Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I'll be easy to spot now!

Last year I had the pleasure to take out a fishing enthusiast from Fredericton out to fish for sturgeon for the first time. While he not only had a great time catching sturgeon, but he was able to bring in some of the biggest sturgeon of the season as well!   Well having enjoyed the outing tremendously, Nathan who works as a graphic technician at Sign FX - a promotional materials company, suggested that he could give my Jeep a more professional look to better promote the guided fishing business.

Though the summer we worked together to come up with a design, select some pictures and such, and this weekend the magic happened.   In between a few full days of fishing, where once again Nathan caught the biggest fish on the day (both days!), he was able to spend a few hours on the Jeep installing the graphics.   The end result is really much better than I had hoped for!

Now, when you see me around town, there will be no mistaking me!   I opted to put a picture of each of my boys on a side window to promote the sport to the younger generation.   Then I selected two pictures showing sturgeon and one of pickerel, which are two of the more popular fish I offer guided outings for.    On each side of the Jeep we put in the name of my blog, a note about guided kayak fishing, and a phone number so that either online or by phone, the contact info is available.

The say that appearance is the top factor in people's perception of you, so this new look on the Jeep should hopefully factor well when it comes to the first impression folk have not just on my service, but on this wonderful sport as well.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sturgeon Alley Mid-Sept Fishing Report

The season for sturgeon fishing is just getting started and as expected things are a little slow to start off.   As the water continues to cool down (was sitting at 65 F yesterday evening) the shortnose sturgeon will migrate into the lower Kennebecasis and as such the fishing will pick up.

Roughly 30" Atlantic Sturgeon, pardon the wet lens on the GoPro!
There have been a number of people fishing sturgeon the past week or three with a few sturgeon being caught here or there.   The majority of the sturgeon right now appear to be young 2 - 3 year old Atlantic sturgeon ranging from roughly 24 - 32 inches.   These fish will make their way out to the Bay of Fundy within another year as they grow in to larger adult Atlantic Sturgeon.

While the sturgeon fishing is still a little slow, the fishing overall isn't bad.   In a couple of hours last night, using only nightcrawlers on my sturgeon rig, I landed 2 eels, 2 yellow perch, a tommy cod, a small striped bass (about 14"), and an Atlantic Sturgeon.    Another fellow was out in boat, having arrived 40 min or so before me and landed 3 sturgeon on the evening (2 of them Atlantics).

I'll be out this coming weekend, as long as the weather allows, both on Saturday and Sunday.   If you do make your way out to fish for sturgeon, be sure to say hi!

I have several Sundays open for guided fishing in October, as well as many dates in November.   If you or folk you know want to book to experience this type of fishing, be sure to let me know!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Featured in the Newfoundland Herald

This week The Newfoundland Herald has included a feature on my exploits with the sport of kayak fishing. As the sport is currently in its infancy back home, hopefully this article spurs some more folk to give it a try!

If any companies from back home are looking to break into supporting this segment of the sport, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Click here to download the PDF in case it doesn't automatically work in your browser.


Fall Special for Guided Fishing!

We are now into mid September and there have been reports of sturgeon already being caught out on the Kennebecasis.    The numbers are not great yet, but there are certianly some sturgeon, and even big stripers out there!

As of the time of this blog post, I have most Saturdays booked but several Sunday's still open.   As such I'm going to throw out a special offer to anyone considering booking for a group adventure this Fall.
Justin with an Atlantic Sturgeon earlier this September

For any full day group booking of 3 to 5 people, I will contribute $125 towards the cost of one new fishing kayak from our local retailer of Ocean Kayak or Old Town - Outdoors NB!    As with all offers there is some fine print.   In this case the booking has to be made for this Fall, paid in full, and the kayak must be purchased before the end of 2016.

See all the great boats and prices from Outdoors NB on their website here.  If you have any questions on any of these models, feel free to ask me.   I have many of these models in my own fleet for you to use during our outing!

This is a great way to not only enjoy a day on the water with friends having an adventure you will not soon forget and a great price, but also have the opportunity to then purchase your own high end fishing battleship at an unbelievable price!    The only problem you may have is deciding who among your group gets to claim the $125 if you have more than one of you looking to buy a kayak!

There are limited outings available this Fall, so be sure to book right away to secure a day on the weekend that works best for you!    You can contact me using the e-mail widget here on the blog, by e-mail at joetilley76@hotmail.com or by phone at 506-650-0395.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A New Brunswick Dilemma: The Mactaquac Dam.

There is an ongoing debate in our province about the future of the Mactaquac Dam, and a decision has to be made soon by the New Brunswick government.   In a nutshell, the dam's life expectancy is going to be up within the next 15 years and it will have to be either refurbished, shut down but left in place, or completely dismantled restoring the river to its original condition.   This is tough issue to figure out as there are legitimate cases to be made for all three positions, and legitimate arguments against each.

All three options are highlighted on a website here.

On the face of it, one may think this is purely a financial/mathematical problem that should be easy to solve given the numbers.   However the environment, social and economic issues go far beyond the profit vs. cost values.    On a power generation side, the Mactaquac dam is essential to our entire grid, providing not only a significant potion of the overall power generation capability, but it is the only site equipped to restart the other sites in the case of a province wide power shut down.

Currently the dam provides the structure necessary to create the Mactaquac headpond (along with other extensions of the river), which is used extensively for fishing, recreation, waterfront homes and cottages...etc.   With no dam there would be no headpond and that would cause a lot of anger for many to rely on it.   However on the downside, the dam prevents many fish species from migrating up the river to spawn.    Salmon for example have been all but wiped out in the Saint John river and many believe the dam is a primary cause of that.     For these and many more reasons, no matter what decision is made, it will be impossible to please everyone.

The first option currently on the table is to refurbish the dam so that it continues to generate power and with it revenue.    Currently the dam has a capacity to generate 630 MW of power (that is potential capacity.. how much it actually generates I have no idea), while the current proposal for this option would see the next generation of the dam increase its capacity to 700 MW, or slightly more than a 10% increase.     According to the website, there would be a fish passageway built, but how viable this would be for the various species I have no idea.  

The second option is to keep the structure of the dam but remove the power generating capabilities.   There would again be a fish passageway built in, and current water levels that maintain areas like the headpond would be maintained.    I am not sure what costs would have to go into maintaining this option over time but I am sure there would have to be some.

The final option is to remove all the structure at the dam and have the river return to its original flow through this section of the river (there are additional dam much further up river).   Over 13,000 acres of land would become exposed from dropping water levels such as the loss of the headpond.   This would obviously be a significant change but one that environmentalists seem to believe is the best option for many of the species which travel the river.

From a fishing perspective, not surprisingly the NB Salmon Federation has come out in favour of removing the dam completely as the proposed fish passage, even if effectively built, of which there is some doubt, would not be sufficient to meet all the needs of these delicate fish.

On the other hand the New Brunswick Sports Fishing Association, which essentially are the guys that fish for smallmouth bass from powerboats, has come out in favor of keeping the dam and building a fish passage.   I know a number of the guys and those I know are all great people.   The groups argument is that the headpond has excellent bass fishing and that people spend big bucks on their boats, trucks and such so that they can fish bass, so bass fishing is a boon to the economy and as such they are more important than other fishing groups.

Both arguments are technically correct but extremely narrow minded in my opinion.    The Salmon folks need to look at the big picture and realize that the cost of doing everything possible to maybe get the salmon back, (which may still be a long shot at best given all the other mitigating factors) may simply be too high.   While the NBSFA needs to lose the arrogant we-spend-money-so-we-are-better-than-you attitudes and stop believing the world revolves around them.   There are many places in the province with excellent bass fishing so I really have a hard time believing the loss of the dam would make that significant an impact to their sport.   Actually even without the dam, one would have to believe there would still be many places in the river that would provide great bass fishing.

I haven't presented nearly enough information here to make a serious argument for any of the options.  To really make an informed decision one needs to understand just how important the Mactaquac Dam is to New Brunswick and what it would mean to lose that power generation capability.    This is information that I am not really qualified present so I invite you to do some research into this yourself.   I've come to my own conclusion that New Brunswick cannot really do without this power and that there currently isn't any other alternative out there.   For certain I am not supportive of the environmental catastrophe that will be the turbine generation project in the Minas Basin!

Right now, my vote would be to rebuild the dam to generate power.  The same vote as that of the NBSFA, but certainly not for the the same selfish and narrow minded reasons.    I am thinking of the effect losing this capability would have on the province, the effect the loss of the headpond and other waters would have on the homeowners, the 10 years / 500 jobs that would be created from this project, and energy certainty we would have for decades after the project completes.   I would hope that everything possible could be done to consult with groups like the NB Salmon council and other environmental special interests to hopefully meet their needs as well as possible.   There would be no excuse not to have the absolute best designed fish passageway in the world at a new site.

Should new information come to light, or other arguments I haven't considered come out, I reserve the right to change my symbolic vote.  I say symbolic because we all know that what the Irvings dictate is what is going to be done anyway, just like everything else in this province.