The waters in the lakes and rivers are starting to warm up, which means that trout fishing will start to slow down. This also means the warm water fish: bass, chain pickerel and perch will start to pick up. Once the waters hit 20 C, trout will start to head for the deeper, colder waters and stay there most of the day. Early morning or just before dusk would be the best time to catch trout at this time of the year.
On the other hand, warm water fish have finished spawning and are hungry. Small mouth bass will move throughout the water course they are in; perch will be in the shallows and chain pickerel are looking for a meal in the shallows as well. Fishing along the shores of the lakes just got a whole lot better.
These fish will come within a few centimetres of the shore looking for something to eat. When I fish from shore, I always start by casting left and right as close to shore as possible and then fan my casts out to deep water. At fishing tournaments, I have caught three and four pound bass by throwing my bait from my boat right to the edge of shore and reeling it back to the boat. Give it a try!
I would like to draw your attention to some other species of fish that you should be aware of that are a lot of fun to catch. Shad are now migrating up the rivers of the Bay of Fundy and they are a lot of fun to catch with both spinning gear and on a fly. My favourite place to fish for shad is in Nictaux and Middleton, below the bridge in Nictaux and above the bridge in Middleton. Do a bit of research beforehand and find a good spot. One hint for catching shad is to throw your shad dart or fly so it drifts slowly through the water, instead of making it swing through the water.
We can now turn to the waters along our coast for some angling fun. Striped bass are starting to move into Nova Scotia waters now and are a lot of fun to catch. Again, striped bass along the South Shore are scarce, but are aplenty in and around Annapolis Royal, the tidal waters of the Gaspereau River as well as the Stewiacke and Shubenacadie Rivers. Striped bass can grow quite large, so make sure that you have a strong rod and reel. A word of caution: there are slot limits for striped bass, which means you can only keep certain sizes.
One of my favourite species to fish for as a kid was mackerel. Mackerel are now starting to show up all along the South Shore. They will keep coming all summer and fall and can be caught off any wharf. They are extremely easy to catch and I would recommend a mackerel jig, which can be purchased at any local tackle store. If you do not have a mackerel jig, any really flashy lure should do. Cast out and reel your jig/lure back in by pausing the retrieve or jerking it on the way back. Be cautious, there is a size limit on mackerel too. You can only keep mackerel that are over 10 and-a-half inches. Remember to rinse your reel with fresh water after fishing in tidal waters.
Bass tournaments are starting and Lake Shore Club has one on June 16 at the Lake Milo system. The South Shore Bassmasters also has a tournament on the Mersey River on June 17. Email me if you would like more information on these tournaments and remember to check your Anglers’ Handbook for the new regulations on many of the rivers along the South Shore.