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Hello All,

Happy to announce that I have produced a Wildlife Calendar for 2016.

As in previous years, the calendars are printed off-site on heavy stock paper.

CalendarNew

Cost: $24 (includes shipping)

Payment: e-Transfer, PayPal, and Cheque.

The initial print run is 50. These calendars make great gifts and look stunning in the home.

To order, or find out more information, contact me at: Justin.Hoffman@rogers.com

Yours In The Outdoors,

Justin

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Hello All,

With fall having arrived, it is time to head back into the deer woods for another season.

A favourite spot is 15 minutes from my home, public land with no hunting, offering plenty of whitetail deer with some big bucks mixed in.

Headed out this past Sunday (Sept. 20) to scout some areas and set up the trail cameras. Spotted a nice 8-pt. buck almost immediately, as well as a handful of does and fawns. With most of the leaves still on the trees, lighting was tough for photography.

Checked on the trail cameras three days later. Excited to find a lot of action was captured, including an 8- and 10-pt. buck taking part in some light sparring action! First time capturing that on the cams.

Here is some of the footage I captured:

Four bucks have been spotted in total, including a 4, 5, 8, and 10-pointer.

Looking forward to seeing what this week holds!

Yours In The Outdoors,

Justin

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Hello All,

With the whitetail deer rut in full swing, the last few weeks have provided a great opportunity to capture images of bucks displaying various behaviours. I have been fortunate to find and photograph nine separate bucks over the last six outings, including one big 10-point that I was able to also photograph last fall.

As of this week they are chasing down does, getting into scraps with other bucks and traversing territories. They certainly throw caution to the wind, and I am able to get very close to them in most situations. Mr. 10 allows me to get within 20 feet of him without a care in the world.

This is a tract of public land that is off-limits to hunting, found close to the city centre of Ottawa, Ontario.

Here are a few images I have captured – as well as two short videos I have filmed while out in the field.

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Yours in the Outdoors,

Justin

(click on images to view in full size.)

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And The Winners Are…

Congrats to the two winners in my latest contest! Out of the 84 entrants, the online Random Number Generator selected the following two submissions:

First Prize – bhardy@pridesigns.com

You win a selection of Lurenet baits – YUM, Bomber, and Booyah.

Second Prize – timbaker68@hotmail.com

You win the new “The Snip” from The Boomerang Tool Company.

Thanks to all that entered…and look for another contest in the New Year. Thanks also to Lurenet and The Boomerang Tool Company.

(An email has been sent to both winners requesting your mailing address.)

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Hello All,

With summer winding down and fall upon us, fishing seems to be coming in to that “turnaround” phase when conditions change and action can be hot and cold from one day to the next. I was fortunate to embark on three outings this past week – here is the synopsis.

August 30

Hit my stretch of the Rideau River today. Plenty of weather fronts moving in and out on this outing, but luckily I was spared any rain. Conditions would go from this:

To this:

These changing weather patterns certainly had the fish wired up. For the most part, largies were found very shallow on this day, and nearly all were relating to the edge of floating slop in one to two-feet of water. A Texas-rigged Paca Craw did the trick.

All ten of my fish (and the handful of other fish I lost or missed) came from the distinct edge of slop in the photo below. It was simply a matter of pitching and dunking my offering.

 

August 31

Dad and I hit my favourite “big bass” lake today. This was the spot that Andy and I found a bunch of smallies on an offshore finger the previous week, so I was optimistic we could replicate that action.

Due to the lack of rain this summer, water levels were down a good two-feet or more this outing. This can cause some aggravations when launching, as I utilize two large farm planks and back the boat in from a field/makeshift launch. In the end all was good, and off we went in search of some bronzebacks.

The waypoints I punched in to the Humminbird the previous outing had us back on the finger in no time. First cast for Dad and up comes a smallie. I was certain we were in for an action-packed day. Sadly, only one other fish showed itself from that finger, and the day became a real “run and gun” event, making us work hard for our fish. Definitely a one-or-two-fish-per-spot outing.

We fished a variety of depths and caught fish both shallow and deep. Some of our largies came from 18-foot of water and a smattering of smallies were found in water less than five-foot deep. It was all over the place.

Here is a shot of my best two fish. The smallie came from 16-foot of water and struck a one-ounce Fin-tech TitleSHot “Football Jig” coupled with a Double-Wide Beaver creature bait. The largie came from a rock/weed shoreline in 6-foot of water and came on a 1/2 oz. Strike King flipping jig and YUM Chunk.

I did miss a “nickle” on this outing! She was sitting in a weed clump over a piece of wood. I thought she had the jig in her mouth when I set the hook, but it was not to be. I have her address…and will be definitely knocking on her door once again.

With the day winding down and while heading back to the launch, I motion over to three docks within eye-sight of the ramp. “I’m going to go and pitch to those three,” I said. My Dad opted to sit in the back of the boat and watch.

First pitch at Dock #1. Bang. Bass in the boat. First pitch at Dock #2. Bang. Bass in the boat:

Third pitch at third dock. Bang. (Rock) bass in the boat ;)

We both decided to throw frogs to a smattering of pads at this point. The last fish of the day sucked in my LiveTarget offering.

Running and gunning was the moniker of the day – as was trying a variety of structure and depth areas and various baits. We managed 15 fish which we were both pretty happy with. If the smallies had have been on that number would have been much greater. Oh well. It will only get better as the water cools.

 

September 1

This day was hot and sunny with very little wind. The weather showed itself to be at its most consistent on this outing, but the fishing action left little to be desired.

I had four hours to fish the Rideau before heading back to Ottawa. In that time frame I had one two-pounder to show for my efforts. Was disheartening to say the least. Fish were off big time. I was happy to pull the plug on the day.

Water temperatures during all three of these days ranged between 65 and 70 degrees.

As the leaves change the action is sure to heat up. Fall is my favourite time of the year to get out on the water – little boat traffic, no bugs and fat and sassy bass. The next few months should be a blast.

Until next time…

Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on images to view in full-size)

 

 

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Hello All,

This past Sunday afforded me the opportunity to fish with my good friend Christine Cope. Our time on the water is fairly limited with her past MP training, and since she is about to embark to Cold Lake, Alberta for an extended stay, getting in a few trips to the lake is definitely our hope.

Growing tired of the smallmouth game up in North Bay, Christine was itching for a day of heavy cover largies. It was off to my stretch of the Rideau River.

The heat had been insane leading up to this excursion but a small front came through the night before that diminished the humidity greatly. One thing I noticed immediately upon launching this morning – an east wind. The wind had not blown from this direction once in all of my trips to the river this season, and as the old adage goes, “wind from the east….fish bite least.” I hoped this wouldn’t be the case.

We started off the morning fishing some shallow flats with a mixture of vegetation. I was alternating between a Wake Bait and Swim Bait, while Christine stuck to her old faithful, a soft stick bait. Within 30 minutes we had two on the topwater and one on the “stick”, but all were fairly small in size.

The frog bite was completely off this day. In fact, we failed to coax a single blow-up. The frog/slop bite has been hot leading up to this outing, so I was scratching my head somewhat. Hmmm, east wind curse??

The shallow water slop/shoreline bite was also off. Although we did pick off a few fish, for the most part, it was a scattered bite and more of a “one fish from a spot” kind of deal. We decided it was time to seek out different water.

Taking a run down the river we came across some slop patches that were located a considerable distance from shore. These were situated over two to three-feet of water and covered a mud/sand bottom. Our luck finally changed. We began to pick off fish by pitching craws or creature baits to the edges. I picked off two quick fish but then lost my next three. (Not something you want to do on a tough-bite day!)

Next stop was a point. This point always holds a fish or two. It is pretty much guaranteed. And for an obvious reason – slop over a rock bottom. Largies LOVE holding over rock in these shallow, fertile lakes. There are often not many spots like these to be found, but if you can, generally you will find fish.

Christine pitched her creature bait to the edge of the slop, and like clock work, a largie wandered out and sucked it in. This was a strange largemouth. It had the head of a much bigger fish, but boy was it’s body suffering from malnutrition. Still, a decent fish and Christine’s best of the day.

It was taken from the edge of slop right behind her in this first image.

We picked up a few more fish from an undercut cane island before calling it a day. But not before jumping in for a refreshing dip.

The fishing was certainly sub-standard on this day. We put 13 fish in the boat but certainly worked hard for them. Did the east wind affect the fish on this outing? Perhaps. It certainly makes for an interesting discussion.

Regardless of the poor results, spending time with a friend and catching up over many laughs is what fishing is all about. Let’s face it – catching fish is a bonus on an outing like this!

Until next time…

Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on images to view full-size versions)

 

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July 19, 2011

Hello All,

The temperature is certainly warm, and with little surprise, the bass action has been equally hot.

With light winds and a humidity of 40-degrees, I launched into the Rideau River this past Tuesday. One thing that became obvious early on was how the ferocious storm from two nights earlier had decimated many of my mid-lake slop areas. I am certainly used to them moving around or changing size as the season progresses, but have never witnessed huge expanses disappear completely. Finding new water would be the name of the game this outing.

When the water warms and the sun blazes overhead, largemouth always seek out some sort of shelter. This can take the form of docks, laydowns, slop, pads, and thick weed clumps. Prodding this heavy cover is generally your best bet for getting bit.

Shoreline slop coughed up the usual fish as did the odd deep laydown. The largest concentration of largemouth were found in two distinct spots – undercut banks and small, isolated slop mats found a considerable distance from shore. Isolated cover – be it pads or slop – should always be investigated, as roaming bass utilize these shaded canopies once the sun begins shining, and the more isolated they are, the better the chance is for it to cough up a fish.

Frogs, flipping jigs and Texas-rigged creatures or craws accounted for the vast majority of fish.

Put 14 largies in the boat. Best fish was a chunk that weighed 3.61lbs – sadly she snapped my $500 flipping stick in half….not on the hookset, but during the subsequent fight! I still managed to land it even with half of my rod in the water.

July 20, 2011

Wednesday was even hotter than the previous day, but the stiff breeze is what really made fishing uncomfortable. I decided to head to a different stretch of the River to change things up and fish some new water.

Finding fish was a bit tougher during this outing, and even when I could find productive spots, controlling the boat became a definite nuisance. I figured out one pattern early on, and that was to fish shallow. Nearly all of my fish were pushed right up against the bank, and either hiding under slop mats or relating to undercuts. I’d say 80-percent of the fish came from water less than a foot deep. Fish were also relating to rock, and any boulders combined with shoreline slop coughed up fish. This pattern was on so I spent much of the day looking for similarly-styled water.

Flipping jigs and Paca Craws worked like a charm today. I stuck with the latter for most of the slop or “edge” fishing and pitched jigs to undercut banks.

Finished off the day with 13 fish boated. And of course, a refreshing swim.

Proven Products

Working in the fishing industry allows me to test drive a lot of new products. Catching fish is the ultimate goal. Comparing them to similar baits or lures, and judging if they work better, is what really gets me excited.

Two products have stood out for me over the last month. They are the Kopper LIVETARGET Frog and the line of Lazer Trokar Hooks.

Not only does the LIVETARGET Frog have the most realistic look on the market right now, but the hooking percentage has drastically increased from what I once achieved with other frogs. I’d put it in the neighbourhood of 80-percent. These frogs have accounted for 40+ fish for me this season already – I’m definitely impressed to say the least.

I do a lot of pitching and flipping. It is pretty much my bread and butter when it comes to bass. Finding a hook that is strong, sharp and has excellent fish-holding power is something that is definitely important. It really means the difference between getting that fish in the boat or not.

The Lazer Trokar line of hooks have been an eye opener. I have been using the Magworm (TK120) for all of my Texas-rigged plastics this season and they sure do work great. I don’t think I have ever come across a hook that holds in a fish’s mouth so well. Half of the time I am reaching for the pliers when unhooking fish – and I sometimes struggle to pop the hook out. Besides that they are sharp, and are the only hook on the market using surgically sharpened technology.

Two great products that have definitely contributed to my catch rate this season – be sure to check them out.

http://www.livetargetlures.com

http://www.lazertrokar.com

Stay Cool and Good Fishing,

Justin

(click on photos to view full-size image)

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