Category Archives: Lures

So you think you want to be a fishing guide? eh!

It has now been over 3 years and now into my 4th, since I made the decision to become a full time fishing guide in the Quinte region. Truth be told when I had made this decision I really had no idea what I was in for, and probably still don’t. each year has been a crazy learning curve. I am writing this blog because of the amount of people that have said to me that he/she, either would like to be, or maybe knows someone  that they think would make an amazing fishing guide. So I’m going to put into perspective what being a guide is really like and what to expect.

Being a fishing guide can be one of the best jobs in the world its true, but it does not come easy and without blood, sweat, and tears, oh and unless you have a tonne of money in the bank, then be prepared to be financially strapped for years to come. If you love fishing, then do not become a guide. Over the past 4 years and over 400 days spent on the water, I think I can count on 1 hand how many times I have actually gone fishing, TRUE FISHING, meaning where I get to go out and enjoy the act of fishing for myself and not worry about other peoples comfort levels while on the water.

Guiding is one of the hardest industry’s I have ever been involved in, but it sure beats flipping burgers, or a busy city commute, or cutting lawns. If I had thought about it, I would have started guiding a lot earlier, maybe when I was in high school or shortly there after. The key is to begin laying the foundation at an early age by working hard to become the best fisherman you can be, by learning everything you can about fishing tactics,  techniques, and by studying the biology and behavior of the species that you want to fish for. This is difficult to narrow down at an early age I know, In fact I’m not sure I really know if I have found the right species for me yet and I’m almost 40.

Now for the part I say to people that think they want to become a guide LOL. Most people that want to get into guiding, fail to realize that “guiding” does not mean “fishing”.I have a buddy who has a son, he takes his son fishing all the time, and because I am a guide, he always say’s to me when I ask him what he’s doing for the weekend? he reply’s that he will be “guiding” his son on the bay for the weekend. Im not sure if he says this to get under my skin, or if he does it because he is trying to relate to me with what I do for a living but either way it definitely gets to me when he calls himself a guide, and over the years now has even hurt our friendship a bit. In my mind you have to earn that title.

When you take a paying customer out on the water, you are expected to be an instructor, a cheerleader, a helping hand, a butler, a maid, a cook, have incredible customer service skills, and in some cases be a babysitter. The worst case scenario requires you to choose a lure, tie the correct knots, teach the clients how to use the equipment, show the client where the fish are, choose the correct speed, and steer the boat, and then stand there and watch while the client proceeds to do everything wrong after a fish bites, usually the client, after loosing the fish due to too much slack in the line looks at you and blames you for not teaching him the correct way. You then have to nod and bow your head as if it were your fault and try all over again.

Before all of this goes on, you are required by law to take separate courses that allow you to take paying clientele on your vessel plus hold the proper insurances all of which are extremely costly, and all before you have any clientele or income into the business to help recoup your costs.

Now that you have done all that and you are trying to find any way possible to advertise your business for free because you have just spent your life savings, your wife’s life savings, the down payment you had for a house,  begged, borrowed, and stolen tens of thousands to get a suitable boat and equipment to accommodate strangers, oops I meant clients to go fishing you are all set right? NOPE WRONG.

This is the most difficult part of being a successful guide. Earning the respect of your peers. This is possibly the most important portion of becoming a successful guide. Just because you can put a few fish in your boat does not make you a good guide. If you do not have the respect of the other guides in the area that you fish in you will not last long.

Lets think about that. Especially if you are anything like me LOL. Ok lets say  you get everything in place and you come to a marina and plunk your boat in the water and your ready to start taking on clients, where are your clients coming from? now you need to go and find fish, so you ask one of the other boats your tied right next to and say hey brother so where are the fish biting today? do you think his answer is going to be “? hey new guy, ya the fish were on fire at these co-ordinates xxxyyyzzz”. NO NOT A CHANCE. it will be more like this if he doesn’t just tell you F off, “hey new guy ya we caught lots about 15 miles just west of the red marker out by ZZZXXXYYY”.  now excited you just got up to date information and thinking  wow  what a great guy. you will get up early in the morning have the gear all ready to go, your clients meet you, and you head out to what you think is going to be the best fishing grounds in the area. wondering why you are the only boat out on the water that day, you fish hard all day and nothing to show for it. you head home with your head held low with angry clients that you know will never come back. not to mention you would like to give them the trip for free but the cost of fuel to get to the spot and back and troll around all day almost broke the bank, so you have no choice but to charge the clients you just skunked.

back at the dock you talk to buddy that gave you the co-ordinates and again if he doesn’t just tell you to f-off he probably tells you “oh sorry man I heard first thing that the bite was hot somewhere else so he went there instead”. this kind of thing will probably go on for anywhere from 1 to 5 years before guys will start sharing info but you will have to earn their respect first.

While this 1 to 5 years of initiation from your peers is going on you have everyone and their dog that fishes and knows you, wanting to come out for a fishing day. when you mention the cost they look at you, laugh, and say “ok but how much for  me?” LOL thinking you need to find places where the fish are you take people out for next to nothing barely covering costs and definitely not making any kind of a wage.

within the first year, “guiding” has now become more about taking a lot of friends out for a next to free day on the water and because you are a so called “guide”  you no longer get to actually reel in any of the fish, you get to watch people learn your spots that you have worked like a dog to acquire and they get to reel in fish that you basically caught for them.

fishing that was once a passion will become a job like any other, where you have to wake up earlier than any job you’ve had in the past, around 4am, any, and every day of the week, and get home late, with what seems like very little reward. This will go on for a while, but if you can get past that time of becoming a guide to the part where you earn the respect of some of your peers, (remember you do not need the respect of ALL of them) then you will start to have fun with the job and it will eventually become the best job in the world.

remember that without the respect of your peers you truly fish alone. even though you are on your own on your boat, make all the daily decisions alone, are solely responsible for all the bills, do the clean up daily all alone, you can not do this job, WELL, alone. I can personally tell you that it is considerably easier to get onto active fish with many boats covering areas and sharing info than to have to find it on your own.

If I were to give anyone looking at becoming a Fishing guide some gentle advise it would be to, 1- remember to take advice from any guide willing to give it. 2- even if some of the information you get from someone turns out to be bogus, make sure you thank them and learn from the experience. 3- you will not like all the advice you get from people so remember to pick and choose advice that pertains to you and even if you did not like what someone has to say does not mean they are wrong. 4- this business is not for everyone and it is ok if its not for you. 5- make sure you have your own & informative good information to share with others, nothing earns respect faster than this, (a good hot lure, or spot) but be selective to who you give it to remember you have worked hard to gain this intel. 6- And lastly, remember your boat doesn’t run on thank you’s, it runs on fuel.

Now for the good part. I know I may have come across a bit sour in this blog up to now but it is the truth about becoming a guide in my eyes. Ok, moving on, so you have got through the initial initiation stage and you have found a small clientele base after a couple years spent grinding it out on the water and your still here. you have made a few alliances on the water, and you know a few good producing spots where you know you can put a few fish on the boat for clients. it is at this point you will start to enjoy your new profession. Even though you started this job thinking you could do it because you were an ok fisherman, now you realize that your potential is limitless  with the right people behind you. watching people catch fish, becomes your passion, the smiles and excitement on especially the little childrens faces that you helped put their biggest fish they have ever seen or caught is what drives you to get up every day. You start to take in the beauty and nature that surrounds you day in and day out, that you remember was one of the reasons you wanted to be a guide in the first place. a sense of relaxation consumes you every day while on the water with clients instead of a kind of stress that no individual should ever have to feel, your dream that became a job is now becoming your dream job once again, and it all becomes worth it as you truly make the transition from a passionate fisherman to “GUIDE”. Just because someone has a registered business name and a boat with the proper paper work does not make someone a “guide” it takes time to earn that title, but once you do, then no-one can take it away from you.

So if you think being a “guide” is for you, I would welcome anyone to the challenge and good luck.

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Thank you  

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2015 season winding down

only a few short weeks and we will be in 2016. With the warm temperatures in southern Ontario The Bay Of Quinte doesn’t look like we will be seeing ice any time soon in the near future. With one of my main engines down at the moment, yesterday a friend of mine, another charter guide Ed Mackenzie with Chasin Eyes, helped take some clients of mine out for a December fish to try and get a few of the famous Quinte Trophies that help make this region famous to anglers throughout North America. although the fishing has been slow lately we did manage to hit a few decent fish. Our best yesterday was an 11 lbs Falleye giant, and little Katie with her personal best at around 9lbs looks like Quinte is starting to turn around finally.

 

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BIG THANKS

 

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Just a recap on one of my greatest fishing years to date.
I started the year with some of my greatest ice fishing years I ever had with over 23 Walleye’s over 10lbs iced
Then in April I headed out to the east coast on a 3 month commercial fishing adventure that I have been waiting more that a decade to try, The Lobster season on a commercial fishing vessel. all while I documented the entire trip on my blog.

(follow the link at www.fishingquinte.com. ) if you wish to read about it.

The most incredible lobster we landed was a rare blue lobster. The cool part about it other than it was blue of course, was it’s size, all the other blue lobster I had seen from other Lobster fisherman’s Phones ect. had been much smaller. Also in my captains 25+ years on the water he had only ever seen 1 before and apparently wasnt even close in size. we released it so it would have a chance to reproduce and fisherman may get a chance to see more in the future.

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During that trip I had added 3 more species to my ever growing resume of fish species targeted. I was able to land a stripe Bass, and a flounder on a rod and reel combo, and Snow crab on another commercial fishing day out in the roughest waters I think I believe I have ever fished in.

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Then Once I made it home in July I worked on getting my new fishing vessel ready for the fall Walleye season, although rushed a bit to get it all together, I managed to get the boat in the water just in time to take a couple professional Golfers that were on tour for the Mackenzie PGA tournament out for a short 2 hour tour around the bottom of Hay Bay while it was filmed for TSN. a very cool project for me. (copy and paste the following to see the video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfPVLHFXYMg


Also this year I was able to obtain 3 sponsors which have helped me grow my business over the year through social media. Monster Stalker, Fish Bum Outfitters, and Seafour Lures, all companies I love and am proud to represent.

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logo seafour

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Then of course  the fall season hit, October started off a bit slow for my liking and continued to be slow right to the end of November and into December but nevertheless I persevered and pushed through and ended my season on December 7th with a great group of high school  kids and an interesting and informative tour at the Glenore Ministry Of Natural Resources fisheries center.  

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 My efforts for the season have paid off BIG, with many people calling to book in charters, for next year, and ending my 3rd successful full year as a Charter Captain on The Bay Of Quinte.

I’d Like to thank all of my customers this season, friends, my colegues on and off the water, my wife Rachel, Ed MacKenzie, Scott Walcott, Yvan Roseau, Joe Picstock, Dave Paro, CareFree Pickerel Park, Richard Dunlop, Capt Jody & all my fishing buddies in Mabou Harbor   and of course my Sponsors that have helped make this dream job a reality for me and have helped with another very successful season. and I hope to see you all again in 2016. 

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If you are thinking of coming for the 2016 ice fishing or regular walleye or salmon seasons, then now would be a good time to put in your requests. These seasons can fill up quickly.

tight lines and see everyone in 2016

What fishing is really about!

They say a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. I tend to agree with that statement and here is one scenario.

leave me a comment below and let me know if you agree.

If you  have ever fished The Bay Of Quinte in the Fall you know that The Bay seems to have a mind of its own at times. The Bay Of Quinte commands respect. Every morning as many of you fight your way through city traffic and crowd your self onto over populated street cars and subways, trying hard not to make eye contact with the person rubbing up against you, by looking onto your electronic devices and spending all day trying to get the smell of a thousand different perfumes, mixed with BO, and thousand cologne smells  you had the pleasure of encountering before you had your morning coffee,  out of your head. relax there is a place where all that craziness seems to just disappear.

Of course, I’m talking about fishing. Fall Fishing on The Bay Of Quinte can be, in a word, majestic. As clients pull up to the harbor before sunrise and watch as the fishing captains of all the charters tied off to the docks ready their boats for the days activities, If you could just relax for a few minutes and pay attention to your surroundings, you would notice an array of activities going on. Anglers launching their boats into the water at the main public launch, the trees rustling in the wind on the high cliffs surrounding the harbor, the sound of the boats warming their engine’s, the sound of the birds coming to the harbor and landing in the water where they stay for the day to feed, the distant chit chat of anglers discussing their days plan and wishing each other luck.

As the sun tries hard to make an appearance a dim light starts to shine through the trees empty branches, its time to load clients onto the boats. As each Boat unties from their respected dock, you see a convoy of charter boats slowly making their way out of the harbor and into the channel. The water like a sheet of glass and the boats not even making a ripple in the water. By the time most of the boats have reached the entrance  where the channel meets the bay, boats start to throttle up as to be the first boat to their days choice spot. the boats head out into all directions and soon they all disappear and you are alone, just you, your captain, and your crew.

As we make our way to our destination, the sun rising,  you start to notice the light fog over top of the water as it is cooling and getting closer to the big freeze of the winter months. shore lines lightly covered with a dusting of snow, we pass a flock of low flying ducks one way, and a flock of geese the next. The boat throttles down and comes almost to a complete stop. The captain starts the small trolling motor and turns off the main engines you can barely hear the small motor running, after a short time the captain has set up all the rods and reels and you slowly start to concentrate on the rod tips moving, and awaiting the sound the reel makes when there is a fish on the line. Pretty soon any and all life’s little problems seem to have taken a back seat to the tranquility, and the immediate, here and now.

After a while of trolling around you start to get anxious and wanting to hear the scream of the reel knowing that there would be a potental that dinner may be on the other end, Yet Nothing happens. The captain makes a few changes in the program and you feel excitement that the changes made, will make all the difference, and soon a fish will strike.

More time passes, and the lines lay quietly in the water stalking your prey. You have now long since finished your coffee, and start to forget about the act of catching fish. chatting among your friends and reminiscing of old times, As time passes you have now completely given up on hope that any one will catch a fish today but you don’t mind as you are having fun listening to, and telling stories, having a few snacks, and listening to some music. its now mid afternoon and there is a strange clicking sound coming from behind your seat, the captain jumps out of his seat and runs over you to grab the rod with a bend in it he sets the drag of the reel and hands it to you. at first you don’t really feel anything maybe a bit of resistance but cant tell if a fish is on the line or if its just the lure at the other end. Suddenly a few good shakes of the fish and the rod loads up almost bending right over, you think the rod is about to snap. now your adrenaline pumping, the blood rushing through your veins, you realize you have a big fish on the other end. after several minutes of fighting, your arm gets tired, you want to hand off the fish but your friends are cheering you on and you can’t give it up now. you fight the fish until it is at the boat, the captain pulls a net out and nets the biggest Walleye you have ever seen. after taking a few pictures you decide to release the fish back to try and let someone else have their chance at catching this beauty fish.

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Its your personal best walleye and possibly fish you have ever caught. the captain re-sets line in hopes of a last attempt to try for another one before its time to go in.

Unfortunatly not another one is caught for the day. The captain brings up the lines, turns off the small trolling motor, the big engines tart up and you head in for the day, on the way home you start to notice the sun starting to set, the birds that you passed in the morning are starting their journey back to where they came from, soon you notice other boats getting closer heading back to port, and shortly there is a few boats heading back up the channel to the harbor creating that convoy you noticed in the morning.

Once you get back to the dock you realize that you did not think about work all day, or that you have to get to the bank to make that payment, or you havn’t talked with your wife/ girlfriend/boyfriend all day and didn’t get the dreaded, (can you pick up a few things on your way home ) call.  you realize that you had fun with some friends and have just made another great memory. Now your already looking forward to your next day on the water knowing every day fishing can be extremely different than the last trip out.

Capt James Mathias

 

 

Don’t forget to let me know if you agree.

Is a bad day fishing better than a good day at work?

 

Where Are All The Bay Of Quinte Walleye.

If you have travelled to The Bay Of Quinte this fall season to try your luck at the amazing walleye fishery that you have probably heard about, you may have found yourself wondering what all the hype is about?

I have heard it many times this fall from people travelling from all over North America. The question, “So how was it?” The answer’s “Blanked, Skunked, Nothing today, bite is off, Slow, 1, probably better tomorrow” (or my favorite)  and to be perfectly honest I have said this one myself LOL “WE LOST A GIANT”.(only in my case’s its always true LOL) well there is no denying it, up to now the 2015 walleye fishing season has been very poor on the Bay Of Quinte.

 

here is what I am seeing out there on the water. In many cases in the Adolphus Reach area I am seeing a lot of fish  on my graph, down very deep in the water column, down about 60 /80 feet and deeper.  I am seeing the water temperatures have still not dropped like they normally do at this time of year. So In my personal opinion I believe that there are a good number of fish that have made their way into the bay from the open waters of Lake Ontario, however, I do not believe that the temperatures have dropped enough for the majority of the fish to have made their way into the bay yet. The walleye have definitely started the trek but they are in no rush to get to their staging areas where they feed heavily to bulk up for the winter months.

With surface water temperatures hovering around the 49 / 50 degree Fahrenheit range we are still a fair way off from seeing the fish feel an ergency to bulk up for the winter months, a time where they feed heavily. I believe the walleye fishing will get a lot better over the coming weeks with the outside temperatures dropping significantly, maybe even in time for a Christmas walleye LOL.

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Even though Anglers have not been seeing the numbers of fish that they might be used to for the Quinte fall fishing Bonanza, the fish that are being caught have been quality fish and are sure to put a smile on ones face.

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Great Fishing has been happening On Quinte over the past couple weeks

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Wow, is all i have to say about the fishing on Quinte as of Late. catching should be the term used to discribe whats happening. in a few areas of the bay great numbers of fish have been caught. most of these fish are in the 2.5 to 7lbs range. i myself had some great success just this past weekend with a few buddies. We decided to try an area of the region we had not fished before and were pleasantly surprised. We had got to our spot and just set up some lines when our first line was hit. When i say hit , i mean the planner board took off, tracking almost directly behind our boat, and peeling line. I thought maybe we had just hooked up with a monster KING Salmon.

With 2 people of our 4 on the boat that day Leaning over the side with some minor health issues LOL I managed to get our friend Shawna to grab the rod and start reeling in her soon to be personal best Walleye. an incredible feeling when someone gets their personal best fish on your boat.

With the rough seas and the ill people we decided to pack it in after only just over an hour of fishing. however we had had 3 hook ups and our best fish weighing nearly 8 lbs. cant wait to take the next group out for what i think could be the best fishing of the season yet.

We used #800 Reef Runners & Husky Jerk baits in 30 to 40 feet of water

if your interested in coming out for a trip you can leave a reply on this blog post, call me directly 1-343-333-2800, or, for our rates, or more information about Sea’s The Day Fishing check out the top of the page