Yesterday morning there was little sign of bass in the Northwest and even the DFO biologist agreed they must have moved down to stage somewhere. Then yesterday afternoon they moved up and spawning of striped bass has begun. My husband and a friend went out fishing last night about a kilometer or so below the Cassilis trap net and the river was bubbling with activity. They fished from 7:15 until dark and caught about 90 fish. It was not hard to catch them as the faster you reeled in your hook the faster they swam after it. The boys did say that if you did not reel and just left the bait lay there the bass were not interested. So it looks like they were not feeding but rather chasing anything that moved. That said, they did swallow down a lot of the boys lures so had those lures been fish they would have been eaten. When returning to shore they had to go slowly as there were so many bass they were hitting them with the boat.
The smolt wheels at Trout Brook and the Sevogle are slowing down with catches of 23 and 27 smolts today. The trap at Cassilis however had a big day with a catch of 900 smolts. Hopefully the bass will be more interested in spawning than eating and this big run of smolts will make it through. I have no data yet on our tagged smolts but will get it to you when we receive it.
The bright salmon have made their way into the river. While DFO biologists were using the gaspereau trap just above the Anderson Bridge (Route 8) in the Northwest Miramichi to catch and tag bass they reported catching a number of bright salmon. And yesterday a local angler canoed the Northwest from Miners Bridge to Wayerton and caught a bright grilse. I am told this is early for bright grilse – most reported now have been salmon – but he did keep it and it was a grilse. I have heard rumours of others catching bright fish as well. But only on the Northwest – DFO conservation officers confirmed today that they have not heard of any bright fish being caught on the Southwest Miramichi as of yet.
The Red Bank Trout Derby took place on the weekend with over 800 entrants. Catches were down from last year but there were still a lot of trout caught with a lot of sea run trout reported. The winner of the car was Marie Levi of Red Bank.
The MSA and the North and South Esk Regional (NSER) High School Youth Fishing Club will be co-hosting angling clubs from schools all over the province on Friday and Saturday, May 30th & 31st. Students will arrive Friday at the Salmon Conservation Centre in South Esk and will be competing in a number of activities including casting and fly tying. The MSA will be supplying lunch, touring the students through the hatchery and giving every participant a complimentary membership to the MSA. On Saturday, Miramichi Valley High School (MVHS) will be hosting the students and taking them fishing on the Southwest Miramichi.
Also on Saturday the MSA is hosting a salmon dinner with hot dogs and hamburgers for kids with proceeds going to the youth fishing club. This will take place at NSER in Sunny Corner running from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. There will be silent auction tables and raffles. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from NSER at 836-7000 or from the MSA office at 622-4000. Please come out and support this event – MSA staff will be there to answer questions on our field programs and activities on the river.
If you are in the Miramichi area this weekend please visit the Miramichi Fly Fishing and Sportsman Show 2013 being held on Friday and Saturday, May 24th and 25th, at the Miramichi Curling Club (Next to French Fort Cove). There will be demonstrations of fly tying, casting, canoeing and archery with opportunities for you to try your hand. Outfitters, tackle shops, DFO, DNR and more will join MSA in the displays section. Entry fee is $5 with youth fishing club members and children under 15 entering at no cost.
Finally I would like to thank everyone that made the 2013 Annual Freeman Dunnett Moncton Conservation Dinner such a great success. A sold out crowd filled the Crowne Plaza in Moncton last Thursday night and were very generous as usual. Our next event will be the Salmon Classic Gala Dinner on July 14th at the Rodd Miramichi. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by contacting Jo-Anne at 457-2220 or Nola at 622-4000.