Little Over One Month To Go!

Hello everyone.  Well, the countdown is now on.  We are just a little over one month to go until fishing season officially opens here in New Brunswick.  We still have a lot of snow to melt away before then but we had some warm weather last week and it went down a lot in just a few days.  The early fishing can be tough here as the water is so cold but that never stops me from trying.  I will most likely try to do some trout fishing early on and then move onto the pickerel and bass.

A friend of mine also invited me to try some black salmon fishing when the season opens so I am anxious to try that for the first time.  I hope you are all getting as excited as I am.  Feel free to leave a comment about what type of fish you go after in the early part of the season.

What type of fishing do you do at the beginning of the fishing season?

Your Favorite Fishing Day of the Season?

Bass at First Eel River LakeAs this year’s fishing season is quickly (and sadly) coming to an end I was sitting here tonight thinking what my favorite days fishing have been this season.  I hope to get out a couple more times but I will have to wait and see if that happens.  I can not honestly say if I can only pick one day as my favorite.  I am extremely lucky that I am a vice-principal and get the summer off.  This allows me more opportunities to get out fishing than a person that works throughout the summer.  I also need to say that this summer is probably the summer that I got out fishing the most in a very long time.  I thank my wife for allowing me to go so much this summer.

Every day was great in it’s own way but  I think I can narrow down my favorites to three.  I know that is not one, but I think I need to mention all three.  I will mention them in order that they happened.  Back in May my friend Matt invited me to go to First Eel River Lake to go fishing for a Saturday and Sunday.   I certainly accepted his invitation and we spent the two days fishing for bass and chain pickerel.  We spent most of our time fishing for smallmouth bass.  We had a great two days of fishing, stayed at a fantastic lodge, and I met three new fishing friends.  Even though it was early in the season we got into lots of bass and had a great time trying different baits to catch them.   We did have some issues with it getting windy but we were still able to have a great time fishing.

Number two on my list would have to be the day James, Casey and myself went to French Lake to do some pickerel fishing.  We had planned to get together for a day’s fishing and it finally came together this summer.  We arrived bright and early and fished all day.  Again, the wind played a factor, as it was very windy for most of the day but in Casey’s 16 foot aluminum boat we were fine.  We spent the day fishing the weeds and also trolling.  We each caught plenty of pickerel and perch.  The best part of the day was being able to share it with two other people.  We spent the day teasing each other, talking, and also listening to music, as Casey has a cd player in his boat.

French Lake Pickerel

Number three on my list was the day that Glenn and I went salmon fishing.  This was the third time that we went salmon fishing together this summer.  We spent the day on two different stretches of water.  Together we hooked into seven grilse.  Glenn landed his first grilse of the season on this day and I landed my very first salmon ever on this day.   It was a great day weather wise and I was very excited to see as many grilse as we did.  I almost landed one earlier in the day and then landing the other one put an end to a fantastic day.  Playing these two grilse has given me great experience and I feel the next time I hook into a grilse I will have a much better idea of how to fight it properly.  I hope to get out salmon fishing one more day before the season comes to an end but we will see if that happens.

My first grilse.

I am writing this to explain my three most favorite fishing days of the season but I would also like to ask what your favorite fishing day of the season was for you.  I would love for you to write a comment describing your favorite day as I always like to hear other people describe their time on the water.  I look forward to reading your comments.

Pickerel Fishing

Pickerel love waiting for prey in these areas.

A weed bed that will hold lots of pickerel.

Pickerel fishing is a type of fishing that many people have not tried for what ever reason. I was introduced to pickerel fishing a couple of years ago by my friend James and have not looked back since. Over these past few years I have learned what baits to use, what line to use, where to look for the pickerel, what techniques to use, and the pickerels tendencies.

I live in New Brunswick and have found a handful of places to fish for pickerel that are not too far from home. Two of these places have produced very good fishing. These two places are French Lake and Chipman. I have spent many days at Chipman fishing off Salmon River. What is important about both of these places is that weeds and lily pads grow in these two spots. If you are new to pickerel fishing you need to know that chain pickerel love to stay under cover. Once the lily pads are out the pickerel seem to love these spots. They will hide under these weeds or lily pads and ambush their prey, or more importantly, your bait or lure.

Since pickerel like to stay in these weeds or pads it is important that you use baits or lures that can be rigged up weedless. You can certainly use other regular baits or setups if you fish the weed lines but you will have much more success if you get set up weedless and get right in the middle of the weeds. A bait that James and I have learned to really enjoy using when pickerel fishing is the 6 inch senko (rubber worm). Our favorite colors we like to use because they give us our best action are pink and red. You can buy these at most stores in the fishing department. I buy many of mine on Ebay. There are countless colors and lengths to choose from. We set these up weedless and cast them right into the weeds and reel them in right across the top of the weeds. We have had countless times where we have had multiple strikes from a certain weed bed. It is important that when you put the senko on the EWG hook that the worm is straight. If it is not straight it will affects its movement in the water. The pictures below will show you how to rig up a senko so that it is straight and weedless.

When the weeds are thick I find the senko works the best when you cast it out and begin reeling in just before the worm hits the weeds. I find this is important because sometimes if the senko hits the weeds and stays still for a second or two it has a better chance of getting caught up in the weeds, even if it is rigged weedless. What I mean by this is sometimes weeds or grass will get caught up at the front of the bait.

Since chain pickerel have very sharp teeth it is important that you use the proper line when fishing for them. If you are using regular fishing line I will pretty well guarantee that you will have your line cut a handful of times by their teeth. I have used braided line in the past which can withstand their teeth quite well but I have had difficulties with it getting knotted up when casting. I have gone to use Berkley Smooth Cast line and using a steel leader. I find using a black steel leader has given me better luck that the silver ones. I have been using the Mustad 20lb black leaders. When I land a pickerel I also using a glove made for fishing. It has rubber dots on the palm which help keep a hold of the pickerel. It may look a little silly but I like using it because I can keep a good hold and do not worry as much about getting cut by their sharp teeth.

The technique I use the most when fishing with the senko is to cast right at or near the weeds and like I said earlier start reeling in just before the bait hits the water. I normally reel in quite fast. The pickerel seem to like the fast moving baits. I will cast around a certain weed spot a few times seeing if I can induce a strike. If I see some movement or get a hit but do not hook the fish I will cast back to the same spot as the pickerel will usually strike again. They are an extremely aggressive fish this way. Reeling in fast keeps the senko at the top of the water. I like this because you get to see all the strikes and many of the strikes that the pickerel make are very impressive.

If you are new to pickerel fishing or are thinking about giving it a try I hope this information has been useful and hope you get into some pickerel because it is some fun when you do.