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Big Cliff

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Big Cliff last won the day on February 13

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About Big Cliff

  • Rank
    Fishing God
  • Birthday 01/13/1946

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Lindsay ON Canada
  • Interests
    Fishing

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  1. You just made my day, that's exactly the report I was hoping to hear! πŸ€—
  2. Funny how we often bypass the tried and true to try and find something better. Glad you caught one πŸ€—
  3. I for one am anxiously awaiting a report for the maiden trip. πŸ˜€
  4. That would have been wonderful, perhaps we can plan on doing it next year, we'd have one heck of a good time😊
  5. Thanks my friend, I am loving it down here, the high today is supposed to be 23, the record high set back in 1949 was only 23 so we might even break that. We seem to get a few cool days then it bounces back up again but so far no snow LOL. Even though the temperatures tend to be up in the teens most days it can still feel cool if the wind is off the water, the ocean temp is only 53 F as of yesterday. The clams don't HAVE to be steamed first, lots of people do eat them raw, I just find it very hard to pry them open, my hands just aren't as strong as they were once upon a time.πŸ˜‰ I did read that putting them in the freezer for a bit first makes them easier to shuck but I haven't tried that yet, soon though! Perhaps being on ice made them easier for you kids to shuck them. We are really enjoying the steamed ones anyway, a bit of butter, a little garlic, 1/4 cup of white wine..... served over a bed of fresh pasta with crusty bread..... are you drooling yet πŸ˜‹. Oh, and the clam juice you end up with, OMG I am going to try to find some Mason jars down here and can some of it to bring home, it will make a beautiful base for chowders and such. They do sell them in the local grocery store and fish markets, typically about $5.00 to $8.00 a dozen, I didn't count those but I am guessing I had about 4 dozen. You are limited to 1/2 a bushel twice a week, I haven't come close to that yet but I do expect next trip out I shouldn't have any problem. I've measured the ID of my pail and carefully marked the pail so I won't exceed the limit (and yes I calculated it based on a US 1/2 bushel πŸ˜‰) This old man isn't taking any chances! You are just about right on the money, the last 2 lbs of shrimp we bought we had 26 shrimp so about 13/lb average, I won't even buy the frozen ones at home ever again, they are not even close in flavour. Anyway, the rain has stopped and the wind is dropping, time to get dressed and head out fishing. Tight lines and stay safe
  6. If you buy 10 lbs it drops to $5.00 😊
  7. We are buying them, $6.00 A pound right off the boat. I would love to be able to catch them but I think I would need a boat for starters. We often see the shrimp trawlers within about a mile or so off the pier so they are in the area.
  8. Well if you order it and have it shipped to me I can either forward it to you or bring it back with me the end of March and drop it at your door on my way up to French River. Let me know if that helps and I'll pm you my address.
  9. I believe these are called little neck clams and they seem to be the only variety harvested around these parts, they sure are good eating! The shrimp, well we have had them bbq, steamed, sauteed in butter and garlic....... no matter how you cook this fresh seafood it's all good 😊
  10. Well it turns out there is a lot more to clam digging than just going out and digging! My first attempts yielded some pretty decent harvests but I really had to work at it. Not knowing much I had been told I needed a "clam rake", a non resident salt water fishing license, a bucket or basket to put the clams in, and rubber boots. Well I had brought boots with me and I had a five gallon pail so off I went to Walmart. No problem getting the fishing license, $35.00 for a year, the clam rake was something I hadn't seen before, sort of looks like a lawn rake with a basket attached. That clam rake works but boy did it get heavy fast and I found it hard to use. I noticed other people were using a garden cultivator style rake, it was a lot lighter, didn't have the basket attached and the tines were longer which allowed you to dig deeper with much less effort. I took the clam rake back and bought the cultivator and my harvest went up quite a bit with a lot less effort but I was doing a lot of digging still. That's what most of the other people seemed to be using so I carried on. My last trip out I noticed a man walking along, he'd stop and within a few seconds he'd have a clam. This went on for quite a few minutes so I walked over, explained that this was quite new to me and while I was getting some clams it looked like I was having to work much harder than he was. He laughed, told me he was form West Virginia and if there was an easy way to get free food he probably knew it. It was one of those immediate friendships, we just hit it off. Anyway Jim showed me what to look for in the mud, a little breathing hole that looks like one of those old style key holes (there's lots of different holes in the mud but this one is very distinctive) and it is only made by the little neck clams. My success went up immediately and the effort went down to almost nothing. I also got to meet one of the local COs, Chuck Beacham, a really nice guy, very friendly, very helpful, they were checking licenses, catch limits and sizes. Clams have to be a minimum of 1" thick through the hinge to be legal and the fines start at $165.00 and can go up to $1000.00/ clam so you want to make sure you don't have any undersized. Anyway, Chuck showed me how to make a simple little gauge by cutting a slot in my pail, he also suggested making the slot 1 1/8 inches just so there was a bit of a buffer and I could be sure I would never have a problem, If the clam goes through the slot it goes back in the water! Other things I've learned: The smaller clams are considered "steamer clams", the larger ones are called "chowder clams" the names are pretty well self explanatory. Clams unlike mussels will only open up once they are completely cooked and you want to get them out of the steamer as soon as they have opened or they can get tough so it's better to do them in smaller quantities. Anyway that's clam digging 101 LOL. Anyway I promised pictures of these shrimp so: I've got a fairly big hand! A bowl of them And last, some of the newest batch of clams: Anyway, tight lines and stay safe.
  11. You did a great job! πŸ€— there is no wrong way to make a tip up just variations. Good on you and enjoy your day with the first timers.
  12. That will have to wait until next trip, we ate the evidance lol😊
  13. Pier life is always interesting, dolphins swim by almost daily looking for their dinner, it's amazing how close they go into shore chasing the schools of bait fish. The pelicans drop by for a visit from time to time. I love watching them glide by just a foot above the tops of the waves, they seem to know exactly how to catch the updraft off the waves so they hardly have to flap their wings, they can glide for hundreds of feet without loosing altitude. One flew into my line yesterday, it was quite a surprise for both of us but he seemed to survive unscathed as did I when I ran for the rod thinking I had a huge bite LOL. Then there are the cormorants, pigeons, a variety of ducks, terns, and seagulls. It's hard to believe the variety of different things you catch from the depths, so far the list includes but is not limited to: Conch, Blue Crab, Spider Crabs, Black drum, crokers, whitings, a clam, spots, a shark, stingray, slick, sugar perch...... I think that's the list so far (apart from the oysters and clams I've been getting about once a week). I tried cooking up the blue crab yesterday (thank you google) one more delight to add to the list, you don't get a lot of meat but it sure is worth the effort! I am told that once the water warms up the list will be significantly expanded and the larger fish will move back in. Then we have the pier characters; My buddy Al, a retired NY state trouper and a very smart man, he taught me that if you want to communicate with the fish you have to "drop them a line". He also explained why in a flock of geese one side of the "V" is longer than the other; there's more birds in that side! 😲. I can't believe how wise he is. Rick; retired US army infantry comes for a walk on the pier every day; super friendly and boy can he sing, I went to church last week and he sang amazing grace accompanied by a guitar, I've never heard a nicer rendition! There's Tom, Bruce, Rick... pier fishing is as much a social event as it is a fishing trip. Yesterday we went to the docks where the shrimp boats come in (Calabash), one of the boats had just unloaded and I managed to buy two pounds of huge fresh shrimp for $6.00 a pound, had it home and cooked within an hour OMG is it ever good! I'll be making another trip back there again, if you buy 10 lbs the price drops to $5.00 a Lb. and these guys are almost the size of small lobsters (ok I might be exaggerating a bit but they are the biggest shrimp I have ever seenπŸ˜‰) The weather has been pretty good so far with temperatures slightly above normal for this time of the year for the most part, it looks like we have a bit of cooler air moving in for the weekend then it bounces back up into the high teens low twenties which should really help the fishing. The water temperature dropped to 50F and that really affected the whiting bite, it's slowly climbing again now and a couple of days of bright sun will have it back to where we want it (55F+). Fortunately all the big storms that have been hammering this area have gone around us, there is a big one going on right now but it has stayed North of Myrtle Beach. We had company here for the last week, a friend of Lynn's flew down from Toronto to spend the week with us, it was pretty reasonable, return airfare from Toronto was only $350.00 CDN. It costs me about that to drive it by the time you factor in food, accommodation and fuel. Anyway, that's my update for now, time to get ready to head to the pier. Tight lines and stay safe!
  14. Like sinker, I might be able to help you out depending on what route you are taking, I should be in the French River area around that time.
  15. Thanks Geoff but that one is regular eucher, the game I am looking for is bid eucher. For some reason I am having a hard time finding one that will work on android
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