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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dinosaur Hunter: Journey To The Great White North

This trip was planned for a long, long time. Cancelled once and then resurrected again. My fishing in 2016 was extremely spread out, taking place in the early months of 2016 and this trip now taking place in the last months of 2016.

"Well then Gideon best get his pretentious ass up here because I'm about to kick yours out of the Great White North"

In an unexpected turn of events I managed to score more time off than I originally intended so instead of leaving Friday, Mark and I could now leave Wednesday. All sorts of evil plans were concocted and we came up with the unthinkable......we were going to drive to Halifax, Nova Scotia. How is that for a road trip? 15 hours straight north!

We drove into the darkness of the New England States where we arrived in the dead of night in Bangor, Maine. Our hotel was awesome and we rose the next days like Phoenix's ready to take on the day. We drove right to Halifax, Nova Scotia which I may add was even more surreal once my foot touched the ground. It had a wintery feel to it, the city itself was seemed very youthful and modern. I'm not a city guy, however if I had to reside in one for the rest of my life, Halifax would probably be it. We actually met up with a guy we know from home who was on a work trip in Halifax, what are the chances! We hit up all the essential brewpubs, then in the morning visited the citadel and the original site of Trailer Park Boys (which was regrettably closed) before making our hasty escape.
The driving was scenic and wilderness filled with very few cars ever cluttering the roadway, however we were a bit surprised to see very little roadside wildlife. 2 sightings of deer total.

NB Wood Delivery!

Welcome to Nova Scotia

We then decided to do the unthinkable, explore Prince Edward Island. Caution: If you drive here the toll is extremely and unrealistically high. I imagine the reason for this is the extremely long bridge built across the ocean. We arrived to cold, dark, rain, with heavy winds. We took a few moments to take it in before hurrying to our destination, New Brunswick. I imagine PEI is more of a summer destination, and on Remembrance Day might I add, everything was completely shut down.

The entirety of the trip we were amazed by how clean Canada was as a whole. We didn't see much roadside litter, graffiti didn't cover the walls, not even in major cities. During the entire drive we saw no roadside police watching traffic, no one pulled over on the free way. We laughed as we passed what we imagined was an intentionally graffiti-ed skate park. We were also dumbfounded to see what we dubbed our first ever "Polite Traffic Merger". It was unlike anything we've ever saw before as cars tried to merge lanes to enter into a highway, no one wanted to cut the other person off. This lead to an almost dead stand still for a minute cars in front of anyone. Being not used to this sort of nicety mark scooted to the left and maneuvered in front of 30-40 cars. When people say Canadians are nice, even as a broad generalization, what we saw only bolstered that reputation. From the traffic, to the cleanliness of the streets, to the friendly hotel check in lady who was waaaaay waaaaay too excited to meet fellow people who played World of Warcraft.

Ricky, Bubbles, Julian LET ME IN!!!!
But onto the fishing, aye?

We navigated the back roads of New Brunswick for an 8am meet up. We were greeted by an ice slicked bridge. This was going to be one cold kayaking trip! We met Joe Tilley from NB Kayak Fishing who had two fully loaded kayaks prepped and ready to go. We scooted out into the water and away we went. Fishing for sturgeon is bare bones basic and is predominantly a waiting game. However this did not stop me from causing bedlam in the form of breaking rods, hooking others props, and snagging the bottom it took me a good two hours to wiggle into my comfort zone. This was probably my 5th time kayaking ever so the promise of an icy dip was ever-looming.

It didn't take long for Joe to start slaying. He ended the day with 4 Sturgeon total, even a stunner Atlantic Sturgeon to really get my lifer juices flowing.
Joe's legendary Atlantic Sturgeon
Joe's big Shortnose
Next up was mark who caught what could only be described as a trophy class Shortnose Sturgeon.

I was a little late to the game but as I pulled up to check my hook I felt the bottom of the river move in what I can only describe as a freight train like movement. The fish didn't make it far, but it did cause me to snap the tip of the pole. Once the ancient beast was subdued in the kayak and proper photos were taken to commemorate the occasion a sudden calm over came me and I switched from "lifelisting mode" to "fun mode". Catching prehistoric dinosaurs is always such a humbling feeling. I managed to catch another Shortnose Sturgeon and a lifer Atlantic Tomcod, which if I had smaller hooks may have been in double digits. Atlantic Tomcod for some reason or another enthrall and fascinate me to no end, while they are mostly considered baitstealing pests to anglers (or as I like to call them.....Yellow Perch.)

We banked the kayaks after a full 8 hour day and while it wasn't as cold as we anticipated me washing my hands in the river didn't help my overall feel once I reached bankside. Mark and I then headed back to our hotel in Saint Johns. We were originally set to fish for another day, but if we did we wouldn't shower and would arrive home around noon (driving through the night). We decided to head home a day early for a nice smelling daylight drive and well rested 8pm arrival. The fisherman inside of me wasn't too pleased but my bodies overall health I'm sure was overjoyed. 

1 comment:

  1. Was great to have you guys here. Hope to have you back again perhaps in Sept/Oct when I can get you your atlantic sturgeon, as well as a day out on the salt water!