fishing trips Archives

going chain pickerel fishingThe plan for Tuesday was for Casey, Jamie and I to get out for a day of fishing some of those toothy chain pickerel we so love to battle. Sadly Jamie had to stay home to work on his deck, bummer. Sorry Jamie we just had to go without you, this time.

We headed toward Chipman to fish the Salmon river. I love this river as it has so many hot spots for pickerel to hangout. We certainly were not disappoint. We fished a long way down river as well as up river.

Casey Lands The First Fish of The Day

casey has a 24 inch chain pickerelI’m a bit of a casting maniac and usually the lucky one who lands the first fish of the day but when I made my first cast of the day and that pickerel smacked my bait I was a little too eager and yanked it right out of it’s mouth.

Casey on the other hand kept a cool head and didn’t miss his first strike, a nice fat 22” chain pickerel with a real attitude. He wasn’t done yet because two seconds later he had another pickerel in the boat.

A few minutes later I landed my first and was on the scoreboard. Score 2-1 in Casey’s favour but not for long as Casey increased his lead to 3-1.

It took me a while but I caught up and then it was just back and forth. He would land one and then I would. We even had a few double headers going which is always fun. What a great day.

It didn’t take Casey long and he landed the first 24” pickerel of the day. I was close with a 22” and then a 23” and finally I landed a 24”. It was just one of those perfect days of fishing fun.

I don’t remember when but at some point I gained the lead and kept it for the rest of our day.

Always Trying To Beat Our Personal Best

Casey, Jamie and I are always looking for that next personal best, of course, which reminded me of the first day I took my fishing buddy Roland fishing pickerel. That was between 25 or 30 years ago.

This was the first time Roland had fished chain pickerel or even seen a chain pickerel.

I took him to Cassidy lake the day after a tournament so we didn’t expect to see much action but we were so wrong.

On my first cast I hooked and landed my personal best, a 24 inch toothy pickerel. On Roland’s first cast he hooked into something that gave him quite a battle. When he finally got it to the boat he wasn’t about to touch it.

I reached down and landed it. When we put the measuring tape to it he had a 26” pickerel. I had never seen one that big and haven’t seen one that big since.

At one point the three of us all had 24” chain pickerels as our personal best. Then on August 15, 2010 Jamie beat his personal best with a 24 5/8 pickerel. That same day I landed a new personal best with a 24 1/2 inch pickerel.

Then on August 16th, 2010 Casey landed a 24 1/2 inch pickerel to beat his personal best.

However on September 30th, 2010, again when the three of us were together, this time fishing French Lake I hooked and landed my first 25” pickerel for a new personal best.

Casey has caught a lot of 24” pickerel over the years but is still trying to get that new personal best. This might just be the year we all break our personal bests because I landed a 24 3/4 inch pickerel and then another 25” pickerel.

Both of these chunky pickerel, along with 8 or 10 more that were close in size, were caught in a little hot spot I took Jamie to a couple of years ago and can be quite productive.

25 inch chain pickerel
The Day’s Best A 25” Chain Pickerel

I’m hoping that the day Casey beat his personal best that I’m with him to share that moment. I know how good it feels and wouldn’t miss it for anything.

The Final Score For The Day

By the end of the day my arms and back were worn out from all the casting and fighting. I was a bit dehydrated and had a big headache but I haven’t felt so good in a long time. What a perfect day.

At the end of the day as the light was fading fast the finally tally was Jim 28, Casey 17 and Jamie, oh yeah he had to stay home and work on his deck.

It was one of those days we didn’t catch many small pickerel under 20” and there is still a couple of months before we have to hang up the fishing rods for the year so there is still hope for beating that personal best.

Confidence Baits

When I opened my tackle bag Casey saw a bait that a friend had mentions helped him to have a great day of pickerel fishing so I gave it a try. First cast a big fat pickerel smacked it and then nothing. For an instant I had new confidence in that particular bait but when nothing happened after that first pickerel I went back to a real confidence bait and even though I tried various baits all day long I still didn’t get the action I was getting on my confidence bait.

I have confidence baits for all the species I fish and love it when I find a new bait that makes it to my confidence bait section.

Ha, and you thought I was going to tell you what that was.

I couldn’t end this post without adding the gorgeous sunset we got to see from the river.

gorgeous sunset on salmon river
There’s Just Something About A Beautiful Sunset To Calm The Mind

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Checklist For Your Next Fishing Trip

Guest Post from Maire

A fishing trip is a great way to get outside where you can enjoy nature and even catch yourself some delicious fish. A fishing trip is even better when you have friends and family alongside you.

Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a beginner, having a checklist as you pack will ensure you bring everything you’ll need for your trip.

1. Fishing Gear

Start with your fishing license and double-check you have it before you leave. In addition, you’ll need your rods, reels, fishing line, tackle, hooks, sinkers and any other special equipment for the type of fish you’re looking to catch.

2. Outdoor Gear

Waterproof clothing is a must-have if you expect rain. Sunscreen will protect your skin from damage on a bright day and a canopy tent can make a comfortable shaded spot to sit and relax on your trip.

3. Safety Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, flashlight, whistle, maps of the area and a compass. It’s also useful to have a GPS unit, emergency phone and flares.

4. Fishing Accessories

Pack a knife for fileting your fish, a bucket or two to hold them all and a vest or box for keeping all of your stuff organized. Many people also like to have a camera to capture their catches.

5. Food And Personal Items

If you’ll be out for more than a few hours, you definitely need to bring food and beverages along. For a longer trip, you’ll also need a cooking stove. In addition, pack clothing, toiletries and bedding for an overnight trip.

6. Boating Gear

When you’re fishing on a boat, you’ll need life jackets and basic boating equipment. It’s always helpful to test a boat before a long trip, ensuring that its lights, motor and pumps are all operational.

Maybe it’s time for a new Humminbird Fishfinder

After gathering everything on your checklist, have a friend read over the list one last time before you go. You may have checked off an item that didn’t actually make it into one of your bags, which is no way to start your fishing trip.

Maire loves fishing for blue gill with her father, hiking and going to the dog park with Scottish Terrier, Pete.

Ice Fishing on Shediac Bay, New Brunswick

I was sitting at home Sunday morning looking out into my backyard. Everything had a layer of ice on it from the rain we had the night before. Looked gorgeous with the sun glistening off everything. Almost blinding.

This is about the time of year I start feeling a bit of cabin fever so when Casey called to see if I was up for a drive to Shediac Bay to check out his ice fishing hut. I got pretty excited as I would likely have sat around watching TV and playing my guitar all day.

ice fishing shediac bay
A Shot From Where We Parked The Vehicle.

Casey said he’d be at my house in less than an hour and all I needed to bring was some food and something to drink. As I was leaving the house my son Steve asked me if I wanted to take his flask with some Scotch to share with Casey. What a great son I have.

It’s had been at least 30 yeas since I last did any ice fishing. That was when I was still living in Ontario, near Lake Simcoe. We would take our snowmobiles and head out about 2-5 miles to a huge ice fishing village.

As we were getting close I was thinking we would be going out on the ice with our vehicle which kind of concerned me, but I trust Casey to keep me safe so I didn’t say anything at the time.

As you can see from the image above the fish huts weren’t far from shore at all. We just parked and walked out to the hut. That was easy.

casey and his ice fishing hutCasey lives about 40 minutes from Moncton at Hopewell Cape, such a beautiful spot with a great view from his backyard.

Jenny and I love driving this section and visiting all the scenic spots. Check out the day trip we took along this section of New Brunswick and where you’ll find the Rocks on the Fundy Bay.

Casey and a friend hauled his fish hut out onto Shediac Bay, in about 6 sections, and assembled it right on the spot. It seems pretty efficient with four side panels that bolt to the floor and to two roof panels. Plenty of elbow room inside as well.

The floor boards opened opposite the door and there was a big hole to fish through. I looked into the hole expecting to see bottom but instead I saw tow huge chunks of ice at the bottom. Turns out they were huge homemade pillow cases filled with chains.

pillow cases
Sheets Sown Together With Chains

They are used to make the bottom a lighter colour so that it is easier to see any activity. Pretty cool idea.  I told him I was telling his wife he was stealing bed sheet. Then he told me she was the one who sowed it all together. What a great wife.

Getting There From Here

veterans highwayOnce Casey picked me up we headed out of Moncton towards Dieppe and took the old highway 15 which is now Veterans Highway to Shediac.

Once at Shediac took highway 133 until we reached the Queens Warf turn off where the fishing hut is located. We may have taken highway 11 to get to highway 133, not sure as I was busy taking pictures of the scenery.

Queens Warf road was a short drive to the water, err I mean ice. As you can see from the picture at the top the huts weren’t far off shore.

Casey and I checked the structure and tightened a few bolts and then chopped the ice that had formed in the hole since he was last there.

The tide was heading out when we arrived and we didn’t see any fish but it was still a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back out there again.

I have ice fished, more than 30 years ago but Casey has a couple of spears which I have never tried as the water we fished in Lake Simcoe Ontario was about 40 feet deep. So I’ll be getting some video the next time we’re out there.

We had a clear, relatively calm and sunny day plus the temperature wasn’t bad at all, however that’s not always the case so it’s best to know how to dress for ice fishing on days that aren’t so pleasant.

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5 Tips For Better Trout Fishing Success

When it comes to fishing around the world trout fishing seems to be the most popular for most anglers. I would have to agree with that most of the time although bass fishing puts up a good fight for first place among sports fishers like myself here in North America.

I have been fishing for these rather abundant yet crafty fish using my spinning gear and fly fishing gear for about half a century. Trout fishing just never gets old whether I’m fishing a lake, pond, river or brook.

I live in North America, Canada actually and we have trout all the way from the east coast, where I currently live to the west coast where I’d love to take a fishing trip some day. The trout in it’s many forms such as brookies or speckled, rainbow, brown and even lake trout are all over most parts of North America but they are not limited to N.A.

The Trout Habitat I Love To Fish

I really don’t find fishing lakes for trout as exciting as I do fly fishing a stream for brookies probably because a brook is so much more visual. But I won’t turn down a trip to a lake for some trout fishing.

One of my best fishing trips was a fly in trip into Quebec for lake trout and pike. A fishing trip I will not soon forget as I got to sight fish for spawning lake trout, my first chance to fly fish for lake trout.

We have rivers here in New Brunswick with Brown trout in them. I didn’t even realize we had brown trout here so you can imagine how excited I was when I landed my first brown trout ever in a brook I was fishing for brook trout in.

trout fishing tipsLuck can be a big part of fishing and I enjoy making a cast that hooks into a fish I didn’t expect.

My fishing buddies tend to think I’m lucky or have horse shoes up my behind when I catch a big one.  Of course when it’s them that makes the big catch it’s all skill.

The truth is there are always a few things you can learn to do while fishing that will make you a better trout angler.

  1. When trout fishing a stream don’t get in the water until you have evaluated the lay of the water and structure. What’s happening in and around the water that will tell you want might be happening under the water.
  2. Knowing what the trout are feeding on will give you a big advantage so follow step one first and then step two is to turn over a few rocks that are under the water to see what kind of life is living there, then use a bait that matches what you find.
  3. Having taken the time to read the water and surrounding for indicators of what the trout are feeding on and you have turned a few rock you now need to get your bait or fly where the fish live, but not on top of their head as you will spook them and never catch much other than dumb fish which are usually quite young and small.
  4. Situate yourself so that you are not in a feeding lane and then cast ahead of the fish so that the bait or fly will drift into the fishes feeding zone. You are much more likely to get that big one when you’re stealthy.
  5. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to trout fishing as they are extremely easy to spook. Practice patience and you will do much better. When you accidently slap your bait or fly on the water and spook a fish, stop, take a break to give the fish a few minutes to calm down. That’s when you get the big one and the other guy gets skunked.

Bonus Trout Fishing Tip

A real key to successful trout fishing is to go with a fishing setup that will give you the most excitement and sometimes that means going with a light setup for those smaller trout. I have so much more fun when I am fishing light tackle or fly fishing setup that matches the size of the trout I am fishing.

These 5 useful trout fishing tips will help you catch more trout and even bigger trout in the same water you couldn’t catch them before. Happy fishing and remember to take a kid fishing, it could change their life like it did mine.

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The Garmin Water Proof Fish Finder Is On My Wish List

It’s most annoying when you have a fish finder that gets a bit of water in it. It doesn’t take much to fog up a display screen, not to mention other damage that could result from having water on the inside of your fish finder. I’m sure you’ve had a watch that water got into and remember how annoying it was when it fogged up.

As soon as the sun gets things warming up and hits your fish finder it will start to fog up the display screen. I was on a fly-in fishing trip to northern Quebec, out in the middle of no-where for a week when it fell in the water just as I was connecting it to the boat. Very frustrating, I grabbed it in less than a second. I don’t think it even fully submerged but it still took in some water making it almost useless for our fishing trip.

After the first two days I felt like tossing the friggin’ thing back into the water and leaving it there for the fish. Plus we were fishing lake trout and it’s not usually sight fishing. You need a fish finder for those trips.

Well that was about 20 some years ago and fish finders have come a long ways. I still check to see if a fish finder I’m checking out says it’s water proof. That’s the first thing I look for now, no more spoiled trips that cost a lot of money.

At the moment I don’t have a boat of my own but there may be one in our near future, as soon as my wife decides to retire so we can start traveling. There are a few brands I like in fish finders but today I’m looking at Garmin fish finders, water proof ones of course. Smile

I’m looking through Amazon for a Garmin fish finder because they often have some great deals on fish finders and other fishing related things.

The Garmin Fish Finder 400C 4-Inch Waterproof Fish-finder and Dual Frequency Transducer

My first fish finder was difficult to read but still allowed me to find so many more fish and places they hang out. Before that it was more a visual thing and I spent most of my time either fishing structure off the bank or trolling until I found structure. Usually meaning I would hang up on bottom. Today fish finders have come along way and show so much more detail.

The Garmin Fishfinder 400C is both affordable and has value for your investment like the great detail you get about the environment just below your feet.

Another feature I look for when checking out fish finders is how the fish display on the screen. How deep are they and what size are they? That the detail I’m looking for when looking at fish on the display.

The detail in the structure below my boat is important too. Are they weeds, fish, rocks what the heck is it down there? No problem for the Garmin fish finder.

When we are out fishing it can be important to know the water temperature like the Garmin 400C Fish Finder does to locate feeding fish. Knowing the depth and water temp can mean the difference between catching and just fishing.

Having a good fish finder like the Garmin fish finders helps you locate those active fish.

What a huge difference having a fish finder that has a colour display over those I’ve had in the past. So much more detailed information available on the display.

When we go out fishing for the day it’s for the day and evening, usually. We start while it’s still barely light and until it’s just about dark. That’s when the fish finder turns into a backlit display showing you what’s under your boat.

Getting back home is important to us as we love our families and fishing so we want to return home safe and ready for another day on the water.

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Cassidy Lake Pickerel 2011

casey-may-2011I was so itching to get out fishing after the long white winter we had. So when Casey emailed me earlier in the week to see if I was up for a little fishing trip for Friday the first thing I said was DUH!! .

Casey was heading to Cassidy Lake, which is the first place I ever fished for pickerel. I have some great memories of fishing there with my fishing buddy Roland.

I don’t think I have been to Cassidy Lake for about 20 years or more.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep Thursday night and was up at about 4am checking to make sure I had everything ready including lots of water and munchies.

Memories of Cassidy Lake

The first time I took Roland there, about 20 or more years ago, we were fishing from my canoe. The action was hard and fast all day long.

My best for the day and my personal best for until just last year, was a 24″ pickerel, however Roland’s vert first pickerel, ever, was 26″ long. I am still working to beat his record.

Even though he hooked the record he was about to touch it, not with all those teeth. I teased the crap out of him the rest of the day of course, but he still had the record.

Last year, 2010, on a trip Casey took Jamie and I to French Lake, New Brunswick I did catch a 25″ pickerel beating my own personal best but I’m still working on beating Roland’s personal best.

Maybe in 2011.

Heading To Cassidy Lake, Friday 13th, 2011

We have had a lot of rain but the weather girl said we might see some sun on Friday so it seemed the best choice of the week.

Casey picked me up and we headed out. The sky was still dark with a thick layer of clouds and as soon as we were out of Moncton we had to turn on the wipers.

When we got to Cassidy Lake it was still as dark and heavy looking as when we left.

Cassidy Lake New Brunswick
Gloomy Day on Cassidy Lake New Brunswick

We came down the big hill toward Cassidy Lake, the image below, and the rain stopped. Just like that. The sky even seemed a little brighter as soon as we pulled into the boat launch.

Maybe it was just our enthusiasm.

I stepped out of Casey’s truck and immediately put my winter coat on. Then I took it off and put on my neoprene waders and put my coat and toque back on. The wind coming off the lake was cold.

Casey did all the safety checks and we launched the boat. Our first day of fishing for 2011 had begun.

Note: I didn’t catch a single fish using my favourite red worm I write so much about.

Pickerel Fishing Cassidy Lake New Brunswick Part Two

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The Spring Fishing in New Brunswick Itch

Float Tube Fishing

Image by heathzib via Flickr

Just one week left and I can get my ass out of this chair and hit the water for another season of fishing. I don’t like NOT fishing for half the years so I tend to leave my fishing gear packed away until the last minute so I don’t think about it so much.

I have it all in my office now ready to sort for the new fishing season. I always feel like a little kid at this time of year although my body sure tells me different.

Our Son Is In College Now

I’m happy as well as proud that our son has gone back to school to get a trade. I quit school in grade 9 and never went back. Took a lot of crappy jobs over the years because of that dumbass move. So great job Steve.

Unfortunately it has kind of drained us as he moved back home because his student loan was barely even enough to pay for school and supplies. I don’t know how they expect these kids to survive on their own. We are certainly glad to help. I just had to say NO to buying any thing new for fishing this year.

He better be ready to take care of us when we become old farts or maybe a few awesome fishing trips would cover it.

I have two float tubes and this year Steve wants to go fishing with his buddy Robin. Wish I had a third one so I could go with them. I’m sure it would be a blast.

Still have to get Jamie out in the float tube for a day of pickerel fishing. It is so much fun at water level, with all the late strikes and soakings.

Yup, just one week to go.

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