Bass Tournamanet on Collins – A Yearly Tradition

Last year Dave and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a local bass tournament in the Kingston area on Collins Lake.  The tournament isn’t a huge one with between 10 and 25 people every year, but regardless of the size, the people are nice and the hosts always put on an amazing spread of authentic Portuguese delights.  You can count on plenty of laughs and good times too boot!

Based on all the fun we had last year (not to mention Dave winning the tourney), we jumped at the chance when we received the invite again this year.  Regardless of there being bigger tournaments out there, this one really focusses on the community aspect of the sport which plays a crucial role in why we returned this year.

The tournament started with drinks and poker at the hosts house followed by an early morning start at 6am out of the launch.  Im not going to lie, this was “difficult” to do for many of the fisherman as the night was late one.

However, foggy as we were, Dave and I manned my the Green Machine and arrived at the launch followed closely by Jay, the participant who invited us.

Out of the gate the day started with a bang as I landed 4 solid bass weighing in between 1 lb 13 oz and 2lb 11oz each.  This was a solid bag considering lasts years tough conditions and Dave’s win with only 7lb 15oz.  But as the rules dictate, only two fish could be weighed in during the morning so two went back into the drink.

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Dave started late into the fish but managed two decent 2 lb ers at about mid morning.  We pulled the plug at noon and headed into the shore to weigh in and see how we fared.  Things were looking good for me with my 4lb 13 two fish bag until Mark, another participant from Mississauga, came in to show us his whopping 3lb 4oz beast.  It was a race, and Mark was winning with me trailing closely behind and Jay and Dave closely behind me.

We headed back out after a delicious sandwich prepared by Fantima with a renewed sense of competition and a satisfied belly.

It was anyone’s game and we all knew it.

The afternoon confirmed my worst fears, the fish had shut down and pickings were slim.  I wasn’t able to fill my last two slots and wound up stagnant.  However, Dave saddled up a swim bait rig he had been working on and managed two average size fish from some large weedy bays.  Dave had his four fish and was now the front-runner with 7 lbs 12oz.

The following day had me tied up with family duties but most of the other participants made it back out.  I am told Mark landed more fish to bring him to 6oz shy of Dave’s bag and Jay hooked, and unfortunately lost a 6lb beast.

At the end of the day Dave held onto his title and the trophy with a weight consistent with last years total.  Koodos to Dave for thinking outside the box and to Jay and Mark for bringing such stiff competition.  You guys are excellent fishermen whom id rather be fishing with than against any day of the week.

Pics posted below (please ignore my wild disheveled look.  That’s the look of a man running on 4 hours of sleep and a few too many beers the night before).

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(Above: The green machine at the weigh station)

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All in all,  a solid bass Derby with great folks.  I am sure I speak for Dave when I say we are grateful for the chance to fish with such great people.  Not to mention such healthy competition.

Cheers from the Wild

Al

Bass Opener 2013 – Collins Lake

After a half year wait, bass season is back!  This year bass season has opened a week early in our zone.  This has come as a blessing to many anglers in the area who have felt for years that the season opened unnecessarily late.  Coupled with some recent cold nights and warm days, things were looking good!

With boat pre-rigged, a new 65 lb thrust minn kota on the bow of my Legend, and the rods rigged, my buddy Dave and I hit the road at 5 am.  45 minutes later we were on the water with rods in hand.  The morning turned out to be tough fishing with only one largemouth (approx. 2lbs) in the boat.  Temperatures were fairly chilly and a sweater was required.

As the morning pressed we changed up techniques and areas, targeting flat expanses with sparse weed formations.  Fishing picked up almost immediately as we made the changes with several largemouth and pike caught.  Dave even managed one decent sized smallmouth which is pretty rare for Collins.

 

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Great shot of a local loon family….

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To my surprise, one of the fish I pulled out decided to relieve it’s self all over my jeans.  This was definitely a first for me!

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All-in- all we had a fairly decent day with multiple 3lb bucket mouths and some decent sized pike.

Ultimately, our success was directly related to trying techniques and fishing areas that differed from the other boat on the water.  More than a few times, we have found this was the key to a successful fishing day.

I hope everyone enjoyed their opening day!

Cheers from the wild

Al

Summer Salmon – A Lake Ontario Specialty

Summer brings many things to Southern Ontario. Soccer teams flock to the fields to test their mettle against one anotehr, bikers are out in droves pushing their machines to the limits on our endless Ontario highways, yard sale/antique season is in full swing.  Great hobbies to be had in a great place. but perhaps my favourite thing to do in the summer, besides sipping an ice cold Ice cap from Tim Hortons, is to head out on the big lake to enjoy pitting my wits against the steely Rainbow trout or a Majestic Salmon.  Thanks to stocking efforts from the MNR and agencies in New York, Salmon fishing in lake Ontario is some of the best in the country.  Sadly, few people realize the resource we have so close to home.

I was definitely one of those few people until my uncle (watch out here, comes the shameless plug!), who runs RP Salmon Guide Charters, asked me and a friend to join him one warm June day in 2011.  A tad early for the bulk of salmon fishing but a beauty of a day no less.

We left port at about 6 am from Newcastle, On, a popular launch site for many salmon charters and headed out to 60 feet of water (FOW).

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Once we got there we rigged up the rods with an assortment of giant spoons, flies and cut bait rigged up to down riggers and dipsy divers. I’ll spare you the explanation of these amazing contraptions.

This was quite the set up as most of my fishing is fairly minimalistic when it comes to hardware.  However, I trusted my uncles experience and knew he wouldn’t steer me wrong.

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First fish of the day went to my buddy who had never really caught anything bigger than a small bass in his life.

Im not sure what was running through his mind when he set the hook this giant Rainbow Trout, but when he couldn’t gain any headway, I’m sure holy sh*t was among his thoughts!

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What a beautiful 13 lb 8oz fish! After some quick photos of a beautiful fish and a proud/excited fisherman, the trout went back into the lake.

My friend still bugs me ever summer about when we can do the trip again!

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Now that the appetizer was out of the way it was my turn for the main course.  bout 30 minutes later we trolled through a large school of bait and just after got a hit on one of the flies.  This was a big fish and consequently, my first crack at a Lake Ontario Salmon.

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It was probably at this point where I realized that 1) this was probably the biggest fish I had ever hooked into and 2) this wasn’t just some big empty mass of blue we were trolling on.  This was a healthy fishery with some world class trophies swimming about it.

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Following a decent 15 – 30 minute fight I managed to wrangle this 22 lb salmon into the boat.  I was absolutely stunned, excited and ecstatic all at the same time.

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A few minutes after dealing with the big beast, it was my uncles turn.  He boated this decent little 8lb 9oz rainbow.  A respectable fish by an account!

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Followed again by several small salmon (shakers as the guides call them because they are not strong enough to pull the lines from the down rigger balls).

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Unfortunately they did not make it back to the lake, but take it from me they make quite the feast compared to store bought/ farm raised fish.

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So next time your cruising along the shores of Lake Ontario, remember, there is more than meets the eye out there and I am not talking about transformers!  Maybe, if your brave enough, you will decide to attempt to catch one of these majestic beasts.  Trust me, if you pull the trigger on a trip out to Lake O, and hire a guide worth his salt, you will not be disappointed!  You may even walk away with a feast fit for a king.

Cheers from the wild,

Albert P

RP Salmon Guide Charters – https://www.facebook.com/pages/RP-Salmon-Guide-Charters/128039840606982

More Pike – Sydenham Lake

Went out for another run at pike.  This time we decided to give Sydenham Lake a try.

The lake is divided into two sections,  a deep portion running east to west and a shallow portion located north of the deep portion separated by an old railway bridge.

Naturally as it is spring we crossed under the bridge and headed for the shallows.

Spinners and spoons did the trick with success in both trolling and casting.

We ended the day with a total of 12 pike and one out of season bass (which was promptly released).

The trip was not as good as Collins, but an afternoon with twelve fish is better than working or no fish at all!

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Bay of Quinte Walleye Derby – Night Fishing at its finest

I have been getting excited for this derby for weeks now and finally the day is upon us.  Lights and batteries are charged, the worms are purchased and the rods are tooled and ready to go.

This will be my very first time night fishing.

11:00 – We launched from the mouth of the Trent River.  Docking was mostly easy except for dodging the odd pack of drunken teenagers and party goers.  Apparently the Kiwanis Walleye derby is quite the social gathering.

After launching we crawled out through the dark to our spot and waited for 12:01.  Waiting half an hour before opening day was torture, but the excitement and promise of a good day fishing.

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12:01 – Lines were dropped and we began trolling.  20 minutes in and I get a fairly strong hit.  Was this the tourney winner already? Sadly no, just a stinky drum, albeit a big stinky drum.

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The next four hours were filled with more big drum, including one that we suspected to be at least 15 lbs.

So with the rise of the sun we left our spot for deeper waters and hopefully some viable fish.

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After motoring to a spot we knew to have deep water I was saddened to see it full with other boats all jigging.  We dropped out lines anyways and trolled through.  Sure enough, after passing the first boat we hooked into a decent 4 lb walleye. Finally the first good fish of the day!  We caught more than a few glances from the resident boats as we proceeded to catch 1o more walleye in the same stretch of water.

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8:00 fatigue was setting in and the walleye bite was over.  We packed up and headed back to the launch satisfied with our catch.  We didn’t get the winner but had enough action to keep us busy and happy.  There is always next year!

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World Fishing Network Contest

Its nice to see that I am not the only one who thinks Kingston Ontario is a mecca for freshwater fishing.

As I recently found out Kingston has been nominated as the Ultimate Fishing Town in the Ontario district within a contest organized by the World Fishing Network.

Although there are some other tough competing towns out there I think I will still be voting Kingston for the following reasons:

1) The bass fishing here is extraordinary with multiple bass masters tournaments being held here every year

2) Access to Lake Ontario and the thousand Islands,  these water bodies offer somne of the best musky and catfish fishing arund.  The current live release world record for musky hails from this area. http://fishing.about.com/od/muskieandpike/ig/Muskie-Pictures/Huge-Canadian-Muskie—McNair.htm

3) Take a look at a map, Kingston, Ontario has such an abundance of fishing oppourtunities (thanks Canadian Sheild!) in comparison to neighbouring areas.

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4) I am sure almost evry resident has some memory of fishing on a local lake while camping or at the family cottage.  All these memories within 5 to 60 mins of Kingston.

If you fall into any of these categories I urge you to vote for Kingston.  Oh, BTW the winning town gets $25,000 to promote fishing in the area.

Not to shabby!

Cheers

Al

http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/news/voting-underway-for-wfns-2013-ultimate-fishing-town-282932.aspx

The Untapped Resource – Fishing Forums

Getting started with a specific fishing technique can be difficult.  What colour of lure? What trolling speed should you use?  Live bait or artificial?

I am sure at one point or another we have all asked similar questions.  Even the professionals had to start somewhere.

Im my experience, the ultimate way to get a leg up in the fishing world is to reach out to other, more experienced anglers.  The best way to do this? Aside from being in any Tim Hortons at 4 am on a Saturday, Fishing Forums can be a close second.  Fishing forums are great places to make connections with fellow anglers, discover previously hidden resources and ask virtually any question under the sun.  In my experience, if you can ask it, some one can answer it.  Almost always someone will reply with a tip to get you on your way to mastering a technique or species.  If your lucky and polite, they may even take you out for a one on one demonstration!

Below are a list of great forumns which have a strong Ontario base:

Fish Ontario: http://www.oodmag.com/ – very good resource for all things hunting and fishing.  This was the very first forumn I joined.  Filled with great people who are friendly and helpfull, I have made many friends on this forum over the years.

Ice Shantyhttp://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?board=26.0 – dedicated to ice fishing in Ontario.  This is a great resource for the Kingston Area.

Bay of Quinte Be ‘N’ Brag Fishing Forum http://forum2.quintefishing.com/viewforum.php?f=1 – you guessed it, specific forum for both soft and hard water fishing in the Bay of Quinte Area.  Also includes several members who are well versed in the brown trout fishery on Lake O.

Hawk Talk – http://www.fish-hawk.net/index.php?i=forums&mode=forum – Also a great forum for Ontario.  Also includes great information including fishing maps for specific lakes with directions on generic ways to fish specific lakes for beginners.

Lake Ontario United Forum http://www.lakeontariounited.com/fishing-hunting/  – all the gab on salmon, rainbows and browns that you can handle!