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.

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

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