If you would have told me 10 months to a year ago that this pandemic would be a great thing for outdoor recreational sports and for fishing, I would have doubted every word. However, it certainly looks that way. Hundreds of new anglers have decided that the water seems to be a safe and fun place. Here on the east coast, boat dealers and tackle shops report an explosion of activity as people gear up for this season.
We here on the east coast are all hoping that the Atlantic Bubble keeps opening, allowing us to reunite with many of our angler friends from around the Maritimes. Large events like the Miramichi Striper Cup attract anglers from all over the east coast and even from Ontario and Quebec. But with borders shut, the best we can hope for is our Atlantic bubble opening for our Maritime friends! Many other events planned for this season have been working hard on covid operational plans and safety protocols. Anglers must be diligent and follow all public safety rules to keep us all safe and avoid any lock downs that could affect our angling opportunities.
Speaking with organizers like NB Bass Tour, Hook and Paddle, Atlantic Anglers Challenge, and the NBSFA, they all anticipate a highly active season and report many inquires from new anglers looking to get involved. We all certainly hope these events can happen and anglers follow all public health safety protocols. Organizations have spent hundreds of hours setting up and getting the approval of operational plans in support of government directions.
This year, ice-out started almost a month early here on the east coast. This should bode well for an excellent early season fishery and certainly help with young of the year survival if spawning happens earlier because of warming conditions. As always, practicing hook and release during spring is extremely important to maintain stock levels. Anglers should take advantage of this early spring and get that gear ready to go. Make sure everything is in working order after winter storage.
Boat safety checklist
- Life Jackets
- Whistle / Sound Device
- Extra clothes – In Waterproof Bag
- Anchor – With a 100 ft Rope
- Bailer / Working Bilge Pumps
- Fire extinguisher – Make Sure it is Charged
- Flashlight – With New Batteries
- Radio / Phone
Spring is by far the top opportunity to enjoy fishing and getting a chance to try that new rod or maybe even that new boat. It could be your first organized Bass tournament or just taking the family out to try those Miramichi stripers. Let’s all make sure we do it safely by wearing life jackets, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, following public health rules.
Enjoy the outdoors and stay safe!