Fishing With Face

January 31st, 2013 at 4:01:10 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 83
Posts: 1365
Quote: Face
Nope, he's intact. That claw just happened to be turned. All of my guys are 100%. They're the ones that found a home and didn't get eaten by the bass over the summer. 12-16 "homes" for 7-8 craws and it's always dark-ish, so they mostly stay exposed all day. No conflict, no damage. Kind of sucks because now I'm pulling for them. Don't know how I'm ever gonna put a bass in there again and risk them getting eaten lol



They weren't, and I wonder how much that had to do with anything. The gill/mouth area is the first place I look when determining death, as sometimes they lay at weird angles and almost "check out", not moving even when stimulated. This one was completely static for the whole 2 minutes I was going over it, gills/mouth included, and didn't move until I touched it. I don't know if he sat on the ice too long, froze in, and then got encased, or whether they shut down into stasis like amphibians and "wake up" when they thaw, but it was cool either way. I'll have to do some research, I think.

10-4 on the hot water. Even the hose water that I filled it with versus the 32* water in the tank had me concerned, as it doesn't take much. These things are more hardy than your typical pet store tropical fish, but I've noticed the effect over the years I've done this. I've never had one shock to death, but the 10* difference between tank and crick or lake and tank usually makes them act funny, almost "seize up". But cold tap water was all I had, and I took a chance that a little bit of shock was better than 8 more weeks of frozen tomb =)


Chloramine, which is fatal to fish, is added as a germ killer to the tap water in my suburban city, so we have to add conditioner to the water before putting in the fish. I take it you don't have the same additives in your tap?
February 1st, 2013 at 4:15:26 PM permalink
Face
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I assume that’s what gives city water its slight chlorine smell? If so, then yes, I have that, too, as well as any other additives and detergents found in our taps.

When I first began this 4-5 years ago, I was really anal about that stuff. I had all sorts of bottles of junk that would control bacteria, break down chlorine, make tap water safe, blah, blah, blah. Then I started getting lazy. I was only topping it off, then I couldn't find the bottle, you know how it is. After a while, I just stopped using it all together. This year’s tank had 100% straight tap water without additives, including all the top offs and last week’s refill and I still haven’t had a problem. A few of those buggers have been swimming in it for nearly 9 months now, and are as fit as can be.

I noticed additional “gunk” that you may not want in a home tank, but I wanted it that way since I was trying to recreate as much as I could a natural environment. I had everything from a 2lb smallmouth, probably 80ish craws of varying size, minnows and chubs ranging from several year old 8” specimens to some freshly hatched. I had juvenile and adult bluegill, 12” yellow perch, largemouth, rock bass, tadpoles of varying maturity, snails, assorted nymphs and water bugs, and not a single thing succumbed to poisoning. About the only thing I could maybe contribute to a poisoning was that some algae I “planted” had died, but that could’ve easily been from lack of sun. The only things that ever died in my tank were either from predation or the bad case of ick parasites that took out my rock bass this year.

So I don’t know if it’s simply I got lucky and those chemical levels aren’t high here, or maybe all the bacteria and algae I allow to flourish break that stuff down, but I haven’t had a problem yet.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 1st, 2013 at 4:59:13 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 83
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Hmm, found this article from 2004 mentioning that only two water providers were using Chloramine in New York State, and that a third was considering it:
Quote: Cornell Water Article
In New York state chloramine is almost not used at all. Only two water providers (Seneca, Waterloo County) are using it on a routine basis.


Read the whole thing here.

If your water smells like chlorine, then it could be that the amonia was not being added. Chlorine evaporates pretty quickly, so maybe that is why the critters in your tank are still right side up. Of course it could be that they were raised on runoff from the Indian River nuclear plant, and are now indestructible...

February 1st, 2013 at 6:42:19 PM permalink
Face
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You got me stumped. I looked high and low but couldn't find anything about my water treatment or quality. I guess that's the product of living in a small town =/

I did find this though - This is snipped from the Scorecard.GoodGuide.com site, a place that lists and ranks Superfund sites across the country. Peter Cooper Corporation (PCC), the Superfund site I keep mentioning in my previous posts that I can literally walk to the end of my road and see, that is but a 10 minute walk from home where I've lived for ~22 years, and has been my #1 fishing spot that I've been going to since 1984 at 4 years old, was featured inside. The following parenthesis are mine to save some Googling. It said...

"The waste has been shown to contain elevated levels of CHROMIUM, ARSENIC (highly toxic), ZINC, and some organic compounds. Samples of landfill waste collected in 1988 during a Remedial Investigation showed total CHROMIUM concentrations as high as 44,000 milligrams per kilogram and ZINC up to 840 mg/kg. (safe levels of these two are between 0.2 and 45 micrograms). A composite waste sample contained CHLOROBENZENE (used in DDT), 2-butanone (industrial solvent), and low concentrations of ETHYLBENZENE (solvent), TOLUENE (solvent), 1,2-dichlorobenzene, NAPHTHALENE (mothballs), PHENANTHRENE, and FLUORANTHENE (carcinogen)."

No wonder I never get sick! The water I've been drinking for 24 years is straight poison, no germ could possibly live inside me! And this is also where my tank fish come from, so a little chlorine? Pfft. It's probably a breath of fresh air to them =D
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 12th, 2013 at 5:45:46 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
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Came across the story about the State Record 27 lb. lobster that was caught in Maine a year ago. Apparently, overfishing of lobster predators has caused an explosion in the lobster population.

This is not the record lobster:

February 12th, 2013 at 10:23:27 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Ayecarumba
Came across the story about the State Record 27 lb. lobster that was caught in Maine a year ago.


Wow, what a tank. How very cool that all the parties involved managed to keep it alive and released it back into the wild.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 8th, 2013 at 4:20:11 PM permalink
Face
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It’s a strange thing. Back when we got hit with a week of 50* out of nowhere, it didn’t register much. It was just another wonky week of WNY weather. But when temps held the 30*s this week, I felt the switch go off.

I can feel it. Cold and snow aside, winter is over. Although I almost always feel like fishing, it wasn’t until this week that the fire lit, when I felt I needed to go fishing. Something inside me was telling me it was time, despite the snow in my yard, ice on the waters, and no visible signs to speak of.

Today, I saw 8 guys who felt the same. These anxious fellows were already whipping flies into the runs and staging up at the rapids. And like the ancestors that would key on birds to find the fish, my key is here. The fishermen are out, and it confirmed that I still “got it”. Whatever weird tuning we have with the ebb and flow of nature, I’m still keyed into that frequency.

Ash and I will be taking our first whacks at fly fishing the run this year. We’ve got out poles and basic understandings; I just hope our lines stay tight. I posted on Facebook that “those who think that raising children is the hardest things they’ll ever do have never re-spooled a fly rod”, and I meant it. I can tie an improved clinch, or “Trilene” knot, in the dark, half asleep, one handed, and mostly drunk, and do so in less than 30 seconds. Tying a damned blood knot or nail knot without a nail was only achieved through the use of copious amounts of rage and Master’s level cursing. It took me nearly 90 minutes just to get one of them up and running and I still never sussed out that damned blood knot. Probably gonna cut it and give it another whack once my patience level returns to normal.

I’ve got a lot planned this year. Fly fishing and spinning the Catt for trout, hitting the ponds before weed-in for crappie and largemouth, returning to the Catt for smallies and late season trout, and of course trolling my brains out in the depths of Lake Erie. I hope to add some new trips this year, most notably heading to Wyoming to fly fish for cutthroat, and, if I can build up the courage, taking Captain Jax’s Sparrow way out to the US/CAN border for walleye. I suppose a trip out to the Dirty Burt for some fall combat fishing is always a possibility, and I’ve had my wallet’s eye on gearing up for some Niagara River/Lake Ontario salmon fishing if I can put the massive amount of finances together.

Either way you slice it, I should have a lot to post about this year.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 9th, 2013 at 7:05:58 PM permalink
Face
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I was talking to Jonny L, getting him excited for this year’s fishing, when we began reminiscing about “the worst fishing trip ever”, a trip we took 3 or 4 years ago. I’ve got nothing better to do, so I thought I’d share as I wait for some new fishing stories to come, which should start rolling in about 6 days (and counting ;))

It was July 13th of 2009, a date I remember because it was the week I quit getting high. Jonny L and I had just started reconnecting in friendship over cast lines and bobbers after parting ways after high school, and I had just acquired Captain Jax’s Sparrow. Getting that boat was a lot like getting your first car; suddenly the world lay before you and you could go anywhere. We spent a lot of the spring discussing locales while floating the various ponds of WNY, and we finally decided a 3 day, mid July trip to Black Lake would do us fine.

The thing about long distance, planned trips is you can’t play the weather. As bad as it is to get a camping trip the one rainy week of August, having bad weather while fishing is devastating. Fishing’s just too weather dependant, but such a trip couldn’t be done at the drop of a hat. 7/13 is what we decided, and 7/13 is what we would have.

I showed up at Jonny L’s just a tick before 4a, a ridiculous hour as that’s usually when I go to bed. But, we were sitting on the verge of a bona fide Man Trip, and we both ready and rarin’ to go. Everything we needed was packed and ready to rock within minutes, and we were both pretty fired up and wide awake.

Immediately, it was apparent my trailer lights weren’t working right. The left turn signal turned on the right, the right turned on the hazards, the brakes only lit the left, it was all cattywompus. But daylight was only hours away, and it was mostly highway riding anyways, so we ignored as much as we could while my truck gave warning dings every 5 minutes or so, notifying an issue. We fixed that by simply turning up the radio.

Black Lake lies at the base of the Adirondacks, just south of the beginning of the Saint Lawrence River. Hauling a load put that at about a 9 hour trip, so we decided on a whim to hit up the Finger Lakes on the way out, since we’d have to drive through them all on the way there. His old man lived pretty close to Canandaigua, so that’s the lake we decided on.

We arrived at about 10a, not a cloud in the sky and temps already in the 80s. Not the best of conditions to fish, but the boat fired right up, purred like a kitten, and we had 72 hours of new water to explore. Things didn’t get any better than this.

We started in the northern end, a vast, 20’ deep basin, and started drift jigging some craw imitations for bass. My newly installed Hummingbird fish finder showed a weedy bottom with not much structure, and my water maps didn’t give away any hints to go off of either. We ended up just making a number of random, drifting passes, hooking up on a few rock bass. It was encouraging, but they came slower than we’d like and weren’t the smallies we were after. After consulting the water map once more, we decided to rail on down south into the deeper waters.

It was then that I realized my boat, even if savagely flogged without mercy, wasn’t going to make 30mph. In fact, we were having difficulty hitting even 15mph, and she started bogging and choking out to the point I thought we had an issue. After nearly an hour, we hadn’t made it maybe an eighth of a way down the lake. We did a little mid-lake wrenching and found some of the sound deadening foam had come loose and got sucked into the carb. After removing the blockage, she roared back to life, burning wake off the bow at a blistering…27mph.

Another hour later we weren’t much farther down the lake, and we realized this place was a lot bigger than the sliver of blue shown on the map. The fish finder was being wonky, showing we were at a depth of 500’ and we were literally running over the piles of fish that sat in a 500’ deep pile. I still declare that it is the shape of my hull causing turbulence that throws it off, and has nothing to do with my self-installation skills ;) Once slowing to idle speed, the finder seemed to get its bearings, but it was still saying we were in 150’ of water. Impossible, I thought. We weren’t but 40 yards from shore. But as we drifted closer and closer, eventually getting within 15 yards of land, the depth came up like a sheer canyon wall, all the way up to 30’. It’s the Finger Lakes, man, that’s what it does. The back of the boat is in 30’, the front is in 150’. It’s a freaky, crazy place.

Being pond fisherman by trade, even 30’ was pushing the limits of our equipment. 150’ might as well have been the moon, we had nothing for it. Lake Trout in excess of 20lbs hung off the ledge, suspending in 70’ of water just to tease us, but there was nothing we could do about it. We also had no drift anchor, nor a trolling motor, so instead of a long jaunt out deep to drift in for an hour or so, we made quick little juts to the drop and could only drift for 10 minutes max before we were too close to shore. Cast, reel, drive, cast, reel, drive, over and over again.

We zig zagged down the coast in this fashion producing nothing but frustration. We decided we needed to make a proper plan. Jonny L pulled out the map and tried to get GPS on his phone, while I rolled up a joint and consulted a map of my own. After a lot of hunching and backwoods “figgerin’”, we nabbed a place to play the wind, which pulled us perfectly along the ledge and gave us 45 minutes between repositioning drives. With our new spot working the way we wanted and some feel good flowing through our heads, we hunkered down for a good fish.

After quite a while of tugging our lures out of the weeds, I tugged and set into a rocket. Line flew off my spool and I shot out of my seat, ready to pull in what must be a state record. It was a good long fight before I got close enough to see it, and after a flash of bright golden sides broken up by green tiger stripes, I knew I had a good smallie. It made one more dive out of sight, shook, and *peenk*, off the hook it came. It was just gonna be one of those days.

By this time we were cooked. Jonny’s phone was reporting a temp of 93*, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. While we had a cooler full of liquid and enough jerky to last a lunar month, we were completely worn down from the 8 hours of 90* blasting sun. We decided that the sun was going to keep the fishing dead, and we headed in for a much needed recharge of our batteries. We ended up just going to Walmart for even more jerky and sat in the parking lot, chewing our salty treats in reflective silence. That’s always been my barometer of a good friendship. If you can sit in comfortable silence with each other for 30 minutes or more, you got a good thing going, and after nearly an hour of this, we began trying to hatch a plan to save the day.

We ended up going back to where I hooked the smallie and just ran that ledge for the rest of the night, which, as one could probably guess, resulted in nothing. It wasn’t until about 11p, when all hopes of catching had faded, did I start to head on in. In the true fashion of our fishing, Jonny L left his gear in the water as I started to leave under power, and shortly nabbed a rock bass. Small and off target, but it was the first action we had in nearly 8 hours, and one of the few fish we caught all day. We decided to troll back using the main engine, ripping our lures through the water at nearly 3 times faster than we should, but it produced a handful of rockies before we finally gave up. It was a mostly disappointing day of fishing, but hell, we were on a Man Trip and weren’t even at our goal of Black Lake yet. All we needed was a good night’s rest and we’d be back in the hunt. Oh, if that’s only what had happened.

We decided to just crash out at the boat launch. After loading up, we pulled into the back of the lot by a stagnant retaining pond and tried to tuck in. Jonny L decided to take the passenger seat of my Dodge, while I pulled all the seats out of the boat and bedded down on the floor. After burning another joint, I settled in for the night under a starry sky with temps still in the high 70s. What a perfect night to pzzzZZZZEEETT! SLAP! Damn mosquitoes, I can’t stand the sound they make. I hope I don..PZZZzzzeeeeEEET! SLAP!

Camping next to a swamp on a muggy July day just isn’t possible. By the time I realized I couldn’t fall asleep with them buzzing in my ears, which was all of 3 minutes, I had already been bit double digits. I had no choice but to bail and shack up with Jonny L in the Dodge. It was well over 80* and 100% humidity inside, and with two full grown men within it was only gonna get worse. I cracked the window. Immediately, PZZZzzzeeeEEET! GODDAMN MOSQUITOES! Rolled the window back up. No way I can sleep like this, it’s just so bloody hot! Window down…ppzzzeeeEEETTT!

I spent the rest of the night on the ignition. Fire up the 5.7L Hemi and crank the a/c. Fall asleep. Wake up 15 minutes later freezing balls. Turn it off. Fall asleep. Wake up 15 minutes later sweating balls. Turn it on. Fall asleep. Wake up freezing. All night this went on, and I got about 4 hours of sleep in 15 minute increments. The next morning was not a good one…
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 10th, 2013 at 4:56:36 PM permalink
Face
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I woke at six and change, and I was a miserable wreck. The sun peeked over the horizon, and even at such an ungodly hour it was already putting out the wattage. I had eventually collapsed into real sleep (thankfully during one of the ignition-off stages) and was thoroughly soaked in sweat. I don’t know the temp inside, but cracking the window and letting in the already 80* air was almost chilly. My skin buzzed with the prickly sting of sunburn, and burned with the scratchy crackle of salty sweat. I touched my tongue to my arm and it sizzled with salt. I tried to pee and it burned hot fire, coming out the color of not-quite-full-flavored lager. I was dangerously dehydrated. My head was foggy with weed use and lack of sleep, and it was with everything I had that I wished I wasn’t there. I couldn’t even think about where else I’d want to be; Black Lake as well as home were too far out of my ability to comprehend, I just knew I was not happy where I was at. Jonny L also looked rode hard and put away wet, but it was he that started attempting to get the wagon rolling again.

He suggested going to his old man’s for breakfast. I’m not one to impose; I’d rather not eat for days than barge in on someone, but after some hemming and hawing, he said the magic word: Shower. Yes, yes I would impose for that. An hour later I had the best cold shower in recorded human history, and had a king’s feast of eggs, toast, and bacon, wearing only a towel and drip drying at the table as a wonderful summer breeze blew through the open house. That hour of morning was a game changer, and we were completely recharged and rarin’ to go once again.

We made use of his pop’s garage, spending ~45 more minutes on the trailer lights and got the brake lights to work. The blinkers were still wonky and my truck kept up its incessant dinging, but we were making progress. We said our thanks and hopped back on the I-90.

The stop in central NY sort of threw off our perspective, and it wasn’t until seeing signs notifying us that Montreal, Quebec, Canada was just a jaunt over the bridge that we realized just how far away from home we had come. We wound up and down back country roads, marveling that there were moose-crossing warning signs, and finally came to a low lying area without trees. We couldn’t see through the forest, but knew that must be Black Lake. Fortunately for us, it was.

We came across a free boat launch and mentally marked it. We passed a mom and pop bait shop and mentally marked it. We stopped at the first gas station we found, refilling the Hemi and pounding down a lunch of Mountain Dew and Doritos. That finished, we couldn’t even slow to get the bait, instead hot launching Captain Jax’s Sparrow and railing out into our new found paradise.

Black Lake reminded me a lot of Chautauqua, being very long and very skinny. But unlike Chaut, which is 98% developed, Black Lake barely had a building visible. Unlike the rolling hills bowing down to the water at Chaut, sheer cliff walls fell to the water here at Black. What level land there was consisted of swamp, which sort of oozed the land into the water. Great rectangles of bedrock jutted out of the water here and there, as if some massive game of Tetris had been abandoned and scattered about. Islands of these giant granite formations dotted the lake, and made a spooky, almost surreal landscape. Fishing aside, it was a wonderful, beautiful sight.

Once in the water, we headed in the direction of the gas station, where we knew a bridge crossed the lake. The bridge used one of these islands as a stepping stone, and the island as well as the bridge foundation funneled the lake into two distinct canals. The front of the island created a small bay, which was filled with more abandoned Tetris pieces, and the 5’ deep Tetris water fell to 12’ in the canal. This was a good spot. Just past the bridge, the island created a ledge of about 4’ deep with the canal again cutting a 10’ trough right next to it. That’s spot number 2. And just around the island, we found one of the swampy, oozing places. Here, a cattail forest lined the shore, giving way to the largest lily pad flat I had ever seen. The lily pads ended with such severity it appeared as if it was carved out with a knife, and the water fell immediately once the pads stopped. This was spot 3, and the best of all. We set to casting with images of lunker bass and wicked Northern Pike filling our imaginations.

After several hours of hauling water, we decided to try the island shelf. On this side of the bridge the current was an issue, and it quickly became more of a pain than it was worth to stay in position. We moved on to Tetris land, sure that there were all manner of predators picking crayfish out of the rocks and nabbing minnows out of the flow. The current here pulled us perfectly along the trough, but after 10 or so passes, we still hadn’t hooked up. We pulled off to the side, content to pitch and bounce our way through Tetris land. We fished for a bit before I hooked into a damn fine crappie, and I thought we were on to something. Several more hours later, we had only managed to rail Captain Jax’s Sparrow off a number of the Tetris pieces and get the motor hung on one of the submerged rocks. The beating and possible sinking of my new boat wasn’t worth it, so we headed in for eats.

After another meal of Doritos and assorted gas station fare, we popped into the mom and pop bait shop. Although small, it would’ve given any Gander Mountain / Bass Pro Shops a run for its money. Lures of every fashion for every fish crammed every nook and cranny. Homemade, hand pounded blades, hand carved plugs, the newest offering from Rapala, Mepps, and Rebel, hand poured plastics, tiny perch grubs, giant pike spinners, minnows, crayfish, suckers, this place had it all. The owner was a real backwoods guy and a hell of a salesman, not letting us out of the place until we blew $80 with a promise to “catch a fish or he’ll buy it back”. He got our motor’s running again with tales of massive amounts of perch in the river, and claims that he had his camera out just this morning and saw hundreds. We headed back to the water, intent on hitting the river.

The mouth was surrounded by the giant granite outcroppings mentioned earlier. The floor of the lake swapped from smooth to choppy to drop offs, weeds to mud to rocks, everywhere we looked there was somewhere that look promising. We contemplated pitching the tent on one of the massive rocks over a fire and a catch of 50 perch as we reset our gear for live bait fishing.

Night came quick here in the middle of nowhere, and no sooner did the moon reach full tilt that the bugs came out in force. They were so thick you really couldn’t breathe, lest you suck a bunch up your nose. Covering your face helped the breathing, but not your eyes. We were inundated with all manner of buzzing flying critters, fortunately none that appeared to bite. We had to rig up some lights up high at the far end of the boat to give us relief, which worked quite well. But that meant we were in total darkness. We sat in the quiet of the night in pitch black, waiting for a tug and occasionally passing a joint back and forth. Sometimes after 2a, after being on the water for some 14 hours, we called it a day and headed in with only one fish to show for it.

There was a short conversation after loading up on what to do next. We only had one day, and neither of us wanted to spend it here again. Beauty aside, it just wasn’t producing. Jonny L suggested maybe trying one of the Finger Lakes again, and with that half-assed plan hatched, I set off, while Jonny L immediately passed out in the passenger seat.

The incessant dinging of the lights finally got to me, and I didn’t care enough to keep them on. I disconnected the harness entirely, towing the trailer with no lights at all. I got a lot of flashes from irritated motorists, but I didn’t care. I just kept on trucking. Bleary eyed and dead tired, I eventually pulled over at a rest stop close to Honeoye Lake and was asleep immediately.
I woke to Jonny L getting back in the truck. He had already made a coffee run and was ready to go. I felt surprisingly well rested, but I just didn’t have it in me anymore. I just couldn’t do it. I missed my wife, my 6 month old son, and had already driven to within 2 hours of my house. I half suggested we could spend the day close to home, hitting the ponds or maybe even Erie, but that killed the vibe. We ended up just going home, and the Man Trip came to an end.

We spent ~$600 in fuel and tolls alone, traveled some 800 miles all across NYS, spent 28 of 48 hours on the water, in the worst sun storm in recent memory, and ate almost nothing.

We caught 8 fish, none bigger than 10”, a number we could’ve easily doubled in 4 hours, and only 5 minutes away from my house.

That’s fishing. And I’d do it all over again tomorrow. The worst day of fishing is better than the best day of most anything else =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 11th, 2013 at 10:30:44 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 73
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Quote:
It was July 13th of 2009, a date I remember because it was the week I quit getting high


I expected to hear what prompted the quitting ... is there more to come?
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff