Thursday, May 19, 2022
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Made it back to New York again for the second time in a week, this time to fish for brown trout, in the Adirondacks, with my friend Jimmy. For this trip, we would be wading one of the many rivers in the Adirondack region of upstate New York, that get annually stocked with brown or rainbow trout, sometimes both.
After checking the stocking dates and weather for a couple weeks, we settled on a spot that had a good quantity of both 8 to 11 and 12 to 16 inch brown trout stocked last week. The spot is also downstream of another similar stocking on the same river, that took place 2 weeks ago, further upstream. We were hoping that the stocked trout would have washed down to a couple spot with some decent wading in moderate current.
After getting our New York state fishing licenses online, we crossed into the USA and headed to our first target spot. Jimmy and I both started with spinners, and sure enough, Jimmy started landing fish after fish, mainly in the 9 to 10 inch range. I followed suit, and landed my first brown trout of the day.
Jimmy then caught a solid 13 incher, first one of that size class.
I caught one in that size range as well, shortly after.
I eventually tied on a Jointed Rapala (j9) lure, and caught some more trout on it. Was hoping for something bigger, and was surprised by this feisty 15 inch fallfish.
It had me excited for a bit, as I thought I had a big brown until I got it out of the strong current...
Jimmy then landed the biggest fish of the day, a superb 16 inch brown trout, just about the upper size limit that they stock.
The big surprises of the day, were not only a whopping 50+ brown trout landed, but the number of brown trout in the 12 to 13 inch range, which are stocked in much lower numbers. I guess we timed the trip perfectly.
Seems the rules have also changed as far as keeping trout from that river. The bag limit is 3 trout per person, with only 1 exceeding 12 inches. As we kept out limits, I'm looking forward to enjoying some of the brown trout over the next couple days.
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Finally made it back to Lake Champlain to fish for lake trout for the first time in 8 years. Felt real nice to be able to cross the land border in New York state without needing any covid tests, as well as return to Canada without testing or quarantine.
Having fished Lake Champlain for lake trout with my friend Mike in the past, I knew it could be hit or miss, depending on a variety of factors, water temp and clarity being important ones. Plan was to to hopefully land 2 bag limits of 3 fish each (6 total), as I have a variety of new recipes to try with lake trout, hopefully making them more palatable, as they tend to be fishier and fattier than most other trout and char species.
We got to our first spot shortly after 10 am, right in middle of the mid morning major. With the water temp in the 45F range and stained, everything lined up perfectly. We set up 4 rods with a variety of crankbaits and started trolling. Within less than 5 minutes, I landed my first lake trout of the day, a 31 inch beauty, my biggest lake trout to date!
What followed, was by far the best lake trout bite I've ever experienced. We managed to land our 6 fish bag limit in less than 1 hour, and whopping 15 lake trout in about 3 hours of fishing! A couple double headers, and lost a few more as well.
Both Mike and I landed some respectable fish in the 30 to 31 inch range.
When the bite slowed down, we tried a couple more spots, I ended up landing 1 more lake trout to put our total for the day at 16 landed. We called it a day when rain started coming down after 3 pm.
By fay my best outing on Lake Champlain ever, glad to see that the lake can still produce this sort of quality of fishing.
I cleaned the days catch once I arrive back home, and tried 2 recipes on one of the smaller fish. Both ended up better than I thought, so freezer is well stocked with fish again :)
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
After having put away my ice gear for the season, wasn't able to catch anything over a couple short open water outings. Following the recent cold front, I decided to go for one final ice outing of the season, took my ice gear back out, and headed North to find safe ice up at altitude.
My plan for the ice outing, was to harvest my bag limit of 6 largemouth bass, as well as any jumbo perch that were not infested with worms. Being that largemouth are not native to this lake, and have decimated the native smallmouth bass over the years, my son and I have culled nearly 100 largemouth bass from there over the past few seasons, mainly in the 12 to 15 inch range.
Having fished this particular lake on ice a few times in the past, I had a good idea of where to get started. After a good 20 minute trekk to my spot, the first hole I drilled had a depth of 24 feet under nearly 2 feet of ice.
I got bit on the first drop of the day, felt like a decent bass, but id came off a few feet under the hole. With the transducer still in the hole, I watched the fish hover around in suspension. As I dropped my rattlebait back down, I was surprised that it came back and bit again. This time, it was well hooked, and I landed this nice 3 lbs largemouth.
Both my biggest of the winter, and biggest largemouth I've caught on this lake to date, what a way to start the day!
Followed up with another chunky largemouth bass, I was happy to catch some in that size range back to back, as bass in this lake are normally smaller. Guessing some of the culling both by locals in open water and by us in the winter may have started to show some benefits.
As I drilled and fished for more active largemouth bass, I had my 6 fish bag limit within less than 2 hours, as well as a bunch of smaller ones released.
Once I had harvested my limit of largies, I decided to fish a bit deeper hoping for some big perch. I was surprised by a couple back to back smallmouth bass, fishing in a depth of 30 feet under the ice. The first one was the bigger of the two, was happy to catch my first smallmouth bass of the year.
Staying at that depth, I drilled a few more holes. Eventually hit the motherload of big perch on adjacent holes, I landed a whopping 23 perch in the 9 to 11 inch range. Unfortunately, 21 of them were
In between the perch, I was landing a lot of bass in the 9-12 inch range as well. In fact, I ended up smashing my previous records by nearly double, landing a whopping 30 largemouth bass, as well as 4 smallmouth bass. They were mainly schooled up, an extremely aggressive, rushing up 10 feet off bottom to smash my lure.
I shot some video footage of the action, which I hope to post here shortly.
All in all, one of my most productive days on ice ever, as far as numbers go. I beat both my bas and big perch records on the same outing, landing a total of 67 fish in about 8 hours. Weather was perfect as well, with temps reaching above freezing afternoon, and almost no wind.
Just one of those days any ice angler dreams about, and another fairy tale ending to an ice season that's been tougher than most other in recent years. Couldn't have scripted a crazier end to it!
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Finally got out on the ice again, after 3 weeks of no ice fishing. Plan for the day was to hit a spot that has good sizes of perch, largemouth bass and white perch, as opposed to numbers. Some pike and chain pickerel in there as well.
I was expecting the spot to be quite crowded, but to my surprise, I had the entire lake to myself. Quite strange, considering perfect weather condition of slightly above freezing, no wind, and mainly sunny skies. May have had something to do with this open feeder creek near the launch.
I trekked out to where I have had god success in the past, and started drilling ice holes just in time for the morning major. After hitting a perch and pumpkinseed sunfish, I hooked into something considerably bigger while jigging a small rattlebait, turned out to be my first white perch of the year.
I was on the phone with my son Ari who currently lives out of town, and being the only one of my boys that enjoys ice fishing, we shared the moment on speaker phone. Guess that would be the next best thing with him not being there.
Next fish from the same hole was a decent pumpkinseed sunfish.
Next hole I drilled paid off as well, landed my biggest bass of the season (so far). The big bass hit a W3 Rapala Jigging Rap.
Too big for my liking to keep for the table, I prefer to release bigger fish in good condition.
Bite slowed down after that, only a few more smaller perch landed throughout the rest of the day.
Enjoyed a nice sunset on the drive home.
This may have been my last ice outing, if weather is warm enough, I hope to hit open water on my float tube for a shot at pike, bass, bowfin and crappie before the season closes on April 1st.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
An unplanned to South Florida just came along with short notice. To those of you on my mailing list, or those that follow my social media, you'll know that the trip was based around me joining the 305 marathon as part of the run for Yitzi team. Again, many thanks to those of you that stepped up to help my cause, thank God, the campaign goal was reach within a few days, and we went well beyond our goal, with extra cash donations coming in as well.
In my book, it would be a sin, possibly even a crime, for me to visit Florida without fishing. As well, I now have my daughter and her growing family living in North Miami beach. Accordingly, I planned a 7 day trip around the marathon, with evenings reserved for family time, and daytime during the week all being dedicated to fishing, being that everyone else was at work or school.
For the first time ever, I opted to try my hand at freshwater fishing in Florida, and instead of hiring guides, I just set a few goals before leaving, and scouted a few potential shore fishing spots online. I did also book one full day on Biscayne Bay for some saltwater action with one of the best guides, but more on that later...
I purchased a Florida freshwater fishing license before going, brought along a reel, some lures and end tackle, and planned to get a rod at Basspro to leave down there at my daughter's house for future visits. My goals for the trip were to attempt to catch 3 freshwater species, namely largemouth bass, peacock bass, and invasive snakeheads. All freshwater fishing was planned on various canals in South Florida, that had both parking options, and access to lots of fishable water on foot.
After landing at Fort Lauderdale International airport, my daughter drove to pick me up along with my grand daughter. One the way home, we were joined by my son in law, and we met up at Basspro to get myself a rod. I opted for a 6 foot medium light Ugly stik gx2, with paired nicely with my Penn Pursuit 30 series spinning reel. Here's a shot of my grand daughter Shaina getting her first glimpse at the Basspro fish tank, with a sizeable redfish making it's appearance for the pic.
Day 1 - Friday March 4th:
Got out for a few hours onto the Royal Glades canal in North Miami beach. Not having any car at my disposal yet, this canal is a convenient 5 minute walk for where I was staying.
Shoreline trails lined with joggers, people walking, few on bikes, tons of birds species, and an infestation of iguanas.
I immediately started seeing a mix of cichlids along the shore, mixed in with some very small peacock bass. Having seen some largemouth bass in the canal in December, I knew that 2 of my target species for the trip will next door to where I was staying. Now, the challenge was to see if I would be able to catch any.
Unfortunately, winds were gusting at 50 k/m per hours, which made any hope for finesse topwater fishing, obsolete. I did manage a hit from a good 12-13 inch peacock bass at a Mepps #3 spinner, but it didn't get hooked. Later on, while burning a buzzbait at high speed, another half hearted hit from a small largemouth bass, but again no hookup. I made my way over to the other side of the canal, where I was a bit more sheltered from the wind. Surprisingly, I managed to get follows from 2 baby tarpons, and 3 small jacks. No hookups, but good to know that there are saltwater species in the canal as well.
All in all, and informative outing despite not hooking any fish in 3 hours of fishing. I did manage to spot the biggest largemouth bass I had ever seen, I'm quite sure it was over 10 lbs. Only had 2 shots at it, but she wasn't playing along with my plans.
After and enjoyable Shabbat with the family fueled by good drink, I joined the marathon early Sunday morning. Again, not having any training, I opted for the easier 5k option. Pics can be viewed online at:
Day 2 for fishing:
Monday's weather still had persisting high windS, though gusts were down to about 40 km/h. Having rented a car the previous night, I made my way North West, planning to fish the c14 canal in Tamarac, as well as Big Cypress creek in the everglades at Coral springs. Both waterways were confirmed to contain largemouth bass and snakeheads, and I was hoping to land at least one of each species.
I started off fishing 2 spots on the c14 canal.
Unfortunately, nothing biting in the high winds, but did manage to SEE a bunch of protected burrowing owls all over the place.
Also spotted this big cool looking bird eating a huge beetle or caterpillar. I believe it may be called anhinga.
Eventually, after not getting any bites, I made my way to a small canal where I had spotted some spawning peacock bass during a trip to the area in December 2021. All I managed was to spot a small grass carp in the 6-7 lbs range. Wasn't going to bother with it, so I made my was West to the Sawgrass trailhead. This is a park on the border of the everglades that runs along hwy 75 , aka "alligator alley".
I was warned by one of the locals to be very weary of spooking alligators on the bank, being that most of the shore is line with 4-5 foot tall grass. Last thing I'd want was to startle a gator, copperhead, or rattlesnake, while trekking alone in the swamp.
I got to the park around 1 PM.
I believe the canal is named Big Cypress cReek, thought I'm not 100% sure, as there weren't any signs up. Regardless, I again began throwing a variety of lures, and eventually, my Berkely Choppo topwater lure paid off with my first largemouth bass of the day, and first target species acquired.
Sticking with the Choppo, I started getting chased by many small gar. I believe they were Florida gar, or perhaps spotted gar, which are very similar. Regardless, they were all quite small, extremely aggressive, and very tough to hook. Eventually, I hooked into a small snakehead, a good 15 - 16 inches or so in length. Not having any landing net, I wasn't able to heave it up onto the shore, as I was about 4 feet above the water level, which was quite low for the canal. My heart sank as I saw it spit the hook and swim off, but I was happy to have had a decent fight, and hopeful of getting another one.
Working my way down the canal, I started seeing less and less activity. After a couple hours and few Kilometers fished, I made my way back to where most of the action occurred. Sure enough, the fishing was much better as evening rolled in, starting off with another largemouth bass.
After getting an explosion from a huge snakehead and another follow from it, I ended up teasing a gar ENOUGH into biting, and then followed up with a second one as well.