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Governator

2008 Fishing Review: My First Year Fishing

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I typed this up originally as an article for myself but after giving it up some thought I figured many of you would enjoy this story on your coffee break. Thank you very much for those who take the time to read it, I know it's probably one of the longest reports in history lol.

 

I just got in to fishing this year and I’m a little excited to reflect on my experience as I've learned so much from reading this forum.

 

 

2008 Year in Review - My First Year Fishing

 

Intro

 

In the summer of 2007 I moved to a small city surrounded by water and on the edge of cottage country… Barrie, Ontario. While I spent most of the summer weekends watering the brown grass & doing some yard work around the new house, I dreamt about the great outdoors. I couldn’t help but notice my neighbour’s proudly showing off their boats in the driveways & seeing garage doors open with 6 or 7 fishing rods pinned to the walls. I wondered what this obsession was all about as it seemed like everyone in this town loves the outdoors.

 

As I was getting use to my new surroundings, the summer seemed to fly right by me. I felt like I missed some good opportunities to try out some of the great hobbies this community has to offer. I had lots of time to reflect back on that as the winter kept us indoors for several months. It seemed like everyday was a “snow day”, spending most of my time either shoveling snow or hanging around the gas fireplace drinking hot tea to keep warm. How long was this going to last I thought? Week after week, day after day I found myself cursing at the plow as it filled in my driveway, giving me lots of time to think about the months ahead. Spring eventually arrived melting away the mess that nature left us in for the past 6 months and the hot summer days were once again approaching.

 

I told myself I wasn’t going to be a hermit this summer and that I had to get out and do some things with the outdoors. Kicking back late at night with my buddy Ash, we decided we should plan a camping trip and get out there in the wilderness. So we did, June 20th - 22nd was the booked dates to Sibbald Point Provincial Park in Sutton. We brought the wives & kids, played some badminton, volleyball and spent hours at the beach soaking up the sun and swimming in Simcoe. Life felt great, just a total change of life leaving the blackberry turned off and just forgetting about ordinary life.

 

 

The Addiction Begins

 

The following weekend I get a call from Ash asking if I’d like to try fishing out. I said “Hey that sounds great, I got an old rod back at my parent’s place”. We decided on a tiny pond I fished once when I was a kid where I caught a couple of rock bass. Ash blew up his little dingy and we paddled around the pond for about 4hrs straight, catching nothing but a sunburn. Disappointment perhaps, but the fact that we were able to just shoot the shit and hang out like old buddies was priceless.

 

The following week I decided to do some research on Barrie and where we might be able to catch some fish from shore. A guy suggested trying the dock in Barrie (Dock Rd.) and that I’d definitely find success using live bait there. To my surprise the dock just happens to be 5 minutes down the road from me. So back on the phone with Ash, we planned another Saturday morning to give fishing another attempt. We picked up some worms and went on our way.

 

 

The First Catch

 

Walking down to the dock was beautiful. It stood out approx. 80ft in to the water and we could literally see fish off the side of the dock. We were excited, like kids in a candy store we couldn’t rig up our rods fast enough. We started casting, tossing worms out but only to find they’d nibble away and not take them down. We were dumbfounded, not knowing why they wouldn’t take the hook. Eventually Ash with his ice fishing rod, jigging away for an hour suddenly hooked one. Lifted it up and hollered over to me “I got one I got one”. I ran over and we were both amazed, sat there with our hearts racing. A nice big 4” perch (lol).

 

As the day rolled on, Ash caught a few more while I had nothing to show for it. We started checking the time and saying “Ok 15 minutes and we got to go”… We kept trying, casting and sat there reflecting on life. We checked the time again and notice 30 minutes had past by, our response was “Just 5 more casts”. We kept talking, politics and work were on the menu and again time flew by us. By this time it’s been over an hour since we were expected to be home but for some reason we just couldn’t put the rods down and call it quits. “I haven’t caught a fish yet” I said.

 

Meanwhile Ash was still catching some perch:

 

ash-fishing-640x480.jpg

 

 

So I changed gears and hooked on a floating joint Rapala I had in my tackle box and started casting away. Another 20 minutes go by with no luck at all. I decided to head down to the rocky shore and do some final casting before hitting the road. Suddenly I see a shadow behind my lure as I reel it in. My heart started thumping, could this be my first catch in over 10 years? Suddenly it shot to the right and disappeared in do the deep. I sighed, but suddenly was determined. I told Ash “In 10 minutes or less I will have a fish”. A few casts later I saw the shadow again, this time it didn’t slow down, it grabbed it and I pulled and started reeling.

 

I told Ash to get the camera I needed picture of this moment. After about 10 hours of fishing over 2 weekends I finally caught a fish! I didn’t care about the size of it - that actually had nothing to do with this moment. It was about perseverance…

 

jay-fishing1.jpg

 

 

The Hunt for my First Pike

 

We hit the docks at least twice a week for the next month as the addiction continued to grow. We talked to local fishermen. We got tips on how get more bites and we worked hard to balance the time to satisfy the hunger of our new hobby and the time with our loved ones. After all, family does and always will come first.

 

Eventually shore fishing for panfish started to get a bit boring and we really had an urge to try going after some game fish. Perhaps we could catch a couple of largemouth bass & maybe even a pike if we did our research and got out on the water.

 

I started researching more and filling up my tackle box with spinnerbaits, Rapalas & various crankbaits. I asked forums about renting boats and good places to try out as a beginner. I was told to give Little Lake in Barrie a try, a small body of water at the north end of the city. It made sense to me, you can rent boats and it was conveniently close by. So once again I called up Ash and we planned an evening trip from 4pm-8pm on Little Lake. This time however, we decided to change things up. We brought our wives and Ash brought his little girl. We wanted to try to include our family in to our new found hobby. (Maybe that was a mistake haha).

 

We rented a pontoon boat for the evening and my passion for fishing intensified from this day forward. From all of my research I knew there was pike in this lake and I was determined to get one. I read that they will chase down spinnerbaits and the smaller lures will often increase your chances of strikes albeit smaller fish. That sounded perfect to me, I had a small mini-king spinner in the tackle that I rigged up and planned to use it all day until I landed one. We were out there for hours, we brought pizza & pop on board and everyone was having a great time. Ash continued to use live bait with the girls and they were all catching some perch:

 

ash-ciska.jpg

 

 

After a couple of hours, the sun started to fall and I started thinking my first pike encounter will have to wait for another day. Ash asked if I wanted to use some worms so I don’t get skunked, but I said no thanks, I’m going to just keep casting away.

 

On I went, cast after cast picking weeds off the line. Suddenly my luck seemed to change, I casted out and felt a good thump on the line and gave it a jerk. I reeled it in and was surprised to see that there was no weed on it. I started wondering if that was a strike! I casted out again to the same spot and did a nice smooth reel in, getting focused. WHAM! 8’ away I see the flash of yellow hit the line and dart under the boat with it. I started hollering “I got him I got him!!!” I was thrilled, this little tooth critter was just packed with energy jammed down in to the weeds. I reeled it up and didn’t even know how to grab him. I just held up the line and started smiling for the camera:

 

jay-fishing2.jpg

 

 

My day was made! I felt I accomplished something that day. My obsession to fishing and respect for these species had never been higher. I felt that this was my true hobby and could become a life long challenge with endless goals in mind.

 

 

Let’s Hit the Waters

 

After our first experience on water with a boat, we were pumped to get out there more often. Ash decided he really was interested in getting something small so he can get out to any body of water anytime we felt like it. So we both started researching spending the next couple of days looking up craigslist and checking out forums. We decided it was best to either go for a canoe or an inflatable boat that we could rig up a motor on. We didn’t want to be restricted to having to use boat launches wherever we went.

 

Ash came across a Zodiac boat with a small 2.5hp motor for sale right in his budget. He took it for a spin and bought it on the spot. It had a couple patches and he knew it’d be a lot of maintenance to keep up. He didn’t care though he treated it like his own kid.

 

zodiac.jpg

 

 

First up? Little Lake again! That’s right, we went right back to our pike spot to give it another whirl. We eventually made our way to the far North West end near the mouth of the river that we just couldn’t get to with the pontoon. We casted away and within no time I had some strikes!!! More pike action with the mini-king spinner A.K.A. Blue Thunder. After a few pike, my first encounter with a bass came shortly after!

 

pike-1.jpg

 

lm-bass3.jpg

 

lm-bass1.jpg

 

 

Ash connected as well, landing his first pike:

 

ash-pike.jpg

 

 

We hit Little Lake a few more times with much of the same action. I landed a few each time and life was great! Unfortunately Ash’s luck ran dry and eventually we decided to take the boat to new places…

 

 

New Spots

 

Ash got a little cut up handling one of the pikes we caught, so I asked around and learned how to properly grip one. I also picked up a new fishing glove to help grip them and it gave us a huge boast of confidence handling the fish.

 

We hit up google maps and decided to give Bass Lake a try near Orillia, after all they wouldn’t name a lake after a bass if it wasn’t good fishin’ right? We spent most of the time trying to find good spots to fish as we didn’t have a map or an idea of where to try. After several hours we found our self on the south side of the lake, in shallow water fishing with some worms. We began pulling in perch after perch with no effort, but it was a joy to just sit back, tell jokes and reflect on the summer. The perch were by far the ugliest things we’d ever seen, with black spots on their bellies and white seed like things all around their mouths. They clearly had a disease and were disgusting to look at. Ah well, that’s fishing ya never know what your going to pull up.

 

The following week we hit up Cook’s Bay and launched from Gilford. Now here is a hotspot for good size healthy looking perch! We brought in dozens and I caught my biggest while trolling a spinner bait up the shoreline:

 

jay-perch.jpg

 

 

Meanwhile Ash decided to rig up his ice fishing rod with a small hook and a piece of worm. He tosses it out and wouldn’t you know it… The flash of the big belly comes from nowhere and nails his line!

 

“Whooooa… I got one!”, he said. “Holy it’s huge”, I responded. He reeled it up to the boat and landed the biggest pike of the summer on the smallest and most unlikely setup. What a beauty with clearly marked war wounds. She was quite a surprise and a thrill to bring in to the boat. We were in disbelief and I started snapping away with the camera:

 

pike-ash.jpg

 

 

3 Night Fishing Trip

 

As our obsession and passion grew we decided it was best to rent a cabin up north and do some fishing on some crisp clean lakes! Unfortunately the cottage we reserved fell through as the owner didn’t get back to us. We started scrambling, looking for alternative places to stay.

 

We ended up finding a place in Honey Harbour and headed up October 16th – 19th. We got a cabin with a couple of bedrooms and a tin boat with a 9.8hp motor to boot. This maybe a terrible setup to most of you, but for a couple of guys starting out who have been sitting on a rubber tube all summer, this was luxury.

 

 

trip-cabin.jpg

 

trip-view1.jpg

 

 

Fishing Trip - Day 1 – First Night on the Water

 

We arrived on Thursday evening around 4PM, unpacked the car and made our 200 yard trek to the cottage. We quickly unpacked, loaded the fridge with some beer and decided it was time to hit the water. Unfortunately by the time we got out there, there was only about an hour left of daylight. We had no idea where to go but just started drifting and casting. We didn’t come across any strikes that night but we were just happy to be away from ordinary life and back to where we loved most, the water.

 

 

Fishing Trip - Day 2 – Jeff the Local Fisherman

 

BEEP BEEP BEEP, the alarm sounded off at 6:10AM. I only got in a few hours of sleep as I mostly dreamt of bringing in a monster pike this weekend. We got up and made a nice breakfast before hitting the water at 8AM sharp. It was a brisk 2ºC that morning, with frost covering our boat. We hit the water and just tried to mark our path so we didn’t get lost. We fished for several hours with no luck on our side. With disappointments on our faces we had nothing to show for our efforts and decided to head back to shore for some lunch.

 

We felt it was necessary to find some local help and find a fisherman who could give us some direction on the lake. So we headed in to town on the hunt for a fishing map. Unfortunately, the first place we hit was the store that had no maps but suggested the Boat Club down the road. So off we went traveling around the bend to the Boat Club. We found the marina and the guy running the shop was rather blunt and said “I’m not a fisherman and I got no maps for you. You should try the store”. We rolled our eyes and left with our heads down.

 

Back around the bend we went when I noticed an inn, the “Delawana Inn Resort”. I said “Ash, pull in there I’ve seen guys talk about that place on the forums.” So we stopped and talked to the maintenance guy in the driveway if he knew where we could get a map. He led us to a couple of girls at an office who had nothing for us except a poorly drawn cartoon map of the lake. The one lady said there’s a guy at the gift shop who might be able to help you out, so she called up Jeff and said he’ll talk to us. Off we went walking down to the gift shop where we met up with Jeff.

 

What a great guy, with such a passion for fishing! He had the fishing map we were hoping to find, with marked out areas for Pike, Musky, Bass & more. We were excited again and thought our trip might be saved. He showed us his massive lure collection at the back for sale and gave us a 30min pep talk with some pointers. We grabbed a couple of unique baits including a handmade pike lure from Poland. What an awesome experience and just the right guy we were hoping to find. He literally made our trip.

 

trip-map.jpg

 

 

We headed back on the lake for a couple of hours and spent most of the time driving around trying to get use to traveling with a map. We ended up just 10minutes from our cottage when I finally landed the first strike of the trip. I was ripping some bucktails when a nice bucket came for the ride:

 

trip-bass3.jpg

 

 

A little satisfaction indeed, we headed home and called it a night… or so I thought.

 

I fell asleep on the couch at 9:45PM and was woken up when our buddy Bill showed up at the cottage! So we kicked back for a couple of hours before heading to bed.

 

 

Fishing Trip - Day 3 – The One That Got Away

 

It was a chilly start to the day with temperatures right around 5ºC. We were on the waters around 9AM and headed out towards the first channel of the day.

 

trip-temp.jpg

 

 

According to the map the area was marked with M for Musky territory. I started casting some bucktails again hoping to find a big guy.

 

After a dozen or two casts suddenly I see this big flash of yellow smoke my lure from the side, about 6ft from the boat. I hollered “I got one on!!!” Bill looked over and saw the flash of belly, the thickest I’ve seen all summer. It thrashed left in right but within a few seconds it was off the line. I sat there in disbelief wondering what could’ve been, my biggest catch of the year. Was it a Musky? A big Pike? It was light coloured I was sure, but without getting it to the boat I’ll never know if that was in fact my first encounter with a Musky. I quickly cast over and over hoping to seek revenge, but was heavily disappointed to not get another strike. We decided to stop at a marina for some coffee and break time, before making our way back to the cottage.

 

The marina & Bill fishing from the docks with his fingers:

 

trip-marina.jpg

 

trip-bill.jpg

 

 

On our way back we stopped around an island after seeing a couple of guys fishing the area and once again I was casting the big bucktails, this time a black one I picked up from Jeff yesterday. I reeled it in and WHAM another strike 20 feet from the boat. A big largemouth was on and darted towards me. I reeled in the slack and eventually the fish. It was the biggest bass I’ve ever caught, and I was shaking with excitement.

 

trip-bass.jpg

 

 

We came back to the cottage for a couple of hours. We watched a movie and then Bill headed home while Ash and I hit the waters for another go. This time it was Ash’s turn to bring in some fish. Back to the island area we went and Ash caught on with a largemouth bass of his own.

 

trip-ash-bass.jpg

 

 

As the sun settled down, the sky made for a perfect ending to the day.

 

trip-sky.jpg

 

 

We came in and decided to make a camp fire. We sat there once again talking politics and just shooting the shit. It was a fantastic feeling for some reason, sitting there next to a fire in freezing temperatures at 11PM. Just kicking back and enjoying life.

 

trip-fire.jpg

 

 

Fishing Trip - Day 4 – The Final Go

 

We woke up around 9AM packed up the car and headed on the water for what was likely our last trip of the year. It was a brisk 4ºC at 11AM but that didn’t stop us from taking it all in. My back was sore at this point, I was stiff and feeling the pain after 3 nights and 2 full days of fishing. I wasn’t going to give up though as this was our last shot at the great outdoors.

 

Today we decided to focus on the 2 spots where we’ve had the most success. We started on the area where “The One That Got Away” was at. I casted bucktails all day long while Ash mixed it up between x-raps & poppers. Ash connected early on with a big largemouth bass:

 

trip-bass2.jpg

 

 

We then strolled over to the other spot to end the trip. Ash connected again, this time a thump thump and reeled in what ended up being the one and only pike in the boat. “WAHOO” We at least got what we came for, some pike action!

 

trip-ash-pike.jpg

 

 

We called it a day and headed in. This was it, likely the last day of our first fishing summer. It was one to remember, from our first panfish to our first pike, from our first boat rental to Ash buying a boat. We have memories for a lifetime.

 

Two guys began this summer with absolutely no knowledge of they were doing, but they came out with a new hobby, obsession and passion.

 

We can’t wait till the waters freeze over and try out ice fishing… we’ll save that for my next report.

Edited by Governator

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I've only skimmed over this, as I'm at work, but you can see the progression of your skills over the summer -- way to go, and thanks for sharing!!! :)

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good on you and your buddy for just getting out there and doing it. can't do much surfing the couch. sounds like you're both hooked.

 

for the sake of your wallets and sanity i hope you don't hook into a muskie any time soon. ;)

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that was a long read. Good report, you covered a long time :P Again with the progression with your skills, you do better than most people do their first year of fishing. Congradulations on a good year :clapping: and thanks for sharing!

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Thoroughly enjoyed this Governator. Good for you and your bud for getting out there and making a good start of what should be a lifelong enjoyable passion to fish.

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Great report and pics Governator :thumbsup_anim:

 

Congratulation on your PB :clapping: That's a real nice bucket :thumbsup_anim:

Keep it up and thanks for sharing

Leechman

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:clapping::thumbsup_anim:

 

 

GREAT READ!!!...............That report belongs in the pages of In-Fisherman......Ontario Out Of Doors........

 

I hope that your now an addict..........

 

My wife has yet to find a Fishing-Rehab ..

 

Be safe in that Zodiac :stretcher:

 

:Gonefishing: :Gonefishing:

 

 

RFS :canadian:

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Really fun read, thanks for sharing. I hope you dont do the 'snow day' thing all winter again.....GET A SNOWMACHINE.....YOUR BUDDY ALREADY HAS AN ICE ROD......GO DRILL SOME HOLES THIS WINTER!!!! Once again, fun read....thanks.

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A very fun read! Congrats to the two of you! I know it has already been said, but don't put the rods away yet! There is lots of time still to land those toothy critters you like.

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Wow.. seriously guys thanks very much for the compliments! :thumbsup_anim:

 

 

 

good on you and your buddy for just getting out there and doing it. can't do much surfing the couch. sounds like you're both hooked.

 

for the sake of your wallets and sanity i hope you don't hook into a muskie any time soon. ;)

 

I'm excited and afraid of that day at the same time.

 

 

Thoroughly enjoyed this Governator. Good for you and your bud for getting out there and making a good start of what should be a lifelong enjoyable passion to fish.

 

Thanks, we really tried to make it a serious goal to get out more. We're both web developers and sit on our ass all day. Getting out literally means getting out.

 

 

:clapping::thumbsup_anim:

GREAT READ!!!...............That report belongs in the pages of In-Fisherman......Ontario Out Of Doors........

 

I hope that your now an addict..........

 

My wife has yet to find a Fishing-Rehab ..

 

Be safe in that Zodiac :stretcher:

 

:Gonefishing: :Gonefishing:

RFS :canadian:

 

Hahaha.. Thanks that's quite the compliment and yes I think it's safe to call us addicts now. I put the write up together in a couple of hours over a pot of coffee this week. Feels good digging through a pile of pics, the memories just rush right in.

 

 

Really fun read, thanks for sharing. I hope you dont do the 'snow day' thing all winter again.....GET A SNOWMACHINE.....YOUR BUDDY ALREADY HAS AN ICE ROD......GO DRILL SOME HOLES THIS WINTER!!!! Once again, fun read....thanks.

 

Yea I hear yea.. no more 'snow days'... got to keep it up! We both know absolutely nothing about ice fishing... but how hard can it be to jig a hole? I've read about 'tip ups' but I don't really know how they work yet. I guess I'll be expermenting different techniques in a couple of months.

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Thanks for the great report, Governator. It's really special that you had the foresight to document your very first season of fishing.

Thanks again for the great read.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this write up :clapping: Parts of it were like a walk down memory lane for me. My Len Thompson Red Devil was my "leave it on until I catch something" lure :) You have done well and I look forward to reading about your future successes.

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Yer on your way to becoming to becoming a reel fishhead, like the rest of us junkies. By the way, you'll learn there is no such thing as a non-fishing season. But for the colder months invest in the survival suit. They insulate as well as keep you afloat. The Mustang suit is so warm that a couple of my buds wear nothing but a smile inside the suits. :blink::P

It doesn't take much to suffer from hypothermia from fall through to spring if you don't prepare for the weather.

Enjoy the addiction, and to help avoid the "skunk" have a couple of plan "B"s for when the target species won't co-operate. Who cares what species you catch as long as you're out fishing.

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Great write up!

 

Now that CCMT has hopefully exhausted his PB's, perhaps you can be the new PB king!!!!

:whistling:

 

Awesome job!

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Thank you for a wonderful read. I envy you having a steady fishing partner, as time goes on you will both become experts.

If it is pike you want, check out Sask or NORTH ontario.

WTG!

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Amazing...amazing...amazing!

 

Thanks for taking the time to post this report with pictures. I think it's something that everyone on here can relate to in one way or another. All the hard work and dedication has paid off big time....not just with your results, but with what you've learned and the times spent outside with your family and your buddy.

 

I hope to see many many reports from you in the future....you can hear the passion you have for fishing in your words....

 

:thumbsup_anim:

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Great write up!

 

Now that CCMT has hopefully exhausted his PB's, perhaps you can be the new PB king!!!!

:whistling:

 

Awesome job!

 

Haha thanks - I assume over my first few years PBs will come quite often... at least I hope ;)

 

 

Amazing...amazing...amazing!

 

Thanks for taking the time to post this report with pictures. I think it's something that everyone on here can relate to in one way or another. All the hard work and dedication has paid off big time....not just with your results, but with what you've learned and the times spent outside with your family and your buddy.

 

I hope to see many many reports from you in the future....you can hear the passion you have for fishing in your words....

 

:thumbsup_anim:

 

Absolutely, it's been a huge learning curve for both of us to try to gain skills pretty quickly. Infact credit goes to you for showing me how to handle pike as I asked for a help last month :clapping:

 

I only hope I can one day put together the type of reports you guys all do. So many of you pull out sea monsters.

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