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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

My new home and river

The move from the Assiniboine River to the La Salle River was made last fall, after 20 years of cutting 2 1/2 acres of grass. The new house has a much smaller lawn which naturally translates to much more fishing time. A long winter followed by an impatient spring of waiting for the fishing season to open has finally passed and my exploration of new waters has begun. While the dam at La Barriere  Park will remain my mainstay, much time will also be spent exploring new regions of the river. I spent some time at the dam, some time at new locations and significant time in my truck since the season opened 3 days ago. As most new explorations go, there was much fruitless searching with both fly and bobber mixed with the odd surprise, nice catch and adrenaline rush. First the surprise.


I ended up catching 5 or 6 mooneye at one location so obviously a small school was present in the area. In all my previous years of fishing the river, I had only caught one mooneye and that was in an area of the river with direct access to the Red River. These fish were caught well upstream of the Red and may indicate another species that has established itself on the La Salle.




 
The nice fish that came along was a 12 1/2 inch crappie. The fish was caught in the same area the mooneyes were holding, a nondescript area in mid river with no apparent structure. After this fish was released, I fished all the crappie type structure nearby with no luck. Go figure.


Next up, the adrenaline rush.  I was worm dipping along the shoreline with an ultralight rod and 4 lb test line to see what might be living there. I felt a slight tap, set the hook and almost went into shock. The line started peeling off my spool at an alarming rate and despite tightening up the drag as high as I dared the line kept peeling off at an undiminished rate. After what seemed like 5 secs I realized I was about to be spooled and I took off down the river after the fish, frantically reeling up some valuable line. I eventually got the fish under control and back to where my net was. I couldn't really net the fish but with its head in the net and the rod on the ground I was able to lift the fish out. A carp just over 30" and still swam away strongly after being released. I had forgotten how fast and powerful these fish are.



I also caught some pike, walleye, channel cats, and drum. Conspicuous by their absence were members of the sucker family. This is usually the best time of the year to catch them.


It's been a while since I've been this excited about an upcoming season and with this quality of fish within 5 miles of home I expect to be on the water a lot. Stay tuned.

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