There’s no such thing as ‘down time’ for me. Surely there are closed seasons for certain species of fish, but there’s an abundance of species and seasons year round and I take full advantage of these opportunities. My lack of updates do not reflect the lack of fishing! Since my last post, I fished until the bitter end of open water (snowing on the boat) and have since been ice fishing for panfish, and my favourite through the hardwater: walleye. These magnificent fish are worth battling winter for and I simply can’t get enough!
Rewind to one of my last open water trips of 2014. Living in South Eastern Ontario, I have access to incredible musky fishing 5 minutes from my doorstep and beyond. I spent much of the end of autumn fishing solo in my Alumacraft on my days off (I even made a video to show how I launch my boat when fishing solo). It’s been a great learning experience fishing new waters that have more pressure, but encouraging to still see impressive fish being caught and of course released. Although I have a competitive nature when it comes to fishing, it is all forgotten when I get to be apart of helping land the fish of a lifetime, even if it’s not mine!
Congratulations to Eric on a personal best musky!
Open water fishing came to an end merely days after this trip, and it was time to focus on sheltered bays and small lakes for first ice panfish. My ultralight panfish combo certainly got good use this season targeting black crappie, bluegill and pumpkinseeds. Having an ultralight set-up increases detection when these often times fickle fish are hitting very lightly, in an upward fashion. Key areas to locate panfish include weedlines, cover and structure. Predators will roam these areas and it provides a quick escape route for panfish. For a more detailed panfish article, check out my early ice panfish column in the Kingston Whig Standard newspaper: http://www.thewhig.com/2015/01/18/panfish-entertaining-but-they-can-be-very-picky
A beautiful pumpkinseed sunfish.
As the new year began, with it came cooler temperatures and improved ice conditions. By mid-January I was able to get out to bigger water and target walleye. There’s few places with a trophy walleye fishery such as the Bay of Quinte, so that is where the majority of my time has been spent this winter. This world-class fishery hosts migratory Lake Ontario walleye throughout the fall and winter months and it is the prime time for targeting these fish as they prepare to spawn in the spring. Please release the larger fish and help to sustain this amazing fishery! This body of water has a lot of current which can rapidly change ice conditions, and should always be checked with a spud prior to setting foot on the ice. I receive a lot of inquiries about fishing Quinte for the first time, and my recommendation is to hire a reputable guide to make the most of your time.
My biggest fish of the year so far was this 9lb 12ozer. I’m hopeful to renew my membership to the double digit club!
Another gorgeous walleye makes a brief appearance before being sent back down.
Aside from being on the water, I have also been busy with a few trade shows and am have been working for Angler’s Atlas since January of this year. Here’s what I have been up to on dry land:
I attended the Toronto Boat Show and spent a couple days at the Alumacraft boats booth.
In 2013 I did a photo shoot for Bass Pro Shops and the images have recently been used in the spring flyer (across Canada and the US) and also on some signage in stores. Upon visiting my friends at the Toronto store, they presented me with the sign that was posted at the front entrance 🙂
Road-tripping around Ontario and visiting with fishing-related businesses who are excited about jumping aboard with our Angler’s Atlas programs. (Email me for more information Ashley@AnglersAtlas.com).
The best way to stay up to date with what I’ve been catching and how I’ve been catching ’em, please follow me on social media! I will also be posting upcoming appearances and seminars through my social media pages. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my stories!
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