The other day, my wife asked me what I wanted for Fathers Day and my reply was simple. I want to catch a muskie. Of course, you all know that is easier said then done...
Living in Nova Scotia makes somewhat hard to find muskie, impossible in fact, there are none. Luckily for me Fredericton, New Brunswick is only 4.5 hours away, and there are some big muskie being caught. I had made plans to meet up with Derek Rowe of Muskies Canada (http://www.muskiesnb.ca) in the afternoon, but seeing as that this was one of my few days I have all to myself, I decided to make a full day of it. 24 hours.
I left Halifax shortly after midnight. I had tried to get some sleep, but the combination of a splitting headache and visions of grandeur kept me awake. I figured I may as well start driving because I wont be sleeping any time soon. The drive was perfect, hardly a car on the road. I got into Fredericton around 4:30 am and made my way to the north launch. I made my first cast with the sunrise at 5am and didnt stop until the sun was starting to set.
I started on foot and walked the shoreline near the launch. Started at one bridge, and made my way to the other and beyond. I used spinner baits in the shallow water, and switched it up to a 10 inch Suick (sucker pattern) in the deeper areas. Had plenty of follows...from bass and perch, but no muskie. I managed to get a nice size chain pickerel, but that was it.
Areas I covered by shore are in red...
I grabbed a bite to eat around noon and then broke out the bass gear for an hour to give my arms a rest from casting muskie lures. Met Derek at the launch around quarter to 4pm and we quickly raced up river. Finally some good looking muskie territory!
My selection of muskie lures is pretty small right now. I left most of it back in Ontario because I didnt know I'd be muskie fishing when I moved out east! I only had lures that are considered small in the world of muskie fishing (7-8 inches) The larger lures that I had recently made and intended to use were both lost to snags while shore fishing. After one look at Derek's lure selection I knew these Eastern beauties wanted a bigger snack. After about 30 minutes of casting my own lures, Derek suggested I try one of his - within minutes, his advise paid off, a 34 inch beauty, my first NB muskie!
The first thing I noticed with these NB fish is that their girth, this 34 incher had a much bigger girth then the muskie I used to catch in Ontario (thats not to say there aren't lakes that hold girthy fish in Ontario, because there definitely is!)
Shortly after this fish was boated, it was Dereks turn. He made sure he wasn't going to be outdone, and landed this big girl that was just shy of 40 inches with a 19 inch girth!
After he caught his fish we moved down river. Then it began to rain. Then the wind picked up. The fishing slowed down, but Derek took this time to give me some great tips and shared some of his serious knowledge of the river. I was able to test out several of his lures, some of which I'll be buying for my next trip check em out - http://easternesox.ca/?page=Lures&subpage=Glide%20Baits
We ended the day back near the spot where the fish were caught earlier. The rain had stopped and the wind was almost gone, but no more fish were caught so we called it a day shortly before 9. I jumped in the car and made may way home in the dark, another 4.5 hours.
My stats for the day:
Time spent driving: 9 hours
Total distance driven: 900+ km
Distance on foot: 6 km
Time spent fishing: 15 hours
Number of lures lost: 2
Number of blisters: 1
Number of perch caught: 5
Number of chain pickerel caught: 1
Number of bass caught: 1
Number of muskie caught: 1
Number of casts: 10001
Time spent sleeping: 0 hours
You must have been well chuffed Clive, well done!...Those Muskies have nice patterns (but i still don't think they beat the Pike for markings imo). I bet catching that Musky was just as good as your biggest Pike anyway just because it's not an everyday thing for you!...nice one mate. :good:
The picture didnt really capture how unique the markings on these fish are. The undersides have a cool blotch pattern as well. These fish we pretty beat up to, they're right at the end of their spawn and the females (Dereks fish) are particularly beat up.
I thought I add some interesting facts about the Saint John River with regards to muskie, first they are an invasive species, second, you have a bag limit of 10 per day (yes TEN, thats unheard of in the muskie world, and who would want to keep these majestic beasts anyway?) Last year a 52 inch x27 inch beast was caught and released. Muskies Canada NB has been actively tagging and measuring fish to keep track of fish. This river is massssssive. Not only that but its tidal water, and rises and falls with the worlds largest tides in the Bay of Fundy which is around 200km away!
In New Brunswick, no license is require to fish tidal water.
I know what i was going to ask but forgot Clive...How come you've got gloves on in the pics?...You're not usually seen with hand protectors on!...Are they a freebie pressie/advertising/etc or just didn't fancy Muskie teeth designs in your hands?! :sarcastic: