Chad Riopelle, of Arnprior, with a pair of nice early season walleyes
Anglers in search of northern pike and walleye have been out in full force with both species now fair game in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15.
Be sure to check the rules and regulations before hitting the water this weekend. If you should accidentally catch another species for which the season is still closed, it must be immediately (and safely) returned to the water. FMZ 15 is very large zone 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. Best of luck in your northern pike and walleye endeavours, I am hoping to land a few myself this weekend in Cobden. Early season northern pike offer great table fare with four to five pound specimens being the best eating size, in my opinion.
Blind Anglers International Tournament
The 27th annual Blind Angler’s International Tournament. (B.A.I.T) is coming to Westmeath this weekend. The region is a fitting spot for such an event in a most beautiful part of the province. Legally blind men and women along with professional anglers will converge at Nangor Resort for a fun-filled weekend of angling. This year’s event kicks off with a dinner at the Westmeath Community Centre and runs from May 26 to 28. The opportunity to learn a new skill or to re-kindle an old passion, serves as a mechanism of rehabilitation for participants in this well-respected event. For more information, http://www.a4lions.ca/bait-tournament. Lion George Burton is this year’s event chairman. Check out beautiful Nangor resort: http://nangorresort.com/?cfid=14694&cftoken=94689391
In my early days it was always felt that ‘a fish caught was a fish kept’, but it doesn’t need to be that way anymore. To safely release a fragile brook trout requires patience and a soft touch at canoe or boat-side. Barbless hooks and a good set of long-nosed pliers are a must. To witness a beautiful brook trout swimming away after a nice battle is an incredible feeling. Sure, you can catch enough smaller fish to bring home but doing your part for conservation will surely payoff in the end. My family trout trip earlier this month up to valley to Temiscaming, Que. was a hoot. We caught loads of big trout and released 80 per cent of our catch while still enjoying some tasty meals. Practising conservation of the species requires self-control but offers copious long-term reward.
Bear hunt across the river
With all the excitement around pike and pickerel, don’t forget about the spring bear hunt across the river which also got under way this past weekend. Hunters need bear in mind that in certain sectors of the Outaouais the season closes on June 15, two weeks earlier than for rest of the province which allows bear hunting until June 30. With the month of June fast approaching, the once cautious animals will have become accustomed to feeding regularly at bait sites, and with the onset of mating season adult males travel extensively in search of a mate. Both of these factors will have a positive effect on hunter’s success rate. For more information on the bear hunting across the river and the many lodging opportunities, contact the Federation of Quebec Outfitters: https://www.pourvoiries.com/en/
Fish, Hunt & Ride – spring issue
Thanks to FHR team member and Pembroke native Jordan Durocher and his dad, several upper valley and Pontiac stores and shops are currently being stocked with Fish, Hunt & Ride Magazine’s spring issue. This issue is all about black bears, gobblers, walleye, trapping, trout fishing and cooking, Uncle Ted Nugent, an exclusive interview with rising Canadian country starlet Meghan Patrick. All this and tons more hunting, fishing and riding action is included. For more information on Fish, Hunt & Ride: http://www.fishhuntandride.ca/