record pickerelIt took Casey a while to regain his strength after battling the monster pickerel on the left. It’s always great to get a new record and I believe this is an all time new record for Casey. Ha Ha

Of course I had to rib him a little about having such a small pickerel measuring in at a whopping 7 inches.

I could hear the wind whipping through the trees while I was putting my fishing gear in Casey’s boat so I knew it might be a tad windy on the water. However the weather channel said it was going to be a hot sunny day and I was thinking it would be good to have a little breeze going and it was windy but nothing we couldn’t handle, we’ve certainly fished on much windier days, like that last time we fished the Shepody.

casey and a smallmouth bassOnce Casey had regained some of his strength from fighting that first pickerel of the day he changed over to catching some fat perch and sunfish.

While he was doing all that work I was catching clams for dinner but not much else.  Time to change from clam bait to a smallmouth fishing lure.

Before I could catch my first pickerel Casey hooked a nice smallmouth but fortunately I was able to knock it free using his net.

Then he caught a big fat perch. It could easily have eaten his first pickerel of the day as a snack before dinner.

Eventually I got on board with a few pickerel. We got close to some weeds and managed to pull four out of that set of weeds. But there was no stopping Casey and he quickly pulled a 23” pickerel of there.

We trolled for a while so we could munch down a few snacks without stopping. Through out the day he landed a 10 incher, then a 12 inch, then 13 and the last one was a 14 1/2 inch smallmouth. I think I’ll start calling him BassMan

The 14 inch smallmouth Casey caught was at the entrance to a lake where the water was moving really fast with lots of current. The way the bass was fighting and moving in all directions Casey was sure it was a striper but before it reached the surface it turned into a smallmouth.

14 inch smallmouth bass
Casey’s 14” smallmouth put up a great fight and was back in the drink quickly.

I started out kind of slow and at one point I was almost caught up but then Casey went wild and flew into the lead again. By the days end Casey had 21 or 22 fish which included perch, sunfish and pickerel. I finished off our day of fishing with 13 pickerel.

We used a variety of bass lures for both bass, perch and pickerel and they all caught fish.

It was great fun and I got two rides on the Gagetown ferry and learned of a few new places to fish in the future.

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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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Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips On The Cheap

jim with a big smallmouth bassI never get tired of fishing smallmouth bass. I do get worn out and have to go home to rest up for another day but other than that I never tire of it.

The biggest smallmouth I’ve caught here in New Brunswick Canada was about 4 pounds. It was in Harvey lake about 30 years ago and it was the only bass we caught on that lake after two days of hard fishing.

It’s been my trophy, even though I did practice CPR (Catch, Photograph and Release)

Most of the time it’s not very hard to catch smallmouth bass, just a few tips can have you enjoying yourself as much as I enjoy smallie fishing.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Is For All Ages

fishing-buddiesI have been fishing since I was just 8 and the same with our son. It’s fun for all ages. Now I’m 60 and it’s just as much fun as it was all those years ago. I still can’t sleep the night before a fishing trip, just like when I was 8. Now my son is out west working but the first thing he did was to start buying fishing gear, as he used to just use mine.

Smallmouth bass are a high energy fish that love to jump and even tail-walk. I think that’s why they are so addictive. They never disappoint me, well seldom disappoint me as we all have those days eventually.

Bass Fishing On The Cheap

There was a time I bought all the top fishing gear including having the best lures however a turn in my healthy back in 2004 kind of changed my world and not for the better. I wasn’t able to work and my share of our family income stopped over night.

Today we live on tight budget which doesn’t leave much for fishing so I try to buy the most for my money now instead of the best.

The funny thing is I still catch lots of fish with cheaper gear.

Just Replace Those Cheap Hooks

I get up really early, usually about 4am. Just about the end of winter I was up early and was looking through eBay to see what bass lures I could find for our bass fishing and chain pickerel fishing trips.

Well I saw a boat load of cheap bass fishing lures. My first instinct was to look further but my urge to have more lures this year got the better of me and I bought more than 30 lures. The seller was so happy they included 4 extra lures in the shipping at no extra cost.

I got the lures in the mail just before I headed out for our first day of fishing and didn’t take the time to replace the hooks like my friend Casey does when he buys lures. If I had bought new replacement hooks I might have thought of it.

Anyways I still caught the most fish and only used my new lures that day.

The only negative thing about my really cheap lures was the hooks. The first fish I caught broke one of the treble hooks but I still caught the fish. Then I had to put that lure away until I bought new hooks, but just grabbed another lure and kept on fishing.

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Using Bass Poppers For Chain Pickerel Fishing

I really enjoy using top water baits when the fishing conditions are right. For me that means really calm waters so the fish can clearly see the ripples and I can see the explosion that usually follows.

Over the winter I purchased a few more bass poppers which work great but will catch a lot more than just bass. I use them to drive chain pickerel, the pike of the Maritimes.

How I Use Bass Poppers

Bass poppers are pretty simple to use but may require a little patience. I just toss the popper to the location I’m interested in and then I wait patiently for the ripples to disappear. Next I give it a little tug with my fishing rod. It only needs to move a short distance and quite often that’s all it takes to get that strike you’re looking for.

I’m not the most patient guy so I honestly think it’s just about as hard for me to wait for the ripples to disappear as it is for a pickerel or bass to ignore them.

Keeping Up With What Works

I ask my family for subscriptions to magazines I like. Fishing is just one of my hobbies and magazines are great for finding what’s working and for tips and tricks on how to use them.

We do have a PVR so I get to record every fishing show we have available. I love skipping the commercials so I do miss some things that might be useful so having bass fishing magazines come is very handy.

A Few Bass Poppers To Try

The Rebel Pop-R Bass Popper

The Rebel Pop-R lure has been around for a long time and has made many anglers much happier anglers.

The Arbogast Hula Popper

The Arbogast Hula Popper gives the bass in the area you’re fishing a big wake up call. It’s an awesome lure for fishing over fallen trees and grassy patches.

For over 60 years, this lure with its pulsating skirt has helped many anglers to reel in the big ones, even when nothing else would work for them.

The Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper

Perhaps the Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper is the lure that you need to make your next fishing trip a huge success. This lure is a little heavier than most top water lures making it easy to cast further. The weight that is on the tail of this lure helps it to produce a clicking noise as you drag it across the top of the water. That clicking noise make the fish in the area agitated leading them to ambush this bait. Once they do, you have your bass on the line.

You will find that there are a large variety of top water lures that you can choose from to make your fishing trip a success and exciting.

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My First Day of Pickerel Fishing 2012

chipman turnoffThe original plan was to go fishing on Tuesday but the weather forecast said Thursday would be a better day. I was able to get a bit more yard work done.

Didn’t sleep much Wednesday night and was up at about 4am. I get like then when I know I’m going fishing, just like  a 60 year old kid.

Casey was a few minutes early picking me up, which I love as I’m always eager to get going.

Even though the forecast was for a great day we still came prepared for any kind of weather, not that we don’t trust those weather people, but…

Leaving Moncton the sky was cloudy but the closer we got to our destination the fewer clouds we saw. By the time we reached the boat launch at Chipman the sky was clear of any clouds. And, to make it an even better day there was no wind to speak of.

Chipman Boat Launch

chipman boat launchWe launched at Chipman as they have a nice little boat launch which makes it quick and easy getting a boat in the water.

I could see it getting a little congested later in the season but this day there were no other boats launching and after a little walk around Casey’s boat, to be sure everything was as it should be we launched and headed up river.

I was thinking the water would be a little higher than it was. And the water wasn’t churned up any more than usually. The water in the Salmon river is always dark so that’s not a new thing. My expectations of a great day were getting higher every minute.

caseys boat

On our way up river Redbank came into view. The first thought that came to my mind was that nice smallmouth bass Jamie caught at the culverts. It would be a great way to start the day, wouldn’t it. Guess it wasn’t meant to be as we didn’t get a single strike.

Fish On: Jimmy Lands The First Pickerel

100_0079I won’t mention the location but it wasn’t long before I had the first pickerel of the day. Man it feels good getting that first fish of the year.

Casey didn’t waste any time getting the next pickerel and tied things up. Then Casey lands a second and has the lead.

Next Casey caught a third pickerel and this one was 22” long. What a show off.

22 inch pickerelNow Casey had the most fish and the biggest. Time to bring out the confidence bait.

I had to work hard but I caught up to Casey’s 4 fish and moved a head. From the point on I kept the upper hand, just enough so I wouldn’t have to walk home, again.

We had a great day out for our first day out and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. Just look at what the sky and water looked like at the end of the day.

salmon river chipman

Where Did Our Day Go?

big ole moon in the skyWe came prepared for pretty much any kind of weather as we know just how fast Mother Nature can change her mind during a day here in New Brunswick.

However it just got better and better as the day went on and before I knew it the day of fishing was done and we were back at the boat launch again.

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Minn Kota Endura C2 30 12V 30lb 30 InchTrolling motors give you the opportunity to find those best fresh water fishing hot spots. Let others fish those not so productive areas.

I love trolling motors. I even had one for my canoe and caught lots of big bass on Lake George, Harvey Lake. Even pickerel and trout from Cassidy Lake near Norton New Brunswick.

So today I’d like to share a bit about a specific fresh water trolling motors, the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 12V 30lb 30 Inch. Let’s look at some benefits along with a few features but it wouldn’t be complete without a look at any reported shortcomings of the Minn Kota Endura C2 30.

I don’t mind spending money on fishing related products but I also love getting a real good deal because it means I can usually buy more fishing related stuff. Those of us who are really serious about our fishing and who have a boat loving buying new things for it.

Christmas is getting so close and it’s the time I try to get my friends and family to think fishing when they think about what to buy me.

If you’ve had your mind set on a trolling motor you need to start giving the hints to your family. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the Minn Kota Endura C2 30?

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Characteristics

Start sharing all the characteristics with your family so they know you’re excited about the Minn Kota Endura C2.

  • 30 lbs of Thrust
  • 30 Inch Shaft
  • 5 Forward Speeds
  • 3 Reverse Speeds
  • Six Inch Telescoping Handle
  • Lever Lock Bracket. A Mounting bracket that’s the strongest
  • Runs Quietly so as not to disturb fish.
  • Special composite materials resist flexing warping and UV damage.
  • Indestructible composite shaft stronger than steel.
  • Uses 12 volt Battery – not included.

Yeah the Minn Kota Endura C2 is a legendary performer built to explore, built to last and backed up with our two year warranty. It’s also designed specifically for boats that are small to medium in size.

This trolling motor has been designed for freshwater and is easily mounted using the lever lock bracket. To reduce friction as well as noise the Minn Kota Endura C2 has a ball bearing system that’s extremely smooth so it doesn’t scare off the fish.

Before I finally boat a trolling motor I used to curse the wind, a lot. Especially on Cassidy lake near Norton New Brunswick. The best fishing spot of course is the furthest spot from my vehicle. And of course once you get down in there the wind picks up and makes it tough for one person to paddle out of there. I usually ended up beaching the canoe and walking it along the shore line until I would get out of there. But it’s such a good fishing spot.

Bass boat, aluminum, on High Rock Lake

Image via Wikipedia

The first time I used my new trolling motor on Cassidy Lake I cruised right out there. Actually caught a couple more pickerel on the way out. When the wind is blowing in there you can’t stop paddling or you lose ground. With the my trolling motor I wasn’t cursing the wind or the the slightest bit exhausted from paddling.

The places we fish for bass, pickerel and trout require a trolling motor as most boat motors would never get to where we like to fish. Take a few minutes to check out the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 and I am sure you will have more productive days on the water.

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best pickerel fishing dayFishing season is quickly drawing to a close here in New Brunswick so Jamie and I had to get to Chipman for at least one more day of pickerel fishing, and catching, we were hoping.

I’ve had a lot of fun fishing this year and Casey has taken me to 3 or 4 new locations I am looking forward to fishing again next year but have to say it’s been the worst year for actually catching fish I have seen in my 50 years of fishing.

Chipman Weather Looks Good

Jamie checked the weather for Chipman throughout the week and said Saturday was going to be a bit rainy with a little wind which was better than Sunday’s forecast, so Saturday it was.

Jamie was at my door about 5am excited as usually. I had been outside waiting for about a half hour like a little kid waiting to go to Florida or something. Funny how fishing can turn us into crazy kids.

dark
At Chipman And It’s Still Dark. Where’s The River??

Usually when we leave in the dark it tends to get light by the time we arrive but not this day. It was at least a half hour before it was light enough to see that the water had dropped at least a couple of feet. Getting more excited.

What a beautiful morning, I didn’t even need a coat or sweater until it started raining a bit later. Even then it didn’t rain hard and my sweater was enough to keep dry.

red-bank-chipman

Even once it was light it wasn’t bright as the cloud layer was pretty thick. Looked like it was going to dump on us soon. But there was no wind and the water was like a mirror. Just the way I like it for fishing the weed edges.

No Luck At Our First Spot

There are a couple of spots I like to try first at this area but we didn’t get any attention from Mr. Pickerel. Not a good sign to start with, after the year we have had.

Then we moved to the opposite shore that runs between the cove and the river where immediately we had some action.

All of a sudden we heard a gun shot and then another and then it sounded like machine guns going off. Duck hunters just down the river from us. I told Jamie he was funny but should probably take off the duck suit.

big-perch

The Fish Whisperer

We caught a couple of perch through the day that were real fighters.  Although the little guy on the left was kind a small.

It always amazes me when the lures are much bigger than the fish and yet they still hit it and yes that’s me kissing my perch before releasing him.

Fishing For Flying Pickerel

Saturday was one of those days were the pickerel were literally flying out of the water and travelling through the air before smacking down on our baits.

It reminded me of Atlantic salmon fishing when they clear the water to smack your fly.

There were plenty of boat, err canoe side explosions from pickerel waiting until the last possible second to strike the bait. I even brought a few along side Jamie just to watch him squirm when he got soaked. Sorry about that, NOT!!

We caught pickerel all day, even when it did start raining pretty hard and even when the wind eventually picked up making it a bit tougher keeping the canoe on track.

My best two pickerel for the day were 22” and 23 1/2” but had lots that were 20”. I did catch two rather small pickerel. One was so small that I would have to call it a pencil fish and the other was more like a hammer handle but still feisty.

23inch-chain-pickerel

Excuse the goofy look on my face in the picture above but that’s my ‘So Happy I Caught A Fish’ face. Also notice that red senko hanging from its face. Gotta love those worms.

Most of the day I was not fishing a red senko worm, instead I was fishing with a variety of baits but mostly a black and purple 5” senko, as it was a fairly dark day.

Jamie caught this lovely and big pickerel. I netted it and handed him the net with his big pickerel in it and the hook just falls out of it’s mouth, barely hooked.

Then just as Jamie went to grab it for a photo it did one flip and slid right back into the water. If it was bigger than mine we will never know.

You can be sure the next one he caught didn’t get away so easily.

jamiewithpickerel
Jamie Wasn’t Letting This One Slip Away

All in all we had the perfect day, even if it did rain a bit. However, late afternoon the wind and rain both picked up and made it quite miserable on the water. We had caught plenty of pickerel and had the best day of the year so we didn’t mind so much packing up and heading back home.

Jamie’s Been Abusing Froggies, Again

froggyI mentioned in a previous post how Jamie bought this great looking frog and then just gave it to the first pickerel that came along.

Well he bought another froggy to replace the first but this time he thought it would be safer to maybe fasten it to the bottom of his boot.

As we were packing up the gear to head back home I looked down and though the frog was just lying on the ground but when he picked up his foot it went with him. Had to use the pliers to get it out of his boot. The frog was fine and he didn’t even bend the hooks.

I still think he should have given me the frogs for safe keeping.

It was a good thing we got off the water because as hard as it was raining and blowing when we decided to leave it just got worse and worse.

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