A fishing guide that’s worth checking out

It’s in between fishing seasons for most waters in the Adirondacks, so it’s a good time of the year to pick up a book on the subject to brush up on your skills and knowledge.

One book that I recommend checking out is “The Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing” by Mike Seymour.

A Canton resident and U.S. Coast Guard licensed guide, Seymour operates Captain Mike’s Fishing Charter’s on the St. Lawrence River where he guides for bass, walleyes, northern pike, muskellunge and yellow perch.

As a writer, Seymour has published thousands of articles. His work has appeared in numerous magazines including the Conservationist, New York Outdoor News and Outdoors Magazine, among others.

His 252-page book is broken into three parts: freshwater fishing, fly-fishing and ice fishing, and most common freshwater species.

The book is easy to read and works well as a reference book. It’s especially good for beginners and kids. It would probably make a good gift around the holidays for someone looking to learn more about the activity, whether they want to do it in the winter or summer.

“In reality, you can make fly-fishing as simple or as complex as you want it to be,” Seymour writes. “For example, you can get started by purchasing a packaged outfit from a reputable manufacturer. Such kits typically include the rod, reel, line, leader, and a couple of flies, and the outfits cost as little as $100.”

“A novice fly-fisher probably can’t go wrong with a 6-weight graphite rod, single-action reel, and matching 6-weight and floating fly line. Purchase such an outfit, and you are ready to go fly-fishing. Regarding equipment, keep this maxim in mind: ‘Successful fly-fishing is 30 percent equipment and 70 percent angler.”

For people learning more about ice fishing before this winter season, there is a chapter on that, too. Seymour goes over topics such as safety on the ice, comfort on the ice, gear, making holes and shelters, among other things.

Here’s what he has to say about catching yellow perch in the winter:

“Ice anglers love this cool-water fish because of its abundant numbers and active feeding throughout the winter. Furthermore, they have a fairly aggressive nature that is likely due to competition with other fish in the school, and they feed throughout the day. Yellow perch also make excellent table fare.

“Finding perch below the ice amounts to fishing around vegetated and soft-bottom areas because these spots hold the aquatic insects and small fish upon which perch feed. Prime winter locations where perch feed are weedy shorelines, weedy bays, flats with a sandy or soft bottom, tapering shorelines, flats with scattered or low-growing vegetation, mid-depth flats, and deep flats. Late spring offers the very best fishing of the winter because perch congregate on shallow, weedy flats and near tributaries.”

Just about any topic related to freshwater fishing can be found in this book. Because the book does deal with a broad range of topics about fishing, it doesn’t go into great depth about any of them. But that’s okay, there’s still plenty to read to get you ready for the next season.