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  1. Hi Guys, Looking back its been longer than I thought. Its been over 6 months since I last told you guys whats been going on in my life. The boat is away in her slumber for winter and we are in that terrible limbo period between no ice and enough ice to walk on. I somewhat planned it earlier this year to finish up getting my Project Management Professional Designation that I have been working on over the past 5 years. I of course timed it right into the period where fishing is limited by ice and bad weather. Well after taking a 4 day intensive crash course and then studying intently for a month straight I took the exam on Friday and to quote Ricky "I passed with flying f-k-in carpets" Now that my mind is a bit more free, there aint much fishing to do, and work somewhat quieting down as we head into the holidays I figured it was time to post up yet another AKRISONER's (eh-kree-one-ers) somewhat semi annual year in review! When we had just left off, Bass season had just opened, we had had some absolutely incredibly spring fishing. the bugs were bad but the bites were good. Once July hit though, I dont know what tipped it off, but it set off one of the most challenging summers of bass fishing up on G bay I have experienced. My catches were less notable size wise but this two faced smallie was interesting. Ive seen the black spot patterns on smallies many times, but this guy had the most extensive black marking I have ever seen on a fish! My girlfriend, her beginners luck having long dried out, is now learning the finer details of what it takes to catch fish consistently. You dont catch a PB every trip, her face telling as much HAHAHA!. Her luck the previous couple of years was just ridiculous, she still had the biggest pike caught at the cottage in the past 3 years! Bites were tough to find, when you got them the size just wasnt there. In some ways it was a blessing in disguise. The smallie bite being junk meant i spent way more time learning how to flip and punch. I can honestly say I am now a flipping addict. Aside from a good topwater smallie bite, i may not enjoy anything more than flipping. Georgian Bay's recent high water has caused large expanses of forest in the back bays to be reclaimed by the lake. The areas I fish have within 2 years become an incredible timber fishery. If you want to talk about Bass and their movements, It became 100% obvious that those fish are opportunistic as all hell. They go where the best cover is even if that cover didnt exist two years ago. Flipping the flooded trees takes me back to fishing santee and guntersville. In fact sometimes I swear to god the laydowns at guntersville and up on G bay are almost indistinguishable. Whats scary though is that when the wind blows hard enough the dead trees regularly fall! Multiple times this year ive been fishing near them when a gust of wind knocked over nearby trees! Spending a lot more time in the back bays brought a couple of really cool new experiences due to situations that I was aware of, but had never specifically tried to capitalize on. The first one being the late summer collection of gar that occurs in a couple of my largemouth spots. They seem to just one day appear in droves. Im talking trophy sized gar, some definitely close to 50 inches if not over. Admittedly I have absolutely no friggin clue what so ever to what I am doing when it comes to gar. One particular hot sunny day in the pads flipping I switched it up on a particular clear patch and tossed out a small sized spook, and not realizing that the gar were there, one charged my spook but didnt bite. This was quite literally the first time I had ever had a gar act aggressively towards one of my lures. Ive had them swipe at crank/wakebaits in the past, but generally even they spooked any of the fish with any size. It was only the tiny ones that were aggressive. This fish however was a decent size. The Gar having settled right back into sunning itself on the surface of the water was open for me to make a quite approach and begin flipping my spook until i felt that I had the perfect line to bring the lure right past his mouth. Sure enough as my spook walking approached it, he began to get excited with his fins fanning, I brought the lure right up to his mouth and gave it a twitch and he swiped. Knowing i needed to bury those trebles into that bony nose i set the hook hard and he was hooked. He went airborn and gave me a decent little fight and sure enough I had caught my first gar on a topwater none the less! a quick photo and release later i then realized I was completely surrounded by hundreds of these things. Big small and in between there were gar absolutely everywhere. I kept using the same technique, kept getting bites, even hooking up but could only manage to land one more. I even had an absolute giant on at one point but I couldnt keep it pinned. He t-boned the spook and had it clearly sideways in his schnoz, one extra jump and off he came. Regardless a really cool experience and maybe something I will have to exploit a bit more when the bass fishing is slow. The one thing I cant get over is how damn weird they feel to hold. They stink like a pike and feel like a sheet of metal! To switch it up, a big part of my summer has now also been diverted to fishing a small set of tournaments mainly based around the kawarthas, 2 of which are hosted by my close family friends and two others by the trailer park that they have their trailer in and the finale a small family tournament hosted by me for the first time this year! (more on this later) I love fishing the tri-lakes because they are just so very different then G bay, it challenges me as an angler and summer largemouth fishing offshore is something that I have a driving desire to continue learning. This year I learned a lot fishing those tournaments and I hope to continue to understand deep offshore weed structure and how largemouth relate to it. Spent time graphing, pre-fishing, learning and fishing hard. Some of those weekdays off of work alone on the water learning were absolutely awesome. The lakes were what they always were, punishing during the tournament and more than gracious while fun fishing before and after the tournament. One particular July weekend, we didnt catch 5 keepers all day saturday, feeling dissatisfied we went out and did some flipping on pigeon, sure enough in the hour and a half we were out there in the absolutely howling wind, we hooked up with a 15+lb sack and a couple of muskys to boot. go figure lol My buddy dave actually won the tournament earlier in the day so perhaps it was his luck in the boat that did it. What a contrast, he had close to 20lbs for his days fishing, meanwhile I had about 4lbs until i started fishing with him! That tournament wrapped up, back up to my place I went to do one of my favourite things, taking my neice and nephews fishing, they are all old enough now to learn how to use spinning reels so a few weekends were spent teaching them to drop shot and catch smallies. The boys arent even scared to hold the fish anymore, Ashley not so much. My nephew Hudson is 10 now and has good command on a spinning reel, it was time to take him out fishing for real in the bassboat and teach him how to cast work a topwater and catch on his own. He loved the boat ride,i drove it like a tournament for him that day 55mph through the channels and narrows a big grin on his face the entire time and wouldnt you know it, a 10 year old is a better person to guide than his Dad...the main reason is that he listens to every word i say! Hudson became a pro with the Pop-r To quote him to his mom when he got back from fishing "today was the best day of my life" I think I felt the same way the first time i started catching smallmouths on topwater as well More tournaments on the tri lakes, more time spent fishing grass...youd think I had been getting a little sloppy or something! Then came the time, my best friend was getting married and a trip planned much earlier in the year saw 25 of his friends all make the trip down to Nashville for his bachelor party (I know 25 people?! his wedding also had 400!...if i died i dont think 25 people would even show up to my funeral lol) I saw my first college football game the Georgia Bulldogs vs the vanderbilt commodores. Nashville is an incredible city, great times were had along with far far too many alcoholic beverages. Back home we came where cooler september weather had arrived and finally the fish were doing things that I was accustomed to again. Another family tournament this time on stoney lake had me thinking I was finally going to take the trophy after struggling all year. The format for this one is a series of 3 5 hour sessions over the weekend. Session one we went out and caught pretty darn good for Stoney at that time of year. We had close to 11lbs for our 5 fish including a 4lber. Figuring the other guys did ok we got back to the docks to find out that Jamie the host for this family tournament didnt make it back for weigh in. Sure enough his outboard was having electrical issues so out we went to tow him home. Once at home we weighed fish, they had 2 fish for 1.2lbs and their boat was toast. The other two boats literally got skunked. I had a 10lb lead. I figured if i caught a limit of fish again there was basically no way to catch me even if I only caught dinks...the other guys got skunked again. I decided to go fun fishing in the evening since we weren't going to do the second leg due to the motor issues but with no main motor those guys went out on the next morning go figure I caught a limit of 5 bass that weighed 4 lbs and they caught 13 something and I lost both the big fish and the biggest weight. Needless to say I was a little rattled. My following weekends were not much fishing and a lot of work on our boathouse up at our house. I spent 4 full 9 hour days on weekends in the lake in late September replacing a crib (about the worst work you can do, diving under 6 feet of water to pick up 150lb rocks, hauling them to shore, replacing the crib and then filling it back up again) and then the next weekends jacking up the boathouse to try and get the beams out of the now high G bay water. Weirdest of all of this was a bowfin that had taken up residence in our boathouse cribs that basically had no fear of humans at all. He would swim right up to you while you were working in the water. One evening I snuck out for a quick largie bite and explosion after explosion in the pads had me thinking that the bass were feeding. It was dark and out I casted my frog when it got absolutely smoked, I set the hook hard and a hell of a battle ensued, I figured I had finally caught a PB largemouth, not being able to see anything in the black water, This bugger got bass flipped over the side of my boat lol. Once the work settled down a late september warmup hit...past experience told me that sometimes when you get those hot calm days in late september and early october where the water temperature spikes, the fish come up almost into a spring trance, youll find smallmouth up feeding with their backs nearly out of the water. That weekend was one for the books. We put down a bag just short of 20lbs for our best 5 fish, double headers, top water strikes, sight fishing in 3 fow of water, crankbaiting on shoals you name it we were doing it and just hammering big smallmouth after big smallmouth. What a riot! Then a week later, back to the cold fall weather. The fish moved back out of the edge and started stacking up and feeding on bait. Find bait, find hungry hungry smallies nearby. This time it was my turn to host all of the guys up for our family fishing jam and the lake was setting up beautifully. Having put a small no fishing zone to keep everyone on their toes, i headed to it the day before just to see how the fish were patterning up. While on the phone chatting with my brother on speakerphone, I was catching some pretty decent fish when i hooked into one and I immediately said to my brother "hold on this one feels really big" She came from the front of the boat and made a run to the back and then around my motor just to keep things interesting. As i swung her around away from the motor i yelled "oh my god thats huge" continuing the battle on the 8lb test dropshot i am crying "dont come off!" and into the net she went, just a beautifully thick healthy fish 5.86lb and not even a lot of gut on her, just pure muscle and size. I figured if I lost my little jamboree I was hosting, it didnt matter I had just caught a pb smallmouth whatever came next didnt really matter. The next day we headed out, and the magic begun. I had a few places in mind related to a small chain of shoals plus a couple of main basin points. We started on the shoals and proceeded to catch fish after fish after fish. We had a limit in about 25 minutes and the spot just kept producing for almost 3 hours. After things started to slow down, we moved. We found a musky, a couple of big pike and a couple of small bass so off we moved again. We upgraded one fish at the next spot, but with only 2 hours left in the day my partner and I agreed, maybe our original spot had replenished after resting for 5 hours, lets give it one last shot to see if we could upgrade. Upgrade with did we culled two more fish and pulled in the big fish for day a beauty 4lb+ smallmouth. returning to the docks for weigh in, The guys started weighing and I looked at the fish they were weighing and i said to myself, omg there is no way in hell we have won, everyone had clearly laid a beating to em out there. I didnt see a single fish under 2lbs easy. When it came to weigh our bag, the scale showed 16lbs I couldnt believe it, we had won by 2oz. Everyone was within 1lb of each other the lake had absolutely produced a pile of sacks that day. The boys even went back out in the evening and Dave hooked up with another 5lber plus the guys bagged a couple of 4's just ridiculous numbers and size. All told I think between the boats we had all caught over 100 fish on the day and only a handful were less than 2lbs. Work made the call a week later, and it was off to thunder bay for the first time to do a meeting, and with a free flight to thunder bay, i was also going to have a look around and wet a line. I ended up doing a bit of fly fishing, but the river was pretty blown as thunder bay had just had a big rain storm 2 days prior. It was nice to do some fly fishing again. Thunder bay was absolutely beautiful as well. I made a quick drive out to kakabaka falls (spelling?) as well. It was far more impressive than i expected...the size and volume of it was astounding! It was also quite cold, with the mist putting a layer of ice on everything. Fall was in full swing indeed. Even the November Great lakes Gales were early, that one particular storm that devastated the shorelines of lake erie, I headed out musky fishing in it. Usually when I go fishing in intensely bad weather I get rewarded. Well if you can call a blood blister rewarding after the gearing on my Abu reel exploded and jammed my finger all into the spool rewarding, then i guess it was a really successful musky trip in 100kmh winds. The good news was though that with the arrival of crappy weather, the walleye were getting hungry. An annual tradition up at our place my brother brought some of his buddies for our walleye weekend. The season as a whole this year was definitely not as crazy as previous years for numbers, there were good days and slower days mixed in. No skunks but only one day with the insane numbers that we have grown accustomed to. Some great fish caught and a few lost. The cold snapping right in before october was done. That called for my favourite chore of all (intense sarcasm), removing the docks and marine rail systems while the snow flied and the lake froze. Just out for a casual dip in the snow. A few more odd jobs around the cottage, I learned to service an outboard carb for first time, it sort of felt like a right of passage. The motor is all ready for next years musky trolling, the boats are away and im sitting here itching to get on the ice while it pours rain outside. I guess we shall see what happens as the week winds on. Early forecast calls for some very cold nights up near north this week, hopefully not too much snow and maybe just maybe Ill be able to throw the lifejacket and rope on and sneak out onto the ice in front of my place and wet a line again. After all of that month of studying its due! Cheers till next time.
  2. Hey Guys, According to my calculations its been almost 6 months since my last report! Its really no surprise that i find the time to post these in those shoulder seasons between ice out and ice up. Hopefully a lil fishporn can get you guys through till the ice gets solid and we can all get fishing once again. I might even have to swing down to the river just to get my fix these next few weeks! But without further adieu once again its AKRISONER's (EH-KREE-ONE-ERS) semi-annual year in review! When we last left off, the bass season had just kicked off. This year my team lobster tournament partner and I were enlisted in a few more small tournaments. I love fishing small tournaments, theres just something about competitive fishing occasionally that is so fun, it makes you appreciate those smaller fish a lot more, and any catch can get the adrenaline pumping. July brought our second tournament of the year but the biggest one, a tournament hosted by theona trailer park that brought out twelve boats of varying skill. As we are all aware, this summer the furnace turned on and man did it mess up the fishing quickly. That faithful saturday will go down as one of my roughest days on the water of all time, but to be honest, all i could do was laugh because at the end of the day, theres worse things to have than a day where you dont catch much and your boat breaks. if you can recall, last year jake and I (team lobster) made a pretty good duo, with me studying the maps, finding the spots and as per normal Jake having the luck and skill to land some big fish. Well this tournament was looking promising at first with jake landing a couple of keepers, but things very quickly went downhill from there...I caught 1 single keeper bass in 8 hours of fishing and that keeper was culled, this photo summing up our day lol our 5 fish were all jake’s, so begrudgingly we made our half hour run back to weigh ins, running full throttle for 20 minutes we slow down in the gannon narrows and something isn’t right. I can sense it, I look back…no water coming out of the pee hole, immediately shut the motor down and pray to god that temperature sensor would have warned me if I was overheating. Cause otherwise 20 minutes at full throttle overheating and my motor is toast. Call for a tow, the boys come tow us in and we get to the docks and paddle to let Jake off of the boat Jake hops out to get the truck to pull the boat out and I lower the trolling motor to troll over to the ramp…yup you guessed it, the trolling motor is dead (wiring came loose on the plug an easy fix later thank god once I removed the front panel) So I hop into the lake to and literally swim my boat to the ramp lol. We pull the boat out of the water and I go to plug it in to charge the batteries back up after 8 hours of fishing with the livewells running, my bank charger is blown. B.O.A.T. Took a long weekend off of work to fix the boat up, install the new bank charger, swap the impeller and of course do some fishing! One trip down to the dock I thought id spotted a bear cub in the tree in the front yard More scary though this summer was the Parry Sound 33 fire that was burning wildly out of control just to our north. (not my picture) A look on the horizon showed the smoke and a trip out to the big lake you could see the shoreline burning only 30km to our north. Unreported by the media were the countless fires that actually sparked up right in pointe au baril that were quickly extinguished by quick acting locals. We took some precautions of our own, watered the yard non stop, and moved all of trailers containing the sleds, kayaks etc etc down to the water front and parked them as close to the water and as far away from the forest as possible. It also helped that Pointe Au Baril township was able to divert the air support constantly running to our north to quickly extinguish the fires that kept popping up in town. 3 separate times a water bomber or helicopter was called in from fighting Parry Sound 33 into pointe au baril to extinguish flare ups. This particular morning fishing in the haze and smoke some more fickle/difficult to catch Pointe Au Baril largies cooperated. fixed and cleaned up, my 20 year old new to me rig was looking slick The heat, this summer most definitely put a damper on fishing everywhere I went, specifically big bites were harder to come by than I can ever remember. The fish were deep and there was no topwater or shallow bite at all. I spent a heck of a lot of time dropshotting this summer, my technique is dialed, but its not as fun as slamming these guys on topwaters. My last report Ironmaker gave me hell for fishing in bare feet all of the time…he said a hook was going to go through my foot, does a compartment handle count? Lol (don’t leave your handles up) The summer rolled on, the fishing was very meh, fished another tourney, caught lots of small fish, I think we weighed like 8lbs? was disappointing to say the least, September had arrived and this friendly stonefly gave me a reminder of all of the time I spent last year fly fishing the credit in September. A buddy of mine from work enlisted me to come up to his cottage on the lake of bays and guide him for the weekend. His fishing experience was of the bobber and worm type, so I hoped to teach him some stuff that he can use on his own and maybe figure out a few spots as well where he can consistently catch some smallies. Rain and cooler weather were a welcome treat after the scorcher of a summer that we had. A few good tips from Bill about how to pattern smallies that are on a shiner bite and we had a pretty damn good day of fishing. No monsters but this 19 inch smallie was a new PB for my buddy Seabass. If I remember correctly numbers on the day were in the 30s, Not bad for a lake that I had never fished on in my entire life! Most interestingly I had a top water bite from these bait busting smallies in 55 fow! Madness! Lake of bays is gorgeous as well. I can see myself fishing there again, Its underpressured, beautiful and I think secretly its a smallmouth factory (ill have to try it closer to opener) September also brought a new career oppurtinity for me so I switched jobs into a roll as a field services coordinator that has me both working in the field as well as from home. I no longer have a desk at head office so when I am not on the road I can be wherever I want to be in the entire world…I think its pretty obvious where I end up a lot of days lol. My dog enjoying this particular Monday morning. And me enjoying this particular Monday evening The pattern of smallies eating bait was holding, watch the down image, find the bait off structure and see the accompanying fish eating the bait Easy shooting. This particular session, I set a PB, I caught 7 smallies on 7 casts in a row. I have two good friends that moved from Australia 5 years ago to Canada, I enjoy taking them up north and showing them something aside from the city, Ive taken them ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing/snowboarding and this time it was time to show them how to catch smallies! And did we catch! This particular weekend the numbers count was over 50 fish! even the aussie boys were hammering em and loving it. Capped off by a couple of donkeys. September was shaping up after that slow summer! Another family tournament came along this time on stoney lake, we split it into 3 segments, morning, evening, and morning. The weather day one was hot the weather day two was cool. The guys we were fishing against are shoreline shallow bass guys, so the temperature swing really screwed them up on day two…jake and I hung around on day 1, but were sitting in last place by less than half a pound, Jamie the local who was running the tournament of course came to first weigh in with a 4lb lead…it was going to be tough to catch him, but what do you know that temperature swing did wonders for jake and I…we got on some solid fish and even lost a couple of monsters. We ended up weighing 14lbs for the 4 hour Sunday morning session, pretty darn good if you ask me, topped with the big fish winning kicker! Not the biggest smallie ive caught, not even close…but it feels like it when it pays! September rolled on and the heat vanished, fall had arrived and even more excitingly, a trip that I had booked long before to celebrate my dads 65th birthday the bros and pops all got together to go fishing…I got to select with who so naturally I selected my favourite youtube angler and pro fisherman Taro Murata! Simcoe was a mess, Taro even warned me that it was going to be a grind out there with the temperatures all over the place, the shallow weeds dying off…and the day according to Taro was about as good as it could have gone with the conditions…we caught plenty, but Taro assured us that we could have caught a lot lot more. I don’t think we can complain. Perhaps the best part about this though is that Taro is as genuine as they come, he is the exact same dude you see on youtube as he is in real life. He is hilarious, quirky, and a damn good fisherman. Specifically worth noting was the set of jumbos he got us on so that we could get some "ukranian steak" I was still trying to catch bass, but swapped to some live bait to nail a PB perch just for the hell of it...we kept 25 fish with a few 13+ inchers in the mix and easily could have caught 100 if we decided to keep fishing perch instead of chasing bass. The offshore largie techniques he taught me will be put to work next softwater season. I will also hold on to the nicknames that he gave my entire family, My brother shaun “hockey the minnow master” (shaun doesn’t play hockey) lmao…my dad “dad”, my oldest brother Steve, who is shorter than me and my middle brother “Little Brother” and my new nickname: Taro – Hey scott…you look like a real pro, like the kinda guy that wants to sell me something…look at the smile, the shades, I feel like you want me to buy something…You know that guy chris zaldain? Me – ahhaha yes…hes actually my favourite elite series angler Taro – “your name is now scott zaldain” Upon posting this story on Instagram, the real Chris Zaldain took notice ahaha. I need to meet him as well some day. October arrived, a weird weekend that kept me closer to Toronto called for a trip to the river for salmon closing, I got bit once on the fly, jake hooked 4 and broke all of the egg wagons off, but sometimes even a skunk can provide “the goods” October kept rolling, and man Nature got mean…highs below zero during the day in October? Where the heck was fall? The smallies started moving into fall patterns quick, having not had much success in past years in the fall, I was hellbent on trying to learn how to really pattern fall fish. I was even more hellbent on getting my first nickel smallie, Northeastern G bay is a bit cold and the smallmouth are very pallaegic due to the structure that they live in, its pretty normal for a 20 inch fish to go 3 lbs…a far cry from their southern cousins. A 5lb fish is somewhat of a treat for us, Out of the thousands of smallmouth we have caught only 3 have ever broken 5lbs…Myself I had yet to get one even after catching more than 100 4lbers. This particular cold day, my brother Personal bested in the morning We all popped a few 3 and 4lbers he then took off the chase walleye and jake and I stayed throwing swimbaits for bass…I make a long cast, I begin to retrieve slowly, 2 seconds into my retrieve I feel a small tick, set the hook hard…im on and it feels damn good. Im fighting this fish 25 yards off of the boat and it leaps into the air, my mind is disbelief, Jake immediately says “Oh F” I battle this thing to the boat, jake nets it, and I ask in disbelief, “do you think that thing breaks 5lbs” jake laughs “dude that’s 6” I don’t believe him…we weigh it and hes not far off, just shy of 6lbs a new PB and my goal for the last three years of bass fishing finally achieved, I almost have a breakdown in the boat lol. Look at the damn girth on this thing! 21 inches of football The next weekend the temperatures dropped even more and the bite disappeared, the water had plummeted to 40 degrees and it was still October, what the heck! With the bass shut down, it was time to chase eyes as is tradition. One thing I learned, those texans that invented bass boats, they dont fish in the cold...bass boats are cold, theres no other way to say it lol. 50mph at -5 does not feel good. And then of course, as we are all painfully aware winter arrived at the beginning of November…perfect! Just to have me scrambling to get my boat put away…what a gong show! November 16, we figured, we could sneak one last trip in for the season to chase some pre-ice up eyes. We head out Saturday morning and have the best day of walleye fishing I have ever had in my entire life, we had multiple 50+ fish days this fall, between the two boats one weekend we boated 120 walleye, but this particular day the average size was 19 inches capped by Dave hauling in the years best 8.71lber, that was only 27 inches long Assuring me that my cottage record 9lber from 2 years ago is in total jeapordy because the day we smack a 30 inch fish it’s going to weigh 15 lbs. and by the healthy look of this fish and my 9lber, these ladies aren’t even that old. We all caught and were happy, I went back to the cottage and continued the job of emergency winterizing my boat, and the boys woke up Sunday morning in the dark to head to the walleye hole…they walked out to the dock to realize…the entire lake was frozen over…perfect. Ill finish this report with a photo that officially tells you, softwater season is over, my next door neighbors having their morning breakfast with a show. They were sure to post it on facebook, tag me in the photo and put "good luck Scott!" What a mess getting the boat out was, we backed the trailer out thinking it may break through the ice, nope. Lots of swinging anchors and smashing with spudbars later, its time to start getting the flashers ready and the short rods rigged.
  3. Hey OFC, its been a minute! According to my calculations its been over 7 months since my last report…so wouldn’t you know it..its once again time for AKRISONER’s (EH-KREE-ONE-ERS) semi-annual year in review. Forgive me, I’m no Borger/Bunk, but I try! When we last left off, the fall fishing season had come to an end, November had past and holy cow did the weather turn cold in a hurry, so fast in fact that early December looked damn well like winter, and with such cold weather came early season solid ice. We coulda been out earlier, but December 16th was the first day I could get up north, and out I crawled spud bar in hand, wearing the survival suit, a life jacket and a rope tied to my waist with the homies holding on…to walk out on 6 inches of hard black ice…incredible. This solid start to the ice season created a foundation like I have never seen in the 15 years I have been on the ice on G bay. (more on this later) As Christmas approached the weather just seemed to get colder and colder…with solid, smooth black ice and the fishing somewhat slow, in a rare occurrence I put the rods down and built myself a hockey rink and a damn good one at that if I do say so myself. -35 mornings included me shoveling snow into the cracks that had formed with the contraction of the ice during the cold cold nights, then hauling pails of hot water down to make slush which I quickly packed into the cracks. It was a labour of love, but the nephews and nieces loved it for the short time that they were able to play outside in the -25 weather. My brothers on the other hand stayed outside with me and games of shinny were on rotate. Theres just something about a rink on a lake at your disposal that is maybe even better than fishing. A real treat indeed. It truly was a December to remember Like any good lake rink, they aren’t sacred, snow, wind etc ruins them so back to fishing it was…overall January was friggin tough, nowhere near the numbers or quality of the year before, perhaps the whacky weather had something to do with it, we managed a few but they were definitely fewer and farther between then we are used to. The cold weather solidified the lake like I had never seen, I was even able to go adventuring on the snowmobile to areas I had never dreamt of riding to. It was pretty darn cool to see endless thick, clear black ice. A trip rolled up that I had booked back in September, it was time to go off and engage in another passion of mine, snowboarding…but in the Far East! I have a goal to snowboard in every major skiing area of the world, so far I have knocked off eastern and western North America and New Zealand, Japan knocked off another checkmark on the list. I spent 5 days riding including doing some alpine ski touring During said trip a member of my touring crew broke his shin after running into a tree at over 1000meters elevation on the side of a mountain. We had to perform mountain rescue that lasted 7 hours of daisy chaining a guys down the mountain and it ended with me skiing on a splitboard through the pitch black down a logging trail during a snowstorm…it was epic. The guys life saved, and a story for me to remember for the rest of my life. Japan was friggin epic, we got the snow that they are famous for (80cm in 24 hoursish) best riding of my life..if you want more details or are considering it yourself PM me, or just go, you wont regret it for a second! Kicked it in Tokyo for a few days too, caught flack for my buddies for not fishing Biwa but its hundreds of kilometers from Tokyo…I don’t regret it! Lol Ramen is friggin delicious, and im totally depressed that it just is impossible to get it properly done in Ontario...ive heard rumours of some good places but havent found any yet. Back to Ontario…it was mid February just in time for when fishing really starts to pick up…every weekend we fished it seemed to pick up more and more with a crescendo in march. The flasher tells the story Even got the old man to catch his first crap I got so cocky at one point, I caught a crap and said to hell with this I want a photo with two of them, dropped my line down quick and nailed a second just for the photo…that’s how hot the bite was lol. I think on our best day we definitely landed over 60, it was almost annoying taking them off. Not being much for keeping fish I think me and the guys kept a grand total of 3 crappies out of the hundreds we caught over the season. I realized crappie probably is the best freshwater tasting fish…but not tasty enough for me to care to keep em lol We decided to take a week off of the craps and try simcoe for lakers…got skunked, thought that the fishing in a crowd of tents with people ripping around on crappy old snowmobiles was nowhere near as good as sitting in solitude hammering crappies and vowed to never go back again ahaha. (sorry barrie folks) We had truly gone crappie crazy Sometime during this time like the very end of February some of you may remember me considering buying a boat…well I did…she stayed with the previous owner though until things warmed up a little, him storing it until April was part of the deal..but damn was I ready to bring her home even if the thermometer had us thinking more about snow than boats. We had over 3 feet of black hard ice on the bay this year…guys were bringing out the trucks and cars just like the good old days! I had never seen anything like it in the time ive been around. Go figure the year I buy a boat we have the longest winter in history…that’s my luck…you can all blame me for the delayed start to soft water season this year. I couldn’t believe it, we literally didn’t have ice off on the pike opener! A lot of hours were spent in the driveway, completely rewiring the boat, building in storage compartments, building a rod rack for the rod locker etc etc. we got the boat dialed for the season. This included one nice balmy April morning of wiring in the driveway with the thermometer at -8…what the hell was going on? Finally the winter broke and some warm (relative) weather arrived. We decided to get out on the water on lake O for some browns. We also tried to learn to use planer boards. We seemed to figure them out but got skunked regardless. It appeared as though we were too early as everyone else also got skunked. The highlight of this trip though was that you know its been a damn long winter, but jake and I were trolling tarps off complaining that it was friggin hot in the sun…checked the weather network app, it was 13 degrees lol…winter will do that to ya. Lake O sure is a beauty in the spring though, we will have to give her another go sometime, or maybe take what we learned with the boards and try them for some walleye. May finally arrived and it was pike opener…I tried an old pattern from the year before that I figured out and brought my girlfriend out to try it with me..she had never fished softwater in her life, and did a little ice fishing with me over the winter for the first time in her life. Her first 5 minutes ice fishing she caught a pike, and knowing how beginners luck works, I warned her from the outset, “you are going to catch a big fish today so just be prepared” Her third cast of her life, she catches a decent one…and 15 minutes later this gal comes to play…yup, my girlfriend in 15 minutes had caught a pike that took me probably 20 years of my life fishing to catch. With the new boat slimed, it was time to get some finishing touches done because as planned the year before it was time to go chase bass in Santee South Carolina. Some new bumpers for the wheel wells, some new lights and fixing a crack on the frame plus replacing some rivets on the diamond plate. Its good to have good skilled friends lol The week leading up to the trip, the weather took a really bad turn, a tropical cyclone nearly formed and then a pattern of tropical rain from florida began funneling into the area. It was hot, sticky, and wet as hell…although it kinda felt good after the winter we had had. Lake Marion was everything could have ever wanted as far as it comes to fishing largemouth southern style. The story of the lake is that the santee river was to be dammed, the war began and they didn’t have the manpower to remove the trees prior to flooding it…so what you are left with is quite literally a lake that’s about 8 feet deep in most areas, while a forest continues to grow in the middle of it to this day…bizarre and amazing. The lake is also largely uncharted and absolutely full of stumps and deadheads. Its pretty damn intimidating to say the least. We spent a heck of a lot of time fishing what the locals call “the swamp” or formally known as “stumphole” both names are awesome and so is the scenary. We were lucky enough to meet up with a local that I met off of another forum, he showed us how to safely navigate the lake through the stumps showed us some spots and even took a few of us out on his brand new fully loaded 250 horsepower 21 foot triton, Ken an ex-marine who had done two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan was one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Southern hospitality is real I tell ya! Between dodging 15 foot gators, casting into trees and fishing swamps, us Canadian boys were impressed, this lake was friggin cool! The weather started to take another bad turn that night and sure enough we got nearly flooded out of our campsite. The boys were getting a little low morale, the fishing had been tough due to the weather, we were wet, hot and to add to it, we were running a little low on food after a miscommunication ended up with a bag of ice being poured into a cooler that was storing dry goods…everything got soaked. Funny back story, when we drove down to santee state park Waze took us on some insane backroute through plantations and the total boonies, we really figured that the park was in the middle of nowhere. After a really whack dinner of white bread and chef Boyardee we were hurtin to say the least. We lit a decent fire to try and dry out a bit, my wallet had literally got completely soaked during one of the heaviest downpours I had ever seen in my entire life that afternoon, I noticed jake drying something on the fire…yup, we had to save our benjamins lol The boys were hungry and decided that it was worth it even if it took hours to drive to civilization and find food. I didn’t have phone service so I left it to the guys to figure out…sure enough a quick search for mcdonalds said that one was 5 minutes away? no way…we were in the middle of nowhere were we not? We all hopped in the truck at 11 pm and took off to try find food, sure enough a quick 5 minute drive down a different road out of the park, a left turn and there we were…in the small town of santee featuring grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, hotels, gas stations etc etc. you name it it had it lol…Jake literally said “you guys friggin made me eat chef Boyardee! I hate chef Boyardee!!!!!” we all died laughing. Needless to say we feasted hard. We put in another day of fishing, caught a few but it was pretty slow…according to ken we had literally come at the worst time as the fish were transitioning to their summer hunches with the heat and humidity/rain wave that had moved in. It was still fun to be bass fishing Our trip done with heavy storms barreling in a 17 hour drive ahead of us we decided to pack up a little early and head back home to Canada. Coming home a pike jerbait bite awaited me…this fine morning we spent 2.5 hours fishing, caught 50+pike including a few decent ones, no giants though but the numbers made it fun as hell including multiple double headers all fishing jerkbaits in less than 10 fow..fun indeed the warm weather and lack of blackflies a total surprise it was a perfect weekend. The weeks carried on and finally…finally after all of that wait bass opener arrive. An annual tradition a family friend hosts a small family tournament dubbed the triple C on the tri lakes. Jake and I in the new boat fished hard and lost by less than half a pound we just couldn’t get the big bite we needed to put us over the top. We caught a pile of fish but couldn’t get the big bite we needed. Congrats to the boys for beating us this year, we will get our trophy back though. An evening again on the water brought on a decent topwater bite and some decent fish and a cool photo of me in the new rig The following day we made a quick trip out in the morning before the heat of the day arrived. This cheeky perch thought he was in the for the meal of a lifetime And they say big baits are for big fish To throw it in the mix…jake then landed his first ski of his life on a jerkbait using 15lb fluro. It was the 5th musky we had hooked up with that weekend but we finally actually landed this one. The musky fishing on pigeon would have been nuts on bass opener. I had one bite me off that shot my line back into my face and left a red line across my head. Man musky are crazy! Finished up the weekend and headed home and began packing/planning for the truly big trip..my annual weeklong bass opener vacation. Leaving Friday and arriving in barrie, this sky prompting “sailors delight” told me that we were in for some really damn good fishing. Alarm set for 3:30, we woke up, launched the boat at 4am, at the honey hole by 5, where we were shook for the first 10 minutes when not even a bite, a surface, nothing happened…what the heck was going on? Jake threw a top water way up into a stupid shallow area filled with pencil reeds…boom, yup the smallies were still chillin on the beds…oh boy this was gonna be fun. Half an hours work with the heddon spook and the megabass giant dog x What a day The evening brought out some more decent ones My dog was loving the weather I was loving the fishing Got my second g bay musky (still waiting for that real G bay 50 incher, this year i plan on giving it a really honest shot) the fishing was just too good, this particular evening we didn’t move more than a few hundred meters we hit a pile of smallies, a 5.5lb walleye, a musky and 3 good pike, we got so satisfied with catching we went looking for a cool place to take photos, we instead came across a really cool mansion/cottage that included a guest house the size of a 5 bedroom home, a bridge across their own cordoned off bay, as well as a boat house that was shaped like a giant wedge that was bigger than a house. We took our photos and went home early having caught to our satisfaction More time on the water was had. The trophies fishing team and I have started using a few higher end baits, what that means is something when you stupidly cast into trees or snag, you end up having to run up on shore to get your lures back. Heres me yelling at jake to mush while he paddles us out of one particular snag Ive got a video of me swimming for a lure that I snagged as well, that’s what happens when you charge $30 for a hard bait lol Jake has started to get into swimbaiting a bit too for bass…although they seem to just catch big pike lol Our buddy Dave came up and joined us the next day and we decided to target largies…we found them off of the weed edges near where they had spanwed, and bam dave slapped a top secret 5 and a half pound largie…that far north…yup That evening we went chasing more smallies…we made a vow to literally fish new grounds every trip from there on out never fishing anywhere I had even thrown a cast before…we caught some, struggled a bit at times, but struggle is relative, we were catching, just not at the rate of the double and even triple…yes triple headers (we had two this week) that we had been getting. Heres a pic of our best double header One evening we tried to keep track but lost count somewhere in the 60 bass range…ya 60 smallies in one evening trip…it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I love nights like this because you can take a set up that you may not have the most confidence with, but throw it and get bit and get a feel for it. For me, I am starting to get into squarebills on the crankbait rod, and sure enough I landed a bunch using this new set up. Channeling my inner KVD, smacking smallies on the squarebill. One particular evening far from home base in new water I said “ok boys lets pack up I don’t want to get stuck out here in unknown water at night”, threw one last cast with the giant dog x and nailed the biggest smallie of the trip The next day we tried yet another spot, hit a triple header again…but this particular night we were struggling a little to find that solid size…once again I said boys lets pack her up and head in for some grub, threw one last cast with the megabass giant dog x again and book another piggy. Buzzer beaters were becoming the pattern. Another day…more fish Another new area fished and sure enough I hook into by far the biggest bass of my life, I fight it boat side it makes a run I bring back to the boat, it goes ballistic and I lose it…that’s just how things go isn’t it? I screamed at the top of my lungs, swore up and down…the fish gods heard me I think…because we filled the livewells in quick succession…thank god because if we didn’t I may have sank the boat right then and there A week of hammering bass and whatever else in the books, my bass thumb was nasty. But damn was it worth it…I can honestly say Sunday afternoon after 9 consecutive days on the water logging hours I was satisfied…but its now Wednesday and you can damn well bet, I wanna go fishing again. Thanks for reading, im outty till fall AKRIS/Scott
  4. Hey Guys, Lets make up for my friends with criminals thread! As the days are cold, and the soft water season has officially ended, I find myself on the eve of my first trip out on the ice...what better time than to sum up the remainder of my 2017 softwater season. So once again without further adieu i present AKRISONERS (eh-kree-one-ers) semi annual year in review. When we last left off bass season had just opened and I had finished first in my first tourney (although small we took great pride in beating a bunch of locals on their own lake) I was spending a lot of time up on G bay chasing smallies this summer the jerkbait bite was insane TO SEE A BIGGER VERSION CLICK THE PHOTO (hosting site resizes it ) I got to spend some time with the kids chasing panfish on ultralights off of the dock, when my 4 year old nephew hooks a fiesty lil bronzeback that put on an arial show that scared the living bejeebus outta Owen During this particular smallie trip I caught 20 fish in a couple of hours on the same bait...during the trip I was talking with my brothers friend who i brought out with me about how neither of us had ever put a hook past the barb into our skin...i said that i knew that it was definitely inevitable, it was just a matter of time. We discussed how your only option is to probably push the hoook through and cut it...noted for another time. The largemouth fishing has rebounded huge, and that puts a big smile on my face, that very same evening i headed out for some pre-sunset largies when i hooked into this chunky girl on the last cast of the night, the bugs were coming in hot and I was not even happy that i had to deal with unhooking the trebles from this largie while 1000000 mosquitos swarmed my face Wouldnt you know it the trebles were hooked right through the net and the fish making a total mess...time to get a new net the coating is shot on this frabil So there I am ticked off with the hooks a total mess in the net and the bugs swarming me when of course wouldnt you know it...I lodge one of the trebles past the barb right into my knuckle...i grab my knipex cut the hook and proceed to push the hook through my finger bleeding profusely inviting even more mosquitoes to the blood bath a little self surgery yanking the hook out with a pair of plyers and some rubbing alchohol I was good to go...but oh the irony, when i got back to the cottage i ran up in excitement to tell my brothers buddy the story, and everyone laughed at my misfortune lol. Man did this summer provide some great sunsets though this one isnt just lense flare, the sky actually had a flare in it just like the picture, it doesnt even do it justice The next tournament got lined up, the theona invitiational on the tri lakes, the same game plan as last time, we ran pigeon chasings smallies and pulled out the big fish for the tourney...finished 4th in total weight, we couldnt get the kicker we needed but we were close...still came home with some $ so we couldnt complain the next day we decided to mess around and fish an area we had never fished before...the jerkbait had been absolutely killing it so i continued to throw it when i felt a strange bump and a good amount of weight...but no fight...did i hook a log? nope...just a big old pickerel in the middle of clear hot summer day. This fish stands as my 2nd PB behind the big girl i got last fall. An absolutely solid trip in, it was time to head back home to smash more summer time jerkbait smallies...you gotta love the days when you can put a 20lb+ bag in the boat throwing the same lure all day. cooler temps mid summer had me one day thinking that I should go autochart the uncharted area that i fish walleye before the fall comes...so off i headed out, and i brought the musky trolling gear with me in the off chance that who knows...maybe id catch the families first G bay ski? The boat is shaping up nicely as i continue to turn my 14 foot basic tinner into a fishing machine and wouldnt you know it, there was my first G bay ski I sent Fisherpete a big text saying PETE I CANT BELIEVE IT!!!! I DID IT! ...honestly though thanks Pete for filling me with your infinite musky wisdom, these fish wouldnt happen without your advice, helpfulness and generosity. Now i just need a size upgrade. The dog days of summer were on but labour day had arrived, i spent the weekend with the old man breaking in the new boat and teaching him how to fish smallies using his new trolling motor...this sunday morning will go down as legendary... 2 hours, 10 smallies not a single one under 3.5lbs Even the perch were feeling cheeky But the old man had to show me one thing this epic morning...how to catch the actual "big fish" one for the books indeed. September came, and my buddy jake an avid river guy started talking...he was beyond stoked that I was pumped to try some local GTA river fishing...so out came the fly rods...and many a weeknight after work were spent until dark chasing fish My first salmon didnt fight much, he lacklusterly took a nip at my fly as it basically hit him in the face proceeded to make one lazy run and give up...he was smoked But many more evenings were spent watching salmon run upstream, and me getting skunked...my fly casting specifically my double haul on the other hand, holy crap its really starting to come around...i guess all of that practice is making perfect Having bought a condo back in toronto closer to work during the spring, my after work river fishing season was coming to a close...one last night out on the water was what we called for...I had nearly given up on ever getting a salmon to bite on the fly...that night i decided to simply bring the 5wt and nymph roe patterns for the resident juvenile bows. It was getting dark, when out of the corner of my eye i see something....i do a double take...holy crepe, thats a salmon...scared to move and spook it I akwardly roll cast upstream infront of it and sure enough just as the roe nymph reaches beside me, the salmon charges and chomps down on it...i say "jake, that friggin salmon just ate my fly!" and i set the hook hard...the fight is on and im on a 5wt....this should be interesting...the fish sends me on a goose chase running down river with jake following...im about to get spooled and i manage to turn the fish again....we land err, perhaps one of the best fish fights of my entire life (might still be behind a tarpon) These zombies are nasty! The nights got colder and longer...we had a couple of weeks before the pickerel really started to run, I decided to get out and get that hot dropshot smallie bite...just another absolutely ridiculous day smashing smallies on the drop shot...so much fun and another good day during that strange fall warm spell The sun told us...fall was here and it was time to get on the eyes...the strong class of fish we are catching has grown up for sure, plenty of solid eaters this year...and even a couple of monsters...unfortunately i didnt do so well on size this fall but the numbers were pretty darn good...my best day I caught 27 in a morning...couldnt complain dave with a cheeky first...a musky off our dock...hopefully this one grows up and sticks around A beauty 21" and 19" double header...i had to net both fish rod in one hand net in the other lol then the cold snap came...this particular morning -18...ouch the boat didnt like it either as a seal failed in our steering...she was a long drive home basically not being able to turn the boat There it was my last fish of the soft water season...i didnt complain at this chunky bro The drive home on this november weekend told me that the season was done...and i was ok with that...Ice season starts tomorrow and i cant friggin wait Thanks for reading!
  5. My last report ended with the autumn fish run that makes pointe au baril a premium Ontario fishing location, personal bests were caught and some personal therapy was had. As the leaves fell and the nights got long, the trophies fishing team and I had an itch...an itch that can only be scratched in a few selected places around the world and as lucky Canadians we are indeed in one of those places...we longed for hard water. So once again without further adieu I present to you AKRISONERS (EH-KREE-ONE-ERS) semi annual year in review. As most of you can remember, December came with a bang, could you believe it? We're we going to be on the ice in southern Ontario before Christmas? The forecast told us yes..the transition from fishing on soft water with no snow in the cold, to fishing in a winter wonderland was about a week, our lake locked up...but then dread set in as Georgian bay started squalling like crazy, dumping over a foot of snow on our new fresh layer of ice...what we were left with was literally 6 inches of the worst ice I have ever seen. If you could even call it ice...but the boys and I were bound and determined to wet lines through a hole, so on came the lifejackets, the ropes and ice picks...we walked to the dock and hopped on, strolled out to the end of the dock and I attempted to punch a hole with my spud...yup it went right through as if the ice wasn't even there. We punched holes and sat on the dock, not marking a damn thing..I knew that we needed to be about 10 yards out from the dock...I said screw it...I tied off and got ready to fall through...shimmying at first in an army crawl, then slowly standing...I sunk a bit...but didn't go through! We were in business. Yes that ice was as bad as it looks, yes I was literally 50 yards from a heated winterized cottage. Where we walked proceeded to pack and freeze up the top layer of ice...we spent three days absolutely hammering pike, unfortunately no big girls came to play but the numbers were ridiculous. The funniest bit was when our tip ups went off, watching eachother gingerly make our way to the tip up while trying not to fall through the ice. Winter locked in the snow came down heavy...winter was shaping up to be the "traditional Canadian winter" that everyone thought we were going to get My family christmas was on boxing day so much to my buddy's jealousy i spent christmas morning 2016 by myself jigging pike in PAB with not a soul to be seen. Some time in January I exchanged messages with a nick from the forums, we agreed to exchange some spots. My fellow trophies teammate dave is absolutely crappie obsessed...i don't even know why, he doesn't eat a lot of fish but regardless he wanted to try get some crappie through the ice. Having never been able to solve the crappie equation in pointe au baril and in 12 years of fishing the area we had literally never even seen one never mind caught one. We made our way out, caught a few but the day was fairly slow...then our worst nightmare happened, the weather changed and the ridiculous mid winter warm spell settled in. The weather was so poor it basically ruined the ice everywhere. Luckily somehow pointe au baril managed to somewhat stay cold. Our ice held up, but family day was a ridiculous day of sitting out in 14 degree sunny weather getting a sun burn. We planned to try catch some pike and maybe a few pickerels if we were lucky. Set up camp and the unbelievable happened...I hear dave say "I'm on" it's a pickerel...sweet...but then dave screams OMG ITS A CRAPPIE! And proceeds to loose his bloody mind, I sprint out and we celebrate, the pointe au baril crappie skunk is over we are the master anglers after all lol! Dave even landed a couple more, I caught a few pike and pickerel. As the sun set it was time to pack up...I proceeded to make my way to each tip up we had set...as a rule I always ensure I set the hook when I release them from the rod...the final tip up I reel up the slack and set the hook and holy crap my drag starts screaming. it was a solid family day weekend. We wanted to test if it was just a fluke or whether or not this spot was as hot as it seemed... we went back and what do you know, almost immediately I hook into my first ever crappie what you dont see is that i proceeded to step on a ridge and absolutely bail hard smashing my knee about 2 seconds after this photo, never dropped the fish though! it may have only had shaken baby syndrome We proceeded to catch a few more throughout the day the spot was legit...it was time to plan a full solid day trying to snag these fish...plans were made and the following weekend was one for the books We ended up catching close to 30 crappies plus pickerels and pikes One thing for sure is that the pickerel are still spawning strong plenty of these little guys were kicking around As winter wore down...the itch to throw a cast grew stronger by the day, but what happened was astonishing. Our ice nearly completely thawed with a big rain storm, what were left with was a massive pile of slush with a water layer 4 inches thick...you couldn't even walk on the ice safely...but then the unthinkable happened, a set of -25 nights froze the lake completely solid...we literally ended up with the best ice I had ever seen in pointe au baril and it was the middle of march! What also happened for the first time in my life was that we were left with a lake that was perfectly flooded, hard and smooth...forget fishing it was time to skate on my 100 acre hockey rink I found some spare time to finish up a 4 sitting tattoo project, my pike and was finally full complete, I couldn't be more happy with the results The itch to cast was growing stronger and the ice didn't seem to have any ideas of going away...we started thinking about finally doing something we had talked for years about doing. I started checking out the logistics...and holy was it feasible...it was time to go to Alabama Planning on towing the boat down some work on the trailer was needed, change the wheel bearings, pretty err up, swap a tail light, minor details...so I thought...as someone commented in my trailer bearing debacle thread, no good deed goes unpunished...while hammering in my new races for the bearings with the proper race punch tool, I take a swing to watch my entire hub crack in half and shatter...and to make matters worse after phone calls and hour long drives to parry sound and back...my hub was going to need to be ordered from the states and we were outta time. The whole trip was basically toast...we went for a fish, broke some ice at least that was going to calm me down a bit, and as luck would have it we even found some more crappies holding near their winter pattern but this time on the Ultra lights...good times I was at least in an ok mood. My friend mike steps up makes a pile of calls and found us a boat...we were back in business 4 days before we were scheduled to leave. Gear is packed, we hop in the ram and begin our drive south at 2am, destination guntersville. The further we drive south I swear to god we feel like we are going back in time a little bit A stop at dicks sporting goods in Nashville tells us two things...Canadians get ripped off by the fishing industry and we just are ok with it ($11 spools of 300yard power pro, 2 for $10 live target swim baits, $3 original chatterbaits i could go on) The best part about Nashville though for those who haven't been are the many plentiful sights...and the accent just makes it that much more incredible. We reluctantly continued on our way all agreeing that we could easily end up married there over a weekend hahaha. A bit weary having been on the road for 14 hours straight, we had no idea what to expect as we proceeded to northern Alabama...the drive through the Midwest/rust belt had not been very eventful to say the least but all of sudden the world around us changed...we wondered if we had pulled a dumb and dumber and drove east into the Appalachians instead of south...southern Tennessee and Alabama were incredibly mountainous? And absolutely ridiculously gorgeous??? Us Canadian boys were confused but pleased...look at this bloody place! Pulling into guntersville state park we were greeted by some of the friendliest folks you could imagine, it was late, we were late but they were just ridiculously accommodating and welcoming. Southern hospitality was a theme, it's the real deal every person we met in Alabama was helpful, friendly, welcoming and just plain nice. We set up camp, tied up our rods, crushed a couple pops and hit the bed as images of 10lb toads danced through our heads I woke up to a rumble, a megaphone and some more loud roars that only a highly tuned 2 stroke could make. Weary we crawled from our tents, the sun not quite up, we looked to the lake to see what looked like ants floating about. I took a stroll closer to see what we knew. Basscat was having their annual owners invitational. I don't know if I will see as many high end bass boats for the rest of my entire life. Luckily guntersville is a big lake. The pressure wasn't too bad after all. Breakfast in us we headed to the town creek fishing center where we met a gentleman hailing from Minnesota who claimed he was so happy to finally hear someone talk like us again, he then proceeded to note every time I said eh and tease me about it, we shared some laughs. The guys told us some ideas for fishing and we were on our way. Pulling up to our first spot I had to unsheath my new custom top water rod made by DUnamis rods with a new reel, I had been waiting to throw a cast with that combo since January! Within 4 casts I hooked up...a 1lber but none the less we figured a good sign let the fishing commence. What proceeded for the next two hours was a punishing tough bite some nibbles but not what we expected. The scenery was good though I even caught mike looking into the bird man's eyes...such is the result (ask me about the bird man game, it's a good one) We then finally located some bass Where I then proceeded to notice something struggling in the shoreline brush...it was a bird and it was in distress. Realizing it was a commorant I pondered whether or not to save it, but then I saw the fishing line wrapped around its wing and I decided nothing deserves to die like that and as a fisherman I took responsibility for it. The neatest part about this was that once the bird realized I was trying to help it, it literally calmed down and just let me do what I needed to do. I was even able to loosen the grip on its neck while i cut away the line. We then proceeded to pick off a few more fish but then the slow period continued. It was now the afternoon and we didn't have a fish over 4lbs. Where the heck were the 10lbers?! We moved spots, right into a promising bay behind a tournament boat, and proceeded to land some more bass even though the tournament guys caught nothing. But that concluded our day of catching. We didn't know what to make of it. We went in, grabbed some food, and headed out for the evening bite where we proceeded to get skunked fishing some of the best looking timber and glass calm conditions you've ever seen. I felt like I was in a video game, the structure was so good and conditions so perfect but only the odd gar would blow our baits up, never landing any. A bit rattled we went McDonald's, impressed some of the local ladies we got a lot of looks laughed our butts off when dave said about one local "she puts the gunt in guntersville" and headed to bed The next day we tried some more local techniques in prime areas tried ripping lipless cranks over grass, drop shotting deep holes anything! Hooked up with a few lost a few more..and wouldn't you know it, our damn trip was over! Parked the boat and sure enough the heat gave out and a massive storm system rolled in. Sure enough tornado warnings started popping up to the north and south of us, We battened down the hatches and headed into town for some barbecue. The storm hit and we was a doozy. I've only seen rain like that a few times before. Some impressive downbursts as well did a bit of damage in the park. We were in for a soggy night, especially because my tent in it's old age had lost the majority of its waterproofing. I woke up basically floating on my small air mattresses in my tent lol 3 Canadian boys soaked, and defeated by Alabama, but not really the laughs and ability to wear shorts and t shirts bass fishing in April made it worth it! Home we headed, there were pike to catch and catch we did as the season opened up here I even managed to nab a couple of brookies on the fly in a local stream that shall not be named a first for me Soon enough one of the happiest days of the year arrived the kawarthas bass opener, and for it my good friend's dad was hosting a small family tournament. My team lobster partner jake was providing the boat. The locals all had their standard plan but I was thinking outside the box, we had other ideas to chase quality fish over quantity. We headed out the Friday before opener and scouted our spots and sure enough we were seeing fish still on the beds lounging up shallow, our game plan was to run to pigeon and find big smallies and then find green kickers in the last hour and a half. We headed out and I immediately landed a brown one...good omen? I then had blow ups on my next two casts...this was gonna be easy...or so I thought. we then proceeded to get skunked for the next two hours. Those bedded fish were gone?! when we decided to pitch some near by grass. The chatterbait Yanked our second fish out of the grass but we were already 3 hours in i called an audible and we started pitching docks on a rocky shoreline...my partner now almost 4 hours into a 7 hour tournament without a bite! When he gets a hit and it buries him and we almost lose it in the ensuing battle. We land it celebrate Jakes pb 4.9lb smallie and continue on our way picking off another fish We are now at 4 fish but we've got an hour and a half left. We head back to buckhorn and start aggressively hammering shorelines and bays with 10 minutes left the chatterbait gets slammed we've go the kicker we were looking for another 4lb largie. We get to the docks and the guys start telling us about how they began culling an hour in...uh oh? We didn't cull at all lol. Didnt matter we had two fish worthy of the big fish trophy and won the total weight by 4lbs Trophy reads that we are the master baiters then some big storms rolled through that brought those tornadoes to barrie and ended the evening bite The following week I took a week off of work to fish the g bay opener. I'll just let the photos do the talking. I broke 5lbs for the first time on opening day The guys headed home for the first 4 days of the work week while i stayed up north just me and my dog..perhaps better than the fishing was just hanging out enjoying the quiet beauty. dave caught the cottages first gar and we found some stacked up largies that had us hit a second 20lb bag in a week. The new helix got installed too, autochart live is fun! the dock fly fishing for pike was on fire too, its a great way to practice casting and catching! my first pike on the fly and one of many more The guys came back and we spent another few beauty evenings slapping smallies 10 years ago my neighbors used to tell me stories about how in the 80's you could park a boat at our boat house and we would laugh about the concept with Georgian Bay reaching all time low water levels...the rebound has found me spending the last two weekends I have been up there fixing docks to bring them back up to today's water levels...this has also meant I havent been fishing!! ughhh The totally unthinkable My next planned adventure has me going to Barry's bay and some more tournaments in the near future...I can't believe summer is half over? Till next time, thanks for reading
  6. 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
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