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A summer that brought fishing back in my life

Over this summer I spent more time fishing then I did in the last 10 years combined. It use to be something I did all the time, pretty much every weekend (or day in August for Salmon). When I moved to southern Ontario I pretty much stopped fishing though. After getting out on a charter boat at the end of the summer last year I decided I need to fish so my kids learn how to fish and how much fun it is outside… even in the south.

It all paid off this past Friday when I took both the kids down to a spot in the Niagara area that we have been trying out every so often. The kids didn’t have daycare so I figured it was a good excuse to head out early and see what we can catch. It worked out great.

Catching fish

Besides small largemouth bass we picked up a nice sized perch.

Perch just caught

That perch found its way home, into the frying pan, and on to the plate of the kids.

Perch at home Perch being cooked
Perch about to be eaten

All in one day! I think this is a great experience for the kids. My son had the choice to throw it back or eat it and going by the plastic knife to the side he was more than interested in getting it on his plate. He did it all btw and I can still filet small perch easily and without waste 😉

It was a lot of work over the summer to find a place where we could find fish that weren’t Rock Bass and that we could eat. With the Grand River and all the creeks and streams in the area you can’t get access to them thanks to all the private property — that restricts you to a few spots that get a lot of pressure. Not to mention falling for all the stories you get at the fishing stores or on forums.

What we learned:

  • Lake Erie is an amazing fishery but it isn’t kids friendly unless you have a boat
  • The Grand River is a kid friendly river with unlimited small fish to keep kids entertained
  • What should be great fishing spots around Hamilton and Niagara, are and no one really fishes them in great numbers.
  • A worm and a hook is all you need.
  • A canoe will get you to some great small mouth Bass fishing inside of the Waterloo Region.

What’s next, not sure. I think I am about ready to start going for the bigger badder fish without the kids as the weather gets colder and wetter. Next year I definitely want a boat too. Thinking of starting blog only about fishing around here too as I learning to fish again and I am really annoyed with the fishing stores. Fishing is not an ‘open’ sport. People don’t share what they do or how they do it… I would like to do it differently.

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  1. I would search for forums for the particular lake you want to fish in. Jump in and start contributing, fishing stories and pics of kids with fish are easy ways to get started. On Lake St Clair there is an awsome forum with people who offerer up pointers and tips all the time. Don’t expect GPS coordinates but they will definatly tell you what they used to catch the fish.

    • I do that and yes there are some great forums out there. They don’t tell the story though… that is something I would like to do. Not entirely sure I am the greatest story teller but I might give it a shot 😉

  2. Whoah, I found last paragraph to be very thought provoking. It definitely is a secretive sport, with old-man know how, superstitions, and secret fishing holes. I know that I keep quiet about my best fishing spots and the arsenal of lures and jigs that I keep on hand.

    Going for the ‘openness’ of fishing is an interesting concept… definitely keep us posted.

    • I think that fishing is like anything else though, if you put in the time you get really good at it but if you don’t you could be in a fishing pond and not catch much. I know when I used to visit the mouth of the Garden River on the St Mary’s near the Soo almost every day in our boat we could hit at least 10-20 Salmon in a couple of hours consistently. No one else might be hitting a thing. I would tell people exactly what we are doing and they could only hit 2-3 but at least they got fish that day. If I followed up with them another time I find out they only went the one time and forgot what they did.

      I spent so many days, weeks, and years learning the water and knowing how to adjust all I could do is point people to the general bits that produce but I couldn’t tell them the instinctive things I just knew from being there all the time. Hundreds of boats covered the same spot and got some but nothing like we did.

      As I see it, if you think you are the only person to fish a spot you kidding yourself. With catch a release thinking nowadays the pressure on the lakes is minimal but having the eyes out there in the environment is priceless. The more people enjoying the outdoors the better chance we have to keep it in great shape.