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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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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fishing-bass-in-a-float-tubThat’s my son Steve on the left. We were out for a day of smallmouth bass fishing at a little spot about 15km from Chipman.

It’s not a big spot so I usually go here with my float tubes or canoe, no need for motors here, although I have seen people go in here with a small boat and motor.

If I’m not fishing here using my fly rod, which is a blast with the small bass that are here, I’ll use a small jig and usually a pumpkin seed grub. It’s a great spot to go to when the day gets too windy for the pickerel in the weeds. I seldom use top water lures here but I do everywhere else I fish for smallmouth bass. It’s one of my favourite way to fish smallies.

Top Water Bass Baits

It wouldn’t really matter if I was fishing largemouth bass, smallmouth bass or even peacock bass top water fishing is an extremely exciting way to fish for them. Personally I live for top water action and usually carry a good supply of top water baits to take advantage of those calm top water moments.

I’ll use a top water bait every chance I get but I do find they work much better here in New Brunswick when the water warms up a bit. I have never had a lot of luck with top water baits when there is still ice floating in the water.

My best times for top water baits has always been early morning and late evening when the water seems most calm. It usually starts late spring when the water temps have had a chance to get warmer and goes all the way through until the water temp gets too chilly in late fall.

There are many top water bass lures I like using, some of which I’ve listed below.

Top Water Bass Poppers

There is just something about the bass popper that makes me love them. I have caught a lot of smallmouth bass using a variety of bass poppers.

It’s easy to give the popper a little twitch to make it spit water and make popping or gurgles sounds which makes it tough for the smallies to resist.

To make a bass popper really work one much wait after casting so that the ripples subside. This way when you give it a twitch it gives the best popping and gurgling action. Then you just wait again before popping it.

I love running this top water baits, especially a bass popper along the weed edges. BTW: I works on a lot more species than just smallmouth bass. But I’ll bet you knew that.

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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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Stocking Up on Affordable Fishing Lures on eBay

work from home bloggingCasey took me out to his ice fishing hut last week and now I’ve got the fishing itch again. So I guess it’s time to start looking at what I can add to my fishing tackle boxes this year.

I never have enough money so love buying stuff on eBay. I can usually find pretty good deal on fishing supplies any time of year. Below is what I have found that is going in my tackle box so I can get those big bass, pickerel and of course anything else that will bite in our New Brunswick waters.

Bass And Pickerel Lures

Last year was a strange year and had the highest water levels I’ve ever seen. I found I lost a few too many of my lures and some weren’t even my own. So I have to replenish my fishing lures and with limited funds I like eBay for that.

Casey just ordered a boat load of red Senko style red worms we have come to love so much. By the way it was me that introduced them to Casey and Jamie. I remember doing so well with them before either owned any that Casey put a ban on red worms. Well until I shared some and then he was hooked.

Red 5 1/2” Worms

There used to be a supplier for the red worms we like so much but don’t find him any more, however after searching for a while I found two other worm types that are pretty much the same.

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New Horton Lake Fishing June 23, 2011

Wobbler lure (fishing equipment)

Image via Wikipedia

What a great way to start off summer. A great day of fishing with a friend.

Casey picked me up and we headed off to New Horton Lake for some smallmouth bass fishing.

The weather was pretty much perfect. Lots of sun for vitamin D, almost no wind at all for the entire day. Heck there were even a few fish to keep our interest up.

Oh yeah, and no one came home sunburned, this time.

New Horton Lake

Actually New Horton Lake reminds me of a couple of lakes I’ve been on in Ontario that were left behind after the last ice age backed off, leaving huge rocky gouges in the landscape that filled with water and today hold plenty of hard fighting fish.

New Horton Lake New Brunswick
New Horton Lake, New Brunswick on Google Maps

We Headed To An Island, Or Was It

Here is a photo I took while we were going down the lake on my first trip there with Casey. I thought we were headed to an island however it was a point of land that come way out into the lake. I think it’s about a half mile long or more.

newhortonlake-newbrunswick-island
No Jim That’s Not An Island

If you look at the bottom left of the Google map above you will see the strip of land that comes out into the lake. Lots of fishing area along the shore line here.

You can see just how calm the water was from in the image above.

Casey was saying the wind can quickly whip up waves but no problems this day.

Casey Catches First Fish

Casey didn’t waste any time catching the first fish. I think he may have brought it with him but then again if he was going to do that I’m sure it would have been a bigger one. Ha Ha.

casey-with-first-bass
Not A Huge Fish, But The First Fish, Congrats

We didn’t get much action trolling but as were got close to weeds and banks I was casting. As soon as the water warmed up along the shore they started taking baits.

They were hanging around the shore where the water was a degree or two warmer and where they could stay in the sun or move into shade.

We started hitting the shore line where there was a definite line between the sun and shade. I love being able to pop a lure up on the bank and then pull it into the water.

It’s amazing just how fast those bass can strike. Sometimes it seems that the lure would have to land in their open mouth to be so fast.

mepps4At one point Casey said he was changing to a spinner bait. I agreed but had given all my spinners to my son Steve for trout fishing.

Casey pulled out a tackle box with dozens and let me take the first pick.

I choose the little #4 Mepps with a nice floresent blade. It’s the one on the left and worked great as I caught the first smallie in about a half minute. First cast to the shore in a shady spot.

I had never fished smallmouth using a Mepps. I have used them on pike, pickerel and trout but now it’s a new confidence bait for bass as well.

The only reason I caught the first bass using the spinner is because Casey let me pick first and in about 4 seconds it was on my line and I had that first cast to the bank.

Look At That Lure Fly

I bought a new shrimp/perch pattern Rapal. I’m no good at names of lures, I just buy em and use it. Anyways I put on this new lure, lined up a spot to cast to and let her fly.

There was a little knot in my line and it snagged after about 6 feet of line went out and that lure straightened the swivel snap and that lure fly so far.

I told Casey it was a floating lure so we headed in the direction I made the cast. I thought it was long gone and probably somewhere out in the bush somewhere.

Just before I gave up looking I saw the sun reflect off the top of the lure which had about a square inch showing about the surface.

It had hit the water a couple of feet from shore. Very lucky.

What’s really funny is that last year I lost the original lure in New Horton Lake and I’m sure it did land somewhere in the bush. That was the reason I had a new one this year.

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Cassidy Lake Pickerel Fishing 2011 Part Two

Cassidy Lake Pickerel Fishing 2011 Part One

casey-first-pickerelCasey landed his first pickerel and had the biggest grin on his face. Not sure if it was because it was his first fish of 2011 or because it wasn’t me with the first fish.

Ha, maybe a little of both. I sure hope it’s not a sign of things to come for 2011 as he just kept catching them and smiling, a lot.

Casey was using minnow baits with blood red hooks and what a huge difference it made to the fish catching.

I didn’t have any lures with the blood red hooks and they just weren’t interested at all.

He kept offering me lures, even ones with red hooks but I don’t like losing other people’s lures so for a time I just said thanks but didn’t use them.

Well after Casey’s 7th fish to my zero I was willing to lose one of his lures. Errr I mean use one of his lures.

Finally I hooked into a monster. Well maybe not a monster but I am sure it was all of 12 maybe 13 inches, it just thought it was bigger.

Fishing Tip of the Day: If you haven’t given blood red hooks a try yet you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Casey was smart and started replacing the hooks on his baits at least a year ago.

You can be sure I will be ordering some red hooks to replace my existing hooks.

I will tell you that if you invest in lures with blood red hooks or buy new blood red hooks for your lures you just might get a whole lot more action.

Casey couldn’t seem to do anything wrong Friday, even though it was Friday the 13th.

Even though I started catching pickerel they were few and far between for me. Casey on the other hand just kept catching them.

casey-pickerel
A Great Day of Pickerel Fishing

I was still determined to catch some pickerel on lures without red hooks. After all I fished for many years before red hooks and did great.

Well I did manage to catch a few more using a perch pattern and ended my day with 7 pickerel and a sun burned face. It really looked like I was most embarrassed about getting my butt kicked.

I believe that Casey landed 25 pickerel by the end of our day. So he caught the first fish of the day, the most fish of the day along with the biggest.

I am already looking forward to my next trip to Cassidy Lake. I had kind of forgotten about the lake once we started pickerel fishing the Chipman, New Brunswick area.

I guess there’s just not enough time to fish all the places I love as often as I would like.

Maybe I will get more fishing in once I retire in a couple of years.

Casey, thanks for the great day of fun and I love what you’ve done with your boat. It’s going to be an awesome summer.

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