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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!
Hi Guys, As many of you know, I dabble here and there when it comes to fishing...and as per my last review thread, I prefer to post these reports on a more annual/semi annual basis. In the past 9 months much has changed in my life, including a big move, a lot of first fishies, my first fly in and even taking up fly fishing (boy what have i gotten myself in to!) I would say that as of August last year my passion for fishing basically exploded, unfortunately I am now very far from the place i hold so dear to my heart. However I am doing my best to make due with what ive got..hopefully my next report will have some more firsts and hopefully many on the fly! So once again without further adieu its AKRISONERS (Ae-Kree-one-ers) year 9 months in review lol My last report left me getting ready for the fall, after a succesful trip out with Pete to nab my first musky, it all rolled very nicely into the fall pickerel run. Early signs were saying it was looking like a very good year. The weekend prior dave had popped a 24 inch eye off the end of the dock..he figured he could pull it off again. After a succesful morning run, dave makes a trip down to the dock, i head down as well to get some stuff in the boat. Dave says to me "scott what are the odds of me catching another eye on the hair down here" i say, "dave in the 10 years ive had this place ive caught 2 eyes off of the dock, so most likely very slim" he says "you are probably right" and immediately sets the hook into a fish...im sitting watching as his rod bends in half...I immediately can tell its an eye, and its big imageupload 25 inches and 8.5 lbs...the photo doesnt even do this fish justice...it was as thick as ive ever seen an eye and absolutely immaculate. Not a nick on the fish. Back she went to swim another day. the fall continued on and Dave's buddy Connor was talking a lot about how we were missing out having never river fished...with the really sketchy december weather and ice we were having up north, Connor finally convinced us to try out hand at river fishing. Out came the ultra lights, super light tackle, floats. Spent a day hiking around trying things out...to me skunks dont bother me, especially when im trying out a brand new technique...as we were about to call it a day Connor starts moving spastically, i wonder what the heck is going on..and sure enough hes hooked into a bow, and a decent one at that...an intense battle happens, including connor jumping into the river fully clothed in order to try land the damn thing...of course we didnt bring a net pic upload the weird fall weather (spring?) continued, lots of rain and lot of warm temperatures...a trip down to st kitts for christmas had me wondering what the heck was this season anyways, heres me walking my dog in a t shirt and shorts on christmas eve +19????? what the heck! imagen being down in St kitts had me thinking that it would probably be smart to put my newly learned float techniques to work..a few early morning sneaky fishing trips had the misses not even realizing i had left! Day 1 I got skunked but proceeded to watch a guy across the river land a few fish...this had me wondering what the heck i was doing wrong. As i was walking to the parking lot I got a piece of intel from a local who informed me that the guy I was watching catch all morning was throwing crank baits...interesting...back to the drawing board! I began reading and trolling the internet for intel on catching river fish on cranks...a quick trip to bass pro and i was back on the water the next day. Unfortunately for me the weather had taken a serious turn, we went from 16 degrees and fine, to 0 and snow and rain with intense winds overnight...Freezing my you know what off standing on the pier in 70kmh winds and driving snow/rain I finally cashed in (and i deserved it) my first river fish and it was a brown to boot! images hosting dave having made the trip all the way down to st kitts from g town at 4am only managed a stinky sucker images hosting poor guy, the fish was even insulting him the weather finally turned, but boy did the ice take some time to settle...Dave one day messages me after completing his ritual of laying out all of his hard water gear, going over everything, testing out his brand new marcum LX, checking leaders, organizing and re-organizing his boxes "my dad came in my room last night and saw me with all of my ice gear out, he told me to get a girlfriend" finally the ice arrived a trip to orangeville was called..having fished this lake a few times the prior winter, we knew what we were in for...some dink pikes, a couple of laughs and an enjoyable day fishing. Dave and I switched it up though...having just bought a gas auger we figured, lets give err a serious go, lets punch 100 holes and see what we can find. So off we went hammering holes and finally settled on one location where dave immediately hooked up images hosting Dave wasnt crazy impressed having fished georgian bay with me the previous fall, his pike taste had grown...but to be honest so had these pike! images hosting Dave even managed to pop one on one of his own tied hair jigs this made him pretty happy images hosting My cottage under renovation I was unable to visit until the place got closed up...so not much fishing was had...i made a trip to visit some friends out in vancouver and make a trip out to whistler...I like snowboarding as much as i like ice fishing images hosting I also asked my long time girlfriend to marry me...and she said yes surprisingly that same day she ended up also getting a job offer in Vancouver...holy crap things were moving fast! I guess it was time to make the big move...The next few months were frigging hectic! I knew i had a bathroom that needed renovating before the house could be sold...im a bit handy, used to work on cars, have done some tiling and the usual...bit of plumbing you know...so it was time to renovate that bathroom. The fiance left to start work and Van and i stayed in Toronto and got to work images hosting images hosting After 2 weeks of working 9-5...coming home and then working on the bathroom from 5-2/3 sometimes even 4am i needed a fish...even if the cottage wasnt done. I got word that the roof had been put in...so at least we were in a somewhat insulated structure...the weather cooperated and lows of -5 made it easy squatting. It was time to put a hurting on some winter walters A spot that we found that produced in the fall, really produced for us that day...When we arrived on the lake a big crowd (relative...15-20 people) on an area of the lake...we pulled up but went 50 yards off to our spot...watching everyone else get skunked while we started pounding eyes. I somehow lost the photos of the ones i caught, but dave outfished me anyways images hosting images hosting images hosting Daves turning into quite the pickerel fisher...dont let him know that though it might get to his head. Jeez we even managed some georgian bay sauger...now thats one for the books images hosting Back home to finish the reno it was and get the house sold images hosting made a trip up north for some pans while the house was for sale...spent a lot of time on the water until i finally found a set of sunny schooling in the most tucked back corner i could find...it was fish after fish after fish even if they were small it felt good to once again persevere...i was also rewarded with a beauty sunset images hosting boy was i gonna miss this place images hosting and finally off to the land of hippies and granolas it was. my dog likes living near somewhere to go for a swim images hosting i even climbedmy first BC peak Hollyburn mountain im I need to go for a troll on Howe Sound...its pretty dandy images hosting I made the decision that if i was going to the west coast, id take it upon myself to take up fly fishing. Doing lots of reading, taking some courses and asking locals I found some details about a spot just outside of town to test my arm at. First though I needed to hike the area to avoid falling off a cliff in the early AM darkness...i have to say the fishing spots out here can be pretty dandy! a lot better than standing on a pier in an industrial area images hosting I returned the next morning without the pupper and my homie beezy who came with me on the hike...hooked into a couple small resident trout, lost them as i suck at line management but a beauty day spent on this river makes any time a good time. The water in this photo is actually 7-8 feet going all the way down to 12...yes its that clear images hosting I knew from the get go that I was going to head home for bass opener and a week of vacation that I had already booked with work...so after 1 month on the west coast i headed back to Ontario and boy it felt good to be back out in the boat first night back in Onterrible wasnt so bad at all images hosting we managed a couple of dinks..however i knew the following weekend/week was where I was going to hit pay dirt...i had a week off commencing the day after bass opener running until canada day...time to run and gun my favourite time of the year on GB My brother was up for the weekend commencing the beginning of my vacation I figured I had to teach him a thing or two about catching big small jaws...we got to the spot, the wind was howling hard at 5 am! not good...as i begin our drift i cast out feel a thump and im thinking thats a big smallie, set the hook and what would you know it i land this nice specimen on a spinner bait! (how american as dave would say) images hosting Fishing was pretty slow with the wind we managed a few small ones and then my brother finally hooked into a decent one a PB for him so he was happy images hosting managed some more small fish but nothing crazy. headed home for breakfast...i spent the next couple of days staying close to the cottage...caught a lot of bass just nothing big..then came monday where pops and i planned to take the big boat down to Parry sound harbour to troll up some greasers..spend the night on the boat and then get the morning bite as well having never had any luck of my own in the past I was excited to fish, but really felt like if i got totally skunked again I wasnt gonna believe that they existed...but i was proven wrong, they do exist my first (hopefully not last) Laketrout images hosting we managed to go 2 for 5...we are still learning how to recognize that these fish are on because they never seem to break off the clip no matter how light we set them...further testing required. it was beauty out there though i tell ya images hosting back to the cottage we went and dave made a mid week trip up...here it was in all its glory, my official bass season from start to finish in a span of 4 days...just before dave arrived i went for quick troll down the shorline to cast some weed beds when i had a personal first...spinner bait...thump set the hook...oh look its a smallie...it fights....ZIP BOOOOM my bass gets absolutely crushed by a 35+ inch gator..i fight the pike for a few seconds it finally lets go and i land my bass...hes a bit beat up images hosting dave and i head out the next day and put 12 hours in on the water, we probably boated over 40 smallies but only managed one "good one" images hosting boy the numbers were there in force but we just couldnt break that 4lb mark the next day and different spots was much of the same...dave and i probably caught close to 80 bass over two days but just couldnt get the size we wanted...i even lost one that we were sure was 5lbs but it just wasnt meant to be. We had fun none the less. During my time at the cottage my parents had notified me of their plans to actually come visit me out in vancouver along with some friends and most importantly make a trip up to Masset Haida Gwaii where my uncle makes his annual pilgrimage from edmonton to hunt salmon. My parents informed me that they had a spare room in the house they were renting so for the price of airfaire i was set up for a fishing trip with boat and accommodations included...i couldn't go wrong! Haida Gwaii is what I would describe as one of the most natural rugged wild places I have ever been. You really feel like you are travelling back in time when you go there. What other place can you go and troll world class salmon waters while also seeing whales, porpoises, sea lions, seals and bald eagles fly around like common sea gulls...pretty friggin cool. There were points when the pods of whales had moved in that I was seeing groups of over 15 whales all around us breaching and blowing out while also hooking into salmon...pretty friggin cool. Ill let the pictures do the place justice for the most part. Im not a huge fish fan by any means...but every meal we ate came from the ocean my first chicken (halibut) images hosting solid coho images hosting masset harbour an active commercial fishery, these boats dump water out the sides to feed the live wells full of crabs i rainforests on tow hill images hosting mages hosting north beach as seen from the top of tow hill a dormant volcano that was cut in half by a glacier images hosting folks on the west coast dont mess around when it comes to gear...Gloomis rods, islander moochers was the set up...damn they were a joy to fish...for all you spoon pullers out there, give a moocher a try, i doubt youd ever go back to round reels images hosting bald eagles looking more like common seagulls friggin absolutely everywhere and noisey as all heck! images hosting pops with a big pink (thanks ritchie) images hosti ng The sand beaches near tow hill are absolutely loaded with razor clams..i missed the dig as i was out fishing but partook in the cleaning and eating im not a huge clam guy, but the sauce they were in was awesome and so was the native sea grass that our friend put on it...kinda tastes like a salty chive...damn good images hosting the trip wore down with slower fishing that my uncle liked...we averaged about 7 fish a day so everyones freezers got somewhat stocked...speaking with guides they feel like the water temperatures are much higher than normal (thanks global warming) and thus the fishing reflected this oddity. We only managed two hali's for the week and no tyee. I infact caught the biggest salmon of the trip...i still had fun regardless...and this albino spring put a work on me images hosting and thus i went back to the stinky city to live like a normal human... now its time to get one on the fly i say...soon enough...soon enough thanks for reading