Fishing Muskie With Casey At Mactiquac – The Arm

release a bassAfter a week of rain it was so nice to see and feel the sun again. I was also great to get out fishing with Casey. It’s always a good day, even if the fishing is slow.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, even a bit hot for the end of September but the skies were high and bright with zero clouds to block some of the sun. Made for a tough day of muskie fishing.

The little smallmouth bass in the top left images was the catch of the day. The only catch of the day actually and it was caught on the end of my rod so I got first fish of the day, biggest fish of the day as well as the most fish of the day.

We were trolling close enough to the shoreline that I was able to make some casts close to the bank and trees. I pulled a chain pickerel out of the weeds but then it stopped. All I got to see was his shape.

Casey had a nice fat smallmouth smack his bait and then jump out of the water. He hit the water and stayed on for about 4 seconds. It would have kicked my bass’s ass.

So it wasn’t much of a fish catching day but it sure was a purdy day.

Rivers of Fog

fogI don’t care to drive through fog but I do love to see fog. Not sure why but I’ve liked it as long as I can remember.

Sunday was a foggy morning in the low lying areas but we didn’t drive through any fog. The fog that was visible as we were driving was either off the road or above the road.

The fog in the image on the left was right across a bridge we drove under.

Below is a picture of the fog over the river as we drove past Oromocto. I never seem to get a shot up close of fog like this because we are usually included in the fog. Nice to see it over the river like that.

fog
Fog on the River at Oromocto

Canada Geese Sounding Off In The Fog

canadagooseI looked down over the dam as we drove over it and there was no fog but above where the launch point was it was so foggy you couldn’t see the other side.

There was no fog onshore and so quiet I’m sure we would have heard a bird fart. The quiet is always something is special in a world made up of so many noises.

I was taking a few more pictures and enjoying the silence when it was broken by a loud HONK and then another and another. Next a Canada goose came out of the fog. Ten seconds later a second goose emerged from the fog then another and finally a forth Canada goose came out of the fog. They were all spaced about 6 or 8 feet a part in single file.

I guess the honking was so they wouldn’t loose touch with each other.

canada geese in the fog

It was only a few minutes and that towering cloud of fog just disappeared except for right along the shoreline where the tree were blocking the sun. Love casting into spots like this.

IMG_0429

Saw a lot of scenery and a great day thanks to Casey and his trusty boat.

Bass Fishing New Horton Lake

caseys boatLast Thursday Casey and I were out enjoying another day of fishing our awesome New Brunswick waters. We were heading for New Horton Lake for a while and then later in the afternoon we would fish the Shepody river for a few rainbow trout.

Here in Moncton there was no wind at all so I thought I would bring my fly rod with me. It’s so much fun catching smallmouth bass on the fly rod.

I had a few boxes of flies and my fly rod out with my regular fishing gear when Casey arrived but my hopes of fly fishing were dashed when Casey told me how windy it was at Hopewell Cape which is close to New Horton Lake.

We also planned to fishing the Shepody river for some rainbows as the river would be closed to fishing in just a couple of days. So I still brought my fly rod with my just in case the wind the stopped before our day of fishing did. Unfortunately the wind only stopped as it was dark and we were heading home.

new horton lakeAs we drove down the path that leads to New Horton lake and came out of the trees where we could see the water we knew immediately there was a strong breeze blowing.

Not really looking good for the top water lures or fly rods but not so bad we couldn’t get the boat launched.

I really like New Horton lake and enjoy the smallmouth bass and white perch. I also especially like the mile long rock that juts out into the lake. It appears to only have a few inches of soil covering but it is covered with trees. As we go by they look like the slightest wind would knock them over into the water.

trees growing on rocks

The rock face continues into the water where it drops off to about 15 feet deep.

We weren’t fishing long before Casey had his first smallmouth bass and then his second and third. Man Casey was on fire but with every bass he landed the wind increased and the waves got higher.

Soon it was a bit too windy to do any casting so we stuck with trolling and finally I caught a smallmouth bass and was on the board. The thing is we were only seeing little smallies. We didn’t even see a single white perch which are usually eager to slap a bait.

After a few soakings from the waves, which were rather chilling, we decided it was time to leave New Horton lake and try the Shepody river for some rainbows. Casey thought we would have less wind there so we packed up and headed out.

windy day on the water

We weren’t there very long but Casey landed six smallies to my one. So glad we stayed long enough for me NOT to be skunked. I’m think I was saying goodbye to New Horton lake for this year but look forward to fishing here again in 2013, maybe even get some use out of my fly rod.

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Headed To The Gagetown Boat Launch For Another Day of Fishing With Casey

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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One of My Favourite Top-Water Smallmouth Bass Baits

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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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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Thanks to Casey I was not only able to fish a number of new waters here in New Brunswick Canada in 2011 but I also got to fish later than I have ever fished here, in more than 30 years.

oromocto river november 2011
A Clear Bright But Chilly Morning on the Oromocto River New Brunswick

We saw a lot of fog on the water we passed on the way to Oromocto from Moncton and Hopewell Cape. The Saint John river was mostly hidden by the fog but the Oromocto didn’t have any fog, just a little mist about an inch or two above the water.

Blessed With A Great Day Weather Wise

We were fortunate to have a really nice day. It was a little nippy when we launched at 7am. I believe it was just 4 degrees but no wind, well until Casey opened up the motor and headed up river.

Sure glad I packed gloves, a toque and several layers of clothing with me so I was comfortable all day long. I was also glad I was sitting with my back to the bow of the boat when he took off as the breeze created was just a tad chilly on the face.

I think when Jamie and I were fish the Oromocto river on October 22 we took 3 roundabouts to get to the launch. Not sure how Casey got us to the same launch point with just one roundabout.

Okay Jamie what’s with the making us go around in circles so much. Smile

The water was down even more than when Jamie and I were there last. and a few of the spots we were catching bass we actually dried up.

I Managed To Catch The First Pickerel

first pickerelI have to say that I love it when I catch the first fish although it would be a nice gesture to let someone else get the first fish considering they had the boat and did all the driving. Thanks Casey.

I decided to start the day with a Red Devil as it had done me well on my last trip out. The last day out they were swallowing that thing, not just smacking at it.

Early on I turned a couple of what I thought were smallmouth bass but I’m never really sure until I see more of there body. They didn’t take, only looking I guess. Maybe I should have been retrieving a bit slower as the water temp was only 38C.

After a bit I caught the first pickerel of the day. This year the fishing was so hot and it was always a good feeling to get that first one so as not to be skunked, which we narrowly avoided with just 2 fish each for the entire day.

caseys pickerelMy first pickerel was about 20 inches but when Casey asked if I wanted a pictures I said no and released it, thinking we were going to get a whole lot more of them.

Casey wasn’t far behind. Soon after he landed his first pickerel of the day which was just a bit smaller than mine. How generous of him.

We didn’t have any further luck in the Oromocto but when we reached French lake we stopped in hooked our two biggest fish of the day. Mine was a 23 inch monster while Casey’s was just 22 inches, one inch shy of a monster.

23inch pickerel

All too soon it was time to go home so we headed back towards Oromocto and another year of fishing for myself has ended. I have lots of great memories and pictures to last the next six months while I get ready for next year. Thanks to both Casey and Jamie for getting me there.

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