"PHANTOM" net - Colpoys Bay
stu paterson <Send E-Mail> -- Tuesday, 21 8 01, at 12:42 a.m.

Grant a few days ago heard a message on 68 bout a fisherman who had a scare when he got caught up on a commercial fishing net. He said it was past the "claybanks" at the 2nd claybanks near the northern mouth of Colpoys. Next day I dropped into the Wiarton Home Hardware and bought a good pair of wire cutters. This guy said he called the MNR but had no satisfaction. The commercial fishing folk should be required to post a "missing net" report at nearby launch ramps so everyone is aware of the possible danger. Later that night, we landed a leaper, a nice 8 pound rainbow on a silver pock marked lure with orange stripe. Bout 63 ft. down over 90..Then a small green boat ( containing 3 veteran looking fishermen) came too close behind us and snagged that successful lure...I was using a very long lead. He was as one would say "up my ass.." It is a big water, I guess he didn't think I use long leads. I then caught a 15 lb. salmon on a silver/light blue Silver Fox, bout 60 ft. down over 110.
Really enjoy your Thursday columns..That's the only day we pick up the Owen Sound paper..Enjoying our place at Oxenden...Hope to meet you finally, during the big tourney. Our friend Lorne is great..He's been very helpful. Keep up the super effort ..!!! By the way what color is your "quiet" motorcycle? I keep looking for it hoping to meet you ..
Stu Paterson

Grant! Re: "PHANTOM" net - Colpoys Bay
Grant Ferris <Send E-Mail> -- Tuesday, 21 8 01, at 12:02 p.m.

Phantom nets or just poorly marked nets are a constant hazard. About the only place you won't find them is Owen Sound. Some people think there are hundreds loose in Lake Huron, some temprarily anchored or snagged at one end and some just drifting along killing fish. Carrying a pair of wire cutters is just as important as having lights on your boat in my opinion. In fact I have one wirecutter at each side of my boat, I keep them beside the downriggers and I've used them to cut my cables.

I got stuck in a suspected ghost net off the Bruce Nuclear station and so have lots of other anglers but despite considerable effort on the part of Kevin Barber (MNR enforcement supervisor, Lake Unit) that particular net has never been recovered. On a trip to Chantry Island a few years ago I found one washed up on the shoreline.

As for posting warnings of lost nets at boat launches, we might as well post a permanent warning because nets are simply part of the many hazards on the big lake. I've only heard of one angler admitting to losing a net and when it was found he said he would come and get it if he could get a crew...and then did not, he used the crew to lay more nets. The MNR hired a commercial dredger to recover it and guess who paid. This took place just about a month ago north of Southampton. On the other hand, there are responsible and conscientious commercial anglers out there but they get little reward and the ones who violate rarely if ever are caught.

Nets in use are supposed to have a buoys on both ends and have identification on one end but I wouldn't hold my breath on that being enforced either. The MNR is short-staffed and spread mighty thin.

Thanks for your praise about my columns, I hope the new owners of the Sun-Times read your post! Too many Ontario newspapers have dropped outdoors columns in the last few years...as if there are less anglers!

My motorcycle is such a dark purple that it looks black, it's a 1984 Goldwing with twin aerials so I can be seen by uncaring drivers. You might be better off looking for my boat, a 16 foot white Crestliner with the red letters "Stoker Too" on the side. It will be towed by a white 1995 Ford Explorer that has yet to be dunked off a launch ramp.

Perhaps we'll meet during the Salmon Spectacular derby, I should be at the circus tent every day at some time, running around with a Nikon camera.

Grant in Bruce County.