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Found 12 results

  1. I guess it’s been a while since I put together a proper fishing report. It’s not for lack of fishing, however! I’ve been out fishing regularly, mostly from canoe or shore fishing locally in the GTA, often solo, occasionally with the kids in tow. Living my best dad life raising two boys certainly limited my time to write and share my adventures, but I hope to share more in 2021. Since moving back to Ontario about 8 years ago, I’ve struggled to find as many pike and musky as I used to. I generally dedicate at least 75 hours into muskies, and likely the same or more time looking for urban pike. I’ve spent far less time returning to old muskie spots, opting to try new locations looking for larger fish. It's been a challenge, putting in hours hours of fishing in poor conditions (limited time off to when my wife - who works retail hours - was home or could arrange childcare) I had a couple of seasons with just one or two fish in the net, despite seeing fish and generating follows. Things changed after finally meeting up with Captain Bunker for a big river mission in 2018. We had talked about fishing together for years, but the stars never aligned until one fateful fall day in October, and then a week or two later - my two biggest muskies! 16 years after my first muskie, two 50+ inchers hit the net! Big water equals big fish. My biggest freshwater fish, until I got out again the next year to fish for dinosaurs with Bunk... One of many that day! More at bunksoutdoorangle.com! 2020 Fishing I don’t think anyone will forget 2020, it’s been a hell of a year for everyone! My plan was to fish pike hard early season, but the local lockdowns made access to my favourite spots a challenge, and the rest of my spots were loaded with new fishermen that found themselves with free time and nothing else to do. I was lucky to get in a trip to Florida before things really got bad, even caught a Jays game and did a little bit of fishing! To avoid crowds I started fishing at night for early season walleye, and despite seeing them caught by other night anglers, I couldn’t dial one in. I made up for it in the fall with a couple of accidental walters while fishing for muskie. Late spring went well, catching pike consistently in Gloucester Pool (in-laws cottage), nothing big, but I always enjoy catching pike on spinnerbaits. I got out for a couple of early season muskie trips, but again couldn’t turn follows into bites! This is where Covid got serious and my fishing trips mostly ended as temperatures were also on the rise. January GTA pike Backyard creek trout in Port Credit Solo canoe fishing Tiny planet May pike Once September rolled around I really had the itch to get out for muskie, but I didn't want to travel far from home with Covid cases still on the rise. I knew the chances of getting out on the water with Bunk again was slim to none, but as luck would have it my old friend Johnny had been in touch and while he was having luck with salmon, was interested in going for muskie as well. With the Niagara River practically in his backyard, and just over an hour drive for me, it was the perfect place to meet. I had seen a couple of musky there before while aiming for walleye and bass but I didn’t have high expectations. Boy was a wrong! We dialed in fish almost immediately using swimbaits and started meeting regularly to target muskies from shore. We figured out weather/wind patterns and major/minor phases that resulted in catching muskies on most of our trips, often hooking/catching multiple fish within a couple of hour. Johnny was diagnosed with a severe muskie fever in early September 2020 and went into spending mode, amassing an impressive amount of muskie gear in a few short weeks. As fate would have it, the muskie God’s were not satisfied. Despite each of us logging 80-100 of casting (and visiting the Muskie Factory in Windsor), he didn't connect with another muskie before season closed. While I managed a few solid fish, the highlight was sharing my love of muskie (I guess it's contagious) with Johnny. Having a good buddy to share in the highs and lows (not to mention having a net man with long reach!) was priceless and certainly the highlight of a crazy year. Pretty little muskie Night muskie December muskie Wishing you all good health and big fish in 2021!
  2. Bit late coming around with this fall recap. Haven't done nearly as much writing this year but Coral's char and the Sutton speck reports were quite big undertakings that drained the batteries. Anyways, the fall fishing this year was incredible. Muskie fishing was beyond expectation, very pleased plenty homework, tweaking of this and that, some experimenting plus the new boat all worked in my favor. One of our OFC'ers here, Clive, met up with me twice and he wasn't disappointed. Dood surely brought the luck with him and we had a couple awesome big ski days together, 50+'ers galore. Family and friends came aboard for sturgeon and walleye as well. Not as many days put in for those fish, we all made it count when given the opportunity. Biggest was a 66-incher that took me for one heckuva drift. Anyhow, it's hyped, typed and ready now at the site if looking to click on over at... . SEASON'S ENDINGS BIG FISH BENDINGS Thanks for reading along through 2018. Some adventurous plans ahead in the new year so hope you stop in at the site now and again for a read. Best to everyone in the coming season. Bunk
  3. Decided to book a lodge for a week coming this Saturday in the South end of lake Nippissing. Does anyone have experience fishing the south end for Muskies? Should I boat up to the french? Bait suggestions? This is my first time out on the lake and will be alone, I would be gratefull for any tips, suggestions on structure etc. Thanks in advance Dave P.S I will be in a 16' Princecraft console with a 60 HP and current Navionics
  4. Not sure this is a really a big secret, and Drifters post got me thinking so I figured some might find this helpful. Sometimes you have a lure that you like but maybe it just doesn't cut it for bigger fish. It might be that the weight just isn't heavy enough to cast well on the rod/reel that you use for bigger pike, muskie and/or lakers or the heavier line dampens the action too much. Maybe the hardware just isn't up to the task, or you simply want to offer something bigger. If that's the case some of us will go for a little salt. Saltwater lures often have that little extra that works great for those bigger fish. Finding them can sometimes be difficult but it seems that more and more brick and mortar stores are carrying saltwater lures even if they are thousands of kilometres from the ocean. If not, you can easily find them online. To cut down on shipping I wait until a place like bps has a free shipping deal on. I just picked up a saltwater popper type lure and a lipless crankbait that I'm ready to try as soon as the conditions are right. The lipless crank is one of my favourites for pike (if I'm not fishing on top) but I wanted something bigger and finally have it. The popper type is another that is just too light on even my pike set ups, but I found this one and it's going to get wet early. The popper is the first saltwater lure I've come across that had hooks that I felt were not suitable so they'll be swopped out. The saltwater x-raps have been used a lot the 8-10 years and have also boated the odd big walleye. The top lures (gliding raps and flatfishes) are for another post and are not saltwater.
  5. Buddy wanted to try a new lake to both of us - Cameron. He is looking to catch a decent size Muskie, and while we knew the sizes may not be there, we understood that Quantity might be - so off we went. One thing he has going for him is what I will call "The Streak" - > if he is captaining the boat, someone on board will catch something - just not him. . Unfortunately, this continued to hold true -> however as he stated, at least we did not get skunked. This hit around 10AM: By no means a big one for me (Would have been great however if he or his daughter who was with it caught it). Too bad really because it hit like a freight train, ran a couple of times, jumped completely out of the net, and ran again after we thought it had been contained. Then when I ready to release real gentle like, it tail flipped in the face (completely deserved) and took off. As such I was hoping that it meant active fish. Sadly - that was it for the day. But it was a gorgeous day to be on the Water - and fishing beats work any day of the week, and twice on Sunday .
  6. I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book "120 Days - One man's quest hunting giant muskies on Georgian Bay". The book is being released December 28. I am currently taking orders by Paypal or through email transfer at [email protected] In Canada the book is available for $32 including HST and shipping. In the US market it is $26 including shipping. More information is available on my Facebook page. Friend Bill Hamblin.
  7. Hello All, Some may have heard, but my good friend Christine Cope landed a monster 55" muskie this past Saturday while fishing Lake St. Clair. Not only is this fish long, but it is fat and such a clean-looking specimen. I put together a short write-up detailing the catch after talking with Christine yesterday. You can find it here: http://www.wideopenspaces.com/female-angler-lands-monster-55-inch-lake-st-clair-muskie-pics/ Good Fishing, Justin
  8. 2014 was a bumpy ride. I lost a co-worker and friend to cancer, almost lost the farm, was diagnosed with a hernia and what the doctor described as extreme carpal tunnel in both hands, plus as usual I had way too many projects on the go. Looking back I have been lucky to get in a few great outings during 2014. Every year I set new fishing goals. This time it was getting some trout on the fly rod that sits in the corner of my office collecting dust. The other was catching some of those carp that have been breaking me off while fishn for crappie this spring. Goal 1: TROUT ON THE FLY About 5 or 6 yrs ago I was handed a handsome bonus from work and decided to blow it all on a new 5wt Sage fly rod and reel that looked nice and shiny to me. 5 or 6 yrs later and you still wouldn't want to be anywhere close to me while I'm expertly tying wind knots with this thing. This year is it...the year of the fly. So far its trolling streamers quite well. lol First trip of the spring would be for speckled trout. First I almost lost the truck to some type of quick sand shiz. Then I had to chop through giant pines scattered across the road with dullest ax known to man. Then I had to convince myself that I was not having a heart attack as I climbed the never ending hill loaded down with all my gear. The result.....My biggest speck yet on the fly rod. Second one at 22 Brought one home for the table along with some fresh wild garlic. Second trip of the spring was for splake. The weather was looking foul but after the previous trip I was itching for more trout on streamers. I rolled out of the gates heading for a favorite hump and on the first pass, wham! First splake on the fly rod. 15mins later and I was into second nice sized splake. The only problem was the little electric could not compete with the building wind. With couple smaller splake and a bass released I decide to call it before the random 50km gust sunk my ship. Unfortunately that would be it for trout trips this summer. Squeezed in a quick evening trip for walleye with Bunk but found the lake was not yet ripe with the late spring. Although a tough bite I did manage to catch one decent eye. Finished an over due project between outings. While at the locale clinic for an earache the question popped up. Doc-Whats your family doctors name? Me-Its been yrs since I've had one. Doc-Would you like me to be yours? Me-Sure. Time for my first physical in years. lol Turns out the hearts O.K. I have an umbilical hernia and carpel tunnel in both hands or extreme carpel tunnel as the lady in neurology described it. With all the bad news I decided on some comfort food for my heightened state of emotion and a few episodes of........ CARPEL TUNNEL CARPING!!! Most importantly chum the desired area and don't forget a little comfort food like some Chubby Chicken. Carping was hot, humid, and just plain sweaty awesome. Major reel peel as these fish tear off! Reminds me of salmon as you just sit there and let them do that initial run while watching your reel and wondering if it has enough line. Only thing better than comfort food is snuggling up in your own favorite carp blanket. I decided if I was going to catch the general, I would need to change tactics. Goal number 2.......Terminated! Ended the last month of the summer working on the house and even got in on the fall muskie hunt with Bunk. A true stand up type of fisher bud offering me first fish and netting me the only muskie of the trip. For the the first time in yrs I did not visit the locale trout lakes in the fall but instead used up some Air Miles on a last minute bucket list trout trip. A trip that will deserve its own report now that I have caught up on the rest of 2014.
  9. WORK, FISH, TRAVEL... HUNT??!! There is that one constant which we all most likely share, and it is work. Nursing is my work. I am a Nurse. Snicker if you will, pass judgement, but know that this skin is purdy darned thickened to much after 20 years. Yet on Canada Day I quit my permanent job. Not wanting to fully settle into just ER medicine alone, nor accept and adapt to some current hospital scheduling practices and policies, after five years of trial it was apparent that walking away to roll the dice would be easier than continuing in a game I didn't really want to play anymore. The perfect reset was to take July and visit Great Slave with my wife and then afterwards pull a solo run to Nipigon. Once returning home in early August to my two employers as only a casual "free agent," the phone started ringing and just wouldn't stop. The month ended up one of the busiest in the past few years leaving but merely one day to fish. Yet thinking drought often follows flood, the days ahead I began to prepare for. Late August, my 2000 to 2010 James Bay employer under a new name and authority re-hired me on as a casual and I secured work for a 17-day contract (locum) come end of September into October. With jobs falling into place, it was decided last minute that time could be afforded for some fishing with my friend Len up on Lake Athabasca, before being shipped off to Northern Ontario for the locum. Everyday while north and taking just one full day off, I plugged away at the Nursing which has always been enjoyed most. By condensing all shifts too, and with a better rate on return, the 2.5 weeks figured the equivalent of about triple at home. This meant several things to me, I would be fine and my decision would work out, and this Autumn report would begin in Attawapiskat... It's like having a second home, or actually... even a third. Sometimes struggle with a few names but most know me and it's a rare thing I forget a face. Welcomed by many with open arms, even a number of new folks were quick to introduce themselves. It's a good place in this regard, and seeing many inlaws during my stay made Attawapiskat even better. Many times over I chuckled with old friends too, when they pointed out how fat I've become. (inside I was crying) First night there and the WIFI in the trailer crapped out, but I didn't care. Had a good book to read, "The Orenda," by Joseph Boyden and, also wanted to piece together the Athabasca report which could only at that time be hand written. CBC Radio and Wawatay are pretty well the only stations which can be tuned into Skat. Listening to either one takes my thoughts back to Moose Factory, and especially to driving on the ice road in the mornings and evenings to and from work in Moosonee. On local cable TV are the community channels as well, and it's watching those one can catch up on almost everything that is going on around the community. Many things about this kind of life around me cause changes. Instantly I begin to eat better, as it's all home-cooked meals and proper timed and balanced breakfasts. I sleep better, as it's quiet and closer to sea level, and with richer air. I move a little better, feeling less sluggish and stiff after sleep and manage to work through days with less tire. I think better, feeling more creative and motivated to especially read and write nearly every day. And I laugh more... probably because many people there seem to laugh more, or just want to laugh more in general. It's a close knit and quite social community, yet... while there I do miss my girls every single day, which makes staying any great length rather difficult. When time permitted during this past locum I'd go for a walk or drive in the hospital truck to explore and photograph the scenery around the outskirts of town. If only treated better, Attawapiskat would not be the third-world-like community which our National News often portrays it as. The land all around is pristine and incredible, and the town could be the crown jewel of it all, if only it adopted a higher respect and responsibility. A few short days available for those perfect autumn colors, the season was luckily captured in full glory. The old road to the Healing Lodge I once regularly walked in 2000 had been pretty well raped in recent years, excavated for dirt I am guessing to build the new school. The scenery has been destroyed, but beyond the Healing Lodge a new and long road out of town heading north is being built. Driving it in the future should take folks deep into the wilderness heading towards the Ekwan River. What was already established and new to me on this trip though, was a 12 kilometer road which stretched from town to the mouth of the Attawapiskat River, almost right to the James Bay shore. Along this route are many new sites to take in, and a couple of times I thoroughly enjoyed driving it's distance while stopping now and again to take photographs along the river. Coming off a Saturday night shift on-call, my brother-in-law Joe kindly offered to have me along with his boys for a Sunday afternoon goose hunt. I had only once been along with Joe in 2006 for some fall fishing and moose hunting, but I wasn't the hunter really, simply a passenger. Yet the chance opportunity to experience anything like this can still not be passed up, especially when it's with family I regretfully don't share enough time with. Excited I was to tag along on my first goose hunt. A strong north-wind on a grey day would be ideal to keep the birds moving through the area. From Attawapiskat we boated in Joe’s 24-foot freighter down river to the very tip of the river mouth where it meets the James Bay ocean. The tide low, the grasses along the bay were flat and moist, and with hip waders we could easily walk the mud and puddled fields. Small flocks were flying regularly while many were laid down on the land. Other hunters about, this actually helped lift some birds from their rest to often get them flying over our heads. Our being there did the same for others. Joe had been sicker than a dog all week and was hacking away to no end. His energy even sick and at 50 still astounds though, as to me he is like two men when hunting or traveling on the land and rivers. When I claimed that I may be a little useless to him out on a hunt because I don't hunt, he replied, "you fish don't you? So then you hunt!" I'll admit that made me smile. With Akimiski Island visible in the distance it was an absolute pleasure to spend the afternoon with Joe and my quiet nephews Nathan and Seth. Four snow geese and a Canada, plus two whitefish Seth found trapped in puddles after the last tide, the short hunt was a successful one and I learned much from Joe. On the way home with the tide coming in, we boated nearby back channels in search of signs for moose, but instead only saw a cruising beluga whale, maybe a dozen seals and numerous bald eagles soaring overhead. I'll let the pictures illustrate the afternoon. In about the time it takes me to drill two ice holes, set up the pop-up, get it cozy inside and start fishing, Joe found a split log which he laid on the grass parallel to a foot wide but hip deep irrigation channel running through the land. Gathering a number of twigs he shoved them into the ground then tied grass in bows onto those sticks. Sitting drier up on the log, feet dangling into the ditch, we were about the same height as the makeshift blind. The boys could easily shoot from sitting or by just stand up in the trench. I thought it was pretty cool. Niska. Tide coming in signals the end of the hunt. Can't sit in the water so off we went. The ride home was great too. Some of my hunting buddies tell me I'm pretty lucky to have experienced a goose hunt on James Bay. They're not kidding. Meegwetch Joe, Nathan & Seth, it was a very memorable day. I left Attawapiskat a happy man in more ways than one. To combine work with travel and have just enough time to squeeze in a few days out on the land to explore and live such moments is rather friggin' awesome. Continued...
  10. Made it out on Nipissing for one last kick at the can for some late season smallies. Was tough to find fish, but when you did, it was easy to catch a few out of the school. Weather was cold and windy so slow moving tubes and drop shot presentations were a must. Even tho no big bass were caught, we did however manage to catch a fish of a lifetime when my partner sets hook on a giant muskie using a spinnerbait. Gotta love fall fishing!
  11. So far its been a really busy summer - and I have only made it out onto the lake once - for an hour when Grandma (bless her) said she would watch the kids - so bro and I headed out for a quick musky fish - and lucky jerk I am - caught this guy trolling a storm kicking minnow Also just finished up a planning session for our upcoming trip - our first remote fly in with White River Air the week of Aug 23 We are going into their deluxe camp on Pickle Lake (the deluxe being hot and cold running water, indoor toilet/shower and solar electric) - heres a link http://www.northtoadventure.com/lake_detail.php?lid=5 We are pumped to say the least - feel like we have a good meal plan, have tried to ensure we have enough gear to be comfortable but not over do it Right now our main game plan will be to spend our initial time on the lake trolling with a mixture of cranks and harnesses off bottom bouncers to get sense of the lake/walleye locations and focus on large weedbeds casting and trolling quickly to locate pike Once we get a feel for the lake - will look at soaking jigs tipped with crawlers for walleye and try probing deeper areas near weedbeds and shoals for larger pike Any tips, tricks, tackle suggestions (main bait list has been put together by scouring reports on this site , driving routes, must see stops on the way up ( we will be heading up from Newmarket - so right now our plan is to go up through the Soo)welcome Detailed report when back - and many thanks to Mike Borger and A Dempsey as both have been very helpful with the planning of this trip Cheers Gordy
  12. I got away for a couple of days of Muskie fishing with my dad, son and uncle. The weather did not really co-operate as you can see from the picture, however no one seemed to mind. Nice to have a cover on the boat for days when the rain just won't let up. After a couple of hours of trolling and a few small pike on the first day, my Uncle caught our first and only muskie of the trip. Christian did a great job on net and release. The next morning after a great breakfast prepared and served by dad we headed out. We spent a good part of the day changing lures and then all of a sudden on a perch coloured storm I caught my PB pike. Christian did an excellent job netting, holding it up, and releasing it for me. A wonderful group effort by all. The two days we spent away together was wonderful. A time none of us will quickly forget. There is nothing like wanting to catch fish, catching the ones you want, and doing that with the people you love.
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