Tag Archives: Fishing

Homegrown Worms: An Angler’s Guide

Bait, it’s one of those things where you can never be too picky. I am not a big bait fisherman; however, I do understand that some days bait is the only way to go. I used to buy worms by the dozen from my local tackle shop. They would work, but it almost seemed like the fish were used to the scent and look of the worms. After looking into alternative bait options, I decided I would start my own small-scale worm farm.

I should mention that I live in a one-bedroom apartment with my fiancé. Imagine trying to convince your fiancé, significant other, or roommate to be okay with having tenants of this sort in such a small space! It took a bit of convincing, but I got her onboard in the end. After doing some research on containers, habitat, food, climate and harvest, I felt comfortable enough to get my ‘farm’ up and running.

The most common question I get is, how do you reduce the smell? What most people don’t realise is a healthy worm farm should not stink, it should have a very neutral smell. If it stinks, you are doing something wrong.

How to build your own worm farm:

IMG-0846I went to Canadian Tire to buy two Rubbermaid containers. I drilled hundreds of 1.5mm holes all over the bottom of 1 rubber maid and placed it into the other container. This allows the liquid to drain from the top bin into the bottom bin, which prevents the worms from drowning. I drilled more holes into the lid and the top third of the container to allow air flow. This reduces temperature, smell and increases the oxygen levels.

Once this was done, I put a 5-inch-thick base layer of shredded moist newspaper in the worm farm. I went to PetSmart and bought a couple dozen worms. They quickly reproduced, enjoying a diet of plant based green waste and a few egg cartons every now and then.

Feeding your worms:

IMG-0845During the colder, winter months the worms go a bit dormant, but you still need to supply them with food. Typically, I will feed them once a week during the winter. As the temperature increases and the worms become a bit more active you should start feeding them twice a week or when the food is all eaten-up. Worms can go a couple of weeks without food, but like most living things they will eventually starve if they don’t get any sustenance.

It is important to supplement their diets with finely crushed egg shells and corn meal from time to time to increase their size and fatten them up for fishing. It is imperative to not overfeed them. Worms can eat about half their body mass in one day. You will quickly know if you have over fed them if you see food rot and smell foul odours.

Tip: If you freeze your food waste before feeding it to the worms, it will reduce the chance of getting fruit flies.  

IMG-0844I have had great success with my home grown red-wiggler worms. As soon as you string them on the hook you can smell a stronger and more aromatic scent compared to the regular store-bought worms. The strong, hearty smell, plus the bright red color of these worms, make them an irresistible bait for many fish.

I highly recommend you try this at home!

Our next Reel Fishing workshops are April 27 – 28, May 25 – 26 and June 22 – 23. Register for this hands-on angler education course today –> Click Here

~Tobias Roehr

Ice Fishing the Fishing Highway

5 am, alarm goes off. I think to myself, “should I hit snooze, or sleep in?” at the same time I remember that feeling when a fish takes my bait and I pull it up through the ice, so I get out of bed. My friends and I have three short days in Clearwater, BC to explore the ‘Fishing Highway’.

IMG-0835I begin the process of gearing up for a day on the ice. Starting off by going over my packing list:

  • Long johns, base layer, wool sweater, snow pants and snow jacket
  • Gloves, toque, heat pockets, snow boots and sunglasses
  • Ice auger, ice scoop, depth sounder
  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Flasher, flutter spoon, UV rattle spoon, UV jigs and split shots.
  • Bait: shrimp, and homegrown live worms
  • Camp chair, BBQ, hotdogs, water and a thermos of hot coffee

Feeling ready, I grab some breakfast, start warming up the car and we make the drive to our fishing spot for the day. Arriving at the lake we load up the sled and trek through the snow on to 14 inches of ice. A tingly feeling jolts through me as the excitement of ice fishing builds. There is something about boating on a lake one season and walking on it the next that exhibits a true Canadian experience for me.

Finding our spot, we begin to unload and use our hand auger to drill the first hole. Using a hand auger to drill through 14 inches of ice is exhausting and never fun, but with the excitement of fishing in mind we make it through quickly. All set and baited up the first IMG-0836line drops, BOOM! Instantly my friend yells “FISH ON!”. In disbelief I watch her pull up a beautiful 12-inch rainbow trout. Excited by the prospect of more to come she releases this one. We check the fish finder to see that fish are being read at 5ft., 10ft., 14ft. all the way down to 30ft. Soon after, a double header for my friend and I. After that the hits continued to come fast and furious. By the time lunch rolled around we had nearly reached our possession limit of fifteen, five trout each. After a quick bite to eat we got back to it and reached our limit for the day. We packed up the sled hauled back to the truck to make the drive back into town.

Reflecting on the day I was happy how well the gear I brought worked. The UV flasher with a UV jig underneath it proved its success yet again. Even though there is a large amount of sunlight penetrating the ice I prefer using UV flashers and jigs. ‘Shiny’ flashers do not give off a great sparkle under the ice. UV reflecting flashers on the other hand are designed to ‘glow’ in conditions with low direct sunlight where ultraviolet light can still reach. These flashers or jigs have a specially formulated pigment that reflects ultraviolet light giving them a ‘glow’. This will attract fish from a further distance as well as induce a strike. When bait fishing for trout I like using natural baits when possible, always check regulations. In my experience the scent and visual effect natural bait gives off proves to be superior over most plastic baits.

Now, off to the smoker to smoke some fresh trout to enjoy during the weeks to come.

I like to use this recipe, per 1 lbs of trout. The cayenne pepper gives the sweet tasting fish a bit of a spicy kick.

  • 3 cups of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Want to enhance your fishing skills? Sign up today for Reel Fishing, click here!

~Tobias Roehr

 

The Cottonwoods of the Heart of the Fraser

Black cottonwood trees, the biggest poplars on earth and one of the fastest growing, inhabit the banks, islands and surrounding areas of the Heart of the Fraser. Imagine a tree the height of a 12-storey building with a trunk close to 12 meters round and a crown the size of a large house. Now imagine a whole forest of those trees, and that’s how the Heart of the Fraser used to look.

Cottonwoods are fabulous wildlife trees. When their huge limbs break off, they get cavities in them, allowing room for owls to nest in them. Eagles and heron colonies make their nests as high as they can amongst the branches of the tall trees. Thus, in the Heart of the Fraser, cottonwoods are an essential species ecologically.

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As the trees age and wither they fall into the coves, inlets and channels that surround these islands, providing hiding places for fish and cover for a variety of other species associated with the landscape. These massive trees also provide stability to the islands and slow their erosion to a steady rate, so the islands do not disappear all at once.

Everything eventually comes back to the water, but it is not just the water that is crucial to this landscape. The trees, riparian areas and the islands create the makeup of this habitat. The river is a central point in the ecosystem and provides a continuous connection of fish, wildlife and habitat from the Heart of the Fraser as far upstream as Prince George. The Fraser River and the ecosystems around it are what binds the landscape together. Having native and natural vegetation in place is crucial to that function.

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Please help us defend the cottonwoods that grow in the Heart of the Fraser by signing the petition to oppose the approval of a permanent bridge and development on the Heart of the Fraser islands.

Sign the Petition today!

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The Jurassic Classic

BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!

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The countdown is on for the 2018 Jurassic Classic Fishing Experience! This year, the Jurassic Classic 1event takes place Aug 17-20th, when sportsmen and women from across North America make their way to Chilliwack, BC to fish the Fraser River for white sturgeon, all while raising funds and awareness for wild sheep populations in British Columbia.  This collaborative effort between the BC Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitter Association of BC, and the Wild Sheep Society of BC is an annual event that’s becoming a household name in wild sheep conservation across North America, and is being noted as a model for conservation minded groups working together in the name of wildlife.

2018 marks the 3rd year for the Jurassic Classic and so far it’s shaping up to be one of the best years yet!  This year, SITKA Gear stepped up to support the Jurassic Classic as the “Signature Sponsor”, bringing a connection to the mountain hunting community that come together with a passion for wild sheep.   SITKA is also the Official Sponsor of the WSF “Sheep Show” and therefore has strong connections to the various Chapters and Affiliate members who attend the Jurassic Classic.  Having SITKA Gear support the Jurassic Classic fundraising efforts serves to elevate our event to higher peaks.

“SITKA Gear exists to elevate the standard against which all other hunting brands are measured – in product design, content authenticity, customer service, and environmental stewardship.”

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The mission of the Jurassic Classic fundraiser is to put fundraising dollars to on-the-ground conservation work that benefits the various wild sheep herds across the Jurrasic Classic 7province.  In 2017, over $42,000 was raised and almost all funds have been committed to sheep conservation projects in all areas of the province.  It is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the 60 attendees and volunteers who help put the event on each year.  While the goal is wild sheep conservation, the Jurassic Classic committee has noted the connection that many feel with the white sturgeon, thus this year the committee is also dedicating a fundraising item (a BC First Nations sturgeon art piece) to be auctioned off, with all proceeds returning to the sturgeon fishery that so many enjoy each year.

The extensive reach of the Wild Sheep Foundation has ensured teams from various Chapters and Affiliates come up to support the event each year, bringing fundraising dollars into the province that were not available before the creation of this event. Teams for the Jurassic Classic are marketed to various WSF Chapters and Affiliates, Canadian wildlife conservation groups, BCWF affiliated clubs, SCI chapters, and sold as well at the WSF Sheep Show.  The value that groups have seen by supporting the Jurassic Classic has been great and only builds further on the collaborative efforts that the Jurassic Classic brings.

The group arrives on the Friday evening for a fun evening meet-and-greet.  From the Jurassic Classic 11moment they arrive, they are treated to an all-inclusive event. A full day of fishing (hosted by Great River Fishing Adventures) takes place Saturday.  Saturday evening finds the guests on the shores of the Fraser River for a BBQ of wild game and salmon, which has been a highlight for many.  Sunday brings another full day of fishing, followed by an awards banquet, guest speakers, and a live and silent auction fundraiser.  The guests depart Monday morning after an action packed weekend.

Guests return year after year and look forward to an event where they can laugh, fish, and enjoy a weekend discussing conservation topics with like-minded hunter/conservationists from various organizations.  The unique aspect of fishing while “Putting and Keeping Sheep on the Mountain” really makes the Jurassic Classic “BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!”

~ Trevor Carruthers, Jurassic Classic Committee

Jurrasic Classic 9

Venison Wontons

Sossy Outdoors: Venison Wontons

Having a party and want to serve a delicious appetizer that will wow your guests? This is the one! Delicious, full of flavor, and a wonderful way to showcase the versatility of Venison Meat.

Ingredients: 

2 cups ground Venison

1 cup chopped shrimp

1 cup ground pork

2 tablespoons soya sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup sesame oil

1 can chopped water chestnuts

2 tablespoons Lemon grass paste

¼ cup of rice wine

½ cup chopped scallions

Dipping Sauce:

½ cup rice wine

¼ cup soya sauce

¼ cup sesame oil

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Blend all ingredients well in a bowl. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, but overnight is best. Any wonton wrappers from your local supermarket will do. Spoon filling into wonton wrapper, about a teaspoon. Pinch the top of the wonton with damp fingers.

Boil Method: Drop into boiling water, about 2-3 minutes or until they float. Serve with well blended dipping sauce.

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Deep Fry: Drop into fryer basket with oil set at 350’. Take out when Wontons are a deep golden brown. Serve with Plum Sauce.

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