Musky on the Ottawa River

John Anderson 2014 Opener

As a Musky Canada member opening day of Musky season is always a celebratory event. This year was no different. Over 50 Ottawa chapter members showed up. Making the opener especially significant was a surprise call from my friend John Anderson inviting me to join him aboard his boat for the morning fish. John had experienced a rare cancilation – a rare event for his guiding service which is normally booked solid through to October. I graciously accepted with one condition, my regular partner David Mingie join us for the morning.

We pushed off from the Tredwell launch on the Ottawa River just east of the city of Ottawa at around 7:30 on Saturday June 21. Weather was perfect with slight overcat conditions and moderate winds and temperatures. Water temps were in the mid-60 range with reduced visibility – 3-feet and less — common for the Ottawa River. Even though spring was incredibly late weed growth was coming along strong with many weed beds coming within a foot of the river’s surface.

John and I were anxious to try out the new Shimano Compre Musky rods each of us had acquired following their release in late winter 2014. The variety of split and full cork handles with longer telescopic models reaching 9-foot 6-inches in length are light weight, powerful and sensitive. .

We started the morning with a short troll to the mouth of a bay that was on average 6-feet deep. John’s philosophy says that if it’s possible, go for it, and fishing sub-surface baits in waters that will soon be weed-choaked, seem to make sense.

Before long David hooked up on a nice 40” Musky using an in-line spinner while executing a figure eight beside the boat. He missed on a second not long after, which I may have caught shortly there after on our next pass using a jerkbait. John, the ever-respectful guide, first-and-foremost, was standing a mid-ship covering water David and I had already worked over. His suggestions and words of encouragement had there effect though, and we both owe him a big thanks for extending us this very generous offer to spend six hours.