Monday, July 21, 2014

Fishing with my Dad!

This past week has been a blast introducing my Dad to both Striped Bass and pickerel fishing, the later from kayak! I grew up fishing with Dad, which meant taking our backpack full of gear, a rod and hiking a few hours into the woods to walk around a pond and fish for trout. That is all I ever knew of fishing for most of my life.

Now that I've grown to love the vast diversity of fishing that is offered here in New Brunswick, and moreso the joys of fishing from kayak, I was determined to take advantage of this rare visit to get my Dad out on the water. On Thursday, as the weater cleared up, my friend Mike Donovan was kind enough to take us out to Reversing Falls for a try for Stripers. After taking us down through the falls and back, we trolled a little and Dad managed to hook and catch his first ever striper! it was a nice little 26 inch schoolie that we took a few pictures with and released. What a great start to a few days of fishing!

The next day we took the two kayaks, with me in the Old Town Predator 13 and Dad in the Old Town Dirigo.   This was Dad's first ever time in a kayak so I didn't know what to expect.   Dad doesn't know how to swim and he is typically very nervous around water when he doesn't feel like he's in control.   I had to work quite a bit on Dad to get him to agree to even give this a try!

After a few minutes near shore, Dad seemed to be pretty comfortable in the kayak and was ready to start paddling.   We had a great afternoon fishing for pickerel, with me getting 6 and Dad landing 2 nice ones.   He would have had a few more but he tried to get them in before I got to him with our only net.

So now Dad is hooked both on pickerel fishing and fishing from a kayak.   He's having a great time and we head out again on Satuday.  This time Rowan is with us.   Well the Pickerel was hitting strong and they were big!    Dad landed 11 while I landed 9.    The biggest was an impressive 23 inches!    However as we were getting ready to head home, Dad dropped and reached back for his paddle... then he was upside down in the water!!!!

 I forgot to bring the GoPro this day, which was a real shame as we could have had some great video of this!   Dad can't swim but with the life jacket doing it's job, having the kayaks to hang on to, and with the water warm, what could have been a scary experience for him turned into a great learning experience and a fantastic memory.     I had told Dad to always keep his head and shoulders above the cockpit and to grab the ridge around the cockpit to steady himself when he turns around, but he didn't take my advice so accidents happen.

Undaunted, we gathered our wits, and headed out for a third day of pickerel fishing on Sunday morning.   Dad was a lot more careful with his movements in the kayak this time and didn't have any further accidents or close calls!   He did have his own net this time (tethered to the kayak), and used it to land another 11 pickerel, some above 20 inches!   I landed 12 and lost several more, but did manage to hold on to the biggest of the day at 23.5 inches!