Thursday, 8 May 2014

TIPS FROM THE PROS - Kayak Fishing Adventures

Kayak Fishing Adventures
By Chistopher Arnold

Scotty Pro-Staff Kayak Angler

What a winter! It seemed that spring would elude us weeks following March 21st  2014, but plans had been made. The date was set and we were not about to let Mother Nature stand in our way. Six kayak anglers all with different levels of experience on a mission to start the 2014 fishing season off with an adventure. 
South Western NS on the Meteghan & Annis River systems

On Friday, April 11th we made our way to our fishing camp in a rural area of Nova Scotia. According to a local, the ice had just retreated the week before. The water level was exceptionally high and fast flowing through the narrows. The water system we fish is made up of several lakes connected by a river that eventually makes its way to sea. So, we unload the gear, set up camp and it isn’t long before we’re fishing from shore near the camp. Fly and spinning gear are the weapons of choice. The three fly tiers of the group are eager to throw their latest creations from the vice while us other three are like kids on Christmas morn wanting to play with our new toys, in this case, new flies the boys have tied for us. Not having much luck from shore, we load the kayaks with all the necessities and launch from the shore line right below the camp. With wind and rain out of the west, we paddled out across the lake to find the calm waters protected by the trees and high ground. It isn’t long before the first fish is hooked and it’s a smallmouth bass.

"When hunting the prespawn smallmouth here in Nova Scotia, look for the transitions from deeper main lake water into shallower, warmer bays, inlets and points. A slow presentation is key for your lure, fly or bait."

Excited, we all now have the proof that fish are moving in and it’s game on! We continue along the shore line leapfrogging each other until we get to the back lake where we planned to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening. Another bass and chain pickerel were caught along the way. The back lake water was high but was getting calmer as the weather front was moving out. The sun was peeking through and we knew this would help our cause. The bass were showing activity along the shores hitting small flies and lures so we spread out around the lake. After landing about a dozen bass and half that in pickerel, we made our way back to camp for the night. The food and entertainment was great as we made plans for day two. 
On April 12th we made our way to another system that in the past has produced very well early in the season. Surprised again at the high water level, we set out to find fish. Here, it’s the chain pickerel that are following bait. Not committing though. We managed to land a few on fly before leaving the first lake and heading down to the next lake. We’re all having hits and misses, follows and the occasional break off. We break for shore lunch once in to the next lake but lose one fisher to a stomach flu bug. He paddled back to the vehicles to sit this one out and recover.

Thankfully, the sun appeared and warmed things up. After hours in, only a few pickerel are moved and caught so we head back to meet up with our sick brother, fishing the way back though. More pickerel moving and following but did manage a nice bass too. So we ended day two a little disappointed but that’s fishing.

It's April 13th, early a.m. and three of the group (the fly tiers) are prepping their gear for a trip down from the camp in to a different lake. With one still recovering from illness and the other two up way too late for this early a start, the fly guys set out. The three at camp cleaned up, packed and headed in to town for warm food and hot coffee while the others fished. When the three arrived back at camp, the pictures they had of all the bass they caught on the fly was amazing. It had turned on that morning like a light switch with great results.
Usually, our first trip of the season there is weeks earlier with as many fish caught. It seems things were slow to start but will heat up quickly. Our May trip on different parts of the Meteghan and Annis River systems will be epic!


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