What a time to be alive and in the boat in central Ontario right now! The fishing has been exceptional this fall so far and it'll only ramp up from here.
There's no such thing as a guarantee in fishing. But, here's a few things that I can 100% guarantee you, when you book a guided fishing trip with me this fall:
1. You'll leave with a far greater understanding of several of fishing's key and critical skills. Sonar use, underwater cameras, boat control, fish-catching methods, fish location and tackle. I'm a student of the game and you'll pick up A LOT of new info that you can apply for the rest of your life.
2. New found confidence. Knowledge is power, it's just that simple. I'll put you in the best possible position for success and you'll learn to catch fish by catching them! There's zero substitute for time on the water and guidance from a highly experienced professional.
3. You're going to have fun! Fishing is an enjoyable thing to do, and you'll be in the hands of a guy who's highly personable, humble and who lives to see people succeed on the water. As I've said a thousand times: Happy Guests = Happy Guide! I'll do everything in my power to make your day(s) the absolute best they can be. Let's face it, lots of fishing guides can put you over top of some fish. Personality, attentiveness and passion is what makes a day with me different.
My guests have been on a tear in September and October! Let's take a look, species by species, at what's been going on. The fishing for walleye, muskie, smallmouth, pike and panfish has been really steady.
FALL MUSKIE & PIKE
That's a 53.5" fish from Georgian Bay, above. What can I say? We troll 'em, we cast 'em, we jig 'em. Muskie fishing in Ontario is as good as it gets. That big one ate a Drifter Tackle Stalker, right at Moon Rise, trolling. Poor photo of a monster fish but hey, I'll take it!
I specialize in getting my guests on the first muskie of their lives, as well as targeting the biggest fish available. We play the winds, the weather and the Solunar phases. It's all about stacking that deck as much in your favour as I can. Want to get rocked this fall? Let's do it.
Think this kid's happy? Happy 14the Birthday, Dejan. This one spanked a 14" Jake fifteen minutes into a Full Moon troll.
Miles with his first muskie! Talk about doing it in dramatic fashion...he caught it casting a surface bait. Three big jumps and in the bag! The kid was vibrating for four hours after, he was so jacked up. This one dusted a Baby Pacemaker, from Drifter again, three feet into the retrieve. This little bait is a fish magnet for me. And by the way, its the newer, plastic version. They're just as effective as the original, wood baits. Of course, ten casts later, he caught a nice pike using a new, boatside loop trick he learned with me. Keep those surface baits wet, friends. Muskies and pike like to tag them right at the boat, too. Warm, wet fall day.
Big pike are a specialty of mine and in fall, just like in spring, we get some dandies casting shallow structure. Mostly rock, to be honest. Have a look at this one Mark stuck last week. She pummeled a no3 Mepps Aglia I custom tied in a little deer tail and chicken hackle. That's a nice casting fish right there!
Not to be outdone, Mark's buddy and father hit this nice double a little later, that day. Blue walleye over the port side and a solid pike over the starboard! Both ate Bass Magnet Shift'r Shads, fished on big jigs and rolled along about a rod length below the surface off a classic, prop-crusher shoal out in Lake Nipissing.
I spend as much time on the water as anyone. Scouting, prospecting, keeping tabs on the trends. Every so often, I get lucky, too. Here's a muskie and a pike that Georgian Bay kicked out for me recently. Caught 'em both on the mariboo bucktails I tie. Gold/white has been hot, as it usually is for me when the water starts to cool.
Big Mikey with a nice casting fish from a spot just off a weedbed that 99.9% of boats blow right by. Those little bumps, fingers or curls off the main body of weeds are key feeding stations for predators. Mepps inline spinner, once again. You only find good spots through time on the water!
We marked this muskie on the sonar, swung back around on her at 5mph and the rod dumped immediately. If you haven't tried any of the new, Live Image baits from Drifter, you ought to. They all produce. This time, it was Live Smallmouth, in a 10" Jake. Way to go, Jimmy. You made the boys in Akron, OH proud!
This is a prime window for walleyes! Not only good numbers, but some really solid ones, too. That's Tony above, he released this inland dandy from a big lake I guide on that's inside 2 hours from the Greater Toronto Area. This one clubbed a big jig and minnow on the shallowest crown of a small shoal, in good current. Midday, 16 feet of water on light spinning gear. Talk about fun!
Jonas from Germany tagged this beauty on a jig and plastic combo. There's something walleyes love about the way a heavy jig rockets down and smacks the bottom, some days. This one took a monster, 5/8oz Precision Jig from BFishN Tackle. We caught about 35 that day in an all-day downpour.
I'm 100% a workman walleye fisherman. Whatever technique the day calls for, I've got the gear, experience and instinct to get it done. That's the thing with walleyes---most days you've gotta feed it to them on their own terms. We've had great luck lately simply tossing waypoints and then marker buoys on the biggest schools and working them vertically, by casting or using accurate trolling passes with crankbaits. As always, I professionally clean and package your catch, should you want fish to take home and enjoy.
Stanley from Ohio with a clean fish he caught drop shotting in 31 feet of water on the French River, out of Chaudiere Lodge. 5 Star comfort and some of the best walleye fishing on earth. This one took a half crawler.
A really solid crankbait fish. Grinding the rocks was the key that day, at low speed. By far my best colour on dark, nasty days is blue-chrome. The old Reef Runner was hot that afternoon, talk about a consistent lure for walleye.
Don from Pennsylvania with a darkly-coloured weed walleye. Bigger than average walleyes use weeds regularly all season long. This one is from the Trent Severn System and ate a black/yellow hair jig I tied the night before we fished.
Now THAT'S a pile of smallies I like stopping the boat over! Talk about dropping your line into a dangerous place! Massive cloud of Georgian Bay bass. This school took more than two hours to work through, and it was usually 2-4 fish on at all times, with smallies to four pounds. Fall smallmouth bass patterns range from deep to shallow to in between and you've got to stay flexible. Once you're near fish, adjust how you're fishing to tap some unreal action.
Leo from Miami, FLA with a run of the mill French River smallmouth. This one hammered a big, 3/4oz Cicada jigging blade. Many days, it's just like icefishing from a boat: tease 'em up on your depthfinder, keep the lure moving and watch your line! You'll hook 50% of the fish on any given day long before you feel the strike, Line stops early on the way down or jumps off to the side? Hammer that hook in! Tubes, dropshots and a variety of other presentations work and the deep/mid-range schools can be super active, at times.
Tristan and John with a little double header action. This time of year double, triple, even quadruple headers are common. They were eating swimbaits, that day.
Sarah's first smallmouth was a beauty! And on a surface bait, too! This one sucked down a Chug Bug over real shallow rocks on the French River. Glass calm, warm weather will often get big smallmouth rummaging around in the shallows eating anything that moves. Perch, crayfish, bugs, even smaller bass are all on the hit list.
Adam from Toronto banged off 14 of these cookie-cutter smallmouths on 16 drops of the jig, in late September. Action doesn't get any hotter on light tackle. Some of the new, Mister Twister grub colours have been on fire for us this fall, when smallmouth are eating plastics.
Andy from Innisfil, On with a Georgian Bay jumper. Nice one, my friend!
FISHING WITH MY KIDS
There's nothing better for a young boy or girl than being outside. My sons love to fish and they're getting good! We relaxed for a couple days and knocked around lots of walleye, crappie, smallmouth and pike in the Muskoka-area. If you'd like to take your kids fishing, that's right up my alley. Safe, productive and fun. And as always, you're rewarded with a discount on your guided fishing trip for good parenting!
My oldest, Britt, with a couple gorgeous crappie he caught on 1/8oz Precision Jigs with plastics. They were holding way off bottom in deep water and the sonar was the key to it all. Locate 'em, mark 'em, catch 'em!
Finn (L) and Britt with a couple nice ones they caught 100% on their own. Proud father moments like this are the best thing in life. Teach your kids to appreciate and love the outdoors!
I'm booking into October and November for guided fishing trips. You can reach me here at www.busheyangleguidedfishing.com or using Voice/Text at 705-717-3159. Let's get you on the fish!