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Story 2009 Walking On Water

Page history last edited by Jerome Moisand 15 years, 1 month ago

Walking on water at Long Sault



May 24th, 2009


Long Sault


Fishing with Daniel & Melanie


The story


For my Spring'09 trip to Canada, I had decided to finally pay a long overdue short visit to Long Sault, one of the St Lawrence carp mecca. I've heard all sorts of things about Long Sault, and the comments which struck me the most were how beautiful the location is and how nice are Jeff & Marianne Vaughan, the owners of a local motel and carp tackle shop.


Given that fishing sucked a bit in MA, I ended up leaving one day early, and was on my way following a very familiar road, except that this time I wasn't going to Waddington and the US side, but to Ontario. When I reached the border on the Seaway International bridge (quite an imposing structure, by the way), I had to go through the usual customs & immigration procedure and was wondering if the smelly corn in the back of my car would cause me troubles. Turned out there didn't care about my car, but I was asked to go in the building to answer "a few questions". Who are you and where do you leave? I live near Boston and I am French, and yes, I didn't shave in a week and I wear dark glasses and I look like a terrorist. Wasn't a good start. Why do you come to Ontario? To carp fish. I could see the guys looking at each other thinking I was pulling their chain. Where are you going? In Long Sault (which I didn't know how to pronounce, so they didn't recognize the location). Where are you staying? At a motel named the Canadian Carp Club. They just didn't want to believe that there was a motel named like that! Do you have a fax or a reservation number? Er... no, sir. This lasted 20 minutes before they finally released me. Next time, I'll shave and say I'm coming to fish for some other species!


I finally reached Long Sault and met Marianne who greeted me much more warmly than those immigration guys and displayed much more beautiful eyes (lucky fellow, this Jeff!). She explained how to pronounce Long Sault (the English way for the first word, the French way for the second word, go figure!). I unloaded my car and drove to the Hoople creek bridge nearby where Marianne told me Jeff was fishing. I was very curious to meet the guy. Sure enough, when I arrived, he was on a fish. We had a great chat, and it didn't take me long to understand that Jeff is indeed a really nice individual, extremely eager to help and see you enjoy your stay. Then I had a quick drive along the chain of islands, what impressive and beautiful scenery. I came back to fish a bit with Jeff, and when I returned, he was on another fish, much bigger, a nicely shaped 28 pounder. I quickly landed one too, albeit a much smaller fish, but it didn't matter, I was glad to have caught my first carp from Ontario!



The next two days didn't work too well though. Yeah, I landed a few fish, Daniel & Melanie who joined me got a few ones too, but everybody was struggling due to the cold front. Only notable fish for me were a two-tones and a carp with amazingly long barbels! Poor Jeff was really anguished, trying his best to help everybody (quite a few other guys arrived for the week-end or for a longer stay), but when fish are there and don't bite much, there is not much to be done. Scenery was truly breathtaking though, I have never enough of those wonderful sunsets on the St Lawrence!



At the end of the second day, we were getting quite frustrated. We could see that there were a lot of fish around in many places, and yet we weren't quite catching as expected, far from it. So I decided to do more exploring at the end of the day, and investigate if we couldn't fish the main river instead of the large bay delineated by the islands. I visited the local marina, this didn't inspire me very much. I visited a few other spots, but I was especially intrigued by the Dickinson island - we fished from the corresponding bridge in the morning (very deep water!) and we could see fish jumping far away. Luckily, I figured out that there was a path going to the end of the island, and a very nice location opened for fishing with two very interesting rocky points and quite some open space. Ah ah, now I just needed to convince Daniel and Melanie to go on a bit of a trek in the morning, which wasn't difficult, they are always very accomodating.



On Sunday, we were ready for our last day of fishing in Long Sault, and not quite sure of what would happen. When I arrived at the end of the path, I was quite disappointed to find that two fellows were already occupying one of the openings. They were nice people, we were quickly exchanging jokes, but this narrowed down choices for setting up. For me, I knew that I wanted to fish the first rocky point, but what to suggest for Daniel and Melanie? While waiting for them, I saw a few fish jumping far away, and I cast a rod with a heavily dipped pop-up in the middle of nowhere. I was getting ready to spod... It didn't take more than 30 seconds... I was already on a fish! Now that was eye-popping! And this fish was fighting like a deamon and my net was of course not ready... I managed, and an immaculate mid-teen found my landing mat. The morale was up a notch or two, maybe three! When my friends arrived, I had reached a conclusion, suggest the second point, which was far away but they are well organized with neatly packed rucksacks and everything, so they didn't falter and agreed to the challenge. They got a tad lost in the woods, but finally made it.



I then proceeded to spod flavored maize as far as I could. I knew from the depth map that the water was somewhat shallow in front of me, and the fish were obviously farther away. I couldn't use my usual method ball tactic, and I had no PVA sticks, so I chose to fish with a single bait (pop-up or bottom bait), heavily dipped. The flavor which worked the best was creamy coconut, while pinapple didn't go as good. Amazingly, fish started to find my lone bait, and although action wasn't franctic, I was catching on a steady basis. I landed a couple of twenties, and amusingly enough, a nice mirror which are pretty rare out there. This was my lucky day!



Mid-afternoon, things slowed down for me, but I was glad to see that Daniel & Melanie (who struggled hard in the morning) were finally onto fish. Nice job trying hard and finally finding carp, this was a completly new fishing environment for them. At the end of the afternoon, they were pretty much burned out though and came back to see me before going to get some well deserved dinner. As luck would have it, fish resumed biting right then, and a carp cunningly went around the rocky point to try to shake itself free. So I had to walk on water (almost!) to get out of troubles and bring the fish back.



I did land the fish, and got another run quickly after. Not only I was walking on water, but also multiplying fish. Hmm, reminded me of someone, but this was a long time ago... I don't think this was in Long Sault though, but heck, who knows! A colorful fish was photographed and released, and Daniel and Melanie courageously carried their ton of gear to their car while I lingered a bit longer.



I resumed fishing, and quickly landed two more fish. While I was playing one of them (which also tried to go around the rocks), I suddenly saw a carp right in front of my feet. I was very confused for a few seconds because my line was pulling on the side. This was just another carp roaming around! I brought the first carp around and started to drag it closer to where I could land it when I saw again the second carp, following the one being played! So much for carp sending signals of distress when hooked and making the other fish go away!


By then, I had reached my goal of ten fish for the day. I had missed a couple but did pretty good overall with the tricky rocks, although this was exhausting to go there to land fish and to spod on a regular basis. I started to pack up, then decided that I didn't want to stay on a round number! So I fished a bit longer, and yes, I got my 11th fish while I was admiring yet another beautiful sunset.



I was a bit sad to go, but the park closes at 9PM, there is an end to anything. I had my best day of fishing in a while, finding a beautiful new spot, fishing in tough conditions and making it work all through the day. Many thanks to Jeff & Marianne again for their hospitality and to Daniel & Melanie for following me on a challenging adventure. I'll be back one day to Long Sault, this is for sure.

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