RELEASING BIG FISH PAYS OFF
Our guests make the trip to our Ontario fishing lodge for the opportunity to catch a lot of fish and big fish. With 85% of our guests buying a conservation fishing license with reduced limits associated with the license, we know they did not make the trip trying to fill a cooler with fish fillets. The method that lodge owners use to ensure lots of fish and big fish is catch & release of big fish.
The possession limits and catch & release sizes for Pine Cliff Lodge, shown in the previous section, are paying off with great results.
The biologists know that the large fish (exception: smallmouth bass) are mature females that lay most of the eggs. Removing the mature females from a lake can cause dramatic long-term decreases in the fish population of that lake.
For example, each pound heavier a female there can be a 10,000 egg increase or a ten pound female will lay 50,000 more eggs than a five pound female (5 x 10,000). With smallmouth bass, the males grow as large as the females; therefore, we can not protect just females with a catch & release size limit.
Smallmouth bass are catch & release only at Pine Cliff Lodge, because smallmouth bass only spawn every two or three years due to the northern location of the lake and the inability to distinguish males and females by size.
FISHING TIPS – FISHING TACKLE
Professional fishermen know they need to change their techniques and tackle according to the lake, the time of year, and the weather. Each lake is different. Lakes will have different clarity of the water, may be shallow or deep, may have muddy or rocky bottoms, may contain different structure, may have different forage to eat, may have different fish species, the lake level may vary, ice-out can be later or earlier, spawning is different; and this all affects how you fish.
In the specific fish species sections of this website, fishing tips that work on Sandybeach Lake at different times of the year are described. Listen to the lodge owner talk about the specifics of his lake, and do not assume what worked on another lake in May will work on a different lake in May or what worked in May will work in August on the same lake.
Check out our main fishing pages: