Ontario Bass Anglers

Ontario: Fishing the Ottawa Area with Joey Mitchell

One of the things I think that sets Dock Talk 365 apart from many other sites is that we are interested in all anglers. Sure we love talking with the full-time anglers with boats that cost more than my car. But we equally love talking to those who spend a lot of time fishing the banks. There are so many skilled and amazing anglers that don’t even own a boat. Joey Mitchell is just such a fisherman. While Joey spends some time fishing from friends’ boats, he does the majority of fishing from either the bank or kayak. In this interview, he provides a lot of great information on how he approaches his different styles of fishing. I love his description of his techniques when fishing for gar. Keep reading as I am sure you will learn some things just as I did.joey-m-02

You caught this year a giant carp. What is the fish story behind that monster?

The story behind that fish is pretty random but funny. I got off work early and it was a beautiful day so I decided to head out on the kayak in search of a musky. Got to my spot on the Rideau River, set up and headed out. Not even 2 minutes into trolling my friend John was driving by and happened to see me. Gave me a call and I met him at shore for a quick smoke.

As we were talking I noticed a couple carp jumped not to far from us. So john went to the store to get corn while I packed my kayak and musky gear back in the car. we set up with the basic method of a couple small split shots and a small hook with some corn. Maybe 15 minutes in my line goes. And it goes and it goes…lol. I didn’t know for sure as to how big it was because carp can be deceiving. After 5 or so minutes I finally got a glimpse and I couldn’t believe it! I just caught the fattest carp I’ve seen anywhere around here…just so happened to not have a tape or scale. Luckily I had the go pro! after losing 2 more monsters my friend John caught his personal best carp as well! Both fish were approximately 25 plus pounds. It was a great day of carp fishing.

What are your favorite Ottawa area waters to fish?

My favourite Ottawa area waters to fish fish would be Ottawa River, Rideau River, Jock River, Big Rideau Lake, and the Missisippi River.

Ottawa River is good for everything. Monster gar pike, giant musky, huge carp and beauty walleye. You get the odd mystery fish like sturgeon, eel, blue\green pike…I should definitely fish the Ottawa more than I do, but I like switching up species, rivers and lakes as much as I can. Always checking out new spots.

Rideau River is my play ground. Within 30 minutes I can go anywhere on the Rideau but due to not owning a boat it makes it hard to do so. I mostly fish off friends’ boats or on shore. The Rideau is hot or its not…kinda like anywhere I guess. But does produce beautiful fish! I’ve seen quite a few walleye over the 7 pound range come out of there with a good number of musky.

Jock River has lots of little pike, the odd walleye and a healthy population of musky. All the pike I’ve caught out of the Jock have had sores or infections. I wouldn’t recommend eating any fish out of that river.

Big Rideau is a great fishery, well known for its big bass and lake trout. With the average lake trout weighing about 6 pounds you are always in for a good fight! When jigging with light gear it makes for a fun ride! You’ll also get the surprise walleye and it wont be small.

Mississippi is good for its bass and walleye. Some days I can catch 30 bass and some days none. The walleye numbers aren’t big but there’s a few with the odd one being over 20 inches.

You do quite well for some impressive muskie. What are you favorite muskie techniques?

For musky I used to use suckers or catch randomly while fishing walleye but over the past couple years I’ve switched to just using lures. It feels a lot better when you’re tossing and retrieving massive lures and a musky grabs hold of one or catching one on a figure 8. Nothing like seeing and feeling the strike and head shakes of a big musky!

When fishing from shore for musky, I’ll usually catch or see one within the first 20 minutes of being at a location. After about 30 minutes to an hour of not seeing anything I usually switch up locations. My 3 favourite baits would be the Glide Raider, Savage Gear 3D Trout, and Lucky Strike Swimbaits.

How do you like fishing out of a kayak?

I am actually fishing out of my brother’s kayak. He let me borrow it while he is out of the country on vacation for the summer. It is very good to get to spots you usually can’t get to so in that case its good! But I wouldn’t recommend it for musky fishing due to not being able to see your baits come in or doing figure 8’s is harder than from a boat. Throwing big baits is hard cause it pulled you from side to side and trolling it pulls you to one side. Don’t get me wrong I love fishing from the kayak but after sitting in it for a couple hours you tend to get a little cramped up…lol. And when you’re fishing in a boat then get back in the kayak it really makes you want a boat! If i was to spend a couple thousand dollars on a kayak that has pedals that would be ideal thinking of kayak fishing.

joey-m-03What are your methods for catching gar?

I never knew about gar pike until a friend accidentally caught one a couple years ago. Fell in love. I use a steel leader and cut a piece of my shoe lace put a hook through it and fray the lace. This method has caught me a lot of gar! Sight fishing for them is best. Sneak up on some shallow bays in late spring and expect to see lots of them popping up. I’ll cast always ahead or to where the gar pike is heading. Making sure I’m within a foot or two of his face because they are the laziest fish out there! Once it grabs the lace I don’t set the hook. I let him chew it. Make sure you bring jaw spreaders, pliers and gloves cause they are vicious!

You fished Charleston Lake last year which is a popular fishing travel destination. How was your  fishing on the lake?

Charleston Lake is beautiful but have only had the pleasure of fishing it a couple times. Had a couple small lakers bite but no monsters. Beautiful scenery which makes for good camping! id recommend it for any family looking to go for a canoe/camping trip. When fishing lake trout using Dipsy Diver’s, lead core, bottom bouncing or jigging.

I told you that was going to be a cool interview. Thanks Joey! Follow Joey for his continued fishing success on Instagram and YouTube. He just recently posted some Bay of Quinte walleye that will impress you.