“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun,” wrote Noel Coward in a comic song. This song came to mind as I went fishing Sunday afternoon on July 1st. I set out to try my luck at the Kars boat launch, but somehow wandered off course ending up at the Baxter Conservation Area. I turned back and stopped at a bridge over a creek that empties into the Rideau River, just outside Kars. I got out of the Jeep to check out the spot. I thought it might be a decent place to cast some lines for panfish. I found well-worn paths leading to the river’s edge and guessed that this must be a good spot for fishing. I carried my gear to the edge of the Rideau River and made my first cast. I brought my ABU Garcia combo—a light rod and spinning reel with 6 lb. test. I got a bite right away, only to have the fish swipe the bait. I used the worms left over from my previous fishing expedition the Friday before. The worms were dead; they did not survive the heat on the last outing. The dead worms did not stop the fish from biting. In short order, I landed several perch and pumpkinseed, most of which were too small to keep. I caught a few bluegills also, though none big enough for the pan. Sweat poured off me as I made repeated casts. It was oppressively hot, more than 40 C with the humidex.
The terrain at the river’s edge is entirely different from that on the open water and brought new challenges. I lost a couple of hooks and sinkers when the line tangled on vegetation. I hooked a nice fish only to have the line snap when the fish circled a weed bed. Presumably, there is a fish in this stretch of the Rideau River with a hook in its mouth and trailing fishing line with a sinker attached. I had a couple of tangles with the fishing line around the rod. They were so severe I had to cut the line and retie the hook, and put the sinker and slip bobber on anew. One time I lost the hook and sinker but retrieved the slip bobber with my landing net. I learned to take great care in landing a fish in such habitat. I did not have to cast far to find fish. The water is quite shallow and weeds quite thick. There were lily pads on the left side of the riverbank. By the time I ran out of worms, I had four nice pumpkinseeds in the cooler. I am getting the hang of pan fishing.
At home, I finally mastered filleting fish. I had a little difficulty with the previous patch of fish. I took the time to review some videos on YouTube on how to fillet fish. Viewing these videos proved very helpful. I am confident I can adequately fillet fish now. Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, the tangled fishing line, and the loss of hooks and sinkers, I had a great time. I had one more bit of misfortune at home. I caught a lot of the action on the riverbank on my GoPro camera. I downloaded the raw footage from the camera to the computer, or so I thought. I hastily deleted the video footage from my GoPro, only to find that most of the footage had not downloaded. Note to self: next time do not be in such a hurry to delete the footage from the GoPro until you are sure it successfully downloaded to the computer! Despite the loss of the tackle and video footage, I look forward to my next fishing adventure.
Posted by Geoffrey