December 22, 2014

Renew Your Outdoors Card!

Just a reminder that it's time to look at your Ontario Outdoors Card. Cards expire on December 31, every three years. Is this your year? If so, you can renew one of four ways.
  1. Online
  2. Call 800-288-1155
  3. Visit an Ontario Service Center. At the Service Center website, click on Fish and Wildlife > Outdoors Card & Misc > Outdoors Card - License Searches, Replacement License and search for a Center near you. 
  4. Visit a Private Issuer. At the Private Issuer page, simply scroll down and search by community.
For those of you who are not Canadian residents but are traveling to fish Ontario, getting your card renewed in advance is a good way to shave a few minutes off what can often be a long trip.

And Happy New Year Everyone!

December 16, 2014

Great Walleye Fishing Gifts

Are you looking for a last-minute gift for your Walleye fishing fanatic?

HERE are my suggestions.

November 25, 2014

Plan 2014 To Eliminate Water Level Regulations of Lake Ontario

Nature, Hunting and Fishing groups are rallying behind a proposal (Plan 2014) to eliminate a 50-year-old-plus policy of regulating water levels in Lake Ontario.

Mostly Property Owners are opposed to Plan 2014.

Read more HERE

November 19, 2014

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Hosts Asian Carp Information Sessions

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) will be hosting a series of Asian Carp Information Sessions as part of their Invading Species Awareness Program.

OFAH will lead five information sessions in the upcoming months, all beginning at 6:30 p.m.:
November 25 – Windsor, Waterfront Hotel
November 26 – Niagara Falls, Hilton Fallsview Hotel & Suites
December 2 – Sault Ste. Marie, Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel
February 3 – Toronto, Gladstone Hotel
February 11 – Peterborough, OFAH/Mario Cortelluci Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre

November 13, 2014

New Ontario Service Fee for Fish and Wildlife Management

Beginning next month, December 2014, the Ministry of Natural Resources will be charging a $2 service fee, applied to Outdoor Cards, Hunting and Fishing Licenses and Draws for which a fee is charged. So expect to pay an additional $2 fee each time you purchase a card, license or draw related to hunting and fishing in Ontario.

All the fees will be invested in the Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Account.

Read more about how Ontario fishing and hunting fees are used HERE.

November 03, 2014

Manotak Lodge Has New Owners

Dave and Linda Becker have announce they have sold Manotak Lodge on Perrault Lake in Northwest Ontario to:
Steve and Christing Swafford
P.O. Box 7406
Bloomington  IN  47407

October 28, 2014

Lake Erie Perch from Thundermist Lures

This so makes me want to get out there. It's September and they're in shorts! It's not too late, my friends. Bundle up and get some of the best eating fish, Perch. Triple hook sets no less!

Another great video from Thundermist Lures.

October 22, 2014

Registering Ice Fishing Huts in Ontario

It just got easier. You can now register your Ontario Ice Fishing Hut on line.

Ice Fishing Hut that are required to be registered in Fisheries Management Zones 9-12 and 14-20.

Ice Fishing Huts are NOT required to be registered in Fisheries Management Zones 1-8 and 13
If your tent is made of a fabric covering and 7m2 (75.4 square feet) or less when erected.

You only need to register once.

This information and more, plus a link to the Natural Resource Registry can be viewed online HERE.

October 16, 2014

Fly Fishing for Walleye... Errrrr Bass... At Hawk Lake Lodge

Here's an article from Fly Rod and Reel Magazine about the author's attempt to fly fish for Walleye in Northern Ontario; Big, Dumb and Half Blind

What are your thoughts? I know quite of you very successfully fish for Walleye with a fly rod. Enjoy the article. It's a fun read.

October 10, 2014

Catalogue of Canadian Fishing Maps

Well here's a resource I have not used yet. Fishing Maps Plus. Check 'em out. Tell me what you think. If you've used their maps, I'd love to hear from you.

I appreciate any advocate Catch and Release. From their website:
"Selective harvest, with a strong foundation of "Catch and Release", is the policy we advocate at FISHING MAPS "PLUS". Many anglers wish to eat some fish, and why not? They are nutritious and "umm", good tasting. If selective harvest is practiced, then the resource is renewable. The modern-day approach is to keep more numerous panfish before less abundant larger predators, and keep smaller, more abundant fish of a species before larger, less abundant ones."

September 18, 2014

Darryl Choronzey And His Secret Recipes

Darryl Choronzey is an outdoor writer who had published and edited Ontario Fisherman Magazine for more than 20 year. Choronzey was also instrumental improving and enhance the fishing opportunities on the Lake Huron River for steelhead; meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources resulting in 50,000 eight-inch yearlings stocked approximately 50 miles upstream of the Saugeen River. This program has been operating for the last 10 consecutive years. In 2002, Choronzey was awarded Canada’s Recreational Fisheries Award in recognition of improving, protecting and promoting sport fishing in Canada.

And my favorite publication by Choronzey is...

Secret Recipes from a Canadian Fishing Guide

See my personal review if you want to learn more about the details in this great book.

August 20, 2014

Drive-In Fishing In Algoma Country

Flame Lake Lodge
Here's a resource you'll want to bookmark. Drive-In Fishing in Algoma Country.

I've stayed at a few of these and I'm looking forward to exploring more.

Tight Lines!

August 11, 2014

Ontario Worm Shortage

Oh say it isn't so... Worm Shortage in Ontario Increases Costs.

Anyone out there paying more for worms this year?

Source: 570 News

August 05, 2014

Electronic Fish Finders

 Here's what I think about Electronic Fish Finders. I like to keep it simple but do enjoy my fishing toys. What's your opinion?

July 18, 2014

July 12, 2014

Back Off On The Drag

Another good tip from Ivo at Thundermist Lures. We often don't think about it. Not a major issue. But so simple to Back Off On The Drag.

July 06, 2014

Wintertrekker Videos

I highly recommend Wintertrekker videos. These are all produced in Northern Ontario and very well done for both entertainment and education. Here's one of a 17-day solo canoe trip with video of an up-river routine, storm cells and Walleye for the grand finale.

June 10, 2014

Welcome... Swat... to... Swat... June... Swat

Photo Credit: lolotahiti

I love all critters, big and small. Some just a little bit more than others. The lowly mosquito is one I can do without. More about my thoughts on mosquitoes at Another Lesson From The Creek.

But don't stay home. You've got fishing to be done! Sea to Summit Bug Jacket & Mitts with Insect Shield (Large)

June 04, 2014

Catch More Walleye with Jigs

Here's an excellent read at Walleye Central, Ten Tips to Catch More Walleye by Jason Mitchell. Jigging is an art and Jason covers it all from size of jig and shank, line and line angle, color, and casting.

I hope your Walleye season is off to a great start. Opener was slow for me but it's picking up now. See you on the lakes and rivers. Bring some extra jigs.

May 14, 2014

Checklist for Opener

May 17 is almost upon us. Are you ready for opener? With the cold weather, a few lakes are still iced over. My favorite lake for May opener as of today has too much ice.

But I've got my checklist and I'm ready to fish the swollen river anyway.

  • Jigs. Lots of them in various sizes. Especially Hair Jigs.
  • Plastics. Dark colors and natural colors. I can't yet fool them with bright pinks and oranges and yellows.
  • The river has a lot of snags in it this time of year. Eagle Claw Dual Lock Snaps, Size 1 are a must.
  • New line. I like braided but it's truly a matter of preference. Check out the pros and cons of Monofilament, Flurocarbon and Braided line.
  • Warm clothing. It's not the air temperatures that matter. It's the water temperatures this time of year. It will feel a lot colder on the water than on land.
  • Check your boating safety kit. Is it dry with good batteries or has it been sitting in standing water at the bottom of the boat all winter? 
  • Oh, and where's that thermos!? Come join me. I've got a hot cup of coffee waiting for you.

April 21, 2014

White Perch, Yellow Perch and a Rainbow

On the Niagra River in November.Oh for the want of soft water again. Sigh. I love the banter, my favorite part of fishing. Another excellent video from Thundermist Lures.

April 15, 2014

In Search Of The Perfect Fish Stringer

I've had more than enough fish stringers to last a lifetime. But you know how it is. You see someone using another stringer and you think that's the one for you. Or you leave a favorite stringer in the fish cleaning hut and it mysteriously disappears. You check the row of boats at camp but it's not there. You wonder, did you set it down somewhere, forgotten. Or did someone else find it irresistible. Too often, it's the latter.

I've yet to find the "Perfect" fish stringer. But I've come close. Here's my "fix" to turn the almost perfect stringer to the perfect stringer.

I start with two Luhr Jensen® Pro Class 6' Stringers. Why two? Because I want more clasps on my "perfect" stringer. Be sure to get the stringer with clasps on either end with ball bearings. If you cannot find it for a good price on Amazon, go right to Luhr-Jensen. Don't compromise on less expensive but similar stringers. The clasps and hardware on this stringer are superior.

Next, I remove the clasps and all the brass and reassemble the entire stringer using rope or paracord. I don't think much of the vinyl-coated cable. It does not pack well and eventually crimps somewhere and gives me fits.

Before I reassemble the stringer, I also add a ball bearing to the end of each clasp. Take a look at the clasps on either end of the stringer. This is what you want to do for each clasp. A quick visit to the hardware store will do the trick.

Now reassemble your stringer with as many clasps as you want. Be sure to slip on a brass dog tag with your name and phone number. This stringer will disappear.

Have you got a favorite "perfect" stringer. I'm always looking for something better. Let me know.

March 30, 2014

My Pike Chowder

I've had more than a few requests for this so here it is.

Deb's Pike Chowder.

I apologize for my inability to give you specific measurements. That's not the way I roll at fish camp.

In a large soup pot on a low heat, simmer:
  • 6-10 (or more to taste) strips of thick-cut Maple Bacon, cut into healthy chunks.
  • 3-4 potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced large
  • A couple of tablespoons of minced garlic... to taste.
Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender but not soft, the onions are translucent but not crisp, the garlic is well absorbed but not browned, and the bacon is curling but not crisp. Add olive oil or more bacon if the potatoes start to stick. A couple of tablespoons of water helps too. This will not take long. Check often to make sure potatoes, onions and bacon are not sticking.

While your pot is simmering, cut a pike or two, depending on size, into 1-2 inch chunks and dredge in flour. Shake off excess flour. This is important. The flour is your thickener but you don't want mud.

When the potatoes, onions garlic and bacon are ready, Add:
  • the floured pike chunks
  • sprinkle liberally with curry powder.
Cover and continue to simmer only until the pike is translucent. Just a few minutes.

Stir all your ingredients and Add:
  • 1-2 Cans of Creamed Corn
  • 1-3 Cans of Evaporated Milk
The amount of Corn and Milk will depend, of course, on how much chowder you are making. Add a little at a time and test for flavor and thickness.

Stir until hot but do not over-cook or you will have problems with the milk.

Serve hot in deep bowls with a dab of butter, salt and pepper on top.
This recipe deserves more than crackers. I like large-cut croutons or dried baguette rounds. Buy or make your own.
A hot loaf or two of garlic bread or your favorite baguette on the side is perfect with the recipe

BTW: This recipe is also great with all your Walleye Cheeks after a long week of fishing. 


March 21, 2014

Write A Letter To Save The Algoma Central Passenger Train (ACR)

Whether you live in Ontario or just visit for, for instance, your favorite fishing trip, please help camp owners and residents along the 100-year-old Algoma Central Passenger train line save the train.

Visit the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains and learn how to send email letters and fill out the survey to help save this historical attraction and necessary service.

March 20, 2014

Grand Rapids Michigan Ultimate Sport Show

I'm at the show now. Come visit me. Booth # 1353.

Let's talk fishing.

I've still got some Bigger Fish to Fry fishing adventures open for 2014.

March 16, 2014

Breaking A Snagged Fishing Line

Here is yet another great video from Ivo of Thundermist Lure Company demonstrating the fine art of breaking a snagged fishing line. Break the line, not your rod or your fingers.

March 03, 2014

Help Save the Algoma Central Railway

The Algoma Central Rail Passenger Train will be closing on March 31. There is some action to extend that date to April 29.

But April 29 will not help the numerous camp owners along the line. Snow will still be deep in some places and ice will still be on the lakes. Moving everything out of a camp before the passenger train shuts down for good will not be possible. Some camps will likely will be left to deteriorate in the elements or burned to the ground with all their contents.

And likely some of your favorite fishing destinations will be closed too. Some can be accessed by float plane but not all. And air service does change the affordability of perhaps one of your favorite fishing destinations. 

Whether you live in Canada or elsewhere, you can help reverse this devastating decision by reading this article, watching the video and signing the petition at Sault Online.

February 25, 2014

Wawa's 2014 Ice Fishing Derby

The 23nd Annual Wawa Ice Fishing Derby is fast approaching. February 28 - March 2, 2014.

  • Over $100,000 in prizes, including a 2014 Dodge RAM and an Otter Pro Lodge
  • Limit of 1,300 participants
  • Entry fee is $135, including HST
Download your Entry Form and put it on the ice!

Get information about Ontario fishing licenses and regulations, including buying your license and outdoor card online, HERE.

February 17, 2014

Pan Fishing in February

Ivo from Thundermist Lures and "The Boatless Angler," Antonio, get it done with Crickets and Wax (Meal) Worms. Just a little inspiration for those of you who are spending too much time on the couch. Get out in February!

February 10, 2014

Two New Gadgets to Help You Stay Safe and Connected

Here's a good article by Kevin Callan, The Happy Camper: New Gadgets To Help Keep You Found

Kevin reviews SPOT 3 Satellite GPS Messenger - Orange and the Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite Phone . Both devices will help you when you need it in the bush.

Wilderness travel should be just that, Wild. This is just my opinion, but tweeting and texting and phone conversations while you're on your "getaway" ought to be left behind. The feeling of being really, really out there is more than just a feeling. It leads to personal insights, provocative conversations and slowing down so much that you notice the very little things.

But an emergency device is something to consider, depending on your trip and availability of being connected to emergency support services when the need arises. Check 'em out and Kevin's review.


February 02, 2014

Chapleau's Annual Pike Fishing Derby is Feb 7 - 8

Chapleau's Annual One-Day Pike Ice Fishing Derby is scheduled this year for Friday - Saturday, February 7 - 8.

BIG cash prizes. Tickets $135.

More information HERE.

Get information about Ontario fishing licenses and regulations, including buying your license and outdoor card online, HERE.

January 28, 2014

The Algoma Central Railway On The Chopping Block

As of this writing, the Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service is scheduled to be unfunded and closed on March 31, 2014. Many of you who use this train service to visit your favorite fishing camps and lodges will have to find alternative ways to get to camp or a new favorite fishing place.

Here's the latest announcement from the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) about the upcoming demise of the ACR and what you can do if you want to help reverse this decision.

I'll keep you updated as more news about this closure evolves. In the meantime, the link above will provide you with email addresses if you want to express your concern about this closure.

January 22, 2014

An Excellent Video on Rigging Minnows

Here's another excellent video from Evo of Thundermist Lures on how to rig a minnow.
Five ways... Your choice... Good to know.

January 11, 2014

2014 Ontario Fishing Regulations

The 2014 Ontario Fishing Regulations are be available on the MNR website. You can download the regulations section by section, or download the complete regulations.