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Sporty food fishing 'rewarded' in variety of ways

Dave White
Dave White

Mainly about catching cod, the 2017 summer groundfish recreational and resident food fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is in its third last weekend, this one a three-day stint before a legal three-week hiatus is imposed following Labour Day Monday.

By most accounts, the first part of the 46-day harvest for impromptu sportfishers and residents looking to build their winter food stores has enjoyed a good run so far, with plenty calm seas to navigate and some bigger fish to fry, bake, stew and boil. Fresh and salty.

    This year's federally-regulated season started on Canada Day, consuming four full weekends at the beginning, thereafter becoming a daily opening that lasted three successive weeks through Aug. 6.

   To be sure, there was lots of action to be found around local launchways and on the waters of the outer Bay of Islands, mornings, afternoons and evenings alike.

    Since, the fishing has been a weekender-only affair, with nothing much else to curb the enthusiasm of the committed, and those who ought be later on, maybe. Except for some overdue boaters a couple of weeks ago, safe outings have been the norm.

   Yes, it has been good fun and great food for the many who have already taken part. The those who have not stand reminded that the looming 18-day shutdown will give rise to a nine-day-long window, Sept. 23 through Oct. 1,  for getting in on it this year, daylight and weather permitting. The great big sea typically grows more turbulent entering the fall, and darkness set in earlier. 

   Meanwhile, late summer and early autumn yet offers fish lovers the chance to stog freezers with a wider variety of tastes from the ocean's bounty. Unregulated squid and free-ranging mackerel are also being hauled in of late. On weekends and weekdays alike, those particular species can be hooked with lures designed to their likings, and bigger catches reportedly moving like hotcakes around landwashes and on malls near you.

   While not everyone has a boat, after all, sportfishing rods and reels work well, as well, for sporting fishers up for dockside fights to feed, yours and theirs. Mackerel are strong and determined, lots of fun; and, be advised of a need to duck and weave if you happen to hook a squid or three at once on a single line. The latter occasion write their own endings with squirts of bitter black ink that can sting your eyes and burn any poetic boxer pride you may harbour. You will have a few choice words when they do, none too poetic.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at:

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