Thursday, July 30, 2009

PICKEREL---TROPHY FISH OR TRASH FISH?

Summer is slowly rolling along,with the weather being very similar to last year-WET! This is good news for the salmon and trout,as the high water conditions and cloudy days helps to keep the water temperature down to a very comfortable level for these two species of fish.But that doesn't necessarily mean such conditions are good for the fishermen! The salmon have a tendency to run right on through to their spawning areas,without stopping to rest in the pools and perhaps,with a little luck and skill,be tempted to take a fly.The trout also will be free to move about in their habitat and not be forced to hold in front of the spring brooks,where the temperature is a bit cooler and more to their liking.This makes both of these species of fish a little harder to take. The rule of thumb in these conditions is to fish longer and try to cover more ground. Being in the right place at the right time was never truer than in these circumstances.There are lots of salmon and grilse in the system and more coming on the tides each day and there are some nice fish being caught,its just been a little harder fishing. The high water conditions has been making the pickerel fishing a lot tougher, too
Again,the fish are more dispersed throughout their habitat and you have to spend a little more time to find them,but when you do,some nice fish can be taken.The photo in this post is of my son,Curtis, with a trophy sized pickerel he caught while introducing his girlfriend to the pickerel fishing in our area.
He caught a few good sized ones and then he hooked the one in the photo.He missed it on the first take,which is quite common with pickerel.He knew it was a good fish and he told his girlfriend to watch as he cast to it again.This time the water parted from a distance of about six feet and the water exploded under the lure as the fish struck with such ferocity and violence that it shocked Curtises' girlfriend.After landing the fish and measuring it,Curtis carefully released this great fish to catch another day.Curt explained to his girlfriend that this pickerel was six or eight years old and it's a shame to keep them,especially if you aren't going to eat them.Take a photo and release the fish.At least then you can have bragging rights and provide some other angler the thrill of catching a trophy sized pickerel. Around our fishing area,a nice pickerel is one over twenty inches.One like Curtis caught,twenty-five and a half inches,is considered to be trophy size.We regularly catch ones over twenty inches and we will catch several over twenty-four inches throughout the summer.Now there are people who think you should kill every pickerel you catch and the only reason they would ever fish for them would be for that very reason. Usually these fishermen are hard-core trout and salmon fishermen who are convinced that pickerel will ultimately destroy all their trout and salmon fishing because they will prey on these species.Pickerel will feed on these species,but they usually occupy different habitats and don't impact much on each other.I had a chap tell me the other day that smallmouth bass fought better than a salmon and he called them the "king of gamefish".I had to fetch him up at that point and I told him I would rather fish pickerel than sm.bass any day.He asked me why I felt that way and I told him I liked the way pickerel took the bait and the fact that they were usually easy to catch.Also,pickerel are right in my back yard,so I don't have to travel to fish them. So,if you ask me my opinion,I will tell you every time that pickerel are trophy fish and I'll argue the point until I'm blue in the face! I have included a good picture of a Luna moth in this post also. They really are quite beautiful! The deer and moose are busy caring for their young and trying to stay clear of the flies,which are very bad this year because of all the moisture.There are lots of moose in our area and the deer are making a slow recovery from the devastating winter of two years ago.It is encouraging to start to see more deer in some of the areas that were hard hit with winter kill.Our government should be doing more to help both the deer and salmon in the Grand Lake area,but that is for another post.We do full and half day fishing and sight seeing tours on Salmon River during the summer and early fall for pickerel and perch and we can guarantee you will catch fish,period.So if anyone would like to spend some time on the water with us, just send me an e-mail or give me a call and we will make the arrangements.Tight Lines!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PUFFINS,THE BITE AND LUNA MOTHS

They say time flys when you are having fun and here it is the middle of July already! Ken and I have both been right out straight for the last couple of months,as both of us had an unexpected work load to contend with. I haven't been able to post anything lately because of computer problems,as well as being away on vacation for the last week. I know that puffins are not considered game birds,unless you are from Iceland,where they are still hunted,but I had to mention the colony I visited on Machias Seal island near Grand Manan.
Just having a colony of these delightful birds here in New Brunswick is something all of us native sons should be proud of.Being able to visit them in their mating season in their only nesting colony is a priviledge everyone should try to participate in at least once in their lives.We landed on the island after a boat ride of about an hour and a half on a beautiful day and we were able to visit and observe and take pictures for another hour before we had to leave.There are very strict rules for visiting these birds while they are mating and raising their young and we were very happy that we were able to visit the island and watch the birds from the blinds that the students and biologists use when studying these beautiful little birds.We were also able to observe razor billed auks and common murres in the same habitat. I can only say if you ever get the oppportunity to take this trip,you will never regret it. It truly is a once in a lifetime event. The salmon fishing has been off to a rather slow start this year compared to last year. There have been some very large salmon entering the Miramichi river system,but the grilse run has not come in yet leading some to wonder if we will get anything close to the numbers we got last year.Usually when we get a good run of grilse one year,the following year there is a good run of large salmon and this pattern seems to be holding true.That being said,we should still get some good numbers of grilse coming in as the water conditions a near perfect.Lets hope for the best and pray that last years fantastic run of fish wasn't just a fluke! Last month Ken and I had the priviledge of guiding two fine gents from Darthmouth,N.S. Ed Clarke and his uncle Bob,came up for a little trout fishing and they managed to catch some pan sized speckles,as well as some nice sea trout.Now the sea-trout

that the boys caught were not the huge lunkers that traverse our better streams because these fish typically run early in June up to their spawning beds and will stay there in these protected waters until fall when they will spawn.But we did manage to catch up with some smaller ones that run a little later and will hang around the mouth of the spring brooks.Ed and Bob fished the Gaspereau,Cains and the MSW Miramichi rivers over the course of the day and were into fish on all three rivers.Ken and I wanted to try to give them a taste of what the fishing was like on these different sized rivers because these boys usually fish small lakes back home.I think Ed and Bob had a good time visiting with us and I know Ken and I both really enjoyed guiding them as they are both great guys,as well as being very good fly fishermen.They are also very conservation minded,having released all their trout to be caught another day. We really hope to fish with these two gents again,perhaps in the spring for black salmon.We would love to put together a trip to the Miramichi for these two guys and perhaps a friend or two. Ken called me up the other night quite excited and told me to come over with my camera,as he had something he wanted to show me.When I got there,he pointed to a rather large moth on the side of his porch and asked what it was and I told him it was a Luna Moth.Although these beautiful lime green moths are fairly common,Ken had never seen one before and was quite fasinated by it.I can understand why he had never seen one because in this part of the country their life span is only seven days long and they only produce one generation per year. They are fairly large,having a wingspan of 3.5-4 in. wide,so if you see one,chances are you will know what it is because of its size and lime green coloration.The pickerel bite has been very good lately,as the gaspereau have gone out,so the food supply is dwindling.My son Curtis was out guiding a couple last week and they caught some very nice ones in the 24-26 in.range.If you would like to get out on the water or out in the bush for a trip in our beautiful neck of the woods,just give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and Ken and I will have you into the fish or on the game.See you there!

GOODBYE SUMMER......HELLO FALL!

  Temperatures have finally started to moderate here at home on Salmon River and for most folks that's a good thing. This summer was...