My June outdoors column in the Pembroke Daily Observer is now out in print, and available online for those who don’t live up the Valley:
Valley anglers kicking bass!
Each year, the Valley bass season in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 gets underway the fourth Saturday in June, two weeks later than most other sport fish. From a conservation standpoint, the later season allows for warm water smallmouth and largemouth to complete the spawn, and also for young bass to mature so they may fend for themselves. Other species like walleye and trout play no real role in guarding of the eggs so their seasons always open earlier in the spring. Anyone who fishes the Ottawa River, otherwise known as the Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 12, may begin bass fishing tomorrow – one day before the rest of the Ottawa Valley. If anyone’s looking for me this weekend, I’ll be in Cobden searching for old bucket mouth!
Deer tags up for grabs!
Valley deer enthusiasts are watching the calendar closely as the antlerless deer tag validation draw closes on June 30. There are three application methods available although your chances at a tag remain the same, whether you apply by telephone, Internet or at a Service Ontario outlet. To apply over the phone call 1-800-288-1155, but remember that if you have already purchased your regular deer license, you’ll not be permitted to enter the draw this way, and must apply either online or visit a Service Ontario outlet. For more information: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/OC/2ColumnSubPage/STDU_137147.html.
National Fishing Week on the way
The goal of National Fishing Week (NFW) is to introduce anglers to this special activity we call sport-fishing. Between July 5 and 14, everyone is encouraged to plan a fishing day at your nearest stream, pond, river or lake. To remind folks of the recreational value of our freshwater fishery, the Ontario government is waving the fishing license requirement for that week each summer. Anglers without a license must still abide by the limits set out in the Conservation permit and all other regulations remain enforced; including size limits and protected sanctuaries. For more information: http://www.catchfishing.com/
This spring I had the opportunity to try out a device which added an all new element to my trout fishing endeavours. Magellan’s new eXplorist 310 – Anglers Edition I field-tested in May proves that no matter how good your fish finder is, it will never bring you to where the fish are! Enter the Magellan 310 Anglers Edition. This handy little gem came with a Fishing Hot Spots add-on, which includes a three lake download as well as 4,000 lakes and waterways included in its database. Such features as detailed shorelines and depth contours are included with every water body. A complete look at physical and biological make up of each lake is displayed, where you can build-in your own ‘honey hole’ waypoints; saved as your own personal points of interest. The 310 special colour screen offered support readability even in direct sunlight or when strapped to the gunnel of my canoe. This unit felt compact and rugged and is completely waterproof as one would expect. Next spring when I begin my ‘trout recon’, I’ll be making a beeline to all the best spots! For more information on the eXplorist 310 Anglers Edition by Magellan: http://www.magellangps.com/Store/eXplorist-Special-Editions/Magellan-eXplorist-310-Angler-Edition.
Big bass, big money
The Lefaivre Lions Club is holding its annual Open Bass Tournament on the Ottawa River on Saturday, June 28 from 7 a.m to 3:30 p.m. With thousands in cash and prizes up for grabs, the town’s Open Bass Tournament has garnered the attention of anglers from across the region and beyond. The Lefaivre Lions Club hosted its first Annual Open Bass Tournament back in 1993, and here we are more than two decades later and the event is bigger than ever. Registration is $200 per boat (team of two) plus $20 for the big fish prize.