Sunday, June 29, 2014

A busy couple of weeks!

Been a little while since my last post, mainly because I haven't had time to get my thoughts together after running the NB Paddler's Derby, family and work commitments, and of course getting some fishing in here and there where I can.   

The NB Paddler's Derby was a great success with 36 people on the water participating.   I had to deal with the morning registration rush, and then get back early to start setting up for prizes, so my time on the water as a competitor was limited, but I had fun and landed 5 species which put me square in the middle of the pack.   It would have been great to bring Rowan or Fynn but with my other responsibilites, I couldn't take on having a young child there to look after as well.     I did get Rowan out the day before in Oromocto where he 'helped' land a nice 21 inch pickerel, an eel, a white perch, plus several yellow perch and catfish.

I still have some work to do wrapping up the derby getting the check for nearly $500 off to the Oromocto River Watershed Association, and sending thank you letters out to sponsors.    There is a lot of work in running a tournament!

This week I took the boys out fishing a few times.    Fynn is getting to be a much better paddler in the 12 foot Dirigo.    I have to get him a proper sized kayak soon.   Probably a 9 foot Heron Angler.   Rowan is doing great fishing for perch sitting down beside me with his own rod!     Here is a little video from the past week.   Rowan caught severel perch, Fynn caught a couple and I land a pickerel at the end.   I love how they attack the top water lures with an explosion!

Finally, yesterday I got out with severeal members of the Greater Saint John Kayak Anglers for some salt water fishing!  It was my first time out in the Bay of Fundy in the Predator, and we couldn't have picked a nicer day.  Launching of Mispec beach we had wanted to catch somthing interesting but all we could find on this day were sculpin and a couple of pollock.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Prepping for my first tournament as organizer!

This is an exciting week for me as I'm busy trying to make sure I've covered all the bases for what needs to be prepared for the NB Paddler's Tournament this coming weekend up in Oromocto.    The tournament has been around a few years, and was one of my first tournaments ever last year when I placed 18th out of 31 participants.     Not a great showing, but I had a blast.... and won the early bird prize!

The tournament organizer had to step down and rather than see the event die off, I volunteered to take it over.   The same thing happened with our local event, the Hammond River Classic, so this year I'm actually running two very similar tournaments and have administered them together (to cut out duplication of effort).

Among the responsibilities I've taken on are:
 - Reach out to sponsors, gather prizes, and show appreciation back to the sponsors both before and after the tournament.
- Create and maintain the tournament website for both events.
- Advertisement.   Word of mouth, social media, online classifieds, posters, business cards...etc.
- Prepare all needed paperwork including registration forms, waivers, scoresheets, derby tokens,...etc.
- I will gather and care for any rentals that have been pre-arranged on Friday, so that anyone renting a kayak/canoe for the tournament will have it available for the 7 AM launch time before the rental store opens.
- Bookkeeping to monitor expenses and ensure all participants are paid.
- Judging / Scoring after the event
- Organizing and presenting prizes.
- Collecting as much video and photos as I can and compiling a post-event presentation for the website, facebook and to return to the sponsors.

I have had some help from others in the fishing community approaching sponsors and collecting some of the prizes, but for the most part I've needed to do most of the heavy lifting.    I will certianly look for some help on Saturday again, most likely with judging and scoring, and will appreciate any help I can get there.

There is quite a bit of effort required here, but you know what.... it's been a lot of fun, at least so far.    I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of people I may not have otherwise, and develop valued relationships in the fishing community.

Now in addition to running the tournament, I also plan to participate.   I've been able to arrange some help during the morning of the event to get people registered, paid, given their particpant package and have rules explained.     As such, once the initial ruch of anglers are on the water and things slow down, I'll be able to also get out and do some fishing.    I will lose and hour or two of fishing time compared to the rest, but that's ok, I'll still hopefully catch a respectful number of fish and finish middle of the pack or better.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2 Kayaks, 2 Kids and 1 Broken arm

Yesterday I took advantage of some decent weather before a storm here on Saturday to get both Fynn (6, soon to be 7) and Rowan (3, soon to be 4) out for a short kayak fish.    Rowan still has his arm in a cast so he can't really to much other than sit there an hold my net, while Fynn had never sat in a kayak by himself before.

Rowan took his familiar place behind me in the Old Town Predator 13 on a small footstool.   It is an ideal seat for either boy to ride along on and fish from.   Fynn was placed in my 12 foot Old Town Dirigo along with a rod holder.    Obviously this kayak is way too big for Fynn, but the water was pretty calm, and I had a rope tied between the two kayaks so I could tow him around.

Well I figured it would take 20 min for Fynn to get comfortable, or decide this wasn't for him.    Well less than 5 min on the water, with Fynn just having made is first cast, he calls out "I got one!".    Sure enough, he had a small pickerel take after his spinner/worm!   From there on, Fynn was all in!

We made it across to the far side of the body of water we were fishing, and while I was unable to land any pickerel, Fynn managed to nab a perch!    Once he had the perch, he put the rod away and tried to paddle and tow me around for a while, while Rowan played with the perch!

Not a bad outing for the first kayak fishing trip!   Way to go Fynn!   Looks like I'll be investing in my forth Old Town boat soon.... likely the 8 foot Old Town Heron Junior!

Update:   On Father's Day I had both boys out again, this time in the Kennebacasis River in Hampton.    While Fynn wasn't able to catch anything on this outing, we did see a big salmon jump, and Rowan reeled in a catfish, even with one arm in a cast!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fishbum Field Staff!

This week I was honored to be named to Fishbum's team of field staff!   Fishbum, as many of you know is one of the premiere, and the absolute coolest line of fishing clothes out there.   Their product is top of the line in quality, and the work they have put into their designs is amazing.

While much of the fishbum line of fishing clothing may be considered a little loud for the conservative dressers, their products really to have a strong appeal to the younger generation of anglers, as well as to those who really want to stand out as one who loves the sport.

Fishbum carries a line of jerseys, jackets, shirts, hats, decals and so forth.   Much of their product is dye sublimated, which means the color will never fade!   These items are made to last!    Not only does Fishbum do individual items, they also will work with you to customize shirts and jerseys for your particular fishing group or team!    Check out their facebook site for some amazing team jersey's that Fishbum has put together for fishing teams and group!

My favorite item by Fishbum is the new Muskies Canada Jersey which you can personalize with your full name on the shoulder and last name on the back.   I think the design they have come up with is not too flashy, but at the same time really stands out as a great looking piece with graphics that stand out and show off the Fishbum attitude.

As a Field Staffer, I'll have access to promotions that I can pass on to you.    If you are interested in making a Fishbum purchase, let me know and I'll see what I can do to get you a little discount!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shad on the Kennebacasis

Last night I was invited to join my friend Mike Donovan (Maritime Worms) on a hunt for stripers in the Kennebacasis.   We took off just after dinner, and headed out with tempered hopes as the water levels are still very high, and as such the stripers could be virtually anywhere!    Normally with normal water levels, the stripers would be concentrated in the deeper holes of the river where they are easier to find.

After a while of trolling and marking various swarms of fish, I eventually hooked into what I assumed was grass, but turns out I jigged a small yellow perch with a modified rubber eel.    I guess even without stripers around, the eels are good for catch fish!

Eventually Mike hooked into a few shad, and eventually was able to land the third one.  I hadn't brought any gear for shad, so I put one of Mike grubs on my line but no luck.   Eventually Mike switch to a different rod/lure, and I borrowed his.    Using that setup, I finally managed to hook one and got it into the boat.

It was a great evening on the Kennebacasis.    My thanks to Mike for taking me out and I can't wait to get out again and find the elusive first striper of the season!