TROUT FISH­ING

ON THE SOUTH­WEST COAST

South Shore Breaker - - NAVIGATE ATLANTIC - BY ROS­ALYN ROY/THE GULF NEWS

Large game hunters from the United States ap­pear in high num­bers ev­ery fall look­ing for moose or bear, their pickup trucks al­ways heavy with sup­plies.atv rid­ers from across the coun­try visit the New­found­land T’rail­way Pro­vin­cial Park, leav­ing Port aux Basques to drive 883 kilo­me­tres to St. John’s be­fore turn­ing back. Surfers, al­most al­ways from Que­bec, come each sum­mer to the frigid but stun­ning beaches to con­quer waves birthed by the in­ces­sant winds.

If there is one sport that has got­ten less at­ten­tion from tourists, it’s prob­a­bly the trout fish­ing.

“I love trout­ing. It’s one of my favourite past times as long as I can re­mem­ber,”says Mark Lomond,who is chair of Sou’wes New­found­land Delta Wa­ter­fowl.“we have some stun­ningly beau­ti­ful back­drops when we fish.”

It’s hard to ar­gue dif­fer­ently.the south­west coast has more than its fair share of hid­den ponds, bab­bling brooks and me­an­der­ing rivers all backed by views of the Long Range Moun­tains or the North At­lantic.

Many of the best trout fish­ing ponds are closely guarded se­crets. Some are com­mon knowl­edge and some are sim­ply over­looked, even by lo­cals.

Lomond likes to fish right in town. Grand Bay West Beach in Chan­nel-port aux Basques is a pop­u­lar tourist spot, but it tends to at­tract mostly hik­ers or those look­ing for a quiet spot to pic­nic or re­lax be­fore catch­ing the Ma­rine At­lantic ferry.

“It’s not a se­cret spot.the se­cret is how big the fish are there!”

Lomond sees hun­dreds of tourists drive by, un­aware of just how good this spot is to catch a fish and cook it right on the beach while wait­ing for the ferry.

“The best part is, it’s a tidal zone, so there’s no sea­son. It’s open to fish all year round.”

Fish­ing is not just a sum­mer sport along the South­west Coast. Al­most all of the re­gion’s win­ter car­ni­vals hold an ice fish­ing com­pe­ti­tion, usu­ally with nifty fish­ing gear as top prizes.

An­other favourite place is right along the Tran­scanada High­way near the in­fa­mous Wreck­house. Called Stick Pond by the lo­cals, it takes a skilled fisher not to snag a line on one of the many dead trees pro­trud­ing from the wa­ter’s sur­face. Be­cause of the trees, this pond tends to be more pop­u­lar with ice fish­ers.

Then there’s that all-im­por­tant ques­tion about which bait is best. Lomond says there are plenty of op­tions, though like most fish­ers he has a pref­er­ence.

“Some of the best baits here in­clude worms, pork fat, moose meat, rab­bit tongue, mack­erel and my favourite, squid.”

While Lomond would be de­lighted to see more tourists take ad­van­tage of the great trout fish­ing in the re­gion, he does be­lieve the sport needs bet­ter manag­ing over­all.

“There is very,very lit­tle en­force­ment,” says Lomond.“many tourists I saw trout­ing were not even aware they needed a non­res­i­dent li­cense, so many non­res­i­dents are not pay­ing the fee.”

Rev­enues from fees could help bet­ter pro­mote trout fish­ing in the re­gion and make the area more at­trac­tive to tourists. In the mean­time, trout fish­ers like Mark Lomond are happy to take ad­van­tage of the bounty along the south­west coast.

“Some­times you just got to sit back and en­joy the amaz­ing scenery we take for granted.”

The rugged, un­scathed beauty of the prov­ince’s south­west coast has been at­tract­ing out­door sports en­thu­si­asts for decades.

JENNA FEAVER FISH­ING AT CODROY POND ■ MARK LOMOND

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