On May 4th, 2011 I will be heading off on an exciting 1-year trek across Central & South America. I will be carrying two fishing rods in my backpack - one spin casting & one fly rod. Join my adventure as I search for each country's best fishing spots, learn local techniques, and show you how to get in on the action. Rainbow Bass fishing in Nicaragua, Machaca in Costa Rica, and Peacock Bass in Guyana are only a few of the adventures on the itinerary.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What to expect - Fishing in the Mayan Riviera

It has been a while since my last post as I took a break from fishing to focus on writing a few magazine articles. In January, I will be able to say that I am officially a published writer in a recognized North American fishing magazine. I have been investing a lot of my time and money into the future of this blog and my general website joelduncanadventures.com (currently under development). In the new year you will see much more exciting and dynamic content as I take you along on fishing adventures through video, photography, sound recordings and written content. You can also expect to see more interviews with the industry's elite stars and rising hot shots.

My next trip will be to the Mayan Riviera, Mexico(on Dec 27th) where I will try my hand at fishing the flats for some salt-water monsters. Before that, I will visit Home Depot to purchase materials for a customized rod carrying travel case - Something I read in a 'how to' fishing book that is sitting on my desk. Be sure to check back for a picture of the final product. I also invested in a GoPro camera that I will use to capture all of the action on the water, so look forward to some lively footage. If you have done flats fishing, leave a comment with your advice and recommendations.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Scarborough Bluffs Fishing - Salmon, Trout, Lures, and more

I raced home from work this afternoon so that I could make it to the Bluffs in time to take a few casts. My main mission was to see if the salmon and trout had entered the marina. Well in short, 'they are in'. Splashes  are coming from the water but I couldn't tell if they were from salmon or trout (way too dark).  As mentioned in my earlier posts, these fish come into the marina every year before leaving to spawn. They put on quite a spectacular circus act with their highflying leaps out of the water. This usually lasts for about a month then fishing at the bluffs is pretty much over until the spring (the water freezes over). Already the regular fall fishermen are flocking to the shores of the marina trying to land one of these Lake Ontario giants.

Tonight's sunset at the Scarborough Bluffs

A few people have been searching for tips on the type of bait, lures and rods used to fish for salmon and trout at the Bluffs. I have seen just about everything being used but from my personal experience, I would advise using a longer rod (8' to 10' feet) if you plan on using your spinning reel. A long rod can be used to cast spoons and inline spinners further than with the conventional 6'6 rod. Most of the fish troll along the deeper channel where boats pass, so you will need to pitch your lure further to get where the fish are stacking. A long rod is your best bet for this. Heavier spoons like the "Little Cleo" 3/8 ounce can be launched pretty far from shore. After dark you will notice flashing lights going off all around the marina. Anglers use glow-in-the dark lures (particularly spoons) that they charge with a camera flash. The lures will glow for about 2 casts then they need to be flashed again for the glow to return.

Of course you can also try drift fishing with roe bags or pink plastic worms.  I have personally had more success using inline spinners (Mepps & Blue Fox Vibrax #3). This year I will be walking with my fly rod to experiment with a different technique. Earlier this year I was able to catch quite a few pike and bass using Chartreuse Clouser Minnows. As a matter of fact tonight I landed a decent sized perch on the fly. I know...perch don't count!

Hopefully this had helped you to decide what lure/bait to walk with when you head down to the Bluffs. If you have advice that you would like to share with readers, please leave a comment. I will be giving a weekly update on the fishing at the Bluffs so be sure to check back.

Until the next time.

Tight lines and good luck,

Joel  (fishtalker)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fishtalker’s Interview with the legendary Bob Izumi

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to catch up with Hookin' Up star Mariko Izumi to do a quick interview. This week I had the opportunity to ask her uncle Bob Izumi 13 questions that I thought would interest any amateur or pro angler. From his answers you can sense that Bob is genuinely a great "stand-up" guy. Although he was already a personal inspiration and role model, now I have even more respect and admiration for this Canadian fishing icon. Enjoy the interview and leave your comments.

Q1: What would be your advice to anyone who wants to turn their passion for fishing into a career?

Don't quit your day job! In my case I starved for the first decade of fishing for a living even though I was one of few people in Canada doing it 30 years ago. Now it is very competitive out there for sponsorship/advertising with as many guys getting into the business. I would definitely take marketing/business/pr in school to help dealing with the corporate folks as well as the public. Another route would be to either guide or fish tournaments but once again it would be nice to have another job as a back-up. Some friends of mine have got into sales/marketing with the fishing companies and distributors. This could be a more secure venue if you have a family to support.

Q2: What is a typical pre-tournament training session like? I recently read that you start at about 7am and go until sundown. What do you do in a typical training session?

Successful tournament fishing is just plain hard work. A perfect scenario for me is to practice from morning to dusk for 3 straight days prior to an event. Having said that my busy schedule rarely allows me to get the quality practice in before an event starts. It's a bit of catch 22 for me fishing tournaments and being involved in the media as well. If I do well people expect it and if I bomb people say "What happened?" If you watch many of the Canadian fishing shows I am one of the few guys still fishing a lot of tournaments. It is very hard to split up your time and be successful.

Q3: Within a 2-hour drive from Toronto, where would you say is the best place to fish for trophy pike and bass?

You can really pick any direction for bass....Quinte, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Simcoe all have great bass fishing. Trophy pike on the other hand can be found in a few areas of Lake Ontario, Simcoe and Georgian Bay.

Q4: You have probably had more memorable fishing moments that 99% of anglers but what is your all-time favourite fishing experience?

In 1995 I won the Canadian Fishing Tour Classic, Canadian Open and angler of the year....very sweet! More recently winning a couple of tournaments with my son, Darren. Last year a Bassmania  in Trenton and this summer a Renegade in Cornwall.

Q5: If you had the opportunity to take 2 people fishing (dead or alive) who would you take and why?

I have been very fortunate to fish with a lot of people over the years.....celebrities, guides and people who just love the sport as much as I do. The first person would be my late father Joe Izumi. He died the first year I got into the business 31 years ago. We had some crazy yet fun outings on the water in the early years. Over the years I have realized what an incredible person he was. He unselfishly raised four of us in rural Ontario as a single parent working a ton of jobs to make ends meet just to give us the quality of life growing up. He spent all the money he made on us and the neighbourhood kids doing fun stuff including fishing. If I had to pick another person maybe Einstein as he is smarter than me(which isn't very hard!) I always like to learn from people.

Q6:  Heaven forbid but assuming that you were banished for life to fish on one lake/river/body of water in Canada and one outside of Canada where would it be and why?

The Thousand Islands/Lake Ontario here in Canada and probably the Amazon in Brazil for peacock bass. Or maybe Costa Rica....how many can I pick again?!?!

Q7: How did you start out your professional fishing career? Take us back to what inspired you and what made you decide that you wanted to make fishing your profession.

In 1979 I had been fishing quite a few bass tournaments in Ontario and the northern US. I heard through the grapevine that Mercury Marine were trying to get Al Lindner to come to the boatshow in Toronto to do fishing seminars but he was already booked elsewhere. My Dad and I went to Mississauga to speak with Bob Paterson(at the time was the marketing manager) at Mercury about me  doing the seminars at the ten day show. He said let's give it a try and paid me $25.00 per day to do them. At the time I didn't realize hotels, food, etc. would be so much and since I didn't get expenses I came out with not a lot of money. But it was definitely a turning point in my life as I had just been laid off working in a factory in Chatham making trucks. For the next three years I fished tournaments and did promotional work for a number of companies making just enough to put a bit of food in my mouth. In 1983 I started to talk to a relative of my sister's husband at a family picnic who happened to own his own one-man advertising agency. His name is Bob Mcguigan. He didn't fish at the time but liked my idea of doing a fishing show so we hired a cameraman and went out to shoot a pilot show. Things didn't go quite as planned but we did get a few bass on camera. The next attempt we got a big muskie on video and we edited our first show. We did the dog and pony show around the province to twelve tv stations and picked up thirteen as one program director happened to be visiting another one as we met and he took our show as well. We went from producing 13 shows for Ontario stations the first year to twenty six shows across the country the next. The short answer to the question is that I have always fished!

Q8: Some say that fishing is a slowly dying Canadian heritage sport and others say that it is only now getting more popular. What is your take and how can we each do our part to ensure it’s here to stay?

We all have to work together and introduce new people to this great sport. Kids and adults alike need to experience the fresh air and adrenaline rush associated with fishing! Take as many people out as you can!

Q9: Complete the statement: When I am on the water and nothing seems to be working, I ….

....change it up! I get bored fast so I am constantly changing techniques, spots and lures....keep it fun!

Q10: Who in your opinion is the best male and best female angler in the sport today? Why?

There are too many great anglers out there. I have certainly fished against many of them both in Canada and the US in tournaments. It could also be a guide I have done a show with. Don't really have an answer for that one.

Q11: Is it difficult balancing your family life and work life given that you are always on the road filming or in a tournament?
There is no balance. I am always going wide open! I rotate to suitcases that are always full. My wife and mother to our two children is incredible. She has always supported me fishing tournaments or whatever else I am doing around the world. She looks after so many things for me that I could write a book on them. Although we made a deal that I can travel as much as I want for fun or work if I cook when I'm home. Not a bad deal since I currently travel about 260 days and have been on the road as many as 320 in a single year. I like to eat and cook so it's a win-win situation! It drives everyone crazy at home when we will be eating a meal and I'll be asking them what they want for the next one!

Q12: What are your top 3 essential bass lures?

Berkley Gulp 3" Fry, Sabertail tube and a Gulp Sinking Minnow

Q13:  What’s your favourite part of your job?

Fishing new spots and locations around the world and fishing as many tournaments as I can!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where to fish at the Scarborough Bluffs - Salmon and Trout

I have noticed that many people are interested in fishing at the Scarborough Bluffs (Bluffer’s Park) but have no idea where to fish. You many have heard rumors that you can fish for salmon and trout at the Bluffs. Well the rumors are true. Salmon and trout enter the marina in the fall (October-November) for about a month before they leave to spawn in the rivers that run into Lake Ontario. There are no exact dates when they arrive and leave so it is up to you to head down to the park to see when they are in. Most people tend to fish with spoons and a spinning rod, drift roe bags/minnows, or float fish with marshmallows. Typically I fish with inline spinners like a #3 Vibrax from Blue Fox or a Mepps Aguila. What I can say is that no one method is necessarily better than the other. Some people are better at drifting while others are superstars with casting a William’s Wobbler. My advice is to try whatever you are accustomed to fishing with.

This year I will be experimenting with my new Sage fly-rod that I purchased from Wilson’s Fly Fishing Shop on Queen Street. I have started to tie my own flies and I am sure that I will have some success once I figure out what patterns the trout and salmon are taking. My only challenge will be finding enough space once the regular anglers flock to the shores when the fish show up.

So the question is “where to fish at the Scarborough Bluffs?” I have included a map of the marina and four spots that you can try this fall. All I ask is that you respect other anglers if they are already fishing in these spots when you arrive. There is nothing more frustrating to an angler than having other anglers casting their lures right where they were fishing first. It is an unwritten rule to give anglers their space and try another spot if a spot is already being fished.

CLICK HERE for a detailed map with 4 fishing spots

View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rainbow Bass Fishing - Lake Arenal Costa Rica

My recent journey to Lake Arenal, Costa Rica proved to be very successful on many fronts. Although I hoped to land a record sized Guapote/Rainbow Bass (8 plus lbs), I was quite content when I hooked into a four and a half pounder. We arrived in Arenal expecting to fish weed beds with spinner baits and top-water lures but Captain Marc quickly assured us that catching a Guapote on those lures would be nothing short of a miracle at this time of the year (late August). Spinner baits work best in May when the fish are closer to shore in shallower water.

Marc made it crystal clear that the best way to catch a Guapote would be to troll the deeper waters with crank baits. He has fished Lake Arenal for over 20 years and has been taking people out on his boat for about 7 years. Disappointed by the captain’s warning, I decided to use his services for a half day instead of a full day as trolling for 8 hours didn’t quite appeal to my adventurous nature.

As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. At 6 a.m. we still decided to try our luck closer to shore with spinners and shallow running crank baits. But, as Marc predicted we did not have much luck. We only caught one small fish that resembled a sunfish on steroids.

With the clock ticking and the number of fish netted unchanged, we decided to give up on the casting and take the captain’s advice. On went the tail dancers and out we went into about 20 feet of water. Within the first 3 minutes of trolling my rod tip stuttered and I stood up and shouted “I think I’ve got one”.  I would repeat this chant every ten minutes for the next two hours. Every time I saw my rod dip my heart skipped a beat as I envisioned it bending to its breaking point with a 15 lb Guapote on the other end. The rod never did bend that far but it did get its fair share of action as we caught one Guapote after another. Marc suggested that we keep the fish since they were all a perfect eating size. He furthered to say “don’t worry you can give them away, no one around here will turn down Guapote”. 

2 female Guapote from Lake Arenal

Since I am trying to get this story published in the upcoming months, I will not divulge all of the details or post many pictures. If you are really interested in the adventure to Arenal, you will have to keep posted to see which magazine takes the story. In the mean time, if you are going to Costa Rica and you would like to fish for some Rainbow Bass contact me for more information. You can also check out Captain Marc Delvaux’s website http://www.fishinglakearenal.com/. If you contact him by email he may take a day or two to respond since he is always on the water. For a faster response, just give him a call. He speaks English fluently.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A wild adventure on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica - Part1

Last June I made my maiden voyage to Costa Rica with my longtime amigo Denver. We landed in San Jose, rented an SUV and headed out on a 10-day road trip across the country. As usual, I walked with my fishing roads and a tackle box full of my favourite crank baits and spinner baits just in case the opportunity to cast a line presented itself. Before leaving Canada I had done some quick internet research about where I could fish in Costa Rica. Of course I was bombarded with countless deep-sea fishing charter websites that boasted the best Wahoo, Sail Fish, Marlin or Dorado fishing in the country. Coincidently I came across a site that offered Rainbow Bass fishing on Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal. The lake was located right at the foot of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Volcano Arenal.

The colourful Rainbow Bass (locally known as Guapote, meaning ‘the most handsome’) are renowned for their fierce strikes and the fact that they fight like it were a title heavyweight bout in the UFC. Rumor has it that a Rainbow hits twice as hard as Largemouth and makes a Smallmouth look like a geek in an arm wrestling competition with the high school jock.

Let’s just say that I ended up going on zip line tours through the jungle, hiking to the largest waterfall in the area, relaxing at the hot springs and drinking one too many Imperial cervezas, then ran out of time to get in a day of fishing. Well…not quite. 

On the drive out of Arenal going to Monteverde, we decided to pull over on the highway to take one last look at the lake and the smoking volcano in the horizon. We shook our heads in disbelief that we were about to leave without having the opportunity to fish such a picture perfect lake. The sun was high in the sky and it had to have been one of the hottest days of our trip. Standing there drenched in sweat, we decided that it was probably not the best use of our money to rent a boat at the hottest hour of the day. Just when we decided to go back to the car we were approached by a guy who asked us if we were interested in fishing or going for a tour of the volcano from the lake. To feed our curiosities we asked him how much he would charge for 2 hours and he quoted us $150. We knew it was literally highway robbery (since we were standing on the highway) but decided that we would go if he lowered his price to $120 (that’s $60 per person). Minutes later we were on a little fishing boat heading towards the volcano. 

 The calm before the storm - Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

We were out for just about 45 minutes when a severe storm came out of nowhere. It was unbelievable how a perfectly blue sky could suddenly change to a deep depressing grey. Within minutes a torrential downpour started and bolts of lightening were firing across the sky. Naturally we Canadian boys were not afraid of the rain but it seemed like the lightening was getting closer to our little boat by the minute. We could sense that our guide didn’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings but the weather was worsening by the millisecond. A loud explosion rang out from above and bright blot of lightening seemed to have hit the ground on shore about 400 meters from where we were. At this point we were officially shocked and scared knowing that we were like sitting ducks with our fishing rods pointed at the skies.

We knew that once we finished reeling in our lines it would be time to sprint for the shoreline. Denver got his lure to the boat first and I could see his purple Rapala Husky Jerk breaking the surface of the water. I reeled even faster since I didn’t want to be the one responsible for our electrocution in the middle of the lake.  Before I could get my line in, I heard a loud splash near the boat. At first I thought that the lightening had finally found our boat but when I looked around I saw Denver standing there like a deer in headlights with a fish furiously flopping about on the end of his line. I don’t think that Denver knows how and when the fish hit his lure but the fact is that he had just caught his first Lake Arenal Machaca

To be continued...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Q&A with Mariko Izumi: “I love my job as a TV Travel/Fishing host but I wouldn’t rule anything out in terms of future projects”

If you aren’t already a huge fan of the globetrotting Mariko Izumi and her show ‘Hookin’ Up’ it’s about time you get to know why so many people are.

Fishtalker asked and Mariko Responded. Here's what she had to say:

mariko izumi

1. Heaven forbid but assuming that you were banished for life to fish on one lake/river/body of water in Canada and one outside of Canada where would it be and why?

Mariko’s Answer: In Canada – Lake Ontario, because this way I could still switch it up…one day I could be fishing in the Kingston area and the next day I could be fishing in the Toronto area (and enjoy the view of my home city!).

Outside of Canada – Pacific Ocean (off the coast of Costa Rica)

2. You have traveled all over the world but what are your top 3 recommendations for a group of single friends searching for the perfect blend of fishing and entertainment (partying)? Why?

Mariko’s Answer: Miami: partying in South Beach and fishing for sharks a mile offshore. Jaco Beach, Costa Rica: cool tiny bars and amazing deep sea fishing for Sailfish, Dorado and Wahoo. Montreal: this city is packed with good restaurants and bars and you can fish for bass on the St. Lawrence River (although the part about being single doesn’t apply – all 3 places are great for everyone!)

3. I assume that you have tons of bloopers and funny moments when filming Hookin’ Up, but what’s the funniest pick-up line (fishing related) that someone has tried on you when you were on the road filming?

Mariko’s Answer: Believe it or not, the pick up lines are never fishing related.

4. Complete the statement: When I’m on the water and nothing seems to be working I…
Mariko’s Answer: I don’t really care ‘cause I’m on the water! It’s always good to be on the water (unless I’m sea sick of course).

mariko 2

5. You certainly don’t fit the stereotype of an angler, so what’s it like being a female angler in a male dominated sport?

Mariko’s Answer: To be honest – don’t put much thought into it.

6. What 3 lures would you tell every angler to never leave home without?
Mariko’s Answer: Depends on where you’re fishing and what you’re fishing for. I always go with what the pro or guide tells me to use.

7. Your show ‘Hookin’ Up” is doing really well but what’s next for you? Any future projects that you are dreaming of working on?

Mariko’s Answer: I love my job as a TV Travel/Fishing host but I wouldn’t rule anything out in terms of future projects…I like to take things as they come.

8. What’s your favourite part of your job?

Mariko’s Answer: Getting to re-visit favourite cities/towns and getting to explore new ones.

9. What is banging on your i-pod on repeat? What’s the last song you added to your i-pod (assuming you support Apple products)?
Mariko’s Answer: Songs on repeat lately – “We Started Nothing” by the Ting Tings and “OMG” by Usher….last album added to my ipod – Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite

10. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to make fishing more than just a hobby?

Mariko’s Answer: Think of unique ways to get yourself noticed and be respectful.

Photo credits – the WFN

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Northern Sky - The brightest rainbows

On the long drive up north to fish lake Temiskaming (somewhere between Muskoka and North Bay) the clouds rolled in and took over the clear sky. Within minutes the rain came down and it came down hard. Justin was driving and I was sitting looking ahead of us at the heavy drops pounding against the windshield. I was so focused on the sky and the rain in front of us that I forgot to fully close my window. The rain started to come in and Justin said "You better put the window up".

The clouds roll in - view from the front seat

I snapped out of the spell that I was under, looked to my right and froze once again. This time what I saw was absolutely unbelievable. It was almost like someone had hand painted the brightest rainbow we had ever seen right into the clouds. As a matter of fact if there were ever a bucket of gold coins at the end of a rainbow, this would have been that rainbow.

 The Brightest Rainbow - Or should I say rainbows (a second one above)

With the rain pelting into the window, I took out my camera to try to capture this thing of beauty. Unfortunately, even out in the middle of nowhere people need electricity so lamp posts and wires were hard to avoid when taking pictures out of the speeding car. If you ever have the opportunity to make the drive up north, keep your eyes peeled on the road and the sky because you never can predict what's around the next turn.

 Hand-painted in the sky

Now that you have all enjoyed this rainbow/double rainbow, check out this video that's sure to make you laugh out loud: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exclusive Fishtalker interview with Mariko Izumi

Exclusive Fishtalker interview with Mariko Izumi host of WFN’s “Hookin’ Up” – Coming Soon

Mariko is in our opinion “THE female face of fishing”. More than just a bright smile and a member of one Canada’s most decorated fishing families, she’s the host of her very own travel/fishing show on WFN. Luckily, she will take a minute out of her busy travel schedule to Hook Up with Fishtalker for an exclusive interview. Whether you already follow her on the tube or you just want to learn a bit more about Mariko, check back to see what she has to share with us.

Quick facts about Mariko Izumi:
  • Queen’s University & Humber College graduate
  • Originally from Ancaster (a small town outside of Toronto)
  • Host and associate producer of WFN’s “Hookin’ Up”
  • Daughter of pro angler Wayne Izumi; niece of fishing legend Bob Izumi

Mariko's Fishing Favorites:
  • Favorite places to fish - Langara Fishing Lodge in British Columbia and Los Suenos Resort and Marina in Costa Rica
  • Favorite fishing partners - mom and dad
  • Favorite type of fishing - saltwater fishing for dorado (mahi-mahi) and salmon
  • Most memorable catch - when she was about eight, catching a large mouth bass behind the hotel in Orillia, ONT where her dad and bob were fishing a tournament
  • Favorite fish to eat - red snapper and salmon
Be sure to check out http://www.wfn.tv/hookinup/index.php for more on Hookin’ Up

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shore Fishing at the Scarborough Bluffs

n. A steep headland, promontory, riverbank, or cliff.

Word origin - 1680s, from Dutch blaf “flat, broad," apparently a North Sea nautical term for ships with flat vertical bows, later extended to landscape features (taken from dictionary.com)

When doing internet research for places to fish close to Toronto, you may read about a place called ‘The Bluffs’. The Bluffs is actually the short name used by locals when referring to The Scarborough Bluffs, located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The landscape was said to resemble the limestone cliffs of Britain’s first seaside resort town (Scarborough, North Yorkshire) and consequently inspired the name given to the city in 1796.

Bluffers Park Marina at about 8am

Bluffer’s Park is located at the southern end of Brimley Road where it twists, turns and descends steeply to meet Lake Ontario (drive with caution). The park first opened in 1975 to answer residents’ call for more public open spaces and improved access to the lake. Among other things, the park offers scenic lookout points, a supervised beach (July and August only), public restrooms, and a public boat launch facility for recreational boaters and sailors. Families, young couples and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the park on summer afternoons to escape the hustle and bustle of Scarborough’s city streets. Paid parking is usually enforced from June to September so walk with some extra coins or a credit card to avoid being ticketed.

The Fishing:

Fall: The marina receives most of its fishing pressure from September to November when trout and salmon come into the marina for a short stay before making their way to nearby rivers to begin spawning. Anglers use many techniques but float fishing roe bags and pitching spoons like Wilson Wobblers are most commonly used. I have had a lot of success using inline spinners like the Vibrax Blue Fox (#3 or #4) and the Mepps Aguila.

Winter: The water in the marina freezes over so shore fishing is just about impossible unless we experience an unusually warm winter that extends the fishing season.

Spring: Right after the ice thaws in the spring many massive Northern Pike make their way into the marina to spawn and feed. If you already fish for pike you know that they eat just about anything in sight and are less picky eaters than other species of fish. They also tend to feed during sunny periods when bass and other fish run for cover under the shade of heavily weeded areas. Your chance of catching bigger pike is best in the spring before they return into the deeper waters when temperatures rise. They will hit your lure quite close to the shoreline where they troll up and down scooping up smaller less fortunate fish.

Northern Pike - Caught in July on a Lucky Strike soft-plastic frog

Safely released after his picture was taken

Summer: In July and August smallmouth and largemouth bass make their way into the marina. Remember these are Lake Ontario bass so there is always a chance to catch your personal record when you least expect it. The bass tend to be more finicky and will often chase your lure to shore without taking it. Don’t lose hope. As an angler it is your job to figure out what they are really feeding on.

When all else fails...try a Mepps

Friday, July 9, 2010

Temiskaming - The Place of Deep Water

The results are in! Lake Temiskaming (New Liskeard, Ontario) is a must-fish lake if you want to catch trophy Small mouth Bass, monster Pike or over sized Walleye (Pickerel). The lake is about six hours drive north of Toronto but what’s in store is worth every minute you spend behind the wheel. If you think that Muskoka is northern Ontario, think again. Drive past Muskoka and the ‘deer crossing’ signs are replaced by moose crossing signs. Once you past North Bay all that’s left is you, Highway 11 and a few small towns that you probably have never heard of.

The stretch of highway from North Bay to New Liskeard would be exactly what every fisherman would hope heaven to be like (nothing but trees, open skies and countless lakes). Before you can jot down the name of the lake you are passing another one appears in the horizon to distract you from the last. It is almost impossible to resist pulling over at least once to try your luck in on of the picture-perfect pools that practically run onto the roadside.  Unless you have the patience and restraint of Buddha your six-hour drive can easily turn into a 12-hour fishing expedition into the north. Don’t worry, the lakes aren’t going anywhere. Even if you had as many lives as a cat, you still wouldn’t have enough time to cover all of the lakes in this region.

More on fishing Temiskaming  to follow…..

Classic Lake Temiskaming Small Mouth

Tube jiggin - A 13 ft hump in the middle of Temiskaming

Oxymoron - A really big smallie

Double Header - Caught on spinner baits (late afternoon)

Bass Angler Justin with another smallie - Average size on Temiskaming

Evening Walleye (Pickerel)

On the troll - patiently waiting for the rod to whip forward

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whirlpool Muskie Missed

The Niagara Whirlpool fishing expedition was very eventful for several reasons but the highlight of the day’s fishing has to be when Justin hooked into an elusive muskie (only three feet from shore). He was using dark green tube jigs to target Small Mouth Bass when unexpectedly a muskie followed the jig all the way to the shore. After about two minutes of fighting, the fish of 10,000 casts won the bout and escaped into the rapids only a few feet away. Naturally Justin was very disappointed since this is the second time that a muskie has managed to escape him down in the whirlpool.

Does this mean that he now has to cast out his line 10,000 more time before hooking into another muskie?

Small Mouth Bass caught on a tube jig

A complete update will follow shortly

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fishing The Niagara Falls Whirlpool

Niagara Falls Trout - Caught on a Vibrax Blue Fox #3

This weekend’s adventure takes us to the Niagara Whirlpool on the Canadian side of the majestic Niagara Falls. The Whirlpool is a section of the Niagara River where it makes a sharp right-angled turn and water circulates in a counterclockwise direction (most dramatically from November to April). The whirlpool reaches depths of up to 120 ft (38 m) and water rushes through its rapids at about 30 miles per hour. If this doesn’t spell danger, what does? The reward of being a true gladiator of the outdoors and facing the obvious trenchers of the whirlpool is a chance to catch really big fish. Depending on the time of year, you can catch everything from Smallmouth Bass, Trout, Carp and even the fish of 10,000 casts Muskie!

View of the Whirlpool in June

Just two years ago if you wanted to fish the shores of the Niagara Falls Whirlpool you had to prepare yourself for a treacherous hike down a narrow unpaved trail and a proper pair of hiking boots would have been strongly recommended. Today there is a wooden staircase that you can take halfway down the trail (the rest of the journey is a pretty easy hike to the shoreline). Anyone in average shape (whatever that means these days) can make it down to the bottom of the gorge in about ten minutes. Climbing back uphill is a bit more challenging and will surely put the burn on your quads. With that being said, the scenery is absolutely beautiful so put on a pair of shoes with reliable grip, do a quick warm-up stretch and start hiking. Just remember that although the installation of stairs may have made the hike down less dangerous, the whirlpool is just as furious as it was before the stairs.

New stairway installed to make whirlpool more accessable

Although Niagara is famed for being one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, this trip will be no romantic escapade (unless of course you count our love for fishing and the outdoors). We will trade in our hotel room for a tent which we will setup on a small ridge about 60 feet from the water. Our bathroom will be the safari toilets located a few feet from our four star lodging. Camping out in the gorge will give us the opportunity to take our first cast right when the sun is rising. This is also the best time to catch the monster Muskie that come closer to shore for an easy breakfast meal. Naturally, there is a myriad of hotels, motels and inns close by if you prefer a bit more comfort.

Fishing the whirlpool in the heart of winter

Check back for pictures, videos and sound bites of this adventure. In our upcoming posts we will provide some lure recommendations and potential hotspots around the whirlpool where you can go for the big one. Be sure to visit www.twitter.com/fishtalker for an up to the minute update of our spills and thrills. 
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