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

Hiking in Ontario – The Ultimate Resource

Do you enjoy a little jaunt in the woods from time to time?  Perhaps your a seasoned trekker who has spent half their life pounding trails.  Well if your either of these or at any point in between, and you live in Ontario, I have the perfect website for you:

http://www.hikeontario.com/bulletin/links.htm

Just like it sounds, Hike Ontario is a website dedicated to hiking in Ontario.  I am not going to “re-invent the wheel” by summarizing what they are about.  Instead I have just included a quote below from their mandate section:

Hike Ontario is the sole provider of province-wide hiking information and services. Hike Ontario is also unique amongst Canada ‘s provinces and territories in many of the services it provides to this province’s hiking associations and citizens. Eighty-five percent of Canadians walk for leisure and recreation.  Thus, Hike Ontario acts as the voice for over 9 million hikers and walkers in Ontario.

Hike Ontario recognizes and supports trails throughout Ontario and appreciates that every trail is unique. Every trail can’t be all things to all people but all trails can play beneficial roles. Trails play roles in the economy, play roles in the environment and perhaps most importantly, play roles in our health.

While Hike Ontario recognizes the diversity of trails and trail uses, our focus is on the representation and promotion of pedestrian based trails and their benefits, focusing specifically on;

Connectivity, Economics, Education, Environmental, Health, Heritage, Recreation Transportation 

Hike Ontario does not make or maintain trails,  nor does it offer organized hiking/walking events, except through its member associations. Hike Ontario is the umbrella organization  that provides these province-wide associations with resources  and services to build on these long-established local and regional                  initiatives in a way in which complements and enhances them.”

Bottom line:

  • great resource for finding tails throughout ontario
  • provides links to trail associations
  • provides links to equipment suppliers
  • Promotes getting active in the outdoors, specifically in Ontario.

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

First Canoe Outing of the Year

Weather conditions for the week were looking wet and windy so a friend and I decided we would take advantage of Monday’s good weather and take a little canoe trip on a local lake.  Secretly I had hoped we woudl find the schools of crappy know to inhabit the lake.

Following a short day at work we loaded up my firends recent;ly purchased canoe and headed to a nearby small lake.  Upon arrival we were shocked to see a significant amount of ice still remaining on the lake.

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Regardless of the ice, we departed the launch amidsts the honks of geese and silent flutter of a pair of golden eyes.

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After prodding the ice a bit we focussed on the task at hand and tried to find a school paper mouths who were willing to cooperate with our fishing efforts.

We located a school of crappie at the end of the canoe ride however they didnt seem interested in the plethora of small jigs and rubbers we threw their way.  I attribute this mostly to the persistant cold temperatures of the lake water.

Maybe next time during warmer weather!

Cheers

Al