Evinrude White
Ice Fishing in Kawarthas Northumberland

Ice Fishing in Kawarthas Northumberland

Now that the colder weather seems to be settling in for the winter, I can’t help but recall the questions I had when I first began ice fishing. The Kawarthas Northumberland region is an ice angler’s paradise! So many species! So little time it seems. The frozen lakes provide an exciting and affordable way to get into the sport of ice fishing. Not only is it a great avenue for new anglers to explore, it truly is a terrific opportunity to spend time with family and friends during the winter months. Ice fishing can appear intimidating to a new comer. My best advice is to never go alone. Be sure to go with someone that is knowledgeable when it comes to ice safety and exercise caution at all times. With a few key factors in mind you are in for a great experience. Dress Accordingly Dressing for the elements is one of the most important parts of an enjoyable ice fishing trip. I always tend to overdress. That has never left me feeling cold which would take away from the experience dramatically. I recommend a thermal flotation suit. Not only are they very warm, but in the event that you were to go through the ice you have flotation to your benefit but this is certainly not a necessity. A good pair of thermal wind proof pants and a warm jacket will suffice. I will generally wear a balaclava to cover my head, face and neck while in transit to and from the area we are fishing. I like this for two reasons. I am completely covered and warm when I... read more

Product Review: Llugen Lures Tandem Nutbuster

Date: 6/7/2016 Product type: Muskie Spinnerbait Manufacturer: Llugen Lures Reviewer: Exist To Fish         Introduction: The Tandem Nutbuster is one of the finest Essox spinnerbaits available on the market today.  Its unique Colorado and Willow tandem system add to the diversity of this premium bait. Not something we see commonly in the Muskie world..  From grinding through cabbage, to dragging through rocks, to bumping through timber, no other spinnerbait on the market is as versatile or effective as the Tandem Nutbuster.  Weight: 2 oz.     (Tandem Nutbuster) Specifications Type Muskie Spinnerbait Length 7” Weight 2 oz Material Silicone flash skirt, choice of blades and colors Hooks Single Heavy gauge straight shank Colors Wide variety Origin USA MSRP 17.99 USD     Quality/Construction: Very heavy wire design and exceptional paint durability. Even after several rock bumps and fish caught the paint still looks terrific. The wire is difficult for a fish to bend and if it does happen we had no trouble straightening it up to maintain the true action right out of the package. Quality Ratings for (Tandem Nutbuster) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5 4 5 5 19 20     Performance: The Tandem, Nutbuster is designed for a multitude of applications, it can be fished at slow, medium, or high speed retrieves. The bait produces a tone of vibration and flash yet pulls like a smaller bait, meaning less fatigue and more fish!   Performance Ratings (Tandem Nutbuster) Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5...

Spring Fishing in Kawarthas Northumberland

Spring Fishing in Kawarthas Northumberland The spring fishing season in the Kawarthas Northumberland region offers many angling opportunities for the beginner or avid fisherman alike. As the ice begins to melt, typically mid to late March, the ice fishing gear is quickly packed up in anticipation of what is always my favourite time of year! Countless hours are spent rigging rods for several species inland, and Great Lake tributary.  The boat is out of storage and loading begins. Not to mention the smell of spring is in the air.  I feel alive again! Rainbow Trout The first stop on many anglers’ list of opportunities this time of year is often a tributary flowing into Lake Ontario. The sudden increase in air temperature triggers an increase in runoff from melting snow and rain to raise the water levels and trigger the Steelhead spawn.  This is really a species accessible to anyone! Some great areas include the city of Port Hope where the great Ganaraska River flows straight through, or the Wilmot creek in Newcastle, Ontario. Each offers many accessible public shore locations to fish from. Be sure to check the regulations to see where fishing boundaries start and end this time of year, as a great deal of these tributaries will have sections within them that are closed to ensure a successful spawn. These fish are extremely strong and acrobatic, yet are beautiful in coloration and very intelligent. Using light line and very small hooks are a must to fool these fish into biting. Some basic tackle tips include, but are not limited to the following: A typical hair jig...

Keep your kids involved in fishing!

How to Keep your kids involved in fishing     As a father and an avid fisherman, you dream of passing down your knowledge to your kids, especially when it comes to fishing. I know for myself, I didn’t care if I had a boy or a girl, he or she will be coming fishing with me! I had a few friends tell me that taking kids fishing is a ton of work and that I should wait until they are around 8 or 10 years old before taking them out with me…..I don’t think so! Listen, being a parent isn’t easy, it’s a full time job on it’s on, so why not invest the time and energy while they are small to teach them about the outdoors, to teach them about being a kid and best of all, teach them about fishing! Here are a few tips for parents to introduce their kids to the sport without making them hate it and without causing your stress level to sky rocket! Introduction of Fishing: As a father of 2 girls, I learned a few tricks to keep my kids interested in my passion, I am not trying to force them into the sport, just want them to enjoy it with me and let them make their own decisions on whether or not they would come back out with me! With my first daughter, I took her out on the boat when she was 2 years old, some think that is way too young, I think it’s a perfect age. There are a few important things to remember when taking...

The Jig is up! Selecting The Correct Jig for Walleye Fishing

The jig is up! Selecting the correct jig for walleye fishing.   It’s no secret that jig fishing is an effective method of catching walleye, but there is more to it than just tying on a jig and throwing it into the water. The jig has become a staple in every walleye anglers toolbox, and for good reason, there are few lures with the versatility of a jig. Whether you are vertical jigging a minnow on top of a school of fish, or ripping jigs through the weeds, there are subtleties that can turn a good day on the water into a great one !   Size: The size of your jig is important to consider. You want to select a jig that is heavy enough to get your bait down to the fish, but no so heavy that it is cumbersome to fish with. For most vertical jigging applications a ¼ or 3/8 oz jig is ideal. However, if you are fishing in heavy wind or swift current you may want to choose a heavier head, ½ to 1oz, to keep it down and maintain good bottom contact and feel with your rod.     Shape: the shape of your jig is not always the first factor considered by anglers, but a bit of thought into this can save you some frustration, and put more fish in the boat. Fishing deep rock piles can be deadly for walleye, and few baits work as good as a jig. The problem with jigging rocks for walleye is snags, it happens to everyone, whether they care to admit it or not. But...

Drop Shot Crappie!

Fishing during the month of May here in the Ontario Kawartha’s Northumberland region is truly an exciting time of year for any angler.  The trees are finally starting to show their leaves, birds are returning from their southern seasonal residence and the lakes and rivers seem to be buzzing with fish activity.  This particular trip was no different. Aside from the nasty approaching cold front we were seemingly caught directly in the middle of. Let’s take a trip back to the previous weekend… A weekend that yielded beautiful warm weather, moderate winds and great company from a couple of very old friends.   We had planned to target Pike during this trip but upon launching the boat I quickly discovered that I had forgotten to load my two carry on tackle bags. The bags that literally contained ALL of my Pike fishing arsenal.  We made due with what we happened to have tied on and landed half a dozen nice Pike before deciding to venture to the other end of the lake to check “the spot” in hopes that the Crappie had moved in.     Now.. Most of you have caught crappies.. And in most cases they are in numbers in shallow back bays this time of year. A pile of cookie cutter fish in the 10-12″ range with the occasional 13+ incher. Always a great time! This particular lake is different. The fish behave the same for the most part. Suspend in the basin during the ice season, stage prior to spawn and move shallow when the time is right. But they are not in the big schools that we...

Product Review: Kamooki Smartcraw

Date: 5/13/16 Product type: Lipless Crankbait Manufacturer: Kamooki Lures ltd. Reviewer: Jamie Wilson         We all have our top five favorite baits, or go-to presentations that we have come to count on throughout the season that will get minor tweaks and adjustments to suit our needs. Generally, we have abundance of sizes, weights, colors and techniques in our back pockets that we deem useful that can actually convolute the situation and overwhelm us. As an angler that has been around the block a few times I look for baits that can be presented in a variety of ways without the having to re-rig constantly to ultimately deduce a “pattern”. Imagine one rod/reel/line combo with a multitude of possibilities at the end of your line. Can a single bait type achieve this? Well, this one can. Kamooki Lures Ltd. has created both the “Smartfish” and “Smartcraw” to cover just about every possible baitfish imitation and presentation an angler might consider. Let’s take a closer look at where the “Smartcraw” fits into our repertoire shall we?       (Kamooki Smartcraw) Specifications Type Lipless crankbait/rattlebait Length 3” Weight ½ oz Material Hooks Premium black nickel VMC treble Colors 6 colors Origin Alberta, Canada MSRP $12.99 Canadian funds   The Kamooki Smartcraw is incredibly innovative and beyond unique, but as far as quality is concerned I can’t speak highly enough about it. So much thought was put into creating this fine crankbait as it has become, in my opinion, the gold standard in modern hardbait manufacturing. The finish and level of detail are what you would come to expect from...

Livewell? or Death Trap?

Livewell or Deathtrap The open water season is here so I thought I would share some tips that I have learned through my experience in changing the deathtrap in my boat into a livewell. Let’s touch on some of the products that I’ve used to treat the water and air in my livewell system over the years, and some new products on the market that I am eyeing.   If you have fished tournaments in the past and have lost fish in your livewell, here are some products for your and tips to help you keep your fish alive going forward. You might not have the biggest or fastest boat however, weighing in live fish will obviously be a key contributing factor to your tournament success.   Many studies have been done to measure oxygen levels in livewells which has pushed manufactures to produce new products over the years to ensure that our catches stay alive and are successfully released after a day in our livewells. The simple, basic way to add more usable oxygen into a livewell is to pump in more saturated surface water, replacing the stagnant water that has depleted oxygen levels. The amount of oxygen depends on the amount of water being pumped in, water temperature and the way it enters the livewell. The first lesson that I learned was that the addition of a spray bar would add more dissolved oxygen. By simply turning the spray bar towards the side of the livewell did two things. First, it prevented spraying across the surface of water thus removing the protective slime coat from the fish that...

Product Review: XZone Mega Swammer

Date: 5/4/2016 Product type: Soft Plastic Swim bait Manufacturer: XZone Lures Reviewer: Exist To Fish Canada         Introduction: Based on the huge success of the X Zone Slammer, the X Zone Swammer was born.  A compact swim bait with ribbed sides and a special three-dimensional paddle tail, it produces an enticing action and vibration in the water, and actually rocks back and forth as it swims. Featuring a 100% true hand-poured composition, which provides a soft, salt-impregnated texture and amazing hatch matching colors, it’s been a tournament-winning bait right out of the gates that has also been responsible for numerous big fish awards.       (Mega Swammer) Specifications Type Soft Plastic Swim bait Length 5.5 “ Weight NA Material Soft Plastic Hooks NA Colors 6 available Origin CANADA MSRP 10.00$ CAN pack of 4     Quality/Construction: Very soft and supple yet at the same time exceptionally durable. This bait can be fished right side up or upside down! We actually caught more fish rigged upside down J   Quality Ratings for (Mega Swammer) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 4.5 4.5 4.5 5 18.5 20 9.25     Performance: Whether you are hunting bass on the flats or out deep on structure, fishing for pike and musky in open water, or lake trout and walleye through the ice, the X Zone Swammer has what it takes to help you catch more fish. We tested these on Pike and were very very happy with the results.   Performance Ratings (Mega Swammer) Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest...

Product Review: Matzuo America’s Snappy Minnow

Date: 5/2/2016 Product type: Jerk Bait (Snappy Minnow) Manufacturer: Matzuo America Reviewer: Exist To Fish Canada         Introduction: From Japanese inspired hand blown glass floats to the pioneering of Matzuo Sickle® hooks, Rip-N Roll Hooks, Nano Baits and now the hugely successful Kinchou Minnow Series, both the art and sport of fishing will continually be redefined by Matzuo America®. The Snappy Minnow is no exception!   (Snappy Minnow) Specifications Type Hard bait (Jerk Bait) Length 4” Weight 7/16 oz Material Plastic Hooks Matzuo Black Chrome treble Colors 5 available Origin Japan MSRP 9.99 CAD     Quality/Construction: Matzuo America offers some of the most innovative and cost effective products in the market today. They are never satisfied. They constantly innovate. They have combine tried and true features with surprising innovations and finishes to produce some of the most exciting new products year after year. Countless hours tank-testing their hard baits… Painfully precise bending of their sickle hooks to achieve the optimal 43.405 degree bend… Matzuo products are engineered to exceed expectations and deliver surprising value to consumers. Quality Ratings for (Snappy Minnow) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 4 4 4 4 16 20 8     Performance: This bait works extremely well. Very effective, and offers a unique side to side darting action that is VERY aggressive in comparison to similar products on the market.     Performance Ratings (Snappy Minnow) Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5 5 5 5 4 24 25 9.6   Features/Design: The Snappy Minnow is available in both...

Crappie on The Fly?

  Crappie on the Fly   Spring in the Kawartha’s Northumberland region is a magical time of year for anglers. After packing away the ice fishing gear, multispecies anglers like myself are constantly watching conditions to anticipate their next bite. As the ice disappears and the water starts to warm it is as though the entire lake comes back to life within those first few warm days of spring. At the same time the nearby great lakes tributaries begin to rumble as the spring steelhead migration begins. It truly is an exciting time to be a fisherman! With the abundance of long awaited angling opportunities, I find myself facing decisions about how I will make the most of my time on the water. Do I throw the boat in  and invade the shallows in search of slab crappies? Maybe the pike are on a hot jerkbait bite?! And I hear the steelhead are smashing nymphs… the choices!!! It was one of those warm sunny days of spring that I decided to go out in pursuit of crappie. My partner and I slowly and quietly drifted my boat into the shallow bay where I suspected to find our targeted species. We were not disappointed as we could see their ghostly silhouettes sitting among the mats of thick weeds and dead leaves from last fall. We had a typical panfish float style setup. Nothing too fancy, just a little tube rigged under a light bobber. We cast amongst the vegetation and watched as our floats sat still. We tried changing colours, depths, weights and anything we could to think of to dial...

Product Review: SMITH Optics Guides Choice

Date: 4/18/2016 Product type: Sunglasses Manufacturer: Smith Optics Reviewer: Alex Meletis         Introduction: As you pack up the boat and get amped for a day on the water the first thing most anglers reach for are their sunglasses the morning of the pursuit. Whether you’re a tournament angler, a guide or just out for a day on the water the performance of the Smith Optics is unmatched. The ChromaPop polarized lenses are by far the most superior polarized lenses I have used to date. After trying every brand under the sun in grueling weather conditions from extreme heat to extreme cold, Smith Optics excelled in these conditions proving they were the best in the business. They pierce the water cutting the glare in all light conditions and stay clear on those hot Bright days when other brands fog up and may cause you to foul net and loss a fish of a life time.     Guide’s Choice Sunglasses Specifications Type Guides Choice Length 120 mm Weight light Material Evolve frame material Hinge type Stainless steel spring hinges Colors Matte black (other colors available online) Lenses ChromaPop polarized/8 base lens curvature MSRP $290.00 CAN     Quality/Construction: Smith Optics are meticulously manufactured to provide you comfort and maximum vision in tough conditions. The quality of these lenses are unmatched. With a water and oil proof coating, the water simply beads and runs off the lenses when navigating on those rough water or rainy days providing you better vision as well as clean easily when there is dirt or finger prints on the lenses. Smith lenses also provide...

On Your Mark, Get set, Kamooki!!!

The excitement is just killing me, the spring walleye hunt is drawing near. As I rummage through the multitude of baits in my arsenal for toothy critters in spring, the one that stands out is the Smartfish by Kamooki ltd. The reason for my excitement? The versatility factor. The ability to fan cast key areas, vertically jig the Smartfish, bottom bounce or simply deadstick them is revolutionary to me. These baits are nose weighted and neutrally buoyant in the tail which means that the Smartfish stands up in an enticing, self balancing position which mimic’s a feeding baitfish. This is a “trigger” that creates a feeding response in walleye (and any sportfish). It’s unique spiraling, circular action when vertically jigged mimic’s an injured or fleeing baitfish, which is another key “trigger”.  The nose down position coupled with the tight, consistent wobble indicative of the best rattlebaits means that I have the ultimate control to retrieve it as steadily or erratically as I see fit. Trolling you ask? Absolutely. I’ll control depth with length of line and rod position or possibly the use of  a dipsy diver in some situations. Heck, some walleye anglers attach crankbaits to 3-way rigs to run the bait a few inches off bottom which I might try as well. Having the ability to present these baits in such a wide variety of ways and situations means that my ability to deduce the depth fish are holding, and if they are keying in on vertical or horizontal presentations, becomes much faster (thus making me much more efficient on the water). In clear water I’ll favor natural...

Outdoor Therapy

Outdoor Therapy     The outdoors means so many different things to so many different people. Sure I like to hunt and fish but I also rely on the outdoors to provide me with means to recharge and reboot the internal hard drive. Sometimes in life, you need these moments more than others. The great outdoors and Mother Nature is always there to provide me with my “outdoor therapy.” On one such occasion when I was starting to feel worn down and not myself, needing a little break from the rigors of work. It was time to get outside and play. But what should I do?! Go explore a new lake, hike to a new destination, drive down a dirt road to find a campfire spot, fish some rivers, or rent a canoe for the weekend and paddle to an island to sleep under the stars. I though the last option was just what my soul needed to satisfy my sense of adventure. It was a beautiful day near the end of September. The bugs were just starting to taper off, and the forecast for the weekend was looking perfect. My girlfriend and I packed up all of our gear and our faithful huskies into the car. I was already starting to feel myself again just from packing up the vehicle knowing that our next destination is out of the city limits. This was going to be a great adventure surrounded by the sights and sounds of wildlife and fish and the smells of the trees and campfire. Looking through the back roads map book, we picked a new...

Product Review: Big Eye Walleye Leather Wallet

Date: 4/11/2016 Product type: Accessory (Big Eye Walleye Leather Wallet) Manufacturer: Big Eye Leather Reviewer: Chris Huskilson                   Introduction: For close to 50 years Clint has been in the ‘fur trade’.  Trapping his first Beaver at age 7 and selling his pelts to Hudson’s Bay Company. With cash in hand, he thought this is what I want to do! Clint worked his traps and on the family mink farm and before long, his legend had spread. He soon became a sought after instructor teaching trappers throughout Manitoba. Clint loves what he does. And perfecting the tanning process of walleye skins was a 20-year journey. Now Clint and Big Eye Leather are able to offer you your own a piece of tanning history, Genuine Walleye Skin Leather products.       Big Eye Walleye Leather Wallet Specifications Type Accessory (wallet) Length NA Weight NA Material Walleye Leather Hooks NA Colors Natural Tan, True Walleye and Brown Origin La Riviere, Manitoba, Canada MSRP 49.99-59.99 CAN     Quality/Construction:  Big Eye Leather wallets are made of Walleye fish skin in La Riviere, Manitoba, Canada. This is a unique waste by product from one of the most sought-after fresh water game fish – the Walleye. After many years, Big Eye Leather was finally able to perfect the process of tanning Walleye skins into supple which became a family secret recipe. It became a strong durable leather that feels and smells like any other leather product but features the distinctive pattern of Walleye skin. A definite conversation piece, these wallets are sure to be at the top...

Product Review: Kamooki SmartFish

Date: April. 1 2016 Product type: Lure Manufacturer: Kamooki Reviewer: Dean Schenk         Introduction: Kamooki’s patented technology is what really separates the SmartFish™ from all other lures. The secret of the SmartFish™ is in harnessing the intricate relationship between the buoyant and non-buoyant properties. This is best demonstrated when the lure is resting on structure, where remarkably, the SmartFish™ maintains its upright profile on a single contact point. It is in this position, that the SmartFish™ achieves mechanical equilibrium. Through the harmony of its precisely crafted zinc keel and bottom-heavy design, integrated with a beautiful, uniquely shaped body, the SmartFish™ comes alive!             (SmartFish) Specifications Type SmartFish Length 3”-4” Weight 0.5-1 oz Material Lead free non toxic zinc Hooks Black Nickle VMC Treble Colors 10 available Origin Canada MSRP 11.99 CAD   Quality/Construction: The Kamooki Smartfish is in a class of its own with its detailed finishes in 10 color pattern options and two sizes. The highly detailed patterns allow the angler to match fishing conditions and target species to the pattern the fish want. Outfitted with a high quality Black Nickle VMC treble and oval split ring. The 0.5-1 oz lead free weight on the nose of the lure is high quality and eco friendly. These high quality lures will take a beating from fish as well as relentless structure such as rocks and timber and continue to catch you fish.   Quality Ratings for (insert Product name) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5 4 5 5 19 20 9   Performance: The Kamooki SmartFish features a lead free zinc...

Product Review: The Rod Glove (Ice Series)

Date:  03/21/16 Product type: Ice Fishing Rod Glove Manufacturer: The Rod Glove Reviewer: Kirsti Harris         Introduction: I love using The Rod Glove for all seasons. I do a lot of hiking into backwoods lakes so it is important for me to keep my rod covered and protected. It saves me money in the long run from having to purchase new eyelets or a new rod from being damaged from all the sticks and brush I encounter. The durable stretchy neoprene material is great protection and allows me to easily pack away, or unpack.       The Rod Glove Specifications Type  Ice Fishing Rod Glove Length 23″ Weight   Material Strecthy neoprene Hooks N/A Colors Black Origin The Rod Glove MSRP $4.49     Quality/Construction: The Rod Glove has a very durable and stretch neoprene material that helps ensure my rods are protected. You are able to choose which colour you prefer and also the length of the glove that best suits your needs.   Quality Ratings for The Rod Glove Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5 5 5 5 20 20 10     Performance: The performance of the Rod Glove exceeded its expectations. Its easily able to slip on and off quickly to set up or having to pack away. It leaves a no mess tangle for my multiple rods in my case and has a durable stretchy neoprene material to help keep them protected.     Performance Ratings The Rod Glove Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible...
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