The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

The Joy of Fly Fishing in New Brunswick

October Fishing The Saint John River at Jemseg

Posted: 07 Oct 2012 05:09 AM PDT

red fall coloursI have to say my favourite time to go fishing is in October, for a couple of reasons.

1. The fact that the pickerel and smallmouth bass are doing their best to fatten up before the long cold winter sets in gets me excited just thinking about going fishing.

2. I have never been able to get enough of fall colour changes in the trees and it just seems to make a day of fishing just that much more enjoyable.

All Eyes on The Cannan River

When we take highway #2 to the Saint John river and Jemseg area we always want to see what the water looks like on the Cannan so I have my eyes and usually my camera facing in the direction as we pass over the bridge.

Thursday there wasn't the slightest ripple. Just one huge mirror reflecting the trees and sky back at me. I would love to see a big ole smallmouth jump out of the water just as I snap a picture, but that's never happened, yet. After all they only have about 1 second to impress me as we fly over the bridge at 110 Km/hr.

Jemseg Bridge Over The Saint John River

I am standing under the Jemseg Bridge in the picture below and there was barely a breeze at all. Just enough to give a slight ripple to the water. It was warm enough that I didn't even need a jacket, a sweater was working great.

saint john river at jemseg
October 4th, 2012 Under The Jemseg Bridge At The Saint John River

casey at jemseg bridgeFirst we put on a favourite lure and then trolled across the river and then down towards Harts lake.

Just before we reached Harts lake Casey caught the first pickerel of the day. I think it would have made a nice little snack for a musky. I think that's the last three fishing trips that he's caught the first fish of the day. I need to get better trolling lures.

After that first fish it was about an hour before we even saw another fish move. But this time it was me that caught it and I was on the board with one fish each. I caught my first pickerel casting a red senko style worm into the weeds along the shoreline.

The pickerel were moving but not very fast and mostly just turning toward the bait and then ignoring it. So we would see a swirl or a short wake and then nothing. It took them a while to warm up enough to get crazy, the way I like them.

The Pickerel Were Giving Casey A Complex

Once the pickerel turned on they seemed to ignore Casey so after I had landed another 8 pickerel and missed as many Casey was starting to get a complex. We were even using the same baits so if the pickerel were on the other line I'd have a complex as well.

Of course once Casey did finally get a pickerel on the line it had to be the biggest of the day, to that point. I even netted it for him, without trying to knock it off the hook. So Casey was back in the game.

Retrieving Casey's Bait

At one point Casey had a fat chain pickerel attack his bait. He almost got it into the boat and then it was gone along with his bait. I didn't think we'd see that fish again but shortly after I hooked into that same fish and when it was in the boat it spit out Casey's bait.

Drawing Pickerel Out of The Weeds

pulling pickerel out of the weedsIf you fish pickerel and bass you can probably relate to drawing them out of the deep weeds you can't get the boat into.

My personally preference is teasing pickerel out of the weeds without hooking them. I just love watching the wake as they follow the bait and it's even more exciting when there are more than one wake coming at my bait.

Casey was using a fluorescent yellow senko style bait while I was using my favourite red senko worm. We were tossing them back in the weeds, sometimes really far back into them. Then we would drag them up and over the weeds and draw the pickerel out closer to the boat. So much fun.

Most of them would attack or follow the baits but I had a couple of leapers. These pickerel would clear the water by at least 2 feet and would fly through the air for about 6 feet and smack down on the bait. That's my kind of pickerel.

The Biggest Pickerel of The Day Was 24"

24 inch chain pickerelAs we got close to the entrance to Harts lake Casey pointed out a spot that usually hold fat bass or pickerel.

He no sooner pointed it out and I cast right to were he was pointing on the first cast and hooked the 24" pickerel on the left.

I didn't mean to steal his fish but it was just instinct to cast where he pointed. Next time Casey will have to show me by casting there himself.

The day just got better and better and by the end of the day we had landed and released 31 pickerel. Casey had 10 pickerel for the day while I had managed to get 21 pickerel. Definitely an advantage to be in the front of the boat.


As we putting the boat back on the trailer and getting ready to leave two guys drove in with their boat ready to start fishing striped bass along the bridge. I think I'll start lifting weights now so I will be ready to battle a few stripers and maybe even a few musky next year.


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