Tag Archives: fishing

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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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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Fall Walleye on the Bay Of Quinte

As the year goes by and the summer grows short, children start the dreaded school year, and people are starting to pack up cottages, and trailers.  Most people tend to think that the open water fishing season is quickly coming to an end. Well I’m gonna tell you that when it comes to the fishing walleye in the Fall months, this can be, and usually is some of the best fishing times of the entire year.

Here on The Bay Of Quinte we are just gearing up for the busiest time of the year. This is the time of the year where many people flock to the Region in hopes of landing a trophy walleye of a life time, A true worthy wall mount. The best time of the year to catch those monster eye’s is between October and the end of November or until the ice no longer permits you to get out on the open water.

As the temperatures drop drastically throughout the fall, the walleye migrate from the open water of Lake Ontario into The Bay Of Quinte, in preparation for the Spring spawn, and the fishing gets better and better. This is a perfect opportunity to get out and catch that fish you were looking for all summer long. it is not uncommon to see many fish from the 9 to 13lbs range on a daily basis, and even up to 15/16 lbs can be caught frequently. But don’t be fooled, even though many of these fish are caught daily Quinte is a master at the ultimate tease.

I have been  out for days at a time with great numbers of fish on the graphs, and on our lines, and just when you think you are a master at catching these finicky fish and you cant do anything wrong, you go out the next day and they have all disappeared on you and you need to start from scratch finding them again.

I am on the fish year round have many producing spots around the Bay, so if your one of those people that figure the fishing season is over in September and put your boat away for the winter but wish you could get out on the water during this time, then give me a call i’d be happy to book you a trip out this Fall. Who knows maybe i can help land that personal best Walleye you’ve been dreaming of.

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if you want to learn more about the Fall Walleye on the Bay Of Quinte then follow my blog hit the like button and follow my social media pages for the most up to date, current information, and pictures.

Tight Lines

CAPT James Mathias

 

also if you are looking for great deals on some great gear then check out the following

for all your bait and tackle needs check out Pro Tackle in belleville   http://protacklemuskyshop.com/musky-homepage-c20.php

 

for awssome fishing apparel then check out Fishbum Outfitters athttp://fishbumoutfitters.com/

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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My Fishing Adventure On The East Coast Continues

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.

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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.

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The Blessing Of The Boats

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.

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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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