Bass season just around the corner…

My June Outdoors Guy column in the Pembroke Daily Observer was out in print this week,  and is now available online:

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

Bass may be the last fishing season to open each summer but with a growing list of devotees, it remains one of the most popular sport fish in Canada.

Each year, the Valley bass season in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 gets underway the forth Saturday in June; two weeks later than most other sport fish. From a conservation standpoint, a later start allows for smallmouth and largemouth to complete the spawn and for young bass to mature so they may fend for themselves. Other species like walleye and trout play no 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 next Friday, one day before the rest of the FMZ 15. If anyone’s looking for me next weekend, I’ll be in Cobden trying to beat my personal bass record of 7 pounds.

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 dial 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:

Testing testing

I recently had the opportunity of trying-out a pair of Kamik’s new Bushman hunting boots and was very pleased that I did. Truth be told, I was not a huge proponent of old-school Kamik boots from the 1980’s. They were big and clunky and after a long day of lugging them around the bush, your legs were more fatigued than would be expected. Thank goodness things have changed greatly from a design standpoint, with this long-running Canadian boot manufacturer. The new Bushman boots are more form-fitting and snug around the ankles for improved comfort and support. These Kamik’s are 100 per cent waterproof with 7mm 4-way stretch neoprene uppers and a waterproof synthetic rubber shell. Part of reason they’re so lightweight is the company’s patented synthetic rubber material, which is 50% lighter than natural rubber and 30% lighter than other synthetic rubbers in its class resulting in a terrific lightweight, waterproof combination. I tested the new Bushman on uneven terrain while setting-up some new trail camera locations in the forest behind my house, but I could see these boots serving well during the first week of deer season. Kamik has succeeded in producing a solid pair of waterproof boots that weigh-in at a scant 34 ounces! For more information, check-out Kamik hunting boots online:

BAIT tourney a success!

The 27th annual Blind Anglers International Tournament (BAIT) hosted by Nangor Resort in Westmeath on May 29-30th was another big success and set a record for the most fish caught, with 11 walleye and 107 pike weighed-in, for a total of 287.6 pounds! The Catch of the Day prize went to the team of Pro Angler Rick Klatt and Blind Anglers; Darrell & David Furgoch. Biggest Pike prize was taken by team of Pro Rick Martin and Blind Angler Gord Wilson, with a nice 9.36 pound pike. The Biggest Walleye award went to Pro Angler Dan Fanning and Blind Angler Bill Rizzo. Number of Pike prize was taken by Pro James Vaillant and Blind Angler Madelaine Peters with 6 pike, weighing in at 24.52 pounds. The Number of Walleye prize went to Pro John Podlesny and Blind Angler Tad Skalski, for their 3 walleye weighing 3.57 pounds. A special thanks to Lions Club Chairman Al Page for the update and a huge round of applause to all the volunteers and Nangor Resort for another fanatic BAIT tournament!

13 thoughts on “Bass season just around the corner…”

  1. Bass season opened on Saturday, June 20, in FMZ 18 & 20. While I seldom go out on opening day of any season, for various reasons – one of them being to allow for late spawners – I was on the Rideau River for Saturday. Upcoming family and other obligations would have postponed my first outing for at least two weeks :-((( (Maybe I need a “sick” day…)
    The surface water temperatures I noted on my Lowrance ranged between 71.9 and 73.3 F. I watched the shallows and did not see any guarded nests otherwise I would have made the morning just a boat ride (or a pike derby)… So all looked well…
    My count for the morning was 5 bass and 2 pike, plus a huge swirl after my lure twice that I’m guessing was Ol’ Mossback…
    I gotta say, Jeff, that a 7 lb. bass is a pretty good best. I’ve released a few five pounders, maybe a little bit better – and a healthy share of 4 pound plus Smallmouth – but nothing like that. Had you included the net with that weight? :-)))
    Anyway, good luck in Cobden…

    1. Hey Herman…sounds like a nice time on the Rideau! You’ll have to excuse my ignorance on this one, but an ‘old mossback’ I assume is a muskie? Funny, I was an avid muskie for many years but never heard that expression.

      I should have clarified my ‘bass brag’…that 7 pounder was a Largemouth…I’ve never caught a smallie over 4.


  2. I went down to my local river just for a look-see and it made me sick to my stomach. With more people not fishing the people that are are not practising catch and release like we did in the past. I saw close to 40 smallmouth bass in baskets and stringers. The Ganaraska river is not big and I personally don’t think it can take that much pressure. These bass were anywhere from 7 inches to 4 lb. The mnr needs to be able to delay or reduce the number of fish at a drop of a hat to protect fish of seasons are late like this year. I just came from river this am for a coffee and same people catching and killing fish again.

    1. That’s a real shame Chess…I see a similar sort of disrespect on the lake where our trailer is. People with bags full of 6″ bass..makes ya sick!


  3. I had a buddy up at my cottage bass fishing on the weekend. He caught between 25 and 30 all in 5 feet or less. All smallies and he said it was a blast. I’m not much of a bass fisherman, I like to eat what I catch so I stick to walleye.

  4. hey jeff was out on saturday morning on the rideau got our limit for lakers and saw many bass caught but lots of catch and release which was a good sign one fellow got an 18 in bass over 4 lbs and he let it go , he got a pic and was happy with that , but the lakers are very aggressive right now lots of bait fish . The only regret was that i could not shoot the damn commorants that are plaguing the river

  5. Yes Jeff, a muskie… We had coined that nickname years ago… Don’t get to use it as much as we’d like though.
    Last year I did get a “not quite mossback” to the boat on my bass rig. It was all of 36″ long, I was all alone so and I didn’t want to take out of the water so it didn’t get an accurate measurement. The spinnerbait was hooked right in the corner of it’s mouth so a quick little twist with the pliers set it free. Fun….

  6. I’ve heard the term “Old Mossback” used in reference to large muskies as well. It is also used to describe big, old turtles in some locales.

  7. Well let’s hear it Jeff… How was your trip to Cobden?
    Annnnd…. While I’m at it, any word on that announcement you promised us a few weeks back? I mean I’ve tried to “behave myself” just to encourage the news…
    Not sure how much longer I can keep it up…

    1. Herman, the announcement is getting nearer trust me, and thanks for bearing with me. Also tks for behaving yourself for a change.hehe

      Didn’t make it to Cobden in the end, too much work to do around the house. I just built a screened-in porch and trying to get the finishing touches done. Trust me, I am by NO means a carpenter!

      How do I know I’m not a carpenter?

      Two weeks ago two days into the job..I drove a Robertson drill bit right thru the end of my thumb! It went thru the end of my thumbnail and out the bottom. Must have just missed the bone. Not fun! Was driving-in 3″ framing screws (with some force) behind it – the bit slipped outta the screw head and right into my left thumb!

      Uggh…thank god it isn’t my trigger finger…hehe..starting to heal up finally.


      1. btw..just rec’d another reported Cougar Sighting, this time near town of Bewdley, which is located on the southern tip of Rick Lake…north of the Big Smoke.

        Cats cats everywhere…why cant I see one?!


  8. Owwwch!!!
    I bet it’ll take a while for it to stop hurting when you’re reeling in a fish… I’m not too bad when it comes to working with wood. I do remember when I was younger – smack your thumb with a hammer… Owww… Why does the next smack always have to be in exactly the same spot? Even bigger Owww…
    Hope it heals up good… You’ll be happy about the screened in porch, with all this rain the mosquitos have finally filled their ranks…
    About the cats, you’re not alone in not seeing any, or even sign of any…

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