Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Associations for 2014!

Well it looks like I'll be starting 2014 out on solid footing with 2 great companies welcoming into their fold as an angler representing their group and products. As part of these fine groups of anglers I hope to both grow as a fisherman, and to help contribute to their organizations with my own experiences, reviews, photos and publishings.

Bass Gear Online offers some shirts, sweaters and hats along with some great gear including lures from Anglers Choice, Rods from Denali, a great product to protect your rods from 'The Rod Glove' and sunglasses from Numa Optics. I really look forward to trying out some of the items here this year! I already have a Rod Glove and have to say it's a great product to not only protect the rod, but to help eliminate tangles when transporting rods.

The second group that has welecomed me into their fold is the Adventure on the Water group. This opportunity came by way of an e-mail I sent to Old Town. Both my kayak and canoe are Old Town models and both have been fantastic angling boats this past year and will be for many years to come. Old Town is one of several great brands geared towards Kayak Fishing that are part of the Adventure on the Water group put together by Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Inc.

I look forward to representing these groups in 2014 both in my daily angling activities and when I take part in the numerous tournaments around New Brunswick. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute a little something to the prize pool in some of the tournaments by way of these groups and give back as best I can to the angling community!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Unexpected December Fish!

Well the weather was beautiful today for December with temps a little above freezing, and no wind.  So between the weather and the fact that high slack tide was scheduled for about 5 PM, I decided to give it another go.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get on the water till about 5:45, which was about an hour after high slack tide, and 45 min after dark, so I both missed the prime fishing time, and I had to once again try to figure out my favorite spots in the dark which is never easy.

The current was very strong, the water high, and after the thaw from last week's snow there was a lot of debris and plants floating by, which all made for rough sturgeon fishing conditions.  Nevertheless, I gave it my best shot and ended up with 1 Tommy Cod and 1 34 inch sturgeon.

So I can now say that I have caught sturgeon, in December, in kayak after dark!   Better than staying home and putting kids to bed!   I'll have enough of that this weekend when Anna is out of town and I'm home alone with the boys and the dog and cat!    

Firepit tomorrow night with the boys?   Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stay dry, stay happy!

When kayak fishing, one cannot help but get water upon oneself.  Wether from splashing from the paddle, from fish that you land, or of course.... from mother nature!   When you are out on the water, you do not want to lose enjoyment by being uncomfortably wet and cold.   As such, it only makes sense that you invest properly in the correct type of outerwear to protect yourself.    Especially when you find yourself kayak fishing in Canada in November and December, sometimes late at night when the temperatures dip down below the freezing mark!

For someone like myself with a sit inside kayak, the most obvious thing to keep out the water is the spray skirt.   I purchased a stretch nylon Seals Skirt for my kayak online.   This skirt is a little difficult to get used to putting on the kayak and getting into, but once settled in, it is very comfortable and also adds to the stability I feel when on the water.    I do not typically use the skirt on a pond or the Saint John River on a low wind, sunny day.   But should I venture out into the Bay of Fundy, or if I go out knowing I may run into rain, I'll definately use the skirt.

I have several Scotty rod holder's added to my kayak with one of them being underneath where the spray skirt covers.    To account for this, I went to a local drapery store (Albert's Draperies) where they added a grommet to the skirt so that the rod holder would fit though.   This worked out fantastic, as I get to use both the spray skirt and my rod holders at the same time.

Now aside from the spray skirt, then next obvious thing you need to keep warm and dry is good outerwear.   Anna was good enough to get me an excellent waterproof jacket and pants from  Cabela's this past Christmas.   This fantastic blue jacket can be seen in many of the pictures here on the site.   It does not let any moisture through, is a great wind blocker, and is loose enough around my arms and shoulders that it does not impede my manouverability even with 6 or 7 layers packed underneath.   I have even worn it above my life jacket in the kayak and stayed comfortable.

A friend with a sit on top told me his only problem with the kayak was that water would come up through the scupper holes and soak into his seat, getting his bottom half wet and cold.    He was quite uncomfortable apparently fishing sturgeon with me in November.   I would be too if I were wet!    The Cabela brand pants Anna had given me would have worked wonders for him.    These pants again are comfortable, 100% water proof, and yet I can wear tights, long underwear, and lined splash pants under them, and still be comfortable and warm in the kayak. 

 Now the real kicker with this pants is their durability as evidenced by having sturgeon laying on them on my lap several times.   Sturgeon have sharp bony protrusion that have given me many cuts on my hands this summer.  Yet they have not once cut these pants!  I would have expected most waterproof pants to have several nicks in them by now, but not these Cabela's pants!

Wearing these Cabela products I have never once found my clothes under these items to be wet in the slightest after kayaking and fishing in the rain.  

Finally the last piece of outerwear you need to make sure you invest in is a good set of waterproof gloves, especially when the weather gets cold.   During the summer months, I found gloves were really not something I ever thought about.  But once October and November hits and you are out there after dark, you want something to keep your fingers happy.    I picked up a couple pairs of 'Ice Ninja' gloves from Canadian Tire which work great.   These gloves are light enough to not get in the way of handing my rods/reels, and I can put my hand in the water to grab out a fish without getting my hands wet.  I just need to take them off once in a while to work on my lure/bait, which isn't a big deal.

The last tip, moreso for winter kayak fishing, is to get those sticky strip toe warmers.   While they don't make your toes warm, they do help keep them from getting cold!

So if you are getting into the sport of kayak angling, trust me, invest in a good set of rain proof outerwear!   Water resistant will not cut it... you want waterproof and durable!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fishing with the kids

I'm lucky enough to have two boys, and truth be told it's the boys that reignited my love of fishing the past few years.   Having fished as a boy myself from the time I could walk, I wanted to see if my boys would love it as much as I had.   Well, turns out they both took to it right away with a passion that only kids can have!

Before I had either the kayak or canoe, I would take my oldest, Fynn, to the public dock in Hampton, NB. This is a well known family friendly place to throw out a worm and catch white & yellow perch, sunfish, smallmouth bass and even the odd catfish or pickerel.   I've heard of people catching sturgeon there, but I don't imagine that would be common. 

Here is a very excited Fynn wearing my fishing vest holding his very first Yellow Perch.

I would sometimes also take my youngest, Rowan, though he would only play with the worms!    I guess 2 is too young to get him fishing!

In the summer of 2012, as I do most summers, I took the boys back home to Newfoundland.   My Dad has an ATV so we took it for a day trip into the woods where Fynn again had a chance to try for some fish.   We didn't catch much that day, but Fynn was able to reel in a baby brook trout.

This past Spring, once we had the canoe, it was time to get the kids out on the water.   In May, while it was still pretty cold, I took Fynn down the Kennebacasis from Sussex to Hampton, camping along the way outside of Norton on the side of the river.   Fynn had a great time, and we even caught a nice size small mouth bass along the way.   By the end, he was an exhausted pirate as you can see here!

Rockwood park did a fishing tournament for the kids earlier this summer and I took Fynn and Rowan out in the canoe.   99% of people were there fishing from shore, while Fynn, Rowan and I paddled around the pond.   They were certianly the center of attention! 

Here, Rowan instead decided to hook one himself, reel it in, and take it off the hook... all before I even realized he had a fish on, as I was fooling with the anchor at the time!

Typically now I take Fynn and Rowan out in canoe to Kingston Creek, NB where the pickerel are pleanty.  We have also caught perch and sunfish out there, and have seen sturgeon jump also.

Finally the best time I've had fishing with the kids so far has been when I took them home to Newfoundland this past summer while the food fishery was on for cod fish.   Two days in a row, the boys jumped out of bed, full of anticipation, at 5 AM to get ready to be in the boat for 6.      They couldn't wait to go with Poppy out to catch some fish in a boat!

 Cod fishing is typically done with a jigger on a strong line, but I brought out a rod with 10 lb line just to see what it would be like to hook a cod on rod and reel.  The cod were plentyful and the boys had a wonder time.   Both Fynn and myself used the rod to bring up a few cod, and Rowan had a great time making friends with every fish we brought in the boat.

Cod do not fight at all, they are just dead weight.  So to bring them up on the rod you just raise the rod, reel as you drop the rod, and repeat... essentially just lifting the fish.    So while these are big heavy fish, Fynn was able to bring them in himself... though it took him about 4 - 5 minutes each!

Here you can see Rowan has a hold on a cod fish which he fully intends to take home as a pet.

Later, once the fish are back at the dock to be cleaned, Rowan is sitting off in the back quite upset as we won't let him keep a fish!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Last kayak fishing trip of 2013

Well we got hit with a bit more snow than I had hoped for, but thankfully Chris Hardt has about as little sense as I, so we went fishing anyway!    Afterall, it isn't often you can say you've gone kayak fishing while the neighbour is snowblowing his driveway!

Once we got to the launching point and in our kayaks it was surprising comfortable.   That is once we got used to the slush and ice flows that we had to either navigate or bust through once in a while!

We seen a couple of sturgeon jump, and I had one hooked briefly but that was all there was to the action.   Oh well!

At least I got a couple of good pictures!