Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Field Advantage

So I have been spin fishing again.  For the past four years the only rods I owned were fly rods, and all I have done is fly fish for trout and pan fish.  Since we moved to a place where trout fishing is not the norm, I have been trying to figure out how to consistently land bass on my fly rod.  This challenge is proving to be a tall order for me for some reason (I guess I just think like a trout most of the time).

This was our fishing buddy for part of the afternoon.  (it's a Cormorant)

In an effort to figure out what types of flies I am going to need to consistently land bass, I bought an old cheap spin rod to chuck rubber worms in the meantime and I have been fishing with John, a member of our church.  You may recall my post on how I am still a fisherman first - on that trip I caught a lot of bass and one big one.  John caught four or five big ones, but nowhere near the numbers I was catching.

This just goes to show that I catch bluegill on everything, even a giant bass hook and worm!

This past Friday, John had a day off work and the weather was amazing, so we loaded up the bass hunter (a cool little boat for still water fishing) and hit the water.  As nice as the day was, the fishing was kind of slow.  I hooked up with a big pickerel, but as it tangled itself in the weeds and rolled around it cut my line.  It was a good sized fish and kinda threw me for a loop for the next couple hours.

Meanwhile, John was in the back of the boat hooking up with some bass and pickerels and doing well.  I was having a bad day for catching fish, but honestly, bobbing along on a pond with the weather in the high 70's and a breeze, I was fine with just being there.  So finally on a cast next to some lily pads, just as the worm hit the water there was a thump on the other end of the line.  I set the hook hard and hauled in a bass that was the size of the fish I caught last Sunday.  A nice, healthy, big bass and I felt much better about my day.  After checking the power on the battery the captain made the call to start heading to the truck.  We were getting near the rock I caught the big fish off of the last time we went out and I got a knot in my line and was not able to cast to it.

There it is!  The only bass that I got on the boat.   

So John lobbed one toward it, and I looked back just in time to see him setting the hook (in same hole I caught my monster in less then a week ago).  As soon as he set it we both saw a big splash of water and as he got it to the boat we realized just what he had on the other end of his line.  My fish last week was a hair over 15 inches and a little over 2 lbs.  The lunker John hauled in Friday was close to 19 inches, and weighed a hair over 4 lbs.  (4lbs 2ozs to be exact).  I guess if you fish a body of water long enough you get to know the fish and end up catching big ones on a more regular basis.

Here is the monster fish, and the guy who has home field advantage on this pond.  Maybe I'll put a fly rod in his hand and stand him in a trout stream sometime to show him that I can fish for something just not bass. 

All in all John fished like a champ on Friday and probably caught close to 20lbs of fish.  I guess sometimes it pays to have a little home field advantage.

Well done John, but next time I will land the monster.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Do your part! (Monomaster Reivew)

I was fishing this morning and this evening and with little fly action on the water I only managed to trick a couple fish.  Truth be told I just felt the urge to chase trout again, because I have been spending more time on the ponds lately.

After fishing two of my go to spots around here I continued to notice something that kind of set me off.  In the morning I picked up a pocket full of scrap line people had thrown on the ground.  Then this evening I picked up some power bait jars, worm containers, and another pocked full of line, all in the same spots I had been fishing this morning.

I know a lot of people who fish, and do not want to believe any of them or any of you just throw your trash and slack line on the ground.  The thing is someone is doing this and it just drives me nuts to think people can not just pocket the stuff until they get to a trash can.  Pockets what a wonderful invention, the  least we could possibly do is fill them with other peoples trash.   If you do not want to fill your pockets with the line for fear that you will forget it and end up running it though the wash machine how about a gadget?

I normally carry a plastic bag to collect trash and line while I am walking to and from the car.  Over the winter I bought a Monomaster to collect all the line people throw on the banks.  There are two things I love about this new gadget.  First is, it is simple but effective.  Second is a result of the first, that is I pick up all the scraps I see because I enjoy using it. 

So weather you go out and buy a Monomaster or you just start carrying a plastic bag with you, please try to do your part and help clean the shore lines.

Monomaster In Action from Sarah Weaver on Vimeo.

On a side note, my wife said I should try to do some small less wordy blog posts so followers are not always bored to tears from my ramblings.  So I might try to just add some short posts with a couple pictures through out the week.   Also I have a couple gear review that I have been neglecting and plan to get them cranked out in the next couple weeks as well.


Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm Still a Fisherman!

That is right I am still a fisherman and this weekend was a prime example of how I am still a blogging rookie.  Saturday morning I went fishing with John and Kyle from our church.  We only had a couple hours in the morning, but John and Kyle are from here and took me to a local spot that they knew we would have some luck at and helped me out with some spin fishing tactics.

We started out catching crappies, I caught two right out of the gate and was feeling good.  Then John got one and we kept moving.  As time was running out John caught a couple small bass and a couple small pickerel.  Then it was time to get the boat out of the water and head back to the house.

Sounds great right?  Now that I recapped the morning there would normally be some pictures of the trip right?  Well here is where my rookie status comes in - I had a camera in my gear bag, and never took it out.  In theory, I did not catch that lunker so it really does not matter right?  Well yesterday after church and a post church clean up day, John asked if I could get out and fish again, and I said yes before even thinking about my evening plans.

Once again time was limited but we had a good two and a half hours and so he took me on another great guided trip.  We hit a different body of water this time and once again I was out of the gates fast.  He was still putting a hook on as I was setting the hook on the first bass.  I hit a bunch of little bass in the first half hour.  Then John got in the game with a bigger 2 pounders and a couple pickerel.  We both went cold for a couple minutes and John moved us to a spot that he promised would have plenty of fish.  Once we got there he put another big bass in the boat.  I missed a couple, got some knots in my line and John started to catch more fish.  Finally I was back to fishing and he pointed out a rock that always holds fish I missed a couple off of it before we moved on.

After some hits off a rock I decided to fish a big rock at a new spot.  I cast my rubber worm out and let it sink a couple seconds, then gave it a couple twitches and gave a big hook set (the kinda stuff you see on tv shows).  After setting the hook I thought that maybe I got stuck on the bottom, but then there was a  head shake and I knew it was a good fish.  I started to work it to the top and John was very helpful reminding me that "it would be a shame to loose a nice fish like this one".

I got it to the boat and admired it for a minute, then measured it to be a little over 15 inches and weighed it in at 2 lbs 13 oz.   By far the biggest bass I have caught in over 4 years - but did I think to take a snap shot of the big guy?  NO!  Does this make me a blogging rookie?  Yes.

One thing this weekend showed me is that as much as I think I am a blogger, the truth is I am still a fisherman first, and sometimes it is fun to just fish.

I do not regret not taking a picture of these fish because I had a ton of fun, and after thinking about the spin techniques that worked all weekend I think I can dream up some fly patterns to do the same.  So stay tuned for that.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Pond Fishing 101

So I have decided to start pond fishing as a challenge (because I have been nailing the trout lately).  Plus I know more people who pond fish in town then trout.  So two week or so ago I got some rubber worms and took my spin rod for a trip.  I caught that pickerel and a couple perch.  Since then I have been doing poorly, missing fish and getting skunked.  So last week I took my fly rod with me, and caught a ton of bluegill.  
This was the first and smallest

All these guys were taken on a damsel fly

And they all hit like a ton of bricks.
 Well the problem with catching all these bluegill is I am hoping to catch bass, or perch.  I am stumped because I have been to the pond 4 or 5 times now and nothing but big bluegill.  Granted they are big bluegill, but they are not the fish I was hoping to catch.  So all you warm water fly fishers what am I doing wrong?  Or do I need to get on a boat or something?  Try some stuff further then a cast away from the shore.?

I guess I need more practice, and maybe that means just spending more time at the pond.


Monday, May 16, 2011

New Look

So my wife and I have been working on my blog, and though it is not finished the changes are underway.  Please take a minute and read the new welcome, check out some new pictures, and do not forget to check up on some garden posts Sarah has been putting up.  The transformation should be finished by the end of the week since it is going to be rainy and ugly here till at least Saturday.  As for other changes I want re-think the tabs at the top, and I will be fixing the Outfitters and Online shops pictures to make them blend with the background. 

Other posts to look forward to are a couple reviews (the William Joseph bag, and the Redington Putsuit).  Also I am learning to warm water fly fish, and really starting to love the damsel fly nymph.  Along with this warm water fishing comes some tests on the vise, so I will show you the different damsel flies I have tied.  Lastly I will be doing some surf fishing starting in June so stay tuned for some saltwater action (hopefully I won't need to wait that long)!


Friday, May 13, 2011

National Boating and Fishing Week

So I am very excited about national boating and fishing week (June 4-12) this year for three reasons and here they are.

TakeMeFishing.org – National Fishing & Boating Week

Reason number one, is I will be taking my wife fishing on either both the 4th and 5th of June as these are the free fish days here in the state of Massachusetts.  She is the reason I starting a blog and I plan on taking her fishing one or both of these days, as a little you share my hobby I share yours thing.  There are a couple nice ponds we can picnic at and she and I will spin fish from the shore.

Reason number two comes from the fact that we already have some plans for that week.  We have an event in New York City early in the week and we will be going there by way of Sarah's parents place in CT.  Which means I'll be fishing here in MA and CT, but it does not end there because my sister graduates high school at the end of the week.  This means Sarah and I will be traveling to PA as well and I plan to have a rod and reel on that trip as well.

Reason number three plays off of the fact that I will be in PA.  While I am in PA with my family I will be able to ask my mom and/or dad to go fishing with me like I did as a little kid.  We have not fished together in years and I think it would be nice to fish with them again.  They are the ones who taught me to fish and who bought me my first fly rod, so maybe I will even try to teach them some fly fishing skills.

So that is my plan for national take me boating and fishing week, what is yours? 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Week In Fish

Sorry it has been over a week since I posted anything, but if you look at the garden link you will see I have been working on the garden a little, and I have been fishing as well.  Sarah asked me the other day why after catching two new species and trying a new travel method I have not written about it.  Well here are the cliff notes version of the week.

I spin fished a reservoir from the shore early in the week, and landed two new species (Chain Pickerel and Yellow Perch). The other thing that is new is that we are back to being a one car family for about a month. We did this for two years in Atlanta and did just fine so we will make this work till we get the cars and licenses switched to the new state. In the mean time I grabbed my new bag, and my Redington and my TREK. That is right, it is peddle power for about a month. Okay enough typing here are some pictures of my week I caught a lot of trout but only took pictures of a couple of them.

This month's mode of transpotation!

The waters are tinted red/orange here and I think that is why the fish are darker here.

Cahill is still a very popular fly

OKAY friends does this fish look wild or was it stocked this year?

Got this guy on a spin rod, but I'll be on a boat/float tube soon, and that's when I'll be throwing flies at them!


This was taken with my phone, and this trout was taken on a quick trip one evening this week.