Archive | April 2016

NHL gives NBA ass-kicking at the turnstiles.

By Jim Brown

I can’t believe it. According to stats obtained from ESPN, even with all seven Canadian teams tanking the NHL still outpaced the NBA in attendance during the 2015-2016 season. Thirteen teams reported 100 per cent or more capacity for the entire season, vs just nine for tne NBA (both leagues have 30 teams). Also, several NHL teams were substantially over capacity, with the Minnesota Wild leading the way (113.2 per cent), followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (110.9 per cent) and the Boston Bruins (109.6 per cent). That compares to just 104.9 per cent over capacity for the top NBA team. No question which league has the most loyal fans – fans who are willing to shell out cold hard cash to watch their team play in an arena. Talk about a good old fashioned ass-kicking at the turnstiles.


Time for Bernie to pull the plug

By Jim Brown

I really don’t know why Bernie Sanders is still running after his blowout loss to Hillary Clinton in last night’s New York primary. The guy has millions of dollars in donations from loyal supporters and can expect millions more. What a colossal waste of money when he has no chance of winning. If he stopped his campaign right now he could divert the cash to more productive uses – such as helping the homeless, or providing bursaries for deserving lower income students.

The running of the bulls in Stanley Bridge

By Jim Brown

On Friday some cattle got loose onto St Mary’s Road, near Stanley Bridge, causing heads to turn and traffic to halt for a few brief moments while they were corralled by their owner. That got a good friend of mine to remark that things were pretty wild in Stanley. She said maybe the cattle would make their way to the world famous roundabout, which is probably the only one in Canada, perhaps even the entire world, without concrete curbs and without a raised surface in the centre to direct traffic in a circle, only a bright yellow bullseye in the middle and bright yellow markings leading to it. If only we had a little imagination at the provincial level we could make our roundabout a smaller version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona. We could erect barricades around it, funnel bulls into the roundabout and then admit paying tourists and locals who want to try their luck outrunning them. Overnight Stanley Bridge would be on the map and we’d have so many visitors from away we’d run out of hotels and cottages to accommodate them. If only…

Slob anglers paid for my coffee

By Jim Brown

Thanks to some very generous slob anglers I was able to collect enough bottles and cans at my favorite trout hole in New Glasgow to buy coffee and a refill at the Kensington Bakin’ Donuts. Is it too much to hope for the same kind of luck on my next fishing trip? 007

PEI needs “Premium Angling Pass”

By Jim Brown
It seems every Islander wants to be at the streambed on April 15.
It’s opening day for trout season on PEI and there is still a crisp snap in the air, a lingering reminder of a winter just past. Everything is still clean and unspoiled. But after sunrise the first slob anglers will have arrived and before long beautiful, sun-dappled pools will be soiled with garbage –  coils of tangled line ready to ensnare and slowly strangle birds and other wildlife and mounds of cigarette butts, crushed worm containers, smashed beer and pop bottles, disposable coffee cups, food wrappers, even condoms and tampons.
So is it any wonder many anglers decide to pack it all in by early May?
Why bother? Before much longer agricultural runoff will seep into rivers, streams and estuaries and everything will be coated in a green slime.
My fishing license and conservation card cost me $34 and change and I’ll probably only need it for five or six trips.
It just isn’t fair. Why isn’t there a trout license out there for us folks who only want to fish for the first couple of weeks of the season, who want to get to the streambed before all the slob anglers descend to ruin the sport?
So here’s a proposal for making the season more palatable to those of us who want our two weeks on the water before hanging up our rods and other gear. And it can also generate some much needed revenue for provincial coffers.
Why not create a special license and start the season for those license holders a week earlier, say April 8? Charge an extra $50 for the special license and call it “The Premium Angling Pass” to give it a certain cachet of exclusivity. So for the extra fifty bucks the season is extended by a week and you get to the streambed before the slob anglers.
Many of those riff-raff anglers would rather spend their cash on beer, smokes and donuts, so they won’t be the first in line.

Imagine the thousands of extra dollars our provincial government could earn just by extending the season a week. And to tell you the truth I bet you the vast majority of “Premium Angling Pass” holders won’t be around after April. And I also bet they will also be the more responsible stewards of our waterways – practicing catch and release and cleaning up after themselves, leaving their favorite fishing holes as pristine as they found them. I would gladly pay extra to see my favorite trout pool close to the state Mother Nature intended. Wouldn’t you?


Preparing for lobster season

By Jim Brown

North Rustico harbour was abuzz with activity over the past few weeks as the start of lobster season drew closer. Mountains of traps were moved to the wharf and several fishermen could be seen making last minute repairs and adjustments to their traps. Setting day is April 30.

Smelt are running on PEI

By Jim Brown

A blanket of snow covering the Island for much of the winter retreated in early April, allowing fishermen to move close to the banks of streams and rivers and to lower dip nets into clouds of schooling smelt. These fish were caught in North Granville.