After getting the boat out of surgery Thursday afternoon, and getting it ready in the evening, it was time to hit the water.

Friday, shakedown;
I fished solo all day. Launched in St Albans Bay and stayed within a mile or so of the launch in case I had trouble. Found some warmer pockets of water (52°) but no salmonids. After a few hours, I motored down toward the sandbar and trolled till mid afternoon, then motored back up to the bay. No Salmonids.
Pike and Pickerel. One pickerel was the largest I've ever caught. I learned they like Tamiron honeybees and MP6.
Boat ran well. All systems GO, no problems. But...no desired species.
All fish released to fight another day.

Fished with Ludo, a friend from the Canadian Province of Quebec. We had a good time and Ludo acted as my interpreter. That made the day that much more interesting as there were quite a few fisherman from Quebec on the water using their marine radios!  Thank you Ludo for joining me. We started north of the sand-bar, then moved to the south side. Ludo put the first fish in the boat, a big northern. Ludo released the Pike.  Then we got a big slab perch. OH NO--NOT ANOTHER DAY OF THIS!!!
We ended up 3 for 6 or 7 on salmon/browns. Early colors were green/orange on silver, then things switched to orange on brass later in the day. It was nice talking with quite a few fisherman on the water.  A big thanks to Lazy C's for the water-hand-off spoon! It ended up taking a nice salmon (and the big northern).
The fished I cleaned had empty stomachs.
Again, the boat ran well.

Ludo with a nice Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout.

Slept in till after six...I was a little beat from two full days on the water.
I Launched at Apple Island with my wife Cathy. Her first time on the water this year. The sea was very rough with winds from the North so we headed south under the bridge, set up, and worked the prior days pattern. Talked with Thorny aboard the Pointer and they had boated one fish. Phil B (trolling B's) called, he was on the Sea, working the rough water. We worked the water for a few hours, one release with fish gone in seconds. Then a nice (spawned out) walleye hit.
Closed season...quick picture and back in it goes.

A quickly released Walleye.

We didn't want to fish late and Phil reported the Sea was beginning to lay down and he had netted two fish. We picked up and moved north with intentions of fishing another 1.5 hours. I taped up a brass blank with a stripe of tamiron yellow tape, then applied a layer of tamiron transparent orange. We went 3 for 3 on Salmon in 1.5 hours to finish the day. All cookie cutters, 17-18". Good eats. These fish were full of alewife's.
Again, the boat did well.
All fish caught were clean with the exception of one Pike having a lamprey wound.
Tight lines to all.
Be safe if you go out!

Chunky Champlain Brown Trout

Fish on, fish H8 me.



I began to get bored waiting for my boat to come out of surgery so I thought I'd head down to see bubba fishin' the Fairfax Falls.
Of course I didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb, so I carried down a rod and a 5 gallon bucket. Bubba was all over the place, 3 bubbas here, a couple more there, and the other side was loaded with 'em.
Over on the other side, I watched a warden checking all the "fisherman". One left with the warden to collect his prize at the wardens truck. "Way to go Bubba" I wanted to Yell! "Proud of ya!!"

I hadn't been there in years and nothin' had changed. I looked at the spot I had visited in the past and nobody had laid claim to it. I knew right off I'd start drawing attention cause there's no way I can be there and not catch a freshly released, untanked, trophy dumped brown.

Sure 'nough, 15 minutes later my rod was bowed over, line peeling. I looked down the bank to see cigarettes rolling down the bellies of at least two bubbas, chins caving in their adams apples, and eyes all buggered out.
"Oh shit" I think to myself as one jumps up and comes running at me.
This guy is coming as hard and fast as he can, stumbling over drift wood and big rocks, his cap comes flying off, a pack of smokes flies out of his shirt pocket. "HERE, HERE, I'LL HELP YA" he yells and thrusts out a net big enough to put a yellow-fin tuna in.

"Sit down, just sit down before you fall in" I say as I begin reeling in the fish. I gain some, the fish takes some, I gain more and soon it's up near the bank. "Holy crap" he says, "why looky there". I ease down and gently slide the fish on the gravel, a beautiful freshly stocked Brown, "pretty close to four pounds I say" "I ain't never seen one-a them" says Bubba, "I'm from Swanton, we ain't got no trout where I live". I then grabbed for my phone, "you got a camera on that?" says bubba, "yuppers".

Just as I'm about to capture a "digital brown" it flops, the hook flies out and the fish is off...hoping to never be caught again.

Bubba never moved...he motioned for this "brothers" to get his stuff and get over there.

I experienced combat fishing for about 10 minutes with these characters. They studied my every move and imitated it the best they could. We crossed lines, smiled (most of us just used our gums), raved about the big fish, and I smelled their sweat.
I decided I'd had enough, I experienced what I thought I would, and the warden was headed our way. He checked me first and I gave him my report...two fish in less than an hour: one released and the other waved goodbye before I got it to the shore.

Bubba, bubba, and bubba huddled around the warden. Pieces of paper, match-books, and who knows what else, falling out of their wallets. As I walked away, and was almost out of range to hear what was being said, I heard the warden say "do you got anything newer than '09?"
"Huh?" and a grunt was all I heard as a reply.

I called my boat mechanic...parts had arrived and he was working on it as we spoke.
Good news.
Good news indeed.

Fish on, fish H8 me.



Yesterday, I fished with Rob and Don aboard Robs boat, The Thorny.  We concentrated on finding warmer pockets of water and hopefully find some active fish.
It took some hunting, but we found them just before the weather turned sour and the water got too bumpy.

We went six for eight on Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout in the Inland Sea, keeping four salmon and two brown trout.  We caught and released two Northern Pike and one Pickerel.  The salmon and the trout were shared between us for some tasty meals!

Rob with part of the days catch.

A pile on the floor!

Fish on, fish H8 me.



First Sauger recorded in Lake Champlain since 1980s!

Visit the Lake Champlain International website for photo's.

Possibly, these fish are making a come back!

Fish on, fish H8 me.



I received an e-mail Friday from Shannon, a fellow fisherman and outdoors enthusiast.  His email reported that a strange fish was recently caught and he'd do some investigative work and get back with me.  Thank you Shannon.

Shannon made a trip to Lake Shore Ace Hardware where the fish was reportedly weighed and photographed.  It turns out the fish was a Tench, an invasive non-native fish to Lake Champlain.  In fact, a nonnative fish to North America.  The folks at Lake Shore were nice enough to let Shannon have copies of the photos. The fish weighed in at 4.77 pounds and was 20 inches long.


From what I was able to find, Tench were first discovered in the Lake Champlain Basin in May of 2002 by two fisherman, fishing near the lamprey dam barrier on the Great Chazy River.  The fish these two fellas caught was also a 20" specimen. A "few" are caught each year by unsuspecting fisherman.
Tench fish are native to Europe and similar to carp that live on lake or river bottoms. They are a slimy, slow moving carnivorous member of the minnow family that prefers tranquil, shallow water and weedy areas where they feed on invertebrates. It is unknown how the tench found its way to the Great Chazy, although the Richelieu River already has a viable tench population. In Europe, the tench is considered a food fish, here it is a nonnative nuisance aquatic invader.

Lake Champlain doesn't need any more invasive species.  So please, please...learn how to prevent the spread of undesirable, unwanted, harmful, nonnative nuisance aquatic invaders.
Please watch this important video from Lake Champlain International, and visit The Lake Champlain Basin Program website to learn how.

To learn more about Tench, visit these sites:

Fish on, fish H8 me.




Fisherman putting their time in on the water, fishing for Lake Champlain's cold-water species; Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon, and Brown Trout are putting fish in their nets.  Now that the ice has disappeared from the lake, boats are being unwrapped, launched, and on the prowl in search of feeding fish.

The key to fishing these species at this time of the year is to troll very shallow water with a temperature probe on the surface. Some fish are being caught in water as shallow as three feet!  Look for warmer pockets of water and troll just under the surface.  Running lines a long distance behind the boat is key, most fisherman are running lures 100 feet or more.  Fishing with planer boards is also an important and successful technique.  As the boat passes near fish in shallow water, they'll move off to the side where a planer board is likely to place your bait near the fish.

One of the hottest lures this time of the year is the small Honeybee by Tamiron Sporting Goods.  Honeybee's are available on line here, or by visiting Dockside Outdoors on Route 2 headed toward the Champlain Islands.

Get out on the water, be safe, and put in your time.  You'll be pleasantly rewarded!

Fish on, fish H8 me.