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No trout about it: Nearing the season’s end

René Roy is a book editor, photographer, volunteer firefighter, board member for the PAB & Area chamber, and diehard fan of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens team. Find him on twitter as @hfxhabby.

The trout season ended yesterday. So did the recreational codfish season, although we will still have a 9-day Fall season from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3. It’s true that nine days to stock your freezer at the last minute isn’t a whole lot, but from personal experience I can tell you it actually works out to be quite a bit of time.

I absolutely love fishing. Music or painting or similar artistic endeavours can be something that eases one’s mind, is therapeutic, and can help improve mental and emotional well-being. For me that equates to casting a line – fishing is my own private little therapy session. I don’t often worry about anything except the next cast.

So nine days at the end of the month is a great little bump to my spirits. I don’t own a boat (yet), but I do own a car and have spent a few seasons learning where fish are, or at least where they like to pass. This year I’ve done pretty good.

I fish from a pier or wharf using a really robust 9-foot rod. With the reel and line setup I have on, I am usually good for fish up to 30 or 40 lbs. While I don’t always get a cod on, I almost always hook something. I have pulled up the good old reliable nuisance fishes, and of course I have pulled in mackerel, herring, perch, sea trout and cod. By the way, did you know that a sea trout isn’t really a trout? Well, it looks like a trout, but its classified as a member of the Drum family of fish. I digress.

Two years ago, with an almost identical setup while chasing cod, I went to a hot-spot and hooked into a huge cod, and I do mean huge. It was so big (Yes, this is one of ‘those’ stories.) that when I got it to the edge of the pier my rod cracked off and I swear that fish winked as it swam away. I don’t mind losing a fish, but the rod really hurt my feelings. I have not yet hooked the culprit again to complain to its face.

This year, what I have been getting 90 per cent of my time casting is pollock. I don’t know if you have ever had one on your line, but if not you really ought to try to hook one. They fight way above their weight class. Pollock can reach up to 50 pounds, but I seem to stay with the 8-15 range and that’s challenging.

They dig and twist and wear you out in a hurry, but what a rush when you get a big one pulling your tip to the water. My new fishing buddy, Mike, had never heard of pollock before moving to NL this summer, but he loves fishing for them now.

Pollock are a great fish to deep fry. It’s a succulent white meat, very similar to cod. I highly recommend it. But pollock is classified in the same category as cod. It’s a recreational groundfish. So If I get one, it counts against my five cod limit.

I know saltwater casting isn’t for every fisher, but I can promise that getting a hit on a pollock will make your day. No matter what you fish, I wish you tight lines on Sept. 25!

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