Monday, March 24, 2014

Saint John River Chapter of Muskies Canada

Yesterday I had the pleasure of driving up to Fredericton to attend the Spring meeting of the Saint John River chapter of Muskies Canada.   This is a group of 50 something anglers with a passion for muskie fishing, and I must say a very organized and welcoming group as well!    They have a great mix of youth and experience in several roles in their board of Directors and a very prominent role on the national stage as well.    Also worth noting is that they are very commited to conservation and preservation of the Muskie populations, with all fish released, and they participate in studies designed to help better understand the Muskie life cycle, numbers, and movements so that the species can be fished responsibly.    For that reason alone I wanted to join and support the group!

The muskie (muskellunge) is a large predator fish similar in ways to pickerel and pike.   They are long, aggressive and have lots of sharp teeth.    The big ones that are caught from time to time in the Saint John river can get over 50 inches in length, and weigh over 40 pounds!      These fish are basically as long as the bigger sturgeon I've caught last year, a few pounds heavier, and given their similarity to pickerel, are going to be a lot more of a handful to land!

Check out some of the pictures of member's with their first and personal best muskies here.   Can you imagine holding some of these monsters in a kayak!   I can't wait!

I have a couple of fantastic high end Medium Heavy rods from Denali this season, though I'm not sure if Medium Heavy will cut it for these beasts!  I may have to look at using my big surf rods when I go Muskie fishing, and entertain getting yet another rod or two for muskie fishing!  (Don't tell Anna!)

Given the area one would fish for Muskies is about an hour or more away from me, I don't anticipate getting up there to fish a whole lot, but I will make 4 or 5 trips at least.   I've offered the members of Muskies NB a guided trip out sturgeon fishing here in my area and several have expressed a strong interest in that, and have offered to take me out Muskie fishing in return.    I can't wait to learn the ins and outs of muskie fishing from some of the best, and to get them out and hooked into a sturgeon as well!

Are you interested in learning more about muskies and getting out to fish for them?  If so, then check out Muskies NB.  If you do decide to sign up, you will be signing up in Muskies Canada as well.   Not only will you gain access to a wealth of online information on their website, but you will gain other benefits including a discount on purchases at several angling retailers including Frederticton Outfitters.    One word of advice though, do not register online.    Instead do it in person or via e-mail with Bruce Beaton, their Director of Membership.   If you go through Bruce you will get your membership card much faster.