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  1. Hey OFC, its been a minute! According to my calculations its been over 7 months since my last report…so wouldn’t you know it..its once again time for AKRISONER’s (EH-KREE-ONE-ERS) semi-annual year in review. Forgive me, I’m no Borger/Bunk, but I try! When we last left off, the fall fishing season had come to an end, November had past and holy cow did the weather turn cold in a hurry, so fast in fact that early December looked damn well like winter, and with such cold weather came early season solid ice. We coulda been out earlier, but December 16th was the first day I could get up north, and out I crawled spud bar in hand, wearing the survival suit, a life jacket and a rope tied to my waist with the homies holding on…to walk out on 6 inches of hard black ice…incredible. This solid start to the ice season created a foundation like I have never seen in the 15 years I have been on the ice on G bay. (more on this later) As Christmas approached the weather just seemed to get colder and colder…with solid, smooth black ice and the fishing somewhat slow, in a rare occurrence I put the rods down and built myself a hockey rink and a damn good one at that if I do say so myself. -35 mornings included me shoveling snow into the cracks that had formed with the contraction of the ice during the cold cold nights, then hauling pails of hot water down to make slush which I quickly packed into the cracks. It was a labour of love, but the nephews and nieces loved it for the short time that they were able to play outside in the -25 weather. My brothers on the other hand stayed outside with me and games of shinny were on rotate. Theres just something about a rink on a lake at your disposal that is maybe even better than fishing. A real treat indeed. It truly was a December to remember Like any good lake rink, they aren’t sacred, snow, wind etc ruins them so back to fishing it was…overall January was friggin tough, nowhere near the numbers or quality of the year before, perhaps the whacky weather had something to do with it, we managed a few but they were definitely fewer and farther between then we are used to. The cold weather solidified the lake like I had never seen, I was even able to go adventuring on the snowmobile to areas I had never dreamt of riding to. It was pretty darn cool to see endless thick, clear black ice. A trip rolled up that I had booked back in September, it was time to go off and engage in another passion of mine, snowboarding…but in the Far East! I have a goal to snowboard in every major skiing area of the world, so far I have knocked off eastern and western North America and New Zealand, Japan knocked off another checkmark on the list. I spent 5 days riding including doing some alpine ski touring During said trip a member of my touring crew broke his shin after running into a tree at over 1000meters elevation on the side of a mountain. We had to perform mountain rescue that lasted 7 hours of daisy chaining a guys down the mountain and it ended with me skiing on a splitboard through the pitch black down a logging trail during a snowstorm…it was epic. The guys life saved, and a story for me to remember for the rest of my life. Japan was friggin epic, we got the snow that they are famous for (80cm in 24 hoursish) best riding of my life..if you want more details or are considering it yourself PM me, or just go, you wont regret it for a second! Kicked it in Tokyo for a few days too, caught flack for my buddies for not fishing Biwa but its hundreds of kilometers from Tokyo…I don’t regret it! Lol Ramen is friggin delicious, and im totally depressed that it just is impossible to get it properly done in Ontario...ive heard rumours of some good places but havent found any yet. Back to Ontario…it was mid February just in time for when fishing really starts to pick up…every weekend we fished it seemed to pick up more and more with a crescendo in march. The flasher tells the story Even got the old man to catch his first crap I got so cocky at one point, I caught a crap and said to hell with this I want a photo with two of them, dropped my line down quick and nailed a second just for the photo…that’s how hot the bite was lol. I think on our best day we definitely landed over 60, it was almost annoying taking them off. Not being much for keeping fish I think me and the guys kept a grand total of 3 crappies out of the hundreds we caught over the season. I realized crappie probably is the best freshwater tasting fish…but not tasty enough for me to care to keep em lol We decided to take a week off of the craps and try simcoe for lakers…got skunked, thought that the fishing in a crowd of tents with people ripping around on crappy old snowmobiles was nowhere near as good as sitting in solitude hammering crappies and vowed to never go back again ahaha. (sorry barrie folks) We had truly gone crappie crazy Sometime during this time like the very end of February some of you may remember me considering buying a boat…well I did…she stayed with the previous owner though until things warmed up a little, him storing it until April was part of the deal..but damn was I ready to bring her home even if the thermometer had us thinking more about snow than boats. We had over 3 feet of black hard ice on the bay this year…guys were bringing out the trucks and cars just like the good old days! I had never seen anything like it in the time ive been around. Go figure the year I buy a boat we have the longest winter in history…that’s my luck…you can all blame me for the delayed start to soft water season this year. I couldn’t believe it, we literally didn’t have ice off on the pike opener! A lot of hours were spent in the driveway, completely rewiring the boat, building in storage compartments, building a rod rack for the rod locker etc etc. we got the boat dialed for the season. This included one nice balmy April morning of wiring in the driveway with the thermometer at -8…what the hell was going on? Finally the winter broke and some warm (relative) weather arrived. We decided to get out on the water on lake O for some browns. We also tried to learn to use planer boards. We seemed to figure them out but got skunked regardless. It appeared as though we were too early as everyone else also got skunked. The highlight of this trip though was that you know its been a damn long winter, but jake and I were trolling tarps off complaining that it was friggin hot in the sun…checked the weather network app, it was 13 degrees lol…winter will do that to ya. Lake O sure is a beauty in the spring though, we will have to give her another go sometime, or maybe take what we learned with the boards and try them for some walleye. May finally arrived and it was pike opener…I tried an old pattern from the year before that I figured out and brought my girlfriend out to try it with me..she had never fished softwater in her life, and did a little ice fishing with me over the winter for the first time in her life. Her first 5 minutes ice fishing she caught a pike, and knowing how beginners luck works, I warned her from the outset, “you are going to catch a big fish today so just be prepared” Her third cast of her life, she catches a decent one…and 15 minutes later this gal comes to play…yup, my girlfriend in 15 minutes had caught a pike that took me probably 20 years of my life fishing to catch. With the new boat slimed, it was time to get some finishing touches done because as planned the year before it was time to go chase bass in Santee South Carolina. Some new bumpers for the wheel wells, some new lights and fixing a crack on the frame plus replacing some rivets on the diamond plate. Its good to have good skilled friends lol The week leading up to the trip, the weather took a really bad turn, a tropical cyclone nearly formed and then a pattern of tropical rain from florida began funneling into the area. It was hot, sticky, and wet as hell…although it kinda felt good after the winter we had had. Lake Marion was everything could have ever wanted as far as it comes to fishing largemouth southern style. The story of the lake is that the santee river was to be dammed, the war began and they didn’t have the manpower to remove the trees prior to flooding it…so what you are left with is quite literally a lake that’s about 8 feet deep in most areas, while a forest continues to grow in the middle of it to this day…bizarre and amazing. The lake is also largely uncharted and absolutely full of stumps and deadheads. Its pretty damn intimidating to say the least. We spent a heck of a lot of time fishing what the locals call “the swamp” or formally known as “stumphole” both names are awesome and so is the scenary. We were lucky enough to meet up with a local that I met off of another forum, he showed us how to safely navigate the lake through the stumps showed us some spots and even took a few of us out on his brand new fully loaded 250 horsepower 21 foot triton, Ken an ex-marine who had done two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan was one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Southern hospitality is real I tell ya! Between dodging 15 foot gators, casting into trees and fishing swamps, us Canadian boys were impressed, this lake was friggin cool! The weather started to take another bad turn that night and sure enough we got nearly flooded out of our campsite. The boys were getting a little low morale, the fishing had been tough due to the weather, we were wet, hot and to add to it, we were running a little low on food after a miscommunication ended up with a bag of ice being poured into a cooler that was storing dry goods…everything got soaked. Funny back story, when we drove down to santee state park Waze took us on some insane backroute through plantations and the total boonies, we really figured that the park was in the middle of nowhere. After a really whack dinner of white bread and chef Boyardee we were hurtin to say the least. We lit a decent fire to try and dry out a bit, my wallet had literally got completely soaked during one of the heaviest downpours I had ever seen in my entire life that afternoon, I noticed jake drying something on the fire…yup, we had to save our benjamins lol The boys were hungry and decided that it was worth it even if it took hours to drive to civilization and find food. I didn’t have phone service so I left it to the guys to figure out…sure enough a quick search for mcdonalds said that one was 5 minutes away? no way…we were in the middle of nowhere were we not? We all hopped in the truck at 11 pm and took off to try find food, sure enough a quick 5 minute drive down a different road out of the park, a left turn and there we were…in the small town of santee featuring grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, hotels, gas stations etc etc. you name it it had it lol…Jake literally said “you guys friggin made me eat chef Boyardee! I hate chef Boyardee!!!!!” we all died laughing. Needless to say we feasted hard. We put in another day of fishing, caught a few but it was pretty slow…according to ken we had literally come at the worst time as the fish were transitioning to their summer hunches with the heat and humidity/rain wave that had moved in. It was still fun to be bass fishing Our trip done with heavy storms barreling in a 17 hour drive ahead of us we decided to pack up a little early and head back home to Canada. Coming home a pike jerbait bite awaited me…this fine morning we spent 2.5 hours fishing, caught 50+pike including a few decent ones, no giants though but the numbers made it fun as hell including multiple double headers all fishing jerkbaits in less than 10 fow..fun indeed the warm weather and lack of blackflies a total surprise it was a perfect weekend. The weeks carried on and finally…finally after all of that wait bass opener arrive. An annual tradition a family friend hosts a small family tournament dubbed the triple C on the tri lakes. Jake and I in the new boat fished hard and lost by less than half a pound we just couldn’t get the big bite we needed to put us over the top. We caught a pile of fish but couldn’t get the big bite we needed. Congrats to the boys for beating us this year, we will get our trophy back though. An evening again on the water brought on a decent topwater bite and some decent fish and a cool photo of me in the new rig The following day we made a quick trip out in the morning before the heat of the day arrived. This cheeky perch thought he was in the for the meal of a lifetime And they say big baits are for big fish To throw it in the mix…jake then landed his first ski of his life on a jerkbait using 15lb fluro. It was the 5th musky we had hooked up with that weekend but we finally actually landed this one. The musky fishing on pigeon would have been nuts on bass opener. I had one bite me off that shot my line back into my face and left a red line across my head. Man musky are crazy! Finished up the weekend and headed home and began packing/planning for the truly big trip..my annual weeklong bass opener vacation. Leaving Friday and arriving in barrie, this sky prompting “sailors delight” told me that we were in for some really damn good fishing. Alarm set for 3:30, we woke up, launched the boat at 4am, at the honey hole by 5, where we were shook for the first 10 minutes when not even a bite, a surface, nothing happened…what the heck was going on? Jake threw a top water way up into a stupid shallow area filled with pencil reeds…boom, yup the smallies were still chillin on the beds…oh boy this was gonna be fun. Half an hours work with the heddon spook and the megabass giant dog x What a day The evening brought out some more decent ones My dog was loving the weather I was loving the fishing Got my second g bay musky (still waiting for that real G bay 50 incher, this year i plan on giving it a really honest shot) the fishing was just too good, this particular evening we didn’t move more than a few hundred meters we hit a pile of smallies, a 5.5lb walleye, a musky and 3 good pike, we got so satisfied with catching we went looking for a cool place to take photos, we instead came across a really cool mansion/cottage that included a guest house the size of a 5 bedroom home, a bridge across their own cordoned off bay, as well as a boat house that was shaped like a giant wedge that was bigger than a house. We took our photos and went home early having caught to our satisfaction More time on the water was had. The trophies fishing team and I have started using a few higher end baits, what that means is something when you stupidly cast into trees or snag, you end up having to run up on shore to get your lures back. Heres me yelling at jake to mush while he paddles us out of one particular snag Ive got a video of me swimming for a lure that I snagged as well, that’s what happens when you charge $30 for a hard bait lol Jake has started to get into swimbaiting a bit too for bass…although they seem to just catch big pike lol Our buddy Dave came up and joined us the next day and we decided to target largies…we found them off of the weed edges near where they had spanwed, and bam dave slapped a top secret 5 and a half pound largie…that far north…yup That evening we went chasing more smallies…we made a vow to literally fish new grounds every trip from there on out never fishing anywhere I had even thrown a cast before…we caught some, struggled a bit at times, but struggle is relative, we were catching, just not at the rate of the double and even triple…yes triple headers (we had two this week) that we had been getting. Heres a pic of our best double header One evening we tried to keep track but lost count somewhere in the 60 bass range…ya 60 smallies in one evening trip…it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I love nights like this because you can take a set up that you may not have the most confidence with, but throw it and get bit and get a feel for it. For me, I am starting to get into squarebills on the crankbait rod, and sure enough I landed a bunch using this new set up. Channeling my inner KVD, smacking smallies on the squarebill. One particular evening far from home base in new water I said “ok boys lets pack up I don’t want to get stuck out here in unknown water at night”, threw one last cast with the giant dog x and nailed the biggest smallie of the trip The next day we tried yet another spot, hit a triple header again…but this particular night we were struggling a little to find that solid size…once again I said boys lets pack her up and head in for some grub, threw one last cast with the megabass giant dog x again and book another piggy. Buzzer beaters were becoming the pattern. Another day…more fish Another new area fished and sure enough I hook into by far the biggest bass of my life, I fight it boat side it makes a run I bring back to the boat, it goes ballistic and I lose it…that’s just how things go isn’t it? I screamed at the top of my lungs, swore up and down…the fish gods heard me I think…because we filled the livewells in quick succession…thank god because if we didn’t I may have sank the boat right then and there A week of hammering bass and whatever else in the books, my bass thumb was nasty. But damn was it worth it…I can honestly say Sunday afternoon after 9 consecutive days on the water logging hours I was satisfied…but its now Wednesday and you can damn well bet, I wanna go fishing again. Thanks for reading, im outty till fall AKRIS/Scott
  2. Hey Guys, Lets make up for my friends with criminals thread! As the days are cold, and the soft water season has officially ended, I find myself on the eve of my first trip out on the ice...what better time than to sum up the remainder of my 2017 softwater season. So once again without further adieu i present AKRISONERS (eh-kree-one-ers) semi annual year in review. When we last left off bass season had just opened and I had finished first in my first tourney (although small we took great pride in beating a bunch of locals on their own lake) I was spending a lot of time up on G bay chasing smallies this summer the jerkbait bite was insane TO SEE A BIGGER VERSION CLICK THE PHOTO (hosting site resizes it ) I got to spend some time with the kids chasing panfish on ultralights off of the dock, when my 4 year old nephew hooks a fiesty lil bronzeback that put on an arial show that scared the living bejeebus outta Owen During this particular smallie trip I caught 20 fish in a couple of hours on the same bait...during the trip I was talking with my brothers friend who i brought out with me about how neither of us had ever put a hook past the barb into our skin...i said that i knew that it was definitely inevitable, it was just a matter of time. We discussed how your only option is to probably push the hoook through and cut it...noted for another time. The largemouth fishing has rebounded huge, and that puts a big smile on my face, that very same evening i headed out for some pre-sunset largies when i hooked into this chunky girl on the last cast of the night, the bugs were coming in hot and I was not even happy that i had to deal with unhooking the trebles from this largie while 1000000 mosquitos swarmed my face Wouldnt you know it the trebles were hooked right through the net and the fish making a total mess...time to get a new net the coating is shot on this frabil So there I am ticked off with the hooks a total mess in the net and the bugs swarming me when of course wouldnt you know it...I lodge one of the trebles past the barb right into my knuckle...i grab my knipex cut the hook and proceed to push the hook through my finger bleeding profusely inviting even more mosquitoes to the blood bath a little self surgery yanking the hook out with a pair of plyers and some rubbing alchohol I was good to go...but oh the irony, when i got back to the cottage i ran up in excitement to tell my brothers buddy the story, and everyone laughed at my misfortune lol. Man did this summer provide some great sunsets though this one isnt just lense flare, the sky actually had a flare in it just like the picture, it doesnt even do it justice The next tournament got lined up, the theona invitiational on the tri lakes, the same game plan as last time, we ran pigeon chasings smallies and pulled out the big fish for the tourney...finished 4th in total weight, we couldnt get the kicker we needed but we were close...still came home with some $ so we couldnt complain the next day we decided to mess around and fish an area we had never fished before...the jerkbait had been absolutely killing it so i continued to throw it when i felt a strange bump and a good amount of weight...but no fight...did i hook a log? nope...just a big old pickerel in the middle of clear hot summer day. This fish stands as my 2nd PB behind the big girl i got last fall. An absolutely solid trip in, it was time to head back home to smash more summer time jerkbait smallies...you gotta love the days when you can put a 20lb+ bag in the boat throwing the same lure all day. cooler temps mid summer had me one day thinking that I should go autochart the uncharted area that i fish walleye before the fall comes...so off i headed out, and i brought the musky trolling gear with me in the off chance that who knows...maybe id catch the families first G bay ski? The boat is shaping up nicely as i continue to turn my 14 foot basic tinner into a fishing machine and wouldnt you know it, there was my first G bay ski I sent Fisherpete a big text saying PETE I CANT BELIEVE IT!!!! I DID IT! ...honestly though thanks Pete for filling me with your infinite musky wisdom, these fish wouldnt happen without your advice, helpfulness and generosity. Now i just need a size upgrade. The dog days of summer were on but labour day had arrived, i spent the weekend with the old man breaking in the new boat and teaching him how to fish smallies using his new trolling motor...this sunday morning will go down as legendary... 2 hours, 10 smallies not a single one under 3.5lbs Even the perch were feeling cheeky But the old man had to show me one thing this epic morning...how to catch the actual "big fish" one for the books indeed. September came, and my buddy jake an avid river guy started talking...he was beyond stoked that I was pumped to try some local GTA river fishing...so out came the fly rods...and many a weeknight after work were spent until dark chasing fish My first salmon didnt fight much, he lacklusterly took a nip at my fly as it basically hit him in the face proceeded to make one lazy run and give up...he was smoked But many more evenings were spent watching salmon run upstream, and me getting skunked...my fly casting specifically my double haul on the other hand, holy crap its really starting to come around...i guess all of that practice is making perfect Having bought a condo back in toronto closer to work during the spring, my after work river fishing season was coming to a close...one last night out on the water was what we called for...I had nearly given up on ever getting a salmon to bite on the fly...that night i decided to simply bring the 5wt and nymph roe patterns for the resident juvenile bows. It was getting dark, when out of the corner of my eye i see something....i do a double take...holy crepe, thats a salmon...scared to move and spook it I akwardly roll cast upstream infront of it and sure enough just as the roe nymph reaches beside me, the salmon charges and chomps down on it...i say "jake, that friggin salmon just ate my fly!" and i set the hook hard...the fight is on and im on a 5wt....this should be interesting...the fish sends me on a goose chase running down river with jake following...im about to get spooled and i manage to turn the fish again....we land err, perhaps one of the best fish fights of my entire life (might still be behind a tarpon) These zombies are nasty! The nights got colder and longer...we had a couple of weeks before the pickerel really started to run, I decided to get out and get that hot dropshot smallie bite...just another absolutely ridiculous day smashing smallies on the drop shot...so much fun and another good day during that strange fall warm spell The sun told us...fall was here and it was time to get on the eyes...the strong class of fish we are catching has grown up for sure, plenty of solid eaters this year...and even a couple of monsters...unfortunately i didnt do so well on size this fall but the numbers were pretty darn good...my best day I caught 27 in a morning...couldnt complain dave with a cheeky first...a musky off our dock...hopefully this one grows up and sticks around A beauty 21" and 19" double header...i had to net both fish rod in one hand net in the other lol then the cold snap came...this particular morning -18...ouch the boat didnt like it either as a seal failed in our steering...she was a long drive home basically not being able to turn the boat There it was my last fish of the soft water season...i didnt complain at this chunky bro The drive home on this november weekend told me that the season was done...and i was ok with that...Ice season starts tomorrow and i cant friggin wait Thanks for reading!
  3. My last report ended with the autumn fish run that makes pointe au baril a premium Ontario fishing location, personal bests were caught and some personal therapy was had. As the leaves fell and the nights got long, the trophies fishing team and I had an itch...an itch that can only be scratched in a few selected places around the world and as lucky Canadians we are indeed in one of those places...we longed for hard water. So once again without further adieu I present to you AKRISONERS (EH-KREE-ONE-ERS) semi annual year in review. As most of you can remember, December came with a bang, could you believe it? We're we going to be on the ice in southern Ontario before Christmas? The forecast told us yes..the transition from fishing on soft water with no snow in the cold, to fishing in a winter wonderland was about a week, our lake locked up...but then dread set in as Georgian bay started squalling like crazy, dumping over a foot of snow on our new fresh layer of ice...what we were left with was literally 6 inches of the worst ice I have ever seen. If you could even call it ice...but the boys and I were bound and determined to wet lines through a hole, so on came the lifejackets, the ropes and ice picks...we walked to the dock and hopped on, strolled out to the end of the dock and I attempted to punch a hole with my spud...yup it went right through as if the ice wasn't even there. We punched holes and sat on the dock, not marking a damn thing..I knew that we needed to be about 10 yards out from the dock...I said screw it...I tied off and got ready to fall through...shimmying at first in an army crawl, then slowly standing...I sunk a bit...but didn't go through! We were in business. Yes that ice was as bad as it looks, yes I was literally 50 yards from a heated winterized cottage. Where we walked proceeded to pack and freeze up the top layer of ice...we spent three days absolutely hammering pike, unfortunately no big girls came to play but the numbers were ridiculous. The funniest bit was when our tip ups went off, watching eachother gingerly make our way to the tip up while trying not to fall through the ice. Winter locked in the snow came down heavy...winter was shaping up to be the "traditional Canadian winter" that everyone thought we were going to get My family christmas was on boxing day so much to my buddy's jealousy i spent christmas morning 2016 by myself jigging pike in PAB with not a soul to be seen. Some time in January I exchanged messages with a nick from the forums, we agreed to exchange some spots. My fellow trophies teammate dave is absolutely crappie obsessed...i don't even know why, he doesn't eat a lot of fish but regardless he wanted to try get some crappie through the ice. Having never been able to solve the crappie equation in pointe au baril and in 12 years of fishing the area we had literally never even seen one never mind caught one. We made our way out, caught a few but the day was fairly slow...then our worst nightmare happened, the weather changed and the ridiculous mid winter warm spell settled in. The weather was so poor it basically ruined the ice everywhere. Luckily somehow pointe au baril managed to somewhat stay cold. Our ice held up, but family day was a ridiculous day of sitting out in 14 degree sunny weather getting a sun burn. We planned to try catch some pike and maybe a few pickerels if we were lucky. Set up camp and the unbelievable happened...I hear dave say "I'm on" it's a pickerel...sweet...but then dave screams OMG ITS A CRAPPIE! And proceeds to loose his bloody mind, I sprint out and we celebrate, the pointe au baril crappie skunk is over we are the master anglers after all lol! Dave even landed a couple more, I caught a few pike and pickerel. As the sun set it was time to pack up...I proceeded to make my way to each tip up we had set...as a rule I always ensure I set the hook when I release them from the rod...the final tip up I reel up the slack and set the hook and holy crap my drag starts screaming. it was a solid family day weekend. We wanted to test if it was just a fluke or whether or not this spot was as hot as it seemed... we went back and what do you know, almost immediately I hook into my first ever crappie what you dont see is that i proceeded to step on a ridge and absolutely bail hard smashing my knee about 2 seconds after this photo, never dropped the fish though! it may have only had shaken baby syndrome We proceeded to catch a few more throughout the day the spot was legit...it was time to plan a full solid day trying to snag these fish...plans were made and the following weekend was one for the books We ended up catching close to 30 crappies plus pickerels and pikes One thing for sure is that the pickerel are still spawning strong plenty of these little guys were kicking around As winter wore down...the itch to throw a cast grew stronger by the day, but what happened was astonishing. Our ice nearly completely thawed with a big rain storm, what were left with was a massive pile of slush with a water layer 4 inches thick...you couldn't even walk on the ice safely...but then the unthinkable happened, a set of -25 nights froze the lake completely solid...we literally ended up with the best ice I had ever seen in pointe au baril and it was the middle of march! What also happened for the first time in my life was that we were left with a lake that was perfectly flooded, hard and smooth...forget fishing it was time to skate on my 100 acre hockey rink I found some spare time to finish up a 4 sitting tattoo project, my pike and was finally full complete, I couldn't be more happy with the results The itch to cast was growing stronger and the ice didn't seem to have any ideas of going away...we started thinking about finally doing something we had talked for years about doing. I started checking out the logistics...and holy was it feasible...it was time to go to Alabama Planning on towing the boat down some work on the trailer was needed, change the wheel bearings, pretty err up, swap a tail light, minor details...so I thought...as someone commented in my trailer bearing debacle thread, no good deed goes unpunished...while hammering in my new races for the bearings with the proper race punch tool, I take a swing to watch my entire hub crack in half and shatter...and to make matters worse after phone calls and hour long drives to parry sound and back...my hub was going to need to be ordered from the states and we were outta time. The whole trip was basically toast...we went for a fish, broke some ice at least that was going to calm me down a bit, and as luck would have it we even found some more crappies holding near their winter pattern but this time on the Ultra lights...good times I was at least in an ok mood. My friend mike steps up makes a pile of calls and found us a boat...we were back in business 4 days before we were scheduled to leave. Gear is packed, we hop in the ram and begin our drive south at 2am, destination guntersville. The further we drive south I swear to god we feel like we are going back in time a little bit A stop at dicks sporting goods in Nashville tells us two things...Canadians get ripped off by the fishing industry and we just are ok with it ($11 spools of 300yard power pro, 2 for $10 live target swim baits, $3 original chatterbaits i could go on) The best part about Nashville though for those who haven't been are the many plentiful sights...and the accent just makes it that much more incredible. We reluctantly continued on our way all agreeing that we could easily end up married there over a weekend hahaha. A bit weary having been on the road for 14 hours straight, we had no idea what to expect as we proceeded to northern Alabama...the drive through the Midwest/rust belt had not been very eventful to say the least but all of sudden the world around us changed...we wondered if we had pulled a dumb and dumber and drove east into the Appalachians instead of south...southern Tennessee and Alabama were incredibly mountainous? And absolutely ridiculously gorgeous??? Us Canadian boys were confused but pleased...look at this bloody place! Pulling into guntersville state park we were greeted by some of the friendliest folks you could imagine, it was late, we were late but they were just ridiculously accommodating and welcoming. Southern hospitality was a theme, it's the real deal every person we met in Alabama was helpful, friendly, welcoming and just plain nice. We set up camp, tied up our rods, crushed a couple pops and hit the bed as images of 10lb toads danced through our heads I woke up to a rumble, a megaphone and some more loud roars that only a highly tuned 2 stroke could make. Weary we crawled from our tents, the sun not quite up, we looked to the lake to see what looked like ants floating about. I took a stroll closer to see what we knew. Basscat was having their annual owners invitational. I don't know if I will see as many high end bass boats for the rest of my entire life. Luckily guntersville is a big lake. The pressure wasn't too bad after all. Breakfast in us we headed to the town creek fishing center where we met a gentleman hailing from Minnesota who claimed he was so happy to finally hear someone talk like us again, he then proceeded to note every time I said eh and tease me about it, we shared some laughs. The guys told us some ideas for fishing and we were on our way. Pulling up to our first spot I had to unsheath my new custom top water rod made by DUnamis rods with a new reel, I had been waiting to throw a cast with that combo since January! Within 4 casts I hooked up...a 1lber but none the less we figured a good sign let the fishing commence. What proceeded for the next two hours was a punishing tough bite some nibbles but not what we expected. The scenery was good though I even caught mike looking into the bird man's eyes...such is the result (ask me about the bird man game, it's a good one) We then finally located some bass Where I then proceeded to notice something struggling in the shoreline brush...it was a bird and it was in distress. Realizing it was a commorant I pondered whether or not to save it, but then I saw the fishing line wrapped around its wing and I decided nothing deserves to die like that and as a fisherman I took responsibility for it. The neatest part about this was that once the bird realized I was trying to help it, it literally calmed down and just let me do what I needed to do. I was even able to loosen the grip on its neck while i cut away the line. We then proceeded to pick off a few more fish but then the slow period continued. It was now the afternoon and we didn't have a fish over 4lbs. Where the heck were the 10lbers?! We moved spots, right into a promising bay behind a tournament boat, and proceeded to land some more bass even though the tournament guys caught nothing. But that concluded our day of catching. We didn't know what to make of it. We went in, grabbed some food, and headed out for the evening bite where we proceeded to get skunked fishing some of the best looking timber and glass calm conditions you've ever seen. I felt like I was in a video game, the structure was so good and conditions so perfect but only the odd gar would blow our baits up, never landing any. A bit rattled we went McDonald's, impressed some of the local ladies we got a lot of looks laughed our butts off when dave said about one local "she puts the gunt in guntersville" and headed to bed The next day we tried some more local techniques in prime areas tried ripping lipless cranks over grass, drop shotting deep holes anything! Hooked up with a few lost a few more..and wouldn't you know it, our damn trip was over! Parked the boat and sure enough the heat gave out and a massive storm system rolled in. Sure enough tornado warnings started popping up to the north and south of us, We battened down the hatches and headed into town for some barbecue. The storm hit and we was a doozy. I've only seen rain like that a few times before. Some impressive downbursts as well did a bit of damage in the park. We were in for a soggy night, especially because my tent in it's old age had lost the majority of its waterproofing. I woke up basically floating on my small air mattresses in my tent lol 3 Canadian boys soaked, and defeated by Alabama, but not really the laughs and ability to wear shorts and t shirts bass fishing in April made it worth it! Home we headed, there were pike to catch and catch we did as the season opened up here I even managed to nab a couple of brookies on the fly in a local stream that shall not be named a first for me Soon enough one of the happiest days of the year arrived the kawarthas bass opener, and for it my good friend's dad was hosting a small family tournament. My team lobster partner jake was providing the boat. The locals all had their standard plan but I was thinking outside the box, we had other ideas to chase quality fish over quantity. We headed out the Friday before opener and scouted our spots and sure enough we were seeing fish still on the beds lounging up shallow, our game plan was to run to pigeon and find big smallies and then find green kickers in the last hour and a half. We headed out and I immediately landed a brown one...good omen? I then had blow ups on my next two casts...this was gonna be easy...or so I thought. we then proceeded to get skunked for the next two hours. Those bedded fish were gone?! when we decided to pitch some near by grass. The chatterbait Yanked our second fish out of the grass but we were already 3 hours in i called an audible and we started pitching docks on a rocky shoreline...my partner now almost 4 hours into a 7 hour tournament without a bite! When he gets a hit and it buries him and we almost lose it in the ensuing battle. We land it celebrate Jakes pb 4.9lb smallie and continue on our way picking off another fish We are now at 4 fish but we've got an hour and a half left. We head back to buckhorn and start aggressively hammering shorelines and bays with 10 minutes left the chatterbait gets slammed we've go the kicker we were looking for another 4lb largie. We get to the docks and the guys start telling us about how they began culling an hour in...uh oh? We didn't cull at all lol. Didnt matter we had two fish worthy of the big fish trophy and won the total weight by 4lbs Trophy reads that we are the master baiters then some big storms rolled through that brought those tornadoes to barrie and ended the evening bite The following week I took a week off of work to fish the g bay opener. I'll just let the photos do the talking. I broke 5lbs for the first time on opening day The guys headed home for the first 4 days of the work week while i stayed up north just me and my dog..perhaps better than the fishing was just hanging out enjoying the quiet beauty. dave caught the cottages first gar and we found some stacked up largies that had us hit a second 20lb bag in a week. The new helix got installed too, autochart live is fun! the dock fly fishing for pike was on fire too, its a great way to practice casting and catching! my first pike on the fly and one of many more The guys came back and we spent another few beauty evenings slapping smallies 10 years ago my neighbors used to tell me stories about how in the 80's you could park a boat at our boat house and we would laugh about the concept with Georgian Bay reaching all time low water levels...the rebound has found me spending the last two weekends I have been up there fixing docks to bring them back up to today's water levels...this has also meant I havent been fishing!! ughhh The totally unthinkable My next planned adventure has me going to Barry's bay and some more tournaments in the near future...I can't believe summer is half over? Till next time, thanks for reading
  4. Hey guys, As many of you already know, but for the first time viewers, I post these reports a few times a year because I would probably get fired from my job if I posted a report after every weekend of fishing that I partake in. I used to say I'd do this semi annually, however recent life changes have flipped those plans and now I find myself fishing a heck of a lot more. For those of you that have followed my movements around some of you will be left scratching your heads saying "hey I thought that guy moved to the west coast?" Well I did, personal stuff happened that resulted in me coming back to Ontario solo, but I'm not complaining, I fell outta a relationship and right into one much stronger with the water and these gilled dinosaurs that we all love to chase. This report will feature fishing, and other crap that I did, because why not, the outdoors is the outdoors! But to start of... Things were a bit a rocky on the west coast. When things go rough for some people, some turn to vices, some try to surround themselves with lots of people to get rid of the loneliness that can creep into ones psyche. Me on the other hand, I go outside and collect my thoughts. The fishing season is somewhat slow in the lower wasteland of BC during the early summer months, hence one looks to the hills for entertainment. A friend and I decided that the hikes most Vancouverites partake in weren't cutting it when it came to a challenge. With only minimal mountaineering experience or equipment the best that we could do was find the hardest marked hike around and knock it off aggressively. I've done harder mountaineering including skinning in the Rockies, so I knew physically I could pull it off, however not knowing what we were getting ourselves into we got the dogs and headed out for the lions binkert trail. Length 16 kilometers elevation gain 1280 meters. Out of the 4 climbs i had done in BC every single one had been done in terrible visibility which puts a bit of a damper on the expected reward of slogging up a hill for 2 hours straight, get to the summit and see absolutely nothing...except this time it was going to be closer to 5 hours straight up. As we embarked on our journey this climb appeared as though it was going to be much of the same, up and up we climbed the journey taking us through various types of sub alpine rain forest Legs getting fairly tired after one particular tough section an hour and a half up this slope we climbed through the clouds. We reached a plateau 3 hours in but with 0 visibility it was hard as heck to figure out just where the heck we were, were we close? We're we far? When all of sudden in a blink of an eye the heavens opened and the west lion was staring down at us Our spirits renewed and with the goal in sight we continued our journey up, the dogs appreciating a cooldown in the snow. As we climbed our view got better and better until we reached the summit, plenty of pictures, some lunch and it was time to make our long way back down...or so we thought. My buddy simon's Sheppard husky cross is getting on in his years but is as tough as nails. He laid down on the summit during lunch, but now he didn't want to get up...boy oh boy we're we in trouble now. We proceeded to carry and drag a 70 pound dog for the next 7 hours back down the mountain, the poor guy got home and didn't get up off his bed for the next 3 days. My dog a few years younger and smaller faired much better but had a limp the next day, rookie lesson learned, pooches do have a limit even if they are as tough as nails. Both pups recovered fully within 6 days...a little paw rash wasn't gonna stop em A few weeks later a friend of mine from high school who has fully embraced the whistler lifestyle of teaching ski lessons in the winter and guiding fly fishing in the summer shot me a message to go out for a fish. I had taken it upon myself to get myself a bit of fly fishing gear earlier in the spring with the intention of taking up fly fishing. As per my previous report I had experienced one skunk in a local river, but Dan had been guiding some of the local lakes near whistler for stocked trout. Lucky for me Dan had some float gear, and some knowledge of a local back lake, out we headed into some really beautiful country at a fairly high altitude. Just our luck, a very strange weather pattern developed mid summer, temperatures had been in the high twenties for weeks with little rain, the day I headed up to whistler the morning low was 4 with a high of 9! Out we paddled in our belly boats and it quickly became apparent, this weather had the fish turned on. Thousands of trout jumping on a hatch, out came the drys, we matched the hatch I hit my first fish on the fly and what followed was 6 straight hours of little alpine rainbows smacking our drys on light fly gear. What a beauty day. BC was warming up to me a bit but then things took a turn for the worst, and a 1 day turnaround saw me with flights booked and me heading back to onterrible Landing in Toronto, I was reminded instantly, Ontario ain't so terrible at all I knew where I was headed as soon as humanely possible. I was greeted my first morning at the lake by classic strong Georgian bay west winds, and high water...things were gonna be ok, our dear Mother Nature told me so. Smallies and pike were caught, life was good A bit of retail therapy didn't hurt either. One of the best purchases if not the best I have ever made. A mission of mine is to share my passion for fishing with my nieces and nephews, with the kids begging me to take them fishing, out to the dock we went with a small rod and some worms to dunk, the kids having a riot learning how to wait for the bite, set the hook and reel em in, the perch and gills were putting smiles on everyone's faces, but that smile was quickly off of my 3 year old nephews face when this smallie nearly ripped the rod out of his hands and jumped out of the water. A bit scared, the kids a natural, and continued to beg me to go fishing on the dock for the rest of the weekend. Knowing I was gonna be heading back up to the lake again In 3 days I did something that I never do, I left my tinner "reveen" formerly "tinner Magic" (if you get the reveen reference speak to me) in the lake. What's the worst that can happen in 3 days? How about 120mm of rain in two hours...so ya that happened. News from my neighbors was that locally boats were sunk, the thoughts of dragging my poor boat out of the lake made it pretty hard to sit at the office that day, but as they say "ish happens" Lucky me our neighbors had their nephews bail out their boat that evening and send a photo. in said photo I could see my bow mount sticking up over the dock...sitting low...but floating Back up we went Dave and I bailed the boat for over half an hour, she was heavy but alive. (Couldn't find the damn sump pump) A solid weekend of fishing including a smallie with the size of a giant but the weight of a baby had us perplexed. She still went 4 and a half, but if we ran into her in November full of bait...she woulda been heavy. Calm weather allowed us to venture out into uncharted and severely untamed open water, fishing in an ocean on the moon, the bite was slow we managed a few but perhaps even fish don't like living in a rock wasteland. It's always fun when these guys smack your swimbaits and put on an aerial show. A weekend up with the boys for a bachelor followed, being the best man, I had to make a good host and guide for the boys. A really cool round of golf at seguin valley and some fishing was going down something was strangely amiss for two reasons, one a school of about a million+ shiners had moved into my bay, making every single cast of the rod look like the fountains at the belagio. Second and Weirdest of all for the first time in a couple of years, I personally got skunked for an entire weekend. It meant good news for the boys though because I would be working water over, would get hit or even get a fish on and lose it, I would then point in a particular direction and give instruction and put the guys on fish. So in the end the guys were happy with all of the fish I was putting them on. I've wanted a fishing tattoo for a while, so I pulled the trigger, my artist incredible, here's the progress to date after my second sitting A firm believer of the fish gods, have your gear in order, respect the lake, and persist persist persist, the fish gods always pay you back, and you get what you put into It. My first time back in the boat after getting a nasty Essox engraved on my body the fish gods paid me back for my skunk on my 4th cast this slobby girl took a Zara pop r and put a show on for me. Things were even again. An impromptu invite for a trip up to pigeon lake for some musky action was given from the homie Dave, we stayed at pigeon lake resort in nogies creek. The crew had gone up Thursday night but I was forced to drive up after work Friday. While in the car Dave called me up and said that had already caught 3 skis in a couple of hours, things were looking good! Saturday greeted us with bluebird skies and warm weather...and subsequently a dead lake. We fished all day without a follow, even Fisherpete who was out on another kawarthas lake said the bite was off...nothing like a day of musky, I guess we needed to reach our 10,000 casts. Heading in we agreed after dinner to try the night bite, simple trolling the edges I threw on the shallow invader, and within 20 minutes I hit pay dirt We then hit another that ended up getting lost after line got caught up in a rod holder. We woke up the next day and trolled some more and this chunker came to play Called the day early and headed home, pigeon had delivered once again, but I wasn't done with her yet. Pete and I made plans to hit balsam, but holy crepe the forecast was not good. Winds outta the north gusting to 80 we settled with pigeon with the hopes that the lake would at least let us on her. Starting in the south end things were fine, as we headed on the main lake things started to get ugly, standing in some damn good chop tossing shadzillas pete was trying to fish but also spending most of his time keeping us outta the cabbage lol. That's when this girl hit boatside and went absolutely ballistic Troll back and I hit another one in the exact same spot not 10 casts later, this one smaller and covered in growths, she came unhinged boat side and I didn't mind one bit lol We headed out further through 4 foot chop the whole place looked like mud...the lake had turned over and the day was toast. I headed home totally satisfied though, two skis in 10 casts, can't ask for better than that. It was prime time fishing season and the lakes were delivering. I was getting majorly excited for a long planned weeklong trip with the homie Dave, 8 straight days of fishing were planned, with spots found last year, this year we planned to fish them hard. Dave's dad and buddy came up and they wanted footballs, while Dave and I hooked up with some more small ones, Jamie's intuition paid off with some heavyweights The gents then decided they wanted a feed, out we went the next morning and limited out the boat in short time, I even caught one of the weirdest fish in my life...I'm 90% sure this is the rare blue pickerel? The damn thing looked like a salmon Then I look over at Dave, he sets the hook and his rod folds in half...snag...but then his line cuts through the water. I immediately say, our pickerel net ain't gonna do! While Dave struggles to keep his line on his medium light rod outta the outboard. I roll up my sleeves, this pike was gonna get hand bombed. The hook sitting perfectly in the corner of the fishes mouth keeping the flurocarbon out of its teeth I knew I could get her. I slowly bring her near the boat once and she rolls and says no way, Dave fights her back up near the boat, I grab the line and bring her close, telling her it's ok, it's ok as I slide my hand into the gill plate, pinch and I've got her! Dave's PB pike The old timers put Dave to the task of cleaning their catch, we helped them pack up the boat and did some evening fishing, couple of dink pikes and a beautiful sunset. Solid day indeed A hunt the next morning saw Dave get his first duck, jeez mallard tastes like steak! I had no clue did some fishing that day as well taking advantage of the glass we were being rewarded with Dave and I got back to the cottage and decided that the pickerel fishing was so hot we wanted to see how many we could catch in a morning, and more importantly get an upgrade on size. We woke up and got ready for first light and headed out Hit the honey hole, and put 30+ fish in the boat in a couple of hours all caught and sent back to grow up. By this point in the trip i Getting tired of catching mid teens eyes and 2 lb smallies...where the heck were the big fall fish? I could see Dave's mind itching. I said "Dave let's go hit somewhere else, go wherever you want" Dave replied "can we fish those spots I've always wanted to but we never do because you won't let me" I say, "at this point I don't care I need a damn big fish" we gun err to a spot Dave has always wanted to fish and start trolling around finding the edges hoping to mark something, when another local who was clearly up fishing for the week as well swung by trolling cranks, he got a bit upset because we were parked on the line he was hoping to take but not fishing. He put his hands up to say "what gives?" Dave gets the heck outta the guys way and says screw this, lets go "over there" guns the gas and doesn't even notice the rock at 11 o'clock that he's about to run into I yell "stop" he says holy (crepe) puts the boat out of gear and we stop. "Jesus I thought we were going to that rock, I didn't even notice this one" I'm thinking in my mind, what the hell is going on in Dave's head that he doesn't notice an obvious rock right infront of him, it's almost as if natural instinct was driving the boat. Sure enough immediately Dave screams "ommmmgggggg look at that friggin mark" there lied a big hook, so big the plotter put two fish icons on it. I drop in, sit for 15 seconds....thunk "huge smack Dave" Wiggle "Omg" Rod tip starts going towards the water "I'm on, get the Damn net" There 10 feet down I see her, scared to bring her close to the surface and have her shake off, Dave pays me back for the pike landing with one of the deepest net jobs I've ever seen 9lbs of Georgian bay gold, you'd think by the look on my face I was happy or something. My trip was basically made at this point. I spent the next few trips out casting big baits for musky with the odd numbers eye trip mixed in. At this point I was really just enjoying being on the water 10 hours a day. My brother brought a friend up and even hooked into an eye that would have been the catch of the year most years, but poor him, I was stealing his thunder. Still solid though, don't tell him I said that Over the course of the week I would estimate that between Dave and I and my dad brother and his buddy in the other boat we put at least 200 eyes on the deck. In about 15 hours of fishing...not bad at all. Thus concluded my week of fishing, and here I find myself stuck in Toronto with a newly elected trump, another tattoo sitting. Next week I'm going to see WWE survivor series with the boys...what a debacle that's gonna be. But damn...I still wanna go fishing. Manitou I'm excited for your comment.
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