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Canada Post Mail Product Agreement No. 40015689

VOLUME 17 • ISSUE 4 Just $3.95

Fall 2011

DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 15, 2012

TIPS, TRIPS AND FANTASTIC FALL FISHING!


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Contents Features 30 THE CENTERPIN REVOLUTION Once an oddity on Ontario steelhead streams, centerpin reels are quickly becoming the preferred choice of serious trout and salmon anglers. By Dan Robson

38 GET THE LEAD OUT When precise depth and speed control are needed to catch walleyes, leadcore line and crankbaits will put you in the zone. By Lindy Fishing Tackle

50 DO IT YOURSELF IN SPANISH WELLS If you’re looking for an untapped saltwater fishing experience, Spanish Wells in the Bahamas may be the perfect place to visit. By Eric Weissman

42 LAKE ERIE’S FALL PERCH Everything you need to know to cash in on Lake Erie’s late season perch bonanza. By Jonathan LePera


20

FALL 2011 Volume 17, Issue 4 Editor Jerry Hughes Art Production Rossi Piedimonte Design Publisher Fred Delsey National Advertising Izumi Outdoors Tel: (905) 632-8679 President Wayne Izumi Contributors Patrick Daradick, Bob Izumi, Wayne Izumi, Jonathan LePera, Dale MacKenzie, Steve May, Jason Mohring, Dan Robson, Dave Taylor, Eric Weissman Real Fishing is published by Izumi Outdoors Inc. 940 Sheldon Court Burlington, ON L7L 5K6 Tel: (905) 632-8679 Fax: (905) 632-2833 Privacy Policy: Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies whose products and services might be of interest to our subscribers. If you prefer to have your name removed from this list and not receive these mailings, please write to us at the above address.

We welcome manuscripts, but will not be held responsible for loss of manuscripts, photos or other materials. Published four times each year: January (Winter) April (Spring) July (Summer) October (Fall) One year subscription is $9.95. For USA add $10 all others add $30. Subscriptions: Real Fishing 940 Sheldon Court, Burlington ON L7L 5K6

Columns 6 OPENING LINES

20 THE WATER’S EDGE

By Jerry Hughes

By Dave Taylor

10 SPORTSMEN’S ALMANAC

22 THE VINTAGE TACKLE BOX

News, trivia, event listings and more from the world of fishing

By Patrick Daradick

24 REAL FISHING FISH FACTS 14 WHAT’S NEW

Striped Bass

The latest in fishing tackle, gear and accessories

60

16 FISHING Apps for Anglers By Bob Izumi

18 FLY FISHING By Steve May

Subscription inquiries Please call: 1-877-474-4141 or visit www.realfishing.com

26 BEST FISHING TIMES Doug Hannon’s moon phase calendar

Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40015689 Customer Account No. 2723816 GST Registration No. R102546504

28 THE HOT BITE

Postmaster: Please return front cover/label only of undeliverables to: Real Fishing 940 Sheldon Court, Burlington ON L7L 5K6

60 TALES FROM THE ROAD

Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in Canada

The trials and tribulations of life as a professional angler By Bob Izumi

65 WHAT’S COOKING On the cover: Drumroll please... Photo by Izumi Outdoors

18

66 ART OF ANGLING


opening lines By Jerry Hughes

Looking Back The past is a wonderful place and most of us have some pretty strong recollections of our own, personal glory days. A special lake, a memorable fish, a trip of a lifetime - we’ve all got a few examples tucked away somewhere in our book of life. For the most part, that’s a good thing. It’s nice to be able to replay our highlights once in a while, whether we share them with our fishing buddies or just close our eyes and temporarily escape to another time and place. But the past can also be a dangerous place. It has a way of increasing its appeal as the years march by. It’s all too easy to look back with a skewed perception of how things really were. We focus on the good times and, consciously or not, we have a way of seeing them through permanently rose-tinted glasses. We forget about the cold fronts that shut the fish down; the breakdowns on the road; the hot new lure that we bought yet had no success on. When we go fishing we often feel comfortable with what’s familiar. Occasionally things are as they were, but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule. As anglers, we have to be wary of getting caught in a time warp. Just because a particular lure or certain fishing spot worked well once upon a time, there’s no guarantee that it will do the same today. That perfect rockpile where you caught your best smallmouth bass might now be covered with zebra mussels. Your favourite shallow weedbed might be high and dry and that old Hula Popper might not get the largemouth nearly as fired up as it once did. The world is in university now and if you’re still in high school you’re going to find it very difficult to compete. Fishing, like life, is ever evolving. There’s always something new around the corner and it’s up to each of us to decide what to do with it. We can drive the train, hop on 6 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

board for the ride or simply sit back and watch it roll on down the track. Drivers take the lead and control where things are going. In fishing, they’re the guys who come up with the new techniques and patterns. They are using the latest electronics and the newest baits before most of the crowd even know about them. They are catching fish on days when most people are struggling. In short, they pave the way for the rest of the angling world. Riders follow drivers. If television fishing show hosts, magazine articles and other anglers all tout a new technique or bait, Riders will be happy to try it. If it works for them they’ll keep it in their arsenal. If not, they’ll likely discard it and go back to what works for them. Riders do evolve as anglers, but they are always a few steps behind the drivers. Watchers are happy with the way things are, or more properly, were. They remember a great fishing trip where everything went perfectly and they are always looking to re-create that experience. They are the folks who always head to the same spot in the morning with their pet bait tied on, regardless of the season or the weather conditions. When they have a good day, it’s usually attributed to the magic spot or bait. When things don’t work out, they blame something else – tournament anglers, waterskiers and the weather are all favourite

excuses – but they rarely find fault with their approach to the day’s fishing. To truly be a successful angler you’ve got to drive, or at least ride. Watching things progress while wishing for them to be the way they were will only hold you back. That’s not to say that there aren’t merits in looking to the past, because at times there are. Just remember not to get stuck there because the train isn’t going to stop. ?


The first catch of the day.

Š Tim Hortons, 2009


THE GREAT Congratulations to Darryl Till from North Bay, the grand prize winner of a Lund boat motor and trailer package in SC Johnson’s “Enjoy your Off! Hours” contest. On September 7, Darryl and his wife Michelle, along with all of the fishBob Izumi, Grant Gresty (centre) and Michael Varley (right) with a nice limit of walleyes

Bob Izumi guided Andre Trudel (left) and Denis Jeanson (centre) to a big bag of walleyes and bass

Shimano’s Bob Mahoney (centre) with Jerry Kulacz (left) and Gregory Young (right) Grand prize winner Darryl Till, (left) and his wife Michelle (right) with their morning pro, Rob Lee

Kurrie Storey (left) and pro angler John McGuigan

8 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


HALIBURTON FISH OFF! ing trip winners, travelled to Haliburton, Ontario for a day of fishing with Bob and Wayne Izumi. To make things interesting, Bob and Wayne rounded up a few of their fellow professional anglers to act as

Sal Pusateri (right) and Amy Umrysh

guides for the winners in a friendly little tournament. The competition was split into a morning and an afternoon session with two contest winners and one pro sharing a boat for each session. To keep it fair, the con-

of their (centre) with a good limit courtesy

pro, Jim Esterbrooks

Photos by Kevin Storey

test winners fished with a different pro angler in each session. The rules were simple - bring in your best three fish; bass, walleye or a combination of both; in each session. The team with the highest combined weight from both sessions would be declared the tournament champions and walk away with a trophy and bragging rights. Everyone caught lots of fish and, when all was said and done, the team of Andre Trudel and Denis Jeanson took top honours with 13.15-pounds. Second place went to Hannu Nurkalla and his daughter, Julia, with 13.13-pounds and third spot went to Michael Varley and Grant Gresty with 12.12-pounds. Interestingly, the top pro on the day was also the official weighmaster; none other than Bob Izumi! Congratulations to everyone and a big thank you to the good folks at SC Johnson for running this contest.

Tournament winners Andre Trudel (left) and Denis Jeanson (right)

Pro Chris Giles put Kevin (centre) and Ken Storey (right) onto some healthy walleyes d McCullough Dennis (centre) and Tod Wayne Izumi (left) with

Pro angler, Mike Jackson (right), guided Hannu Nurkalla (left) and his daughter, Julia, to first place in the morning session with these beautiful walleyes


Bob Izumi Wins! After a long and decorated record in Canadian tournaments, Bob Izumi finally captured his first major U.S. tournament victory at the EverStart Northern Division tournament at the 1000 Islands held on July 28 - 30. “I told some friends and my wife that, before I die, I have to win a tournament in the U.S.,” Izumi said. “The Kingston area has been good to me. I’ve won several Ranger boats, a Chevy truck and numerous other tournament prizes on the Canadian side over the years, but I’ve never won one stateside. I love this stuff. All I do is eat, sleep and drink tournaments.” Bob started slowly, ending up in 17th place after day one, but a big limit of smallmouth on day two vaulted him into seventh place a berth in the third and final day of competition. On the final day, Bob sacked 21-pounds, 1-ounce – the day’s heaviest catch – and finished with a winning three-day total of 58pounds, 1-ounce. In his victory speech, Izumi thanked his wife for convincing him to stick with the right game plan.

Photo: David Brown, FLW Outdoors

10 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

“My wife gave me a pep talk because I was a little down and out after losing three big fish on day two,” Izumi recalled.“She said, ‘Bob, you have so many spots out there you couldn’t fish them in 10 years. What are you worried about?’ “I said, ‘The wind gusts are forecast for 21mph,’ and that was going to blow out all of my open-water stuff because I fish a lot of deep, main-lake stuff’”. She said, ‘Bob, you just have to fish hard. You have the spots; you just have to go do it.’” “Well, I kind of puckered up in the morning, thinking it was going to blow, but it didn’t,” Izumi said. “It might have blown 5 mph, so everything worked into my favor.” Bob worked a series of spots in open water near the U.S.-Canadian border. He targeted hooks in the contour lines in 24 to 42-feet of water. Drop-shotting accounted for all of Bob’s fish and specific rigging was essential. Using 10-pound Berkley 100% Trilene fluorocarbon, Bob tied his main line to a #10 black in-line swivel and configured his drop-shot with a piece of the same fluorocarbon tied to the other end. He used a #1 hook, a 20-inch leader and 5/8- to ½-ounce tungsten weights to quickly reach bottom. Berkley Gulp baits were his mainstay, with the 3-inch fry (green-pumpkin and watermelon), 3-inch minnow (green-pumpkin/pearl) and 4-inch crawler (green-pumpkin) seeing most of the action. With any of these baits, a static presentation was most effective. “One of the keys is to not move the bait when you’re drop-shotting,” Izumi said.“I know a lot of largemouth guys like to doodle the rod a little bit, but you will catch fewer smallmouth doing that. It’s very important when you’re drop-shotting to not move the bait. The less movement, the more fish you’ll catch.” For his win, Bob pocketed $27,278 U.S. along with a brand new Ranger boat, motor and trailer package. Not bad for a few days of fishing!

Ontario Names 2011 Conservation Officer Of The Year The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) has recognized Officer Randy Pepper, of the Parry Sound Enforcement Unit, as the 2011 Conservation Officer of the Year. “Randy has been a leader and a team player for his entire career both at work and in his personal life. He is the type of person you naturally want to follow and that’s the key to quiet leadership that Randy possesses.” said OCOA President, Mike Duncan. Randy Pepper has been a Conservation Officer for 26 years, working across the Province. Some of the other highlights of his career include performing uniform, plainclothes and covert (undercover) investigations involving the commercialization of wildlife and fish resources; he possesses the longest MNR record as an undercover officer investigating such things as the sales of trout, black bear and illegal deer hunting and he led a major joint forces project involving the commercialization of wildlife, resulting in eight people being charged with numerous wildlife and weapons charges. Randy was presented with the MNR Officer of the Year award by Natural Resources Minister, Linda Jeffrey in a video message. “Conservation Officer Randy Pepper is a worthy recipient of this important award which recognizes his extraordinary dedication. Conservation officers like Officer Pepper play a vital role in protecting our province's natural resources,” said Minister Jeffrey. During his acceptance of the award, Randy said,“It is an honour to be selected by my peers. I have learned so much from everyone I have worked with and I appreciate that so much.” Due to Officer Pepper’s ongoing involvement in undercover work, no photos were taken of the presentation.


ICAST Announces the Best New Fishing Products From July 13 - 15, 2011, 7,000 representatives from the global sportfishing community converged on the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, for the 54th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world's largest sportfishing trade show.

EVENTS Calendar

ICAST 2011 featured 427 exhibitors filling 1,270 booths, with 2,100 buyers and 530 media representatives in attendance. One of the highlights of ICAST is the New Product Showcase, a special section of the show where the latest innovations in sportfishing gear and accessories compete in 21 categories for Best of Show honours. This year, Berkley’s Nanofil fishing line took top honours as the overall Best of Show winner. It was also voted by buyers and outdoor journalists as the most innovative product in the Line category. NanoFil is a unique uni-filament line that is optimized for use on spinning reels. It is made out of gel-spun polyethylene, much like a superline. Hundreds of Dyneema nanofilaments are molecularly linked and shaped into an ultra small diameter, unified-filament fishing line that feels and handles like the smoothest monofilament while providing effortless casting, superlinetype strength and superb sensitivity. Congratulations to Berkley and to all the other Best of Show category winners.

BASS PRO SHOPS LAKE SIMCOE OPEN October 22 Lake Simcoe Couchiching Beach Park, Orillia ON www.simcoeopen.com FROSTBITE LAKE ERIE OPENS Weekends from November 5 – November 27 Lake Erie Port Colborne, ON tymike@sympatico.ca KIDS, COPS AND CANADIAN TIRE FISHING DAYS Youth oriented fishing events Various dates and locations www.kidsandcops.ca TORONTO INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW January 14 – 22, 2012 Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place Toronto, ON www.torontoboatshow.com

2011 ICAST NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE AWARD WINNERS Apparel Boat Boating Accessory Combo Electronics Eyewear Fishing Accessory Fly Fishing Accessory Fly Fishing Reel Fly Fishing Rod Freshwater Reel Freshwater Rod Giftware Kids' Tackle Line Hard Lure Soft Lure Saltwater Reel Saltwater Rod Tackle Management Terminal Tackle

Frabill, Inc. Hobie Cat JL Marine Systems, Inc. Daiwa Corporation Johnson Outdoors Costa G. Pucci & Sons, Inc. VestPac Temple Fork Outfitters G. Loomis, Inc. Pure Fishing, Inc. G. Loomis, Inc. 3D Picture Store, Inc. Pure Fishing, Inc. Pure Fishing, Inc. Pure Fishing, Inc. Koppers Fishing & Tackle Daiwa Corporation Shimano American Plano Molding Company VMC

Frabill Suit Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 10 Ft Power-Pole Blade Edition Daiwa D-Shock DSH-4Bi Combo Humminbird 1158c DI Combo Costa Women's Collection P-Line Sparrowhawk DriftPac BVK Fly Reel Pro4x Abu Garcia Revo MGX GL2 3D "Exploring Smallmouth" Picture Casting Game & Sound Fishing Kit Berkley Nanofil Sebile D&S Crank Live Target Hollow Body Mouse Saltiga SATG5000H Terez Rail Rod 4674 Hydro-Flo Tackle Bag Spinshot

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 11


READER’S PHOTOS

Send us a photo of your best catch and you could see your picture in a future issue of Real Fishing Magazine! Send photos to: Real Fishing, 940 Sheldon Court, Burlington, ON L7L 5K6

Tony Scavo Niagara Falls, ON Chinook Salmon

Wyatt Edwards Caledonia, ON Largemouth Bass

Jeff Wahlman Burlington, ON Carp Diane Robitaille Scarborough, ON Northern Pike

Will Madigan Sarnia, ON Muskellunge

Sarah Dunn Oshawa, ON Smallmouth Bass

12 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


Catch BOB on the Tube! BOB IZUMI’S REAL FISHING SHOW SCHEDULE Father’s Day Fishing Smallmouth Fishing with Big Jim McLaughlin Jigging for Lake Trout Bob’s Little Friend, Carley BoaterExam.com Smallmouth Challenge Trophy Walleye with Navionics Fall Smallmouth/Ice Fishing with Mike Lazarus Vancouver Island Adventure St. Lawrence Walleye with Jack Levert Monster Walleye with G2 Angling Georgian Bay Walleye Casting for Smallmouth/Flipping for Largemouth Florida Shore Fishing for Largemouth

October 1 October 8 October 15 October 22 October 29 November 5 November 12 November 19 November 26 December 3 December 10 December 17 December 24

STATION LISTING & AIRING TIMES* MARKET

PROV./STATE

STATION

DATE & AIR TIMES

Atlantic Canada Calgary Edmonton Manitoba Ontario Quebec Regina Saskatoon Vancouver Canada/USA

Atlantic Canada AB AB MB ON QC SK SK BC Canada/USA

Global (CIHF) Global (CICT) Global (CITV) Global (CKND) Global (CIII) Global (CKMI) Global (CFRE) Global (CFSK) Global (CHAN) WFN

Saturday 10:00 am Saturday 10:30 am; Sunday 6:00 am Saturday 10:30 pm; Sunday 6:00 am Saturday 9:30 am Saturday 9:30 am Saturday 10:00 am Saturday 9:30 am Saturday 9:30 am Saturday 10:30 am Check www.wfn.tv for dates and times

*Station listings, airtimes and show descriptions are subject to change. Please refer to your local television listings for the latest show schedules.


What’s

NEW

2011

LOWRANCE ANNOUNCES ELITE-5 ICEMACHINE™ The new Elite-5 IceMachine™ from Lowrance features a built-in 16-channel GPS+WAAS antenna and a U.S. base map, providing more than 3,000 enhanced lake maps with detailed shorelines and depth contours. It has a waterproof micro SD memory card slot for multiple mapcard options including Lowrance LakeMaster® ProMaps and Navionics® charts, among others. The true, 5-inch, 480x480-pixel SolarMAX™ 256-color display will not fade or slow down even in temperatures as low as -20°F. The Elite-5 IceMachine comes with a 200 kHz ice transducer with a 20-degree sonar cone, and the the exclusive PPP-18I Ice Pack; a weatherproof soft nylon bag with zippered front and rear access, that comes with one sealed 12-volt DC battery and charger, as well as space for an optional second battery.

www.lowrance.com

NEW COLOURS FOR LINDY'S SHADLING With ultra-real holographic finishes, intense rattles, and a killer wobble at speeds of up to 6.5 mph, Lindy’s Shadling is well known as a deadly weapon for walleyes, bass and other gamefish. Now it’s even better with the addition of two new colours to the line-up, Black Shad and Pink Shiner. Designed with incredible attention to detail, the Shadling successfully emulates both the basic patterns and subtle undertones of a variety of common baitfish. The secondary hues flash as the Shadling swims and ultrarealistic, holographic eyes complete the “real prey” look. Lindy’s Shadling comes in two sizes; the 2 7/16-inch, ¼-ounce #5 and the 2 7/8”, 7/16-ounce #7 and is available in 15 standard colours along with the new Black Shad and Pink Shiner designs.

www.lindyfishingtackle.com

DRAIN PLUG WRENCH From the “Why didn’t I think of that?” files comes the nifty new Drain Plug Wrench from Braid Products. This multi-use tool removes and installs all twist-in drain plugs, even those with corrosion around them. It has a built-in compartment to store a spare plug and it works as a floating key holder. Its plastic construction means it will never rust and its highly-visibility colour makes it easy to find when you need it.

www.braidproducts.com

14 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


We welcome submissions from manufacturers and distibutors for our New Products section. Products that appear in this section have not necessarily been tested or endorsed by the staff at Real Fishing. Submissions can be sent to: Editor, Real Fishing Magazine, 940 Sheldon Court, Burlington, ON L7L 5K6

NEW RANGER Z500 SERIES The popular Z500 Comanche Series will enter the 2012 model year with a long list of refinements that will further elevate Ranger’s flagship line from the rest of the field. Most notably, the 20-foot, 9-inch Z520 and the 22-foot, 4-inch Z522 models will feature raised front casting decks and recessed foot pedals as standard equipment. Without changing the highly acclaimed hull design, the increased deck height will allow more space in the boats’ storage and rod lockers. The new Comanches will also sport Ranger’s innovative console, which delivers more protection from the elements, increased leg room and more space for back mounting today’s popular largescreen electronics. Along with the new features, every Ranger can be personalized with a multitude of custom options and colours through their Custom Finish Shop.

www.rangerboats.com

APPS FOR YOUR TACKLEBOX Apps for Anglers provide the most innovative fishing experience available today - right on your iPhone - through the iFish series of fishing apps. iFish apps offer fishermen across the country userfriendly and intuitive guides to fishing that are perfect for everyone, from beginners to seasoned anglers. The apps feature species references, fishing regulations, weather, maps, depth charts and real-time fishing reports for thousands of lakes across the country. All of this for less than the cost of a fish-and-chip dinner! iFish apps are currently available for Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario with more locations to be added soon. When you want to get the most out of your fishing time, turn to an iFish app - your shortcut to fishing success.

www.appsforanglers.com

NEW FINISHES FOR WILLIAMS’ FLASHER AND WHITEFISH Two of Williams’ most popular spoons will be offered in new colours for 2012. The Flasher series will include two new colors, silver/purple and silver/green, both on a genuine silver mirror body. The C70, 4-1/4-inch and C90, 6-inch Whitefish series will come in four new color patterns in 2012. Two different accent colors; yellow/orange, orange/blue, blue/yellow and red/green will frame a genuine silver Nuwrinkle finish on each of the new baits.

www.williams.ca

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 15


fishing

Bob Izumi is the host of The Real Fishing Show.

By Bob Izumi

Apps For Anglers Recently I switched over to an iPhone from a Blackberry. I thought I would always be a Blackberry guy but after switching I have to admit I really do like the iPhone. There are so many apps available for it. I particularly like the iFish series of apps from AppsForAnglers.com. Randy Chamzuk, from Edmonton, came up with a wonderful idea of having an app that would do it all if you are into fishing. It took me a long time to get into age of computers but I have to admit that I am 100% hooked on today’s technology. I carry an iPad 2, a laptop and an iPhone when I’m travelling. In my business I can’t live without having weather reports, wind

reports, lake information, directions, mapping and other fishing information at my fingertips. I am always using the Navionics app on my iPad and iPhone to find exactly what the lake I’m fishing looks like. They have apps that will show you the bottom contours and all kinds of other useful information for lakes, rivers and reservoirs all over North America. I’m at the point now where I’m pretty much checking my various apps every day. 16 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

The iFish apps are very interesting because you can do so much with them. From finding out what the fishing regulations are for a certain body of water to keeping your own fishing logs, checking or posting fishing reports, checking the weather, getting information on a variety of fish species – there are so many features that it’s one of those apps I think anglers will fall in love with. There are several provincial apps covering thousands of lakes within the Apps for Anglers family including iFish Alberta, iFish BC, iFish Saskatchewan and iFish Ontario. Many more are planned, including apps for numerous areas across North America. Providing you have cell service, you can access the iFish apps throughout the day

while you are on the water. What I found when I punched in a particular lake that I fished in the early years was incredible. There were lake reports about catching walleye in 12 to 13-feet of water on jigs. The person who posted the report went into detail about how he was catching walleyes in these deep weedbeds. The information was very accurate as I know that the walleyes in that lake like to use the weeds. Just knowing the depth and the type of lure is pretty important and would be a great asset to anyone visiting this lake. When I’m asking questions about what the fish are doing, depth is everything. When I can get information like that, from somebody posting a fishing report, that’s pretty cool stuff. As we progress further into this world of instant information I know that the iFish family of apps is only going to get bigger and bigger. Today’s anglers are always looking for how to get the most out of their fishing time and there’s no question that these apps will help them to do that. They are inexpensive and convenient, like a onestop shop for all your fishing information. Get a leg up on the competition and check out AppsForAnglers.com – you’ll be glad you did! ?


FOLLOW THE LEADER. Appss Fo App Forr An Anglers.com glers.com With our iFish Series of Apps you’ll know When When,, Wher Where e and How to Fish in Canada.

Easily find a lake near you and view detailed information on it. Get rreal eal time lake rreports, eports, weather conditions and best fishing times. Review and mark your favorite HotSpots, record record your catches and learn tips, tricks and techniques. Get it today and Fish with Attitude.

TM

used by

Choose your Location iFish BC iFish Alberta iFish Sask iFish Ontario


fly fishing

Steve May is the Stewardship Coordinator for Waterloo Region with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. When not working to improve local fisheries Steve can be found guiding or fly casting on his local rivers.

By Stephen May

Time to Switch? Over the past few years a new style of fly fishing tackle is taking fly fishing to a new level. Hybrid rods and new casting techniques that often out perform traditionally designed rods are now available to anglers everywhere. “Switch rods” are one such example.

Beyond steelheading, switch rods help reach fish previously not possible with shorter sticks. Lighter five and six-weight switch rods excel at big river trout and bass fishing where casting challenges make good presentations difficult. Longer casts and easier mending can really open up some new fishing opportunities.

Advances in design and new materials have allowed rod designers to make longer rods that are light enough to run singlehanded yet strong enough to handle heavier sink-tips. They are equally at home working big flies deep with a double-handed cast or running an indicator with a bunch of shot through a deep current seam without the fatigue of wielding a telephone pole sized rod. This versatility sees me reaching for my switch rod a lot these days. My 11-foot, seven-weight switch rod is deadly when nymphing for steelhead. It gives me superior mending ability and increased range to cover water I can’t get to with a 9 or 10- foot model. It gives me the leverage to set the hook better on longer drifts and it handles more weight easily. These are the reasons my shorter steelhead rods are now collecting dust. Switch rods excel at double-handed casting. Many rivers in Ontario do not demand the power of a full sized Spey rod and two-handed casting with shorter and lighter switch rods is a ton of fun, not to mention being easier on the body! Swinging shallow running flies on a floating line, or with smaller sink tip, is a joy with a light and responsive switch rod. You can carry one rod with a small leader wallet to the river and be able to swing flies or nymphs comfortably. These rods offer the best of both worlds for fishing small to medium-sized steelhead rivers.

Longer casts and better control can be assets whether running dries, wets or streamers. With modern double-handed casts you can quickly fire your rig out to new water with far less effort than is needed with shorter, single-handed rods. Double-handed casting also excels when fishing in areas without a lot of backcast options. Switch rods can snake roll, snap T or Double Spey right along with bigger Spey rods. One of my favorite switch techniques is running two streamers through productive runs. Two flies are always better than one and the bigger rod makes this type of presentation a lot less work. You can also present dry flies into the next area code with a switch rod and a two-handed cast while maintaining the control to fool picky feeders. This comes in very handy with the big water trout that I encounter on a couple of my local rivers. Next time you are in your local fly shop, look at these hybrid rods and think about making the “switch”. I know you won’t be disappointed. ?

They bridge the gap between longer and heavier two-handed rods and smaller, single handed models. Switch rods are between about 10 ½ and 12-feet long and they fall between traditional two-handed Spey Rods and single-handed fly rods. If you’re an avid fly angler, you should know what these new style rods can do to make your fishing easier and more effective.

18 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


Dave Taylor is a well known photographer and naturalist from Mississauga, Ontario

water’s edge By Dave Taylor

Grey Squirrel The grey squirrel is so common in Eastern North America that it is probably one of the most overlooked animals, often dismissed as “just a squirrel.” I know I am guilty of ignoring it as a photographic subject, just as I ignore a flock of Canada geese feeding on a lawn. Spend just a little time observing these squirrels, however, and you quickly see that they are far from boring. For instance, in the spring they include young nestlings in their diet - hardly something one would expect from what most assume is an animal that eats only nuts. Then there is the matter of colour. This squirrel comes in two major colour phases: black and grey. Black “grey squirrels” are predominant in the northern part of the species’ range where the darker colour is better suited to the cold winter weather. Grey-coloured grey squirrels are found in the south. I live in Southern Ontario, which is about the mid-point in the species’ range and here both colour phases are evident.

20 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

The squirrels that live in my neighborhood are about equally split with no one colour dominating. A typical litter here will consist of both grey and black colour phases. White morphs, while rare, are sometimes found in city parks where there are few or no predators. At one time, when the forest cover was unbroken, several million grey squirrels called Ontario and New York State home. Early settlers wrote of mass migrations of squirrels moving through the forest canopy and even swimming across the Niagara River! Such sites are now part of history but as we reforest our urban centres squirrel numbers are increasing. Unlike chipmunks, ground squirrels and

marmots, the grey squirrel does not hibernate. Only during the worst of winter will they curl up in their dreys (a leafy nest) or in the hollow of a tree. They survive on the nuts and acorns that remain on the tree and on the thousands they have buried. Squirrels have remarkable memories and recover over 80% of the food they stored away during the summer and fall. The 20% they don’t find has a good chance of growing into the next generation of trees. Their role in helping plant new seeds in the forest is an important one. Grey squirrels will move to areas where there is an abundance of food. I’ve seen as many as 50 squirrels feeding on the seeds of the silver maples that line a park road where I work. When the seeds are consumed the squirrels move on and are not seen in such large numbers again until next year. Grey squirrels have been introduced to many parts of North America where their range did not originally extend. They were, unfortunately, also introduced into the British Isles where they have forced the European red squirrel almost to the edge of extinction. One way or the other, the grey squirrel is here to stay and if we relegate it as “too common” and not worthy of our attention we are overlooking an interesting member of our local ecology. ?


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the vintage tackle box By Patrick Daradick

Patrick Daradick has been collecting vintage fishing tackle for over 23-years and is a specialist in Ontario made tackle. He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge and can be contacted through his website at www.ontariolures.com or by phone at 613-398-7245.

Allcock Laight & Westwood (AL&W)

On a visit to Canada, Mr. Samuel was sufficiently impressed by the market to form a partnership with another Redditch manufacturer, Mr. Charles Laight, to sell S. Allcock & Company's fishing tackle along with the C. Laight & Company's needles and small wares, throughout Canada. They would also manufacture Bamboo, Green heart and Lancewood fishing rods in Canada. In 1854, a Mr. Milward was sent from the Allcock factory in Redditch to manage the Canadian venture, which first occupied premises on King Street East in Toronto, opposite St. James Cathedral. The company soon outgrew the King Street building and, in the next 50-years, moved four times to larger quarters. In 1868, Benjamin Westwood was sent from Redditch to succeed Mr. Milward as manager. In 1885 he purchased Charles Laight's partnership interest and became joint owner with Samuel Allcock. Allcock, Laight & Westwood became the firm's name from that date until 1898, when it was organized as a limited liability company, The Allcock, Laight & Westwood Company of Toronto Limited. One of AL&W's most notable partnerships occurred around 1927 when the company signed an agreement to manufacture, catalogue and distribute Creek Chub Bait Co.’s wooden lures. At the time, the Creek Chub Bait Co., based in Garrett, Indiana, was one of the largest tackle manufactures in the world and had been making wooden lures since the early 1900s. With this partnership, AL&W had become Canada's elite fishing tackle manufacturer. AL&W produced very extensive and elaborate catalogues to market not only their own tackle, but lures from other fish22 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

ing legends like South Bend, Pflueger, Arbogast and, of course, Creek Chub. The earliest catalogue shows AL&W manufacturing 13 styles of Creek Chub Baits. The catalogues had many pictures and AL&W used their own numbering system or codes. The lures of AL&W were placed in many styles of boxes. All of the early Canadianmade Creek Chub lures were placed in the same style green box as the American-made lures but with a line on the front stating, “Manufactured in Canada by Allcock, Laight & Westwood Co. Toronto Canada”. The box end also had a different code than a U.S.-made Creek Chub lure. For example, the AL&W code for a Pikie Minnow is 337, while the Creek Chub code is 700. AL&W also sold lures under the names Beaver Brand, Nature Lures, Fishrite Lures and Guaranteed Baits. In the 1940s, AL&W were producing lures that fisherman desired; like the Venus Minnow, Teddy Wiggler and an extensive line of transparent plastic minnows. Following the lead of other tackle makers,

AL&W had shifted production to include plastics. The Creek Chub Bait Co. was famous for the Pikie Minnow, but it was AL&W who would manufacture this lure in plastic, in all the standard sizes, while adding many odd and rare colour patterns. Plastic AL&W Pikies retained the normal glass eyes of the wooden versions. AL&W also sold rods, reels, and other fishing equipment over the years. Evidence in catalogue pictures show that these products were Canadian-made. AL&W produced tackle with experience and intimate contact with Canadian fishing. This resulted in the development of fishing tackle particularly adapted to Canadian needs and gave anglers of the day good reason to, “Buy Canadian”. The AL&W Company produced tackle that is unique, well made and a piece of Canadian history. Their lures are highly sought after by collectors. Because of the many variations in fishing lure designs, box styles, box colours etc. that were made, AL&W fishing lures are attractive not only to collect, but in value as well. Luckily for collectors, there always seem to be rare items surfacing from this Canadian company that dates to preConfederation times. ?

Photo: Shawn Lowe, Catcher Photography

Allcock Laight & Westwood was one of Canada’s earliest tackle manufacturers. It was founded by Mr. Samuel Allcock of the S. Allcock & Company; fishing tackle manufacturers based in Redditch, Worcestershire, England.


Congratulations Bob! “Wherever I am, I’m thinking about fishing! And Navionics is always close at hand to help me zero in on the best spots. Before heading out, I’ve already created a game plan and marked my waypoints with the PC app that comes free with my Navionics charts. I download my waypoints to a chip and upload them to my unit. In the boat, Navionics shows me where I am, and where I want to be so I can work my spots and focus on catching the winning fish. Later on, I can review my routes, add my own Navionics UGC, and show off my catches — all on my mobile! If I can do it, so can you!” Bob Izumi, Winner, 1000 Islands Tournament, FLW Outdoors EverStart Northern Division, July 2011

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real fishing fish facts

Striped Bass Morone saxatilis

The striped bass is a coastal fish that, in Canada, can be found primarily in the Maritime Provinces, but is absent from the waters surrounding Newfoundland. It has been reported in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and into the St. Lawrence River, upstream to about Sorel, Quebec and there are local populations in areas of southern New Brunswick. In the United States, striped bass can be found on both coasts, from the Canadian border south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico in the east, and from Oregon to southern California in the west. They have been transplanted from their native coastal habitat to several fresh water lakes and reservoirs where they have become a popular target species of sport fishermen. Striped bass have a long, narrow body, two separated dorsal fins and a distinctly forked tail. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper and the maxillary extends to the middle of the eye. They have numerous small, sharp teeth in the jaws and patches of teeth on each side of the tongue. Their color can range from olive green to steel blue or black on their upper flank and back, with silvery sides, occasionally with a brassy hue, and a white belly. The most noticeable markings are the seven or eight horizontal stripes than run along the fish’s sides. The stripes are broken rather than solid and they run from the front of the tail to the back of the head. Striped bass spawn in fresh water, generally running up large rivers to reach their spawning grounds. The runs occur in the spring, with the actual spawning activity taking place between May and July, in water

24 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

temperatures between 14ºC and 24ºC. During the spawn, a single female can be joined by up to 50 males. The female moves to the surface where she rolls and quivers while the males bump her with their snouts, creating a large commotion on the water. It is during these periods of activity when the eggs and sperm are released. No nests are built and the eggs, which are semi-buoyant, are swept along in the current until they hatch, usually within a few days of being released and fertilized. Striped bass are voracious feeders and the adults will eat a variety of fish, crustaceans, worms and insects. It’s not uncommon for adult striped bass to eat smaller members of their own species. Juveniles feed mostly on small shrimps, other small crustaceans and worms. While in their larval stage, zooplankton is the main food source. Growth rates are rapid during the first the first couple of years, in fact, a 2-year old striped bass can reach between 6” and 10” in length. Fully grown adults can reach well over 60-pounds. The current IGFA All-Tackle record for coastal striped bass sits at an amazing 78-pounds, 8ounces for a fish that was caught in Atlantic City, New Jersey in September of 1982. The record for a landlocked striped bass belongs to a monster weighing 67-pounds, 8-ounces which came from California in 1992. Despite their appetite, striped bass don’t feed steadily. They tend to gorge themselves until they can’t eat any more, then they stop

DID YOU KNOW? Adult striped bass will often feed on small members of their own species.

FAST FACTS The most noticeable markings are the seven or eight horizontal stripes than run along the fish’s sides. The stripes are broken rather than solid and they run from the front of the tail to the back of the head. Colour: Olive green to steel blue or black on the upper flank and back with silvery sides and a white belly. Size: Five to 10-pounds on average but can grow to over 70-pounds. Life Span: Eight to 10-years on average. Habitat: Striped bass occur naturally along the Atlantic coastal waters of North America. They have been successfully introduced to Pacific coastal waters as well as into a number of freshwater lakes across the United States. Spawning: Late spring or early summer.

RECORD The current IFGA All-Tackle World Record coastal striped bass was caught in Atlantic City, New Jersey in September of 1982 and weighed 78-pounds, 8-ounces. The record for a landlocked striped bass is 67-pounds, 8-ounces for a fish that was caught in California in 1992. feeding altogether until they have completely digested their food. They also stop feeding for a short period just before spawning and during the actual spawn. In Canada, striped bass are not as commercially valuable a resource as they are in the United States, due to the fact that they are far more abundant in more southern regions. Where large populations are available, they are valuable as both a commercial and sport fishing resource. As a sport fish, striped bass are popular, especially in eastern Canadian rivers like the Shubenacadie in Nova Scotia and the St. John River in New Brunswick. There are also good sport fisheries in the estuaries of many Gulf of St. Lawrence feeder rivers in New Brunswick, like the Miramichi and Kouchibouguac. Striped bass fight hard and will often strike topwater baits with reckless abandon, a trait that undoubtedly makes them popular with anglers. ?


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OCTOBER

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

2:54 - 4:54 3:18 - 5:18 9:21 - 10:51 9:45 - 11:15

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3:42 - 5:42 am 4:06 - 6:06 pm 10:09 - 11:39 am 10:33 - 12:03 pm

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10:54 - 12:54 am 11:18 - 1:18 pm 5:21 - 6:51 am 5:45 - 7:15 pm

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4:30 - 6:30 am 4:54 - 6:54 pm 10:57 - 12:27 am 11:21 - 12:51 pm

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10:06 - 12:06 am 10:30 - 12:30 pm 4:33 - 6:03 am 4:57 - 6:27 pm

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3:42 - 5:42 am 4:06 - 6:06 pm 10:09 - 11:39 am 10:33 - 12:03 pm

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9:30 9:54 3:27 3:51

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8:18 - 10:18 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 3:09 - 4:39

3:06 3:30 9:03 9:27

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1:54 - 3:54 2:18 - 4:18 8:21 - 9:51 8:45 - 10:15

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3:30 - 5:30 am 3:54 - 5:54 pm 9:57 - 11:27 am 10:21 - 11:51 pm

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am pm am pm

2:42 - 4:42 3:06 - 5:06 9:09 - 10:39 9:33 - 11:03

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8:18 - 10:18 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 3:09 - 4:39

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8:30 - 10:30 8:54 - 10:54 2:57 - 4:27 3:21 - 4:51

3:18 3:42 9:15 9:39

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2:06 - 4:06 2:30 - 4:30 8:33 - 10:03 8:57 - 10:27

8:54 9:18 2:51 3:15

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7:42 - 9:42 8:06 - 10:06 2:09 - 3:39 2:33 - 4:03

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5:54 - 7:54 6:18 - 8:18 NA 12:45 - 2:15

10:42 - 12:42 am 11:06 - 1:06 pm 5:09 - 6:39 am 5:33 - 7:03 pm

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1:54 - 3:54 am 2:18 - 4:18 pm 10:45 - 12:15 am 11:09 - 12:39 pm

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8:18 - 10:18 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 3:09 - 4:39

1:54 - 3:54 am 2:18 - 4:18 pm 10:45 - 12:15 am 11:09 - 12:39 pm

2:42 - 4:42 3:06 - 5:06 11:33 - 1:03 11:57 - 1:27

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9:54 - 11:54 am 10:18 - 12:18 pm 4:21 - 5:51 am 4:45 - 6:15 pm

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9:06 - 11:06 9:30 - 11:30 3:33 - 5:03 3:57 - 5:27

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29 3:18 am 2:06 - 4:06 3:42 pm 2:30 - 4:30 9:15 am 8:33 - 10:03 9:39 pm 8:57 - 10:27

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10:42 - 12:42 am 11:06 - 1:06 pm 5:09 - 6:39 am 5:33 - 7:03 pm

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8:54 am 7:42 - 9:42 9:18 pm 8:06 - 10:06 2:51 am 2:09 - 3:39 3:15 pm 2:33 - 4:03

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3:42 - 5:42 am 4:06 - 6:06 pm 10:09 - 11:39 am 10:33 - 12:03 pm

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5:54 - 7:54 6:18 - 8:18 NA 12:45 - 2:15

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11

10:06 - 12:06 am 10:30 - 12:30 pm 4:33 - 6:03 am 4:57 - 6:27 pm

17

27

5:06 5:30 1:57 2:21 -

10

9:30 9:54 3:27 3:51

NA 12:42 - 2:42 6:45 - 8:15 7:09 - 8:39

6

6:06 - 8:06 6:30 - 8:30 12:33 - 2:03 12:57 - 2:27

24

2:54 - 4:54 3:18 - 5:18 9:21 - 10:51 9:45 - 11:15

5 am pm am pm

am pm am pm

23 8:30 - 10:30 8:54 - 10:54 2:57 - 4:27 3:21 - 4:51

NOVEMBER

TUESDAY

1

11:30 - 1:30 11:54 - 1:54 8:21 - 9:51 8:45 - 10:15

26 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

MONDAY

Excellent Time

9:18 - 11:18 9:42 - 11:42 3:45 - 5:15 4:09 - 5:39

DECEMBER

Best Fishing Times 2011

DOUG HANNON’S

To order your copy of Doug Hannon’s 2011 Moon Clock Calculator please visit www.moontimes.com or send $9.95 (USD) plus $3.75 (USD) for shipping & handling to: Moon Clock, Department RE, PO Box 724255, Atlanta, GA 31139

SUNDAY

6:18 6:42 2:39 3:03

am pm am pm

24

31

6:18 6:42 2:39 3:03

am pm am pm


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DROPPIN’ IN FOR BASS The trend has been finesse the last few years with zebra mussels making our lakes kess ke very clear. The hottest technique for catching clear water smallmouth is the drop shot technique. Light line, a sensitive rod and d a good, smooth drag will help get the job b done. Look for rocky shoals or breaks an and nd work the bait nice and slow. From 10 to o 40 feet you will feel even the lightest bites es with the Crucial rod. The Crucial dropshot rod paired with the e Stradic CI4 is without a doubt the ultimate atte combination for these monster brown fish! sh!

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DRUMROLL PLEASE… One of the great things about fishing is that you never know what’s going to come along and bite your bait. Even experts, like Wayne Izumi, can get fooled sometimes. While pre-fishing for the Canadian Open Bass Tournament, Wayne was scouting an offshore hump in search of big bass. He was covering water with a spinnerbait, probing the weeds and rock in the area, when he got a hit. At first pull, it seemed as if Wayne had hooked one of those bass that memories are made of. In short order though, it became apparent that this was no bass. After a spirited battle, this huge drum showed itself and was quickly landed, photographed and released. It may not have been the bass of a lifetime, but it definitely was a memorable catch that will be talked about for years to come!

28 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


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THE CENTERPIN REVOLUTION By Dan Robson

Walk along any Great Lakes tributary during the height of a steelhead run and what do you see? Besides the abundance of magnificent fish struggling their way to their eventual spawning grounds, there is one thing these tributaries have in common: centerpin anglers. The centerpin reel was originally developed in China in the 1880s and was quickly passed through Russia and on to Europe. On the grand scale of things, centerpinning has very little history here in Canada, having been picked up only a few short decades ago. It could be considered the new kid on the block when it comes to fishing techniques. It has, however, made its presence known and has quickly become one of the most popular methods of salmon and steelhead fishing in the Great Lakes region.

30 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 31


Centerpinning is a superior method when it comes to fishing in moving water. The reel pays out line at an even pace whether the water being fished is fast, slow, or inbetween. Allowing the setup to drift almost impossible distances means more water can be covered than with other methods and areas that would normally be un-fishable can now be accessed with ease. A seasoned centerpin angler has the ability to make this method look simple but it’s not as easy as it may look. Even veteran anglers have a learning curve when it comes to centerpinning. Casting is unlike anything in the fishing world and one can spend hours trying to master this fine art. There are many methods that can be approached when learning to cast. The most popular, and perhaps the easiest to master, is the side cast. From there, casting can get progressively more intricate and difficult, but sticking with the simplest will limit a beginner’s frustration. Fighting a fish means having to develop an all-new arsenal of skills. It’s fisherman versus fish with a centerpin reel, as the palm of your hand is the only method of drag and the slow line pickup makes it extremely difficult to catch up to a steelhead as it screams towards you. Fighting a fish with a centerpin is a matter of learning how to handle the power of each fish. On top of that, the angler needs to learn the limits of their equipment. The sudden snap of the line as it breaks after applying too much pressure can be a heart breaking sound!

them apart form any other type of fishing reel on the market today. Centerpin reels range in size from 3 ½inches to 5-inches, with 4 ½-inches being the most popular size. The 5-inch reel, however, is quickly becoming the reel of choice. The larger diameter reels take less inertia to get started and it picks up line faster than its smaller counterparts. An important factor when selecting a centerpin is its start-up ability. In order to feed line properly, a centerpin should start spinning with little to no effort, and continue doing so until the angler stops it. When the reel is spun the spool should have absolutely no play or wobble.

THE SIDE CAST The side cast is the most popular centerpin casting method in the Great Lakes region and it is also the easiest to master. While practice is the most critical step in becoming proficient, these important steps will help get you started in the right direction. 1) Cup your left hand, palm down, with your thumb pointing towards you. 2) Hook your fingers over the line between the spool and the first guide.

FLOATFISHING RODS Anglers who don’t float fish for steelhead see the long float rods used by centerpin anglers and can’t help but ask why. The truth is, long rods are critical to centerpin float fishing. In the Great Lakes region, typCenterpin fishing isn’t just for steelhead – it works on brown trout too!

3) Holding the spool with your right hand to prevent the line from falling off, draw the line off so that it is perpendicular to the face of the reel. The line will now be in an “L” shape from the spool, through your hand, and back up to the first guide. 4) While casting the float out, release the spool with your right hand. Your left hand must remain cupped, allowing the line to flow off the face of the reel and through your fingers.

CENTERPIN REELS A centerpin is essentially a spool that rotates freely on a pin. The bearings or bushings on which the spool rotates are what give the reel its drag-free motion. Most centerpins lack any sort of mechanical drag system, setting

32 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

ical rod lengths range from 13 to 15-feet. A 13-foot rod is more than adequate for most Ontario steelhead streams but on bigger waters, such as the Niagara or Saugeen rivers, many anglers will opt for a 15-footer. The longer rods allow the fisherman to hold the line up off the water and reduce line bow. When the line does bow on longer drifts, the long rod allows the angler to mend the line quickly, similar to what fly fisherman do. With the line running true, the chances of a quality hook-set are increased substantially. The longer rod will also aid in fighting a big fish. Acting as a giant shock absorber, it can come in handy when the only thing stopping a fish from screaming away with all your line is the palm of your hand!

The rod is the most important piece of equipment for this technique. When choosing one, look for something that has a sensitive tip, but also plenty of backbone for burying the hook and turning big fish around when they take off in the opposite direction. It’s important to keep the weight of the rod in mind too. Having a sore arm from fighting fish is one thing; having a sore arm from carrying around a heavy rod all day is another.


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FLOATFISHING LINES

SHOTTING

Even with the introduction of no-stretch lines designed specifically for float fishing, most anglers still prefer to use monofilament. Eight to 10-pound main line is sufficient in most cases. Look for a line that is abrasion resistant. Ideally the line you choose should float, as floating monofilament won’t absorb water as fast, making it much easier to pick the line up off the water during the hook set. Attached to the main line with a small barrel swivel should be 8 to 32-inches of fluorocarbon leader. The better the visibility, the longer the fluorocarbon leader should be, however, the shorter you can get away with the better. A long lead, in combination with a floating bait, has a tendency to rise up more than it would with a shorter lead, potentially lifting your rig out of the strike zone. In addition, eddies, upwells and currents will move a long leader around a lot more, again, possibly moving your bait out of the desired drift. Many manufacturers offer fluorocarbon leader materials which have been designed specifically for such applications. When compared to regular fluorocarbon mainlines, fluorocarbon leaders tend to be more abrasion resistant and often have a thinner diameter.

Ask a hundred different float fishermen what the perfect shot pattern is and you will get a hundred different answers. Everyone has their own method of split shot placement. In most cases a float will have a number (4g, 5g, etc). This number indicates the amount of weight, in grams, needed to ensure the float sits correctly in the water, in turn ensuring the bait is presented properly. Generally the faster and deeper the water, the larger the float and therefore the more weight needs to be added. Use split shot in various sizes, starting with smaller shot close to the bait and adding progressively larger ones as they get closer to the float. A river’s current is at its fastest at the surface and the idea of placing the heavier shot closer to the float is to slow the float down so that it will travel slightly slower than the bait hanging below it. The bait needs to be out in front of the float to guarantee that the fish will see it before anything else, thereby reducing the chance that the fish will be spooked.

BAITS The bait of choice for most Ontario steelheaders is fresh trout or salmon roe. Roe bags, tied anywhere from dime to quarter size, in a variety of colors depending on water clarity, are a great go-to bait and will This steelhead fell for a soft plastic roe imitation.

34 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

Artificial baits like jigs, tubes and soft plastic worms can out-fish roe at times.

definitely get fish to shore. Do not, however, limit yourself to just using roe, as many steelheaders do. Jigs tied with marabou or rabbit fur, or flies such as egg sucking leeches or stoneflies will, at times, out-fish roe on many rivers. Also included in a float fisherman’s arsenal should be an assortment of soft plastics such as small trout worms and panfish size tube jigs. These baits can come in handy in the late fall when the roe bite starts to die off. Keep an open mind to the baits that you use and you will put more fish on the bank. When all the pieces fit, centerpinning is a deadly technique that produces steelhead when no other method will. It has quickly gained popularity among Great Lakes anglers and, although it is still relatively new to Canada, in the years to come it will become the number one method of catching river steelhead. So the next time you head down to your local tributary in search of some steelhead, consider trying a centerpin. All it takes is one fish and you’ll be hooked! ?


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GET THE LEAD OUT By Lindy Fishing Tackle

38 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


If you’ve heard much about leadcore line, you probably think it is pretty basic stuff, right? All you need to do is attach a lure, count the colors down and catch walleyes. Like I said, it’s pretty basic, and it works quite well that way. However, there is more to fishing leadcore than just putting a kicker motor in gear and going. There are a number of different techniques and methods for tweaking your presentation, and they will help you get more fish, more often. Here’s one way to refine your core competency. “First, you need to understand what leadcore is,” says Lindy pro Jon Thelen. “Leadcore is just what it sounds like: a line that has wire lead at its center, surrounded by a woven nylon or Dacron sheath. The sheath changes color every 10-yards, which helps in determining how much line you’ve put out. The idea behind the line is that it sinks, and it will do so at a specific rate, depending upon boat speed and the diameter of the line as well as the diameter of the core. For walleye fishing, I use 18-pound test line because it works well with the way I fish it.” One of the presentation tweaks Thelen uses not only puts him on fish in rough weather, it keeps his lures in the fish zone all the time. “When it gets rough,” says Thelen, “your boat will ride on the waves, and it tends to surge. You’ll ride up on the crest, and then plunge down. What this does is create a surging of your lure, pulling it up out of the walleyes’ strike zone, and then pulling it down and then back up again. It is not a good way to fish when walleyes are scattered. You’ve got to be in the strike zone all the time. So I use snap-weights to keep the line and lure in the strike zone even in heavy chop.” The snap weights aren’t the be-all, end-all part of the equation; they are part of a system where everything works in conjunction to perform a certain way. “OK, say we’re fishing for walleyes in a fairly stiff chop, maybe 18-inches. With a small boat, you’re riding on top of that and the lure is getting pulled and dropped and pulled and dropped with every wave crest and trough. It’s really a guess as to where

the lure is running in regards to the strike zone. Adding a snap-weight at the junction of the leadcore and leader smoothes things out. The weight resists the upward pull and anchors the leader and lure in the zone,” says Thelen. It’s important to note that smaller boats are more likely to move up and down in swells or chop than larger boats. Thelen’s

big fiberglass boat doesn’t move as much as a 14-foot aluminum hull, but it moves significantly more than a large, heavy, deepvee charter boat in the same conditions. That movement is what makes the leadcore/snap-weight combo so important in rough water. “Generally,” says Thelen, “I’ll use an ounce of weight for every foot of wave height. However, I don’t use more than two-ounces. What the snap weight does is anchor the leader in the fish zone. Because leadcore line has a natural bow in it, the weight creates a situation where the surge pulls the bow out of the line. Use more than two-ounces and the weight straightens the bow out of the leadcore and you have no bow. With heavier weights and without the bow in the line, the surge acts directly on the lure, pulling it out of the strike zone with every wave.” Once again, Thelen’s leadcore system is more than just heavy line and clip-on weights.

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 39


miles per hour,” says Thelen, “and an eight-pounder hits. Maybe we reel him in at two-miles per hour, so basically we’re dragging an eight-pound, ticked-off fish at four-miles per hour. It takes a strong rod to handle that load.” Thelen prefers the Shadling series of crankbaits when fishing with leadcore for a couple of reasons. First, with its holographic finish, it collects and reflects the limited light that is visible in deeper water. In other words, it gives you all the flash it can get. Second, “This crankbait runs true right out of the box every time,” explains Thelen. “Not only that, it will run straight at up to six and half miles per hour, and that can be important in any trolling situation.

“Leadcore works well in a lot of walleye situations because it does two things. First, once it is out a couple of colors, it maintains its depth quite well. Second, it allows you to get a lure quite a ways behind the boat, and sometimes that separation is a good thing,” adds Thelen, referring to those times when walleyes are spooked by a boat. Because leadcore has little stretch, it is a very sensitive line. If you add a superline leader (Thelen uses 10-feet of 10-pound test line) you can feel what your lure is doing even if it is 60-yards (six colors) behind the boat. “With the lack of stretch in leadcore and the superline leader, I can feel when my bait is hitting bottom, is fouled by weeds or isn’t working for some reason or another. That is necessary information,” says Thelen. “If I use monofilament leader, even 10-feet of it, I can’t feel the bait.” To determine the amount of line Thelen has out, he relies on a line-counter reel. Leadcore line comes in 100-yard spools in several different breaking strengths. The outer sheath changes color every 10 yards, 40 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

giving rise to the idea of “colors” in regards to letting out line. Obviously the line-counter reel is more accurate and allows fine-tuning. “For instance,” says Thelen, “if I’m fishing in 30-feet of water, and the walleyes are holding close to the bottom, I’ll put out maybe six colors of line - 180-feet on my reels. If I start hitting the bottom, and I can tell this with leadcore, I’ll want to come up five-feet or so to stay close to the bottom and in the strike zone. If it’s windy, then I will add a snap-weight, generally one-ounce for every foot of weight height, and I’ll have to adjust my line a bit more to compensate for the added depth.” To handle the big reel and heavy line, Thelen uses a salmon and steelhead rod that has the flexibility in the tip to show that his preferred lure - a Lindy Shadling - is working. It also acts as a cushion to absorb sudden lunges that walleyes always seem to make at the net. Another key feature is that the heavy rod has enough butt to handle big walleyes in a trolling situation. “Say we’re trolling Shadlings at two-

“If your trolling speed is three or fourmiles per hour, and you want to reel in a Shadling for any reason, it will run straight back to the boat at high speed. It won’t blow out and tangle with other lines, and that is a real help when you’re running a bunch of rods.” So if you’re thinking leadcore line, snapweights and Shadlings is pretty basic stuff, you’re right; it is. However, use them wisely, Grasshopper, and you will catch more walleyes in situations where others are getting blanked, and that is more than basic it’s the right stuff. ?


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42 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


LAKE ERIE’S FALL PERCH By Jonathan LePera

Few moments bring us back to the innocence of youth like a day on the water fishing for perch. Perch fishing was easy, as we didn’t need loads of tackle and high priced rods and reels to put fish in the boat. A simple ‘perch rig’, was enough to fill your dinner plate with as many fish as you wanted and more than enough were released to swim another day. Life can still be that simple with a fall time trip to eastern Lake Erie for some slab perch. They put up a great fight, provide some great memories and a phenomenal meal to cap it off!

WHERE TO LOOK Come fall time, perch behavior is surprisingly predictable. Towards the end of September, they start to school up in search of bait. This inaugurates their fall-time feeding frenzy as they ready themselves for the hard water retreat. While anglers from shore can key into some very isolated shallow schools, those wanting consistent results need to ply deep water. Schools will be easily found off any of the major points and especially straight out of Port Colborne. Using your Navionics chip, you should be able to key in on some areas before even hitting the water. I like to use the Fish’N Chip as it actually displays the deep holes where fish will sit along with details the lake bottom in one-foot increments. Look at the areas I’ve mentioned and try to key in on subtle depth changes. Rarely have I found perch that hold on structure that drastically changes in depth a five-foot drop is the max for me. Typically, I’ll find perch sitting on a hard bottom that slopes towards deeper water, especially in one-foot increments. If you

can find some weeds nearby, fresh or dying, it’s an added bonus. Sometimes, it’s the subtle little transitions or bottom changes that are enough to hold a decent number of perch on a spot.

Perch are not known to move shallower during the day. Typically, I’ll start off in 50feet of water and by late afternoon the schools will have moved off to the 68-foot range. Normally, if you can find a mix of gravel, rocks and bait, you are going to crush them.

WHEN THE BITE TURNS OFF As much as perch can spoil you, they can pull the candy out of the baby’s mouth just

as quickly! Instead of packing up and heading home, get creative; a little moving around will usually put you back in the mix. When perch are actively feeding, you can be drifting and still pound on them. Personally, I like to use my electronics and follow the waypoint where the school is. The minute you toss a marker buoy, it will draw in boats from miles away, especially if others are struggling. Anchoring does allow you to consistently hold on a productive area but, if the school moves, you’ve got 100-feet of rope and an anchor to contend with. As well, anchors draw attention from afar. When the bite does turn off, I’ve found that moving your bait ever so slightly, with your trolling motor on low, is enough to trigger a tough bite. In bass fishing they call it “strolling” but perch like it just the same. It is really important to keep your sinker on bottom at all times and keep a fairly tight line. Again, I will use my electronics to look for two very important visuals; clearly identified hooks, which represent fish, and big schools of bait which will appear a blob on Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 43


When the bite slows, start moving around and keep your eyes on your graph.

your screen. The hooks are nice to see, but you need to be observant as a dense school of bait will sometimes hide the hooks if the fish are feeding within the bait cloud. Turning up the sensitivity on your unit can sometimes help with distinguishing exactly what is on your screen. Sometimes the fish will not actually turn off, they’ll just pick up and move! How dare they have the audacity to move anywhere from a few feet to hundreds of feet away on a moment’s notice! Again, it is fall time and they are feeding for winter, so bait will dictate their actions. If the wind picks up or changes direction, it may be enough to move your school of fish. Should they disappear from your screen, do not get discouraged, instead, follow the direction that the wind is now pushing from. It really works!

THE BITE The bite can be so distinct that the tip of your rod will slam down towards the water. Other times, all you will feel is weight on the end of your line when you lift up. The bite is far from predictable and if you do not keep your finger on the line at all times you have no right to complain about lost 44 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


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fish or missed bites. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to get those fish that just mouth the bait. Getting into a good school of perch will give you every opportunity to hone your skills and techniques!

TACKLE: ULTRA SIMPLE OR SERIOUSLY HIGH-TECH? You really do not need to break the bank for your perch fishing tackle. All you really need is a medium-light action 6’6” to 7-foot spinning rod paired with a spinning reel that is capable of holding 100-yards of six-pound test line. Both the G-Loomis TSR 802-2 light action rod paired with a Stradic 2500 and the newly redesigned Shimano Compre CPS 60ML paired with a Sahara 1000 and six-pound test Berkley 100% fluorocarbon or XL line are sure to get the job done. The sensitivity is simply amazing and you can feel every nibble, every rock, and even when there is a strand of weed on your hook! I know that some perch anglers have been leaning towards using high visibility braided lines, like Berkley Fireline Tracer or Fireline Crystal, because they allow anglers to watch their line more easily to detect the lighter bites. When running braided line, you should tie a #10 black swivel to it and attach a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. Even though you are fishing deep, the fish can remain fairly line sensitive and fluorocarbon will definitely give you the benefit of being invisible. That said, six to eight-pond test monofilament will get the job done. Line choice is very much a matter of preference and budget. A simple bait rig is all it takes to catch late season perch.

You can pick up a simple wire form perch rig at your local tackle shop that will last you a lifetime. It is a basic double hook rig that results in numerous double-headers, especially when the fish are feeding actively. The two snelled hooks that the rig comes with are tied on some pretty heavy duty monofilament so don’t worry about being bitten off by the odd walleye. I like to tie my own snelled hooks using Owner glow beads and a #10 or a #8 Owner Mosquito hook. They are insanely sharp and remain that way due to their chemically sharpened point. I prefer to use a ½-ounce cylindrical dropshot weight or a simple bell sinker. I want my sinker to get to the bottom fast and hold there so that I can keep a fairly tight line and feel every fish bite. 46 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

Your last choice is choosing between an artificial lure or live bait. I can tell you that if you go the artificial route, be sure that your baits have been soaked in Gulp! Alive! attractant. A one or two-inch Berkley minnow or leech, in just about any colour, always produces. Let the fish decide which size works best. Perch really are not picky eaters by nature, they either want to eat or they don’t! I like using artificial lures as live bait can be hard to find and can be a chore to keep out of your livewell drains - even if you are using a minnow bucket! You do not even have to use a whole minnow, often just the head will work just as well. If you prefer, a small piece of nightcrawler will do the trick too! Whether you opt for live or artificial baits, the important factor is confidence.


SELECTIVE HARVEST Make no mistake, when you get on a school of perch you are going to catch a lot of fish. While you can catch up to 50 perch with a full Outdoors Card, there is no reason to act like a vacuum cleaner! There is nothing wrong with keeping a limit but make sure to release those brutes that push the one and a half-pound mark. They are great breeding fish and, after a few photos, will swim another day to keep our fishery healthy. Common sense and respect is all you need.

FISHING WITHIN A CROWD Everyone wants to be on fish all day, every day, but that doesn’t mean that you need to encroach on a boat who has found a honey hole loaded with fish. Being respectful can go a long way. Do not cast into their water or pick up and move right beside them. Don’t forget, perch will move and some schools can be quite substantial in size so everyone is sure to get their turn. If the fish are on a sizeable sweet spot, show some manners and idle over to the boat fishing it and ask if there is room for another boat. More often than not, most guys will agree the more the merrier but don’t be offended if they’d like to fish it themselves. Perch fishing is meant to be fun and where there is a school of perch there

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Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 47


and onion powder. Before I dredge my fillets, I pat down each one with a paper towel to ensure that no moisture remains. From there, I’ll add the fillets to the bag, shake it around and shake off any excess flour before I add them to a skillet of hot oil. An old secret is to season the oil by frying some garlic on low for about 15 to 20-minutes. Be careful not to burn it as nothing can fix that problem! Most people would agree that crispy perch trumps all so I’ll leave them in a touch longer than most and sprinkle on some coarse sea salt once they’ve been removed from the oil. I put the fillets onto a plate lined with a paper towel to remove any excess oil before serving. are often more within a mile of where you are located. Use your Navionics chip to find similar spots nearby!

THE MEAL A good meal of perch is second to none and preparing them is by no means complicated. If you would like to go the healthy route, simply lay the fillets on a baking sheet and season with some salt and pepper. Set them under the broiler or bake them in the oven at 350°F until the flesh flakes away. I like to put the fillets in some tinfoil

48 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

with some salt, pepper, red peppers, onions, a dash of thyme and a drizzle of grape seed or olive oil. Create an airtight package, place it on a cookie sheet and transfer to a barbecue set at 400°F. Ten minutes should more than suffice! If you enjoy fried fish instead, here is one of my favorite options. I’ll get a Ziploc bag suitable for the quantity of perch that I am preparing and I’ll add some all purpose flour to it as well as some freshly cracked black pepper, paprika (to give them a nice golden colour once they are done cooking)

A HAPPY ENDING Confidence will play huge role in just how successful a day you have on the water. If you pull up on each spot and second-guess where you are fishing, the bait you are using, or your gear, you’ll miss the bites you do get and you’ll never get the bites you should have had! Perch are a great fish to get your mojo going! No one likes getting skunked while they are on the water, and a day of slamming Lake Erie perch can boost anyone’s spirits in a hurry. ?


By Eric Weissman Eric Weissman is a PhD Candidate at Concordia University in Montreal. He can be reached at fishfilmmaker@yahoo.ca

DO IT YOURSELF IN

Spanish Wells 50 Real Fishing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fall 2011


A couple of years ago I returned to graduate school at the mellow age of 48. It was a big adjustment to study 12-hours a day and to teach again, especially in a new city. Moving from Toronto to Montreal has its pros and cons, but for me it has meant losing access to familiar waters and adopting a challenging lifestyle that really cuts into my fishing and travelling. Going back to school means I don’t get to fish as often as I did, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think about fishing about 100 times a day. Since the opportunities are rare, I take whatever chance I can to fish now.

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 51


Last February I finished a bunch of really hard objectives at school…and I turned 50. For my birthday my family and friends, deeply concerned that I was losing my grip, offered to send me away somewhere to fish. I was inclined to return to San Agustinillo to fish with Sandor and my friends, Ed Mitchell and Captain Martine, in Puerto Escondido, but as I was about to book the ticket, literally about to hit “confirm” on the webpage, my friend, Mikey Fitzgerald, sent me a text about this place he was going to in the Bahamas called Spanish Wells. A friend of his had cancelled and Mikey had already booked a cottage, so he was looking for a bud to fish with. I may be a bit eccentric, but when a message like that comes at a moment like that, I take it as a sign. And let me tell you, I am glad I did! Spanish Wells is well known for its consistent bone fishing, which is good all year round, but peaks when the water is warmest. According to Geoff O’Connell, a great fishing guide, the best time is from April to August, and, for some reason October, but I was there in mid-February and really had a blast. I cast to hundreds of Bones each day, even though hooking them was not easy. Bonefish takes are better in warm water, and our best shots were on the warm, sunny days during the rising tide. I pulled some beauties, literally from less than a yard off the beach! Several of the days were cold and grey, and winter fronts are a nuisance that make bone fishing difficult. Of the 12 days I was there, eight were perfect: 24°C, breezy and clear. On “off” days we fished for jacks, shark, barracuda and snappers by walking the flats and casting into the deep dropoffs. We picked up a few nice bonefish in this manner too.

The author’s first Spanish Wells bonefish.

52 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

A Blue runner

You don’t need a guide in Spanish Wells for bone fishing - it is one of the last “do it yourself” bonefish locations in the Caribbean. Every day Mikey and I walked a circuit from the grass flats to the sand flats, following the tides and catching up bones. To fish the surrounding islands and channels, however, I recommend renting a boat or getting a guide. In every direction from the Wells are islands, channels, flats and structures. We caught or hooked over 30 species of fish on both fly and conventional gear during this trip including bonefish, tarpon, lemon shark, reef shark, yellow-fin tuna, Wahoo, barracuda, red snapper, Cabrera snapper, muhara, blue runners, yellow jacks, needle fish, ladyfish, bar jack, rainbow runner, mutton snapper, black grouper, Nassau grouper and others whose names we are still arguing about. You even have a shot at large Dorado (mahi mahi) while walking the flats and casting along the edge of the “drop zones” where the blue water meets the flats.

The first morning we fished the weather was sunny and warm. The rising tide was about midway in, there was a slight breeze and we saw some big bones fining on the flats. The water was at my knees but it came up quickly and soon we couldn’t see the bones anymore. Every once in a while, though, I could hear the crunching. Yeah, I could hear it. All week long I was keyed into the big bonefish by the sound they make underwater when they crunch big crabs. I put on a size-four olive crab with lead eyes and cast out on to the fringes of the flats, just at the dropoff. It seemed that the bones moving in with the tide would cruise the fringes and it was on my second cast that I hooked the first fish of the trip. Around the same moment, and about 100-yards from me, Mike caught a nice bone on a clouser minnow! Bonefish, when they are turned on, are not shy. And as I fought my lunker, several other huge bones - probably 10-plus pounds - took off, making wakes all around me. This is perhaps the drawback and the greatest joy of fishing bones on the Wells – there are lots of Bones and they get really big, but they don’t get big because they are dumb. Even the most skilled Wells’ fly fishermen often trod over fish or get skunked if they don’t do it just right. I met a good fly fishermen named Steve from the United States who has been fishing Spanish Wells for 25-years and even he remarked on how hard they are to hook and then to land. On the first day, despite having dozens of shots at bones of various sizes, I went three for six and Mikey went two for five. That was on bonefish. We also caught ‘cudas, blue runners and, later that night off the


SPANISH WELLS Spanish Wells offers everything a visiting angler could ask for. For fly or conventional fishing, one can literally walk the two-mile length of the island fishing flats, drops, channels and surf for finicky big bonefish, barracuda, jacks, and many other species including 100-pound class tarpon off the piers at night and blacktip sharks where the flats descend into the blue. Offshore there are Wahoo, big Yellow-fin tuna, sailfish, Mahi Mahi and great reef fishing for a multitude of other species. Spanish Wells at dusk.

From its name you might imagine that Spanish Wells is where Spanish sailing ships used to gather water but, even though most of the almost 3,000 people there can cite their family histories back five or six generations, I didn’t hear much Spanish. The people of the island speak a form of English that is really unique and musical to the Canadian ear. They mostly make their livings from commercial and charter fishing or from tourism. The harbour side of the island supports one of the most valuable lobster fleets in the world. If you ever had lobster tails at Red Lobster, they likely came from the Wells’ fleet. Spanish Wells Harbour with lobster boats in background.

Spanish Wells is a small island across from the northern tip of North Eleuthra, 100 or so miles east of Nassau. From Nassau, you can fly on Southern Air Charters to North Eleuthra Airport, or take the ferry from Nassau to Spanish Wells. About twenty minutes by plane or two hours by ferry from Nassau, it may be the smallest of the better-known islands. U.S., Canadian and Bahamian dollars trade off at par down there. Spanish Wells is a “dry” town, but you can load up on beer and wine and so on at the liquor store next to the ferry dock on North Eleuthra. “Dry” in ‘Wells simply means you can’t buy alcohol there, however, people bring their own when they visit the island. There are lots of beautiful plants on Spanish Wells including coconuts, bougainvillea, vines and tropical flowers. It’s very pleasant to look at and most of the properties are well kept and very modern. There is internet and cell service. Mangroves dot the channel side of the island, and the flats on the other three-quarters of the island are set on long, clean and accessible beaches. The islanders permit individuals to walk freely and there are no restrictions on access to the water as long as tourists are respectful of others’ privacy. On the adjacent Russell Island, Mikey and I walked past someone’s home to get to a small flat, and when we came across the owners in their backyard, they said “no worries, you’re in the ‘Hamas”. That is the kind of place it is, a friendly place… everyone drives around on golf carts and says hello to each other. There are large sand flats on the northeast side, cut in two by a deep channel, and the other side is a combi-

Mikey on the eelgrass flats at dawn with the tip of North Eleuthra in background.

nation of channels and eelgrass. The thousands of deep potholes made by all the Bones will amaze you. Some were so big that my entire foot fit inside them. It’s not a joke when I tell you I saw Bones well over the 10-pound range. There is not a lot of wildlife on the island itself, but the water is flush with life. And there is a lot of water. You can fish your guts out without leaving the island, but I fished a couple of neighbouring islands and flats and also did some amazing blue-water fishing there.

Alan fights a bone on the “pothole” flats. If you look closely you can see the huge potholes left by grazing bonefish.

CONTACTS IN SPANISH WELLS Johnny Underwood Cottages, golf carts, taxi and general services - rdt@coralwave.com. Geoff O’Connell Charters - www.facebook.com/geoffish or 1-242-470-2666 Benson Newell Perry www.facebook.com/benson.n.perry VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) Cottage rentals - www.vrbo.com

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 53


Mikey’s mid-day bonefish.

Geoff’s Super Panga is a great ride, fully equipped with a center console, mega clean 4-stroke outboards, bimini top, livewells and all of his gear was top-notch. We left about mid-morning chasing an afternoon bite. On the way we stopped so Geoff could net some fresh pilcher for bait. While he did that, I cast to schools of hundreds of bones and ladyfish, which had concentrated in the channels. It is really something to see a 100foot by 50-foot grey mass at the bottom of a channel quickly disperse into individual bones and ladies as the boat approaches! I got a real sense of just how many fish there are in the general area because almost every channel at low tide has a grey mass tucked in its deepest reaches. Geoff and Benny at the helm.

dock at the end of our street, Mikey jumped two big tarpon on my 12-weight fly outfit. The next couple of days we had our best luck in the early morning and again in the evening, regardless of the tide. That said, we still managed to catch a few bones on slack tide and at midday. Then the weather turned; it became stormy and we had rain and wind for two days. The fish seemed to be close to the shoreline, within mere inches of the beach, and we managed to hook a few. I wanted to hook up a few Wahoo on the fly so, once the storms cleared, I resolved to take a deep-sea charter with a captain I had met while casting off the docks. Mikey decided to take an 18-foot whaler on his own to go exploring the flats on Pier Rock across from the Wells while I set off with Captains Geoff O’Connell and Benson Newell Perry.

Geoff knows the waters well. He has been fishing and guiding (when he isn’t off lobster hunting) for most of his life. Same with Benny. They were totally chilled out and easy on the boat. Zero pressure, good stories and really courteous. On the way out, Geoff dropped a big squid plug and I trolled one of my infamous

Captain Geoff uses a cast net to catch pilchers.

14-inch double hooked marlin flies in hopes of hitting a Wahoo or two. As soon as we saw the rising fish, Geoff pulled up and started popping pilchers into the water. He set up a couple of slow trolling rigs with pilchers on free-swimming circle hooks while I dragged a big fly. In about five-minutes both pilchers were taken and a few minutes later I landed a small yellow-fin tuna on a live bait. I decided to bring in the fly rod as the fish had gone down as quickly as they popped up. We followed frigate birds high up in the sky to find the schools of baitfish again. As soon as we switched to a dead drift with live pilchers, the fishing got really interesting. We were fishing a long bar and pinnacle that stretched three-miles from the Wells out to sea and rises from 1,000-feet to only a couple of hundred. We drifted with the pilchers swimming freely on straight mono and circle hooks, strung onto Shimano Big Game reels with several thousand feet of backing. After a few drifts the reels were popping off one after the other in

Allan casts to bonefish on the wide-open flat.

Five times the lines came back sheared off or with the bait cleanly bitten off below the gills.

long horizontal takes. Wahoo! Five times we set the lines and set the drift and five times the lines came back sheared off or with the bait cleanly bitten off below the gills. 54 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


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The captains here don’t use wire because it turns the Wahoo off, so a lot of hooks get swallowed. On about the sixth take I managed to set the hook and eventually landed about a 40-pound Wahoo. If you have never caught one of these fish, you have to A Wahoo’s razor-like teeth can make short work of monofilament line.

get one. Wahoo are the fastest fish in the water, travelling at speeds of over 70-miles an hour. They also have upper and lower sets of razor-like teeth that can make short work of monofilament line. While I was fighting this fish I could feel him sawing his jaw back and forth on the line. Don’t ask me how we landed this fish, I guess the universe was being kind to me. After Geoff landed the Wahoo I snapped a few photos and was surprised that it was only 40-pounds; it had felt so much bigger. Wahoo are great eating and we decided to keep this one. Later, when we were cleaning it, we found all of our hooks, plus baits and several other hooks from other fishermen,

A 40 pound Wahoo is a powerful animal!

56 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

in the Wahoo’s stomach. What we thought had been several Wahoo stealing our baits may have just been this guy! About 3 p.m. the tuna bite started and we hit several fish on pilchers. The tuna average between 65 and 85-pounds here and they are stronger than most tuna. In fact, these tuna were the most powerful I have landed on any gear, fly or conventional. My first big tuna weighed in at 71.5pounds; Geoff landed the next one at 75.7pounds and then Benny took one that weighed 67.5-pounds. Impressive fish, but I saw even bigger ones swimming. Lately I have been sitting here wishing I had slowly dragged one of my big flies and tried to pick one of these bruisers up on my 17-weight. They weren’t really on the surface that day for long though, so bait or casting plugs made more sense. And this is why I say

Captain Geoff with his 75-pound Yellowfin.

Author Eric Weissman (left) and Benson with a 71.5-pound Yellowfin tuna.

Spanish Wells is a perfect place for all types of gear. You can catch tuna and shark on flies, or bones on bait, and vice-versa. It’s a good location to try everything! Keep an open mind when you come to the Wells. The next night for example, Mikey got a 35-pound ‘cuda on a white deceiver and on the next cast I jumped about a 120-pound tarpon on a five-dollar spoon! Anyway, Geoff, Benny and I got back to the dock at around 8 p.m. The guys did a masterful job of filleting about 140-pounds of sushi-grade tuna and Wahoo, and we had a sushi smorgasbord. The day cost about $400 for about five-hours, and I have to tell you that it was the best charter I ever took. That might seem pricey, but not on a great fishing boat, with all the gear and bait supplied, and not when you leave in the early morning and come back at sunset.

ACCOMMODATIONS It is really nice to have a self-contained cottage to return to with your bounty of fresh tuna or fresh lobster and conch. In Spanish Wells you can rent a nice cottage with a yard, laundry, two or three bedrooms, hydro and hot water for between $600 to $700 U.S. a week. No matter where you rent you are close to the water because the island is so small. Johnny Underwood has a bunch of great units and the one I am going to use next year is right on the flat I like to fish - the grassy flat where every morning at dawn with the rising tide, literally hundreds of bones are only mere feet away from the shore.


I went out one night with a fisherman from Maine named Joseph Zipniewski. He’s been coming down here for a while and is a total gentleman who understands the etiquette of bone fishing. Etiquette is important on do it yourself bonefish trips. It’s crucial, when you fish public flats like this, to be delicate and step lightly and to communicate with others so as not to impair the flow of fish. Joe had a couple of great flies and as we stood there, with the tide coming in and the sun going down, about 200 bones in thick pods were moving around us. It was hard to move an inch without spooking 40 or 50 fish. Joe hooked a nice one about fourpounds, which is the average size there. Shortly after I tailed it for him I jumped not one, but three bones, all five- pounds or better. I didn’t land any of them but I spent a few quality hours with a new fishing friend. Most of the bones we caught fell to olive, natural or brown crab patterns: Charlies,

Gotchas and Puffers, in sizes 4 to 10. But the most productive fly overall was the chartreuse and white clouser. I remember looking back at the flats as they filled up and thinking surely I had seen everything. Tarpon on the fly off the docks; big ‘cudas ripping snappers in half as we brought them in on our 6-weights; grey masses of bones; Wahoos and pods of big tuna. What was next? The next day Mikey left for frigid Ontario after spending a good week hooking tarpon, ‘cudas, jacks, and bones. He had also explored a bunch of islands that he previously checked out on Google Earth. I understood how hard it was for him to go. I can testify that he is a tenacious fly fisherman with a great knack for the cast. That evening my good friend, Giancarlo Carnevale, a great chef and restaurateur from Toronto, was coming down, and the next day my fly fishing mentor, Al Yaffe, was coming. Al has a bonefish tattoo on his

arm, so I guess that explains it all. Giancarlo and I have fished dries for trout on some of my favourite Ontario headwaters, which will go nameless for now, but he had never done salt. And you know I think I will let the picture tell the story. This was Giancarlo’s first bonefish, a pig weighing over 8-pounds! We had sunny skies and great temperatures that week and we all caught fish. Although Al had to leave before us, he did

Giancarlo’s first bonefish, a pig weighing over 8-pounds!

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 57


see some tarpon action. One night on the dock, Al stood there with his fly just dangling in the water while I was casting some surface poppers on my Loomis travel spin outfit, stirring up the water. Most nights this worked in bringing big predators into the docks from the mangroves and channels. I remember the look on Al’s and Giancarlo’s faces (Giancarlo had never seen a tarpon) when this six-foot tarpon came out from under dock and sat there, fearlessly eyeing Al’s fly! Giancarlo, said, “Oh…My...God…” I was tongue-tied so I just laughed in anticipation. Al prepared to set the hook, something very hard to do standing above and behind a big tarpon, but the leviathan did turn on the fly and opened his gape. Al paused and then set with a good strip-set but the fly just came right out of the tarpon’s mouth. Over the course of the week Al got a few bones, landed many big tarpon and was suitably impressed by the Wells. He went home the next day, but he had taught Giancarlo well, as Giancarlo out-fished me a couple of times, as hard as that is to admit! Fast forward a couple of days to our last morning. Giancarlo and I went out around five a.m. and got to my favourite flat before the tide came in. The sun was just starting to rise and the sky was an indigo colour. There was moonlight so we could see the outline of the fins of tailing bones in six to eight-inches of water. It was like all the bones had come to send us off. Our flight was at 1 p.m., so we only had a couple of hours to fish before packing and heading out. Within a half-hour, as the tide came up, all the pods of big bones - the 8 to 15-pounders that we hadn’t been able to hit - were literally at our feet and they weren’t spooky. I was shaking, It was like trying to tie a fly onto an 8X tippet when the browns are sipping dries or trying to mend a wind knot when the steelies are running – all thumbs, chest pounding, no spit - but perfect casts. I managed to hook one that took me into a reef but the water was low enough that I could actually walk out to try and untangle the line. He had gone under a branch of coral and I could see him trying to break free. I took the line gently, we had a brief tug of war and boom… he was gone. I have no idea how big he was, but I do know that 10-pound fluorocarbon is no match against coral. It took a few minutes for me to fumble 58 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

An average bonefish on the sand flats.

around and attach a new leader; long enough for the bones to calm down and reassemble about 25-feet in front of me. In the centre of a pod of maybe 50 fish were two or three fins twice the size of the others, grandmas and grandpas. Line records maybe? I could hear the crunching. Giancarlo, who was about 70-feet away from me, could hear it too. I dropped one of the nice big “Gotchas” that Joseph had given me and jumped another bone. It ripped through the pod and at some point my leader broke, about six-inches above the fly, probably severed by all the fins in its way. For another hour I followed the bones as they made their way up onto the flat. In all sincerity I had at least 200 good shots at the biggest bones I have ever seen. I managed about 20 follows but no more hook-ups. And then the water rose above my knees. I knew time was winding down and I accepted the inevitability of being skunked on my last day. As I turned to return to the jetty I saw a school of pilchers busting like mad out of the water on the edge of the flat. I could see big green needles, large silver ‘cudas and some black-tips all in a ball, chasing and

gorging on the pilchers. I watched it for about 10-minutes, trying to decide if I should risk my 6/7-weight on any of these fish, when a monstrous sea bass came up the middle of the ball and took a 20-gallon mouthful of pilchers. The predators in this ball were big: the ‘cudas and sharks were in the 30 to 50 and 50 to 80-pound range respectively. Until then I had doubted what everyone said on the Wells - that the ‘cudas get up to 60-pounds. I had no tippet left, just straight 20pound butt section, so I tied on a black and white Deceiver with red tinsel gills and a few green strands of flashabou. By then the school of busting pilchers was about 500yards away so I didn’t chase it. Instead, I took one last cast into the last place I had seen them. Without stripping, a big fish smashed my fly and ripped me into my backing. It did what sharks like to do… it ran fast and hard, paused, ran again, paused, ran again and then it just took off ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Just before my backing ran out, the line went slack and I saw the riffle in the water about 600-feet away. I can’t tell you if it was black-tip or a ‘cuda, but my line came back cut off about a foot above where the loop should have been. You decide. Despite the friendly people, the easy trip to get there and the great and accessible fishery on and off the island, it is that last morning that invades my thoughts when I should be studying or preparing class notes. It is that last morning, when every fish I ever wanted was at my feet and the universe was laughing at me; it was that last remark Giancarlo made, “Never seen that before, so many fish, and we couldn’t figure out the buggers,” that has me counting the days until I can revisit this great little island called Spanish Wells. ?


G R E AT H O L I D AY G I F T I D E A !


Tales from the Road By Bob Izumi

I try to support the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association golf tournament every year. My brother, Wayne, and I usually put in a team and over the years we’ve had a pretty good track record. This year we ended up winning the event, golfing with my brother’s son, Justin, and my son, Darren. I’m not so sure we’re very popular at that tournament with the number of wins we’ve had over the years! I find that golf’s a lot easier than fishing…hahaha…but I don’t think I’ll be signing up for the PGA Tour anytime soon! In June I had the chance to go to a Kids and Cops Fishing Day, put on by Helen and John Delicata, up in Innisfil Beach. It’s really cool to see all the police and children getting along and fishing together. John and Helen really do a wonderful job of organizing this event for the kids every year.

Bob Izumi with the Innisfil Kids and Cops Fishing Day organizers, John and Helen Delicata.

Next was a trip to Welland to hook up with Real Fishing Magazine contributor, Jonathan LePera. We wanted to do a cooking shoot down at Notre Dame College School, where Jonathan teaches, to use in the catfish show we shot earlier in the year. This school is amazing. They have an industrial kitchen that’s as good as anything you’d see in any fine restaurant. Two of Jonathan’s students did some cooking with me and we got some great video for the show. I’ve got to say that going back into the educational system definitely brought back some old memories. 60 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

Then I was off to Dryden with the winners of the TecVana Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Contest. A group of women from the London area won the trip and, from what I could see, they had a pretty good time up there. I could only stay for one night before I had to fly home for my former neighbour’s daughter’s wedding. The next day I jumped in my vehicle and headed down to Lake Champlain for the FLW Everstart tournament. On the first day of the tournament I ran south and fished for both largemouth and smallmouth in shallow water. I managed to get a 15-pound, 8-ounce limit that put me in 26th place after day one. On the second day I went north to fish deeper water for smallmouth. I had pretty consistent weights over the two days, with 14-pounds, 2ounces on day two and ended the tournament in 23rd place. From there I headed straight up to Orillia for the CSFL’s Casey Cup tournament on Lake Simcoe. My son, Darren, and I ended up in 11th place with 22.35-pounds for our best five smallmouth bass. That lake really

does kick out some big smallmouth. It’s amazing to have the weight we had and still not be in the top ten! After a few days off and a round of golf with one of my sponsors, Darren and I headed off to fish three, one-day CSFL tournaments out of Trenton on the Bay of Quinte. We were very consistent on all three days. On the first day we had 21.15-pounds of smallmouth and finished in 13th place; on the second day we had 22.85-pounds and finished in third. The third day was restricted to just the Bay of Quinte so we targeted largemouth bass and ended up in sixth place with 16.95-pounds. Then I was off to Little Lake, in downtown Peterborough, for a fundraiser for a little girl who had died from cancer at a very young age. It was a 12-boat tournament where we fished in the morning, took a break at lunch, and then fished in the afternoon. I fished with NHL player, Tim Brent, and we ended up tied for second place. We didn’t get any big fish but had loads of fun supporting this great cause. I was actually going to take a weekend off from tournament fishing and I was really looking forward to it until Andy Pallotta of the CSFL called me and told me that Darren and I were leading the Great Lakes division points race. He said that we might want to consider fishing the Georgian Bay one-day tournament that was scheduled for Saturday. I haven’t fished a tournament on Georgian Bay in 15-years and, without any time to pre-fish, I decided that we would run north about an hour and fish around Parry Sound, in some old spots that I had fished many years ago. We made the long


run up there and discovered that some of the spots had fish and some didn’t. We ended up weighing a three-fish limit of 9.7pounds for a 27th place finish. It was a good move for us to fish this event because the points we earned sewed up the Great Lakes division Team of the Year title for us. Then I was home for a day before heading off to Las Vegas for the annual ICAST show. ICAST is an industry show that showcases all of the new tackle that’s available from manufacturers from around the world. We decided to go a day early so we could get in a round of golf on a course in California that we had never been to. We had a very enjoyable experience in the 90plus degree weather. That night our friends, Sylvia and Steve Baron from the LeBaron Outdoor Products chain, had a party at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. The food, ambiance and camaraderie were second to none. It was definitely the highlight of the ICAST show for Wayne, Darren and I. After three nights in ‘Vegas it was back home for part of a day before hitting the road to Kingston for the Canadian Open bass tournament. Kingston has been very good to me over the years in term of tournament wins and I just love fishing that place. There are so many opportunities to catch smallmouth and largemouth that it’s almost endless. Day one was cancelled due to high winds so, instead of it being a three-day tourna-

head and walleye with Captain Jim Fleming. I had Robert Dupel from BoaterExam.com and Bob Minielly from the Canadian Safe Boating Council out with me for a little bit of Great Lakes trolling. As always when we’re fishing with Jim, we caught a lot of fish in a very short time and got some great video shot for the TV show.

Not a bad weekend for the Izumi clan!

ment, it became a two-day event. After the first day of competition I was sitting in second place with 22.75-pounds including a 5.9-pound smallmouth than ended up being the biggest fish of the tournament. On the second day I got 19.1-pounds for a two-day total of 41.85-pounds and a seventh-place finish. Darren ended up winning the coangler side of things and earned himself a Lund boat and Mercury motor package worth $16,000. Not a bad weekend for the Izumi clan!

Bob’s first major U.S. tournament win came at the Everstart Series, Northern Division 1000 Islands event on July 28 – 20.

Robert Dupel (right) and Bob Minielly share a laugh with Bob during a break in the action on Lake Erie.

When I got back I did a number of radio interviews and other interviews talking about my tournament win in the U.S. I attended some sponsor meetings and then I finally got to spend a Saturday at home. It was kind of weird, but I really did enjoy it. Then I was off to Windsor to speak at the annual general meeting of the Police Association of Ontario. For me, to be involved with the 33,000-member PAO, and to have them support our Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days events, really is fulfilling. After I spoke, we had a Kids and Cops event right on the Detroit River where a group of kids got to try some fishing and eat some wonderful pizza.

I decided to stay down there and fish the Everstart 1000 Islands tournament and it was definitely worth my time as I ended up winning the event. I’ve been trying to win a major U.S. tournament for 38-years and finally my dream came true so I’m checking that one off my bucket list! I’ll give you more details on how this tournament panned out in a feature story in the next issue of Real Fishing magazine. There was no time to try and get the swelling down in my head before I was off to my old stomping grounds in South-western Ontario to fish out of Erieau for steelFall 2011 – Real Fishing 61


Then it was time to head back to shoot some tips for the TV show and get some production work done before going down to Lake Erie to prepare for the third FLW Everstart Northern Division tournament of the season out of Buffalo, New York. My expectations in this tournament were just to have a solid finish, to do the best I could, but I never expected to do as well as I did. After day one I was sitting in 23rd place and I didn’t think there was any way I would be able to make the top 10 cut in order to be able to fish on day three. On day two I weighed a respectable 19.05-pound limit that included a six-pound, two-ounce smallmouth, which ended up being the big fish of the tournament. You have to realize that catching a big fish in a tournament is almost like winning a lottery. Catching the single, biggest fish of a tournament really involves a lot of luck. It’s not like getting the biggest overall weight in a two or three day event; it’s one fish, one bite. To get the big fish in that tournament was really exciting for me. Thinking my tournament was finished, I was in the parking lot getting my gear packed away when my wife, Sandy, who was still over at the weigh-in, called me and told me that I had finished in 10th place. I couldn’t believe I had snuck into the top 10 and was able to fish on day three! Day three was really windy and Lake Erie was pretty rough but my Ranger boat is built so solidly I didn’t have any worries about going for a very long run down the lake. Well, the Ranger handled things beautifully as always, but the G-forces ended up shearing off all of the bolt heads on the port side of my trolling motor mount. When I got to my first spot my trolling motor was definitely not useable. I had to go in to shore and spent about an hour working on it before I was ready to get back to fishing. Between the long run we had made and the work I had to do on the boat, my co-angler from Texas and I didn’t have a lot of fishing time that day. Despite everything, we both managed to get our limits and I moved up two spots, to eighth place, which put me into first place in the Angler of the Year race for the Everstart 62 Real Fishing – Fall 2011

Big smallmouth are the real deal on Lake Erie.

Northern division. As I write this I have a 14point lead over second place with one tournament to go in the series, on the Potomac River, at the end of September. My experience on the Potomac is very limited. I’ve only fished one tournament there and I didn’t fare very well. Chris Johnston, a fellow Canadian and the guy who’s sitting in second place, has fished three tournaments there and has had some pretty good success. I talked to him this past weekend and he said that he’s going to be practicing for over a week. I’m going to get two days of practice because of my crazy schedule so it’s definitely going to be a race. I hope I’m not the horse with only three legs in this tournament! After the Buffalo tournament my wife, Sandy, and I headed up to Muskoka to visit our friend, Paul Jeffery. Paul has done very well in the restaurant business and owns Windermere House on Rosseau Lake. This

place is amazing. Paul told us that the resort burned down in 1996 while they were filming a movie, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and he bought it about six-years ago. Even though it had been rebuilt after the fire, Paul gutted it and completely rebuilt it again. We’re talking about a resort with world-class dining and absolutely beautiful accommodations. We had to rough it though, and stay at Paul’s cottage down the road. Paul’s cottage will “only” sleep 30 people! It was fun to see all of the work that Paul has done up there and to visit with him for a while. We only stayed for a day before heading home because our daughter, Kristin, was flying in from Victoria for six days. Randy Chamzuk from Apps for Anglers was coming in as well on the same day to talk about his fishing app with us. We headed down to Chatham with Randy to go out on Lake St. Clair with Captain Jim Fleming to try for muskies. Randy is


from Edmonton and I don’t believe there are a lot of muskies in Alberta, so we were hoping to get him into his first one. Unfortunately, when we got there the lake was chocolate milk. High winds had really roiled it up and nobody was out fishing. Jim said that, since we’d made the trip down there, we might as well go out and give it a shot. We trolled for about a half-hour but the conditions weren’t very good at all so we decided to call it a day. My brother, Wayne, ended up taking Randy out largemouth fishing in the ponds on a friend’s golf course and Randy caught his first bass ever. Over the next few days I did some more interviews and attended a couple of social functions before heading off to the CSFL Classic on Big Rideau Lake. Fishing was pretty good during practice. Our first day was mediocre but we had about 16-pounds a day, mixed smallmouth and largemouth, on each of the next two practice days. Darren and I were pumped for the tournament. Big Rideau is one of those lakes that can be anybody’s tournament because there are so many different ways to catch fish there. It’s funny how sometimes you think you’re going to do well in a tournament and you don’t, while other times you don’t think you’ll do very good and you end up having a great day. I was actually reading a blog about this from a fellow tournament angler. His feeling is that when you think you’re

going to do well you often have preconceived notions that you kind of stick to as the tournament unfolds. On the other hand, when you’re not sure of how you’ll do, you are often more open-minded in your approach to fishing, especially on a lake that you might not be that familiar with. You change up with the conditions and it sometimes works out. When I look back over the years there’s no question that I have done very well in tournaments that I didn’t feel I would do so well in. In those situations I fished very loose, without a lot of pre-planned ideas or expectations. I fished by the seat of my pants, trying different things until something clicked. After day one we were not sitting very well and things didn’t improve after day two. We ended up in 41st place and didn’t make the top-20 cut to be able to fish on day three. Here’s the worst part of it all. On day two, within minutes of starting, I had a hit, I tightened up and I set the hook hard and about a 4 ½-pound smallmouth jumped. I fought it for a few seconds before it pulled off. Then, about 10-minutes later, I got another big smallmouth on a wacky rig and lost it after about 15-seconds. Over the course of the day Darren and I caught about 25 keepers then, at the end of the day, we saw a big smallmouth cruising by. We fished the area for about 15-minutes and Darren finally hooked about a fourpounder right beside the boat but the fish jumped and came off before I could even get the net! We should have had a minimum of 18 ½-pounds that day! If you can believe it, we ended up with 25pounds over the two days, just over threepounds off the cut. It took 29 to 31-pounds to make the top 20. In all the years I’ve been fishing tournaments I’ve never seen the top 20 places separated by such a slim margin. It really was anybody’s tournament. On day three, minutes after they launched in the morning, the winds came up to 35 or 40-miles per hour; monsoon rains hit along with lightning and thunder – it was not pleasant. I’m not sure that it was even fishable for a while and many boats pulled up to the shore to ride the storm out.

I talked to the eventual winners, Lynn Johnston and Travis Vivian, who said they caught all of their fish in about an hour window right after the storm blew through. Then it was like somebody hit a light switch and the fish turned off. They ended up with a mixed bag of largemouth and smallmouth weighing 14.15-pounds on the final day and took the title. The irony is, they had a very nonchalant approach to the tournament and their plan was to just, “go fishing.” Lynn is the father of Cory and Chris Johnston, who have had a very successful tournament record but who didn’t make the cut at this event, as we didn’t. While we were all so serious about the tournament, Lynn and Travis took the loose approach and just went fishing. So there’s that thing about fishing loose again. Even though they were zeroed in on where to fish and how to catch bass, they fished loose, to have fun, and their lackadaisical approach worked out for them. Thinking back over the summer, I fished very loose when I got my big

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Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 63


win at the Thousand Islands. I drew a great co-angler from Delaware and we hit it off right away in the morning. I just went fishing that day and had fun as opposed to getting too wired for sound and making mistakes. The bottom line is, try tossing out your preconceived ideas about how and where you’re going to catch fish and try fishing loose. Change up tactics and locations, relax, enjoy your time on the water and maybe you’ll catch some of the biggest fish of your life! As I finish up this Tales from the Road I’m getting ready to head down to the Potomac River in Maryland for the final Everstart Northern Division tournament of the year. With a 14-point lead in the Angler of the Year race I’ll need a decent finish to wrap up the title but it’s really nothing to get too uptight about. After all, everyone else has to catch up to me! ?

64 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


What’s COOKING

Baked Pickerel and Fingerling Potatoes INGREDIENTS

METHOD

4

6-ounce pickerel fillets

Pre heat oven to 375°F.

12 slices

Roma tomatoes

4 cloves

garlic

12 leaves

fresh basil

4 ounces

white wine or lemon juice

4 ounces

cold butter

1 ½-pounds fingerling potatoes 2

bell peppers (red or green), julienned

Slice potatoes into ½-inch rounds. Place in a pot with water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove potatoes from water and let cool. Slice each clove of garlic very thinly. Cut peppers in half and julienne into thin strips. Chop the parsley, and julienne the basil. Cut butter into 8 small squares (2 per fillet).

chopped parsley salt and pepper

Using tin foil, make 4-squares about 8-inches by 8-inches. Place a small piece of parchment paper down on the center of each tin foil square. Divide potato slices among the tin foil squares and place on top of the parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the peppers and place over the potatoes. Sprinkle some of the parsley and basil over them, reserving some for later.

Place the fillets over the peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the tomatoes over the fillets. Top with the garlic and remaining parsley and basil. Place the butter on top of the tomatoes and pour the wine or lemon juice over everything. Place a small piece of parchment on top and fold the tin foil to make a tight packet. Put the packets on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 15-minutes. Remove from oven, open and enjoy! (Be very careful opening the tin foil as it will release steam).

Special thanks to Jason Mohring of Tecvana Corporation for providing this recipe.

Fall 2011 – Real Fishing 65


GRANDPA’S TROUT This painting is based on a black and white photograph taken in the 1940’s – part of my series of paintings that illustrate how hooked I am on this era. The image of my grandfather is an example of the wonderful sense of style and attitude of that time, which is shown in the jaunty presentation of his marvelous trophy trout. This fish was caught near my father’s fishing lodge on Eagle Lake, in Northwest Ontario. – Dale MacKenzie

Artist:

Dale MacKenzie

Dimensions: 30” x 40” Medium:

Acrylic on canvas

Contact:

Dale MacKenzie Fishbone Studios Box 325 Eagle River, ON P0V 1S0 dalemack@telus.net www.dalemackenzie.com

66 Real Fishing – Fall 2011


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