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Hey guys-

 

I’m in the process of planning a trip to the St. Lawrence in the middle of August.  I’ll be bringing my boat up from Massachusetts and plan to fish with a partner for plus or minus 4 full days.  

 

I fished the river once before, with a local guide, three years ago.  We fished for two days out of the Waddington area and did very well on a handful of presentations.  Smallmouth, largemouth, walleye and pike.   Conditions were a mix of all 3 spawning phases, so we fished shallow for everything but the walleye.  There didnt seem to be any shortage of bass up shallow in the bays we fished on that stretch of the river.

 

I’m wondering if location becomes more important during the summer?  Am I better off lodging and fishing further south in and around the 1000 island region than I would be up in the further north stretches of the river?  Are heavy current and sloppy weather conditions a bigger factor down in the 1000 islands area?  I’ve got a 19’ aluminum bass boat, and would prefer to avoid super long runs in either direction to find good fish.

 

Any thoughts or comments are welcome.  Thanks!

 

 

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Haven't heard much, other than it's been slow.  That could be because the spawn was late.  One thing is for sure, water is high.  Wherever water is unusually high, I look for flooded brush and timber.

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I'll be up there in a week. Having a day on the St Lawrence with Dean Meckes, can't wait. According to Dean's facebook page they seem to be having a few decent days. Hope the weather and fishing gods smile on us for our day!

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4 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

I'll be up there in a week. Having a day on the St Lawrence with Dean Meckes, can't wait. According to Dean's facebook page they seem to be having a few decent days. Hope the weather and fishing gods smile on us for our day!

I know Dean. He's a hammer on the River and Ontario.  He'll put you on some bigguns!

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He's a great guy. We had a day with him the last time I was over a couple of years ago. Be interesting to see what the high water does to things. It was high two years ago as well. In about 30 hours time I should be at the cabin on Newboro lake, near Westport Ontario. JUST TOO EXCITED!! 😁

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Stay at the Otter Creek hotel in Alexandria Bay.  Cool town and puts you out onto great water.

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2 minutes ago, webertime said:

Stay at the Otter Creek hotel in Alexandria Bay.  Cool town and puts you out onto great water.

Hah - was just looking at this one this afternoon.  I like the idea of leaving the boat docked and not having to launch/retrieve it daily...

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Just park the trailer up the road at the hockey rink!  Some amazing water and sights in that area

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34 minutes ago, webertime said:

Just park the trailer up the road at the hockey rink!  Some amazing water and sights in that area

Sold.  Hopefully the water levels come down a bit as JFrancho alluded to and I’ll be able to settle in on a good summer smallmouth pattern.  Will be spending at least 4 days on the water, hoping to come home with a new PB smallmouth.  I think I’ll have a decent chance as all I’ve gotta do is break that stubborn 5lb mark

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Gonna try to time the weather this fall and will be up there Sept-Oct. The Admiral will be at the Harbor Hotel in Clayton, I will be in a cabin on Wellesly. Hopefully I can find my passport between now and then, so I can hit some water across the river as well. I wouldn't hold my breath on lower water, unless you plant your own dynamite at the base of the dams. That's going to be an ongoing thing me thinks. I still need a technique name for live linning gobies... :) 

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15 hours ago, Janderson45 said:

Sold.  Hopefully the water levels come down a bit as JFrancho alluded to and I’ll be able to settle in on a good summer smallmouth pattern.  Will be spending at least 4 days on the water, hoping to come home with a new PB smallmouth.  I think I’ll have a decent chance as all I’ve gotta do is break that stubborn 5lb mark

Water levels aren't dropping anytime soon.  Two feet high is the new normal.

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 The fish are finished spawning & & the weeds are almost at new highs where ever you fished the weeds.  HUGE SMB & perch.  The perch are chunky & only biting MEAT.  They are tail hook nipping. Put a piece of perch on ?   WWAAAHHOOO

 

The L & S MB are both filled up on Gobies. So a pice of meat on any lure is mandatory to get the lure fully into the mouths of the bass.  This is in a heavily fished catch & release area so the bass are wary about no scent lures.

 

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1 hour ago, cyclops2 said:

 The fish are finished spawning & & the weeds are almost at new highs where ever you fished the weeds.  HUGE SMB & perch.  The perch are chunky & only biting MEAT.  They are tail hook nipping. Put a piece of perch on ?   WWAAAHHOOO

 

The L & S MB are both filled up on Gobies. So a pice of meat on any lure is mandatory to get the lure fully into the mouths of the bass.  This is in a heavily fished catch & release area so the bass are wary about no scent lures.

 

 

Fishing any sort of live or dead bait is going to be an absolute last resort for me, I’m pretty much a strictly artificial baits kind of fisherman, but I do appreciate the input regardless.  

 

My plan at the moment, without a ton of knowledge of the fishery, is to start by targeting shoals in the 25-30’ depth range with the usual fair of finesse smallmouth presentations- dropshots, tubes, Ned rig, shaky head and football jigs are typically my go to presentations for fishing summer smallmouth at these depths.  I almost always have a spinnerbait, jerkbait, and topwater tied on as well.  

 

Most of my smallmouth fishing experience is in large/deep reservoirs and natural lakes.  Finding smallmouth on deep structure is probably the strongest part of my bass fishing repertoire, but I’m a bit worried that their behavior on a large river may be quite a bit different than I’m used to.  I’m always mindful of current when trying to locate feeding smallmouth, but I’m guessing the role it plays in the St Lawrence is even more crucial?

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On 7/22/2019 at 9:48 AM, J Francho said:

Haven't heard much, other than it's been slow.  That could be because the spawn was late.  One thing is for sure, water is high.  Wherever water is unusually high, I look for flooded brush and timber.

 

This holds true for brown fish as well?  That’s mainly a largemouth deal for me on the fisheries I frequent, but as I said my experience and knowledge on the river is very limited, I’ve only ever fished it one day, back in 2016.  It was largely prespawn / spawn at the time and almost all of our smallmouth (probably 60 or so) came from 6-12ish FOW on reaction baits around weed beds.  Quite a few pike fishing this way as well. 

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My section is like a 2 mile x 5 mile lake with many islands. 

 

Save a TON of wasted time . Buy a GOOD underwater topography map with depths Ledges & makeup of the bottoms. Plan the sunrise , early morning spots. The bass DO school up on deep main shipping channel edges as the sun hits 11 am.  My clayton area is erratic with a massive return of weeds. They are the food chain spots.

 

Caution there is a new weed in town !!  It looks like there are bass suspended in the vertical stems. Be suspicious of tall weeds with 1 or more fish symbols in a tight group. The echoes SHOW the bass right on the stem of the weed. Most are just the big leaf weeds.  No quick bites ?  move on.

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I'll be fishing out of Clayton tomorrow. Probably looking for green fish most of the day though. Plan on running some areas I've never hit. Should be fun to explore for the day. 

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19 minutes ago, RichF said:

I'll be fishing out of Clayton tomorrow. Probably looking for green fish most of the day though. Plan on running some areas I've never hit. Should be fun to explore for the day. 

 

Let me know how you do!  

39 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

 

Save a TON of wasted time . Buy a GOOD underwater topography map with depths Ledges & makeup of the bottoms. 

Are the cartography cards in fish finders inaccurate?  I’ve got both a humminbird lakemaster and Navionics chip for console and bow graphs. 

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9 hours ago, Janderson45 said:

This holds true for brown fish as well?

Rarely, but sometimes you run into a pack on the hunt.  I was mostly speaking of green fish.

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The good thing about Clayton area bays in USA waters is if the bass are slow or zero ?  The perch are agreeable to bait live or fresh cut. I troll several ? Eagle claw made up spinner blades with the 5 red beads. It is needed this year as we have loads of greenish water with short site distances.  So the blades & bait keep the action level tolerable.  Everthing bites that setup.

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:00 AM, Tim Kelly said:

I'll be up there in a week. Having a day on the St Lawrence with Dean Meckes, can't wait. According to Dean's facebook page they seem to be having a few decent days. Hope the weather and fishing gods smile on us for our day!

How’d you do?

 

I’ll be fishing from 8/11 - 8/15, right around the corner now.  I’ve been putting in a lot of prep work the past few weeks and my confidence is growing each day as I game-plan and scout locations.  I think I’m going to bounce around from waypoint to waypoint and put in a good 4-6 hours of strictly graphing on my first day.  Hopefully putting some good hours in behind the ‘birds will pay off on the long run.

 

For those of you with experience up there-how calm of a day does it need to be for me to consider running out to Ontario in my 19’ Aluminum Lund Mod-V?  

 

Recently, and for the first time as a boat owner, I ran into conditions that I deemed to be unsafe for my boat.  It was in Plattsburgh NY on Lake Champlain in May.   Winds had been blowing all night 15-20MPH out of the SE and it had the lake pretty angry in Plattsburgh when I launched.  The winds had calmed down some by day break, and were forecasted for continual improvement as the morning went on.... I think the boat could’ve handled the conditions, but my partner was not in bibs/rain gear like I was, so he was going to get soaked by some still fairly cold water and we were going to take a pounding.  I called it, pulled the boat and headed back down to Ti.  

 

Would like to avoid a repeat of this if I even attempt to run down the the big Lake.  Am I stupid for even considering it with my rig?

 

 

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We had a great day. Still blows my mind drop shotting in 20-50ft of fast flowing water, boat control is key. We didn't get any beasts, though I had the best fish of the day shoot up to the surface as soon as it was hooked, jump so it could show off it's impressive size to everyone in the boat, then give me my hook back. We had around 25 fish to the boat, mainly deep, but some shallow fish too.

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