Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Crappie Day

 Earlier this week Tackle Shop and the Russian headed north for an assault on the southwest Simcoe area. Since I've started working there's been a conflict in our schedules and we haven' t been able to get out since late January.                               
The Russian with a Barrie "bugle trout"

      Недостајеш риболов са вама Будди!

  Anyways... they started their day fishing the Barrie marina and were catching 6" to 8"perch at will. Next up was a quick trip to the town of Ivy and the Nottawasauga River, which unfortunately was blown out. Another quick trip brought them to the Holland River in Bradford for some crappies. The crappies were a no-show but they did manage a few sunfish, catfish, a largemouth and a surprise bowfin which Tackle Shop lost in the wood at the water's edge.

  Over the years I've researched the general areas we fish and tried to "bundle" our trips with nearby alternate sites to prevent the occasional threat of skunk and lately this strategy is starting to pay off.

  This weekend's weather forecast was calling for heavy rain Saturday and Sunday, so if I was to continue my weekend warrior status we'd have to go out on Friday. Thursday night at work was surprisingly uncomplicated  so before sunrise I called Tackle Shop and he met me at the factory door at exactly 8am. Because I work in the east end of Toronto it only made sense to travel due north and check out the southeast shores of Lake Simcoe and it's tributaries. Our first and only stop was in the town of Keswick where we hoped to find some prespawn crappies in the lower Maskinonge River.
  One unfortunate consequence of the hordes of fair weather urban anglers descending upon the area is that many of the once "open" shorelines are now closed or pay to fish. With this in mind TS and I decided to re-visit Harry's Riverside Sports & Bait, a convenient one stop location where you can get a variety of live and artificial baits and tackle and, for a modest fee, you can fish off the boardwalk and boat slips. If it's not busy like Friday morning, that miserable c#cks#cker Harry (his exact words) will fish right along with you and make sure that if the fish are there, you're going to get some!

  Harry guided us to where the majority of the fish were schooling and within a few minutes had landed several dinner plate sized crappies slowly retrieving a  tube jig suspended 20" below a float. Taking our cue from the crappie master (or crapster) it wasn't long before TS and I were into fish
Tackle Shop
  By noon we'd landed dozens of fish but the wind had come up and the bite had dropped off. We were soon joined by a new resident of Keswick, John, who was itching to learn more about fishing crappie. He couldn't have come to a better place to learn. Although the fish were taking a break from their feeding frenzy, John eventually landed his first crappie with several large bluegills mixed in.
Keswickian  John's first crappie
   While TS and John continued to get the occasional fish I decided it was time to try my luck with the fly rod. Because of the high winds and limited room for casting I wasn't able to work the hot zone but still managed a few scrappy bull bluegills. By mid afternoon I'd packed away my gear, got a burger and coffee, and was content to just be a spectator for the rest of the day. As the sun started it's slow descent, the fish turned on again and more anxious crapsters started to fill the available boat slips. By the time TS had his fill, I was chilled to the bone and had been up for over 24hrs, but  satisfied non the less!

  I'm sure with our success on Saturday, the Russian will be itching to get  up there with Tackle Shop on Monday!


  1. Wow,
    Look at the colors on those fish.

  2. Nice work boys, and I love the beard!

  3. Nice bunch of slabs, John. I smell a fish fry!

  4. What a nice bunch of crappie...good eats for sure.
    John, that picture of Harry(?) is outstanding. Great shot!

  5. You guys must be getting too excited following our little excursions to not recognize us, calling me Harry. It took me a lot of years to look this good and you insult me by giving Harry the credit. This is not acceptable.
    I know that week after week we show off just how good we are, but at least we try to share our knowledge with you, so you too can be, as good as we are. To be insulted for showing off our expertise is just not fair. We go out, on our days off, work our asses off to catch fish to show you guys, show you how it's done and you insult me by calling me Harry?
    Thanks alot!

    I'm leaving now, but before I go I'll leave you a little wit and wisdome;

    $50 for gas

    3hr drive

    2hr hike to your favorite fishing hole

    your buddy forgot his fishing rod


    (This doesn't happen to us though, as I always have an extra rod, reel, line, etc., hence the name "Tackleshop.")

    Harry indeed!

  6. My, we are a bit testy aren't we. Nice beard TS.


  7. I must say it's refreshing to see the feedback we have gotten from John's followers. It took me a long time to get him on the net and now he's got the chance to do something he really loves(almost, as much, as fishing, ALMOST.) and is really good at.
    The one thing I personally like to see is more feedback from people we have met and fished with.
    You regulars are great and we look forward to your responses every week, but I think I can speak for everyone, myself and John especially when I say that we really enjoy hearing what you newbies to the blog think, both about the blog and your experience when you met the old farts and oihers on the blog. You too can get your own knickname(anonimity is important when you screw up, or don't want the wife to know where you've been) and you too can be a part of an ongoing history of "our" favorite escape from the "expected" lives we lead.
    The only other thing I think would be good is a little feedback on the content, as in what do you like best, would like to see more and a little of your own humour.(sorry John had to ask and I know they will keep it family friendly)

    In closing a little more wit.

    A man was fishing one day wnen he caught a small trout. as he was deciding weather to keep it or not, the fish spoke. I am a magic fish and can grant you three wishes. Please let me go. The man was skeptical said yeah well I wish I had a camp stove, frying pan and some condiments. Sure says the fish and poof he got his wish. The man said that's kool I wish I were rich and never had to worry about money again. Shre enough his wallet was full of money and unlimited credit cards. WOW he says! The fish says ok 1 more wish. The man thought for a minute looks at his camping gear and his wallet full of money and credit cards, then back at the fish. I wish you were three times bigger. It was the best shore lunch he ever had.

  8. No Shoreman not testy. Ijust know how good I look and don't want someone else gettin the credit.

  9. Maybe he was just "RAZZING" me?

  10. And now you all know why I'm the official impartial "chronicler" of our fishing group.

  11. WOW Thats a great picture off the world famouse TC, Some great fishing and Blogging there John,

  12. Sorry bad.
    Reading to quickly, fingers bouncing off the key-board, kinda like not paying attention and putting my foot in my mouth.

    It's still a great picture!

  13. That's ok Raz we are getting more "distinguished" so we are alowed to be eccentric and keep others guessing. Thanks for the beard compliment. You should know by now that it doubles for a handle when we show oyhers how not to do things and go over board. Keeps your head out of water long enough for your fishing "buddies" to stop laughing and actually help you onto dry land.