Archive for the 'Fishing spots' Category

Why Leaving A Prime Fishing Location Can Be A Mistake

Rainbow Action

Never Get Going When The Going Gets Good!

I have seen it time and time again; an angler packs up and leaves a spot when the bite is on. But why?

Why do we leave when the bite is on, give up on a prime piece of real estate and go home or go elsewhere on the river? The school is alive; three fish then four and five. Then a short break in the action and were gone. I’ve done it before but I will not do it again! Recently out on a trip with my long time fishing partner Todd Penney, we battled wind and dirty water to hook up with a dozen trout. After a long walk up the river for several miles there were no hits, no nibbles and no trout to be seen. We relocated to a rocky bank side walking down river to reach deep slow moving water. Still no action. Copious casts and nada, zippo, zilch. The fish were fussy and getting the best of us.

Todd suggested we try one more location which meant we had to walk again, this time two more miles upriver. My legs were tired and I was fatigued but I wanted a fish, one fish, any size or color will do. I was desperate and agreed. While walking up the river we talked about what we thought was happening with the trout. Was it the time of day, was it the dirty water conditions or were the fish just plain not feeding? Left baffled and a little dejected, we reached our destination point, an island in the river with tall pine’s that break the river into two channels. At the time, this location had a large ice shelf which divided the river into a side channel that flowed in right where we stood. In past years, we have had many great days here, but with no fish landed I was not convinced today was our day.

A change in lures was in order, I had fished the same lure for an hour and it needed a rest back in my tackle box. I opted for a Blue Fox Minnow Spinner in order to keep the minnow bait from bottom snagging. This lure can work in one inch of water or you can slow down the retrieve and make it work at the bottom. This was the right choice for the structure of the river that day. I launched the minnow spinner far beyond the shallow current that was coming in from that side channel. I did not want to spook a potential taker. As I reeled in I made sure to catch the current of that side channel and let the lure drift with the current. Once my lure was past the shallow shelf and into deeper water, my first taker was hooked in. I was elated and reeled him in so I would not loose the fish. Finally my first fish of the day was out of the way. A quick photo and away he went. What was then about to happen blew both of our minds.

Todd was using a Rapala and he was next to hook a trout, a beautiful rainbow. My following cast employing the same retrieve method, another brown trout was hooked. By the time I could get my fish in, Todd had released his. Todd watched as I landed my fish and released him. The school of trout were just getting fired up; one fish after the other was caught. I landed eight fish a Todd about the same. It was late in the day and the sun was setting. I was tired and wanted to leave the river. Todd wanted to change hooks and stay for another half an hour. I agreed and also switched lures; a Berkley Frenzy Firestick Shallow was tied on and fired out. A few twitches and a Bang, another fish.

We both caught eight to ten fish a piece in that hole I was about to leave. Five fish after I wanted to leave this prime hole. You just never know what the trout are going to do. Keep fishing even when you think that you have caught all of the fish in your location. Switch hooks and use another color, or a different size of lure. Try a spinner instead of a spoon. A twitchbait instead of a crankbait! Never give up on that spot until you are one hundred percent sure that the bite is off. Never get going when the going gets good!

Pike Action

The past weekend my brother and I went fishing for some pike, at Canal Lake, which is located in the Kawartha region of Ontario, Canada. We fished from shore casting a variety of baits to see what the fish wanted. A little tip for fishing from shore is using a lure that can be thrown a long distance. A lure that can cast further gives you a better advantage because it always you to cover more water.

Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits was our lure of choice. Fishing was a little slow because of the funny weather we have been having with an inconsistency of warmth, which is needed to really get those fish in a feeding frenzy. Lipless crankbaits worked the best and produced numbers of fish but no lunkers were caught. The way we worked the bait was casting it out as far as we can and reeling the lure in at a steady retrieve just over submerged weeds. We used 7’MH crankbait casting rods and 7.0:1 burner reels. Our reels were spooled up with 14lbs fluorocarbon line. Another tip that I would suggest is use a fluorocarbon line conditioner I can’t stress enough how much it helps with reducing bird nests and the prevention of line coiling.

All though we did not catch any fish to be bragging about we still had a fun day out on the water. Any day of fishing beats any day at home. Not catching “Big Bertha” is only motivation to go out fishing again.

‘Till next time: May your hook sets be Massive and your fish be Monsters!

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=w9TO2iB7nv0[/youtube]

“You Have Too Many Lures…”

“You Have Too Many Lures…”

“You have too many lures, you don’t need any more!” Is a phrase that I hear from my family and my friends when they find out I purchased new fishing lures. But are they right to say that I do in fact have too many lures? To be honest, they are partially right because line, hook, and worm would do just fine. After all, it is the most trust worthy bait ever used.

However, fishing for me is more then just sitting and waiting with a worm under a bobber for a fish to bite. I enjoy pitching a jig, ripping a jerkbait, and skipping a finesse worm under a dock. Lures offer more opportunities to catch fish. They are designed to imitate the real thing and to be used as a tool to hunt for those fish. The key word in the previous sentence is hunt. Lures allow you to go out and find the fish. Whereas, when using live bait you are sitting and waiting for the fish too bite.

I’m a collector and I enjoy seeing my tackle trays being filled with various types of lures. And it is only fitting that I do fall victim to the latest bass fishing trends. More notably, the swimbait trend. These giant lures with the most realistic paint finishes are a different lure then from prior years. Who knows maybe the next lure you by may be worth a pretty penny in the future.

Yet, the main reason as to why I purchase lures comes bake to fishing and catching more fish. I want to be prepared for any situation that nature throws at me. Whether it’s a lake that is clear or dirty or even filled with weeds I want to have lures that will best be fit for each situation. The key is being able to use the right lure in the right situation. You can’t use a hammer to screw in a 4 inch screw. It is important to have the right tools for the job.

The bottom line is that I buy so many lures because I realize that there is no one lure that can catch fish and be used all the time. Different situations call for different lures. This is a hard concept for the weekend angler to grasp. However, once an individual embraces the sport they too, like a bass, will fall victim to a new lure.

‘Till next time: May your hook sets be Massive and your fish be Monsters!

Peter Natev

Discovering india’s hidden land

taj.jpgA strike!? A student strike… I could not believe my misfortune. Here I was in Delhi, about to embark on a three week trek into the foothills of the Himalayas… It had taken months to organize the expedition, and now I paced in my hotel room like a caged animal, wondering if the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh and the Assamese plains were ever going to materialize… Tomorrow morning, we were booked on the only flight to Dibrughar, but the students had blocked the airport to draw attention to the Arunacheli independence movement… And the flight, of course, was cancelled. Our group consisted of seven anxious anglers, avid sports-fishermen ready and willing to explore exotic destinations in search of the world’s prized gamefish. Yesterday, like good tourists, we visited the Taj in Agra, and while at the old fort, I watched with slow-motion horror, as my camera strap strangely unlocked, sending my only wide angle lens crashing to the ground, disabling its focus control. Was this to be an omen of things to come…?A FISHING TRIP?

goldenseer.jpgBack home, during the planning phase of the trip, our friends and relatives would invariably ask the same question? `Why go fishing in India?’ India was famous for her mahseer (barbus tor), a species that once roamed throughout the major river systems, but like the tiger, it had been hunted to near extinction. Today, save for some stretches of the Cauvery River in the South, the majority of India’s wild mahseer populations exist in the tributaries of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. Recently, India has facilitated tourist access throughout most of the Northeast. In Assam, Restricted Area Permits are no longer required, and In Arunachal, small groups (minimum 4 tourists) may obtain 10 day access permits.

With the world growing larger, finding a sanctuary or geographical paradise, is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in such densely populated areas as India. The North-eastern states, or 7 sisters, like most border areas of the world, have had a history of conflict, namely between India and China. Many aboriginals still protest India’s occupation, forming an underground which occasionally reaffirms its resolve through militant action. In Nagaland and Assam, the underground is more active, but in Arunachal, protest is done more peacefully.

As it turns out, my angst lasted less than an hour. As we arrived at his home, our group leader, John Edwards of Tiger Tops made a few phone calls, booked us on another flight to Guwahati, gathered more jeeps, and requisitioned a helicopter… And poured me yet another gin – in almost the same breath. In the end, the student strike only added spice to our adventure…

John Edwards is a chronic explorer, who works for Tiger Tops/Mountain Travel, a tour company which pioneered treks throughout the Himalayas and its surrounding areas. John has twenty five years experience in jungle tours, especially in Nepal, where he has built spectacular lodges catering to a wide range of clientele. Those interested in watching tigers from the houda of an elephant, river rafters, mountain climbers, photographers, naturists, all may practice their bliss amidst breath-taking surroundings. Although forced to be a Jack-of-all-trades, I believe Edwards is mainly a mahseer fisherman at heart, and together, our group was on a mission; to fish one of the last angling frontiers, in search of a specimen that time itself, had forgotten…

THE FIRST GLIMPSE

bridgetoheaven.jpgCreated by the slow roar of tectonic plates that splintered the rock buried beneath the sea and carried it into the clouds, the Himalayas are testimony to the cosmic insignificance of Man. Their ancient peaks, weathered like the wrinkles of an old man’s hand, made the Rockies pale in comparison. When our jet banked its wings and crossed the mighty Bhramaputra, the sun’s brilliant, dying rays meandered along the river, ushering us into a corridor of silver and gold. A lone island immerged out of this shimmering divine fire as we descended towards our destination. `That is Peacock Island’, John said. `Legend has it that those who see Peacock Island for the first time must always return, at least once during there lifetime.’ After spending the night in Itanagar, we flew by helicopter up the rest of the Bhramaputra (at ground level much of the way) occasionally passing by villagers paddling their skiffs, fishing or moving their herds. These are true `boat people’ who, each year, must suffer the wrath of the monsoons and rebuild their homes.

Upon landing in Pasighat, we met Ozing, John’s charming Adi agent, who led the convoy of three jeeps into the heart of an impenetrable jungle. We had arrived on the last day of the monsoon which, much to our chagrin, ended a few weeks later than anticipated. This meant the rivers were still high and murky, and most of the fish would still be upstream beyond our grasp. As always when battling with less than ideal conditions, catching big fish was going to be a challenge.

india1.jpgWe headed up the Siang, one of the Bhramaputra’s main tributaries, on a mud road barely one car wide, which was great fun on sharp turns, overlooking bottomless chasms. Most of the Villagers were part of the Adi tribe. They live in a spectacular rain forest, cultivating rice wherever the forest will let them. We enjoyed stopping occasionally in a few villages such as Boleng, where inevitably a crowd gathered to watch the pale foreigners. Several wood bridges span across the Siang, allowing for magnificent vistas in the morning mist. Upon visiting one of them, John explained the dangerous task that certain British colonialists had in establishing first contact with the natives in the Northeast (including those who were head-hunters.) Conflicts would occasionally result in a few dead British officers, which invariably led to costly retaliation expeditions to punish those `responsible’ for the offences. The sight of a British regiment snaking its way upriver on boats accompanied on shore by cavalry units mounted on elephants crashing through the forest must have been no less than surreal. Eventually, the British grew tired of such endeavours and drew a border line which excluded these traitorous regions.

AMIDST THE ANIMISTS

Adi are Animists; they celebrate several festivals a year, many of which include the sacrifice of a `mithun’, a semi wild bull. Dance plays a significant role in Arunacheli rituals; their costumes are extravagant. In the war dance we witnessed, the men wore feathered headdresses and displayed their petrified tiger jaw medallions. One day, a middle-aged, beetle-nut chewing Adi man came to our camp and with the help of our translator opened a theological discussion with me. He asked me if I was one of those… Christians. Although my birth certificate does have something Roman and Catholic scribbled somewhere, I assured him that I worshipped the River and that I revered many of the rivers I had frequented in my travels. He, in turn, revealed that he worshipped the Sun, which was the same as the river since they both brought life to people. He then shook my hand. Although I probably weighed 75 pounds heavier, his vice-grip palm almost brought me to me knees (this brought a chuckle from my colleague Jeremy, a UK designer who when fishing was slow, seemed to enjoy how the local village girls were fascinated by, and often attended to his long hair.) The Adi men have incredible musculature. They have spent every day, from sunrise to sunset either working, hunting, or carrying insane loads on their heads and walking remarkable distances. It puts the western ` three hours of aerobics a week’ to shame.

On our next to last day in Arunachal, our fishing efforts were rewarded when Peter Gamarano, a retired US Navy commander landed a spectacular, large specimen which we thoroughly photographed and then released.

THE LAST STRETCH

We then moved to Assam to fish the Bhorelli, another mahseer river that was still murky from the late monsoons. Here we completed daily rafting runs pausing to have lunch on shorelines rich with fresh tiger tracks. We stayed at the Bhorelli anglers club who offered us the grandest of Indian hospitality, and the food… Well, I certainly don’t have the vocabulary to describe it. But if I did, I’d probably use `deeeeelicious’. On our last day, while visiting a tea estate, Rocky Kelly, a 76 year old Rhode Islander who’s business card reads `retired and really enjoying life’ came back to camp with great video footage of the group amidst a large group of wild elephants.

giantmahseer.jpgAlthough we had stayed three weeks, our focus on fishing led us to many missed opportunities in terms of exploring the numerous ruins, or experiencing new cultural exchanges. The hidden land is vast, and we hardly scratched the surface. But perhaps the legend of Peacock Island is true, for already I feel an invisible pull, leading me back. Last I herd of John Edwards; he was leading yet another expedition deep into the Jungles of Arunachal. This time it is a team of anthropologists looking to record two elusive rituals, the Reh and Boori Boot. Among the other known festivals practiced in Arunachal are Mopin, Solung, Losar, Kahn, Sangken, Ohilyale, Tamladu, and the Nakum. For those interested in exploring this magnificent part of the world, John Edwards and Tiger Tops can organize `custom-made’ itineraries. If they can’t do it… then it simply can’t be done. In Guwahati, we had the pleasure of encountering V. Abrahum, the deputy resident commissioner, who said to me `If one tree has to be cut here, I want to know about it’. I hope this concern for the North-East’s environment perseveres into the new millennium, such that the world is granted the opportunity, and the privilege to treasure this exotic land.