Category Archives: Bay of Quinte Tourism

Choosing A Fishing Guide

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How do you pick the right fishing guide?

Here are some things that can help you find the right and credible fishing guide.

Finding the right, credible and qualified guide can be a difficult task.  If you want a great guide, not just a good guide; take your time and do some homework.  It will payoff when you hit the water with your guide.  I’m not just talking; drag screaming, rod’s bent all day long fishing guide.  I’m talking a safe, patient and knowable fishing guide, one that will show you a great day on the water.  It’s not always about catching fish all day long; it’s about much, much more than that. check out some of the local tackle shops in the area. tackle shops are usually in the know of local credible guides and have several to recommend. they are in constant communication with the local guides and know who have or have not been on fish.

Here are some guide lines and questions to ask guides about what they offer:

Is the guide credible and qualified for the fishing you want to do?

When I’ve talk to clients about what they like to see in a fishing guide, here are a few things that came up.  (Full time guide), people like to see this when looking for a guide.  Full time guides that are typically on the water daily, or at least every other day,  know the fishing trends for that area well, and can better plan a good day of fishing for the date you choose based on previous days/weeks experience.  If there is a  specie’s you would like to fish for let the guide know that.  a good guide will be able to put you onto the species of fish you are looking for.  Have a open mind, if the guides tells you that the fish you want to chase are not biting good; let them know if you still want to try for that species or try what he/she suggest instead.

Should I avoid a new guide ?

Just because a guide is new  does not mean he/she is a horrible choice . Maybe a person has fished an area for decades and only recently decided to make it his/her career this person may be the best person to take you out. but again, do your research, this goes for any guide, has this person had any reviews, do they have active content on social media sites, can you find them. if a guide is near impossible to find there may be a reason behind that.

Does the guide have the right up to date gear?

I bring trolling gear for my charters, we are set up with new  hummingbird fishfinders, cannon down riggers and rod holders, a food cooler, Livewell for fresh fish, Marine radio DSC endorsed, sterio on board, and a BBQ.  I am not set up for casting applications.  If you would like to bring your own tackle, let the guide know that.  Many guides don’t mind, but let them know you are bringing your own fishing gear and ask what they recommend you bring, Don’t worry if you don’t have what they suggest as most guides will have it on board anyway.

Does the guide have the proper paperwork?

In Ontario it is law that a guide that has paying clientele on board be certified and obtain an SVOP, MED A-3, Marine First Aid, and hold valid proper insurance, you do not want to be on the water and something go horribly wrong only to find out that the guide was not properly insured, not to mention a properly trained guide has the knowledge to keep you safe in almost any scenario.

Ask What does the guide provide for your trip?

Do you need a fishing license or does the guide provide a license?    Any clients that fish on my boat need to bring a valid Ontario fishing license.  Other things to ask if the guide provides; ice, drinks, food, and sunscreen; if you don’t know; ask it won’t hurt. For my charters you can check out my what to bring page

How many people can or should I bring on the fishing trip?

Every guide is different on the amount of people that can come on a trip.  It really depends on boat size, what kind of fishing you will be doing and what you want to get out of the trip.  Some people just want to go fishing and others want to go to learn more about fishing than actually catch fish.  Let your guide know if you are bringing kids fishing with you.  Here again talk with your guide; tell them what you want to do and ask how many people can come for a quality fishing trip. some guides have a set price for the first 2 people on your trip and then charge extra per person after that. Here at Sea’s the Day Fishing the charge is for boat for the day and will allow up to 4 people for that daily rate.

Can I keep the fish I catch?

Most guides will allow you to keep your limit of the fish you catch.  There are a few things you need to remember, only keep the fish that you will use (eat).  If you don’t know if you will eat them all, let the guide know that so he/she can let the fish go for another day of fishing.  There is nothing worse as a guide when we get back to the dock with a box full of fish and the customer does not want the fish.  Most guides will clean your catch for you as per the transport Canada regulations.

Does the guide guarantee that you will catch fish? 

All guides have bad fishing days from time to time, if they say they don’t they are lying and time to search out another guide,  its fishing not catching don’t forget this.  Some guides may guarantee fish, but the clients I’ve talked to with this experience say the better guides that they have fished with don’t guarantee fish. I have witnessed guides in my area that guarantee fish head into a shallow bay first thing in the morning and let you put a few small pan fish on the boat before you go after your targeted species. then once you have a few small pan fish you are on the hook for the cost of the charter. By doing this you have just missed a crucial part of the best bite time for the day because your guide is too focused on getting paid for the day instead of looking out for his/her client’s best interest. At Sea’s The Day Fishing we will not guarantee fish.

Price;

With a lot of people price is usually the first consideration when hiring a guide, but be careful!  You get what you PAY FOR!!! Be weary of guides that charge considerably less than other local guides. for us  I am not the most expensive around but most definitely not the cheapest either. Running a credible guide service is costly for the guide. Fuel, insurance, tackle,  etc etc….I could go on and on about the expenses!  What I’m trying to say is, most legitimate guides will work harder and go further to find fish for you it will be worth your while to go with a guide that charges the average or a little more. even though the cost of the charter may seem expensive Don’t forget to tip the mate, mates usually work for very little pay on a boat in fact, many work just for the experience without compensation. They have worked hard to show you a good day on the water.

I really hope this will help you find a credible fishing guide for your next outing, and if choosing the Quinte Region to give us a try. Ill do my best to make sure you get a great memory.

Thanks for reading,

Capt. James Mathias

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Getting mid summer Walleye on the Bay of Quinte

Hello folks I decided to do this little piece about catching mid summer walleye because I have had several people telling me that it has been very difficult this season to land walleye on the Bay Of Quinte.  Now I haven’t fished the Bay at all this year until last weekend when a good friend of mine asked if I would fish a small local derby with him on the bay.

Reluctant to go into a tournament without pre-fishing the bay this year I quickly said “OK, let’s do it” LOL. I can tell you that after the first hour of fishing we had already landed our first 3 walleye we had a bit of a lull and by 11:30am we had landed 7 Eyes 3 sheep head a few pan fish and had a few big fish get off our lines before we had the chance to see them LOL.

So I can honestly say I’m not sure what people were talking about when they said there are no fish in the bay or that they aren’t biting.

Here is what I can say tho. I know that the season over the past 2 seasons have been a late spawn, and not just for the walleye either but for many other species as well. What does this mean for the fishing?

1st   Well if it’s a late spawn that means many of the targeted fish were still up the rivers when the walleye opener happened. Probably for many weeks later than usual. So most of us were trolling for walleye in the shallow waters and they hadn’t even made it back to the main body of water yet. Now im not saying that all walleye head up river to spawn because they don’t, but a large part of the population do.

2nd    As per the info I received from the MNR this spring over the past 2 years the walleye spawn has been incredible on the Bay, but again not just the walleye but the Pike, Bass, and many other species as well. This is amazing news for our fishery for the future.

Now what does all this mean for trying to land those mid summer walleye’s?

1st we know that it was a late spawn so they are weeks behind where they normally would be at this time of the year. The water temperatures are a bit cooler than it would be for this time of year. Does this affect the fish? The answer is, of course it does.  2nd we know that the hatch was incredible as well and Walleye being a predatory fish means there is plenty of food for them. So how do we translate this information into landed fish?

Ok 1st we need to look at our baits, will we need a bait that replicates natural food, or maybe a bait that replicates an easy meal? Or maybe a bait that entices a strike by pissing them off?

I will tell you what we did last weekend. First we looked at the wind direction for the morning, once determined what was going to be the windblown shore line we headed in that direction. Next we chose a bait that would look like an easy meal (worm Harness) , if there is one thing we’ve learnt about walleye is that they like to feast first thing in the Am on easy targets in shallow cool waters, we had our first 3 walleye in this situation by about 8:30am. Once the bite slowed down we decided to move into deeper water not too far from the shallow water feeding ground, and we changed our bait to a reaction bait (a bait to piss them off a bit) such as a Rapala Scatter Rap. On this bait we had another 4 walleye hit our bait and it was time to go weigh in. we  came in 5th place for the tournament with our best 4 fish weighing in at 13.3lbs.

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I hope by telling you what we did to put our fish in the boat helps you out if you are one of those having trouble with the eyes this summer.

Good luck and tight lines

LAST POST1!!! for My Fishing Adventure on The East Coast

My Fishing Adventures of the East Coast

Well the last day of my fishing adventure for 2015 on the East coast has come to an end. I came out with the intention of putting my head down for a few months and work hard on a lobster boat. I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. I have worked on commercial vessels in previous years & in various parts of the world. In 2002 I spent a summer working on a scallop boat in Advocate Harbour NS. shucking scallops. After my stint on the scallop boat, at the time the Captain had invited me to come back to work the lobster season. Unfortunately at that time I was unable to make the trip back out to try out the lobster season but ever since I have wanted to try my hand at fishing for one of the worlds finest high end sea food, as a deck hand.

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With the TV shows such as wicked Tuna, Deadliest Catch, Cold Water Cowboys, over the past 10 years and combined with the fact I now run my own fishing charter business which in my personal opinion is one of the best places to do what I do, chartering a world class fishery for arguably some of the largest walleye found in the world on The Bay Of Quinte. This peeked my interest to try and find a job for this past spring season. I was in for a bit of a shock tho, I had a false idea that lobster fishing would be one of the easier commercial fishing jobs that I would have ever experience and I was in for a rude awakening.

Maybe because im not as young and fit as I once was or maybe because truly Lobster fishing is actually a tough deal but I found this experience very rewarding and extremely difficult. With long hours (at least on my boat) LOL, Lobster fishing had quickly humbled me as I found I was not the lean mean fishing machine I figured I was when I looked in the mirror HA HA HA, Some 13 hour days 6 days a week lifting 250 traps a day weighing up to 120lbs each, sorting sea crustations that are trying all day to rip your fingers apart, Sorting through thousands of lobster daily, and banding up to 1500 (ish)  claws per day, hanging over the edge of the boat to hook a rope which are often stuck on rocks and pulling against the tide while trying to balance yourself through rough seas. Everything in nature’s power is trying its hardest to prevent the fisherman of Cape Breton from trying to help supply the world with some of the finest tasting seafood many have come to love and rarely afford.  But year after year these fishermen successfully battle the elements, and do so with dignity, and pride.

I was however fortunate enough to get a chance to see one the rarest lobsters in the ocean. the blue lobster, and not only did I get to see it once but on the last day of the season we actually got to pull up another blue lobster I think to be completely honest it was the exact same one we caught almost 2 weeks prior and released.

A friend of mine Jeff flew out to come for a visit and I was able to get him out on the boat for the last day of the season and he too was lucky enough to get the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the blue lobster being caught and released back to its natural environment, a very special moment for me.

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This type work is not for the weak, it is a tough job. But I would recommend it to anyone that are adventure seekers, determined, hardworking, has a love of fishing, loves being on the water, and of course does not get sea sick. I would challenge anyone who has never done it before to give it a try and see if you have what it takes to be a commercial lobster fisherman. And if you do then Cape Breton is the place to do it.

I will take a moment to thank a few people I have met out here I can only attribute my first ever successful season as a commercial lobster fisherman.

First to my new friends Liam, Boo, you guy’s to me are the salt of the earth type of people Liam helped me get sorted once I had arrived in Mabou Harbour he got the trailer working properly and helped me get my water tank filled up on a weekly basis among a tonne of other things you did for me without asking just because you are good people. Always willing to lend a helping hand, you guys are what helped make my trip enjoyable and I wanted to thank you for everything. your kids are amazing, Parker buddy, ill miss ya, keep your head up on the bike and hug Marry for me daily LOL.

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Next Capt Andy, this individual helped me through the months as well. He invited me into his home for a hot showers and a meal on several occasions, He took me both crab, and lobster fishing while my captians boat was down getting fixed. I enjoyed every moment of your time I wish you the best of luck with your fishing charter business you are a hell of a fisherman one of the best, hard core, and a great guy in my personal opinion cheers bud. If anyone is looking for a wicked, tuna fishing adventure in Nova Scotia then check out Captain Andy’s charter I guarantee you’ll have the experience of a life time. Go to  www.rankintunacharters.ca or call him at 902-9452709 you’ll be glad you did, and Capt I’d fish with you anytime.

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Millan at the Downstreet in Inverness, you are a laugh for sure and the reason I kept coming back to the café, congrats on the new position bro you deserve it. Til next time bud.

And of course I must thank Captain Jody Rankin. Without you giving me this opportunity to kick my butt on the open water day in and day out this season I would not have had this incredible adventure giving me a memory of a lifetime. We have spent the last 2 months together, but we have spent more time together in that short period than I get to spend with my wife in a year. We fished calm waters, rough seas, been towed in from open water, worked through the break downs, caught lobsters, had break downs, worked through injuries together, did I mention the break downs HA HA HA. I hope we will fish again together sometime soon, I appreciate everything you did for me while I was here, oh and tell your wife she is an amazing cook LOL your a lucky man CPAT.  maybe if you can make the trip to Ontario one day I’ll be able to return the favor, and again thank you for the opportunity.

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There are many other people here on the island I met and wish I could mention but this blog would turn into a book so I’ll just stop there. But I will say that the experience of meeting some of the communities around the island I have never seen a more hospitable people in all the travels around the world I have ever been to and I look forward to making a trip back again someday. Thank you Cape Breton

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Some other people I need to thank here are my family. I have 2 beautiful boys that have given me their support back home and always support me in my adventures in life, it was very hard for me to be away from you guys for this long and I look forward to seeing you soon. And of course my beautiful wife Rachel, without your support and sacrifice I could not go and do these crazy adventures. There is not a women on this earth that can put up with husband like me I know, and you do it in stride and with a smile. I’m a lucky man,  I love you with all my heart, and I’m coming home, see you soon babe.

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I hope for those that have followed my Fishing Adventures On The East Coast, that you enjoyed the story. This was about my real life interpretation of what its really like to become a deck hand on a commercial fishing vessel for the Lobster season.  I’m sure I’ll be doing another one before long LOL.

If you enjoyed, please like and share my FaceBook Page, and /or  Comment below, if you think you would like to try your hand at doing something like this I would be happy to speak with you and my be give some helpful advise.

Tight Lines, and full traps

James Mathias

My Fishing Adventures On The East Coast – continues

The further into the season we get the harder it seems to be going for Captain Jody. As I wrote in the last blog our boat had been broken down, well things have not changed a week later. Now I’m not much of a mechanic but the problem with the boat I believe would normally be an easy fix, but with our boat, because of the age of it, it’s near impossible to find parts to replace broken ones. This problem proves no different, the captain had ordered a new tamper plate and when it arrived it was the wrong size. So the skipper drove to Charlottetown PEI and got the only machinist he could find to rotor the plate to size and drill the holes in the proper place so it would fit. After a 13 hour return trip we come to find the plate will not line up properly and the boat is still dead in the water.

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On Friday morning I got a knock on the trailer door to Capt Andy’s helper asking if I would come out to help them for the day. since our boat was still down and not knowing where my captain was or weather the boat would be fixed that day I decided I would go and help Andy out for the day and try and make a bit of extra pocket cash.

The day with CPT Andy and crew was interesting, I was able to see how another fisherman operates and with the extra hand on board the day seemed to fly by, it really made a huge difference. When we had returned to the wharf Capt Jody’s boat had not moved and was still dead in the water.

On Saturday Jody had returned with the part machined and ready to install. The plan was to install the part and be on the water to run at least half our traps by 2pm ish, but the mechanic we expected to do the job did not show up to do the work. It wasn’t until late that afternoon when we were able to find a mechanic to come have a look. Once everyone had figured out what was going on, the mechanic left to re-drill the holes and returned only to find that the part, still would not fit into place once again and we were still dead in the water, so off I went to the cole mines harbour to see if I could catch up with my buddy Liam LoL.

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Feeling that this problem with our boat would not be handled by anyone until Monday morning CAPTJody had decided to take out his Father’s  (Capt Wayne’s) boat on Sunday morning to run his traps and giving us fresh bait in the traps and hope there were some lobsters to try and salvage some of his loss for the week.

What a good way for me to spend Father’s day a 16.5 hour day on the water to take my mind off of spending time with family. To our surprize the traps were full. It made for a hard day re-baiting the traps as there was not a lick of bait left in any of the traps but the lobsters were plentiful. We even got a blue lobster. It is pretty special to get a blue lobster as they are extremely rare, just to give you an idea my captain has been fishing lobster for approx 25years and he has only ever seen 1 before, about 10years ago. Apparently this one was quite a bit bigger than the last one weighing approx 5lbs or more. After a few quick pictures we decided to let the beast go to hopefully spawn some more of its kind in the future.

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This was the 3rd boat (out of 10 boats) I have worked on in this harbour alone, since the start of the season. Well I came here for an experience and I’m beginning to think I’m getting what I asked for LOL.

just a random pic I decided to through into the mix LOL

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My Fishing Adventures On The East Coast (the week of pain)

Wow what a week LOL this week was packed full of surprises. As I had mentioned in my last post on Monday we started the week by breaking down and getting towed back to the wharf. Tuesday went fairly well however the weather was a bit on the rough side but what do I expect,  I guess we cant have great we ather all the time.

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On  Wednesday we fueled the boat first thing in the morning and I think we may have made it about 6 maybe 7 feet from the wharf when the boat lost all power again and we blew back to the dock and tied up, the day was a write off. both Wednesday and Thursday we were going nowhere as the boat needed a bit of TLC. as we finished the repairs to the boat at about midnight Thursday it was late to bed and early to rise so we could try and play catch up baiting traps and banding claws.

the wind was blowing hard on Friday and a north wind at that. The Captain seems to always get seasick with the north winds and this time was no different. as the day moved on and the skipper feeling ill he wasn’t about to go in as we had missed to much fishing time this week already. we were hauling  traps as we normally would when the rope tightened right up and stopped the hauler dead in its tracks, as the skipper reached out to the rope to try and shake it free ( it sometimes works), the rope sprung out of the hauler sending the 20lbs metal wheel (called the block) straight into the skippers head. hardly a peep out of his mouth he went down on one knee holding his head. I didn’t really see what had just happened I thought the rope had hit him, not the block. anyway with the skippers head bleeding and him feeling seasick he now had a giant headache to boot. anyway ill give it up for the CPT he toughed through it and worked the rest of the day.

Saturday was not gentle on us either with large rolly waves in the morning and rain most of the day another long day but the week was done for the Skip.

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As for me Sunday at 2am I had a knock on the trailer door to start my first day as on a crab boat.

the ride out to the crab grounds was about 2 hours of decent sea’s but by the time we were ready to start hauling crab traps the wind was blowing a north wind, about 25km North wind too.

as the waves hit the boat one at a time relentlessly throughout the day it slowly started making me loose by sea legs LOL by about 5pm the boat was going one way and I was going the other, I wasn’t sick but totally disoriented. I have now experienced lots of different types of fishing and this by far was the hardest longest 20.5 hours I have ever put on the water. at 10:30pm we were back at the wharf and I cant remember the 25foot walk back to my trailer, and believe I was asleep before I hit my pillow.

Monday morning came fast and furious at 4:30 am to start week 6 (I think) of the lobster season. The Skipper had somewhere to be and with the winds blowing hard on the Sunday the harvest wasn’t great so we were in by 3pm an early day for us. once we unloaded our catch at the wharf we were heading across the harbour to our regular parking spot when we lost all power to the boat again. me standing at the stern ready to jump onto the floating dock to tie off was wondering why the boat started going sideways towards other parked vessels I yelled to the skipper to PUT HER IN REVERSE when he replied ” I GOT NOTTIN” Moving quickly to push us off the other boats we were about to hit we managed to get the old girl nosed into the wharf and tied off. The Boat was dead in the water and the transmission was finally dead.

As bad as I feel for the captain about this, truth be told I was happy to get a day off LOL it has been a long week, with the break downs I had still had approx 80 to 90 hours on the water in the past 7 days. although I hope the problem can be fixed fairly quickly or the season may be done for the skipper and I.

 

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