Monday, May 16, 2016

Pokemouche Kayak Fishing

Whew, what a crazy four days!   Together with fellow kayak angler John Cail (IPop), I took off a few days from work to travel across to the North Eastern side of New Brunswick to explore the new-to-me waters of the Pokemouche river and then down to the famous Miramichi River to kayak fish for striped bass.

The Pokemouche starts off as a rather large river that looks more like a lake in parts.   Fishing for trout is popular there with 99% of people appearing to troll in boats.    A special Thank You to Gaetan whom we met at Long Lake last year for inviting us up to give the Pokemouche river a try.   Gaetan is one of the few who does his fishing there in kayak, though I'm sure as more and more people notice him fishing, others will be sure to follow!

Unfortunately, as with much of the fishing around the province, the early Spring threw off the expected fishing schedule on the river.   These early weeks in May typically would have fantastic fishing with water temperatures around 5 degrees.   Over the past weekend, the best fishing had already passed with temperatures around 10 degrees, meaning many of the trout likely had already moved a bit further up river.   I guess that is something to keep in mind for next year should we go back; pay attention to the timing of the Spring and plan accordingly!

We fished the Pokemouche, padding about 10 km each way in what started off as beautiful conditions.   As the day wore on, the wind picked up till finally we were faced with a daunting headwind on the way back.   We didn't catch any trout in the Pokemouche, but we certainly got our exercise in!  

The final 500 meters required a tough crabwalk perpendicular to some very strong wind and considerable waves which was a ton of fun!   I love playing in rough conditions in my Ocean Kayak and Old Town fishing kayaks as they were designed to handle it.   Gaetan has a high end Jackson kayak so he was able to make the crossing safely as well.   Lots of folk in boats and from shore who haven't seen fishing kayaks like are around today all thought we were nuts!  

Knowing how to navigate windy and rough conditions is a skill all kayak anglers need to learn as the wind can come out of the blue and in open water that can lead to some intense situations!   Of course, knowing what your kayak can and cannot handle and not trying to exceed those limitations is vitally important as well.

On Friday, after trying again on the Pokemouche for a few hours, we packed up and headed to the Miramichi... details on that adventure next!

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