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  1. 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
  2. The autumn season finished up and finally found some down time to piece together the second of two reports, both which pretty well sum up a great fish at home. Really taken to the muskies in recent times, and this fall they were the primary target. Did quite well in the end, catching more 50+ inchers this year than any before. Bren caught a great best and I managed a couple true Larry tanks that really did make all the time and effort worth it. It was about five or six years ago and a trip down to St. Clair with my friend Andy when he kinda put the fire into me for these awesome fish. Since then, its been hard not to appreciate the hunt for skis. Last fall I tried targeting sturgeon as well. This year with friends and family along we took that up a notch. A few great days were had on the water with everyone boating multiple fish and a sixty-incher or better. A couple outings I broke away from both these fish to enjoy a half day solo back lake fish for smallies. My only day bass fishing this year, it turned out alotta fun. That second day out was a BOQ troll for fall eyes with a couple buddies. It started slow until early afternoon when we found 'em! Those interested in the usual from me can read on if they like... LUNKER'S OF THE FALL. FALL'S FIVE FOOTERS FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS. Careful on that fresh ice and Happy Holidays gang. Bunk.
  3. I was able to get a bucket list fish thanks to an amazing guide out of Montreal. We met him at 6pm and we were out in a flash. It was pretty amazing to fish the St Lawrence - a river we all learned of its significance in our history books. Also incredible how our guide stumbled onto the fishery and location. A true angler who puts the time in, on a very calm Saturday night, not a soul around and these beastly fish were jumping all around us, unreal. Hope you enjoy the video.
  4. 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...
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