Black Salmon Fishing…What A Day!

If you are someone who has thought about giving Black Salmon fishing a try I would strongly suggest it.  Over the winter months my friend Glenn had talked to me about taking me to the Miramichi on the opening weekend of fishing season to try some Black Salmon fishing.  He told me to mark Saturday, April 16th on my calendar.  I always do what I am told so I marked the date.  As this weekend came closer the plans were finalized.  Glenn and Chris were going up Thursday night with some people and they were going to fish on Friday and I was going to go up Friday night with one of their friends and fish Saturday.

On Thursday we received an email stating Glenn’s friend was not able to go up as he had other things he had to get done.  Glenn told me that he and Chris would drive back to Riverview Friday night, pick me up, and drive right back to the Miramichi.  I told him not to be so foolish and that I could go some other time with him as I did not expect them to drive all the way back here to get me.  Well, am I ever happy that they did.

Chris with one of his many Black Salmon.

Chris with one of his many Black Salmon.

We arrived at Glenn’s friend’s camp on the Main South West at 11pm, got settles in and watched a little TV.  The guys were tired out from the long day on Friday and I would say everyone was asleep by midnight.  We woke up around 7:30, got some breakfast and set up for the day.  We were not in a big hurry as it was -4 degrees out at 8am.  Once we had our gear ready and dressed properly we headed down to the boat.  We dressed in layers so we could take off a sweater or two if it warmed up enough.  Glenn, Chris and I went in a boat and three other people went in another boat.  It was cold out but there was no wind so it was not too bad on the water.

Once in the boat we headed right on the river.  Just a few meters down the river there must have been 10 or more people fishing from the bank.

People fishing off the bank.

People fishing off the bank.

We headed past them a little ways and put the anchor down by the right edge of the river.  We stayed on the right side the entire day.  We decided to put the anchor down and cast out and let the current take the fly own river.  The current was quite strong so it did not take long for the fly to get down river.  The set up we were using was wet flies, with sinking line as the Black Salmon mainly stay down this time of year.  Glenn and Chris had many different colored wet flies.  Glenn used a light blue colored fly, I was using a yellow one and Chris used the yellow one plus a few different ones throughout the day.  I am new to salmon fishing and do not know all the names of the flies.  I will talk to Glenn and comment later with the proper names.

My first-ever Black Salmon

My first-ever Black Salmon

As we started fishing Glenn had a hit on his third cast.  The Black Salmon hit as he was retrieving the wet fly.  I was obviously very pleased to see a fish on right away.  We used a net to help land the Black Salmon throughout the day.  We continued to do extremely well right away as we landed 7 Black Salmon within the first half hour.  Chris caught the second one and then it was my turn.  As it was the first Black Salmon I have ever caught I was very pleased.  At that moment I told the guys I was very glad they came back and picked me up Friday night.

We continued to fish in this area and lift the anchor and float down a few feet and then put the anchor back down.  As the boat settled we had very good luck fishing this new area as we got strikes almost every time we fished over new water.  None of us changed our flies in the morning as we were all having good luck with the flies we started with.

The guys said on Friday that they did catch some very good sized fish.  As of this time in the morning we were catching grilse and did not see any big salmon.  This did not matter to me at all because I felt catching these grilse was awesome fun.

Just a little bit before lunch we decided to do a little trolling with the wet flies.  As we were doing this I had a very good hit and I told the guys that the hit was hard.  As I started to reel in the line the fish came in quite easily but soon I started to feel a more resistance on the line.  The other fish came to the surface of the water fairly fast as well.  This one was not coming to the surface at all.  It did feel heavier then the other fish I was catching in the morning so Glenn stated that I must have a nice salmon on the line.  After a bit more time went buy the fish finally surfaced and I was very excited as I quickly realized this was the biggest fish I have ever had on the other end of the line.  It took me a little longer to get the fish in the net but we did land it.  The picture below is me with the Black Salmon, a picture I will not soon forget!  It measured in at 32 inches long.

My catch of the day!

My catch of the day!

After this we went in to the camp for lunch and to warm up.  At around 2:30 we went back on the water and we back to the same area and did the same type of fishing.  We did some casting and some trolling.  Glenn had a big afternoon as he landed two very nice sized fish.    The biggest one he caught was 36 inches.

Glenn with his biggest Black Salmon caught.

Glenn with his biggest Black Salmon caught.

As the day finished, we each landed our limit so we could not ask for a better day.  Glenn said hit was the best day of Black Salmon fishing he has ever had.  I am certainly glad I was there to be part of it.

If you are someone who has thought about giving Black Salmon fishing a try I would recommend finding a way to give it a try.  Thanks to Glenn and Chris for the fantastic day.  It will be a day I will remember for a very long time.

Fishing Pickerel at French Lake, New Brunswick

Getting ready to go fishing with some great friends.

Getting ready to go fishing with some great friends.

Casey emailed James and I midway through last week asking if we would like to go pickerel fishing at French Lake.  James and I obviously both said yes.  I think I said yes first but we will have to ask Casey that.  Casey picked me up first and we were at James’ house by 7am.  We arrived at French Lake by 8:30.  As we were arriving, Casey said his friend Ron might join us for the day and if he did not bring his son Casey asked if one of us would fish with Ron on his boat.  I said I would, so Ron and I were against James and Casey in a friendly competition to see which boat would land the most pickerel.

Being near the end of September the water was 58 degrees when we started fishing around 9am.  James and Casey took off down one channel and Ron and I stayed out on the main channel.  Ron was using some red senkos Casey bought for him through Ebay.  This is reminding me I need to buy more as I am completely out of red ones myself.  Ron caught two very nice pickerels right off the bat.  I had a couple of hits but that was it.  Ron and I continued to make our way down the lake.  Ron was pretty steady at catching pickerel and I landed two by the time Casey and James came back from the channel they were fishing.  This was about an hour into the morning.  Ron had 6 pickerel in the boat, I had two, Casey had four, and surprisingly James had none.

The two boats separated again and Ron and I continued around the bend.  James and Casey were in front of us and disappeared around a corner.  Ron and I spent some time in an area that was right in front of another channel.  Ron was trying some different baits and he had fantastic luck in this spot.  He must have landed ten pickerel in about an hour or less.  I was getting strikes but only managed to land two pickerel.  James and Casey came back and said they only caught a few more and then made their way down the channel that was in front of us.  Ron and I fished in our same spot for another half hour and then decided to follow them down the channel.  I had never fished this part of the lake so I was interested to see what it looked like.  The wind was at our backs and help pushed us down the channel at a decent pace.  Going down this channel Ron and I got into a lot of pickerel.  Yes, you read right, even I got into some pickerel.  Some were hanging close to the banks, probably sunning themselves to get warm and some were out a little ways.  By the time we caught up to James and Casey Ron had a whopping 36 pickerel landed and I was reaching a respectable 13 pickerel landed.  I say respectable because I was stuck at four and five for most of the morning.

Casey with a nice pickerel.

Casey with a nice pickerel.

It was close to 4pm and Ron said he had to leave so I jumped into Casey’s boat and joined the two of them for another two and a half hours of fishing.  I continued to stay hot ending up landing 22 pickerel for the day.  Casey also landed 22 and James caught on fire and ended up with 26 pickerel landed.  His 25th pickerel was his best of the day measuring at a coincidental 25 inches long.  My longest of the day was 22 inches.

James with the 25 incher and Casey being Casey :)

James with the 25 incher and Casey being Casey :)

I had a great day fishing with a new fishing buddy in Ron.  He had a great boat with a 40 HP motor and he also had a trolling motor at the front end of the boat that he could control with a foot pedal.  If anyone has a front deck on the their boat I would strongly suggest getting one of these trolling motors.  It did a fantastic job putting us exactly where Ron wanted to put the boat.

Me and my pickerel.

Me and my pickerel.

I do not think I mentioned this yet but Ron and I won the competition for the day.  We said we would certainly all have to get out again next season.  Casey mentioned that maybe we would even get out one more time this season.  I certainly hope that we do get the chance.

Me being very content with another excellent day!

Me being very content with another excellent day!

Again, if you are ever interested in going chain pickerel fishing I strongly suggest giving French Lake a try.  The four of us landed 106 pickerel for the day.  I would say that was a pretty good day of fishing.

Please read James’ post on our day as well.

Pickerel Fishing in New Brunswick: French Lake

This was by seond best pickerel of the day.

This was my secoond best pickerel of the day.

My Friend Mat and I were talking Saturday and decided that we would go fishing on Sunday.  We decided to go pickerel fishing at French Lake.  We went to the French Lake that is connected to Indian Lake about 15 minutes past Jemseg.  There is another French Lake by Oromocto.  Mat has a 12 foot aluminum boat so we took that.  We arrived at French Lake around 9am.  We used the boat launch on Sand Point Road.  We went right and then turned left and made our way down the long channel and started fishing when we saw some lily pads.  We got some action right away and I landed two smaller pickerel fairly quickly.  I was using a red senko, which has been extremely productive for me this year pickerel fishing.

We then continued going along this stretch of the lake as I knew a couple of spots that I wanted to try.  We got to a spot where you can continue in the same direction or take a left to go down another channel.  We went to the mouth of this channel and dropped anchor and started to make casts to move edges of the lake.  We were both getting good action around the lily pads but also by some grass patches in the middle of the water.  We both must have landed 3 or 4 fish at the spot.  We started to go this channel a little farther but the grass got very thick so we decided to make our way back to the main part of the lake.  We then went to a spot that is a dead end and was productive when I was there about a month ago with James and Casey.  We saw a few pickerel but nothing much as the water was quite low and the grass was very thick, which is normal for this time of year.  We drifted down a little ways to a point just in front of another channel and we dropped the anchor.  We were making long casts and started to get a lot of action. This spot was a little deeper but there was still grass in the water.  We started landing quite a few fish and some of them were getting to be a fairly good size.  Mat was changing up his baits quite a bit and was getting some success on different colors.  They were hitting some orange, solver, and reddish worms.  I was basically sticking with the red senko as it was still being successful.

We then decided to go down the other channel to give it a try.  We did not get a lot of action until we found another point.  We fished off this point for a bit and each landed two more pickerel.  We decided that since we had such good luck back at that other point that we would go back and try it again.  When we got there we anchored in the same spot and started casting again.  Right away we got into a bunch more pickerel.  This was right around 4 pm and it must have been their supper time because they were very aggressive.  We also got into our biggest pickerel of the day.  Mat caught two in a row that were very nice and then got a real nice one on.  He fought it for a bit but then it snapped his line.  The very next cast I made after this I had a really nice hit and I knew I had a very nice fish on my how heavy it felt when I was reeling it in.  When we got it in to Mat’s net, which has rubber netting, we knew it was a very long and thick fish.

Mat with one his many pickerel on the day.

Mat with one his many pickerel on the day.

Casey will get mad at me because we did not have a tape to measure it but we did a rough measurement and we said it was 26 inched long beating by personal best by an inch and 3/8.  As you can see in the picture it was a very thick fish and was great fun to catch.  Before the second time we went to fish off this point Mat started using a pink solid tube.  I had never seen them before and thought it would be productive because I have caught many pickerel using a pink senko.  It turned out to be very successful for Mat as he ended up catching many of his pickerel using it and I caught that personal best using one of them as well.  During the winter I will certainly being getting some for next season.

By the end of the day I would say we each landed around 20 pickerel.  We had a great time on the water.  As usual there was a fairly strong breeze but that was alright as it was very hot yesterday.  We saw lots of eagles and other birds throughout the day.  Near the time we were going home we saw some trying to catch some fish in the lake.  We saw one dive right into the water and come out with a big pickereklbut as it was trying to take off out of the water it dropped it.  It was a pretty neat sight.

My new personal best at 26 inches.

My new personal best at 26 inches.

Thanks Mat for the invite and the great company as usual.  I look forward to getting out with you again, if not this season, then next for sure.  For anyone interested in pickerel fishing I strongly suggest French Lake in New Brunswick. James and Casey went to French Lake a few days after Matt and I went.  Take a few minutes and read about their day.

Have you ever fished on this French Lake?