As this is the time of year many Lehigh Valley anglers head to Canadian waters to fish, the folks at Outdoor Hub have issued this warning to boating anglers.
A new Canadian law has been put in place to ensure that Canada treats U.S. boaters the same way America treats Canadian boaters.
The new law states that American boaters who don’t anchor their boat or step foot on Canadian soil don’t have to report to Canadian Customs, New York Upstate reports.
This legislation stems from an incident back in 2011 when Roy Andersen, then-22 years old, was fishing in the Gananoque Narrows on the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River when Canada Border Service agents suddenly surrounded Andersen’s boat and seized it. Apparently, Andersen and his friend didn’t report to a Canada port of entry upon entering Canadian waters, and it almost cost them big time.
Canadian officials reportedly told the boater he’d have to immediately pay a $1,000 fine or he’d be arrested and his boat would be towed to Canada, where he’d have to pay $25,000 in additional fines.
Luckily for Andersen, once lawmakers got involved, his penalties were reduced to just $1.
To review the reporting requirements for boats in the U.S. and Canada, you can refer to The Great Lakes Cruising Club. And maybe you should consider a Canadian fishing license as well, just to be on the safe side.
Shad and striper fishing have really picked up this past week. If air temperatures remain seasonal and barring any heavy rains, the upcoming week should produce tight lines for all anglers.
As for stripers, here’s what Bill Brinkman from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle Philadelphia has to say.
“From my regular customers, Weezer was out on Sunday picking up two, 20-pound stripers; two slot fish and a bunch of smaller fish. Dave was out looking for stripers with bunker but only caught a boat of catfish. There was a 44-inch fish taken off Princeton Avenue packed up with clams. A big 46-inch fish was taken up at the Burlington Bristol Bridge with a bunker head. Lou had a good day with another 40 plus inch fish with another 39 inch right behind it. Station Avenue has been pretty good with one fisherman catching seven fish all in the 20 to 32-inch range. He caught these fish with bunker and bloodworms. Another fisherman at the Neshaminy State Park had five fish this morning all with bloodworms. Each one in the slot range. Some really good numbers of big fish being caught in the Salem to Commodore Barry Bridge area. Frank’s buddy caught 11 fish 27 to 42 inches with bunker. Frank himself has been all up and down the river catching smaller fish. The airport has been very good with a bunch of slot fish caught with bloodworms.”
As for shad Brinkman says, “Shad fishing in the upper river has been smoking. Everyone from Washington’s Crossing up to Lambertville has been catching three to 50 shad per boat. These guys are all fishing shad spoons. Up at Bull’s Island one fisherman under the walk bridge picked up 17 fish wading with darts and spoons. Up at Upper Black Eddy, Steve and his buddy landed over 40 shad with a few walleyes mixed in on spoons and darts. Kevin said the Water Gap has been hot with a bass bite during the morning hours and shad all afternoon and evening long. He had one day with over 75 fish from three guys in the boat. Again spoons and smaller darts are working best. One fisherman at Trenton looking for stripers picked up a nice 5-pound smallmouth bass.”
On the saltwater fishing scene, Brinkman reports the following. “Saltwater action is still hot but the weather and wind this past week kept most guys close to home. Raritan Bay has been smoking hot for stripers. Here they’re catching fish from 20 inches up to mid 40-pound range. Snagging bunker and either dropping or chunking has been working best. Some anglers are trolling Mojo Rigs, Bunker Spoons and Umbrella Rigs that are also doing well. As you travel down the coast, it’s bluefish everywhere. Out front and back bays have been great for blues five to 13 pounds. These anglers have been using metal spoons, diamond jigs, bucktails, poppers, crankbaits and even rubber shads. And the bait fisherman has been doing best with chunked and whole bunker. Down at Cape May, the fishing gets much slower. One fisherman off the south beach of Wildwood fished all last weekend catching only four stripers 15 to 17 inches. All with bloodworms. Up in the bay there have been some bigger stripers hitting. At Fortescue, Danny said there are fish 30 to 60 pounds showing up in the bunker nets. I had one report from Reed’s Beach with this fisherman catching two keepers last week both with clams. Up at Money Island, George had a great week catching over 40 stripers 24 to 36 inches. He did best with bunker but also caught fish with bloodworms and clams.”
Right now is the ultimate time to be in the great outdoors. There’s spring gobbler hunting in the morning with shad, striper or trout fishing taking up the remainder of the day. What more could outdoor sportsmen or sportsgal ask for. A plethora of outdoor pleasures.
CABELA’S LADIES DAY OUT
On May 13 and 14, Cabela’s Hamburg is hosting a Ladies Day Out with a variety of topics including the following:
* A Day at The Range: Twenty women, 18 and over, will be taken to Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club for instruction on shooting handguns and shotguns after a formal firearms safety course. The 20 will leave Cabela’s at 9:15 a.m. each day for courses that will last until 2:00 at which time they’ll be taken back to the store. Lunch will be provided. This does require pre-registration by calling 610-929-7000.
* RV FAMILY TRAVEL ATLAS: On May 13, from 11a.m – 3 p.m., the Puglisi family, from the Family RV Travel Atlas, will share their camping knowledge and travel experiences while traversing from California to Cape Hatteras.
* LADIES ARCHERY 101: At 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, gals hankering to give archery a try will get hands-on training using compound bows and crossbows.
* INTRO TO FLY FISHING: If fly fishing has been on your to-try list, Cabela’s experts will introduce you to the basics and walk you through equipment needed, casting instructions and techniques and the art of fly tying. This course will also be held Sat. and Sun. at 12-noon.
* LADIES’ SHOTGUN: Be it for self defense, target shooting or field sports, this seminar will prepare you for the correct handling and choice of a shotgun, ammo and essential safety items.
* BASIC FIREARMS & CONCEALED CARRY: Sam Platia, from Concealed Carry and Home Defense, will teach you about basic firearms and concealed carry and how to set up a home defense plan.
In addition, there will be numerous package and gift card giveaways throughout the weekend. For more information check www.Cabelas.hamburg.com.
For those of you who have been following the Wehr’s Dam removal situation, there’s another controversy that has emerged, predominately from Herb Gottschall, Jr., president of Lehigh County Fish & Game Protective Association, the long time host of the annual Junior and Senior Fishing derbies on the Little Lehigh in Lehigh Parkway in Allentown.
In Gottschall’s 2017 newsletter to its members, Gottschall writes about “The Demise of the Little Lehigh and Lower Jordan creeks.” His letter as is follows:
What has happened to the Little Lehigh and Lower Jordan Creeks? Since the Wildlands Conservancy received grants and the City of Allentown gave them permission to remove the dams [on both streams], the water flow is about the same but there’s no depth.
What does this mean? Trout in the 8-inch to 14-inch range might be able to handle the low depth, but larger trout in the 15-inch to 20-inch and above range need at least 2ft. of water. The lower water levels really restrict where the trout can be stocked. Local and out of state fisherman come to the hatchery and complain that they can only fish certain holes and channels, and these are dwindling due to the relocation of sediment caused by the removal of the dams. Out of town fishermen have stated that they aren’t going to waste their time coming back to the area unless stream conditions improve. In the 70’s though the early 90’s, the Little Lehigh Creek was one of the top rated streams on the east coast. Now it barely exists.
When the dam removal process started over 2 years ago, The Wildlands Conservancy promised to install stream improvement devices. As of today, none of the promised devices have been installed. The Conservancy should use the money that was saved by not removing Wehr’s Dam to fund the stream improvement device project. Hopefully, these improvements will bring these vital streams back to their former glory.
If you have any questions or comments send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, the club will continue to try and get some resolution from the Conservancy and/or the City of Allentown,” Gottschall concluded.
For those who have fished many parts of the Little Lehigh, you’ll likely remember two favorite dam areas that were heavily fished. The one was at the area of Robin Hood Bridge in Lehigh Parkway, and the other, upstream from Fish Hatchery Road and the bridge that crosses the creek. Anglers would concentrate at these dams because it was the deepest part of that section of stream, and where the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission would stock the most trout. But since those two dams are gone, trout anglers lost their long-time favorite holes.
Since we’re in the ice fishing season, up and down air temperatures we often experience could play havoc with ice conditions. As such, it’s never a good idea to walk onto a frozen lake or pond without following proper protocols and knowing how long it takes and what temperature must be hit, for that body of water to freeze, says the folks at US Swim School Association (USSSA). And not everyone has a friend nearby or carries an item such as an ice pick to help them out of the water.
Just recently a TV news segment showed game officials and volunteers freeing a moose that went on thin ice, fell in and couldn’t get out. Another showed a horse in the Philadelphia area experiencing the same fate.
With this in mind, USSSA created a list of what to do if you fall through the ice. They are as follows:
* Brace Yourself: This may be difficult to do at first but due to the immediate change on body temperature and shock from the cold water, the body’s immediate reaction is going to be to gasp for air and hyperventilate. Breathing or inhaling freezing water increases the chances of drowning.
* Keep Calm: Do not flail your arms; this will release more body heat. The body loses 32 times more heat in cold water than in cold air. Panicking will do nothing. Instead, keep your head above water and grab onto the ice in the direction you came from. This ice should be strong enough to help you out of the water.
* Do Not Undress Winter Clothes: Keep winter clothing on while in the water, it will not drag you down. It will help keep in body heat and any air inside the clothing will help you float.
* Get Horizontal: Once you’ve gotten most of your upper body out of the water, kick you legs as strongly as possible in hopes of getting yourself out of the water and onto the ice.
* Roll Onto The Ice: Do not stand up. Roll over the ice once you’re out to help prevent more cracks in the ice and from falling in again. Always stay off ice that’s only 3 inches thick or less.
* Retrace Your Steps: Once out and far enough away from the hole you made, trace your footsteps back to safety. Take is slow because your body is still dealing with the affects of the freezing water.
* Throw, Don’t Go: Never enter the water to rescue someone. If someone is there to help you it’s safer for that person to throw a lifesaving device like a branch, coat or rope into the water. Wait until you grab hold and then tow you to safety. Otherwise you could both end up in the water.
* Get Warm: Once out of the water, seek medical attention to bring body temperature back to normal.
These smart tips could save you life, especially if caught alone with no help in sight.
If you’re an avid bass angler and your summer vacation plans include travel somewhere in the good ole USA, pack up a rod, reel and some lures and wet a line at one of B.A.S.S. organizations’ top 100 bass lakes in the country. And there are some listed in most states.
“More than three months of research went onto this year’s rankings,” explained Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall, who noted that the initial pool of top fisheries was developed with input from B.A.S.S. Nation members across the country, state fisheries biologists, the 3,500 member B.A.S.S. Council and some of the 650,000 Facebook fans of B.A.S.S.
“Then we scoured the Internet for current catch-rate data, using the results of more than two dozen tournament organizations and several state “lunker” programs to narrow the field to 100. It was a brutal process, but the results give bass anglers the ultimate bucket list of lakes for 2016,” said Hall.
The Top 10 lakes in the nation are ranked regardless of location. But instead of ranking the remaining lakes through 100, as was done in the past, Bassmaster divided the nation into four regions: Northeast, Southeast, Central and Western. Anglers can see the Top 25 lakes closest to them or where their travels take them. The list also created four No. 1 regional fisheries.
As such, the top’s are as follows. In the Southeast division, Santee Cooper lakes earned the top spot (it’s also ranked No. 2 nationally), Clear Lake took the No. 1 spot in the Western Division (No. 3 nationally), while the New York portion of Lake Erie was named No. 1 in the Northeast (No. 4 in the nation). Of course, Toledo Bend was the Central Division’s No. 1 fishery.
Said Hall of this selection, “Our judges were absolutely blown away by the production of Toledo Bend the past 12 months. The lake has yielded 139 certified bass over 10 pounds with a 14-15 pounder topping the list. Plus, a 38-pound limit and countless limits in the 30-pound range have been weighed in during tournaments over the past year.”
The top 10 bass lakes in the nation are as follows: (1) Toledo Bend, TX (185,000 acres); (2) Santee Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie, SC (170,000 combined acres); (3) Clear Lake, CA (43,785 acres); (4) Lake Erie, NY (30-mile radius from Buffalo); (5) Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, CA (1,100 square miles); (6) Mille Lacs Lake, MN (132,000 acres); (7) Lake Berryessa, CA (20,700); (8) Rodman Reservoir, FL (13,000 acres); (9) Falcon Lake, TX (83,654); (10) Lake St. Clair, MI (430 square miles).
If your travels will be limited to here in the Northeast, the following are the top 25: (1) Lake Erie, NY; (2) Lake St. Clair, MI; (3) Lake Erie, OH); (4) Thousand Islands, NY; (5) Saginaw Bay, MI; (6) Lake Charlevoix, MI; (7) Bays de Noc, MI; (8) Lake Champlain, NY; (9) Grand Traverse Bay, MI; (10) Presque Isle Bay, PA; (11) Oneida Lake, NY; (12) Cayuga Lake, NY; (13) Burt/Mullett lakes, MI; (14) Lake Winnipesaukee, NH; (15) Cobbosseecontee Lake, ME; (16) Candlewood Lake, CT; (17) Smith Mountain Lake, VA; (18) China Lake, ME; (19) Lake Cumberland, KY; (20) Chautauqua Lake, NY; (21) Upper Chesapeake Bay, MD; (22) Pymatuning Reservoir, PA/OH; (23) Stonewall Jackson Lake, WV; (24) Squam Lake, NH; (25) Kezar Lake, ME.
Of course southern lakes are mostly situated in Alabama, the Carolina’s, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. So wherever your travels take you, check the locale and local fishing regulations where most states offer a three-day discounted fishing license. For the top 100 in the country check www.bassmaster.com and click on “Best Bass Lakes.”