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SPECIAL WINTER FISHING ISSUE

PLUS PLUS--Best BestFishing FishingTimes, Times,Working Workingin inthe theOutdoors Outdoors and andmuch muchmore! more!

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VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 1 Just $3.95

DISPLAYED UNTIL APRIL 15TH, 2006

WINTER 2006


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Winter 2006 Volume 12, Issue 1 Editor Jerry Hughes

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36

49

Art Director Patricia Heeney-Bacon

43

Publisher Fred Delsey National Advertising Izumi Outdoors Tel: (905) 632-8679 President Wayne Izumi Contributors Craig Blackie, Dave Hardie, Bob Izumi, Wayne Izumi, Steve May, Ayr Miller, Fred Noddin, Craig Ritchie, Dave Taylor, Wil Wegman 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.

27 HIGH-TECH ICE FISHING TACKLE AND TECHNIQUES

By Wil Wegman

A look at some of the season’s new ice fishing gear and how to use it to your advantage this winter.

36 THE SPECIES AND SEASONS OF THE NIAGARA RIVER: BIG WATER AND BIG FISH! By Dave Hardie and Craig Blackie

The mighty Niagara River offers anglers a multi-species, four season fishery. Here’s the lowdown on how and when to get in on the action.

43 WINTER BASS IN BILL DANCE’S BACKYARD

By Craig Ritchie

It’s the middle of winter and you’ve got the urge to go bass fishing. No worries, just gas up the truck, grab a buddy and make the short drive south to Tennessee.

49 DIFFERENT ANGLES ON ICE FISHING FOR PERCH

Insightful tips and tricks to help you catch more big perch through the ice.

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 L7N 5K6 Subscription inquiries Please call: 1-877-474-4141 or visit www.realfishing.com Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40015689 Customer Account No. 2723816-99 GST Registration No. R102546504

6 Opening Lines

8 Chevy Trucks Fish Fact

By Jerry Hughes

Lake Whitefish

10 What’s New The latest in fishing tackle, gear and accessories.

13 Fishing

By Bob Izumi

Getting a job outdoors.

15 Best Fishing Times Doug Hannon’s moon phase calendar.

17 The Water’s Edge

By Dave Taylor

Alligator

19 Fly Fishing

By Steve May

Go Big or Go Home

21 Sportsmen’s Almanac News, trivia, event listings and more from the world of fishing.

57 Tales From The Road

By Bob Izumi

The trials and tribulations of life as a professional angler.

60 Fishing Forever Update Conservation in Action

65 What’s Cooking

By Bob Izumi

Coffee Ice Cream Crunch

66 Art Of Angling

Postmaster: Please return front cover/label only of undeliverables to: Real Fishing 940 Sheldon Court, Burlington ON L7L 5K6 Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in Canada

By Ayr Miller On the cover: Aaron Shirley with a Niagara River Walleye Photo by Craig Blackie

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65


by Jerry Hughes

FISHING this winter

A

As I sit at my desk writing this column, winter has made an early appearance and all indications are that it has settled in for the long haul. Most of the rivers and lakes here in southern Ontario have already developed a thin covering of ice and the word is that ice fishing is already underway in some of the more northern areas of the province. It won’t be long until shanty towns start popping up on lakes across the country and the ice fishing season will be in full swing. Given that we Canadians are either blessed or cursed - depending on your perspective - with several months of sub-zero temperatures, ice fishing is definitely the mainstay of our sport until the world tilts to the south and things start warming up sometime around April or May. With that in mind, this issue of Real Fishing includes a couple of feature stories that should help you in your quest for ice fishing success. Wil Wegman gets things started with a look at some of the new tackle and equipment for this year’s ice fishing season. Wil doesn’t stop with simply showing off hard water fishing gear, he shares some of his favourite tips and techniques on how to use the equipment effectively for a number of species. Wil’s expertise has been honed

6 Winter 2006 Real Fishing

through years of ice fishing success, both recreationally and competitively. He was a member of Team Canada at the 1992 World Ice Fishing Championships, he has several top ten finishes in the Canadian Ice Fishing Championships and he has been teaching courses on ice fishing since 1987. The yellow perch is one of the most popular species of fish to target through the ice and Ayr Miller, of Edmonton, is one of the best in the West when it comes to catching them. Ayr has developed some simple, yet highly effective systems for catching jumbo perch that will work in any part of the country and he shares those with us beginning on page 49. If you want to increase your perching success this winter, these tips are well worth taking along on your next ice fishing trip. Of course not everybody enjoys fishing through a hole in the ice. For some of us the allure of open water is just too strong and many of us frequent Great Lakes shorelines, power plant outflows, rivermouths or any other open water we can find in order to enjoy fishing during the winter. Here in Ontario, the Niagara River offers some respite by staying open throughout the winter and providing some exceptional fishing opportunities for those who are willing to get out and brave the elements. Craig Blackie and David Hardie are Niagara River regulars and their story, The Species and Seasons Of The Niagara River, not only profiles the cold weather angling available on the river, it also explores the numerous fishing options the river provides during the warmer months. Regardless of how good the winter fishing is, whether through the ice or in open water, there are times when the cold and snow just become too much and some anglers feel a real need for some warm weather angling. For those of you who fit this category, never fear,

the answer lies just a dozen or so hours south, in Tennessee, where some of the best bass fishing of the year takes place from December until March. Former Real Fishing Editor, Craig Ritchie, made the trek last winter and shares the highlights of his trip, beginning on page 43. Winter doesn’t signal an end to the fishing season, it’s the beginning of another one with its own unique challenges and opportunities. No matter which type of winter fishing you enjoy the most; out on the ice, in open water or way down south where it’s warm, get out there and have fun but please do it safely. We want to see you all again in the spring. ?


Coregonus clupeaformis

LAKE WHITEFISH

Photo by Fred Noddin

The lake whitefish has a moderately long, slender body which is somewhat pointed at the snout, gradually deepening through the dorsal region then tapering again towards the tail.

The head is relatively small, comprising only 20% to 23% of the fish’s overall length, and features an unmistakable snout that overhangs the mouth. Whitefish have a single, soft dorsal fin, a small, fleshy adipose fin and a deeply forked tail along with the usual pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. Their bodies are covered in large scales which in turn are heavily overlaid with mucus or slime, making them extremely slippery and hard to handle. The overall color of the whitefish is silvery. Their backs range from a pale,

greenish brown through darker brown to black depending on the waterbody they live in. The flanks are silver, fading to a silvery white or white on the belly. The fins are usually clear or lightly colored on fish from southern waters but they are often darker and tipped with black on fish from more northern regions. Whitefish are widely distributed across Canada, from New Brunswick and Labrador in the east, throughout most of Quebec and Ontario the and across Prairie Provinces as far west as central or western British Columbia. They can be found as far south as the Great Lakes Basin and into the extreme northern United States. In the north they are common throughout Nunavut, the Northwest and Yukon Territories, and Alaska. Lake whitefish are a cool water species that spend most of the warm water season in the hypolimnion region, below the thermocline. In northern waters, where lakes do not stratify, whitefish may remain in shallower water all year. They are primarily bottom feeders who consume a wide variety of invertebrates, mollusks, insect larvae and small fish. In some

FAST Facts Colour: Silver to silver-white with a darker back Size: Two to three-pounds on average, occasionally reaching over ten-pounds Life Span: Commonly ten to fifteen-years but can surpass twenty-years Habitat: Primarily deep lakes and large rivers Spawning: Late fall, in water temperatures of 46°F or less

Did you know? Whitefish can lose up to 10% of their total body weight after spawning.

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The current IFGA All-Tackle World Record lake whitefish stands at 14 lbs, 6 oz. The fish was caught in Georgian Bay, Ontario, on May 21, 1984. areas, where water temperatures allow, they will also feed on various planktons and terrestrial insects. Whitefish are an important commercial species, second only to walleye in Canada. In 2003, over 6,800 tons were taken, all coming from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Territories. Interestingly, Ontario contributed over 2,000 tons of whitefish roe to the commercial fishery, yet it accounted for no fish, while the Western Provinces’ commercial catch did not include any roe. Along with their commercial importance, whitefish are an extremely popular sport fish, especially in the winter, when they are the mainstay of many ice fisheries. In some parts of the country, especially the northern areas, whitefish can also be caught on spinning, casting or fly gear throughout much of the year. In southern regions there are fewer opportunities to catch whitefish in open water, although some limited spring and fall fisheries do exist and there are a few anglers who do well by deep water jigging or trolling during the warmer months. When hooked, they put up a spirited battle and anglers must use a light touch to avoid tearing their hooks out of the fish’s delicate mouths. ?

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Copyright © 2006 Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows (1989) Ltd. All rights reserved.


We welcome submissions from manufactures 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

YUM SWEET CHEEKS The Sweet Cheeks swim bait has a weighted head with reflective eyes and a holographic insert, a fitted, soft plastic body and a prong-style, twin cable weedguard. The bait features an innovative, slow-release scent chamber that, when filled with YUM attractant, creates a scent trail that can last for up to 25 casts, encouraging even inactive fish to bite. Sweet Cheeks comes in 10 colors and is available in 4 sizes ranging from 3 to 5 inches in length and from 3/16 to 1/2 -ounce in weight. YUM 3601 Jenny Lind Rd. Fort Smith AR 72901 www.lurenet.com

BOMBER MODEL 4A The new Bomber Model 4A runs three to six-feet deep and has a rounded bill designed to deflect off of heavy cover making it the ideal choice for fishing near rock, brush or any other obstruction. The 4A is molded from the same material as the original Model A and utilizes the same lead weight for that classic Bomber “knock.” The 4A is 2 5/8” long, weighs 5/16 oz. and is available in 14 classic Model A colors. BOMBER LURES 3601 Jenny Lind Rd. Fort Smith AR 72901 www.lurenet.com

POLAR THERM EXTREME TIP-UP

LOWRANCE LMS-334CiGPS The Lowrance LMS-334CiGPS is a new, full-size, 256color color sonar/chartplotter with the convenience of a built-in 12-parallel channel GPS+WAAS antenna. With 2,400 watts peak-to-peak/300 watts RMS power and a 480x480 pixel screen, the LMS 334CiGPS offers unmatched target detail and separation at depths up to 900-feet. The GPS system accepts digital media cards to record sonar graphs and GPS details, and is compatible with optional plug-&-play Lowrance FreedomMaps™, Fishing Hot Spots® Elite, LakeMaster® ProMaps, and NauticPath™ electronic charts. LOWRANCE CANADA 919 Matheson Boulevard E. Mississauga, ON L4W 2R7 www.lowrance.com

WILLIAMS GLOW IN THE DARK ICE JIGS Just in time for the ice fishing season, Williams announces the new J50 (1/4 oz.) and J60 (5/8 oz.) ice jigs. Glow finishes are proven for attracting trout, walleye and other gamefish, especially in low light conditions such as those found when fishing at night or under the ice. Coupled with Williams’ genuine silver finish which reflects any and all available light, these new ice jigs are going to be hard for fish to miss. BRECKS 2560 Roy St. Sherbrooke QC www.williams.ca

10 Real Fishing Winter 2006

New to Canada this year, the PTE-200 Polar Therm Extreme tip up features a durable plastic frame that completely seals ice fishing holes from blowing snow and prevents them from freezing over in even the coldest weather. These tip ups offer fully adjustable trip settings plus a multi-setting trip shaft, while the spool has a handle for easy line retrieval. Features include unique line guides that make in/out line placement a cinch, built-in tackle boxes, telescopic flag wires, built-in light stick holders for marking your tip-up at night and special handles for easily lifting. The compact, stackable design allows up to six units to be stored together and the patented “Polar” freezeproof trip mechanism is guaranteed against freeze-up! HT ENTERPRISES INC. P.O. Box 909 Campbellsport WI 53010 www.icefish.com

MUNCHIES™ TINY TAILS Lindy’s petite Munchies™ Tiny Tails fool panfish, perch, whitefish and even finicky walleyes and trout on ice or in open water. These finely detailed and ultra-sensitive mini plastics work effectively with small jigs and frequently outperform live bait. Munchies™ Tiny Tails are available in four distinctive styles – micro-mino, nail tail, split tail and mini spade tail - and come in seven fish catching colors. LINDY 1110 Wright St. Brainerd MN 56401 www.lindyfishingtackle.com

Real Fishing Winter 2006 11


Bob Izumi is the host of The Real Fishing Show.

By Bob Izumi

GETTING A JOB in the outdoors In my line of work I get to meet a lot of people and it seems that everyone has a question to ask about fishing. People ask me about my favourite baits, what rods and reels I use, where to go fishing and so on. But without a doubt, the question I get asked most often has to do with how to get a job in the fishing or outdoors business... Let me start by saying that if you are working, don’t quit your day job. If you’re still in school, stay there and take marketing or business courses so that you are aware of how general business works. The bottom line is that the fishing and outdoor industries are businesses and the more you know about how businesses operate, the more valuable you will be. Having said that, there are a number of outdoors-related jobs available in Canada and one of the most popular and respected is that of Conservation Officer. For this work you should ideally have a degree in fisheries or fish and wildlife management and some type of

related field experience. You should also be comfortable dealing with people, sometimes in tense situations. A love of the outdoors is essential and you need to be willing to work long hours, often late at night and in remote locations. But, if you’ve got the right attitude, the work can be very rewarding. There are also some fringe benefits to being a Conservation Officer. You’ll get to know some of the best fishing and hunting spots, you’ll meet a lot of people who share your passion for the outdoors and you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to protect Canada’s natural resources. There are lots of jobs available on the tackle and equipment side of the outdoors business, especially in sales, marketing and promotions. Like I said earlier, these companies, whether they are manufacturers, importers, distributors or sporting goods shops, are all in business to sell products and good sales people are extremely valuable to them. If selling isn’t your thing you can try the promotions side of the business. That could involve anything from producing television commercials to writing product catalogues to representing the company at trade shows, designing packaging for various outdoor products and so on. Guiding is a great way to make some extra money while refining your fishing skills and, in some cases, you can turn it

MNR tracking fish

into a full-time career. You can choose to be an independent guide or you can work for one of the hundreds of lodges or resorts across Canada. It’s a great way to get your feet wet in the industry. The most important aspect to being a great guide is keeping your guests happy - catching fish is secondary. In fact, a guide’s job is not just going out and showing people where the fish are, it’s making sure that they have a great outdoor experience. Another option is to try your hand at some outdoor writing. The Outdoor Writer’s of Canada is a great organization to get involved with if you want to pursue this career path. Start by submitting articles to your community newspapers, writing pieces for fishing club newsletters or offering your work to fishing websites. From there you can try writing for regional or national publications, or possibly even having your own outdoors book published. If you plan on trying your hand at being a writer, be warned, you’ll want to keep your regular job at least for a while. There aren’t a lot of publications in Canada to write for and the competition between writers can be stiff. But it is a great way to supplement your income while getting involved in the industry. So what would my recommendation be if you want a job in the outdoors? Well, first off, be prepared to pay your dues. You’ve got to be ready and willing to work extremely hard and to put in long hours if you want to be successful. In this day and age, competition for most good jobs is fierce and it’s even tougher in the relatively small outdoors marketplace. Don’t be afraid to get involved in any way that you can. Join clubs, do volunteer work, and get to know people who already work in the outdoors field. Finally, don’t expect to get rich. Working in an outdoors business is no different than working in any other business. You only get back what you’re willing to put in. ?

Real Fishing Winter 2006 13


JA NUA RY

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FE BRUARY

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24 6:42 - 8:42 AM 7:06 - 9:06 PM

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DON’T LET THE FREEZING LEVEL DIP BELOW YOUR ANKLES.

MARCH

9:06 - 11:06 AM 9:54 - 11:54 AM 10:42 - 12:42 AM 9:30 - 11:30 PM 10:18 - 12:18 PM 11:06 - 1:06 PM

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The Ice Dragon™ Boot: Waterproof oiled nubuck leather

MONDAY

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11 7:30 - 9:30 AM 7:54 - 9:54 PM

18 1:54 - 3:54 AM 2:18 - 4:18 PM

®

and mesh • Fully seam-sealed construction • Dri-Lex moisture 21

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wicking lining • Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation rated to -43°C ThermaShield™ frost plug • Removable EVA footbed • Vibram® rubber sole with lug tread • 800-MA BOYLE or columbia.com

4:18 - 6:18 AM 4:42 - 6:42 PM

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Real Fishing Winter 2006 15


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

By Dave Taylor

ALLIGATOR

Y

ou’re fishing someplace along the Gulf Coast or A t l a n t i c seaboard, or maybe you are taking some time away from angling to play a game of golf when suddenly you become aware that you are not alone. Gliding silently along in the water is an alligator. Thirty years ago this would have been a remarkable experience but today it is almost commonplace. Most likely you will note its presence and then return to your sport. While it is true that ‘gators have eaten people, attacks are rare and usually perpetuated on small children by medium to large alligators. Wildlife officials in all the states where ‘gators are common are pretty good at removing troublesome crocodilians from areas frequented by humans, so the chances of you being in any danger are pretty remote.

Alligators are members of the crocodile family. There are 23 species of crocs living in the world today, the largest and most dangerous being the saltwater crocs of Australia and the South Seas, and the Nile crocodile of Africa. These are people-eaters. Most of the other species are generally not thought to be serious threats. The American alligator is one of two species of ‘gator found in the world. The other is the Chinese alligator. Alligators are unique among crocodilians in that they are can tolerate colder temperatures than other members of the family. These are the only these two croc species to occur well outside the range of the tropics. In North America alligators have been found as far north as Chesapeake Bay and are quite common along the Atlantic coast, south of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. Alligators are, for the most part, freshwater crocodilians. They will do okay in brackish water and they can be found in coastal marshes and mangrove swamps, but they generally avoid saltwater. In Florida, a croc-like animal seen in the ocean is almost certainly going to be an American crocodile and not an alligator. To be sure, look at its snout. Crocodiles have narrow snouts while alligators have broad, rounded snouts. In Central America you might also come across caimans, which fall somewhere in appearance between crocodiles and alligators. American alligators were once classed as threatened but tough laws protecting them, combined with the growth of alligator farms, have brought the

species back. There is an estimated population of well over a million wild alligators and at least 350,000 in alligator farms. Licensed hunters kill about 30,000 to 40,000 alligators each year. Female alligators are good parents. They guard the nest, which is a mound of vegetation scraped up on the shore. The rotting vegetation helps to warm and incubate the eggs. Typically there are 30 to 50 eggs per nest although nests with up to 100 eggs have been found. When the young are about to hatch, the female hears their calls and opens up the nest. She then carries the hatchlings to the water. The female alligator will stand guard over the young for several months. It is not a good idea to mimic a baby ‘gator, as this will bring adults to the youngsters’ defense! Alligators eat a variety of animals, depending on their size. Babies eat insects. Larger alligators consume larger prey. Turtles, raccoons, possums, fish and even deer are all on the menu. ‘Gators grow rapidly in the first four years of life - about 30 centimeters per year - then their growth slows. Males will eventually reach a length of well over two meters and females just under that. Breeding occurs when the female is about 1.8 meters long. She is likely to be 16 to 18 years old before this happens. ‘Gators can live to be well over 70 years old. Sixty five million years ago alligators and crocodiles survived the asteroid crash that doomed the dinosaurs and today they can give us all a glimpse into that vanished world. ?

Real Fishing Winter 2006 17


Steve May is the Project Coordinator for the Grand River Fisheries Management Plan. When not working to improve local fisheries he is fly casting over local rivers or teaching people about fly fishing.

By Stephen May

Go BIG or Go Home

First ice—the best fishing of the year. Every species goes on a feeding rampage, so it’s something no fisherman should miss.

While it is true that it is possible to catch huge fish on tiny flies, day in and day out meaty offerings attract more large fish. Bigger brown trout, bass, musky and northern pike will usually take a supersized bite over a tiny morsel.

Got all your gear? Then head over to Bass Pro Shops® at Vaughan Mills. Our selection makes gearing up for ice fishing easy. Coveralls, glomitts, boots, creepers, shelters, augers, heaters, scoops—it’s all here, along with poles, tipups, line, lures and more. And every single item is backed by our exclusive Low Price Guarantee. Bass Pro Shops at Vaughan Mills and first ice. Can it get any better? We don’t think so either. Come visit our Toronto location today: Hwy 400 and Rutherford Rd. One Bass Pro Mills Drive Vaughan, ON • (905) 761-4000 Hours: Mon–Sat 9am–10pm, Sun 10am–7pm Your

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As a fly angler this is both a blessing and a curse. It means that you don’t have to try and thread microscopic flies onto spider web tippets but, chucking a half chicken dinner at a fish with the wrong type of equipment can be equally frustrating and tiring. You may say, “Well then, why don’t I just use a baitcaster?” There are a few reasons why flies are an excellent option to casting baits. Feathers and fur give you the option of building your baits to your own specifications. Size, color and profile can all be controlled at the tying bench.

You can match the exact size and profile of local baitfish with your flies. Your baits don’t have to be purchased at your local tackle shop or be imported from Finland or Arkansas. There is also the sense of pride in building a bait that fools a trophy fish. Baits made from painted, hard plastic or balsa wood have some limitations. Once a fish touches it, they know it is a fake. Why else do you think there are three sets of treble hooks dangling from bigger crankbaits and stickbaits! With soft flowing, natural materials you only need one or two hooks to get solidly hooked up because the fish hold on to natural feeling baits longer. The movement of soft materials is also impossible to imitate with hard baits or even soft plastics. These light, natural materials just come alive in the water with the slightest current. It is this unique action that makes getting out the heavy duty fly rods worthwhile. With big flies you do have to beef up to the right equipment. The right equipment depends on “how big is big”. For brook trout fishing on a small stream, going big might mean using a threeinch fly and a 5-weight outfit. For

musky, a full 12-weight tarpon rod might be in order to fire out flies in the eight to twelve-inch range. Generally, when you are throwing big stuff, an 8weight rod with a matching reel and line will handle the job. This type of equipment is well suited to larger flies and the bigger fish that eat them. Many people are surprised when they ask how big is big for brown trout. I commonly throw six to eight-inch flies for these fish on my local river. The reason for this is that they work! A couple of years ago I was fishing for pike with six to seven-inch minnowimitating flies. The pike we were looking for had eaten brown trout of up to 14-inches long off of our clients’ lines in previous days. After fishing for a while, my friend, Tim, had a “bump” and he though the fish missed the fly. Finishing his retrieve, there was an 8inch brown trout on his 7-inch fly! What a greedy little fish. So a fly really can’t be too big in my opinion. Smallmouth bass are another aggressive species. When I am musky fishing with 10-inch flies it’s common to have bass take a run at the fly, and some of these smallmouth are pretty impressive specimens. So the next time working tiny flies gets you down, tie on the biggest fly in your box and who knows, you may end up hooked on big flies and the biggest fish in the river. ?

Real Fishing Winter 2006 19


www.wfn.tv

ALL FISHING, ALL THE TIME Are you one of those anglers who just can’t get enough fishing? Well now there’s a television station just for you. The World Fishing Network ("WFN") is scheduled to launch North America’s first, 24 hour a day, fishing television destination in December, 2005. Brought to you by Insight Sports, WFN responds to the television interests of the more than 4 million recreational and sport fishing enthusiasts across Canada with programming that includes an entertaining mix of sport, tournament, instructional, destination and fishing lifestyle programming. WFN's schedule of Canadian programming includes: Bob Izumi's Real Fishing, The Fish'n Canada Show, Adventures North and others including The Complete Angler, Sportfishing BC, Canadian Sportfishing, Going Fishing TV and Good Fishing. WFN will also feature the best in American fishing programming with Good Fishing, hosted by fishing legend, Babe Winkelman; The Scott Martin Challenge, which pits anglers in a 1-on-1 match fishing competion; Classic Patterns, an instructional show that features the top tournament anglers in the sport and other shows including George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing, Hooked on Fishin' with Mark Goines and Fishing University. In 2006, WFN will also feature a variety of original programming. The depth and breadth of WFN's program line-up is sure to make the channel an exciting and authoritative destination for all Canadian fishing enthusiasts. World Fishing Network - 184 Pearl St., Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1L5

NEW ONTARIO STEELHEAD RECORD The Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters have officially verified that a 40.68 pound rainbow trout, caught off the shores of Little Current on September 21, is a new Ontario record. The monster rainbow trout surpasses the previous Ontario record, caught in 1975 near Midland, by over 11- pounds. Anglers Bruce and Joanne Vendramin, of Sudbury, caught the giant rainbow on a 300 series AC Shiner and six-pound test line while downrigger fishing last September 21st near Fisher Harbour. “We're just happy to go out fishing. We never thought of catching a record fish ourselves," said 43-year old Joanne Vendramin who, for the past 15 years, has enjoyed hundreds of family fishing trips with her husband and two boys. The Vendramins weighed the fish on a digital scale and were shocked when it indicated a weight of between 39 and 40-pounds. Mr. Vendramin knew that the Ontario record rainbow was in the 29-pound range so, even if his scales were off a bit, the fish would still likely surpass the existing record. Fish submitted to the Ontario Fish Registry must be weighed and verified by an official agency so the Vendramins loaded up their boat and headed to the post office in Little Current to

Real Fishing Winter 2006 21


have the fish’s weight officially certified. The trout was so long, 39-inches, that it was difficult to get an accurate weight as the fish was hanging off the edges of the scale. In the end it was official, the rainbow weighed 40.68-pounds, over 10-pounds heavier than the previous Ontario record and over five-pounds over the existing Canadian record of 35.12-pounds.

ROLAND MARTIN CALLS IT A CAREER

Roland Martin, one of tournament bass fishing's most successful and recognizable anglers, has announced his retirement from competitive bass fishing. It's time," Martin said. "I'm 65 and my fishing has gone to pot. I haven't done very well. I'm a really proud person, but I came to the conclusion that I can no longer compete with guys like (Michael) Iaconelli because they're just fishing better than I am. It's just the consistently crummy fishing I've had lately. Plus, I had a glorious fall season without worrying about tournaments. I killed a couple of moose in Alaska and a big elk in Utah. And I did all kinds of neat fishing. I went tuna fishing in Mexico. And I'm really enjoying myself. So I felt like it was time." Martin began tournament fishing in 1970, finishing second in his first B.A.S.S. event. He then ran off an incredible, legend-building string of finishing either first or second in 14 of his first 23 events. His resume includes a record 19 B.A.S.S. victories, a record 19 runner-up finishes and a record nine B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles. 22

Real Fishing Winter 2006

ONTARIO PROTECTS LAKES AND RIVERS AGAINST

INVASIVE SPECIES In October of 2005, the Ontario government announced a ban on the possession of live invasive fish species and on the importation of live leeches in an attempt to make lakes and rivers cleaner and healthier. “Invasive species are a very real environmental and economic threat to the Great Lakes, inland lakes and rivers," said Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay. "It is crucial that we protect our natural environment, and recreational and commercial fisheries from these species." The new provincial regulations prohibit the possession of live invasive fish, including bighead, black, silver and grass carp, all species of snakehead, and round and tubenose goby. Carp species that are currently sold in food markets must be imported freshly killed or frozen. The regulation also prohibits the import of live leeches, which are commonly used as bait for fishing. The ban does not apply to common carp, a popular species caught by recreational anglers. At least 180 non-native species are already in Ontario lakes and streams and, once established, they are difficult and expensive to eradicate. The Ministry is encouraging the public to report violations to their local MNR office either in person or by calling 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free at any time.

PIER ANGLER SETS

STATE RECORD 16-year-old Jesse Lockowitz from Cape Carteret, North Carolina, was doing a little tarpon fishing off the Bogue Inlet Pier near Morehead City, NC last September when he hooked into the fish of a lifetime. Jesse was fishing with a live bluefish hooked to a balloon rig at about 6:30 p.m. when he had a hit from a large tarpon. After a 2-hour battle, the 83-inch tarpon was landed and weighed, tipping the scales at 175-pounds and surpassing the previous state record, set in 1978, by 11-pounds. Just one year earlier Jesse had hooked and landed a 90-pound tarpon in the same area. It just goes to show that you don’t need a boat to catch big fish!

CATCH BOB ON THE TUBE! Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show Schedule December 31 January 7 January 14 January 21 January 28 February 4 February 11

Red Fisher’s Last Cast Lac Seul Walleye Fishing Ontario Heli-Fishing Fishing at Port Dover/ Kids,Cops & Canadian Tire Fishing Days Northwestern Ontario Walleyes Comedy on Ice with Jimmy Flynn/Ice Fishing Guru Dave Genz Sunset Cove Variety

February 18 February 25 March 4 March 11 March 18 March 2 5 April 1

Ontario Tourism Fishing Trip Contest Winners Largemouth Bass in Ontario Thornley on Ice/Lake Simcoe Ice Fishing Lake Ontario Salmon Southern Ontario Musky Fishing/ Lake Erie Smallmouth Elliot Lake - Remembering Red Slip Bobber Smallmouth

Check your local television listings for stations and times.

BIG BASS ZONE By Bill Siemantel and Michael Jones Bill Siemantel has spent the last 25-years chasing big bass and has caught over 300 bass exceeding 10-pounds. Co-author Michael Jones is a professional journalist and fishing innovator who pioneered the concept of finesse fishing for bass. Together they provide fresh and innovative ideas to help anglers shift their focus from merely catching bass to consistently catching “hawgs.” The book covers how to locate big bass “spots” and offers innovative fishing strategies along with detailed information on big fish bait choices and presentations. Big Bass Zone provides anglers with the insight and confidence they need to stop merely fishing for bass and to start fishing for the huge, trophy sized fish we all dream of. Softcover: $24.95 US ISBN: 0-88317-313-1 Stoeger Publishing, #200 - 17603 Indian Head Hwy., Accokeek MD 20607-2501 1-301-283-6300 • www.stoegerpublishing.com

THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO FLY FISHING Second Edition - By Michael D. Shook If you’ve ever thought about trying fly fishing but didn’t know where to start, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fly Fishing is for you. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to fly fishing with detailed information on all aspects of the sport. This second edition includes the latest information on reading water; strategies for fishing in rivers, streams and below dams; selecting flies, fly tying, playing and releasing fish as well as a look at the basics of fishing for most of the popular species of sportfish. Softcover: $18.95 US ISBN: 1-59257-312-6 Alpha Books, 800 East 96th St, Indianapolis IN 46240 1-708-366-8389 • www.idiotsguides.com Real Fishing Winter 2006 23


Make this the year you catch a fish that can For more fishing events, visit www.realfishing.com/event.cfm TORONTO INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW January 14-22, 2006 The National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place Toronto, ON 905-951-0009 http://www.torontoboatshow.com

TORONTO SPORTSMEN'S SHOW March 15 - 19, 2006 National Trade Centre, Exhibition Place Toronto, ON 905-361-2677 www.sportsmensshows.com/Toronto

WEST NIPISSING ICE FISHING TOURNAMENT January 21, 2006 Lake Nipissing Sturgeon Falls, ON 1-888-836-9996 www.icefishingtournament.com

EDMONTON BOAT & SPORTSMEN'S SHOW March 16 - 19, 2006 Northlands, Agricom Edmonton, AB 403-245-9008 www.sportsmensshows.com/Edmonton

QUEBEC CITY HUNTING, FISHING AND CAMPING SHOW March 16 - 19, 2006 Centre de Foires Quebec City, PQ 514-866-5409 www.sportsmensshows.com/Quebec

throw YOU back

12TH ANNUAL LAKE SIMCOE ICE FISHING CONTEST February 4, 2006 Lake Simcoe Keswick ON 1-800-506-9911 www.originalicefishingcontest.com CALGARY BOAT & SPORTSMEN'S SHOW February 9 - 12, 2006 Roundup Centre, Stampede Park Calgary, AB 403-245-9008 http://www.sportsmensshows.com/Calgary SPRING FISHING SHOW February 16 - 19, 2006 International Centre Mississauga, ON 416-764-1574 www.springfishingshow.ca

Brian Goto Burlington ON Smallmouth Bass

Mario Lefebvre Laval QC Carp

Rocky Madsen Pefferlaw ON Perch

John Percy Guelph ON Brown Trout

OTTAWA BOAT, SPORTSMEN'S & COTTAGE SHOW February 23 - 26, 2006 Lansdowne Park Ottawa, ON 1-888-695-2677 http://www.sportsmensshows.com/Ottawa CANADIAN ICE FISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS February 25 - 26, 2006 Lake Simcoe, ON Phone 905-722-5425 www.cifc.org

Wayne Ogrodnick Calgary AB Walleye

Rob Hyatt North Bay ON Muskellunge

MONTREAL HUNTING, FISHING AND CAMPING SHOW February 23 - 26, 2006 Place Bonaventure Montreal, PQ 514-866-5409 www.sportsmensshows.com/Montreal SEND US A YOUR PHOTO OF YOUR BEST CATCH!

Real Fishing Winter 2006

there’s always something that will help you land “the big one” at the Toronto Spring Fishing Show. Try the latest gear, learn the most effective techniques from top pros, and get ready for the season that fishing legends are made of.

SELECTION SEE A HUGE G BOATS. OF FISHIN W AGE OF SHO T N A V D A E TAK SPECIALS! E SPRING ONLY AT TH SHOW. FISHING

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SPRING FISHING SHOW February 16-19, 2006 Thursday, February 16th, 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, February 17th, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, February 18th, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, February 19th, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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24

NO MATTER HOW EXPERIENCED YOU ARE,


Help Protect Ontario’s Natural Heritage Report Resource Abuse 1-877-TIPS-MNR

Today’s ice anglers are living through the most rapid advancements ever witnessed by hard-water enthusiasts. In fact, some have already made a case suggesting that the sport of ice fishing is seeing more tackle innovations, high tech equipment, specialized clothing and on-ice transportation developments than any other facet of recreational angling. Others are quick to point out, however, that you can have all the fancy gadgets and equipment in the world but they won’t put more fish ‘on-ice’ unless you have a good, sound knowledge of basic ice fishing fundamentals. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the hot tackle for 2006 along with some tried and true ice fishing principles that will help you to be more successful on the ice this winter. MOBILITY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Have you ever witnessed someone fishing out of season, night hunting for deer or moose, illegally dumping waste or littering on public lands, but didn’t know what to do about it? The Natural Resources TIPS Reporting Line is now available for you to report resource abuse when you see it. The new Natural Resources TIPS Reporting Line offers all Ontarians and Ontario resource users – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – the opportunity to help protect our natural heritage. If you see or

suspect an act of resource abuse, call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources toll-free TIPS Line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR. Your information will be used to help conservation officers investigate violations. Ontario’s natural resources are precious. The next time you see someone taking over-limits of fish, small game or waterfowl, illegally removing firewood or trees from public land, or witness any other abuse of our natural resources, please call 1-877-TIPS-MNR.

1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667)

When all is said and done, one of the young man or young woman. If you are most important factors to success on the prepared to cover lots of ground, or ice, ice is your ability to cover lots of hard and drill plenty of holes, then the water. Mobility is the key to success. For the modern ice angler it has become relatively easy to pick up and Portable, pull-over design ice huts such try elsewhere so there really aren’t too many excuses for as HT’s Polar Escape Magnum (two people) staying put when you ain’t or Polar Escape X-Press (one person) have gettin’ bit. Waiting around become all-the-rage for anglers who insist for the fish to come to you on fishing from the comforts of a hut yet while ice fishing in one spot realize that mobility usually means more all day is akin to anchoring your boat in the summer fish. If you don’t enjoy facing the elements and sitting there all day head-on then one of these portable huts is hoping the fish will come. the ticket. They also enable you to store all For today’s success-driveyour tackle and gear in them while you pull n anglers neither scenario the hut easily to your next fishing hole. will do. So go, go to the fish

rewards shall be bountiful! Knowing when to move or to when to

Ice Huts

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Real Fishing Winter 2006 27


Knowing when to move or to when to stay put can only be fully realized with experience. As a general rule, less travel is required when fishing for large fish such as lake trout, whitefish or pike. More searching is often the key to success when chasing smaller fish such as yellow perch or black crappie. I seldom fish the same hole for much longer than 15 minutes when after panfish, yet will often wait it out for up to an hour – if I have confidence in the area – before moving to a new location when chasing larger fish. This is not to say that I won’t move from hole to hole when searching for those big critters. In fact, drilling a bunch of holes before you ever wet a line can be an efficient method to cover the hard-water at various locations around the lake.

TIP-UPS Tip-ups like HT’s Polar models are ideal if you want a stationary presentation. The Original Polar has a line spool that sits right in the water but is guaranteed against freeze-up thanks to its lubricated shaft. The new Polar Therm model comes with a cover to greatly reduce ice up of your hole and a telescoping flag which is great for lakes with heavy snow cover. If you prefer your bait to be jigged by the wind, opt for the Windlass model. The Windlass has an adjustable “fin” that allows you to finetune the amount of jigging action imparted to your bait.

28

Real Fishing Winter 2006

Lit’l Minnow Jig

Mooselook Wobbler

Glow Ice Jig

BIG FISH CALL FOR A DIFFERENT APPROACH When fishing for larger fish, it can pay big dividends to utilize the two-hole approach. Begin by setting a tip-up rigged with live or dead minnows (wherever legal). In clear water for big finicky fish, I have found that lighter line and natural presentations like a simple hook, split shot and minnow rig are tops for your tip up. This is particularly true for lake trout, which often suspend while chasing baitfish. If you mark minnows 20 or 30-feet from bottom then that’s where you should place your single minnow rig. If live bait is not an option, a clear or white 1/8 oz tube jig on a Windlass tip-up can be a hot winter bait. More often than not walleye, pike and whitefish hang out right near bottom, so place your presentation near here for these fish most of the time. In murkier or deeper water, try experimenting with various brightly colored jigs such as the Lit’l Minnow, that sits horizontally in the water and is ideal for the tip up rig when you add a small plastic grub or minnow. After you get the tip up ready, grab an ice rod and start visiting the various other holes you have already drilled. When chasing large fish you generally don’t require as many rods as when you are chasing smaller panfish, but my preference is still to have at least three or four big ice sticks when chasing lakers, whitefish, walleye or pike. I’m not the type of angler who has the patience to just sit and wait for my tip up flag to go

First Strike Minnows

back with a huge eight-inch tube. Winter walleye love jigs just like they do the rest of the year, so you just have to have plenty of them on hand in various sizes and colors. Glow jigs can be used with live bait or your favorite plastic trailer and are the answer for low light conditions in murky or deeper waters. The glow feature is activated with a camera flash or other light source. Many walleye anglers now count on glow jigs in low light conditions during the evening or early morning bites.

up, so I work other holes continually while the tip-up is doing its job. Having an assortment of rods in your pail as you move along from hole to hole means that you are prepared for conditions as they come up during the day – reducing down time and increasing your odds of finding fish and getting bit!

TACKLE I find it helpful to separate my big fish tackle from my small or panfish arsenal of equipment. In the big-fish box I have an assortment of standard ice fishing spoons which deliver a vertical presentation to the fish below. But, when these don’t work, the horizontal appearance offered by swimming baits such as the First Strike Minnow or Sweet Cheeks soft jigging minnow can be the ticket. There has been such a surge in the development of unique new ice lures in recent years however, that I find my ice boxes growing exponentially every season. One of the hottest new baits on the market is the nose-heavy Badd Boyz that was originally designed for

Badd Boyz w i n t e r whities, but is now made in sizes for a variety of fish. I slide a small plastic grub or minnow over the single hook and twitch it right on bottom most of the time, barely lifting it up and then dropping it right back down again. In heavily fished areas a different and unique type of presentation is often required and blade baits fit the bill for a variety of gamefish. These horizontal lures can be tipped with a whole minnow or just the head. Their flash and vibration are especially effective at attracting and sometimes convincing big fish to strike. If you find these baits are bringing fish in below your hole but they aren’t biting, do what the Swee t Chee ks

summertime bass fisherman does when a fish comes up and misses the lure - grab another rod with a soft, natural bait like a tube and let it slowly flutter down the hole. Speaking of tube jigs, this underutilized winter presentation is responsible for my largest winter pike ever – a 24 - pound brute pulled through the ice on New Years Day a few years

Other jigs to toss into your box include Lit’l Minnow Jigs and Glider Jigs. Spoons too can be effective for winter eyes and the old reliable JigA-Whopper Hawger Spoon tipped with a minnow head has stood the test of time wherever walleyes roam under hard water. When walleye fishing is tough though, I revert to finesse tactics normally reserved for the walleye’s smaller cousin, the yellow perch. This all-too-often overlooked approach is ideal for the typically tough-mid day bite, and involves light line, ultra light rods and smaller jigs. There’s nothing quite like fishing with a bunch of anglers when the bite is off for everyone … until

Glider Jig you grab some of that smaller perch tackle and convince those reluctant walleye to inhale your tiny baits and no-one else’s!

WINTER PANFISH Perch, bluegill and crappies are a different game out on the hard water


hook. To the bottom hook add a small m i n n o w, minnow head or the ultimate panfish bait, live, juicy maggots. B e s i d e s spoons, you’ll need to stock up on ice jigs. W h e n searching the tackle store shelves, you won’t be disappointed at the assortment available so pick up a variety of

PANFISH BAITS

and call for a different line-up of tools to catch them. For instance, using the same rods that you would use for big fish would hamper your ability to detect subtle strikes from these little guys and detract from the thrill of feeling them battle. Sensitivity to detect light biters in shallow or deep waters with a variety of lures is key, therefore light action ice rods and line are called for. All in all, more and more serious winter panfish enthusiasts are utilizing multiple rods throughout the day, not only to facilitate quick and easy lure changes, but to take advantage of the characteristics that each rod offers. If multiple rods are not an option for you, check into the spring bobber systems that attach to most ice rod tips. These extremely sensitive strike indicators can turn a medium/heavy ice rod into a decent panfish rod. Light line is key when you are fishing for winter panfish partially because clear lakes become even clearer during the winter when no wind can disturb the bottom and algae/phytoplankton growth is limited due to reduced light penetration and cold water. The other, perhaps even greater reason for light line, is that it allows the small lure to do its job. Heavy line can completely hinder the quivering action the bait is intended to produce. I can’t recall how many times I have let anglers try some of my hot small baits while out on the ice, yet they fail to produce because the line and rods they are using are meant for fish two or three times the size we were after. So my advice is to use a maximum of fourpound test for larger panfish lures but stick with one to three-pound test for the small baits you use most of the time.

Whenever I am trying to describe the qualities of good winter perch, crappie or bluegill baits I use the expression, “heavy for their size”. To me, that’s key; small baits that sink quickly in order to get down to the fish’s strike zone faster. Invariably panfish gather in schools or groups and one of the endearing qualities of fishing for them is that usually when you find one you’ll find more. In order to survive within the school, panfish are forced to compete with one another and the quicker you can get your bait back down amongst them, the more aggressive they will often remain. Spoons are a must-have search lure for panfish and a wide assortment of small to medium sized ones in various colors is required. Generally speaking, single hooked spoons are best worked as is – often without even adding an attractor like a maggot or minnow. Other spoons, usually those equipped with a treble, should be rigged with a dropper line and small hook. The easiest way to do this is to grab you favorite, thin bodied small spoons, remove the treble hook and add a chain rig or a two to four-inch piece of heavy mono with a small single or treble

styles, sizes and colors. Two of my absolute favorite panfish ice jigs are HT Enterprises’ Marmooska and Alien Jigs. The incredible Marmooska jig, originating from Russia, has been around for decades in Eastern Europe and was widely introduced into North America in the early 1990s. I first found out about this super-heavy little jig when I was competing in the World Ice Fishing Championships in 1992 as part of Team Canada - when the Swedes kicked our butts with their fascinating micro tackle. Since that humiliating defeat, a Marmooska/maggot combo has become my go-to bait for the finickiest perch and

Alien Jig

Jig-A-Whopper Hawger Spoon

Marmooska one is tied on to a perch rod at all times. The other bait – the newer Alien Jig – is a little larger yet incredibly heavy for its size and it often accounts for the 12 to 15-inch perch I crave. I am convinced that the amazing, bulging red eyes on these jigs entice perch to home in on them as they are drawn to the vibration of the quivering jig and maggot combo.

Real Fishing Winter 2006 31


A FEW TIPS Now that we have had a quick overview of some ice fishing tackle and techniques available this winter, here are three down and dirty tips that can help you ice more fish with your new goodies. DON’T OVER-JIG Probably the biggest mistake most anglers make, not only for panfish like perch and crappie but also for larger fish like trout and walleye, is that they just jig up and down too darned much. Certainly there are times when aggressive fish will hammer a spoon jerked way up and down but the odds will be more in your favor if you reserve this method just to attract fish into the area or as a last resort before you move. Instead of an aggressive up and down jigging motion, try shaking your bait with a nervous twitch-like movement of your wrist or move it slowly up and down so that your rodtip is only elevated a few inches. Try swimming your lure or bait from one

side of your hole to the other. Try a slow gentle lift - then hold the rod out steady, straight in front of you. Nothing? Let the bait free fall, hitting bottom and attracting fish to the plume of silt, then hold your rod still just an inch or so off bottom; quiver again, then hold still until WHAM, that 15-inch perch or 20-pound trout just can’t stand it any longer and engulfs your little bait. FEEL YOUR LURE Become one with it! Always be able to ‘feel’ the weight of your jig or lure. If you can’t - it’s too light. Even if it’s real windy and your line is flying out to the side, adjust with the conditions and grab a heavier bait. Same thing goes when you’re fishing really deep and can’t properly feel the exact weight of the lure. Know precisely how ‘heavy’ your bait feels at all times, so that whenever there is any extra weight you know about it and are ready to set hook. BE A LINE WATCHER You’ve heard the bass and walleye pros say this a hundred times. It also applies big time to the ice angler. If you see your line move slowly from one side of the hole towards the other, set the hook. If you see a sudden, but very light kink in the line, set the hook. If your line kind of just tightens up or seems to stretch a bit, set the hook! If you feel a sudden weightless sensation along with some slack in your otherwise taught line? Man, if you don’t hurry up and set the hook after all these hits, I’m gonna come over to your hole and set it myself!

Wil Wegman was a member of Team Canada at the 1992 World Ice Fishing Championships, has several top ten finishes in the Canadian Ice Fishing Championships and has been teaching ice fishing courses since 1987.

ON ICE ELECTRONICS Powerful, color fish finders like the Lowrance Ice Machines enable anglers to quickly determine bottom depth, structure and presence of baitfish or game fish. The Lowrance Map Ice Machine even comes with the same built in GPS mapping system that has been so well received by the openwater boat anglers. Hand–held GPS units, however, still remain most popular with ice anglers and allow them to literally locate the exact same hole they used successfully the week before. Underwater cameras such as the popular Aqua Vu have also added a whole new dimension to ice fishing and now units are made specifically with the ice angler in mind. Most anglers who have used these units for a few years will tell you that the best part of being able to watch fish on camera is not that you actually end up always catching more, but you always end up learning more about the fish. Some even say they probably catch fewer fish because they are so fascinated by observing the underwater behavior of the fish’s world that they focus less on the fishing and more on the watching.

CONSERVATION RULES… Even In Winter! With all the modern day conveniences and high tech tackle available to the ice angler today, hard water enthusiasts can, with hard work and a willingness to learn, find and catch more fish through the ice than ever before. Fortunately, many are also realizing the importance of conservation tools like catch and release and selective harvest. Many hidden, hard-to-get-to, back country lakes with seemingly great winter fishing can be ruined in a few short years if too many anglers harvest too many fish. In some cases, even harvesting allowable daily catch limits can be excessive. In most cases, voluntarily releasing larger walleye, lake trout, pike or other big gamefish is not just important, it’s vital to the future of the fishery. Even perch, crappie and bluegill anglers understand that releasing those big pregnant females is a vital contribution to the local fishery and will result in better fishing for all of us! Real Fishing Winter 2006 33


Last summer the good folks at S.C. Johnson held a contest offering the chance to win one of ten spots on an all-inclusive fishing trip to Bark Lake, Ontario where the winners would spend a day fishing with Bob Izumi and some of his fellow professional tournament anglers. In early October the ten winners were treated to the fishing adventure of a lifetime as they traveled to the lake and spent a glorious fall day fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye. We think the smiles on the winners’ faces said all that needed to be said about the trip, but a few of them decided to let us know what they thought of the trip in their own words.

On board the bus to Bark Lake.

Hello! It was fabulous to meet all the wonderful people from across the country! Bob, Wayne and all their friends were so warm and friendly that I felt right at home. I really appreciated all the hospitality you all have shown us. Thank you to everyone at Izumi Outdoors who helped to make this mini dream of mine come true. I cannot express in words how much the experience has meant to me. This is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my years on Earth. Thank you so much for making one of my dreams come true, to me this trip was absolutely priceless!

Hello to all at Bob Izumi Real Fishing Inc. My name is Peter Resch, recent contest winner of the S.C. Johnson Bob Izumi Fishing Trip to Bark Lake, Ontario. When I found out I won (my fiancée, Melinda, entered for me), I really did not want to go. Why would I want to travel all the way back east to fish for one day? And there would have to be a catch winning a contest. Melinda assured me that everything was paid for and that it would be good just to get away from work for three days. She was right!! I also got to see my sister and nephew, who I haven't seen in two years (they live half an hour from the airport in Maple). First off I would like thank Janet Yates for the great job of organizing my trip. Also Ambassador Travel for great flight times and help when I asked for it. Bob Izumi Outdoors is a first class company starting with Fred & Trish who both treated all the winners equal and with respect. They were always there when we needed anything. The bus was awesome--we got picked up by a polite and good driver. Bob & Wayne were great and lots of fun to be around. The other fishing pros: Ward, Carlos, Vince and Eric were also a pleasure to be around, and I am sure we all got taught a few things about fishing. What can I say about the representatives from S.C. Johnson, Anna & Garry. They were very professional, social and down to earth. My friends say it sounds like this trip was worth thousands of dollars. I say it was priceless. It is a trip I will remember for a lifetime and it was a great experience to travel and have fun with the other nine winners from across Canada. It makes me proud to be a Canadian when something like this all comes together. I keep telling Melinda-from now on she should put her name into this contest and others too, and maybe she could experience a time like I had. I met a lot of new people and new friendships out of this. Thanks again and I hope I never left anyone’s name out. Well.....gotta go now to enter some more contests. Excellent job everyone. First class!

34

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Thanks again. Celina Gray Edmonton, AB

Peter Resch Langley.B.C.

Cheers, Qué Banh Victoria, BC

Hello, I would like this e-mail to be passed on to the persons involved with the “S.C.J. 2005 Bob Izumi Fishing Contest”. I won that contest and recently got back from that trip. It was THE most fun I have had in many years! We were treated so well! I can’t thank you enough! It was such a nice treat to get away from my 4 teenagers, I love them and all, but it was such a fantastic break! I learned so much about fishing and all the pro’s were informative, patient and fun and what beautiful scenery! It was planned out SO well. It was wonderful to have everything taken care of for me - the hotel and bus and lodge and food and wine. Please pass on my sincere thank you to Fred, Trish and Bob and Wayne and Ward and all the rest! I had such a wonderful time!! Even the hangover was almost fun! I just wanted to thank you for the chance to win such a great prize.

Anna Lucia Martinez and Garry Samyn of S.C. Johnson pose with a Bark Lake Walleye.

Above right, S.C. Johnson contest winners and hosts. From left, Wayne Izumi, Peter Resch - Langley BC, Christian Benoit - Quebec City QC, Jean Rivard - Gatineau QC, Dianne Mahar - Quispamsis NB, Andre Langlois - Saint-Hubert QC, Linda Ardiel - Edmonton AB, Chris Redko - Windsor ON, Bob Izumi, Qué Banh - Victoria BC, Celina Gray - Edmonton AB and Richard Demeter - Sechelt BC, Real Fishing Winter 2006 35


By Dave Hardie and Craig Blackie

I

n the pre-dawn darkness of a crisp November morning I pause, coffee cup to the mouth, ears tuned to the unmistakable squeaks and rattles of a boat trailer coming down the bumpy road to the boat launch. Our guide has arrived. The glow of his taillights reveals the sleek lines of the powerful vessel that is to provide safe passage through the swirling currents of the Niagara River. The powerful bow-mount trolling motor will hold us steady in the swift current at the behest of a skillful toe-tap from our guide, keeping our baits over structure and fish that are revealed by a console of state-of-the-art electronics. Inside the boat is a military assortment of rods, all rigged and ready for action, while a large rubber net awaits our quarry. The 200 HP motor towering over the stern is 36

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a quietly powerful and environmentally friendly 4-stroke capable of whisking us from one bite to another along this huge river. What took place over the next 8-hours was a blur of scales and fish slime. Concerns about stiff, cold fingers, busting bladders, and the demands of home and professional lives quickly faded into a roller-coaster of zipping drags and folded rods pointing into the emerald depths toward the flashes of huge bronze and silver fish. Water-cooler stories the following day were of battles with giant steelhead and brown trout in the swift runs and circling eddies of the river, and of countless pounding lake trout taken while riding the rolling swells and punishing chop of the Niagara Bar, where the river spills into

Lake Ontario. Although skeptics glanced sideways at each other, having stood around this water cooler with these same wind-burned fanatics on many a Monday morning, the photos that ‘ping’ into Inboxes later that day erased all doubt… While there is no question that great fishing was had that day, and on many others since, it is more difficult to convey the awe and wonder of the complete experience of fishing the Niagara River. You may be rolling your eyes right now, and for that I don’t entirely blame you. Most visitors to the area come for the falls which, although spectacular, are almost eclipsed by the neon glitz of the tourist traps that surround them. It is hard to imagine the impressive

scenery, solitude, and spectacular fishing that can be had within a few minutes drive of the commercial mayhem surrounding the falls themselves. However, just beyond the ‘Maid of the Mist’ dock, the river runs slick and fast between vertical walls almost totally devoid of fishable shoreline. This stretch the river, for all practical purposes, is unfishable. It continues to narrow downstream, picking up speed as it curves left before roaring into the first fishable water of the lower river, the Whirlpool. With the exception of jet-boats full of screaming tourists, the Whirlpool is inaccessible to boats, and is only fished from shore, although even this is not for the faint-of-heart. The pathway descending into the gorge is steep and in the winter it is absolutely treacherous. Only the fittest anglers make the climb back to their cars without stopping to “enjoy the view,” and only the most agile make the winter descent on two feet without hugging a few trees, or worse. We have experienced and witnessed some of the most spectacular headlong wipeouts on the first descent, leaving equipment and shattered rods scattered along the trail. Water levels at the Whirlpool can fluctuate by several meters per day, exposing slippery rocks as they fall or surprising unwary anglers as they rise. It is perhaps for these reasons that fishing pressure at the Whirlpool remains light for much of the year, especially considering the spectacular fishing and the great density of anglers within an hour’s drive of the Niagara. Below the Whirlpool the river makes a relatively straight run to an area known as Pebbly Beach, which is also accessible to shore anglers willing to descend an impressive steel staircase to the trail below. From Pebbly Beach downstream to the Queenston boat launch, the river is fast and somewhat turbulent, although well equipped and experienced boaters can access these waters. From Queenston down to the Niagara Bar at Lake Ontario, the river is swift, but relatively docile. Upstream of the falls, where the river runs down from Lake Erie, the scenery is less wild and spectacular. Here the river runs near ground level, through mostly channelized banks, and receives more boat traffic than the lower river. However, this stretch is becoming

Relative to the crowded “combat fishing” conditions on many Great Lakes tributaries, steelheading on the Niagara offers a long season and a range of fishing spots and options to both boat

the latter is by far the more popular for this species. Shore fishermen have numerous areas to fish including the Whirlpool, Pebbly Beach, Queenston, and throughout the Gorge. Boat anglers drift runs known as Queenston, Artpark, and the Gas Line where our guided trips during peak season typically boated 15 to 25 steelhead per day. It’s not just a numbers game either, since Niagara steelhead grow to impressive sizes, with monsters topping 20-pounds taken every year, and several fish in the teens taken every week during the peak seasons. Because of the popularity of the species, volumes have been written on techniques for shore and boat angling under every imaginable condition. Niagara steelheaders tend to bottombounce from boats, or float fish from shore. Float rods are of the standard type used on other Ontario rivers, while bottom bouncing rods are often six to seven-foot, medium-action spinning rods spooled with six-pound test line. A two to nine-foot fluorocarbon leader is necessary, especially when waters

and shore anglers. As a result, angling effort is spread across time and space so that Niagara steelheaders enjoy fantastic fishing under much less crowded conditions. Steelhead can be caught in the Niagara from September to June, with a fall peak from mid-November to late December and a spring peak in April and May. They are taken in both the upper and lower river, although

become crystal clear in the dead of winter. Roe is the bait of choice for much of the season (salmon eggs in early fall, brown trout eggs in late fall, and steelhead eggs during the rest of the season). Two exceptions are in the winter, when white streamer flies often out-produce roe, and in extremely clear conditions when small, single eggs are

famous as a trophy fishery for several species, muskellunge in particular, but more about that later. The take-home message here is that the Niagara River is a tremendous fishery for several species of spectacular gamefish, with numerous trophies taken every year. This is due, at least in part, to the “big river – big fish” phenomenon, as well as to the abundant forage and stocking assistance, largely from the United States. Moreover, the Niagara offers exciting year-round fishing in spectacular settings within a stone’s throw of Canada’s largest urban center and it is largely untapped! This article takes a species-by-species approach to help you to succeed in capitalizing on this phenomenal, yet overlooked, fishery.

Steelhead

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best. Other lures include large pink or orange worms and small wobbling plugs. Fly-fishing is catching on here as well, with increasing numbers of Niagara steelheaders using both one- and twohanded fly rods with either floating or sink-tip lines to present egg flies, Wooly Buggers, Zonkers and Clouser Minnows. As with float fishing and bottom bouncing, the key is to keep

the-dark flutter spoons or wobbling plugs. Fly fishing for these early-season chrome giants is also starting to catch on, as anglers fish sink-tip or full sinking shooting heads to drop a variety of streamer patterns into the swift runs. Chinooks in the upper 20-pound range are not uncommon, so the battles can be lengthy and spectacular in the fast water of the mighty Niagara. In most places the river is deep and wide, giving these

although spoons and spinners can be excellent. The Niagara Bar provides fairly good fishing throughout the winter and exceptionally good fishing in the spring, where bottom-bouncing with minnows or deep trolling with spoons and bodybaits pulled behind downriggers or Dipsey Divers can produce some spectacular results. On the Bar, bodybaits with strong actions tend to do best in the cold, early-spring conditions. Niagara browns strike with authority, fight valiantly and are arguably the most beautiful of the Niagara’s salmonoids, coming to net in a range of silvery to buttery-golden speckled hues.

Lake Trout

your fly close to bottom. Regardless of your chosen technique, the Niagara provides an excellent opportunity to go toe-to-toe with these powerful fish in the strong currents of a big river that is unrivalled by any waters east of the Rockies.

Chinook and Coho Salmon Coinciding with the start of the steelhead run in the fall, bright chrome Chinook and Coho salmon enter the lower Niagara to spawn, usually in early September, providing superb fishing straight through to November. Shore and boat anglers alike use a variety of techniques, including those intended for other species, to target these large salmon. Boat anglers tend to bottombounce three-way rigs, while shore anglers either bottom-bounce or float fish. Large chunks of cured salmon skein are often the best bait, although spoons and wobbling plugs can also be very productive. Early in the fall, while nights are still mild, some shore anglers make their way down to the Whirlpool in the evening to tempt huge silver salmon using glow-in38

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powerful salmon lots of room to run, so be sure to have plenty of backing.

Brown Trout Although typically taken incidentally while steelhead fishing during the fall, impressive numbers of brown trout have been taken by both shore and boat anglers over the past few years. Browns are fall spawners, and the fishing normally heats up in late October, although some individuals remain in the river all winter to gorge on the abundant shiners and smelt. Although the Whirlpool has been a top producer in recent years, browns are usually taken in the slower downstream runs, especially the Gas Line drift. Bottom bouncing or float fishing with brown trout and salmon roe is the favored technique,

Probably the most overlooked trophy fishery in the Niagara River is the tremendous opportunity to catch numbers of large lake trout. While some local anglers question the table quality of Niagara lakers, they are willing biters and strong, bulldogging fighters. They are often taken inadvertently by steelhead anglers, who tend to show disdain for the species in comparison to their intended quarry. Lake trout enter the river to spawn in October-November and linger around the Niagara Bar all winter. The season is closed (on the Canadian side) from October 1st to December 1st, but when it re-opens the lake trout fishery on the Niagara Bar is unrivaled by any south of the 60th parallel. Precise boat control and good electronics are the key to what can be non-stop action during the peak of the season, by allowing accurate presentation of baits at 20 to 60-feet

NIAGARA RIVER GUIDING First time visitors to the Niagara River may want to consider enlisting the services of a guide in order to get a feel for the river and the fishing styles employed on it. There are a number of guiding services available above and below the falls on both the Canadian and American sides of the Niagara River that are available to ensure you of a safe and successful outing. Rates are very reasonable and most guides offer full or half-day excursions. Surely Fishing Guide Services Aaron Shirley www.surelyfishing.com Phone: 905-465-2601

Sport Fishing Niagara Grant Koppers www.sportfishingniagara.com Phone: 905-468-4448

Smallmouth Bass

near the structure of the Bar. Preferred techniques include jigging with spoons and, more recently, swim baits. In the coldest winter periods, the preferred method is to present live minnows on a three-way rig right along the structure. The average size of the lake trout in the Niagara is a respectable six-pounds although it is common to catch fish in the mid- to high- teens in a typical day during peak season. Monsters topping 30-pounds have been taken from the Niagara Bar in recent years. Due to the lake trout’s propensity to retain persistent organic pollutants, it is strongly recommended that all lakers be returned to fight another day.

Walleye Another of the Niagara’s best kept secrets is its tremendous population of huge walleye in the lower river. Every year fish in the 15-pound range are taken, and the average size is a very healthy five to eight-pounds, qualifying this as a genuine trophy walleye fishery. The season runs from May through to March, with many of the biggest fish being taken in the winter. During these cold periods walleye sit in the slow back drifts of the lower river, foraging on various minnow species. It can be very important to match your baitfish to the forage species, for example, spot-tail versus emerald shiners. Typically, these minnows are fished on jigs or three-way rigs. Although these cold-water techniques produce fish throughout the season, casting and trolling with body baits can be more productive during warm-water conditions in spring and summer, when walleye move up to suspend in the slower drifts, feeding on various

Niagara Sportfishing Frank Dimarcantonio www.niagarasportfishing.ca/index.htm 905-788-9384

baitfish. As soon as the water warms up, shore anglers can target walleye from spots such as the Queenston sand docks. Unfortunately, algae/weed blooms in early June make walleye fishing all but impossible, as every cast produces a frustrating glob of goo. Niagara fishing websites often provide helpful updates on algae bloom conditions. Like the lake trout fishing, the Niagara’s trophy walleye fishery rivals any in North America. Because the salmonid fishing has traditionally overshadowed the walleye fishery, guides and anglers are only just beginning to reveal the complexities of this fantastic opportunity. We can expect the fishing to continue to improve in the future as they hone their craft.

Smallmouth bass in the upper and lower Niagara are not as big as the lunkers taken in Lake Erie and on the Niagara Bar, but fish in the five to six-pound class are taken throughout the river every year. Although bass are only targeted in the warm weather of summer, many are caught incidentally by trout and salmon anglers throughout the year. Bass are taken using a wide variety of techniques, including dragging tubes or twister tails and by fishing crankbaits and other traditional bass lures. Live bait such as crayfish, minnows and leeches can also be very effective. Boat anglers seeking truly huge bass do best on the Niagara Bar and on the shoals near the mouth of the river at Lake Erie. One of the most exciting techniques is to fish a topwater bait, such as the Rebel Pop-R, on calm mornings off the Niagara Bar, bringing monstrous smallies crashing to the surface.

Real Fishing Winter 2006 39


Musky Given the abundance of forage and gamefish in the Niagara River, it is not surprising that a top predator has also taken its place in this rich food web. Mighty muskellunge inhabit both the upper and lower stretches of the river, although the upper is more famous among the musky fishing fraternity. The majority of muskies are taken by boat anglers fishing spots such as Strawberry Island on the upper river, although shore anglers can target musky in the Whirlpool, where giant fish can be spotted cruising the shore along current breaks. During warm weather, many muskies are taken by casting topwater baits, bucktails or jerkbaits around weedlines and other structure. As the season moves into fall, most anglers troll large body baits. One of the best late season spots is near Buffalo Harbour, where giant muskies of over 50-inches are taken every year by anglers trolling large musky-sized crankbaits. These late season fish, fattened over a whole summer spent feeding on the area’s rich forage, can top 40-pounds!

Alternative Species The impressive biodiversity of the Niagara River doesn’t stop with the “trophy” species discussed above. Although few anglers will admit it, battling some of the so-called “trash fish” can be a welcome diversion during slower fishing or poor conditions. Probably the most sought-after is the freshwater drum, known as a sheepshead to most anglers. These large and powerful fighters are abundant in the river, and can be taken from boats or from shore using either live bait or artificials, especially during the summer. Another alternative species is the white bass, which bites

well in the spring and summer. These scrappy fish are a blast to catch on ultralight gear, hitting small jigs or bait with abandon. The Niagara is also home to a relatively healthy population of lake sturgeon. While there is no season for this species, incidental catches of four to six-foot fish happen occasionally, providing an experience not soon forgotten by surprised anglers. It is important to note that all sturgeon must be returned to the river unharmed,

and great care should be taken to handle and release these ancient fish, which have been depleted throughout much of their range.

River Conditions A good understanding of how certain factors affect river conditions is vital to successfully fishing the Niagara and in this regard the river is somewhat unique. For example, rainfall has little or no

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Check out these websites for more information on fishing in the Niagara River and surrounding area. www.niagarafishing.net Fishing information, discussion forums, etc. www.niagarariveranglers.com Fishing articles and information, discussion forums, hotspots and more. www.niagararecreation.com/fishing Extensive listings of charter and guide services, launch ramp locations, marinas, tackle shops etc.

effect on river level or clarity. Instead, conditions are mostly dictated by the circumstances on Lake Erie, at the river’s source. Most importantly, a strong southwest wind on Erie will “blow out” the river, as the wind stirs up the shallow eastern end of Lake Erie, causing muddy-water conditions. When Lake Erie freezes in the winter, wind is less of an issue, and water clarity increases dramatically. During peak tourist season, water

species. Even better, anglers can fish for one species or another (or several!) for 12 months of the year. The river is within easy day-trip distance of several major population centers, which, combined with the free public access to many shoreline areas and boat ramps on both the upper and lower river, avails this fabulous fishing to anglers from all walks of life. If all of this is not enough for you, it all takes place in spectacular surroundings,

levels are controlled to maximize water flow over the falls during the day, meaning that water levels in the lower river can rise by as much as 20 feet in the morning, dropping again at night to expose treacherous, slippery rocks. The websites listed in this article are great sources for out-of-town anglers to check river conditions, web-cams and discussion forums for more information. In summary, the Niagara River has all the ingredients of a genuine fishing hot spot. The freedom to ply these waters for trophy specimens of five salmonid species along with bass, musky, walleye, and several alternatives, is quite unique. What’s more, the huge river continues to produce giant fish of many of these

especially where the mighty river slides quietly but forcefully through the Niagara River Gorge, far below the neon hubbub of Niagara Falls. Although experienced anglers will have no trouble adapting their techniques to these big waters, excellent fishing can be had at a very reasonable rate from any of the experienced guides that work the river. A guided day-trip makes a perfect aside to a family vacation in the Niagara area as well. Besides the Falls, other area attractions include Marineland, a casino, golf courses, a butterfly conservatory and several vineyards and wineries. ?

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By Craig Ritchie I have a major love-hate relationship with TV fishing shows. I love to watch them, especially when they’re well done and there’s a lot of action. The hate part comes when the show leaves me all fired up to go fishing and then I remember there’s two feet of snow outside. That happened a couple of times last winter.

It’s hard to watch Bob Izumi or Bill Dance slam big bass on topwaters and then head out to shovel the driveway. But this year I got my revenge. After watching Bill Dance beat the tar out of big buckets on yet another snowy morning, I got an idea and a few days later I was sitting in a boat hooking big bass

myself – right in Bill’s backyard. The state of Tennessee isn’t very far from my home in southern Ontario, but it’s a world apart in winter. When our lakes sit capped with a layer of ice, lakes in Tennessee remain wide open, and you fish out of a boat instead of an ice hut. And here’s the kicker – would you Real Fishing Winter 2006 43


believe some of the best bass fishing of the year takes place from December ‘till March? Charlie Lane is a semi-pro bass angler and part-time guide who’s based in Clinton, Tennessee, which is about an hour north of Knoxville off the I-75. While most of my friends were wishing they were Bill Dance on a rotten, cold morning back home, I was saying hello to Charlie in a Hardee’s restaurant and discussing our plans for the day. We were going to fish on nearby Lake Norris, a huge impoundment created in 1936 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Norris dam was a make-

bass when our lakes are frozen leaves me frustrated and wishing it was summer again. “I would imagine that has to be pretty rough,” he admitted. “But you know it’s the opposite for us. Winter is by far the best time to catch bass in Tennessee. It’s so hot in summer those fish go deep and you have to work hard. But from December ‘till March they’re all up in shallow water and feeding pretty hard. That’s when our fishing is best. That’s when you want to be out fishing, not watching it on TV.” Who am I to argue?

As this was my first time fishing for bass in Tennessee, Charlie suggested we try to do a Norris Grand Slam and catch at least one of each of the lake’s three bass species – smallmouth, largemouth and spotted. “Norris is really a smallmouth lake first and foremost,” he explained. “But it has some really nice largemouth in it, and spotted bass are everywhere.” Charlie added that there was even the possibility to try for a Super Slam with a fourth species – striped bass, which are stocked into the lake each year.

Our game plan was to be on the water by dawn and start by looking for active smallmouth, combing shorelines with small crankbaits. With breakfast taken care of, we drove a short distance to the launch. A few moments later, I held the boat while Charlie parked his Hummer. Lake Norris snakes through highlands that, a few miles down the road, become the Great Smokey Mountains. It’s a long lake with step-like shorelines, fed by the Clinch River. The water is relatively cool and exceptionally clear. As Charlie stepped onto the dock, a bass rolled on the surface directly across the bay. “We don’t have much of a run to our first spot,” he explained as he hopped into the boat, flipped down the electric motor and picked up a spinning rod. The primary forage in Lake Norris, as in many southern waterways, is shad. Norris has large populations of both gizzard and threadfin shad, so Charlie prefers natural-finished, shallowrunning crankbaits that match their broad profile. Firing a cast alongside a patch of gravel, he outlined our game plan. We would start by looking for aggressive smallmouth in very shallow water, quickly covering shoreline contact spots like points and coves. Later in the day, when the sun climbed high enough in the sky to chase those fish deeper, we would move to slightly deeper structure and fish soft plastic lizards on Carolina Rigs. Charlie prefers to fish crankbaits on spinning outfits, with light monofilament of six or eight-pound test. “Because the water clarity is so great, you catch more fish by using small, subtle lures. Of course to cast them any kind of distance, you need spinning gear. Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of extensive weeds or stump cover for the fish to wrap you around.” As if to prove his point, Charlie paused to set the hook into a feisty smallmouth of about two-pounds. “I would so much rather do this than shovel snow,” he laughed.

A couple of casts later and I had to agree, as I said hello to my first Norris smallmouth – a twin of Charlie’s fish that went airborne right away. “That’s the only problem I have with ice fishing,” I explained. “The fish can’t jump.” We fished our way out of the bay and landed two more smallmouth. Charlie suggested we run a short distance to another cove. Rods safely stowed, we were quickly underway. Charlie fishes from a 19-foot bass boat that afforded us plenty of room, even with my bag of camera gear. I felt the sun’s warmth on my face and watched the shoreline roll by. Though people were still ice fishing back home, winter was giving way to spring in Tennessee, and the trees on shore –

dogwoods – were beginning to bloom. Rounding a long, slender point dotted with dogwoods, Charlie spun us into a finger-shaped bay just as a large fish rolled in open water. “Stripers,” he said. We stopped beneath some large trees and as I fired out a cast, I wondered just what my odds of landing one of those striped bass on a light spinning outfit would be. A solid thump on my line rocked me back to reality but I set the hook too late and somehow missed the fish. Then, it hit again. This time I got it. No jumps this time – the fish fought deep, and as it came to the boat I could clearly see the brilliant orange eyes of a spotted bass. Spotted bass are truly interesting fish. At first glance they look similar to a

work project launched during the Great Depression, and it produced the first of the large impoundments that provide the southern states with much of their great fishing. Charlie laughed as I explained my love-hate relationship with TV fishing shows, and how watching people catch 44

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Real Fishing Winter 2006 45


E

the land of the giants… Fly-in to the seclusion of Esnagami Lodge, north of Nakina, Ontario in the head waters of the famous Albany River water shed. The Only Resort on Esnagami Lake We offer great fishing amongst 200 islands for Walleye and trophy Pike. River fishing for speckled trout is also available. Your choice of American Plan packages or Housekeeping packages.

WHEN YOU GO

largemouth, but are easily identifiable by their glowing orange eyes. In terms of behaviour, they act more like smallmouth, preferring clear, open water to the weedy haunts of largemouth. They usually travel in large schools so when you catch one you’ll usually catch several. While they’re great fun on a light spinning outfit, they seldom attain the size of either of their relatives, usually topping out at about two and a half-pounds. Still, they’re fun to catch, especially since we don’t have them back home in Canada. I was all smiles as we resumed fishing our way along the point. Charlie caught a really nice smallmouth of about four-pounds. Then, a few casts later, something hit my crankbait and hauled off for deep water, bending my little spinning rod right to the handle. “ R o c k f i s h , ” announced Charlie, reminding me of the more common name for striped bass in this part of the world. Striped bass in Lake 46 Real Fishing Winter 2006

Norris regularly reach 20-pounds and have been recorded over 30. I couldn’t move this fish at all – imagine hooking a really big chinook salmon in open water on a walleye rod and you have an idea of my situation. The fish peeled line from the reel at will, and I could see the aluminum arbor beginning to shine through the remaining line on my spool. We were going to have to crank up the motor and chase this fish. But just as Charlie stowed the electric, the striper changed direction 180 degrees and

Mountain Lake Marina & Campground Prime fishing is December through March, the opposite of the peak tourism season, so you’ll enjoy great deals on food and lodging. The nearest town to Lake Norris is the bustling village of Clinton, with plenty of hotels and restaurants. I stayed right on the lake, however, at the Mountain Lake Marina. Owner Miles Owens is a great guy and a wonderful source of information. He also has licenses and a small restaurant. 136 Campground Road Lake City, TN 37769 865-426-6510 877-MTN-CAMP (626-2267) mtnlaketn@aol.com www.mountainlaketennessee.com

charged towards us. I frantically reeled up slack line, regaining yards of precious mono, before it went under the boat. I had to leap over the seats and plunge the rod into the water as soon as I hit the rear deck, to protect the line from fouling on the outboard. And then, just like that, it was gone. My little crankbait floated to the surface. Rats. Although I did achieve my Tennessee Slam the next day when I boated a largemouth, missing the opportunity for a Super Slam by losing that striper means now I’ll have to go back to try it again. Truth is, I can’t wait. The drive from my home in southern Ontario to eastern Tennessee is about 12 hours, a good haul to be sure, but not unreasonable – especially in mid-winter when you’ve really had enough of the snow and the cold. Or you can fly into

Clinch River Outfitters You might also want to bring your trout tackle, since the Clinch River offers one of the best tailwater fisheries east of the Mississippi. It’s mostly rainbows, with some browns thrown in. In these fertile waters, they measure trout in pounds, not inches. Paul Downing and Mike Bone, of Clinch River Outfitters, can put you on fish. PO Box 185 Andersonville, TN 37705 865-494-0972 clinchguyd@aol.com www.clinchriverguides.com

Summer - P.O. Box 270 • Nakina • Ontario • P0T 2H0 • 1-807-329-5209 Winter - 153 October Cres. • London • Ontario • N6K 4W5 • 1-519-474-6988

Visit us on the web at www.esnagami.com or email us at fish@esnagami.com

Knoxburg, which is served by most major airlines. I’ve always believed that it is the experiences a person has in their life that matter most. So, rather than stare out the windows at another raw winter day, I chose to experience the great bass fishing that’s readily available in Tennessee. The fishing is superb, the lakes are beautiful and you can extract your own personal revenge against those TV show hosts who otherwise leave you foaming at the mouth in the dead of winter. ?

Charlie Lane You can probably figure the fishing out on your own, since Norris fishes like many bass lakes here in Canada. But if you have limited time, hire a guide, at least for the first day. Charlie Lane is a tournament pro who knows Norris better than the street he lives on. 108 Lakeview Place Clinton, TN 37716 865-310-0353 sclbass@comcast.net

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Finally, for general information on everything else, contact the state fisheries guys. 401 Church Street L&C Tower, 7th Floor Nashville, TN 37243 www.tnstateparks.com

Real Fishing Winter 2006 47


Different

A

NGLES

on

Ice Fishing for ERCH

P

By Ayr Miller Perch can be moody. They can also be indifferent, curious, finicky, easily spooked, and downright aggressive‌.sometimes all in one day! For these reasons perch are my favourite target through the ice. In my opinion, learning what mood the perch are in when you are fishing for them increases your success rate dramatically and the best way to learn about them is with an underwater camera. Once you have located fish, the camera allows you to quickly decipher if the perch are

reacting to pronounced jigging motions (aggressive), small jigging motions (finicky), no motion (easily spooked), or a slow steady rise (curious). Before the use of cameras the only presentation I used was the aggressive jigging motion and I know that on many days the only thing I succeeded at was clearing the area of any and all perch. Using an underwater camera takes the guesswork out of which presentation to use and when. On most outings, I will use one or two long rods (refer to

Real Fishing Winter 2006 49


your regulations) for winter perch fishing. The exception is on days when it is so cold that your tent is your lifeline. On those days I will fish two short rods inside of a tent because, when it gets that cold, I’m not leaving my tent unless it’s on fire! On most days, however, it isn’t

that cold and for my fishing preference I lean towards using full size rods. I feel that a long rod offers better leverage on the hook-set and it’s better suited for the job of fighting and landing fish. The long rod also shines when I’m fishing shallow water, say 10-feet or less,

which I do regularly at first and last light. The leverage of the long rod allows me to get the perch through the hole and onto the ice in one lift while remaining seated. I am a big fan of remaining seated in my leisure time, but it also serves a purpose: the less I move the quieter I’ll

FISHING FROM THE BOTTOM UP The next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to work the entire water column fast, give these techniques a try. The first involves an inline rig consisting of three small (size ten and red is my preference), very sharp, single hooks. Use a palomar knot to tie the hooks onto a three foot piece of line, spacing them approximately ten inches apart, with the bottom hook about six inches from the end of the line. On the bottom of the line, tie on a medium sized bellweight or crimp on a large split shot. On the top, tie on a snap-swivel for attaching/removing the rig from the main line. The best way to use this rig is to bait it with maggots and to drop it right to the bottom. The bell weight is very efficient in getting you there…fast! When you tighten the slack in your line the rig will straighten out, giving you a baited offering every ten inches through the bottom three feet of the water column. If there is no response after 30-seconds or so, give your reel handle two complete turns and let the rig sit for another 30-seconds. Continue the process until you can see your rig under the ice. This technique allows you to thoroughly present bait through over thirty-feet of water in just a few minutes. Fly fishing for winter perch? You bet! I was taught this technique from a good friend and fishing buddy, Fred Noddin, and it’s a killer. Tie on a small, naturally coloured fly (black, brown, or olive). Add a small split shot to help you get to the bottom, drop your line down and then slowly reel the fly up. How slowly should you go? Well, when you think you’re reeling slowly enough, slow it down a bunch more. You’re trying to imitate a helpless insect rising to the surface so don’t rush. Continue reeling until your fly gets smacked or until you can see the fly at the hole.

be and the more fish I’ll catch. Finally, if I can remain seated I can also work a short rod in between fish on the long rod and vice versa, which brings me to the next topic of fishing two lines more effectively. The majority of the time my set-up is the same. I use a fold-out camping chair to sit in. If I am using two long rods I will have a five gallon bucket, right side up, on each side of the chair, about a foot away and at a 45-degree angle forward from my sides. The holes are drilled the length of the rod away from me on the same 45-degree angle (to reduce the chance of the two lines getting tangled) making the set-up triangular in shape. I use this set-up for a couple of reasons. First, the buckets make excellent rod holders. Second, the height of the bucket puts the handle of the rod within easy reach where I can react to a bite and set the hook immediately without getting up. When it comes to bait choices I will usually cut a two-inch minnow into thirds and use one of the pieces on one Real Fishing Winter 2006 51


rod. On the other I will use a variety of presentations but I lean towards three small, single hooks tied to the main line with palomar knots and baited with maggots. It seems quite often the maggots will get smacked all day long while the minnow rig gets hit once an hour or so, but the minnow rig tends to

yield the biggest fish on most days so I keep using it. Sometimes, however, I’ll switch it up by using one long and one short rod. The reasoning is that if two stationary offerings of different baits aren’t working, pack up one of the long rods and get active with the short rod. I’ll

BEATING THE BAIT STEALERS I have found that if you cut your minnows into three or four sections it not only stretches the amount of bait you’ve got, it also makes it very difficult for perch to steal your bait without getting hooked. By cutting your minnows you are releasing the aroma and taste of the bait more effectively and, more importantly, the smaller chunks are almost impossible for perch to pick from your hook. Perch don’t seem to mind whether the bait is whole or cut up and I haven’t noticed any drop in the number of bites I get with cut bait. The second method involves sliding maggots lengthwise onto tiny egg hooks, like you would with a plastic jig body. It works great! The maggots will stay on your hook a lot longer, your fish per maggot ratio will go way up and, maybe most importantly, you’ll have dry hands a lot more often! The end result is less time spent baiting and more time spent fishing!

52

Real Fishing Winter 2006

eliminate one bucket and fish the short rod “in hand,” employing active presentations described later. This set-up is a little different in that now I will have a hole right in front of me for the short rod and another hole to the side for the long rod. I always switch to one short and one long rod when the two stationary long rods aren’t producing. Catching perch is all about finding out how to make them react to something instead of assuming that “they just aren’t hungry today”. Once I have switched gears to the short rod there are a few techniques I will use that I developed while using an underwater camera to watch how perch react to the movements of my baits. If my stationary baits aren’t being hit, I’m pretty sure that the perch are not aggressive. Having said that, I will usually start out with a small fluorescent green jig and a pronounced jigging motion, just to quickly double check. What I mean by “pronounced” jigging motion is moving the jig three to fiveinches in the whole movement. I used to use the same arm motion for jigging as I did for pull-starting my lawn mower but I’ve since toned it down, caught more fish, and saved a shoulder. The camera tells these things instantly, so you know if the perch are fleeing from the jumpy green jig and it’s time to slow down. I usually don’t get too discouraged because I know that if the perch are in the area, I’ll give ‘em an offer they can’t refuse before I get through my bag of tricks. Because the perch are not aggressive (in this case) I make other adjustments before I present my alternative methods. Generally when I’m perch fishing I use four pound test line, maximum six. I’ve fished with people that think that is kind of risky. “If a pike hits that, your hook is gone!” they’ll say, eyes wide with exclamation, as they tie their jig onto their trusty, fifteen-pound test superline they have loaded onto their favourite perch rod. Maybe so, but I’m fishing for perch, I’m not trying to save my lure from a pike. If a toothy character does come along and bites my jig off once or twice a day, I am going to kiss that 80¢ jig good-bye, retie, and start fishing for perch again. I will go all the way down to two-pound test tippet material tied onto my four-pound main line if I find the perch to be particularly discerning that day. After all, a big perch where I

come from is around two pounds so heavy line isn’t really needed. In addition to downsizing my line when perch play hard to get, I will downsize my hook and even my bait will get halved or quartered in size. Now that the fine adjustments have been made, I can go through a variety of different lure movements and hopefully trigger the perch to hit. First, I’m going to jig “smaller,” meaning the jig may only move up and down one-half to oneinch. Quite often this can make all the difference to jumpy perch. While a full sized jigging motion sends them scurrying, the smaller motion often gets them curious enough to come over, close enough to smell the bait and….wham, it’s over. If that doesn’t work give these

other movements a try. I have never made it through all of them without getting a response. Try an up and down rocking motion, as if the lure is gently bobbing in waves. Next try vibrating the lure by quickly moving your rod tip up and down about a quarter of an inch for about five seconds then stop all movement, count to ten and hold on. After that, try tracing small figure eights around your ice hole with your rod tip. Finally, take your line in your hands and roll it between your thumb and fingers. This causes your lure to spin on the spot and I’ll guarantee it’s a movement the perch don’t see every day. Since perch are quite often in deeper water (especially in water that holds predators like walleye, pike etc.), I often find myself fishing in water 30 to 40-feet deep. There is a popular practice where I’m from to hand-line for perch. The idea is that it gives you greater sensitivity to feel and react to the bites, which I agree it probably does. In my opinion, however, the disadvantages to this method, outweigh the advantages. I’ve found, more often than not, that when I Real Fishing Winter 2006 53


Bob’s new rods really kick bass!

• New IM6 graphite blank • New cork handles • New Fuji Aluminum Oxide guides • New Bio Grip reel seat • NEW

set the hook on a perch in deep water and attempt to hand-line it up, it takes too long. When I finally do get the fish up, me and everything else in my tent is tangled in the 40-feet of fishing line strewn about. The time it takes to untangle everything and get it back in the water just seems to long for me. Because of this I rely on my reel in deep water. I generally fish with a good quality spinning reel, currently that would be the Shimano Stradic 1000 series. Matched up with an extremely sensitive ice-rod, this combo allows me to stay in tune with any bites and react accordingly. In addition to keeping my line in order, I find I get a better feel of the fish with the reel and I can keep steady tension on the line easier than I could by bringing a perch up by hand. I also feel that the reel is a faster way to bring a fish to the surface and speed is key with perch, as they are famous for wrangling free half-way to the hole. Now that you’ve found perch in deep water, how do you get your lure back to the exact same depth, quickly and reliably after landing a fish? In this scenario I find the bottom with a bell weight. Once I’ve found the bottom I will reel up six inches of line, as that’s generally where I want my bait to be. I will then mark my line about an inch above where it enters the water. I use a slip bobber knot as a marker because I can adjust it up or down depending on the depth the fish are using. If you’re not sure how to tie a slip bobber knot you can buy them pre-tied or you can simply use a piece of thread. With my line marked I can let out line very quickly until the marker is again an inch from the water. By doing this I know that my lure is at the exact same depth it was before, no guesswork. Adding these techniques to your current perch fishing repertoire will allow you to catch more perch (and out-fish your buddies more often) this coming ice fishing season. ?

LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY Real Fishing Winter 2006 55


I By Bob Izumi

In late August my tournament schedule took me to Lake Simcoe for a Canadian Fishing Tour event. Lake Simcoe is one of the most phenomenal smallmouth fisheries that we have in the province of Ontario for huge fish. Not necessarily for numbers, but when it comes to the sheer size of the fish, Simcoe is tough to beat. My first fish of the morning was a 5.10pound smallmouth that hit a Tim Horton Signature Series Bomber jerkbait. I thought to myself, “Okay, here we go. Starting off with a fish over 5, I should weigh in 20-plus pounds today.” Unfortunately, the rest of the day was a struggle. I ended up with 15pounds and change, still in contention but not near what I thought I would get. The next morning, at 5:30 a.m., I’m in the hotel parking lot loading up the boat. I jumped up into the Ranger and my foot landed on the handle of my landing net. The full weight of my body went onto my foot, twisting my ankle and completely tearing the cartilage in it. It immediately swelled up to half the size of a hardball. With just over an hour until blastoff I hopped into my truck and started driving around Barrie looking for a 24-hour drugstore so I could get a wrap for my ankle. Luckily I found one and made blastoff on time. I fished all day standing on my twisted ankle, but only managed to catch three small fish for just over six-pounds which left me in a disappointing 21st place for the tournament. The next day I drove about 13-hours to Escanaba, Michigan for an Everstart tournament on Lake Michigan. I had a good first day and weighed 15.5-pounds of bass. On day two I got a really nice, 4.05-pound smallmouth but, unfortunately, it was the only fish I caught. My total weight of just over 20-pounds put me in 31st spot; good enough for a small cheque, but definitely not the finish I was looking for. After driving back home I turned right around and flew to Thunder Bay on one of the strangest trips I’ve taken in my 20-plus years of doing the TV show. My brother, Wayne, and I were part of a group of Canadian TV fishing show personalities taking Ontario Tourism’s contest winners, Lloyd Lasher and his friends from Chicago, on a dream fishing trip north of Thunder Bay to Guardian Eagle Resort. So there I am with Wayne

on a five-day fly out trip to DeLesseps Lake along with our competitors in the TV show business. I never thought anything like that would ever happen! It turned out that the fishing was phenomenal and Guardian Eagle Resort was wonderful lodge to go to. DeLesseps Lake is truly a walleye factory and we caught literally hundreds and hundreds of walleye, along with some decent sized pike. We had a great time fishing up there with Lloyd and his buddies. After the contest trip it was back home to give away a Lund/Mercury boat package to the winner of another contest, this one for BoaterExam.com, before heading off to the Canadian Fishing Tour’s year-end Classic tournament. The Classic is one of my favourite tournaments of the year. It’s the grand finale of the year for the top 40 guys who qualified through the summer tour events and this year it was held on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. That has been absolutely

Real Fishing Winter 2006 57


Ontario. The ultimate hot spot.

400,000 rivers, lakes and streams in Ontario. One angler’s paradise. The waiting is over. Your floatplane has landed. Your outpost camp is snug and comfortable. The lake – chilly, deep and clear as crystal – is yours. This morning, you’ll jig for walleye. That takes care of your shore lunch. Later you’ll cast for northern pike, in the reeds of a bay up the lake a mile or so. Fly-in fishing in Ontario. Beautiful. Rugged. Unspoiled. 4 billion fish, 165 species and over 2,0 0 0 inns, lodges and resorts. So it’s no wonder that Ontario enjoys an international reputation as the world’s ultimate freshwater hot spot. To plan your next Ontario fishing experience go to

ONTARIOTRAVEL.NET/GOFISH or call 1 -8 0 0-ONTARIO.

It’s Catching

my best location for tournament wins, having won 3 Canadian Opens and 1 Classic there in the mid-90s. On the first day I flipped a quick limit of largemouth that weighed 17pounds and change, then went out on the main lake and caught a couple of big smallmouth. I ended up with 18.35pounds and was sitting good. Day 2 didn’t turn out so good and I only caught 11.4-pounds. On day 3 I decided to try for a quick limit over near Clayton, New York. I was fishing really fast, with the electric motor on high, when I turned the boat and hit an underwater piling. The boat stopped abruptly and I went flying out of the front. There I was, alone (I didn’t have a scrutineer that day) in the cold waters of a protected harbor off the St. Lawrence River. It was definitely a wake up call. I’ll tell you, when you’re wearing full rain bibs and several layers of clothes, including a polar fleece shirt, it’s truly interesting getting back into the boat. Luckily I got myself back into the boat where I stripped down and used a small fishing towel to dry off. I always carry a spare set of clothes with me so, after drying off, I changed and got back to fishing. I caught a quick limit and headed out onto Lake Ontario only to find there’s 8 to 10-foot rollers coming in from the west. I thought, “Do I want to run in this for 2 hours to go fish for 1 hour in one spot or head to another area?” I decided to go fish for smallmouth and ended up with another small limit of 11-pounds. I finished in 17th place, a very disappointing Classic for me. After the Classic I was off to an Everstart tournament in Detroit. On day 1, I brought in 22.03-pounds and was sitting in second place. On the second day I decided to run to an area where I thought I could get a “safety limit” that would keep up there in the point standings so I would qualify for the championship in Alabama. I’m pumped, thinking I’ll make the top ten cut easily, but I started the day by losing a 3 1/2-pounder. My amateur partner ended up with a decent limit while I had to settle for a dismal four fish weighing 8-pounds. That put me in 16th place, good enough to cash a cheque, but not what I expected after the big limit on the first day. Then it was back to Toronto for the Ontario Place Open. The first day of the tournament was cancelled due to

high winds so it all came down to a 1day shootout. I started out in an area where I figured I could flip out a limit of bass. As I was talking to my partner (and not paying attention to fishing) the first fish of the morning hit my YUM Sooie. As I turned to set the hook I lifted the fish’s head out of the water and the 5-pound class bass pulled off. I only caught six more fish for the rest of the day for a limit of just over 13-pounds. On the way back to weigh-in I developed some sort of air lock or had water in my gas or something and my motor conked out. It’s the first time that a motor has ever done this to me in a tournament and it left me stuck in Oakville so I didn’t make it back to the weigh-in on time. The fish that I had in the livewell would have put me in 6th

place and if I hadn’t lost the big fish in the morning I’m pretty sure I would have won the tournament. When you don’t make weigh-in though you score zero so, once again, another very disappointing tournament. After the Ontario Place tournament I went to North Bay to do some taping for the TV show with local area guide, Rob Hyatt. We stayed at Sunset Cove Lodge and Rob got us into some walleyes, pike and smallmouth bass. We ended up getting some great video that will air next season. Then it was up to Bark Lake in Haliburton for a couple of days to fish with the S.C. Johnson and BoaterExam.com contest winners. After that I went to Chatham to do a speaking engagement at the Chatham Rotary dinner. It was really neat to get back to my old stomping grounds to talk to a crowd of about 500 people at their annual dinner. I saw a lot of familiar faces and had a lot of fun with some old fishing and hunting buddies of mine. In early November I headed to Alabama to fish in the Everstart Championship on Pickwick, Wilson and Wheeler Lakes. My strategy for the first day was to fish about 45-miles away from the blast off site, at the other end of Pickwick Lake, where I had caught several 4-pound class fish during practice. I don’t know what happened, but I missed one good fish and only caught 2 small keepers on the first day. Talk about disappointing. On the second day I traveled through two locks to the famous Decatur Flats on Wheeler Lake. I was flipping a Strike King jig and YUM chunk, got a decent bite, but missed the fish. I immediately flipped back in and got a good, solid hit. I set the hook and could see a 5-pound largemouth about a foot under the surface. It ran about 20-feet sideways then pulled off the hook. I pulled in my jig and saw that my YUM chunk was balled up over the hook, probably from the first fish I missed. I didn’t get any more fish so I locked back through to Pickwick with an hour left to kill. Wouldn’t you know it, on Pickwick I lost a big smallmouth bass. I guess it just wasn’t my year for tournament fishing. As I write this I’m packing for a trip to Venezuela to take on some peacock bass. Since this isn’t a tournament, I should be able to catch a few big ones. ? Real Real Fishing FishingWinter Fall 2006 2005 59 61


Fishing Forever Update The 6th Annual Fishing Forever Fundraising Dinner and Auction was held on Tuesday, October 25 at Le Dome in Oakville, Ontario, and this year’s event was the biggest and best to date. Over $100,000 was raised through the live and silent auctions, money that will be used for fisheries and conservation projects across Ontario. Canada’s own tenor sensation, Michael Burgess, set the stage for the evening with a heartfelt rendition of O Canada to open the festivities and things just got better from there. There was a flurry of activity at the raffle draw tables as guests purchased all 200 tickets in a matter of minutes. Considering that there were 189 prizes

Fishing Forever would like to thank all the generous sponsors of the 2005 Fishing Forever Fundraising Auction and Dinner Advanced Taxidermy AIC Aquascape Designs Inc. Arbogast Lure Company Ashley Jewellers (Hamilton) Bass Pro Shops Belfountain Inn Beringer Capital Black & McDonald Blanco Canada Bob McKenzie Agencies Canada Goose/Metro Sportswear Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association Canadian Tire Corp. Captain Action Charters Casa Lena Charles Weiss Studio CI Investments Coleman Canada Columbia Sportswear Cotton Cordell Lure Company Coyote's Run Estate Winery Darlene Snowball Dollco Printing Drifter II Charters Eye Believe Facts of Fishing Fergie Jenkins Foundation G. Loomis Canada Genumark Grand River Conservation Authority Grand River Fishing Charters Great Canadian Outdoor Expo Great Lakes Helicopter Hectare Commercial Reality Inc. Izumi Outdoors John Oracz John Stall Communications

up for grabs, making the odds of winning exceptional, it’s not surprising that the draw was a near instant sell-out. The prizes included a wide range of items including fishing lures, clothing, personal care gift baskets, original artworks, golf equipment, Canadian wines, archery supplies and a host of others that made the purchase of a ticket seem like a steal. The silent auction included nearly 80 items of all shapes and sizes. There was an autographed, Brian McCabe Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, a complete archery set including a compound bow and arrows, several high-end rod and reel sets, and many more great things to bid on. Johnson Outdoors Canada - MinnKota Kaide Transportation Knee lake Resort Kolder Canada KTL Canada La Reserve Beauchene Lakeside Logistics Langara Fishing Adventures Le Baron Outdoor Products Len Gibson's Decorative Wildlife Art Lift-Rite Inc. Linear Response Liz Astrom Lowrance Canada Lund Boats Canada M &M Meat Shops Maurice Sporting Goods Mercury Marine Nisim International Ontario Tourism Osprey Media Outdoor Canada Magazine Police Association of Ontario Patagonia Pellar Estates Winery Protexion Products Red Fisher Rampage Sports Fishing Charters Richard Vandermeer Rob Hyatt Outdoors Rolly Astrom Ron Bauer Saranda Resort Schwarzkopf & Henker Shimano Canada Superfly Terrace Suites Thomas & Thomas Tim Hortons Tony Curtis & Associates Totem Resorts Trade Show Displays Upper Canada Sports Wilsons "Toronto Fly Fishing Centre" Woodstock Print & Litho Zero Restriction Outerwear

For information on how your organization may be able to receive funding from Fishing Forever, visit

60 Real Fishing Winter 2006

The live auction featured wonderful fishing vacation packages to places like Langara Lodge i n B r i t i s h Columbia, Knee Lake Resort in Manitoba, Wiley Point Lodge in Ontario, La Reserve Beauchene in Quebec and Saranda Resort in Venezuela, all generously donated by the resorts. Other live auction items included a golfing/fishing trip to Missouri, courtesy of Bass Pro Shops; helicopter charter time from Great Lakes Helicopter; a fully installed 11’ x 16’ backyard pond kit from Aquascapes Designs; a complete set of Ben Hogan golf clubs from Lakeside Logistics and a Ben Hogan golf bag. Two of the more interesting items were Red Fisher’s last, original, Red Fisher “Signature Series” rod and a replica fish mount, donated by Advanced Taxidermy and Wildlife Design, of a lake trout caught by Fergie Jenkins during the taping of an episode of the Red Fisher Show. Bruce Miller, of the Police Association of Ontario, donated $20,000 to Fishing Forever’s Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days program, ensuring that the events will continue to offer disadvantaged youth an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. In recognition of the overwhelming support Bruce and the PAO have provided to the Kids & Cops events, Mr. Miller was presented with the Rick Amsbury Award for 2005. The award is given annually to the person or group who demonstrates “a commitment and passion in working to ensure that fishing in Canada remains enjoyable and accessible for everyone, today and into the future.” All in all the 6th annual Fishing Forever dinner and auction was a resounding success that would not have been possible without the support of each and every organization and individual who donated auction items and prizes; the volunteers who ensured that everything ran smoothly and, of course, the great people who attended the evening and opened their hearts and wallets for a great cause. ?


Michael Burgess opens the evening with a rousing rendition of O Canada.

Bruce Miller of the Ontario Police Association hands over a cheque to Bob Izumi for Fishing Forever.

Over $100,000 was raised at the 6th Annual Fishing Forever Fundraising Dinner and Auction held in Burlington, Ontario back in October. The money will be donated to various fisheries and conservation projects across Ontario in the upcoming year.

Former Ontario Premier, Mike Harris

Baseball hall of famer, Fergie Jenkins, chats up the crowd.

62

Real Fishing Winter 2006

Raffle draw grand prize winner, Dick Waters (holding fishing rod) tests his new Lund boat/Mercury motor package.

Real Fishing Winter 2006 63


MARINADES

This elegant and easy to prepare dessert is the perfect ending to any great meal. The crunchiness of the oatmeal and nuts is wonderfully offset by the soft texture of ice cream and caramel creating an irresistibly decadent taste sensation.

COFFEE ICE CREAM CRUNCH

Ingredients 1 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 12 oz. 1 quart

sifted flour oatmeal brown sugar butter chopped pecans caramel sauce coffee (or chocolate) ice cream

Method Preheat oven to 400°F Combine oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in chopped pecans. Put mixture into a 9” x 13” pan and bake for 15 minutes at 400°F. Remove from oven and stir while hot to crumble the mixture, then let cool completely.

A Symphony

Bob Izumi fine sauces & marinades are perfectly crafted from a balanced blend of art and science combined with a little down home taste that Bob Izumi has experienced in his travels across North America. Bob’s blends give you the same rich flavor only found in the finest restaurants. Now you can create those same savory memories whether you are on the grill, in the kitchen, or just looking for that perfect dipping sauce. Bob and his family want to make your cooking experience as tasty and enjoyable as the ones shared every day at home and on the road.

of good taste!

Spread half of the cooled, crumbled mixture into a 9” x 9” pan. Drizzle half the caramel sauce over the crumb mixture. Stir the ice cream to soften and spoon into pan over the caramel and crumbs. Top with remaining caramel sauce and the rest of the crumb mix. Freeze until ice cream has hardened.

This recipe can be found in Bob Izumi’s new cookbook, Real Cooking with Bob Izumi, available now at better bookstores or on-line at www.r ealfishing.com Real Fishing Winter 2006 65


FISH-CATCHING LEGENDS LINDY RIGS AND FUZZ-EGRUBS HAVE BEEN CATCHING FISH FOR OVER 35 YEARS. NOW LINDY HAS IGNITED THESE PROVEN BAITS WITH ELECTRIFYING GLOW COLORS. WHY?

Custom Cottage Art

GLOW BAITS CATCH FISH!

By Leonard Gibson Leonard Gibson is a sculptor and painter of fish and wildlife who works with wood, bone and antlers. His popular Cottage Art pieces are custom made and include a wooden sculpture of any freshwater fish as well as the lake name of the purchaser’s choosing.

Decorative Wildllife Art 691 Mohawk Rd. Ancaster ON L9G 2X1 904-648-8291 lengibson@sympatico.caet

Al Lindner Lindner’s Angling Edge 66 Real Fishing Winter 2006

®

Wright Street MN 56401 1110 1110 Wright StreetBrainerd, Brainerd, MN 56401www.lindylittlejoe.com www.lindylittlejoe.com


HAULS EVERYTHING FROM CONCRETE TO CRAYONS.

Introducing the Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab. With a spacious, comfortable interior for hauling passengers, and a rugged exterior for hauling everything else. It also has more standard horsepower and torque than Ford or Dodge 1/2 ton Crew Cabs.N All this with best-in-class 1500 series V8 Fuel economy.† Now unloading sheet rock can be a family experience. For details, visit gmcanada.ca Based on 2005 competitive information for F-150 SuperCrew and Ram Quad Cab 2005 Energuide ratings. www.fueleconomy.gov ©2005 General Motors of Canada Limited. N

†Per

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