Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SPRING/SUMMER REPORT 2019 GRAND LAKE AREA

    So far, the weather this spring has been pretty good. It has been a slow and steady melt with warm days and cool nights. That's just the way we like it here at home on Salmon River. The ducks arrived pretty much on time this spring. I saw the first puddle ducks on March 27th. I have seen them arrive as much as a week earlier on other years when warm weather early on opened things up quicker These dates are within normal parameters, so as long as the rain stays away, maybe we won't get any bad flooding. After last years mess, I don't even want to think about it. We're about two weeks away from the peak of the freshet so we will just have to wait and see what Mother Nature brings.
     Fast forward to the first week in June!
    I had to abandon the post I was writing because we got hit with a flood again this year! This years flood peaked about six inches less than last years historic level. Still a level that, once again, caused damage and hardship for all involved. Most folks in the flood zone were at least a little better prepared this year but some residents were still struggling with the after effects of last years mess, myself included.
    Fast forward once again to the end of August. I had to stop writing my blog after starting back up after the peak of the flood because of the tremendous amount of work on my plate. Severe flooding two years in a row and some health issues had my activities outdoors slowed down considerably. Ken and the boys didn't get hit but Jamie did have some water in his basement that needed tending.
    Most of the locals I talked to felt that the flooding of the Saint John River system didn't help the fishing for most species. The late, cold spring slowed runs down by as much as two weeks. Things did seem to get back to normal in July but what is normal these days?

   The 2nd Annual JDI Fishing Derby was held during the Chipman Summer Festival and attendance was doubled over last year. That means this tournament is being well received by the fishing fraternity and will continue to grow. The proceeds from this tournament goes to the Chipman Fish and Game Club to fund projects. JD Irving is the corporate sponsor for this tournament and they have spared no expense in organizing this fishing derby. Volunteers from the fish and game club were out in full force, with help from Irving's work force in Chipman. Doug Tyler was MC for the event and is always a popular speaker at the microphone. He was helped out by Jim Lawless, GM of Woodlands and Robert Fawcett, head of Corporate Relations for JD Irving. The overall tournament was a success and the weather held off until the end of the day. Tents helped to ward off the heavy rain showers and kept the closing ceremonies dry. Here is a link https://www.facebook.com/Chipman-Fish-Game-Club-217555511667995/ to the Fish and Game Club. Look for the live feed and other details of the tournament. I'm not going to go through the list of winners but I did want to mention Lucas Leavitt because he cleaned up in the youth category and also did really well in the kids derby held earlier in the summer. This young man loves to fish and it's starting to show. His name is in the winners circle on a regular basis and is someone to watch at future events. Honorable mention goes to Keith Murray and Adam Mountain for their catches. My old buddy George Palmer took third place in the yellow perch category. Congrats buddy! Here is a short clip of the storm as it hit Chipman at the end of the tournament.


    JD Irving is to be commended in his efforts at funding every celebration in the province, large or small. This is a great way to win the hearts and minds of all New Brunswickers. In the past, JD Irving would fund bigger projects that benefited New Brunswickers as a whole. Nowadays, the new strategy is to fund all the smaller activities and celebrations all over New Brunswick. I think this is an attempt by the corporation to reach the little guy in N.B. Social media has proven to be a mighty tool in organizing common people against a perceived threat and JD Irving is very wise to recognize this fact. Hence, the push to reach the little guy and I think this strategy is working, to a degree. New Brunswickers today are a lot more savvy and aware of what is happening in our province and it will take REAL change in the way big corporations do business to sway their opinions in both social media and at the election polls. Change is inevitable. Whether it is good or bad is still to be seen.

     We may have been dealing with a flood again this spring but we had returning bear hunters from Germany, so we were hard at it tending baits and preparing stands for our bear hunters. We run baits in three zones but this spring zones 17 and 18 got most of our attention. As usual, we had multiple bears at ALL of our baits and there were some nice boars in the mix.
    Our hunting party from Germany consisted of Nils and Manfred and their lady friends. This was Nils' second hunt with us and he is an experienced and capable hunter. Manfred has had some experience hunting roe deer and hogs in his native Germany but that is the extent of his hunting experience. Nils tagged out on two nice boars by mid week of their hunt and Manfred had two very good chances early in the hunt before wounding the weirdest looking bear any of us have ever seen! This bear looks downright creepy! I'm hoping this bear survived and there may be a good chance it did. We had a team of trackers with a dog and couldn't find it after a couple hours of searching the area. Manfred had already missed a good shot at a nice bear earlier in the hunt , so when he drew some blood out of a bear, he decided to call it a day. I thought he was a very good sport about it. Manfred may have gone home without killing a bear but he had some exciting memories to share when he got back home! Here is a picture of the strange looking bear that Manfred wounded.
This bear was at one of Jamie's baits in Zone 17. This bait was really hot this spring and had two other big boars haunting it. Here are a couple of trail cam photos.
This next bear had a bad looking ear on him. I would like to have seen those two guys meet up sometime.
Overall, our German hunting party had an exciting trip with plenty of wildlife photo opportunities for everyone. Nils was accompanied by his lady friend when he killed his first bear and she got quite a thrill out of the bear circling the blind before it came in to the bait. Here is a photo of Nils with his first bear.
This next photo shows Nils second bear after we skinned it out. Nils was hunting with Kenny at a bait in Zone 18 and actually walked in on the bear when they got to the bait.
Both of Nils bears were beautifully furred with no rubbing. They'll make nice rugs and will be fitting mementos of their hunting trip to New Brunswick. Here is a group photo at the end of their trip.
    I would advise any new hunter who wants to hunt bear with us here in New Brunswick to really do your homework and try to familiarize yourself with all aspects of the hunt. Through the years I have seen many hunters, including some experienced hunters, lose their shit when a bear comes in on them for the first time. This seems to happen more often if the hunter is in a ground blind at eye level within thirty meters. We like to have our hunters on the ground for several reasons and if the hunter is prepared, things will favor the hunter. A large bear or bears that close can be intimidating to some hunters and invariably, they won't acknowledge any fear they have. That's not a good thing for the guide. All bear guides would like the bear to drop at the bait and, with a good shot, they will usually die within one hundred meters. Bears are a tough animal and the shot MUST be good or you will never find it. Advise your guide if you have any reservations about your set up or if you are seriously nervous on your hunt. This will help avoid any potential problems during your bear hunt with us. Ken and I want our hunters to be successful and we will do whatever it takes to get the job done, so just speak up and we will make it happen.

I want to mention a couple of aspects about our bear hunts that are different than other bait sites that guides maintain both here in N.B. and other areas. You won't see our bait sites with barrels and pails hanging all over our sites. We have a technique that works for us and our bait sites are very clean and super productive. We always have multiple bears with a good boar or two at all our baits. Our baiting technique has been perfected over many years by Kenny and I and it works! Without giving away any secrets, the type of bait, amount of bait and the frequency of the bait cycle is the key to our success. I might add, we have little or no hunting pressure around our baits and this could be another factor for our success. Don't hesitate to contact me through the channels provided for more information on booking a fall or spring bear hunt with us.

    During this very trying summer, I travelled a little more to other areas of the province fishing for stripers. Mostly, I just wanted to get away for a while to a new area. I am new to surf fishing for stripers but I had some success fishing the beaches in Miscou and Cap Lumiere. Like most outdoor sports, timing is critical. The tides and wind direction and speed must be taken into consideration when fishing for stripers on the beach. I did manage to catch a schoolie at Miscou that I released. Here is a photo of that fish.
There are some nice beaches to fish from around Miscou. Lameque and Shippigan Islands. Here is a photo of a popular spot on the Strait side of Miscou.
I caught the fish on a beach in the Bay side of the island. Locals seem to pick which beach they fish according to the wind direction. Here are a couple of photos of those beaches.
A beautiful spot that has all kinds of room for fishermen.
Here is another photo taken on the beach one evening during my trip to Miscou Island.

    I also fished Cap Lumiere a few times this summer. This is a beautiful part of the East Coast whose shores face across the Strait towards the Northern Head of P.E.I. The beach I fished is an hour and twenty minutes from home and has easy access. This spot is gaining in popularity very quickly through social media posts and the best spots are filling up as soon as the tide starts in. I really like this spot because of the rocks which makes structure for the fish. Here is a photo of a small striper Donna A. caught one evening. 
Surf or shore fishing for stripers is a very relaxing activity and the scenery is spectacular. There were tons of gulls and ducks and osprey were constantly hunting and diving for fish along the beach.
     Here is a video clip of an old native guy from the nearby reserve at Indian Island. He looked like Cochise with sunglasses and had an air of nobility about him. I don't know if he was a Chief but he had a few young natives come down to talk with him. Anyhow, he was a very cool old guy. He also knew how to fish stripers. He caught and released one and then hooked what he thought was a bigger one. It turned out to be two keeper sized stripers!  He looked at us after he landed them and asked if we wanted them. We said sure and he handed them over and thanked us for taking them so he wouldn't have to clean them! He said he had caught lots this summer and had eaten his fill. Thank you sir!.

    The 2019 N.B. moose season is just weeks away and we have two tags in our group this year. Kenny and Jamie both have tags for Zone 18. Kenny and I will be hunting the Harley Road area and Jamie will be hunting his private ground along Sisson Brook. These are good areas and with a little luck and good weather, we should be able to knock a couple down. Jamie says he is holding out for a big one but Kenny is like me. If it's a decent size moose, it gets a pill. I really like the meat so I don't worry too much about the horns unless the person I'm hunting with is hunting for horns. Then we hunt the way they want to hunt. We aim to please!
    Both Kenny and Jamie have taken beautiful bulls in the last few years from the Bronson side of the Harley Road. This area has been getting more and more pressure the last few years but still holds some nice bulls. This photo shows Jamie with Kenny's 2016 moose.
I'll have a more complete report on this years moose hunt later on.

    Please contact me through the channels provided if you would like to spend some time with us outdoors in the Grand Lake area. Remember, we have real savings on group bookings.

    This is Dale Bauer saying, " Happy Trails to You, Until we Meet Again "

No comments:

SPRING/SUMMER REPORT 2019 GRAND LAKE AREA

    So far, the weather this spring has been pretty good. It has been a slow and steady melt with warm days and cool nights. That's jus...