The ice is melting and none too soon!
Sorry to all the ice fishermen, hockey heads, cold weather lovers etc. but this really is the cream of the year coming up. Wildlife both above and below the water will soon be into hyper active mode and the world will seemingly wake up… like a big old bear. Think about it, a bear has the perfect life. Eat like crazy in the warm weather so that he can sleep all winter and live off the reserves. Not to leave out that when he roams scavenging for grub, he fears nothing else in his turf!
It certainly has been a long winter and we here are now setting up this years shoots. Again we are looking coast to coast for a variety of species.
I really liked last years line-up of shows:
In BC we fished Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Bull Trout and Sturgeon. In Ontario we shot Walleye, Small & Large Mouth Bass, Pike, Carp, Steelhead and Lakers and out in Nova Scotia we zoned in on Striped Bass and Bluefin Tuna!
Of the shows I shot, I really have a hard time picking out a favourite, they were all a blast.
I drifted the Cowichan River for Browns on Vancouver Island and the scenery and fishing were amazing! Just check out the picture of the lodge on their site and you’ll see why we were blown away with the entire trip. Kenzie Cuthbert is a legend in that area and we now know why!
My next show was to Pym Island (with Angelo) for a surprising Pike show where we annihilated a ton of big nasty Northerns. The mayfly hatch was just over so the Walleye fishing was slow but honestly, who cares. When you’re up there, Pike should be your main focus and a small feed of Walleye for shore lunch is just a little rest time.
From there it was on to Chaudiere Lodge on the French River with Mike fishing for Largemouth, Smallmouth and Walleye and man did this place not let us down. We fished tons of water and still left miles of great bass shoreline and Walleye humps to be fished this year (we’re going back by the way).
Next was Pine Portage Lodge on Kaby Lake for a Walleye-Fest!!! Mike and I nailed em’ large! Tons of fish with a nice 27 or 28 incher to anchor the show! I honestly don’t remember if we hit any spots that we didn’t catch Walleye at, there were that many fish there. Awesome lodge too… we all gained a few pounds there.
The following show was a drift fishing day down the Niagara River with Cast Adventures where we spent the day basically about a quarter mile from the boat launch (gas prices didn’t matter much on that shoot). We targeted and caught Steelhead using roe, yarn and beads… plastic beads!!! We also caught a bunch of incidental Lakers that were in there sucking up as much spawn and everything else that they could… eating machines!
On to Lake Joseph in the Muskokas with Captain John for a Pike Smallie shoot located in the heart of billionaire country. This shoot probably impressed me the most of all for 2 reasons. #1 is the quality of Smallmouth Bass and Pike we caught on camera and #2 was the cottages that dot the lake. I have never been around such opulence with a fishin’ stick in my hand.
My next show was a local one out of Pickering where I hit Frenchman’s Bay and the Pickering Nuclear Plant which are very close to each other. The Nuke plant is always a “go to” spot for a number of species. It’s also a place that will blow your mind with the amount of fish swimming around… most of which won’t bite! You name it, it’s there. I caught Smallies, a Largemouth, a Steelhead and 3 Carp… 2 tiny ones and an absolute bruiser! The thing hit a Carolina rigged suspending minnow bait!!! It spooled my line on a US Reel baitcaster right to the knot. From there I slipped back into Frenchman’s and was totally surprised as about 5 or 6 hungry Northern Pike munched my suspending minnow bait which I slowly dragged with my electric motor.
Big fish isn’t the word for the next show. Angelo and I headed to Nova Scotia for Bluefin Tuna and man did we strike gold… after 3 hard days of fishing though. We teamed up with Captain Sandy Kavanaugh, Adrian Gloade of the Millbrook First Nations and our long time buddy Joe Anthony. We only boated 2 fish in 3+ days of fishing but the combined weight was somewhere around 1700 pounds!!! Angelo and I put a scaled 920 pounder in the boat that fetched the Captain almost 10 grand!
My final shoot was on Lake Erie again with Paul Castellano of Cast Adventures for the fabled Erie Smallmouth. People, if you haven’t experienced this fishery and live close by then shame on you! We’ve fished it early, mid and late in the season and it’s always phenomenal! Paul and I hit the water in the fall… an amazing time to hone your deep water skills. Jigging spoons, tubes and a bit of dropshotting were the tactics and they all worked. Of the 3 techniques, I prefer the deep vertical jigging with a spoon. There’s something about setting that hook on the lift that is hard to beat!
For the remainder of the shows, Ang and Mike fished Vancouver Island’s Shawnigan Lake for Smallmouth Bass. This lake was an awesome lake with loads of fish. Again we fished with Kenzie Cuthbert and being the true professional that he is, the fish were plentiful!
Mike got a shot at trying to land the biggest Sturgeon that Fish’n Canada has ever put on tape in BC with Vic Carrao of STS Guiding Service. We have fished with STS for years now and they don’t disappoint. Even with tough fishing conditions, Mike landed tons of fish with his biggest being just shy of 7 feet!
On that same Sturgeon fishing trip Angelo and Vic headed to the Pitt River for the most scenic shoot of the year in search of Bull Trout. Vic took us up the Pitt in his jet boat and to be honest, the fishing is simply a bonus. You won’t find a nicer setting in the world of fishing than on the Pitt!
Lastly, Mike did a Striped Bass show on the Stewiacke River in Nova Scotia. When we first arrived at this spot we couldn’t believe the water clarity… about an inch!!! Honestly it was pure mud. That said, the Stripers were definitely there… tons of them. The fishing was a bit tough… the usual “you should have been here last week” was the word of the day but Mike and Adrian Gloade did manage to bank 8 – 10 nice Stripers for the show.
That sums up last year, hopefully this one will be even better!