Weather woes and Wild Garlic

Well no fishing this weekend. Only a persistent east wind and rain. No perch fry, no walleyes. I think that if the weather is still bad next weekend I’ll just have to suck it up and try and put a few percidaes in the tub regardless. In the meantime, I found this while reading up on Canada’s loss to the Czechs. Man the surprise this guy must have had when he got nailed with a 1500$ fine for picking wild garlic. Without trying to play the devil’s advocate, aren’t there more pressing matters to worry about? I mean I like wild garlic and all but stories like these (click on FishOntario Message board and look for post called “Nipissing Gill Nets”) are poping up all over fishing forums and local papers and they are to me much more alarming. Here’s another example of a story I found on a forum…

“Hey guys earlier today i drove out to Millbrook a small village close to peterborough and took my dog for a walk near some trout streams i will be fishing next weekend, scouting it out, and checking water depths etc when i see 2 guys in camo. Thinking there either hunting for turkeys illegally on a sunday or there poaching for trout, they see me and duck in the woods so i cant find them, then i find 2 fishing rods and a half gallon bucket filled with 5 or 6 browns and brookies flapping around, I grabbed the bucket and tossed the alive ones back into the water and mouthed these guys off. They were about 17 or 18 and were scared shitless i was gonna call the cops on them bla bla bla. In the end i walked away and told them i was calling the cops on them, as soon as i said that, they said they would pack up right away and leave. It is idiots like these that that wreck our resources. ”

Some of the replies suggested snapping their rods. I wouldn’t have felt any pity for those two asses had this guy done so. Still, kudos to you buddy for having the guts to confront these lawbreakers and throw the fish back in.

Early Season Outing

Will and I hit the lake for a couple days on the weekend. The weather didn’t participate with us completely. The first day was pretty nice but a relentless east wind made its presence felt on the second. Those of you who know what an east wind does to lake St-Fran├žois will testify to this.
I see the peanut gallery has started commenting before I could finish this. Nice. What the comment refers to is the lobsided catch rate between your truly and his guest on these two days. I stopped counting how many fish I caught there were so many :). I must have boated about 15 pike. Will on the other hand, didn’t have as much luck. He did catch the pike you see up there and a 3″ shiner he so dearly holds on to. Actually, I have to give him credit, I’ve never seen anyone catch a shiner with a 1oz spoon before. In all seriousness, Will was a great guest and we really enjoyed ourselves. I think he’s catching on about this fishing business. He also takes great pictures. The Stumps as portrayed in the previous entry, is an amazing pic. I’m sure he’ll be back in the boat soon.
Perch season opens Saturday. I know I said pike is good eating and all but guess what, I’m having a perch fry this weekend.

Goodbye cabin-fever

There’s something about the year’s first fish. No matter what species or size, you always seem to store it eternally in the memory bank. Whether it be the actual fish or the feeling of carving the lake for the first time after a long season of cabin-fever, something sticks. In this case, I’ll remember being completely alone on the lake and the silhouette of the forest next to the spot where I caught her (see The stumps picture above), the spoon I used, and the feeling of absolute freedom the experience provided me with.
Those of you who are early birds like myself will know how a fish like this feels. Not because she’s a trophy by a long shot, but because she broke the ice. I think I forget what it feels like to catch a respectable fish after a year in the shack. I really think Mike over at Mac’s marina was getting tired of answering my phone calls. So is the boat ready Mike? She was on April 26th and this is my first open water fish of the year. She’s fat with roe and gave me a pretty good fight. I got a Berkley digital scale for Christmas from my dad and I couldn’t wait to try it. I had it working in December and we tested it with some weights at home. Guess what, the first time I try and use it on a fish the damned thing doesn’t want to turn on. What can you do, I guess us fishermen are forever doomed to overestimate the weight of our catch. I say 15 pounds! ­čÖé
In all seriousness, I give her between 8 and 9. She was 32 inches long if that means anything. It was pretty cold that day and the lake had been fairly settled for a couple days. I tried a bunch of spots and threw spinnerbaits, soft plastics and spoons at each of them and got nothing. I figured I was a little early and the pike hadn’t moved shallow yet. Then I made a final stop at my absolute favorite spring spot. It’s picture perfect ; an isolated point with no cottages in sight and tons of old submerged tree trunks and branches. The immediate area averages about 10 feet deep and there’s access to a main lake hole about half a km away. There’s one spot where I seem to always catch something. A little creek poors out of the forest right into this submerged lumber. I threw a heavy spoon (1 oz) chartreuse and yellow with a little red (I like the red on all my lures especially in shallow water in spring) and she hit it hard. 5 minutes later I had her in the boat.
Thanks to Brad and the bunch at Fishin’ Buddies for the pike cleaning video. Click here to see it it works great. Try this recipe too.

No hockey, no problem

I am completely disgusted and outraged with the events we all were forced to endure over the last few months in the NHL. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the acronym, the Nimrod Hockey League. Enough said.
A few buddies of mine braved the cold last weekend and did a little perchin. It’s too bad we spent most of the day in the car because it was so damned cold. Still beats being inside watching tv. Thanks for the pics will