Friday, August 4, 2017

Kayak Fishing in Eastern Newfoundland

My family and I are on vacation before we move to Ontario back home where I grew up in Newfoundland.   For a week we are up on the Bonavista Peninsula staying in Newman's Cove, the town where my Dad grew up and I spent many summers as a boy with my Pop.   We are actually renting Pop's old house, so this trip has a very special significance for me remembering all those days when Pop would send me to Woody's store as a 5 year old to get him a pack of smokes.... but I digress!

Yesterday and today I was able to get out in the harbor on my Old Town Predator PDL and chase some fish.   I had all the old fishermen scratching their heads as they have never seen anything like this before in their waters!   I started off using some Berkeley PowerBait to see what ground fish I could find all caught lots of sculpin (scorpion fish).   These are really cool looking fish who are the garbage collectors of our local sea floor.  They come in several colors and once in a while you can find one with really freaky eyes like this!

Moving on from ground fishing I started tossing out the traditional cod jig in hopes of catching some Atlantic Cod.    The recreational food fishery is active now meaning people are allowed to catch and keep up to 5 cod per day.    It didn't take long before I got a hit and when I brought it in I was surprised to find it was a conner.  My first ever conner!   These fish resemble a sea bass in shape and have some very sharp teeth.

After that my fish finder went a little crazy.  In 40 feet of water the bottom 20 feet were suddenly full of fish.   I knew what this meant....  caplin!   The caplin are out in the bay now and there are a ton of whales swimming by all the time feeding on them.   The caplin are the primary fish of cod, so I knew I may be getting close to my target fish.   Sure enough, it didn't take long and I hit the school of cod, just off the banks behind my Dad's trailer!    I sat out there for 20 min, catching cod while my parents and kids sat up over the hill watching.   What a great morning!   I even spotted a humpback not too far away, though the GoPro makes it look a lot further off than it was.

This morning I got out again despite the wind being a little stronger and blowing directly across the bay.    While my launch site was quite calm, once I got half way to my destination, the water became quite choppy and rough.    Since I was half way there, I might as well keep going, whats the worst that could happen!  :-)   Anyway, this morning I kept to the cod jig only hoping to catch my 5 cod quickly and return safely to shore.   I ended up catching several more conners before I finally found the cod in 60 feet of water.    I got my 5 quickly at that point including some big ones!   Today's haul will likely be donated to a few relatives who do not get a chance to get out themselves.

Dad working to clean my catch and make steaks