Bring on a flurry of pike and walleye!

This month’s Outdoors Column in the Pembroke Daily Observer just out in print today:


Bring on a flurry of pike and pickerel

By Jeff Morrison

Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer's newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.

Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer’s newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.


Anglers in search of the province’s top game-fish need wait no further as Ottawa Valley walleye and northern pike are now fair game in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15.

FMZ 15 is an immense region covering much of Northeastern Ontario; extending eastward to the Ottawa River, south to Arnprior, north to Deux Rivieres and west across all of Algonquin Park to Parry Sound. The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds all walleye and pike anglers that they must have a valid fishing license, and should abide by the daily limits for your area. Where length limits apply, anglers should measure their catch carefully, and any fish caught while angling must be kept whole so the length can be measured by conservation officers. If you should accidentally catch another species for which the season is still closed, it must be immediately ( and safely) returned to the water. Best of luck on your pike and walleye endeavors!

Scribe tickled about trout conservation

Still recovery from my annual trout trip to Témiscaming earlier this month, I am pleased to report that the brook trout in that region are alive and well. With much cooler water temps this year than is usual, the brookies were out in full force and feeding heavy. In recent years, we have been practicing catch and release on one of trophy trout lakes to help ensure the future of this fragile fishery. Of the 40 trout we caught on this particular lake, 30 were live-released without a scratch. To catch and safely release brook trout requires patience and a soft touch at canoe-side. Barbless hooks and a good set of long-nosed pliers are a must. Of the trophy-sized ‘specs’ we released, one measured a whopping 24.5″ and would easily tip the scales at over five pounds. To see a trout of this stature swimming away is an incredible feeling. Sure, we did keep enough smaller fish for two good meals and a couple to bring home, but the majority of fish were live released. If you had asked me 15 years ago about letting a five-pound brook trout go, I probably would have laughed. Practicing conservation of the species requires self-control, but offers copious long-term reward.

Blind Anglers International Tournament

The Blind Angler’s International Tournament (B.A.I.T) will once again “lure” legally blind men and women, along with top professional sport anglers, to the Nangor Resort in Westmeath, for a fun filled weekend on May 30th – June 1st. This year’s event kicks-off with a dinner at the Westmeath Community Centre in an event that aims to demonstrate abilities rather than disabilities. The opportunity to learn a new skill, or to re-kindle an old passion, serves as a mechanism of rehabilitation for the participants. The Arnprior Lions Club is hosting the tournament this year under the Lions’ B.A.I.T. project.

‘Bear proof’ the cottage or trailer

While spending time at the cottage or trailer this summer, it’s wise to remember that you’re in the natural habitat of black bears – omnivores easily attracted by human food and garbage. Cottagers are reminded to put waste out on the morning of garbage day, and not the night before, and never leave pet food outdoors. Make sure to thoroughly clean outdoor barbeque grills after use, and fill bird feeders only during the winter months. Do not put meat, fish or sweet food in your composter or in open garbage areas. These are just a few small precautions to make your property bear free this summer.

Next time at Outdoors Guy

Be sure to tune-in for the June Outdoors Guy column right here in the Valley authority on ‘The Great Outdoors,’ The Outdoors Guy in The Daily Observer and at I’ll be launching my coveted 2014 Trivia Contest with some terrific prizes, featuring another great product field-test and news on my next book -Canadian Wild Game Cookbook, published by Canada’s most beloved cookbook producers Company’s Company. All this and more right here next month!







10 thoughts on “Bring on a flurry of pike and walleye!”

  1. I missed my Algonquin Park spring trout trip but some of my buddies were up.
    They reported a limit every day of Speks.
    They were also on Opeongo Lakeas the police were looking for the missing canoeists.
    He told me the two that were missing headed up the middle of Opeongo, with little experience in a canoe.
    There were two people with them in another canoe, and only two life jackets between four of them
    Apparently they were wearing heavy clothing and work boots. Two never surfaced after both canoes swamped at about the same time.
    Two made it to shore and were suffering hypothermia when found.
    Two still haven’t been found

    1. Very sad story Iggs..early season like this with icy cold water is extremely dangerous for those who aren’t used to being in a canoe.


  2. Sometimes I seriously think it’s cleaning up the gene pool.
    Who in their right mind would wear work boots, heaving clothing, no life jackets
    and paddle up the centre of a huge lake know to really get up in the wind, with water temperatures so low they would have had to numb their hands while paddling.
    Sorry to say, but that is just plain dumb

  3. On our part of the lake the walleye took a hit on the opener this year as the meat fishermen were lined up on spawning beds catching big females yet to spawn, then high fiving each other on their angling prowess. Next year they will wonder where all the fish are and blame global warming.
    Jeff, if you are looking for volunteers for your trout trip, I’m in!

    1. Johan, that is a bloody shame about the walleye! I guess we’ll be seeing more of that this year with abnormally cold water, however, with some luck most of the spawning is done now.

      I am slowly getting my ‘trophy trout post’ together…all my browsers are out of date now and they won’t allow me to upload any photos!

      Sorry Johan…we are sworn to secrecy over this special lake..NOT ONE person has fished it (besides us) in over a decade!!!


  4. Outdoorsguy, I am not asking for a map but rather applying for entry into the club and wondering where I send my application. 😉

    1. Sorry johan…its kind of a guarded family secret at the moment.

      I can tell you what we caught EVERY LAST TROUT ON…same spoon..exact same size & colour all four of us used it and never took it off!


  5. that is why the the wild life act needs to be rewritten our policy have no teeth .. they need to be able to push back seasons to protect ALL fish when mother nature is late. this year our rainbow trout got pounded most fish were still loaded with eggs and coming up river to spawn. i have been in the USA when they have cancelled a deer season and pushed it back for a week due to dry weather . the mnr needs to be able to cancel the fishing seasons at a days notice if need be to protect the fish stocks

  6. I understand about the secrecy thing, but in the sake of making the world a better place I suggest you consider adopting someone less fortunate into your family…like World Fishin…

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