Welcome to Week XLIII of 'Fishing Parkland Shorelines'. Like most of us I am a novice fisherman, loving to fish, but far from an expert. In the following weeks I'll attempt to give those anglers who love to fish but just don't have access a boat, a look at some of the options in the Yorkton area where you can fish from shore, and hopefully catch some fish.
So this was one of those weekends when a sportsman ends up going to bed on Sunday suffering serious dry mouth as a result of excessive drooling.
In this case it was the result of attending the Parkland Outdoor Show & Expo in Yorkton.
The show's major focus was certainly hunting with piles of bows and dozens of rifles and enough head mounts to populate a very large forest.
But I haven't hunted anything in 25 years, giving up on the few bird hunts I used to enjoy each fall, having come to an end when I moved to the city.
So while I'll admit massive admiration for some hand-crafted recurve bows, and more than a passing glance at some of the mounts, a pair of full body wolverine in particular, my attention quickly focused in on the booths regarding fishing.
The first stop was at the Ma-Jik Lures booth. The Quebec manufacturer was out west trying to forge new fans for their range of lures.
I recall a day last fall at the Shellmouth Dam spillway when a gold and silver Ma-Jik spoon was absolutely killer on pike. It was a bright day and the lure had to look like a perch to a hungry pike and they would follow it in striking so close to shore I had the added benefit of the show of it, in addition to taking a pike.
I have been in email contact with Ma-Jik president Jean-Pierre Milette via email for months, but had a chance to meet him at the Expo Sunday.
Milette is one of those friendly guys with the personality you immediately feel comfortable around. I am sure a day fishing with Jean-Pierre would be a lot of fun. He certainly had a ready smile as I related going to put one of the hooks on my ice line at Goose Lake only to have it slip through my fingers, into the hole and down to the bottom of the lake, lost forever. I suspect that is going to be a tale retold for laughs a few times in Quebec. Oh, and Jean-Pierre did replace the lure, making him aces in my book as they say.
As it was I was impressed by the sheer diversity of the Ma-Jik line. This is a company trying to offer something different.
The size of the spoons, the often unique bends to create different swim patterns, and the fresh approach to colour schemes are all interesting to a fisherman. We don't need another take on a red and white spoon, and to its credit Ma-Jik is focusing on new ideas.
In fact Jean-Pierre said that is one of the ancillary reasons for doing shows like the one in Yorkton, a chance to talk to fisherman to get their thoughts on new patterns and colours for various species of fish.
I know I grabbed a few new Ma-Jik hooks I look forward to tossing into the water in a couple of months. Check them out at www.majikcanada.com
I've also had good success with PK Lures as related here in the past and they were on hand at the Expo. You can't go far wrong with this line in many fishing situations, and it was good to see them first hand. Check them out at www.pklures.com
And now for some major drooling.
My son and I stopped for a close look at the SnoBear.
The SnoBear owes its heritage to the first Bombardier creations which led to the Ski-Doo.
The SnoBear (www.snobear.org) is a tracked vehicle designed for a singular purpose, ice fishing. This is kind of a hybrid in the sense it is the snowmobile to get you across the lake, in Cadillac-style. Once to where you want to fish, the SnoBear is the ice shack too, complete with four spots to sink holes through the floor. The unit even comes with the option of an electric auger.
Soft seats to sit in, built in sunroof for nice days, thermostat controlled propane heat for colder days, and a stereo system for a few tunes.
It comes with a hefty price tag for something with such a specific purpose. You would need to be a rabid hard water fisherman to warrant it, but then again with the luxury of a SnoBear to enjoy, it would be easier to head out no matter the temperature for some winter fishing.
As things go, directly across the aisle from the SnoBear sat a boat, the boat of my dreams frankly.
Yes I like shore fishing, it puts me at a lot of lakes in a car, but there are days I'd love a boat.
But I have never wanted a boat that could pull a water skier, and the recent pontoon boat craze escapes me as a fisherman.
But this was a fishing boat. A 16-foot Tracker with a live bait compartment, in boat catch well, lure compartment, spots for rods and even a few cold drinks. With a nice motor and trailer it was a hook up and go package that could take you anywhere to a local lake easily.
And unlike the SnoBear the price tag was reasonable enough to legitimately dream about it.
As one friend pointed out, such a boat would not fit with a predominantly shore-fishing column, but as I pointed out the focus of this article could easily change.
I do imagine I'll be dreaming about the Tracker boat for a few nights now.
Speaking of dreaming, Cat Daddy Fishing Guide Service had a booth. Guide Paul Munroe runs a catfishing guiding service on the Red River out of Selkirk, MB..
The Red River is known for some monster channel cats and having previously checked out Cat Daddy's website (www.catdaddy.ca), I know this guy regularly finds the big ones for his clients.
It would be one of those trips of a lifetime to spend a few hours cat fishing with this guy.
Speaking of a guided dream trip Caribou Lodge Outfitters from Cranberry Portage, MB., was at the Expo. This is northern fishing which is accessible and in terms of Yorkton is not so far away as to be a distant dream. Check it out at www.huntnfish.ca
Finally I'll give some props to Tye1On Lures. The Canadian distributor of this wide range of lures is from Alberta. The lines are nicely made, high-end fishing lures, coming with features such as rattles, attractant pellet compartments, weedless, and jointed bodies. This is a line I hope to give a serious test this summer. Check it out at www.tye1onlures.ca
If one thing was missing, it was a good booth with fly fishing gear. Back to the handmade recurve bows for a moment. Seeing those made me wish someone had been there with handmade fly rods, although truthfully that would have only cost me more money, so maybe it was better there wasn't — but maybe next year.