After heading out onto Quinte these pat few weeks, I have found fishing to be hit and miss most of the time as turnover takes its course. However, yesterday, although slow to begin, ended up being a great day on the Bay.
To get the Eye in the picture below onboard, it was a team effort by all members on the boat. congratulations guys in a successful trip out.
Bring on the 2015 Quinte Gold Rush
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.
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
I have been home now for a few weeks from the east coast and already so many exciting things are happening. Although I cannot share everything with you at the moment I can share a few of the things that have been happening.
1st just 2 weeks ago I had discussed with a buddy of mine that I think we should start fishing another species of fish. We had both been thinking of trying our hand at Musky fishingover the past couple years and now was the time to give it a shot. first we tried going to Lake Stoco and a couple of the surrounding rivers that surround the lake, only to come away with nothing more than a few small Pike. Not that there is anything wrong with catching a few Northern’s but not exactly what we were setting out to do. 2nd we decided to ask if my good buddy who is extremely knowledgeable in the art of Stalking Musky would want to join us for a hunt. so we were off to the lake again. only this time armed with our secret weapon (DAVE) LOL.
after a tough afternoon of throwing large musky baits the sun was starting to go down and it wasn’t looking good. we didn’t even get a nibble, not that musky nibble LOL. when all of a sudden my buddy Pete had a huge hit on his line. after a few minutes of fighting what could only be described as “its definitely not a bass” on the line Pete landed not just his PB Musky to date but his PB fish as well, it was 37.5 inches. now for musky standards it was not a monster but for Peter and I we couldn’t get the smile off our face for a week. thanks Dave
2nd I was able to land my third sponsor. Fishbum Outfitters has added me to their Field Staff. I absolutely love the clothing of this company. It is comfortable clothing with great designs, and made here in North America.
thank you Fishbum
check them out online, and get your Fishbum gear today.
3rd check out the cool new Bay Of Quinte Regional tourism guide.
where you can find out what’s happening, or what to do in the region. also check out page 51 you may see someone familiar LOL
4th and 5th are going to be kept from you over the next few weeks but I promise to share with you as soon as I can it is huge news for Sea’s The Day Fishing
check back soon to see whats new with Sea’s The Day Fishing
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.
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.
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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My Fishing Adventures on the East Coast
I have just finished my 2nd week of Lobster fishing out of Mabou Harbour Cape Breton NS. Atlantic Lobster fishing is not for the weak, this type of fishing is a lifestyle and a hard one at that. After my 2nd week completed I can tell you that this can be long hard hours on the water. Since I have started on day 2 I have had swollen hands from the repetitive action of banding lobsters for 12 hours a day. If you are not used to a certain type of work your body will let you know it fast, and won’t let you forget it either. I have had a bad bout of tendinitis in my left wrist after the first day of work and it hasn’t let up. If you have never had this before it feels like someone swinging a bat and hitting your wrist every time you close your hand, so every time I land a trap on the boat, gaff a buoy, band a lobster, or anything that involves me using my left hand I get that feeling. I have battled it with pain killers and a tenser bandage but it only masks a portion of the pain.
Yesterday was another rough day on the water with 25km with gusts of 33km west winds it made for a rolly morning. As If the waves weren’t bad enough then our hauler (winch)went down after pulling only 30 traps onto the boat. The captain made the decision to head back into the wharf to check out the problem as it would have been too dangerous to go down in the engine room with the rough weather. Once back at the dock we checked out the source of the problem which thankfully was a quick easy & inexpensive fix and we were back heading out into the open water once again. As we headed out the weather had picked up even more as we headed out. Try to picture this, as we headed over each swell when looking ahead we would see only sky at one moment then we would head down the other side of the wave and all we could see was water in front of us. With my life jacked buckled tight back on deck I went as we approached our next buoy in order to get the trap aboard I need to lean over the side of the vessel and use a gaff (a stick with a hook on the end of it) and try to use the hook to catch the rope underneath the buoy then pull it up and take the rope and put it on the hauler. Doing this in this type of weather with my wrist problem made for an interesting morning to say the least. Walking on the boat in this type of weather is like stumbling home after a good night of drinking but only your sober.
Anyway it wasn’t long maybe another 30 traps were pulled and the hauler decided that it was time to call it a day as all we heard was a bang below deck and the hauler once again was not working. The captain decided to call it a day and we headed back to the wharf, 1.5 crates of lobster on deck was just barely enough to cover the captains expenses for the day but none the less we were homeward bound and I had completed my 2nd week of Atlantic lobster fishing. Once back at the wharf the skipper rewarded me with enough of the ocean crusteations for a nice lobster feed.
The Blessing of the Boats
Today was a special day down at the wharf. Father Angus of St Mary’s Parish in Mabou came down to the wharf today to bless the boats and fisherman of the harbour. It seemed to me this was a long ongoing tradition of the area, and a good one at that. However although it seemed that many people were numb to activity that was going on, and treated it as just a tradition, myself, I found it very inspirational, and rewarding to have been part of such a tradition. I have heard about the blessing of the boats in many other areas where I have commercial fished in the past but have never witnessed it before.
It is a tradition where the local priest comes down to the wharf and many or all of the local people/fisherman in the area come to pray for a bountiful catch and the safety of the fisherman that year. It is a tradition where locals come to support their local fisherman and remember the fallen, in years past. For me it brought back memories of the horror stories of fisherman lost at sea, and the close calls I myself have had. Knowing there is such a local support made me feel good I had landed in this small town for my next fishing adventure. With holy water flicked onto the Boats in the harbour and a short community social afterwards, the parking lot slowly emptied and I was back listening to the birds, the sound of the wind blowing through the rolling hills off in the distance, watching a few lone fisherman tinker around the wharf, and staring at the motionless boats tied to the wharf waiting for the season to begin.
I walked down to the waters edge, fishing rod in hand, and casted a line in to the water. As I sat back in my chair sipping a glass of wine and staring at the tip of my rod for any movement to happen, I began to take it all in, everything around me, the rolling hills, the Bald eagle soaring above in search of its next meal, (I bet it catches a fish before I do) LOL, the sea water beneath me, and the smell of fresh coastal air with a hint of salt. A true bit of Paradise can be found in Mabou.
There is still too much ice for the DFO to open the season although I have heard that they may be opening the season this coming weekend. Captain Andy and I took a tour to see what the seas were like.
If anyone is looking for an awesome tuna fishing adventure this year take a look at the following and I can vouch for Capt Andy he is one hell of a good guy and by the word of the locals a great fisherman too. Check out http://www.rankintunacharters.ca/ for a great day on the water and the catch of a life time.
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