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R.R. #8
Owen Sound,Ontario
Canada, N4K 5W4

Why am I doing this? Itís 5 a.m. and Iím here sitting at the laptop doing more debating than typing. I could be out on the Saugeen. The steelhead run is heavy and at its peak. The Mako is in the barn and still needs a good going over before it can be launched at Kincardine next week, so that I can take part in what is expected to be the best spring salmon fishery in years.

More than a decade ago I sold my Ontario Fisherman Magazine, a publication that allowed me to support sport fishing, protect sport fishing and complain about those that were damaging sport fishing. After publishing a magazine for more than twenty years I thought I had done my part as a concerned sportsman. Hosting my Going Fishing Television Series was my new profession. I was ready to leave the supporting, protecting and complaining to the other guys.

There was only one problem. To me, it seems the other guys arenít that concerned about rocking the boat. To me, most of the other guys are too politically correct. No punches are thrown at the government. Many of them will push a product that is one level above junk, just because the sponsor pays the bills and you learn to do what the sponsor demands.

So here I am 5 a.m. in the morning at the lap top. Iíve finally come to accept the fact I had better get used to blowing off some steam through a newsletter or Iíll never be around to cast a spinner or drift a roe bag at the age of sixty. Like a Clint Eastwood western, Iím the first to admit that Canadaís sport fishery has a lot of good, a fair amount of bad and lots of ugly out there.

If you visit this site in the future donít be surprised if you find me ranting and raving, pushing a little product or promoting a fish camp of my choosing. What youíll also find though, is the ranting is for a reason, the product I promote will have you catching more fish and the camps, lodges, guides I recommend will be the best in the country.

Oh yeah, Iím also including recipe or two every month for those anglers that believe we donít have to put everything back in the water.


Hot Spring Salmon Fishing on the Great Lakes!

When it comes to Lake Huron spring salmon fishing, thank God for the State of Michigan. As this initial letter comes out, Yankee Chinook are already making their way up the eastern shoreline of Huron as they continue on their counter-clockwise feeding migration around the lake.

Too many Ontario fishermen mistakenly believe the fish they catch are raised in Ontario Community Fisheries facilitiesÖ..wrong! If you ever do catch a Chinook missing a fin, chances are you have boated an Ontario raised salmon, but the chances of catching one are slim to nil.

Enough on fins and clipping until later. For now, remember some of the best salmon fishing in Ontario can be had along the Lake Huron shoreline. Best bet for spring fishing is out of the port of Kincardine north to the Bruce Power Plant. Fishing will stay hot here until mid-summer. After that make tracks for Manitoulin Island to follow the fish. (A great spot to stay and troll in the summer months is White Seas Resort and Charters
B.C.ís Salmon Fishery Back and Back in a Big Way!

Letís take a look halfway across the continent to British Columbia. For those watching Going Fishing every weekend, you can see for yourselves that Iím high on the B.C. salmon fishery. As a past resident of British Columbia and frequent visitor to the coast, Iíve been totally blown away by the phenomenal rebound of the salmon stocks all along the west coast of Vancouver Island and along the upper coast to the B.C. / Alaskan border.

Contrary to popular belief, a trip to British Columbia and the opportunity to experience the worldís best salmon fishing will not break your bank account.

A tip of the angling cap to the Sportfishing Institute of British Columbia, Fisheries and Oceans and those smart biologists on the coast that fish, know their fish, the problems they face and how to improve salmon stocks and salmon fishing.

Again, even if you live east of the Rockies, a trip to salmon fishing at its finest wonít break your bank account and it really is the fishing experience of a lifetime. Hereís a couple of proven contactsÖ Murphy's Sport fishing (, and Eagle Pointe Lodge (

Seal Hunt and It's About Time

Hold on to your coonskin cap, the folks at PETA are about to have a heart attack!

A year ago I met with the Honorable Robert Thibault, then Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and he mentioned to me that he was going to increase the number of seals harvested on the east coast. I had finally come across a politician with something besides air between his ears. Thibault correctly noted that present seal numbers were as much at fault for the decline in cod stocks as was commercial fishing. He was good as his word, the east coast harvest of seals has been increased and hopefully it will relate to increased fish stocks in the future.

But, donít expect the harvest increase to go ahead without protest from the animal lovers and tree huggers. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is already making headlines with protests. PETA is the group that goes more than a little overboard when it comes to protesting. They like to dress up in Halloween cat and dog suits and climb into cages outside our hunting and fishing shows. This same group has been taking runs at McDonaldís hamburgers for years. They also love nothing more than to have a couple of big Hollywood film stars backing the cause, like Pamela Sue AndersonÖ..come to think of it, I wonder how many animals were lab tested and met their demise to insure that whatever puffs Pam up was finally safe for injecting into the human body?

The Bad
Back in Ontario, donít look for the Owen Sound Salmon fishery to get any better this year. The summer of 2004 will be the third of five seasons to feel the affects of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources asinine fin clipping program.

The Lake Huron Fisheries Unit ruled a few years back that every salmon raised by sport fishing clubs had to have a fin removed to identify it as a hatchery raised fish. Trouble is, these fish were only 2-3 inches long and removing a fin was like chopping a leg off a kindergarten student before putting him on the bus for the first day of classes.

The first adult Chinook salmon were scheduled to come back to Owen Sound rivers and waiting anglers in the summer of 2002. The returns were dismal to say the least. Last summerís salmon fishing was even worse. Try spending a week on Owen Sound Bay without having a hook-up and tell me how you would describe the fishing? In my opinion and also the opinion of many other anglersÖ the fishing sucked. Back at the Lake Huron Fisheries office, biologists are coming up with every excuse other than their idiotic clipping program, to explain the lack of adult fish.

Iím predicting that this years fishing and returns will be just as poor. As for next year, I wouldnít even put a boat in Owen Sound Bay to chase salmon. This will be the year class that had both their ventral fins lopped off under Ministry of Natural Resources decree.

Has anybody but me thought of firing biologists and closing the Lake Huron Management Unit?

The Ugly
Have you noticed the changes on the boob tube lately, especially with fishing shows. The producers and hosts of the shows no longer tell you what lures to use, what rods to use, what the camps have to offer, even what fish batter to roll your fillets in.

In a true case of Big Brother Rules, the Paul Martin led Liberal government, in my opinion have stolen our right of free speech. Heck, I even get the feeling weíre beginning to live under a Communist regime.

It all starts and pretty much ends with the powers to be at the Canadian Radio Television Communication Commission in Ottawa. For those who donít know just what the CRTC really does, letís just say they are the watch dogs that have been appointed to prevent radio and television shows from poisoning your minds, preventing your piggy bank from being stolen and making sure that we donít lose our Canadian identity.

The trouble is, this time around the CRTC is making it all but impossible to promote tourism, trade and industry here in Canada. At the same time, they are also making it almost impossible for Canadian fishing shows to also promote and improve the sport of angling.

Instead of saying "Mepps" for instance, the brain trust in Ottawa has regulated that we can only say "spinner". Hereís a predicament. I know that a Mepps spinner on any given day will catch trout in a lake. But there are a thousand other brands out there that couldnít catch a trout in a hundred days. So Iím now being forced to just use the term spinner and you the viewer can waste a lifetime out on the water without catching a fish because the CRTC says I canít tell you which spinner to use.

The same would be true of sending you to a camp or lodge. Without being able to describe the benefits of a lodge or cabin outfitter because the CRTC says I canít promote a lodge, what has the viewer got to go by. Does he visit a dump and then discover itís a dump or should the host of a show be allowed to describe a quality lodge or resort?

One of the problems with television shows, especially here in Canada, is the fact that there are just too many shows on the air todayÖ..too many shows that are inferior, too many shows that sell themselves for a few lures and a few too many hosts that have whored themselves just for the satisfaction of being on t.v.. Instead of the CRTC sticking their noses in and hurting broadcasting right across the board, it should have been left to the programmers (networks) to cull outdoor shows right across Canada, with the cream coming out on top and the remainder being forced to the sidelines.

Instead, we have a nightmare, where not only the producers, but the audience also loses.

Has anyone noticed if the Maple Leaf has been lowered at Parliament Hill and been replaced with the Sickle and Hammer?

Outfitter & Lodge Spotlight
Iíve been visiting this outfitter for more than 25 years and have never been disappointed. Iím always asked where would I go to catch walleye till my arms fall off, pike that can wear me down and lake trout that can be classed as true lunkersÖ all in one day. My answer is always Leuenbergerís Fly-In Lodges and Outposts based in Nakina, Ontario.

Leuenbergerís operation is one of the finest in the country. The brothers, Malcolm and Ernie can fly you into one of 16 different lakes where you are the only cabin located on that given body of water. Remember again, Iíve been traveling with these guys for more than 25 years and Iíve never come across one of their outposts where the fishing isnít anything but spectacular. Still, if I had my choice I would pick two of the best. Thereís a Lake called Felsia that offers a brand spanking new cabin and also some of the best fishing for walleye and pike that Iíve ever experienced. Then again, thereís also the ĎKagí Lodge that just happens to be on a lake where itís possible to catch a thousand walleye in a single day... no fish story.

Trust me, check out there web site at:

Southampton Sunshine Steelhead fillets

3 pounds of steelhead fillets Ĺ cup melted butter

1 can of orange juice concentrate salt and nutmeg to taste

Place steelhead fillets skin side down in a single layer on a well greased, shallow baking pan. Thaw orange juice concentrate and combine with butter and seasoning. Pour sauce over fillets. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30

Tackle That Catches Fish

New products appear on tackle shop shelves year after and letís be honest, some of it is made to catch fish, some of it is made to catch fishermen. Some of those new products also come with a lot of talk, but little ability to really back up that talk. Some of that tackle really isnít worth the packaging that it is wrapped in.
But this time around I believe the folks at Berkley really have a new product to back up their claims, and the claims that Berkley are proving really have the tackle industry sitting up and taking notice.

The new product is called Gulp and believe me if youíre looking for more action when fishing warm water species such as bass, walleye, pike and even panfish such as crappie, bluegill and sunfish then slip on the appropriate Gulp bait to entice fish until your arms fall off.
First and foremost, Gulp is biodegradable. With todayís fishing pressure you can even travel to the Northwest Territories and discover plastic baits lying on the bottom of a river or lake. Gulp was also 20 years in the making. Unlike plastic baits, Gulp is completely comprised of water based ingredients. Scent and flavors are released 412 times faster than oil based plastics.
The interesting claim that the folks at Berkley make and most importantly back up is the fact that even though Gulp fishes like plastic it will in fact out fish live baits. Fish sense Gulp farther away than live bait.

Berkleyís Gulp is available in ten distinct fish catching shapes. Sinking Minnow, Turtle Back Worm, Minnow Worm, Nightcrawler and the Minnow Grub are the big fish favorites. Then there are the natural extruded small fish enticers Nightcrawler , Earthworm, Maggot, Grub and Corn.

Iíve had the opportunity to test them all. Big baits are everything the company brags about. The smaller extruded baits, especially Nightcrawler and Earthworm are a panfisherís delight.

For more on the extensive line of Berkley Baits click on

Round Reels Are Still His Favorite

Donít get me wrong, Iím really impressed with those new fangled level wind reels that look more like Indy styled race cars than the line collectors that daddy used to use. The new generation of reels cast farther, are simpler to operate and do a way with a whole lot of backlashes and line knots. But donít ever pass up the opportunity to own a good old round reel.

For dependability and workmanship, itís impossible to beat the round reel. Iím personally still using a half dozen Ambassadeur 6500 on my salmon boat that are more than 25 years old. As for bass fishing, I canít believe that a couple of 5500 C3ís that are even older accompany me on fishing trips into Canadaís bush country summer after summer.

For the 2004 season Abu Garcia has introduced the all new Ambassadeur D Series. Hereís a reel that does everything and more when it comes simplifying bait caster fishing. The D Series offers smooth 5 bearing drive, a smart mag brake and is compact in design.

Iím also partial to the new improved 5500C4 (they can say itís improved, but it really was always the best) which is available in right or left hand operation, 4 stainless steel ball bearings, instant anti-reverse and a non-slip spool.

The 5500C4 and all the other members of the C4 family have been the reel of choice for generations of anglers and I believe will continue to be the reel of choice for generations to come.

Check them out at

Berkley Frenzy Firestick Minnows

Anglers who catch fish know the value of a premium minnow bait and the folks at Berkley know just how to make the best of the minnow styled baits. Itís called the Berkley Frenzy Firestick Minnow and Iím predicting this is definitely going to be a winner with fishermen everywhere.
Available in two sizes ( 2 Ĺ and 3 inches) and four different diving depths (0-3 feet, 3-5 feet, 5-7 feet and 8-0 feet) and ten different colors, the Berkley Firesticks will entice anything that swims. These new baits are made for casting, trolling, twitching and jerk baiting. They are coated in the finest of textured life-like finishes, with 3 D eyes and are rugged enough to withstand the toughest of lake bottoms and the sharpest of teeth. Each Firestick also has that all important rattle that triggers a fish to strike a lure.

Berkley Frenzy Power Rattlír

The folks at Berkley have combined the dynamic frenzy rattlín action with the power bait flavored attractant to produce the Berkley Frenzy Power Rattlír. Hereís a half hard/half soft bait thatís guaranteed to bring in the big ones. The plastic head is designed to pull down and dive deep, with an internal rattle clanging away to call in the lunkers. Strategically placed behind the head is that all important power tail, that no only weaves a stimulating tail, but also sends out that all important Berkley Power attractant.
This bait is available in two (ĺ and Ĺ ounce) sizes and six (fire tiger, silver shiner, golden shiner, chartreuse tiger, pearl, bluegill and rainbow trout) colours that are guaranteed to catch fish.

Berkley also makes available additional Power Tails, when the fishing really gets hectic.

For further info on both the Berkley Frenzy Firestick Minnow and Berkley Frenzy Power Rattlír check out the Berkley web site at:
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