St. John River, New Brunswick

Location: St. John River, New Brunswick
GPS: N46º 01.114′ W067º 14.420′
Species: Smallmouth Bass

This great Smallmouth Hotspot is on Nackawick Stream which is a branch of the St. John River in New Brunswick. Early season smallie angling can have the fish in a variety of moods, so a variety of baits and presentations are a must.

On our Fish’n Canada trip here, we did well with unweighted 4″ Yamamoto Senkos with brighter colours being the best—for that day, anyway. Oddly enough, black might be the colour of choice on the following day. Be versatile!

Use either light fluorocarbon or braided line tied directly to the reel, or tie a fluorocarbon leader onto light braid. Either one will work.

If you’re using unweighted plastic in strong winds add just a touch of weight, as the bait is on or near the bottom is the key.

Baits: Soft Stick Baits
Presentation: Cast to rocks and wood
Water depth: 2-4 feet

17 Replies to “St. John River, New Brunswick”

  1. In the St. John River, a reversal of fortune is always a good sign of things to come.

    Saint John River, 673 km long, rises in northern Maine and flows northeast into the forests of Madawaska County to Edmundston, where it is joined by the Madawaska River and turns southeast, forming much of the border between Maine and New Brunswick. Its drainage basin covers 55,400 km2, of which some 20 000 km2 is in the US, and it has a mean discharge of 1100 m3/s. It receives its chief tributary, the Tobique River, and swings eastward south of Woodstock.

    Called Oo-lahs-took, “goodly river,” by the Maliseet who lived along its banks, it is generally tranquil, except for cataracts at Grand Falls (25 m) and Beechwood (18 m), both of which have been harnessed for hydroelectric power. The river flows east past Fredericton and Oromocto, gradually widening and trending southward through a beautiful valley. On the lower course, numerous long, low islands have been formed by silt and molded by the current.

    Near the city of Saint John the river enters Long Reach, a narrow lake, and receives the Kennebecasis River from the northeast. At Saint John the powerful Bay of Fundy tides throw the river back through a narrow gorge, called Reversing Falls. De Monts and Champlain anchored in Saint John harbour and named the river 24 June 1604, the feast day of St John.

    La Tour built a fort at the river’s mouth 1630, but it was not until the Loyalists arrived in 1783 that significant settlement came to the valley. In the early 19th century, timber was driven from Madawaska, over Grand Falls, to Saint John, which became one of the most prosperous ports in British North America.

    The economical benefits of this river continue to serve Canadian Anglers as we see, to this very day.

    One should note, this area of the Nackawic Stream, just north of Culliton Cove, contains s few very shallow spots on the east side, so be careful.

    The St. John River is known for its variety, and has terrific fishing for several great sport fish. You will find bass, rainbow trout, brown trout, musky, sturgeon and brook trout, all within all taking up residence in the water system. Success will be gained with just about anything shiny in the spinner category and especially Red Devils. Gold and silver are other good colour choices. Don’t forget to include minnow imitators, and Power Bait. The bass in the river course will eat just about anything. Along with Yamamoto Senkos with brighter colours and the odd black hue, frogs seem to be a popular choice for bass anglers in the above mentioned shallows of the Nackawic Stream.

    As always, before fishing any river, please ensure you’re familiar is aware of local regulations. Respect private property, and make sure you’ve got the proper gear for your outing.

    Note : Some sections of the river system can be closed at times, or are fly-fishing only.

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