Fall River Rock Bass

My friend, Al called and asked me if I would like to head down to the river for some Rock Bass. Al was saying that he was down at the river a couple of days ago and was catching some nice Rock Bass around the docks. The river he was talking about is called the Mattagami River which runs through the City of Timmins, On. and along Riverside Drive which the main artery through the City. However Rock Bass is not native to the river system, it is very suitable for them. Back in 1912 - 1913 the river had nine lumber mills along it in which they use to float the logs down. The timber was used for the Hollinger Gold Mine and for building homes. There are two dams, one in the upper part of the river called the Wawaitin dam and in the lower section of the of the river the second dam is called the Sandy Falls Dam. The dams were also built in 1912 - 1913 to create power for the mills and town. Some of the logs sunk to the bottom of the river during this time which makes it suitable habit for the Walleye, Pike, Perch, White Fish, Sucker, and now some Smallmouth Bass and Rock Bass.
   We headed to the boat launch to fish off the docks that the City left in after the Great Canadian   Once there we tried fishing around the docks with 1/32 oz. jigs with no luck. The surface water temperature was only 48.3 F. with northeast winds at 20 kmph and air temperature 5 degrees celsus.. Since there is a bend in the river at the boat launch with the Mountjoy River and a creek dumping into it, I figured that they would be in the deeper hole which is 38 feet deep. I put on a Pickerel Rig and one of Al's Slinkie weights that he makes. I put a worm on each hook and casted it towards the end of the hole.
When it settled to the bottom I slowly started reeling in until I felt the slinkie hit a log that was on the bottom. As soon as it hit the log a had a nice ten inch Rock Bass on. After repeating this a couple times, Al abounded his jig and joined me with a Pickerel Rig and Slinkie. I told him were I was casting and what I was doing. Al casted out to the spot and as soon as he felt his weight hit the log stopped reeling and bam, another ten inch Rock Bass.
    After catching a few more I wondered what would happen if I put a couple leeches on instead of worms. I know after reading articles that worms and leeches do not work at this temperature but I just had to try as worms were working however. I casted out, let it settle to the bottom, started reeling until I hit that log on the bottom, stopped reeling and bam a 12 1/2 inch Rock Bass.  After catching a few more between 11 and 12 inches this nice 13 1/4 inch hit.
   With the day light fading, I figured that I better get Al to take some pictures of the Rock Bass he was planning on keeping. Al said that he loved having them on a bed of rice with fresh vegetables.   Al asked me what I was doing different to be catching bigger ones than he was as he was taking the pictures . I told him that I switched over to leechs. He laughed at me but started using leechs also. After catching a few more, daylight was fading so we decided to pack it in. With thirdy Rock Bass all between 10 to 13 1/4 inchs long, Al could not wait to get home and have some for dinner.
    On the way home, we were talking about if it was not for the Slinkie he makes we would have been snagged all the time. We never lost one Pickerel Rig.
   If you are interested in some of Al's Slinkie weights you can contact him at alscusomtackle@hotmail.com. You won't be sorry since they are a little different from the others that I have used over the years.
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