Avid bass angler Randy Rosenthal with a nice largemouth caught in a secret lake somewhere in the Ottawa Valley.
The Genus Micropterus season might be the last fishing season to open each spring, but with a growing list of devotees’ bass remain one of the most popular sport fish.
Each year, the largemouth and smallmouth bass season in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 gets underway the fourth Saturday in June, two weeks later than other sport fish. From a conservation standpoint, a 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 start bass fishing next Friday – one day before the rest of the Ottawa Valley. If anyone’s looking for me next weekend, I’ll be in Cobden searching for old bucket mouth.
Big bass event
Speaking of bass, the Lefaivre Lions Club is holding their annual Open Bass Tournament on the Ottawa River next Saturday, June 25th from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. With thousands of dollars 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 very 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.
Cougar sightings on the rise
No sooner had I completed my interview with an Ottawa area news website regarding the recent cougar sightings in our region than all hell broke loose in the cougar world. An extremely credible report arrived in my ‘Outdoors Guy Inbox’ from Kington-area veterinarian doctor Brian Overgaard, who claims to have spotted several big cats near his home over the years, include one that darted across a trail in front of him on June 11 in the nearby town of Bath. Overgaard went on to tell me about the first big cat he encountered back in 2013. “There was no doubt that it was a cougar, it was a large cat with a long tail,” Overgaard said.
“He (cougar) hung around for several days because more tracks appeared in the deep snow”
Over the years I have received more than 100 reported cougar sightings, in several ‘hotbed’ areas of Ontario and Quebec. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry continues to dismiss the presence of big cats despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
There are far too many eye-witness accounts each month, in my opinion, to all be as the result of escaped captive cougars. If only funding was available for research and a full-scale investigation. If you should happen to see a cougar in your area please drop me a line: [email protected].
National Fishing Week coming in July
The goal of National Fishing Week (NFW) is to introduce anglers to this special activity we call sport fishing. Between July 2 and 10 everyone in Canada 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 waves the fishing licence requirement for that week each summer. Anglers without a licence must still abide by the limits set out in the conservation permit and all other regulations remain enforced. For more information: http://www.catchfishing.com/th_event/national-fishing-week-2016/
Deer tag deadline looming
Even though the deer season is still several months away, hunters are watching the calendar closely with the antlerless deer tag validation draw closing 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