Loughborough Lake Lakers

My Ice fishing season has started slow this year and without any real success.  Hence the lack of posts on the blog.  Thankfully I have had some recent success and am able to post an update on my recent goings on with some actual results and juicy fish pics for all to enjoy.

Verona Lake

The second our corner of Southern Ontario had safe, fishable ice, my work mates and I were out looking for the early season bite.  Our first trip was to Verona Lake, which is, surprise surprise, right near Verona.  We didn’t end up catching much but was it was a good way to brush the rust off our gear and get back into the swing of things on a new lake in the area.

Long Lake

I followed up the first outing of the season with a trip to my friend Dave ‘s Cottage on Long Lake. we managed a few decent perch and marked quite a few decent sized fish on the finders.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to coax any of the lakes elusive walleye into biting.IMG_1311

Despite the lack of eyes, The trip was still very enjoyable as we were treated to an amazing sunset.  Sometimes thats all it takes to make a fishing trip worth while.

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Little Clear Lake

The third trip of the season was to Little Clear lake for some Trout action.  Once again, caught lots of perch but no trout.  There was lots of ice on the lake but a tough slog hiking in due to a thin layer of crust which made walking very tedious and tiring.

Deadman’s bay / Loughborough Lake

Once again, Dave and I found ourselves with some time on our hands so we gathered up the fishing gear and headed out.  Our first stop was at Deadman’s Bay located just south of Fort Henry.   Although we didn’t catch any fish we enjoyed an amazing view through 6 – 8″ of clear black ice through 10 to 20 of crystal clear water.

Pretty awesome.

Since things were dead ain deadmans bay, we made a snap decision and headed up to Loughborough Lake hoping to get lucky with the Lakers.  Upon arrival we headed out to the laker grounds in 80 – 90 FOW and punched a few holes through the ice.  It was a beautiful afternoon with near 0 degree temperatures and very few fisherman on the ice.  Our lure choices included silver jigging shad raps, cleos and wobblers all jigged a varying depths throughout the water column.

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Id estimate the fish to be a solid 2lbs.

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With the first real success of the season achieved I am looking forward to the next outing.

The plan is to hit up the Bay of Quinte in a couple weeks for some monster Walleyes.  Here’s hoping they cooperate!

Cheers from the Wild

Albert

2013 Deer Hunting Season – An Ontario Tradition

Here in Ontario we are nearing the end of good weather and the cold depths winter are slowly approaching.  The days are shorter and the threat of a crisp frost is ever present.  Its this time of year when the minds of most people start to drift southward to warm beaches and cool drinks.  But, for some of us, our thoughts drift to colder climates full of tree stands, warm coffee, and a the prospect of the hunt.

For a few of the faithfull, it is time to sight in the rifles and shot guns, wash the camo clothes with scent-free soap and don the traditional blaze orange vest and hat.   It is time for the great tradition of the Deer Hunt. Continue reading

Migratory Hunting Regulation Changes – Ontario

Hunting is a fairly new and still very mysterious world to me.  I obtained my hunting and PAL about four years ago with the sole intention of trying something new and perhaps bagging some interesting meats for my table.  As most new hunters are, I was gung-ho and trigger happy with the thought that I would soon be dining on all sorts of delicious meats! I was going to be the friggen Davy Crocket of the north!  The Hank Shaw of Ontario (shameless plug for my favourite chef http://honest-food.net/)!

Well things didn’t really work out that way.  I soon learned that these were the lofty expectations of a niave and ambitious young man.  Both the difficult nature of hunting and time restrictions of my work and family lives hit me with a pretty hard dose of reality.  In the first year of hunting I ended up not shooting a damn thing.  I was green, loud in the bush, and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.  Forget hitting a flushing grouse or a running buck.

Since those days I’ve progressed, learned to stay calm, and most of all respect hunting and the animals involved.  Things came together after that and I have slowly ticked off animals from my list of firsts.  Not just in the bush but on the table as well.

This year I plan to take full advantage of some great water fowling and deer opportunities which I have stumbled across here in southern Ontario.  This has me feeling very excited about the upcoming 2013 – 2014 season.  So when I read that the regulations regarding geese were changing to remove all possession limits, both me and my stomach were ecstatic.  And then as if I wasn’t excited enough, I noticed that the MNR has added a morning dove season for my area.

I know some people are hesitant about hunting these birds, but I like to think I keep an open mind about trying new experiences so I am sure I will try it out.

Who knows, maybe this year will be the year I bag my first morning dove!

Cheers from the Wild

Albert

Migratory Regulations for Ontario (2013-2014):

http://www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/default.asp?lang=en&n=99FDEC59-1#_005

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

Round Lake – Early Season Stress Releif

Work has been tough lately.

I have been putting in long days at the office  for as long as I can remember with no foreseeable end in sight.  Not only is this tiring but its draining in every way conceivable.  Its times like these that a little stress relief is in order, so when my co-worker jokingly suggested a quick fish after work tonight I decided to take it seriously and jumped at the chance.  Enough of the late nights at the office,  I decided a break was in order (not to mention well deserved).

With that snap decision made, off I went to change and grab my gear and a half hour later we were at the launch pushing off in a canoe.

The trip was nothing fancy.

There were no huge expectations for trophy fish.

Just two dudes, a canoe and the lake.

Part of me wonders at how many world problems would be solved If every person got to experience this feeling on a regular basis.

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Ok. enough rambling, here is the report:

The afternoon was an exceptional one, with warm sunshine and a very slight breeze.  Temperatures were fairly warm and the evening was gearing up to be a good one.

The first fish (a small Pike) came a few minutes later on the fifth cast of my senko.  Nothing big, but definitely fun.  Fishing was nothing exceptional, but certainly decent enough to make the evening enjoyable.  We totalled around 8 bass for the evening, plus a horde of Rockies and that first Pike.  All fish were caught on a variety of plastics, crank baits and jigs in varying depths.  The fish were modest, with the biggest being between around 2.5 lbs.

It was interesting fishing as the lake is basically a deep bowl with 20 to 50ft drops right at the edges.  Really no weedy flats to fish at all so typical tactics don’t usually apply here.

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(Apparently I approve of this fish!)

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Heres a nice shot of me landing a LMB (Photo credit: Dave Hodgson)

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(Above Photo credit: Dave Hodgson)

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We were sure to take advantage of the beautiful scenery to be had on this quaint little lake.  Something Southern Ontario has in abundance.

Definitely one of the best ways I can think of to recharge the batteries after a tough week at work.

Reminds me of a saying:  “All work and no fish make jack a dull boy”  … or is it play? … no its definitely fish.

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

Early season Pike on Collins Lake

Pike fishing has always been a passion of mine and early spring is one of the best times to catch these fish.  Spring finds these fish thick in shallow water and can be caught by both casting and trolling.  Spinners and spoons are go to’s for these fish however swim baits and crank baits are also effective.

Lucky for us Ontarians (especially in the kingston area) we have many Eutrophic lakes that are absolutely teaming with Pike.

Two of my work mates and I left work early on May 14, 2013 and headed to our favourite local Pike spot, Collins Lake.  The water was a bit choppy with a 15 km/hr SW wind that ran right through the large fetch on the lake so we were limited to trolling at the beginnning of the outing.  We immediately hooked into a decent 1-2 lber and then hit a lull.  Ever persistent when using techniques I have alot of confidence in, we kept trolling and the fishing slowly picked up.  By about 6pm we were getting into decent pike on a pretty regular basis.  When the action died down on the trolling we decided to switch up and throw some spinner baits into the shallows.  Sure enough, the switch in gear paid off.  The action once again heated up and our numbers swelled to around 30 fish with at least one double header ( two or three if you are using Tarpon rules and leader touches count!).

All in all, a good first kick at the pike can in 2013.

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