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Berry’s Bait and Tackle Free Kids Fishing Weekend

Published on Friday, June 24th, 2016

Last weekend was the annual BC Family Fishing Weekend, and Berry’s Bait and Tackle in Richmond hosted another free kids fishing event during their Fathers Day Sale. As a way to show their appreciation to the loyal customers and give back to the recreational fishing community, the store set up two trout fishing ponds and purchased 600 rainbow trout for all the kids to catch in two days. Included in the ponds were ten fish that weighed 6 to 8lb each! The weather was a little wet, but that certainly didn’t dampen all the little anglers’ spirit. Here are some photographs I captured from the event.

Free Kids Fishing Event at Berry's Bait and Tackle

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A Hot Kokanee Morning

Published on Thursday, May 21st, 2015

I get to fish with my dad a couple of times per year and I usually try to pick a different fishery each time so he gets to experience them all. At the age of 78, some of these fisheries have to be experienced now before he can’t physically do it anymore.

Today we spent the morning at Kawkawa Lake, where I already gave it a go on Monday with some success. While I was able to find some pretty thick schools on the sounder on Monday, only one fish was brought to the boat. It seemed like the bites were happening in the morning and tapering off after Noon, so today we decided to go with an early start, by arriving at the boat launch at 7:30am (well, that’s early in Rodney’s book).

I’ve been playing around with different ways to position my rod for better hook-set when mooching/bottom fishing for kokanee on the bottom. The bait is sitting on the bottom at 40 feet and straight down from the rod, so I want my rod to be sitting parallel to the water surface and slightly elevated so it’s close to my eye level. This way I can see those tiny bites better. Right now I am using a Scotty coaming/gunnel clamp mount on the side of my boat by my seat, which has a rod holder extender attached to it so the spinning rod holder is sitting about a foot higher than the edge of the boat.

Scotty Spinning Rod Mount

Scotty Spinning Rod Mount

There wasn’t a whole lot of activity between 8am and 9am. One other boat was out trolling and I managed to bring in one kokanee after a few fish went by on the sounder.

Kokanee on the Humminbird Sounder

The show really started at 9am when fish started to show up on the sounder constantly. Whenever it happened, the rods would start getting nibbles. We used deli shrimp that has been cured with Pautzke Firecure (red). Only half or less of a shrimp is threaded onto the size 4 hook so the fish don’t have to chew on it for too long before being hooked.

Fresh Kokanee

We managed to get our limit of 8 fish by 10am, then the bite actually tapered off. Not sure if it was the sudden increase of boat activities on the lake, but they just kind of disappeared from the sounder. We packed it in at 10:30am to get away from the heat.

Kawkawa Lake Kokanee

Here is a happy customer for once!

Happy Dad with Kokanee

Coho Release into Hyde Creek Watershed

Published on Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Back in November we did a story which highlighted the work being done by Hyde Creek Watershed Society. Dedicated volunteers at the society has been reintroducing coho and chum salmon into this tiny urban stream in Coquitlam for many years. Here is an update from Jean Peachman, an active member of the group, on how the hatchery is now doing and what work has been done recently.

Hello Rod:

We had a great release on Friday (June 13th) with over 11,000 coho fry being distributed into the watershed.   The creek fry are looking exceptionally good this year and have made their way up into ponds by Hyland.

Our hatchery fry were distributed further into the watershed this year.   And we had some help from our Mayors.  Both Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam Mayors and Councillors have been very supportive of our hatchery and our requests.

We’re doing well and getting ready to clip our remaining fry.We’re still at the hatchery most Saturday mornings between 9::00 and 11:30, and the coffee pot is always on.

Jean Peachman
Hyde Creek Watershed Society 

Here are some photographs from the release.

Weighing Coho Salmon Fry Prior to Release
Hyde Creek Watershed Society member Terry Sawchenko weighing by volume so the hatchery can be accurate with the release numbers.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore Releases Salmon Fry
Mayor Greg Moore, who grew up a few streets away from this spot in Port Coquitlam, releases coho fry.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart Releases Salmon Fry into Hyde Creek
Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam lending a hand with the release.

Hyde Creek Watershed Society President Cliff Kelsey
Hyde Creek Watershed Society president Cliff Kelsey releases coho fry.

If you would like to volunteer your time at this fantastic community salmon hatchery, please visit their website.

Clear Water in St Mary Lake Once Again

Published on Friday, May 9th, 2014

In the past couple of years, many have reported that St Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island has been suffering from a constant algae bloom which keeps the water quite muddy. This influenced the fishing because fish obviously could not see the presentations well and the lack of oxygen also caused inactivity.

Mark, the owner of Lakeside Gardens Resort, just emailed me with some good news! The water quality is much better this year and currently it is clear. This means fishing should be good once again.

Clear water at St Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island

Clear water at St Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island

Clear water at St Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island

St Mary Lake has a pretty unique fishery in Southwestern BC. This fishery produces a variety of species. The lake has a strong population of smallmouth bass, which can be between 8 and 20 inches long. It also has fairly large yellow perch. Beside these two species, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC currently stocks it with coastal cutthroat trout cultured at the Vancouver Trout Hatchery. The lake also holds offsprings of rainbow trout which were once stocked by the hatchery. These four species can all be caught at the same time in May and June, which are my favourite months to be there. The trout fishing tapers off in the summer, but the bass and perch fishing continues until fall.

We have been going to St Mary Lake and staying at Lakeside Gardens Resort almost every year since 2003. After catching some bass during our first trip, we returned with friends who all agree it is one of the best summer get-away. Unfortunately we have not been able to return in the past couple of years and hopefully this will change soon.

Smallmouth Bass at St Mary Lake in BC

Lakeside Gardens Resort is one of our website’s supporters and it is a true family resort which we want to keep supporting. The little lakeside cabanas give you the “camping” experience with the comfort of a bed, fridge and other necessities. I like to have my boat parked beside it so I can be out fishing within minutes each morning. Owner Mark has kept these accommodation options affordable for families. The pricing has not changed since we started visiting it. If you are interested in visiting this resort, please take a look at the website and see the links provided below for information on fishing at St Mary Lake.

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