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  1. Coming at this from a somewhat western point of view as we travelled from SK to get to this Mecca of trout and salmon. I got a late start on our first day so only made it as far as Winnipeg. The next day we woke to clouds and rain and it chased us all the way into Ontario ,so much for high fire ratings. We checked into the Northland motel a nice but little independent motel on the south side of the TransCanada as you come into town from the west. Due to a late arrival I had to wait for Canada's smallest Canadian Tire store to open in the morning to get my fishing license renewed. I made a new friend of the stores very affectionate black lab. license in pocket it was time to hit the road for the Alexander dam. I followed a local hauling his boat in the same direction which made it a lot easier to find the ramp down to the river, not that we could have missed it. I Off loaded the peddle drive kayak and made my way upstream against a moderate current, but was able to make decent headway without having to break out the kayak paddle. Low water conditions allowed me to park the boat on a rock bar and fish the channel formed between it and the western shore of the river. As I paddled upstream, I had seen salmon rolling on the surface so the adrenalin was already kicking in before I even had a line ready to cast. The morning was dark with low clouds threatening to rain with a stiff north wind coming right down the river. With limited tackle on hand, I went with the old adage dark day dark lure and put on a small Brass spoon. I started laying out quartering casts down and across the rapid that laid out into a fast slick with a short wing dam of rocks coming off the west bank, out towards the bar I was on. The East end of the bar was occupied by Kyle a local fellow I got some help with later on in the morning. As I was casting, I noticed him hook up to a fish and couldn't help being nosy so ran over to see if I could give a hand. He had it well under control as he already a the decent Pink salmon in the net and was releasing it as I arrived. He shared some suggestions on lures and techniques. After returning to my spot I made another cast across and down and was rewarded with a solid strike. With Chinooks, Coho, Pinks, Steel head and Brook trout all in the river, I had no Idea what to expect. The fish wasn't large but in the current he felt a lot bigger then he actually was, when I was able to beach a decent sized Pink Salmon in a shallow pool on the west end of the bar. I'd broke the skunk so the pressure was off. I started to switch up lures and fell back to an old standard but likely wouldn't have thought of it if it hadn't been one that Kyle had also suggested when I talked to him earlier, a blue back 4 inch Rapala. It made perfect sense in hind sight, with the number of smelt in the river and lake making up part of the natural forage base, it probably should have been my first choice. I moved upstream to the head of the rapid and cast across stream to the shore. I cranked it down to get the current to catch the lure and it just started to cut into the main current when it was stopped dead. The first solid thump left no doubt that this was no little pink salmon, and in a split second this fish had me back tracking down river on the rock bar. When I got to the bottom of it and had no further bar to run on all I could do was keep the pressure on, and hope to get the fish through the main current seam of the river and into the slack water on the downstream side of the bar. At one brief pass and I got a glimpse of white barred fins and I could have melted on the spot this was a fish I had dreamed just seeing once in my life time. But here I was No guide, on a DIY trip, with a truly world class Brook Trout on a lightweight spinning rod in full spawning colours. A quick call out to Kyle and he was good enough to come over and help get the fish as gently to shore as it would allow. After a few very quick photos it was released to make more memories for some other lucky fisher I hope. I was too pumped to get right back to the casting. Kyle was willing to share more of his expertise so I asked how his morning had been(since I hadn't got to the river before 10 am). He quickly pulled out a couple of Chinooks, and a Coho that he had caught as well as the Pinks I had seen him catch. I had to admit he had his technique down pat. Which was using a swim jig with a leach like rubber trailer. As the morning broke towards midday the pinks were still rolling but less inclined to strike. With hunger building, I headed back down stream to the boat launch. We loaded up and headed into Nipigon for Lunch at the Northern Grill Restaurant just west of the Petro-Pass card lock gas station. We had a great lunch and decided to take in some of the fall colours checking the streams and rivers out to the east. We stopped at the Granite and Little Granite Rivers along with a couple of others on our way to Schrieber, and ended up walking the board walks into rainbow falls. A small but highly scenic little waterfall inside Rainbow falls Provincial Park. We saw fish in a few of the smaller streams but not enough to make the trip back down again the next day. On arrival back at the motel I set about trying to arrange a very last minute charter out on The big Lake Gitchi-Gumee. I'm slowly checking all the great lakes off my bucket list, and a trip for lake trout and possibly a salmon would leave me with just lake Lake Erie to finish them all off. A call to Archie's Charters got me a quick return call, but he was sorry to say he was already booked. It didn't surprise me, I should have had this locked down before we left Saskatchewan. But with Covid playing havoc with everything I just didn't want to book something and have to cancel because of regulations changing every day it seems. Archie however had a fall back for me in Ian Parker, who fills in for Archie with his fully rigged Kingfisher. So a quick call to Ian and the charter was set for 9am the next day to meet at the Silver Islet harbour. We woke to dead still air and heavy fog. The drive out to the harbour is along your standard twisty, turny, hilly, blind curvy road in the dark and fog did I mention the fog! as we approached the hamlet of Silver Islet the fog had lifted and we were greeted with and absolutely remarkable sight the waters of Lake superior were glass calm with seagulls and eagles overhead you couldn't have painted it any prettier. A very short trip out of the harbour and Ian was setting lures and downriggers to depth and low and behold I'd like to say we had some great conversation as we waited for the fish to become co-operative but there was no time in the 4 hour charter we had one quad header , two double headers, and I think 4 singles forgive me on that one I lost count after the quad header. Talk about a fire drill! For value for money I don't think I'll be able to beat this charter. Ian was good enough to share his techniques and opinions on suspended fish that I can't wait to try if we ever get the chance to head back down to ND or Montana to fish their big lakes for Laker's and salmon. We consistently took Laker's in 20 -40 Feet of water over a 100 to 150 foot bottom I have to wonder now how many late season fish I have been fishing underneath of. The day ended with three nice 5lb Laker's and a small un-releasable chinook in the box. Ian had the fish cleaned on the trip back to the landing with the cleanings being quickly and skilfully picked off by Eagles and gulls. We finished our trip off with a stop overnight in Thunder Bay. Entertainment provided by a live performance of a play written by a local to the area woman about the stresses of the COVID situation on three women a comedic ,dramatic, musical with a bluegrass theme. Wow what a pack of talent that town has! I couldn't put the rods away just yet, so I did a walk along Mc Vicars creek and found some more pink salmon to play with. I landed 2 on a small beadhead fly I made up to look like a dragon fly nymph in chartreuse seemed to do the trick. I'm not sure why Pinks have such a poor reputation I had a blast catching them. With a quick stop at Kekabeca Falls and then a long stop on HWY 17 because of a fatal car accident that blocked the road for 12 hours we made it back to the flatlands of Sk Until next time enjoy your day and your waters Ontario Fishers.
  2. The St Catharines Game & Fish Association is proud to announce that the 43rd annual Spring Salmon will be running from Sat April 7 to Sat June 9 We are thankful for the support of our generous sponsors and all the participating anglers over the years which has allowed us to keep this event running and to offer the prize structure that we have. Back again, is the Early Bird Draw; purchase your Spring tickets by Mon March 26 and you will be eligible to win a Scotty HP 2116 Downrigger! (Cutoff is 5pm for online sales and at Peters & Grimsby Tackle) Tickets will be sold up until the time of draw at our March General Meeting, on Mon March 26 We will also be having an early bird draw for a free 2018 Lunch Ramp Pass in Port Dalhousie. Everyone who purchases a 2018 SCGFA Membership by March 26 will qualify. We have also expanded the Junior Division; there will now be 3placings, for all 4 species! While we are at it we are also pleased to announce that our Summer Derby will also be back from Sat June 16 to Sat Sept 15. Yes we have decided to combine our Summer & Fall derbies into one, and to offer the exact same prize structure as in the Spring! For all of the guides and charter boats who purchase boat tickets for our derbies, we will be adding a listing section on our website to link to your websites and/or social media pages. There is no additional charge for this and you will be added to it shortly after your purchase is complete. Please contact us if you are not listed and should be. We appreciate your support! Finally all those who purchase Spring & Summer derby tickets will again eligible to win an additional Scotty HP 2116 Downrigger, which will be drawn at our Derby Awards Night on Fri Sept 28 Our ticket Prices have not changed with the exception of a $1 surcharge added to online purchases. We do encourage participants to purchase tickets from your local outlet if possible. Tickets & Memberships can be purchased online here: https://scgfa.ca/event/spring-derby/ For online purchases please print your invoice, that will serve as your ticket. Your transaction ID # is your ticket number to enter at the time of weigh-in Please join us Mon March 26 at The Rib Crib & Smoke Shop (106 Lakeport Road, St Catharines) at 7pm for our next General meeting. We are excited to have Joscelyn Leung from Angling Outfitters as our guest speaker. He will be sharing his knowledge of marine electronics and also what’s new, as well as making sure you are getting the most out of your units. All are welcome!
  3. Here are 3 short videos from last week from local school's lots going on and not much time for sharing everywhere drop by every once and a while to check out what's happening. There are some videos of the Kincardine Trout hatchery with the little Browns about a month old and the Rainbows and Browns from last year too. They are getting to be a nice size. Tight Lines SBK Blog Videos
  4. My fall adventure continues Day 4 , some photos and video
  5. We have formed more partners and expanded to Waterloo, Kitchener, Aylmer and another school in Guelph, Manitoulin Island has another School, Sarnia has 2 more Schools and Owen Sound has 3 more Schools, here are a couple small videos showing this years Chinook Salmon. #BrucePower #BigAlsPets #BlackflyLures #ChinookSalmon #Salmon https://lhfcschoolhatcheries.blogspot.ca/2018/01/teeswater-hillcrest-school-has-unique.html
  6. Night Time is the Right Time Late Summer Kings are here and there is no better feeling than doing one on one combat with these formidable giants! When the sun goes down the action heats up and when the conditions align it can be fast and furious action as pods of Salmon slide into river mouths of all the major great lakes tributaries and become accessible to shore and small boat anglers. Forget down rigging and trolling this is casting glow spoon primetime where you get to feel everything from the thumping of your spoon to some rod jarring strikes! When The middle of August right through till the end of September is the prime time. Action can heat up as soon as the sun hits the horizon and can last until the morning dew is burning off. Peaks and lulls throughout the night are the normal as these pods of fish move around in the open water at the river mouth. Normal peaks last an hour or two and being in the right spot and the right time you can put up some impressive numbers of Chinooks. Techniques I have always deployed three main methods in order to figure out what they want on any certain night. Surely just casting and retrieving a glow spoon will work, but paying attention to details is what separates a random fish to a repeatable pattern. Low and Slow This involves casting as far as you can, when the spoon hits the water tighten up your line and let it flutter all the way to the bottom keeping a tight line to feel the spoon movement. After the spoon touches the bottom give it one quick jig and start the retrieve. In this case the retrieve should be slow and steady keeping the spoon tight to the bottom. Down and fast Same technique as above to get the spoon to the bottom, only this time you speed up the steady retrieve so the spoon will slowly raise throughout your retrieve and cover the entire water column. The most important thing about choosing the speed is the spoon itself. You want to feel the spoon thump where it flutters side to side, not completely rolls over. Simple experimentation can tell you what speed works for each different spoon. High and Dry This time when you spoon hits the water you let it flutter down from 1-6 feet (a few seconds) and then immediately start your retrieve. A fast retrieve is the ticket as you want to stay near the top of the water column. This is best used when fish are very active on the surface and jumping or rolling. Any variations of the above can be used, the key is to know what you were doing when you get bit, and keep with that hoping that a pattern for the night comes thorough. If you are fishing with friends everyone should try a different technique until you figure out what pattern is working that night. The Bite: There for the most part is no mistaking when you get smashed by one of these giants, however many times just simply slack line is a fish rushing from behind and overtaking the spoon. Many people dont clue in on the slack line bites that happen while the spoon flutters to the bottom and at any time during the retrieve. If you feel any change in the action or line lightness set the hook! Tackle: Having a good selection of glow spoons in size, weights and colors allows you to fish the conditions. There are many different variations on shapes to choose from, heavier spoons help to cast and keep them down during faster retrieves. Smaller profiles are often needed for extra clear water, again experimentation is key. Another trick for windy conditions is attaching two spoons back to back, doubling the weight which allows you to cast further in a head wind, or reaching fish that nobody else can. Having a good camera flash, flashlight, large net, good pliers and of course a camera are all staples for night fishing. Safety is first as night fishing can be quite different than during the day. The amount of glow is a very important detail that you need to pay attention too. With very clear water in the great lakes a lure can be too bright and in stained water you need to keep your lure as visible as possible. Pay attention to the conditions at hand, Water clarity, moon phase (how bright out), manmade lighting, are all factors that change how often you need to recharge the glow. When flashing your lure experiment with the number of casts between flashing, 2-3 casts is normal but in crystal clear water and dark nights you can try 5-6 casts. Again paying attention to what cast you got a bite will tell you something. If its always the first cast then they want a bright glow, if its always the 3-4 cast then they want less glow. Find the pattern and stick with it. Med-Heavy to Heavy baitcasting rods in the 8-10 feet long are the way to go. Maximize the casting distance and minimize the fight times to be sure these fish are released alive and well. Mono vs Braid in years passed 15-17lb mono was the normal however with the introduction of braided line came more sensitivity to feel spoon action and light bites. My current set up uses a Calcutta 251 spooled with 50# Power Pro Super 8 Slick, a great line for casting distance! Watch the conditions especially early in the season, the technology available these days lets you see water temperatures and wind forecasts that can lead to the ideal conditions. Colder water temps pushing up to shore help to bring these fish in tighter, many will stage and after a rainfall they will run up the river leaving the lake portion with less catchable fish, although this is sometimes tough to predict it can help you to put the odds in your favor. At the end of the day simply time on the water will eventually lead you to the best night of the year! Dont forget to visit your local Canadian Tire to pick up many of the items you will need to have a successful and safe trip out. Good Luck! For more stories, tips and giveaways visit us at https://m.facebook.com/CanadianTireFishing/
  7. B.C. BEHEMOTHS!!! Fishing the Great White Sturgeon. It was a misty, cool and miserably grey Sunday, June 6th, 2004. A passenger in my friend John's 24-foot freighter canoe we were anchored where the Kwetabohagan meets the Mighty Moose. Chartreuse jig and twister tail, six pound mono spooled up on a 1000 series Sedona and fished on a shortened, tip repaired, five foot light Lightening Stick, it was there that early afternoon casting an eddy for walleyes that this first happened... A toss kerplunked into some boot deep dirty water a leg length from shore, and the reel engaged seemingly set hook into bottom. Stopping and dropping, a moment later the line tightened and I lifted the tip high... but for brief seconds nothing happened. Then suddenly, slowly and quite deliberately, the rod began to strain and buckle until the drag peeled out mono steadily without any sign of rest. Surely excited I remember saying to John, "this is no snag, it's a huge walleye!" The spool was emptying for the fish turned into the current heading down river. John was quick to shuffle past me, pull anchor at the bow, shuffle past again, then sit and start the outboard. Away we went on the chase, drifting along several hundred meters with the fish before it decidedly turned around and swam us back up stream to where we had started. The little Sedona was smoking, the line melting, and it would be an honest good guess that many times its entire length nearly spun right off the reel. Returned to our starting place the fish first surfaced behind the transom, John yelled out "it's a STURGEON!!!" Knees already weak, heart racing and adrenaline high, his announcement only served to heighten the anxiety. There had been only a couple of saltwater fish in my life power over me like this, but this surprise on light gear and on home waters was truly a unique rush. Sideways and following back down river the fish was ahead of the boat, and I was easily gaining line until the rod suddenly pulled down hard into the gunnel. Sideways and still drifting, the fish was then instantly behind the boat, easily stealing line back. Hurried I tried to swing the short rod around the bow but the stressed mono just nicked the anchor rope knot. "TING!" The sturgeon was gone... There had already been a personal and short-lived fascination with these prehistoric fish. Since learning earlier in 2000 that sturgeon were the biggest of freshwater game and that some did in fact swim in the Attawapiskat River, (and Moose River and tributaries) they were something I had hoped to catch once moving North there for work. This new encounter made that desire immediately more urgent, so three months afterwards, along with friends John and Tom, I found myself in British Columbia ready to take on the largest North American freshwater fish that swim, the great white sturgeon of the Fraser River. It was the first BIG fishing trip any of us had ever taken. Camping out on the rivers of James Bay, road tripping, or spending long weekends in various cabins back in eastern Ontario, was not the same sort of deal as hopping on a plane across Canada, checking into a brand new 5-star fishing lodge and being catered to everyday while on the river and resort. Unable to speak for John or Tom, I know and understand that it was this experience which altered my own fishing from then on. Most significantly, the birth of an endless urge to travel for fishing. Over five days in B.C. we sampled the waters there, three for sturgeon and two chinook. The journal notes 21 sturgeon were hooked and released, and that we all limited out at least twice over on the springs. Tommy caught the biggest salmon while Johnny and I each shared top honors with two 72-inch sturgeon. In 2007 after much planning and 30 months of waiting, an online group I had organized revisited Fraser River Fishing Lodge. Seven totally eager anglers paired up to share rooms, boats and their own fishing and life stories. Without checking the books I can recall that everyone caught sturgeon several times over, Diane caught the big fish of the week, and I myself picked up two more 72-inchers amidst others caught as well. For some years afterwards that would be it for B.C. and it's giant white sturgeon. Prior to leaving James Bay, in 2009 while dead-baiting lethargic ice-out pike, I finally did reel in sturgeon of a different kind on the home waters of the Moose... Time slipped away until early December of Christmas past, when out of the blue Brenda asked if this would be the year we'd head out west for sturgeon. Only days later, I received a phone call from my friend Stevie Z ( of "Mission Fishin' Impossible" fame ) who oddly wondered the same thing as well. Quick to get on the phone with Frank Staiger at Fraser River Lodge, I am pretty sure before Santa came down a single chimney, we were all toasting to the New Year's sturgeon to come. Eleven years or only ten months later, depending how far back considered... Day 1. ELEVEN. A text from my oldest daughter Summer read, "Good morning. How was your flight and weather? Abousana from both of us." Abousana is Summer's made up word since childhood and it means "I love you." Having read abousana it was quite alright that she forgot about the time change and actually woke us at 3:30am from our deep sleeps. Stevie Z and Amelie had picked us up day before at the Vancouver airport. Lunch and drinks in Langley, a little shopping in Chilliwack, we checked in to F.R.F.L in time to sit down for dinner and enjoy what Stevie proclaimed was, "the best pork chop I have ever eaten in my life." We might all likely agree with that too, I certainly had a full blown gastrogasm at the table. That food and travel behind us it was now the dawn of our first day fishing on the Fraser. Brenda, Amelie and Stevie were all new to the Rocky Mountains, the west coast and most importantly sturgeon fishing. Brenda won the coin toss on arrival so she won first rod, leaving Amelie second, gentleman Stevie to go third, and as planned I would take last spot in our rotation. In all fairness, this is the best way to ensure everyone gets their equal turn and chances throughout the week. Calm, warm, foggy and overcast, after a buffet breakfast we met our guide Chris and towed over the five minutes to a private boat launch. All aboard his jet boat we set off, everyone and especially the girls capturing each moment of every minute they could... Chris anchored on a familiar spot, having remembered a big sturgeon my friend Simon caught here some years ago. All watched on with anticipation as the last line of bait reached it's resting place on the bottom... sturgeon were jumping everywhere... ... and it didn't take but five minutes before Chris hollered to Brenda, "SET THE HOOK!!!" While Brenda was quickly reeling in her fish another rod fired and up next was Amelie. Double-header!!! Pretty sure Am's biggest and best fish in her life was a northern pike she had caught with us some years prior while up at Pym on the Attawapiskat... A quick lesson in wrestling, plenty huffin' and puffin', and she slammed it. Then it was time for the boys. Back-to-back we joined the sturgeon club. First ever for Stevie he was over the moon reeling this one in. Bren's first had been a small fish but the rest of us all had 4 1/2 to 5 footers in the boat. Amelie's was definitely the big beauty though. In B.C. nowadays it is expected that any fish over six feet long not be removed from the water. Taking photographs like the black and whites at the beginning of this report aren't really allowed anymore. Fish under six can be lifted into the boat and are almost always placed in a large cradle. There they can be tagged and measured easily then photographed when ready . The guides and most seasoned anglers will have a pretty good idea as to what is and what isn't under or over six feet long, keeping in mind that measurements are nose to the fork of the tail. To lift these big sturgeon takes some muscle and practice, so those shorter fatty fish and super long ones too, it's best the anglers just go to shore for everyone's and the fishes safety. Thankfully, sturgeon are unbelievably hearty and strong, and I have never witnessed any issues releasing them. The rotation came back to the beginning... ... and Brenda set hook into the biggest fish in her life. Her arms sorely ached during this fight. Another big sturgeon around the 5 1/2 foot mark, she was whipped after battling this brute. Right behind her was Amelie. Her fish not as impressive as her first catch it still counted for numbers. Only 11:00am and we had six sturgeon already, an incredible start for everyone. Not another boat had been seen, and in fact, not another boat would be seen all day. Along with the odd train we had the Fraser River to ourselves, a vast mountain landscape where sturgeon regularly leaped out of the water around us. No wonder today this is considered the best sturgeon fishery on our planet. Chris was restless. Even with all the action so far he was wasn't happy with the size so he chose to move. The day better than expected, early afternoon our second half began with Stevie taking an absolute arse kicking from our first serious BIG fish contender. A couple times I swear the man just curled up into a ball and begged for mercy. It was awesome to witness. Watching him, Amelie and Bren on this day lifted me up onto cloud nine. Stevie's big sailfish on the Pacific couldn't hold a candle to the strength of these sturgeon, and the girls had certainly never power fished anything like this before either. HOLD ON DOOD!!! So this is a shore fish... now what? This day and everyday Chris was a great guide too, efficient and always explaining things. Considering Amelie is not one who likes handling fish much, she quickly found enough courage to step outside her comfort zone and become the perfect participant in the catches she most needed to be involved. She will be changed by this trip... and Stevie Z, well, he had a nearly permanent grin going all the time. And like that it was my turn again. Seven sturgeon down and still going strong thru the mid afternoon. The fish only getting bigger and bigger. When setting the hook into this next one I knew right away it was a tank. And hold on tight!!! Putting full gears to the fish was taxing on the both of us, but it worked. Faster than expected the sturgeon came boat side and into the shallows. A quick clean up for the fish as Bren waded out to help with the measurements before photos. A new best for me when Chris announced 84-inches. That's a seven foot sturgeon which likely weighed same or more as me. These fish are just too magnificent... ... the rush of wrestling to reel 'em in is beyond words... ... and it's a totally inspiring, exasperating and wildly fun kind of fishing. But, you don't have to take my word for it, see for yourself. After Brenda released a smaller fish, Amelie and Stevie take on two 6+ foot sturgeon in a wild double-header captured partly on video. Their end result was perfect, a couple of awesome fish they caught and something we could all be a part of. Two double-headers, eleven sturgeon and four personal best fish for everyone. Our time finished back at the lodge with a delicious curried seafood chowder, jerk shrimp, beef tenderloin, a little gin, beer, wine and a round of scotch from our Scottish friend Stuart. This day was one monumental fishing day none of us will ever forget, a truly remarkable time we all shared. And it was only the beginning... continued...
  8. I am now another year older, and some would say wiser. Having to work on my actual birthday yesterday, I was up bright and early with my fly rod in hand and headed down to my local waters. There were very few people around, which made things rather enjoyable, after a little walking, I found a nice unoccupied pool, 4th cast in and fish on! Expecting a big ole boot, it was a very nice surprise to see this beauty come to shore! After releasing it back into the waters, I head back up to my pool, where 2 cast later I found myself in a 20 minute battle with this boot, I had an 8lb leader on, so horsing this fish in was not an option. About half way through the battle my reel seat loosened and the reel came off in my hands, i managed to hold onto the fly line and reattach my reel while the fish sat still in the pool, and a big thanks to the kind strangers that stopped to watch the battle and then helped me land the fish. Thanks again stranger and your brother from the north! The release And finally, my fly of choice for this mornings adventure
  9. The town of Port Hope has had enough, after 4 days of the fish in river.....this message came across my facebook feed from the Ganaraska Fishway Well it's official the town council has directed the parks department to contact the proper authorities for direction on what Port Hope's options are going forward to protect the fall Salmon fishery and the towns natural resources. They will be exploring the possibility of incorporating a Municipal Fishing License, closing town properties to prohibit all salmon fishing in problem areas, and expanding the current fish sanctuary areas on the Ganaraska River. This is due in large to this weekends fishing conduct. Fish heads dumped in portable bathrooms, garbage and waste left all over, blatant disregard of laws with blatant snagging and over harvesting among other things. The Town officials are listening to the multiple calls to action and although it may be too late to fix the situation this year our council and mayor are committed to ensuring this is the last year we see this type of conduct in Port Hope
  10. A few weeks ago, I joined my friend Glen with his buddy Alan for browns on the shorelines of Lake Ontario. It was a great day out, as we caught a bunch of feisty browns in shallow water. Storm Thundersticks were the hot ticket trolled at 1.8mph. A great way to kick off the open water season! Glen and I fished with Tony on the north shore of Lake Ontario this past Sunday after Glen and Tony fished for lake trout on Saturday. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend to be out, and the fishing was fantastic! Glen and Tony did well catching lakers on Saturday, and managed to boat a behemoth over 25 pounds to currently lead the SCGF spring derby in the lake trout division. The guys asked if I wanted to join them on Saturday as well, but I declined as I didn’t have a derby ticket. I had a feeling! I bought my ticket on Saturday, and headed out with them on Sunday morning. Glen with his derby leading laker We got out Sunday bright and early, started setting lines and it didn’t take long to find the kings. Riggers and Mag Dipsys were the ticket. We didn’t get a bite off a standard Dipsy or planer boards. All the action came at 2.3mph at the ball on custom Big Erns done by Mike Blake. Mike does the nicest custom colours I have ever seen, and it regularly pays off for us. I also love the Shoehorn spoons, as they also have great colours and run well at slower speeds in the spring. As a bonus, the Shoehorn spoons are compatible with Big Erns. My favourite set up is a mix of Big Erns and Shoehorn spoons early in the season. The water temp was 38F to 39F from top to bottom most areas we fished. We all had a blast hooking up with almost 30 fish mostly kings. We even had a couple double headers, but it was a steady pick for the most part. At one point, it was hard to keep the hottest Big Ern down in green/silver with black dots. Some kings didn’t even wait for it to be let fully out before nailing it! The three hottest spoons. I get the feeling this will be a great year on Lake Awesome! It was great times with great friends. It doesn’t get any better than that. We are all thinking about making the next trip out again! Good fishing! Aaron
  11. Well I finally got time to put a little report together of my fall excursion to Alaska. This year’s trip was excellent and probably one of if not the best one so far. The weather was excellent, the company and the fishing were even better!!! It was a pink year so there were millions of pink salmon in the river (mostly in the middle section) so I spent a lot of time down river hunting the giant bows that feed on the roe that litters the river during the spawn. I did spend about 1/3 of my trip fishing the upper river at the beginning of the trip while waiting for the middle river to turn on and caught plenty of fat bows and dolly varden. I had a weekend trip fishing for feeder kings and halibut out of Homer while I was there also. Enough jabbering, on with the pics!!!! A little grizz chasing some anglers off their spot. My buddy Joe from North Carolina came up for a week. I taught him how to cast his centerpin and he managed a bunch of fish on it. I even caught a fish or two. I did a ton of fishing with my buddy Ed from Palmer AK, both on the upper and middle river. Here’s a nice upper river bow. He brought his pooch along when we fished the upper river. It was a bit of a gong show with both our mutts in the same drift boat at times. Heading out of Homer to chase some salty fish with my buddy Keith his girl and a couple of friends for the weekend. As usual in the off season FV/Time Bandit is docked in the harbor down in Homer. Heading out to the fishing grounds. First order of the day was to try and hook up on some sammins!!! After catching a couple it was time to try for some tasty halibut. We did well on them on Saturday with a 60# fish as the biggest of the trip. We also caught a couple of large skate. At dusk we headed for the village of Seldovia where we had a cabin rented for the night. Seldovia is at the end of the rainbow!! The next day dawned clear and sunny. I knew it would be a nice day but the fishing would not be stellar. We saw plenty of sea otters including this fella in the harbor at Seldovia. I was right about the fishing as I caught the only halibut this day. The spots that produced the day before only held Irish Lords on day two. Tons of them. We must have caught 100 of the things. Continued.............
  12. Hey everyone, I thought I would put up a little bit of a report from my summer in BC so far. I am working at a fishing lodge and of course have been fishing throughout my time here as well. I have experienced some pretty great fishing and the wildlife and scenery isn't too shabby either. I will let the pics and videos do the talking. Exploring/ Beachcombing some of the nearby islands Went on a staff fishing trip one day out in the Grady White. Salmon fishing was on! Big ugly lingcod Bald Eagle that hangs around the dock some days Bald Eagles are pretty damn big. Here is a link to a video I shot on my go pro of the local bald eagles eating some carcasses we dumped on the rocks: Floating down a river near the lodge fishing for cutthroat along the way Went out fishing for Albacore tuna one day.. pretty wild. My buddy looking for signs of Tuna. The result: Here is a link to another video shot on the GoPro of a huge ocean sunfish we spotted while tuna fishing: And finally a lake that I fish that is full of small cutthroats ready to take a fly. Requires a pretty good hike in and then you have to paddle around in a little skiff that leaks. Hope you enjoyed the pics and videos. DS
  13. Hey there folks. Anybody seen salmon right at the river mouths or harbours yet. I fish from my yak and was considering fishing the mouth of the Saugeen. It has to be time with the cool water temps and all. Any news would be very appreciated.
  14. I recently met with Italo, Barb and the Canadian Sportfishing film crew to embark on a journey to Sund’s Lodge on Malcolm Island along the Pacific Coast of Canada. Although it would be a short trip, I was super excited, as this was my first time traveling to British Columbia and fishing the Pacific Ocean. Malcolm Island is located in the Queen Charlotte Straight, between North East Vancouver Island and the mainland. Malcolm Island has a rich history with the Namgis First Nations, and the ocean surrounding the area is abundant with marine life. We were fortunate enough over our 3 day trip to see Orca Whales, Hump Back Whales, Sea Lions, countless birds, star fish, crabs and fish. The fishing is unique on the Pacific Ocean in the respect that it offers a unique blend with salmon trolling, and deep water fishing for halibut, snapper and ling cod to name a few. Fishing shoreline, kelp beds and shallow rocky areas with lighter gear can offer another element to enjoy for smaller fish like sea bass, kelp greenling and rock cod. The main baitfish is needlefish, herring and anchovies. We traveled to Vancouver from Toronto, and then took a smaller flight to Port Hardy on Northern Vancouver Island. At the Pacific Coastal Airline area, there sits a very impressive set of mounted fish; a 53lb Chinook salmon and a nice coho salmon. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will! From Port Hardy, we took a taxi to Port McNeil where the Sund’s Lodge guides picked us up in their boats. It was a short boat ride to get to the lodge, and the amazing staff greeted us with drinks and a warm welcome upon arrival. I was like a kid in a candy store as I glanced into the water around the dock. I instantly saw schools of needlefish and a small salmon swim by around kelp. Now I was more excited than ever. I couldn’t wait to hit the water. After brief introductions, we settled into our luxurious log cabins. I was happy to get to stay at the Tyee cabin. Our guide Jim took us out for an afternoon bite trolling for salmon after we were settled in. We began trolling with a simple set-up consisting of two mooching outfits with downriggers. Jim also put out a third stacker line off one rigger a bit higher for coho and pink salmon. The guides have the option to troll at the back of the boat with a second steering wheel. I can see this becoming very handy with guests that do not fish often, as the guide can quickly get on a rod and hand it to a guest that may not be paying close attention. The kings eluded us that afternoon as it did most boats, but we got into some nice coho and pink salmon. The beauty of the Pacific Coast is difficult to describe to those that haven’t been. The air is fresh and crisp. The countless majestic mountains, islands and cliffs in conjunction with whales breaching the surface around the abundant marine life was surreal for me. I had dreamt of fishing this area for many years, and I finally had the chance to do it. While fishing, I often caught myself just gazing into the British Columbia backdrop with the layered depths of mountains that seemed to have their very own clouds and ecosystem. On our first full day, we began trolling for salmon first thing in the morning, and the coho and pink salmon hit aggressively. The Chinook salmon eluded us again, as it was slow fishing all around for kings, but the coho and pink salmon kept us busy. The Sund’s Lodge ‘Burger Boat’ met us out on the water with fresh hamburgers and hot dogs right off the BBQ with sides. This was a really nice treat while out on the water fishing. They didn’t even pull out rods; they kept trolling while the burger boat tied up to the side of our boat. That was a very unique and interesting thing to witness. The staff pulled it off perfectly, and we ate a hot meal without having to stop fishing. As most good guides would, Jim recognized the slow Chinook fishing, and offered to take us bottom fishing for the afternoon. I had not done anything like this before, and I was stoked. We had beefy rods with Benthos two-speed reels spooled up with 80lb braided line. On the business end, Jim had on heavy duty spreaders with clips and heavy monofilament dropper lines. One dropper line had a one to two-pound weight, and the other dropper line had a big set of hooks and a piece of octopus or whole herring. We fished depths ranging from 100-feet to 500-feet deep on the bottom during slow tidal currents. The two-pound weight was used for 300 plus feet of water, and the one-pound weight was used for depths up to 200-feet. As we drifted into 450-feet of water I got a big hit that didn’t budge. My rod was buckled right over with a firm drag and a heavy fish that pulled drag. The fight was exhausting and my arms cramped up several times during a tug of war battle. I was persistent and reeled in the big fish from the depths. I wondered what the heck I had just caught when the tank of a fish was gaffed and brought into the boat. I had never seen a fish like it, and it turned out to be a big ling cod. Apparently ling cod is one of the best eating fish on the Pacific Coast. It was put into the box to be taken home after a few photos with an ecstatic angler. We bottom fished the rest of the day and caught snapper, rockfish, a ratfish, and Italo and Barb got a double header of big ling cod. I also caught my first halibut which was a blast, and another great eating fish. All in all, it was an amazing day fishing the Pacific Ocean with our great guide Jim from Sund’s Lodge. Back at the lodge for dinner was always special with gourmet chefs preparing mouth-watering appetizers and main course dishes while the friendly staff catered to our every need. The Sund’s Lodge staff also include a ceremony every dinner that involves seating the person with the biggest Chinook salmon caught that day in a beautiful hand-carved wood fish chair. They drape them with a king’s crown or tiara complete with cheerleaders. Additionally, anyone that caught a Chinook salmon over 30-pounds receives a special gift for catching a “Tyee” salmon. Jeff got the only Chinook the first half day, and Leena got the only Chinook the second day. The following day we started trolling for salmon and we missed the first two kings, although we did catch a bunch of pink and coho salmon. A couple hours later, I finally had a good Chinook salmon on that put on a spectacular aerial show numerous times. After an intense tussle, my first British Columbia Pacific Coast Chinook salmon hit the floor of the boat. That really made my day as I am a hard-core Great Lakes salmon angler and always wanted to catch Chinook on the Pacific Coast where they are native. Italo got a similar sized Chinook salmon a short time later that was equally impressive. The Chinook salmon fishing is typically much better, but we happened to hit a slow period during our stay. It was good to have cooperative pink and coho salmon as well as bottom fish which are excellent table fare. We stopped for an early lunch on the beach with the crew. This was a special lunch where the guides and crew beached the boats on a private beach and we had live Dungeness crab and other seafood dishes prepared by the gourmet chefs. We ate like kings on the beach overlooking beautiful mountains and islands along the Pacific Coast. This type of thing is what makes Sund’s lodge an incredible place to visit, not to mention the great staff that pays close attention to even the smallest details. The afternoon was dedicated to bottom fishing again. I put down a piece of octopus hoping for a big halibut, and it wasn’t down long before I had on a large fish. Unfortunately it got free, but Barb and Italo caught a couple of “chickens” which is a nickname for a small halibut. We caught a bunch of smaller fish including a unique–looking fish called a kelp greenling. The entire time we were fishing, we could see birds congregating over a big bait ball that a hump back whale was pushing toward the surface. We could see the whale breach the water’s surface and hear the loud exhaust from the blow hole which sent a huge mist of water up far into the air. What an amazing experience to say the least. Italo was jigging a 10oz Luhr Jensen jig that was on fire for all types of smaller fish when all of a sudden he set the hook into what looked like bottom. Hs rod was bent over hard with a large fish on the other end. The anticipation of what type of fish it could be and the size was overwhelming. The fight lasted a long time as Italo struggled to try and get the big fish to the surface. The sensational battle was lengthy and a tiring Italo finally became victorious as a large halibut was pulled from the depths to the surface. It was unclear whether it was of legal size to keep, so Jim quickly scrambled for his measuring stick and tried to get a measurement on a highly uncooperative halibut. It was almost comical to watch Jim try and get a measurement as the big halibut had other ideas as it took off for the bottom every time he got close with his measuring stick. When Jim was finally able to get a measurement with my help, it was of legal size to keep so Jim got his harpoon out. A big halibut can be very dangerous in a boat green, and it needs to be harpooned to settle it down. It was almost like watching the movie Jaws as Jim put a harpoon tip tied to a rope through the middle of the big halibut. Italo kept battling the big halibut with his rod and reel while Jim pulled the rope. Italo successfully pulled in the biggest fish of the trip that was over 60lbs. That was a great way to end the fishing on our awesome trip to Sund’s Lodge! Back at the lodge, we found out that Jeff once again got the biggest Chinook salmon at an impressive 33-pounds. It was a true Tyee that crowned him the King of Kings for the day. We all gathered around for dinner and shared fish stories over a delicious meal with lamb as the main course. The next morning while we waited for our shuttle back to the airport, I walked along the beach turning over rocks and found all kinds of fascinating crabs and critters. The land around Sund’s Lodge also had lots of life with deer grazing out front and tame alpacas. I was sad to see us all packed up so soon, but happy to have a box of fresh Pacific Coast fish and the experience of a lifetime. I could have stayed much longer, but it would also be much harder to leave such a paradise. What is a trip abroad without checking out the local tackle shops?! Interesting stuff to check out.
  15. Hey Guys, My dad and I are heading up to parry sound this weekend for some trout downrigging. Last year we did a guided trip with a friend of a friend who no longer guides but did a special trip out for us...anyways we caught some big big fish with consistency. Unfortunately I have been really struggling to find the specific lures that the guide suggested we use. The specific lures i am looking for are Dreamweaver Super Slim holographics. I have even looked online however, amazon wont ship these lures to canada and the only place i found was a mail in order shop out of michigan with a website looking like it was made in 1993. Ive tried bass pro, al flahertys and sail and none of them seem to carry much of the dreameaver line. I was able to grab flies from al flahertys but no one seems to carry Dreamweaver spoons. Any suggestions? I am in the GTA but would be able to stop anywhere between the GTA and Pointe au Baril. Maybe someone even has a suggestion for a similar set of spoons?
  16. I had a week off work to fish for salmon on Lake Ontario for the Great Ontario Salmon Derby I had a family vacation during the first week of the derby, and I also needed to rig up 2 new Cannon downriggers on my boat, so I didn't get out once in the first week. This was my first time having Cannon riggers on my boat, and I must say, I love them! They handle heavy weights and are incredibly fast. I began fishing out of Bluffers on Monday, and fished the general area to the east and west for the week. When I first got out on Monday I hit one nice fish right away on a Coyote flasher and TriggerX Twinkie rig, then it died. I got out late ad caught the tail end of the morning bite. I began trolling shallow, mid depths and deep to no avail. I decided to pull lines and try a new spot a few miles away. At 10:30am I had lines down and instantly started hitting nice kings! I love when a big move pays off. I had trouble keeping 2 lines down. As soon as the Luhr Jensen Coyote flasher and cut bait was sent down on my new rigger and Dipsy, off it fired. I had double headers solo and caught fish the rest of the day. Riggers fired from 50 feet down to 100. The Dipsy Divers fired from 89 to 180 out on a 3 setting. 130 feet of water to 215 produced well. The fish were high in the water column. Nothing big enough to weigh in for the derby, but close! Tuesday, I headed out again to the waypoints I hit fish the day before with a friend Rob. To make a long story short, we pounded them all day right up until we had to leave. Coyote flashers and TriggerX bait heads with herring strips getting it done again. Same settings on Dipsy divers and riggers. Same depths produced again. I had a friend Mitch out on Wednesday, but things changed dramatically on the lake with a big west wind Tuesday evening. The bite was off. We hit a couple smaller fish, then it died. After a while, we moved around 20 miles checking and fishing spots all over east and west. Finally just before we left, we hit a few more fish in front of Bluffers. On Thursday, I had Rob back out again, and another friend Derek joined us. This was the first time I have fished with Derek, and it was a riot. We'll have to do it again soon bud. It was nice to fish three guys, and it allowed us to utilize downriggers, Dipsys, leadcore and copper. We weren't expecting much, but we got into them pretty well, with deeper presentations working and 300 and 400 copper lines off planer boards. A variety of Coyote flashers and Kingfishers worked with herring strips in TriggerX Twinkie rigs and cut bait heads. Most fish were under 20lbs, but Derek got a nice one. Still not big enough to weigh in for the GOSD. Friday was a tough bite. I had a friend Melanie out, and we tried a bunch of spots, depths and combos. We only managed 5 bites and one was a shaker and a 12lb rainbow trout that Melanie got. On Saturday I had a friend Mario out, but we could only manage a few small kings in the 2 hours we were out. Now I am limited to weekends hoping to get one big bite! Good fishing, and good luck to anyone fishing the Great Ontario Salmon Derby!
  17. I had a friend Glen out on Monday for some spring trolling on Lake Ontario. We caught a lot of fish and had a blast! We couldn't keep the lake trout off our lures, and we also got some great brown trout, coho and chinook salmon. A few double headers had us busy as well. We had an incredible day with a mix of sun and cloud, warm temps and calm water. I absolutely love it! We launched at Port Dalhousie on the south shore and fished stained water from 20-feet to 40-feet in depth. We thought about going in tight for brown trout, but we were getting browns where we were fishing anyway, so we stayed a bit deeper hoping for kings. We only got 2 chinook in a double header, but the lake trout and browns kept us busy. The best water temps we found were 43F. The colder clearer water was not productive. The stained warmer water was full of fish from top to bottom. Four-inch Shoehorn spoons did the most bites off divers, although we did get some fish off mono and stickbaits with inline Church planer baords. We let out approximately 120-feet with a deep diving lure such as a Reef Runner and Storm Thunderstick, then clipped on the board and let out another 250-feet. We got most of our fish off the Shoehorn spoons in yellow/green colours. Our best speeds were roughly 2.4mph. Good fishing! Aaron
  18. I had the pleasure of having Greg Klatt and his son Mitch out on Lake Ontario yesterday. It was a beautiful day out to enjoy some trolling. Mitch had never caught a salmon before, so my goal was to get him into a nice king or two. We started in 50 fow and marked very little until we got into 75 fow, but not much to hold us there. We ended up in 150 fow quickly, as the picture on the sonar looked best. We got a lake trout right away down deep on a Coyote flasher and fly off the rigger 140 feet down. I believe Greg has that photo. We then got another hit shortly after. This time it was a king down deep on the same set-up and same depth and Greg got to tangle with it. It got slow after that as we got out a bit late for Lake Ontario kings, but we kept at it and got rewarded. We got several cohos up higher, but I don't think we got any or many photos of them. If we did, Greg has those as well. We marked a lot of hooks 40 to 80 feet down over the deeper water, but for some reason they had lock jaw. The bait balls were deep hugging bottom but very few hooks down deep. Even though the picture looked good, we moved shallower as we were not hitting kings. When we got into about 83 fow we marked some great bait balls, and not all hugging bottom. Shortly after trolling by this bait ball, the 300 copper reel starting singing as the in-line board got rocked back. This time an SD fly did the trick and Mitch boated his first ever king! Mitch was happy with this bad boy We got into some more cohos without photos, then we had to take a photo of Greg and this fish. It also hit the same set-up off 300 copper. I was so busy on the boat, I didn't notice it was such a nice bow until I saw the photo lol. The same copper set-up fired again with a crazy king cart-wheeling far behind the boat taking Mitch to task. It proved to get the better of him though as he did a long-line release lol. Unfortunately, we only got another coho after that to wrap it up off a 400 copper in over 100 fow. We called it a day late afternoon. We didn't tag a lot of kings, but we had some fun on the water with some cohos and a nice bow to keep our interest. I was a pleasure to have the guys out for something they don't normally get to do. Great company on the boat, and I'm sure Mitch was happy to boat the biggest king. It was a nice first king We found white and black green to be our best colours. All flashers and flies. Spoons and meat didn't fire once. The fish seem to be really scattered in the west end of the lake. Hopefully that changes soon and we light them up! Hopefully Greg has a few photos to add. Good fishing! Aaron
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