Tag Archives: Quinte

#LakeOntario – The Last 100 Mile Stretch

It’s amazing how quickly you can be on the top of your game and end up at a complete loss. This past week I was on route to having my best season since I started this guiding game over 3.5 years ago. Over the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing motor problems “again”. I mean lets face it, owning a boat means you are constantly doing maintenance, weather its a brand new boat or a used one, there is always something to be done. what does BOAT stand for? Break, Out, Another, Thousand.  Just over the past 2 weeks alone, first a fuel pump went down on one of my mains, then I had  spark plug cables need to be replaced, then coils, none of these items you would think are a big problem right? well in order to get these issues looked at and assessed properly each time,  you need to have a marine mechanic come out to your boat at the marina because you cant move a big boat like mine easily. Well first, everything costs 10 x the amount when your talking boats compared to cars, and then try and find a mechanic willing to come out to you is nearly impossible unless you have deep pockets.

 

After calling almost every mechanic listed on craigslist, Kijiji, Yellow pages, and online, It seems you need to have someone recommend you to the mechanic in order to get any decent service. otherwise you probably won’t have anyone come out to see you for weeks on end. Now just to have a guy show up to the boat 20 minutes away from his shop is around $150 to $250 and he hasn’t even looked at your motors yet. Needless to say after all of this you hope/pray that the mechanic that shows up is a good one. now I am sure the guy that came to my boat was a good mechanic but after everything was assessed he had to go back to his shop and order the right parts, this takes a day of 2 to get the right parts in, especially when you have motors like mine.

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So trying to save a few $$$$ I picked up the parts in a few days and went back to install them myself saving a few hours of labor and another $250 delivery fee, probably a $600 saving overall lol. Once the parts were back on the boat the boat seemed to run like a dream, so I started booking clients once again. I had a party of 4 show up to the boat, but as I headed down the channel to the open water they started sputtering and then stalled out and would not turn back on,  Now I couldn’t figure out what went wrong just that one of my mains wouldn’t start again. I had to call a buddy of mine, another guide and let him take my clients out for me.  I spent 2 days trying to figure out the problem and decided it was not worth spending the money to have the mechanic come back out again as paying for another “show up fee” would just piss me off. I made up my mind to take the boat back to my home area of Napanee in the #BayOfQuinte. The journey would be right around 100 miles on the water with 1 main engine completely down and the other was running, iffy at best.

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I started off from Bowmanville harbor on my #Yamaha  kicker motor, a small 8 horse power 4 stroke motor that I have never had an issue with in the past, very reliable, infact that motor is the only reason that I decided I would even attempt the journey at all. I started off at 4am by trolling out of the harbor. In about 10 minutes I was in 45ft of water and decided to throw out a couple lines as I have a ticket for the #GreatOntarioSalmonDerby anyway, and since I’m trolling my way along I may as well be #fishing, right?

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well it wasn’t long before I had my first hit of the day, a decent but much too small for the derby, 12lbs king salmon, as it was not big enough to weigh in I carefully released the fish because I was on a 2 day journey and the fish would spoil if I kept it. Soon after the first fish I had my second fish of the day on the line, a bit smaller than the first, so again the fish was released. then I had a massive hit on a wire dipsey line with a #SeafourLure spoon on the end of it, a little Shad sent from #LiquidMayhem to entice the bite & WHAAAAMO. The Line screamed out of the reel, my excitement level rose drastically making me forget I was even in a broken boat on a 100 mile journey. All I cared about was landing what ever was on the other end of the line. I fought the monster for approx 35 to 40 minutes before I was able to tire it out enough to be able to get my net underneath her and lift her into the boat. She was not as big as she fought but it was still a decent 20lbs plus fish anyway. When I tried to put her on the scale, my scale was reading all over the place I could not get an accurate reading which means one of 2 things. Either this fish is bigger than I think it is or the batteries in the scale need to be replaced LOL.

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The sun was now up and running low over the water. the fish I just landed may be the last of the season for me so I figured I’d better keep her and get it weighed in at #PortHope which should only be a couple hours away from my current location. In the Livewell the fish went, with some ice to keep her as fresh as I could.

By approximately 10:00am after catching & releasing 3 more smaller fish, I arrived at Port hope marina. I pulled up to the fuel pump station and was greeted by a beautiful young women working the weigh station/and fuel pumps. after fueling the boat I asked her to weigh in the fish I had kept. The fish weighed in at 25.10lbs  which was exciting as I knew being the beginning of the week that this fish would probably make the derby board, (which it did) and it stayed there until Wednesday too until I got beat off the board with a 25.84. oh well I can say I made the board for a few days anyway LOL.

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I had a quick breakfast at a nice little cafe (great breakfast by the way) right at the marina by the beach,  bought new batteries for my scale (ha ha ha) and of course had to go and see the beautiful girl at the weigh station one more time (to buy ice)  before heading back out in the big water on my journey.

There was only 1 other stop I could have made before committing to go all the way to Brighton which was only 40 miles away from Port Hope, this was Coburg #Marina but it was only 5 miles away from Port Hope Marina. the decision was either to spend the night in Coburg or try and make it to Brighton. Take into consideration that the top speed of my boat was about 3 to 5 miles an hour on my kicker motor, or 7MPH on my one main half working main motor, which would put me in Brighton around 8pm that evening, I had started the day at 4am. that is a long day to be on the water in the sun, trust me. anyway of course I decided to make my way to Brighton the wind was in my favor with west winds.

 

It seemed like forever  to get Coburg out of my sights. It made the day seem like I was making very little to no progress, and to make things worse the winds had kicked up to 25 west winds with gusts of 42km west wind. This made for some large rolling waves, maybe 6 footers at times, it was travelling in the right direction allowing me to get a bit better timing 8 miles per hour as with each passing wave the boat would almost be pushed enough to start surfing. then once the wave passed the boat would slow to 2 miles per hour. this jerking motion for hours on end mean you need to be on the ball in terms of steering or you can be turned around in a split second, constantly counter steering the boat to try and stay in a straight line. I was praying that the waves would get just a bit bigger so that I would be able to surf the boat and ride the waves to my night time destination.

 

at around 7pm I got to the point that leads into Brighton harbor as I rounded the point to head into the harbor it got very shallow. I went from 45ft of water to 5ft of water within a few meters and with the rolling waves (now white capping) that I had been riding were now big enough that the boat actually was able to do a bit of surfing only this time I was in dangerously shallow and unknown waters. Yes in case you were wondering I was getting a bit nervous LOL.

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Once I got around the point and the land blocked the wind, the water instantly became like a sheet of glass and I calmly made it into the Brighton Marina. I pulled up to the marina about 7:45pm as I needed a bit more fuel to make the rest of the journey. I had came 65 miles and was now only 35 miles from my home destination. After I fueled up, the marina told me they had no 2 stroke Oil to sell me which I needed as I pre mix my fuel.  I hoped my friend  Sean, from #PresquileBayOutfitters was around and I prayed he sold the oil I needed. His shop was just steps from the marina.  It wasn’t long before I was able to find Sean and  like he has done on several occasions in the passed he (saved my behind) again LOL. Sean has great customer service and great deals on #fishingtackle and #Kyakrentals. I recommend everyone go and see him if your in the Brighton area. here is the link   http://www.presquilebayoutfitters.com/

anyway after fueling up and a short visit with Sean I was on the water again to find a spot to tie up for the night, have some dinner, and get some sleep. I headed up the Trent canal and immediately found a good spot to tie up to, right next to a very impressive sail boat who had also decided that they had enough travel for the day. the sail boat was heading to where I had just come from 16 hours prior. They figured they would try to get to Port Darlington or Whitby by the following afternoon.

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I was up early as was the sail boat next to me, and off the pier at 6am the next morning to try and get a good head start on the day, however I was quickly brought to a halt by the first swing bridge in the canal only 1 mile from where I tied off the night before as there was no attendant to swing the bridge open until 9am that morning. I tied off again and got out to walk around only to find 3 other boats tied off on the other side of the bridge that had just missed the last turn the previous night and were forced to spend the night in the canal as well. I spoke with a few of the boaters and everyone seemed very relaxed and well rested but were just waiting for the bridge attendant to get to work. It wasn’t long and the attendant showed up for his shift the bridge was swung open and everyone was on their way to the various destinations all over the lake (and further).

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It took several hours but by about 11am I had made it from Trenton  about 18 miles to the #Belleville Bridge. Just after the bridge there were about 30 to 40 small sailboats all crossing my path in every direction, I think they had all been part of a sailing school. I tried to go around them but everywhere I went they would cut me off, now normally I would have easily been able to get out of their way but with only running one of my main  motors and going about 5 miles an hour I had no choice but to bull dog my way right through the lot of them. As soon as I made my way through There was a guy waving at me to slow down his hands in the air and I thought to my self,  what a fool, as if I’m going too fast LOL. anyway I almost came to a halt thinking he might be in trouble only to clue in that it was actually a good friend of mine Dave, out for a day of fishing on the Bay.

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Dave pulled up along side of my boat tied his boat to mine and climbed aboard for the next few miles. I was relieved to have someone on the boat to chat with but I soon realized that I was very tired and probably had a bit of heat stroke, needless to say I probably wasn’t making much sense at the time. Anyway I took some time and cooked up the last of some chicken legs I had in my cooler, put them on my BBQ to have a bit of lunch with Dave before he had to leave  climb back onto his boat to finish his day of fishing.

It didn’t seem long,  maybe a few hours after leaving Dave before I was back crossing under the Deseronto Bridge and was at my destination to meet my wife at the launch so I could get the boat hauled out and get it to my mechanics.

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Im not sure whats in store for Sea’s The Day Fishing for the rest of the season? I can only wait to hear from my mechanic about all the issues I will need to deal with. I will be back out on the water soon enough, but for now I’m just happy to be home treating my sun burn and heat stroke LOL

 

Thanks for reading about my 100 mile journey across Lake Ontario. Also feel free to leave any comments you may have below

Spring 2015: Extreme Fishing

If Deadliest Catch, Wicked Tuna, and Cold Water Cowboys are on you nightly channel surfing list; follow this Blog and my social media over the next few months. I am not a stranger to the commercial fishing industry. Over the years I have found jobs over seas off the coast of Scotland in the North Sea, and back in Canada on The Bay Of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Now after several seasons of chartering my own boat in The Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario, I am preparing to head back into the commercial side of things for Spring 2015 and hope you will follow me there (online of coarse).  Have you ever thought it would be cool to land a commercial fishing job when watching extreme fishing shows?  Get ready to experience what it is really like to become a deckhand on a commercial fishing vessel and watch/read my real life interpretation of our favorite reality shows.

click the links to my social media pages, from my home page, for updates

Calibrating your reels

dylan fishing Last week I wrote a blog about choosing your Rods, reels, and line. On Friday I attended a seminar that was open to the public at Pro Tackle, A Local Tackle shop in Belleville. I was happy to see a decent turn out for this event as I believe it was the first of its kind for the store. Local guides were on hand doing the seminar, and an Okuma Pro Staff Member.  I believe these 2 guys need a bit of recognition here. It was obvious that the 2 guides felt right at home talking techniques, gear selection, and even proper etiquette at the ramp and on the water, as the seminar went on for approx just shy of 3 hours, as a professional guide on Quinte I run some of the same area’s that these guy’s do and was amazed at the amount of detail and information these guys were willing to give away. I could tell with some of the questions being asked that the 2 were a bit hesitant at first, but never the less they still told trade secrets about equipment, placement, tackle, and yes even spots that they and other people I know personally and even I myself frequent LOL. After the Seminar the 2 guides and the Okuma pro staff member, and the owner of the store, stuck around to answer all of the questions everyone had. Also Pro Tackle had a free BBQ for all that showed up.  I felt it was probably one, if not The BEST Walleye seminars I have ever attended personally.

I am going to touch base on one of points in this seminar that I thought was a great topic. Last week I talked about choosing your Line counter reels, but I did not touch base on what to do immediately after you have chosen one for your specific needs, before you take it on the water.

CALIBRATING YOUR REELS.

I always knew that calibrating reels was extremely important, however you should do this fairly often. In recent blogs I mentioned that when you buy specific baits no matter what it is that there is a chart that sometimes comes with the lure in the package or you can find on line, or if you have a smart phone then you can download an APP which will tell you the dive curve for just about any lure on (or off) the market today. I have to admit that calibrating my reels have been put off for some time now so right after I was reminded at the seminar the next day I took all my reels and found that over half of them were way, way off the mark, most of my reels didn’t have enough line on the reel for it to even be close to accurate, and even one of my reels were broken beyond repair, this Just after I posted in my last blog to remember to maintain your equipment, I have no idea how long I’ve been carrying around a broken reel LOL. Anyway, besides being able to accurately place your baits as per manufacturers specks, there are other reasons you should be calibrating your reels, if you have some other friends on the water and either you or they call, text, or radio each other to let one another know a set up that has been working that day, what if one of you have a rod that has been going off like crazy, you are going to let your buddy know your presentation and how much line you have out behind the boat right? Well if  either one of your reels has not been calibrated then you are going to put out what you think is the correct amount of line due to your friends information, and really you will either have too much line out or too little. This equates to your buddy having a great day on the water and you think he is pulling a fast one on ya. So I strongly suggest before your next trip out you take the time and do yourself a favor and possibly even save a friendship, and calibrate your lines.

Does My New Line Counter Reel Need To Be Calibrated?    YES

as soon as you pick up a new reel no matter what the make, sometimes the store you buy it from will spool it for you free of charge. I just came across this the other day with a good friend of mine, since I was calibrating all of my reels I asked if he wanted his done as well, his answer to me was no I just bought it and the store did it for me. I asked him in shock, they Calibrated the reel for you? I was curious because I have never bought a reel and had the store offer to calibrate a reel for me. He said well they are the ones that put the line on it. I tried to explain that putting line on the reel and calibrating it were 2 different things so now when he asks me for information on the water and if I tell him, he may not put out the right amount of line, or if he tells me a set up at least I know ahead of time I won’t be able to replicate it lol.

How to calibrate a line counter reel. First you will need 2 or three pegs to stick in the ground (or something that can mark the ground), a clip to hold your line to the pegs, A Tape measure,  (you don’t have to but a Tape that has 100 linier feet on it would be the most accurate), Something to mark your reels with ( either painters tape or a marker), and a Perminant Marker.

Make sure to spool your reels until they are full then take the following steps.

STEPS

1st  measure out 100 feet, with tape measure.  Stake ( or mark) the ground at either end.

2nd clip your fishing line to the peg in the ground. Do NOT cut your line off the spool yet.

3rd reel up until the tip of your rod touches the Peg

4th zero out your counter reel

5th release the line but keep some tention on the line with your thumb as you walk over to the 2nd peg 100 feet away.

6th read the line counter, what does it say?

7th If the counter reads more (>)  than 100ft  then you need to add more line to the reel and

And

If the counter reads less (<) than 100ft then you need to take some line away

Repeat steps 1 through 7 until your counter is exactly on the 100Ft mark.

You can also look up on Youtube to see how this is done.

I hope this was helpful and Tight Lines.

Capt

James Mathias

Choosing Your Walleye Rods, Reels, and Line

20140625-071335-26015941.jpg   A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture it showed 2 guys holding a fair number of fish on my boat, I posted it as we had had a good day on the water and just wanted to share with people. anyhow I had a comment about the pic that was about the equipment, more specifically, the rods and reels on my boat, and did I really need that heavy equipment for catching walleye. My answer to the individual was a bit vague. I told him because I charter for both Salmon and Walleye I need those heavy rods. this statement although true needs much more explaining behind it. So I’ve thought about this over time and thought that this question is actually a very reasonable and valid question to ask, especially if someone would like to get into the sport of walleye fishing. so I am blogging about the rods and reels I use on my boat and why it is essential to have it while chartering for Walleye

I find that there is some equipment that is essential for consistently catching walleye year round. as I have blogged about this, this past spring I will go into another explanation about it now.

1st      you must select a rod with good back bone, and it must also be quite flexible. if you are going to be going after walleye in the spring and the fall on Quinte you must have a rod that can handle large walleye. these fish can be in the 10 + lbs range and they can be very strong if you have a rod that is too lightweight it may snap under the pressure of the fight alone.

There are many methods used to catch these fish. From down rigging, and Dipsey Divers, to line weights and Planer boards. All of these methods used, put a colossal strain on your rods and equipment even on the calm days, but especially in rough weather so you must have a rod that can take the abuse for hours on end, and day in and day out.

2nd     To Match the rod strength you must have a line counter reel. when choosing a line counter reel make sure you do some research on these. Most importantly when choosing a line counter reel make sure you get one that has a good strong gear, and drag system and that can hold enough line for your fishing applications. remember using lead-core line will require a much bigger reel to put enough line on it than if you are just putting 10lbs test Braided line on a reel. Also when choosing a reel take into consideration what time of year you will be fishing  and in and what body of water, This is so you choose one that will be perfect for your situation. and Lastly make sure the counter has a loud enough clicker on it so you will hear it in all kinds of situations when you have a fish on the line.  Line counters are imperative to your success because it is the only way you will be able to perfectly replicate a presentation to the fish when you find something that is working.

A small tip when you do find one make sure you lock-tight any screws that are not meant to come off the reel I have had several different types of reels where the release clips and other screws have suddenly disappeared. Off topic but Maintenance on your equipment is so essential, you do not want to find yourself hours away from home out in the middle of the lake, to find your equipment is not working properly.

3rd Fishing Line. after you have chosen a good rod and reel combo its time to choose the line that will 1st, work for the fish you are going after and 2nd, be able to take the abuse, and wear and tear you will be putting it through. for example if you plan of attaching weights to your line it must be thick enough to be able to hold them securely and if you plan on using planer boards and Dipsey Divers it must be strong enough to be able to withstand the tension of constant pressure from the resistance of the boards against the water. Also choose a line colour that makes the line invisible in the water you are fishing in. A good start in finding a good line is to use a 20-30lbs braided line. on most of my rods I use Power Pro 30lbs test at the moment when I am fishing walleye, I put a 10-30 foot 17lbs  fluorocarbon leader on them,  however I am thinking of trying a 12lbs fluorocarbon leader material and recording the results.

I hope you find this useful when deciding what type of rod you need for fishing walleye this Fall.

Capt James Mathias

Time for The Bay Of Quinte Fall trophy hunt.

dave paroWell its that time of year again where trophy walleye make their journey into the Bay Of Quinte from their summer homes in the big water of lake Ontario to their winter ones in The Bay Of Quinte. Each Fall huge Walleye migrate to their staging areas throughout The Bay Of Quinte where thousands of anglers flock for their chance at trophy Walleye. These fish are commonly caught in the 2 to 5 lbs range (as shown in pic from yesterday) throughout the summer months however when the fall comes and before the ice forms there is a short period of time maybe a month to a month and a half where 8 to 10 lbs walleye are common and you can even find them in the range of 14 and 15lbs plus during this time.

The Later in the season and as the water surface temps drops to just above freezing is where you’ll find locals, Guides, and people around the glob in search of those elusive world renown trophy Eye’s. Yesterday I was out scouting with a couple of friends in the Bay and although we did see some huge hooks on my electronics we were unable to entice anything considered to be a trophy to bite. Marking fish like we did yesterday only got us excited because that is a sure sign that the fall hunt will soon be in full swing.

As the temperatures drop its time to put away those worm harnesses and start using those deep diving crank baits trolled with lengthy leads behind your boat, or is it? for those people that maybe would like to try their hand at these fall beauties but don’t want to spend a fortune doing it there are many devices and aids sold on the market today to help get smaller lipped baits and spinners down deeper with less bulk in the water, helping not to spook the fish, the result is that you can use some of the baits you used all summer in the shallows now to fish the fall walleye that like deeper water. Of course those big lipped baits work great and have done for some time but if you don’t have money to burn and don’t want an entirely new stock of lures then try looking into some of these devices it might save you some cash?

more to come on fall walleye tactics soon.

Spring Walleye fishing Tip Of The Week for The Bay Of Quinte

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Over the next few weeks leading to the Walleye opener on The Bay Of Quinte I will be writing helpful hints and posting them to my blog this week my blog is about Planer Boards.

If you fish for walleye in The Bay Of Quinte one of the most useful tools to get the job done is the Off-Shore tackle Planer Boards, these light weight boards are designed to take your lure away from the boat allowing you to get more lines in the water without getting tangled, also by taking the lines away from the boat your lures will run over the fish without your motor spooking the fish. These Boards come as either right or left running which means they are meant to run on either the right or left side of the boat. One major advantage to running these boards is that it allows you to put your lure in very shallow areas while keeping your boat in deeper water or (safer) areas. 

Many times when you run over fish they spook and move off to the sides of the boat which means as you run over them with the boat the fish actually swim away from your presentation, by using the boards you use them to your advantage in this case because as the fish swim to the sides they are now swimming directly into the path of your lures.

A great option that these board have available is you can buy a additional flag called a tattle flag what this does is when properly set up even if you have a small fish (bait fish, pearch, silver bass, or even weeds) on the line or if the fish is on a light bite, the lightest tug and the flag will go up and down repeatedly letting you know something is on the line otherwise it might be difficult to tell.  I would suggest this tattle flag especially in the spring time.

I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week.