Blog #1 2008
By Daniel Kiazyk

Blogging with Cat Eye Outfitter

23 Apr 2008 4:26 am

Today I make my first blog entry to the cat eye outfitter blog site. This is an experiment. I have run a blog before but had some technical difficulties. The idea behind this particular blog is to have a rough draft of ideas about fishing in Manitoba that can later be developed into articles that will be published in the Article section of the Cat Eye Outfitter site.

Where to go for opener

25 Apr 2008 6:20 am

The process of knowing where to start for opener is not as simple as it might first seem. Go fishing, of course, but where becomes an issue. Certainly species and when they tend to bite is a first consideration but there's also the competing interests that friends bring to the equation. There's also the piece of having to return favors rendered at other time by friends - gotta pay back that promise, "Yeah, we'll go fishing next year". The price of gas now has become an incredibly important consideration. Having enough guys interested in going to the same spot will help with the disposable income issue. And finally there's equipment to consider, especially when you've got a vehicle that's being repaired.... where to go for fishing opener is not an easy decision but it sure is still nice to be able to make it.

Duck Mtns.

26 Apr 2008 5:43 am

After a successful outing to the Ducks last fall I had the opportunity to get back there a couple time this past winter. The target on most occasions was East Blue... the one lake that I never really spent much time on. The target was this lakes lake trout and splake population. One thing that did play in our favour with each visit was knowledge of the primary forage base. With this knowledge I was able to adjust the bait that was presented to trout that were cruising at 90 feet. The results were quite impressive with a couple of lakers over 12#

Getting Ready for Trout

26 Apr 2008 2:47 am

Just got back from the junction of #10 and #16 (the Rainbow Trout Farmers distribution center) and had a good look at all the preparations required for the arrival and almost immediate distribution of the 60,000 4" and another 5,000 6" trout that are expected to arrive. The process is interesting in so far as a the organization/preparation that goes into the process of getting these trout out to people from all over Manitoba. Folks picking up their trout will for the most be transporting their fish in oxygen filled plastic bags of 150+ fish. These fish are good for at least a two hours when packaged as described. I won't be farming this year as my slough is now a provincially stocked trout lake (Anton Lake in the gazetteer)

Putting away the winter equipment

27 Apr 2008 7:58 am

Its now officially over (ice fishing for the first part of the year) for this angler as I put away the ice tents. One of the difficulties I've had in the past when doing this has been the "where" to put all this stuff. The hardware part isn't really an issue as there's always a nook and cranny that can be filed but the real issue is what to do with those portable ice shacks... I've left one outside in the garage only to have it been used as a mouse shelter (not nice). Now I take the extra precaution and put them inside an area where I know the critters won't be given a place where they can spend the summer. The ice auger is the other major consideration when putting away the ice gear. It's been a couple of years since I replaced the diaphragm on the carb and have found that the jiffy is best stored "dry". By dry I am mean two things firstly, that the tank will be emptied and secondly that the carb is run dry of gas by running it until it uses whatever gas is left in the fuel delivery system. finallyI'll usually pull all the batteries from any electrical device eg. vexilarinspect them and put them on the charger so as to be sure they're put away charged and ready to go next December.

Jig Production

28 Apr 2008 6:28 am

Spring cleaning, rooting around uncovering treasures either forgotten or just misplaced.... maybe that's why we get into the mode of the annual spring clean-up. Well it just so happened that this past winter I came into a jig production unit with all components save a ladle. In the past I had used the father -in-law's unit and the infamous "granpa's" jig maker. I still look forward one day to perhaps acquiring that mold, but for now it'll be the mold received. As for the actual production it goes without saying that safety has to be the number one priority. Fumes from molten lead are toxin and molten lead can burn/cause fires. As a result I make my jigs outside on a brick pad. Wearing gloves and safety glasses when pouring are excellent precautionary measures. the actual medium used in my jigs is not pure lead. Of late I've been going down to the tire store to pick up the used weights that are used to balance tires. The jigs made are harder because of the tin that is normally added to those weights. The only other trick to making jigs that I can think of that will enhance production is that it is important to have the mold a little warmer when pouring. If the mold is too cool the medium doesn't pour to the bottom of the mold. I'll be purchasing hooks soon (and this is the expensive part of home jig production) and be out there making those jigs in such numbers that you really don't think too much about how to fish them. In most instances having such a supply to work with allows me to put hooks in places that many would avoid.... in turn catching fish that for the most part don't usually see hooks.

Steering and boats

29 Apr 2008 7:10 am

It turns out that it becomes necessary with a larger motor to switch from a single cable steering system to a minimum of a double cable system. Apparently a single cable if it were to brake would have no back up means of steering and leave the pilot and occupants to be potentially harmed by the boat going out of control. A double cable system has the luxury of having a back up cable should one break. Of course the Cadillac system is to go hydraulic. It appears that a Canadian company Teleflex out of BC makes one of the more popular steering systems available. A hydraulic system can handle oodles of horses and offer really smooth steering.

Fishing articles

30 Apr 2008 10:41 pm

Just read an excellent by a fishing friend in the Western Sportsman. Geo as I call him is quite the angler and quite the writer to boot. I really like his common sense approach to the idea of how we "all" can become better anglers. There's an educator's point of view that's expressed at the beginning of the article and this same sentiment is seemingly woven throughout the rest of the article. I admire the fact he's written to clarify his thoughts on what would make him a better angler. Sounds a bit familiar to me eh..Sometimes it takes just a little bit of time to acquiesce about what's been done while fishing and by who to become a better angler. Congrats Geo on the excellent article. ....if only I could write so well!

Gulp live

Cat Eye

01 May 2008 10:41 pm

Ok when it comes to bass and walleye I'm quite the fan of live bait. I've even got an excellent source from where I can obtain a nearly endless supply of hat probably is some of the freshest and liveliest bait in the business. Having said the prior.... and I know as I build this blog you'll probably read a lot more of me extolling the virtues of this bait source....I really feel it's time to take a bold step out from the security of a way of angling I grown accustomed to, to a way of angling that is standard now to many. I plan this year to not just use artificial bait when it works.... but to tough it out in some instances and make a best effort to have t as an exclusive bait. Yeah I know you'll also have probably have read that I've tried this before only to back down a revert to old faithful. Well just like a smoker needs to keep trying to quit I need to try to curb my dependence on live bait. I know the many advantages to artificial baits like GULP Alive! but it's going to take some doing to actually sign off on the live stuff. As the new season progresses stay tuned for my rants about not having live bait or (and here I hope it to be the case) my raves as to the effectiveness of some of the newer baits on the market..... don't be fooled I've spent a whole pie of money on these baits over the part 8 or 9 years but I've reverted to the easy too often.... Here goes an experiment for '08

Cabela's Grand Opening

02 May 2008 9:15 pm

It sure was nice to get in and have a look at the New Cabela's The idea that you don't have to make the four hour trek down to East Grand Forks is comforting. It was also very nice to see the store had brought in their brand products. Having a wider number of choices is a big part of having the right equipment at the right time/place. A lot of folks are quite positive about what the store is going to bring to the outdoor sporting community in Manitoba. The only caveat is that you still have to look carefully at the price of stuff I did see the odd item that was a little more than it would be at some other outlets. That's not a bad thing it just means you have to be watching what you pay for anything anywhere

Prep time again

03 May 2008 5:38 pm

Getting stuff ready for fishing is as regular an event as is the melt of snow we see every year up here in Manitoba. I know I've heard it before if I haven't heard it a million times...good preparation means a lot more success when you get on the water. It's not just when you're on the water it's also a matter of getting to the water too. I've been fishing with a friend or two over the years who forgot to inflate the tires up to level or forgot to give the bearings a shot of grease and we spent at least three/four hours by the side of the road waiting for him to get back with a replacement bearing kit..... Tie downs tarps even gas in the tank helps a lot ha ha ha...Oh yeah and don't forget the plug.....glug glug glug (everyone has done it) Safety kits and other related items are mandatory. Finally, don't forget to update the fishing license! So much to get ready but boy I just can't wait to get out there!

NMEA Network

04 May 2008 7:49 pm

Its been about a year now that my big boat has had a NMEA networked set of devices. I bought in a year too early as now all devices from most companies can be hooked into the system via the "red" plug system. The system that preceded this red plugs was "blue" ended/plugged and would only accommodate Lowrance related sensors and information receivers. If you have the blue ends they now have a converter cable from blue to red available forunder twenty dollars. I personally put the network in as my fuel measurement sending unit had been unreliable and I had also added a GPS active receiving antenna. The advantage to such a network is that it allows you to add not only the receiving sensor but also a means by which the information can be displayed on your boat's console (the LGC200 and 400 are really nice display units that correspond with gauge holes already drilled out of my dash). Last year was my first year with five items on the network and this year I will be adding a sixth sensor that will allow me to monitor my main engine. These are good changes that will continue to make boating less guess and more knowing what you're doing on the water at any given time.

Not so nice stuff on the Red

05 May 2008 6:13 pm

I'm generally a pretty positive guy. I like to think most fishermen are. Moreover I like to think I'm respectful of most when out on the water. Hey people work hard and the little bit of time they have off to get out on the water is pretty important. Well last fall I had an experience with a father and son group who came to fish with me that wasn't the most pleasant and left me rather dumbfounded by what can happen on the water ... even our Friendly Manitoban Red River. It so happened that I lucked into a spot on a spot last year that was kicking out good number of fish. It also follows on the Red when you get into numbers there's usually size involved as well. Well, it so happened that I went back to my spot that day with a father son group. I realize the river is public domain but good grief what happened that morning was beyond belief. The spot of course was doing that morning what it had done most of the season .... kickout fish. Other boats were beside us and behind us all I might add at a reasonable distance 15 yards or so.... The morning progressed,my guests were doing quite well and were hoping to have their shot at a big Kahuna. This situation however would never materialize as one particular boat would move in and through an anchor ---and here I'm not exaggerating--- not less than 10 feet from the back of our boat. We probably still could have caught fish but the distraction was too much for my guests. I too was a bit dismayed by the situation. I did my best to calm my guests and pleaded that this would not break out into open conflict as it would resolve anything. I did take the boat's registration number and hope that someday I might have an opportunity to talk sensibly about the situation (although I doubt they'd even remember the situation never mind recognize the ridiculousness of their actions) It was interesting that after the particular boat in question moved into position fishing shut down. If I was to make a plea to any and all anglers out there it to be a little more sensitive to you place relative to other anglers out there this fall. Moving in on a hot spot has to be done with some tact and respect for those who are already in position. Courtesy goes a long way towards respecting other people's precious time off work and limited time to get out on the water. I guess the oldest adage applies would you want to be treated that way if the reverse were true?

Setting up the down riggers

06 May 2008 5:58 pm

Another approach that going to be worked into the repertoire this year is going to be the down rigger. Trout? Nope I'm thinking controlled depth walleye fishing. Even if it means working areas that are twenty five to thirty feet, it'll be possible to put the bait right in the zone without the thought.... is the bait really at that depth. I've done a bit of this kind of fishing, especially with lake trout as the objective. Also of recent note have been other trout species up in the Duck Mtns. Now it'll be a question of putting down some spinner harnesses or even some stick baits.. Part of the challenge is going to be to put the right size of release for the terminal tackle being used. Walleye aren't necessarily know to give the best tugg when biting.... It'll be a couple of months before I get back to this note to reflect on what happened

Trailer lights

07 May 2008 8:56 pm

Again and again I find that on some of my smaller trailers I'm having tail lights fail on quite a regular basis. Firstly I guess you get what you pay for is the case as the lights I'm using on some of my smaller trailers are not meant to be submersible or pounded relentlessly on some of the roads I'll go down to get to that desired fishing hotspot. Oh well, at 1.99 or something like that it really doesn't pay to put the more expensive lights on..... so long as they work. To help things along I'm doing a couple of things now that seems to help with these less expensive light's longevity. It helps if you use the conductive grease that's available for putting on connections from Grote. Secondly I'm finding if I seal the lens cap with a really light bead of silicone it helps to keep the cap on for the life of the unit. Hook up is also significant and here I'll use the conductivity grease and connectors that can easily be opened if a change of light is necessary. Finally they are so expensive that just having a spare handy is a really good idea. If for example i work on a light for a couple of minutes and can't get it going.... well it's only about five minutes to change it out.

Lake Trout on the plank

08 May 2008 8:51 pm

Something new came along recently that has had me over at the local Revy buying cedar planks copper nails and fine copper wire.... what? Well I ran into a pretty cool recipe for lake trout that makes use of a cedar plank (about an inch thick) soaked completely submerged in a pail of water for at least a day. Well start by filleting the trout and placing it skin side down to the plank. The copper wire and nails are used to secure the fillet down to the plank and then the filet can be brushed with olive oil and lemon juice. I like to sprinkle a little lemon pepper on as well. Cooking the fillet is fairly simple as you just have to place it near to some hot coals and wait until the flesh turns alight golden brown or until the meat flakes away very easily.

Fish hunt

Cat Eye

09 May 2008 9:51 pm

Think about whitefish from bygone ice days it makes me wonder whether it would be possible to fish a little deeper and in the same lakes and bring a few home for the smoker. I guess I haven't really tried after early spring (where I've had some success) to go find those deeper holes and attempt to extract a few. If there was only some way to steady the boat and use the flasher like we do in the hard water season. This it would seem to me is a frontier that many have thought of but few have crossed. I did see a program once where a lodge owner on Eagle lake in Ontario had devised a means of getting down to ol soft-mouth and make him bite. It's just tough to remember how he accomplished the task fishing at such depth. If anyone knows who I'm talking about send me a note as I'd love to remember more.

Fish Photography

10 May 2008 6:37 am

It'll be the first year I'm heading out on the water with no less than a 5mp camera and very often a 10mp camera. My objective this year is to make the best of the technology all the while taking some great photos :) Sounds pretty easy but when I spend a few minutes with my new camera I begin to realize that there's a lot more to photography than putting the camera on automatic. The different priority settings can really have an interesting effect upon photos and then there's the whole issue of composition. seeing the fishing trip from different perspectives means those other shots that are more than the angler with fish. This is definitely one subject area that is going to be developed this year on this blog.

Fish Food

Cat Eye

11 May 2008 4:19 am

OK Lately I've been guilty of putting the catch either to the deep fryer or the smoker both of which have additives that are not good for your health. The deep fryer of course adds a level of oil/fat that will eventually lead to some kind of cardiac issues while the brine that I'll soak those fillets in and the smoke they have to endure for a few hours present a double whammy of blood pressure raising salt and carcinogenic toxins released when wood chips are burned. Darn it it's usually the really good stuff that's not too good for you in the end. Well I might add that just a little every now and then can't be all that bad. It's just how much and how often that you're into the stuff that end up causing difficulty health wise later on down the road. Well to counteract the prior culinary tendencies I've always had a couple of other alternatives I personally prefer a walleye fillet in the field steamed with some preferred spices and vegetables. Moreover a good bisque or soup with a fish stock is an excellent option for those days when it's good to have something warm to nibble on through the day. As the year goes on I plan to add to the cooking repertoire so not as to get stuck in any culinary rut.

Opener done

13 May 2008' 1:43 am

Opener antics. Well the season is under way and we did get out to a couple of unique fisheries. Firstly we started out the season by going out to the Whitemud to see what was the fish du jour (I'm always surprised at what is on the chew in this little river in the Spring). This year the big lake still has ice on it and there was only about 150 yards of open water past the mouth of the Whitemud. One of my favorite tactics for this little river is to go back about three to four miles when the lake has ice on it to see if there are any warm water species that have moved in for a feed. Quite unexpectedly there were no really interested takers in an area where some of my best angling memories have been generated over the years. Well the only other solution was to head back down the river to see what was in the process of entering into the river. Interestingly enough we didn't really run into the species we had anticipated would be in the river. The fresh water drum. However who had entered into the river was one fish that I really respect for it capacity to avoid anything that I'll offer to a fish to eat.. the common carp. Effectively the first mile or so of the river was carpeted with monstrous fish which would tickle our fishing fancy for the better part of the day that remained.

Lures tough to get

Cat Eye

15 May 2008 7:43 pm

A company who does change their tackle offerings quite often is Pradco. OK I like some of the stuff they make as I found particular niches for their tackle. It is however unfortunate that even when you do buy tackle in bulk as I do that you'll run out of a lure that has been especially effective. Argh, I guess it's back to the drawing board to try and find a suitable replacement for something that I know works quite well. BTW another company that has changed some of its tackle is blue fox. Both companies do respond to inquiries from the public but in this case a decision was made to change their tackle line and two extremely productive lures (well productive for me!) have been sidelined. It is interesting how often smaller lures are changed or dropped from product lines. Also interesting is how often a company will change its colour code.. I'm guessing to have people buy that bright shiny new one eh!

Different kind of live well

Cat Eye

16 May 2008 7:43 pm

Using your net as a live well in a boat that doesn't have one. Just a little insight that came from fishing with a new fishing buddy is that you can go a bit easier on fish in a bit with no live well by draping the hoop over the side of the boat allowing the fish to stay in the water while you prepare yourself for release or photos or both. There are a few other small considerations that make this idea even more feasible. Firstly it is a good idea that the net be capable of floating as you are hanging it out over the side of the boat with a source of propulsion within it. Secondly it is probably better that the net be of a finer mesh so as to not allow a smaller fish exit via a loop that might be two larger. Smaller mesh nets also help to avoid damaging a fish's fins as well. It's a simple insight but it does make a difference when it come down to preserving a resource that is truly unique and hard to regain once lost (trophy fish that is!).


Cat Eye

17 May 2008 12:28 am

Do you find that trailers can be a pain? OK for the big boats you've got no choice other than you leave the boat at the marina. Small boats on the other hand are another story. Yeah I know, flipping a boat on top of the car or truck is a bit of an ordeal. Having to empty or drag a boat isn't exactly an experience at the top of my "like to do" list. I find trailers for the most part t be practical and time saving for my small boats. There are however those factors that eventually you put out of your mind until it happens: 1) Bearing failure / flats, 2) Electrical failure, 3) Mechanical failure other than that related to wheels. Each of the preceding has its particular impact and heaven forbid you ever have trailer uncouple itself from your vehicle and go off by itself to destinations unknown. Generally speaking I spend a lot more time with my trailers upkeep than I do with most other equipment - and that's not a bad thing. I also end up purchasing a lot of stuff that I anticipate will go (or experience has taught me that are required) in the normal span of the fishing season. I guess it goes without saying that there are quite a few considerations that need to be kept in mind for the safe operation of your boat's trailer: Check your lights, safety chains, adjust your coupler if is too loose, fill the bearing buddies (or repack/replace bearing that are messy/making noise/loose etc), and for goodness sake be sure your boat tie downs are in good shape, finally be sure you replace a winch that's not quite up to snuff ....and attach that other safety chain (the one from the trailer to the boat!). Lastly be sure to update the registration. Be careful, be safe and happy trailering this year!


18 May 2008 6:05 am

Day two of the opening weekend meant heading out to a favourite trout lake in the Parkland region. Apart from the 17 or so trout we caught that day including four master angler sized brown trout, I did see something that intrigues me about what might make a trout bite. Two hooks could be seen from a distance as being particularly selective with the younger 14-16' rainbows in that particular lake. I saw a couple of anglers using a phoebe type of silver spoon andwere trolling it at over a mile and a half an hour with their electrically powered boat. The other was a black and white spoon also being trolled at a quicker pace than I am accustomed to seeing people trolling for trout. I am quite fascinated by different techniques and what I saw from these anglers (who were quite successful btw) was an approach that I had considered but had never actively pursued.

Fishing Friends

19 May 2008 8:20 pm

Got out to fish for a popular spring species today with a friend who consider to be the most analytical fisherman I know. Every aspect of his approach to fishing is measured by some thought process. itinteresting to hear him go through the process of preparing for the days fishing. Well even today's fishing trip had him so well prepared that he would have done well himself if he done it alone. His logic involved common variables that can be applied to any new fishery that an angler may try for the first time. Boat control, species research, seeing what the local fishermen are doing..... His ideas were germane to the species and time of year we found ourselves fishing in. he would have done just nicely if he had fished the river himself

A Brother's Due

Cat Eye

20 May 2008 10:20 pm

I'm fortunate to have the very talented family I have.... I look at the skills that all my brothers and sisters possess and I'm humbled. I have one brother who has worked his whole life outside in extreme conditions under very severe working conditions. He has a university education but decided that he wanted to go his own way. Part of that way has been a variety of outdoor experiences that should be documented but probably never will. I can however vouch for one of his experiences this past year had been to go back to what he did when he was younger....wrassle up a few cats. He had helped me make some adjustments to the boat and I felt it important that he be rewarded in what skills I have to share. Well let's just say he was smiling like a Cheshire CAT

Product review

Cat Eye

21 May 2008 12:41

About five years ago I bought a piece of equipment (a transom mount trolling motor) from Fulton products. I had the piece in use for a few years but then had put it aside for a variety of reasons. Of course I had used the instructions to put it into use the first time. Having removed the item I hadn't kept the instructions on how to properly install the item..... Well five years later and with a renewed perceived need to re-employ the unit I decided to send a quick e-mail to Fulton to see if they'd send me the installation instructions. Well about two hours later I received an e-mail with a .pdfattachment that was an answer to my request. Good company? Yeah you bet. Does it pay to buy a better piece of equipment from a company that may charge a bit more for their product. Yes.... and I've got the attachment on an e-mail to back that one up.

Stuff for a fishing trip

Cat Eye

22 May 2008 12:41

It happens on occasion when i go fishing I'll forget the odd thing. No I know I'm not the only one as a friend on one occasion had forgotten a net for catfishing and proceeded to land more than thirty catfish in a day by hand! Now the stuff I've forgotten has been no less important in fact I've forgotten a net on the odd occasion as well! OK what are some things that I try to remember. First there's the safety stuff life jackets, paddle, required safety items, anchor, bow line. Then there's the stuff for fishing, Tackle rods, bait, plastic and biodegradable bait, depth finder and the net. Of course there's the other stuff necessary, eg. camera and clothes (including rain gear) and lunch/drinks. As I sit here blogging this stuff there's a little question in the back of my mind that keeps asking.... Did you forget anything?

Drum in good numbers

Cat Eye

23 May 2008 12:41

About this time every year I try to make the yearly pilgrimage to one of the tributaries of Lake Manitoba to angle for some of the provinces best drum runs. The bite has its stages and seems to hit a peak about the last week of May. Saying the prior doesn't mean the drum aren't in at an earlier date, on the contrary they arrive probably about the beginning of the fishing season but are nearly as active. I've found that fishing with worms and still rigs work very well early in the season and then as the season progresses you can move to faster moving presentations that have connected visual elements of the local forage. Finally when the run reaches its peak and when fish are most active the fish will hit on crankbaits. Interestingly enough the larger walleye in the system are also susceptible to the same order of presentations as the season progresses. I find it very interesting when your expecting a larger drum and a monster walleye comes up to the boat.... well let's say that the magic of the 'Mud.