get them planned, too! My goal is simple: to give you your Best Total Fishing Experience, on a schedule and budget that works.
Huge thanks to the gang at Chaudiere. You guys all make it what it is! Steve-O, Marky, Pattty, Matty, KyleG, Billy The Knife, Fabio, Petey, Matt The Dock Drummer, Cole, Micah, Philly, Kyler, JennyMommy, Kyla, Sequoia, ChelseaPike, you guys are solid!