A beautiful 35-inch northern pike caught and released on the St. Lawrence River.When:Sunday, September 19th, from 8am to 3pm
Where:The St. Lawrence River, near Alexandria Bay, border of the United States and Canada
What:Fishing under the expert guidance of Captain Dave Gascon
Weather:Sunny and warm. High into the 70's with a light NW wind.
Moon:Waxing, 4 days before full.
Being that Chris and I were new to Black Lake, I figured we could probably use some local help to show us a few spots and techniques. A quick internet search brought me to Fun2Fish Charters and Captain Dave Gascon.
Although I booked this guide well in advance, a few weeks later I discovered that a tournament that same day was going to have Black Lake a bit crowded.
One door closes and another opens.
Luckily Captain Dave has a roomy boat docked in Alexandria Bay and also takes eager anglers out to fish for a variety of species on the St. Lawrence River. Seeing that his marina is only a short drive from the Log Cabins on Black Lake, this seemed to make a whole lot of sense.
More sense than I could have ever known.
First off, anyone visiting this area for the purpose of catching some fish should undoubtedly book a trip with Captain Dave Gascon. His great company and personality are second only to his vast knowledge of Black Lake and the St. Lawrence River. Although he took us out on the latter, he was more than happy to mark up our map of the former with some hot spots and undoubtedly contributed to our success the rest of the week.
You can find all the info you need at http://www.fun2fishcharters.com/.
Our day started off slow, however, seeing the crystal clear water (thanks to the invasive zebra mussels), spectacular castle-like dwellings and crowded Canadian tour boats made it a fascinating experience. We even saw an osprey land in a tree, clutching a freshly caught fish in its talons.
Then, about 2 or 3 hours into our trip, and seeing that the pike weren't taking our shiners, Captain Dave suggested throwing a firetiger spoon that he had tied to one of the many rods he set out for us.
Fate was with me.
I took the rod, started casting the spoon along the weed-edge in 25-feet of water and soon thereafter hooked and landed the amazing fish you see above. After a handful of pictures, I carefully released this pretty lady back into the river to make more northern pike for future generations.
Seeing as the pike fishing was a bit slow, Captain Dave took us to some deeper shoals for smallmouth. The endeavor produced several perch and a handful of the invasive goby.
Goby pictured above.
Chris with his St. Lawrence River northern pike.Near the end of the day, we switched back to pike fishing, during which time Chris came through with a just-a-tiny-bit-shy of a 30-inch pike in addition to a beautiful smallmouth.
Chris and his smallmouth.Once again, I cannot say enough about the good company, professionalism and wisdom of Captain Dave Gascon. He took a sharpie to my map of Black Lake and showed us the spots that produced the majority of the northern pike we caught in the following week. He's a great guy to have a few laughs with, and an even better guy to catch a few fish with.
Thanks again Dave.