I've had 12 species days on the Ottawa River. I've had 10 species evenings anchored on the some spot. My last 3 guided trips have yielded 8, 7, and 8 species respectively. She's a healthy, resilient, diverse fishery and she needs to be because a guide is only as good as the waterbody he guides on.
Given the early season size limits on the Ottawa (walleye over 40cm are released until June 15th) and the popularity of my shore lunches this year, targeting the big ones is useless, so I've been milking a nearby school of walleye and catching plenty of eaters for some fresh walleye lunch. We've always been lucky enough to hook into some "overs". Nothing huge, but good for bragging rights.
Then there's the oddballs that come up while we're catfishing. Last year it was sheephead, this year, mooneye are being caught on every trip.
Let's not forget the gators! This stretch of the Ottawa has a great quantity of pike, but the quality is poor. There's a x2 factor. The average pike on the Lower Ottawa is probably half the size of the average pike just about anywhere else but they're just a blast! We've been lucky enough to come across a few fish pushing the 5lbs mark this year, including this one that everyone on the trip watched hit at the boat.
The bite started off being tough on my last trip with the weather changing as the clients got on the boat. But once I pinpointed the pattern, the boys were having a blast with fast and furious propwash pike action. It was one of those trips where having a guide made the difference between a skunk, and a decent day on the water. The fish were fussy about everything and were bunched tight on 2 very small pieces of structure but we got all the pieces of the puzzle figured out, they were at our mercy and even a couple walleye and crappie came out to play.
It's looking like another busy year for ORGF. So far, 6 trips, 10 species, over 200 fish caught and prime time for big walleye just around the corner. Summer 2012 here we come!
Tight lines to all!