Fishing With Face

May 8th, 2013 at 1:06:07 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3318
DATE: 5/05/13
WEATHER: Sunny and warm. Temps in the low 80s. Light, SW wind. No clouds.
TREND: A solid week of sun and high 70s.

When it rains, it pours.

We woke to Ash's birthday in great spirits. It was one of the rare days I woke pain free and was able to get up immediately, my personal life drama was at a lull, and the weather was an absolute stunner. Despite the whirlwind of chaos that is my current personal life, today was going to be a good day.

The batteries I had grumbled about in another thread were charged full the week prior, but when checking them upon waking, they reported 90% charge. I lightly cursed them and threw the charger back on, confident they'd at least make the day. I began the preparation of cleaning, safety equipment checks, fishing gear loading, the whole process. Just about the time I finished, Johnny L arrived, right on schedule, and assisted in the last minute packing. And before I left, as always before the first trip of the year, I hooked up the cooling rig and fired her up in the driveway. Captain Jax's Sparrow buzzed to life immediately at it always does, idled properly, engaged gear... everything was set.

We hit the local outdoor grill for some good grub and launched into the mouth of the Catt for the first off of the year. I was somewhat apprehensive about the conditions as the lake was still only 50*F, but figured I'd rather be too early than too late. As soon as I touched the key CJS fired up and we were soon on our way out of the mouth.

Strangely, the wind was completely backwards this day. It typically comes from the NW, pushing us toward shore and toward home. Today it came from the SE, pushing us toward Port Rowan, Ont, CA. No big deal, I'd just have to do my trolling run backwards. Right? Plus, with the wind coming from land, the waves don't have time to build, as opposed to the NW wind which has the entire length of Erie to get them really rolling and crashing. This would be no problem.

We blazed across the relatively smooth lake at top speed, a blistering 25mph. Within 15 minutes, we were near the point where our run should start and I began picking out the landmarks to key in on the point. Just about the time I thought to cut the throttle as we were close enough, CJS cut itself to about half power. No big deal, probably forgot to open the fuel vent or ran the first tank dry, it happens a lot. I brought CJS down to idle so I could fiddle with the fuel, and it cut right out. Did the fiddling, nothing. Switched the tank, nothing. It was curious, but hell, what was I going to do? Spend time fixing it now? It'll fire when I need it; now it's time to fish =)

We began our first run a little out of place due to the engine dying. Sure, we were deeper than needed, but close was good enough, or so I reckoned. After 2 points and almost a mile had passed, I just knew we were too far out and needed to try another, shallower pass. Time to start fiddling.

90 minutes later we had done nothing but mostly drain the battery and nearly melt the starter motor. Not one thing was doing. While I can fix nearly any carbuerated ATV and can at least diagnose a modern engine, outboards are like alien technology to me. It was akin to understanding quantum mechanics, or how a HotPocket can somehow be lava hot and glacier cold at the same time. A total mystery. I went through my options quickly, observing that I had possible rescue options in the form of friends with boats, knew some of the Sheriff water rescue squad, and, worst case, could at least use the trolling motor to get us to shore and walk. With a long term plan to keep us out of Canada set, it was time for Plan B - get really drunk and try to fix it again.

Two beers in, and we managed to get it to fire for 2 second spurts. After the forth or fifth beer, we could get it to stay running, but only at near full tilt. Couldn't just dump it into gear like that, so we kept at it. About five "one more beer and we got it"s later, we finally got one cylinder functioning enough to motor at about 4 knots. Was it fixed? Nope. Something electrical nearly caught on fire and something in there was fried bad. But does it run? Yup! Time to fish!!

We repositioned where I wanted to originally and about 10 minutes in Johnny L hooked up on the first smallie for first fish of the day. I cursed him and made like I was going to come after him and push him overboard, but wracked my knee off the live well in my drunken lunge and was neutralized immediately. Another beer later and he hooked up again. Ash an I immediately reeled in and switched our lures. Almost instantly, she got on the board with her first birthday fish and first one she's caught on the boat.



I immediately shunned the both of them, hood up, beer in hand, and foot on the trolling motor. I didn't even want to look at them =p We nearly reached the end of the run when I felt a tug of my own. In a nanosecond, I got excited, then realized I had snagged the bottom, and ended up losing my favorite lure that I can't find in stores anymore when my line didn't even so much as "snap" but just let go. Bip, bap, boom, just like that. I reeled in my limp line in disgust, threw together a haphazard knot on my next lure, grabbed another beer, and ended the run. We chuffed and chugged our way back to the beginning for one more pass.

On our way, a giant bald eagle swooped down a hundred feet or so from us and came up with a fish. We watched it soar back to shore as seagulls pursued and pestered it to drop its catch; it didn't so much as flinch. It treed up in the trees on the cliff side, and we could see it pecking away. Unfortunately, camera phones can't reach out that far. But it was nice to see after what had been an very unfair day for me ;)

Sure enough, we weren't on the next run for long when Ash hauled in the big fish of the day. It was hard to be mad at her for it. But I don't care, I was anyways ;D



As the sun fell and with us being an hour from home, we packed up the lake business and headed to the Catt for some late night catfishing. We planned to hit up the train bridges where the crick digs out to 20'-30' depths and flip some chicken livers into the log jams. As we hummed up the crick, it exploded in activity. Gizzard shad by the thousands leapt and flopped and splashed all around us; it reminded me of the documentaries I've seen on the Asian Carp. Everywhere you looked, there were 20 fish jumping, and the sound of them bouncing off the sides of the boat was about all you could hear.



These things are ugly, dumb, stink, and clog the shores with carcasses. Wherever they are, they always seem to get in the way, either by their sheer numbers displacing game fish, or sheer number making it impossible not to snag them. I've seen beaches just like the picture below, where you literally could not walk them. I'm thankful the wind was backwards that night, or the boat launch we used would've looked exactly like this.



Long story short, catfishing was unsuccessful. At one point I had had enough and grabbed my net, netting the stupid gizzard shad as they swam by. I tried claiming points, but 1) they were garbage fish and count as negative, 2) I netted them which didn't count at all, and 3) Johnny L was catching them by hand and still would have won. Either way I sliced it, I just wasn't winning anything this day. After our hand catching and netting fun wore off, we called it a night and hummed home at about midnight.

I don't know what to say. Things just aren't working out for me this year, and that fact is spread into all aspects of my life. But I'm still smiling, still hopeful. Like they say, in like a lamb, out like a lion. This early shortfall will just make my comeback all the more spectacular =D

ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me (1) (1) (0)
Ash 3 3 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 8th, 2013 at 2:34:25 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1580
Another excellent read, Face! I enjoyed it very much. Keep casting, your fishing variance is sure to turn... Of course that salesman at the tackle shop will be happy to sell you something expensive that will break your funk.
May 8th, 2013 at 3:15:44 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3318
Yeah, my exasperation was (mostly) in jest. Like Pops always said when I was little, "That's why it's called fishing", implying that otherwise it'd be called "catching". I'm sure I'll get hot soon, but even if not, it'll be fine. It was still a great day with good friends, no work, lots of sun, food from the grill, some beers, seeing the eagle snatch a fish, the bizarre life of the gizzard shad... sure beats sitting in front of a monitor watching the 10 millionth hand of BJ pass before my eyes =)

And that's funny about the lure salesman. Lures are the modern day snake-oil. There's always one touted as the be-all, end-all, and some of those things run $25-$30 for just one. It's crazy. The sheer ridiculousness of them is often something to behold in and of itself. Ever see a battery operated frog lure that kicks its legs and croaks when it gets wet? I have =) Lures emblazoned with your favorite sports team's logo, ones that look like a severed finger, a cigarette butt, an empty beer can. Ones with moving eyes, UV paint, laser etched high detail scales. Blades made with more technology than put us on the moon and plastics made of polymers that didn't exist even a week ago. All of them with a bona fide guaran-damn-tee to catch you more and biggur fish, or yer money back, yessiree and by jove. I'm always highly entertained at the old plug shop =)

I already gave Ash my lesson here. If you remember one Face-ism, it's this - while lures are designed to catch fish, their primary goal is to catch people. Sure, that $30 job can haul a fish. But sometimes all you need to do is put in a little thought and effort to get the same results.

Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 9th, 2013 at 10:22:54 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1580
That's awesome. Beer batter + fish = good eats. I wonder if you would have more luck with a cap from the Flying Fish Brewing Company? hehe...

Perhaps size matters?
photo from outdoorlife.com
May 11th, 2013 at 7:19:53 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 54
Posts: 6318
More photos of Ashley please.
May 21st, 2013 at 9:37:16 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3318
DATE: 5/18/13
WEATHER: Sunny and hot. Temps in the mid 80s. No wind. No clouds.
TREND: A solid week of sun and 80s.

Just a quick update this time.

First, I wanted to switch the pic from my 5/03 post. I took a better pic of the train bridge to better compare with the flood video. Taken from the same angle, it perfectly shows the madness of the Catt at flood stage. That's easily 15' of water. Now imagine any crick in your area rising by 15'. Yeah,... the damage around here was astronomical.

Second, the trip was pretty short. I actually called in from work because I came down with a sinus infection and the requisite fever, but I just couldn't "waste my time" by sitting around the house. So I grabbed my poles, a cooler full of Canadian Cough Medicine*, and headed for the Catt with Ash.

*


Although short, we did have a good time, but the camera didn't come out much. There were a lot of people out, about 8 fisherman with about 4 or 5 of their wives and children, and I spent a good deal of time chasing frogs and snakes as I waited and searched for a place to put in. I caught a nice leopard frog, but dropped it before the camera came out. There were tons of Erie water snakes, but being so hot, they were quite feisty and I couldn't catch one. I managed to get my hands on a smaller snake with black and white stripes, something I've never seen before. But again, trying to manipulate it while semi-delirious with fever and sorta drunk proved fruitless, and I dropped it again. Ah well...

Mostly, I just wanted to update the scoreboard. I caught two that day. One, in the spirit of First-Biggest-Most, I will not count, since it was only ~9" and therefore not legal. But the other was a whopper, one of if not the biggest I've ever caught in the Catt. Some of my friends have been saying they've never seen them as big as they're seeing this year.



So with that, I'm now back to square on the ol' table. I do believe I'll be able to get my boat wrenched on this week and should be back to normal fishing in no time.

Quote: Fleastiff
More photos of Ashley please.


Sorry. Just my ugly mug this time =) She hooked three, but needs a little more practice getting a good hook set and keeping tension on the line. But don't worry, she'll be back =p

ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 0 (1) 0 (1) 0
Ash 3 3 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 26th, 2013 at 7:40:33 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 132
Posts: 6550
Face, here's an option you might consider adding to record one of your outdoor hobbies. This was made using a moving vehicle, a RChelicopter, and camera --The guy is driving around his neighborhood.




Why do this? Oh, so we can watch the videos, of course? LOL. In some of the other videos, he get's that copter even higher off the ground.
Nobody learned anything from the global financial crisis.
May 26th, 2013 at 9:01:26 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3318
Quote: rxwine
Face, here's an option you might consider adding to record one of your outdoor hobbies. This was made using a moving vehicle, a RChelicopter, and camera --The guy is driving around his neighborhood.


Ha! Cool stuff. I'm shocked at how good the quality was. Even when it starts to hum along pretty good or rotates quickly, there's very little blur or weird pixelation. It's also shockingly steady.

The chopper is probably out, though. Although that looked like one of those four-rotor thingies, choppers are pretty hard to control and not at all cheap. Perhaps those 4-rotor deals are more stable, but still. I'm currently in hyper-save mode to kill my debt and I'm completely focused on rounding cash up to make my racing dream a reality. Plus, I'd probably get in trouble chasing bald eagles or something lol ;)

But on that subject, I am highly interested in video stuff. Between the quite interesting things I see in the wild and hopefully next years foray into motorsports, I very much want to catch some video of my activities. It's definitely on the list, but I kind of need a mentor. I'm rubbish at most things electronic; the only way I can tell a good camera from bad is by price (more = better) =p

Maybe I should pay more attention to Ahigh's old posts of his show...
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
May 27th, 2013 at 1:16:44 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 54
Posts: 6318
Actually, I hear there is quite a bit of money in wildlife videos. Everything from putting cameras on fish to telephoto stuff in the wild .... and we know car chase scenes payoff well, but some are filmed at 15mph.
June 20th, 2013 at 11:04:10 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3318
DATE: 6/20/13
WEATHER: Sunny and hot. Temps in the high 70s. No wind. No clouds.
TREND: I don't even know anymore...

FINALLY! For once this year it hasn't rained all week, it wasn't windy, and there wasn't storm just about to roll in. And it's about damn time.

Today was just perfect. I got my boat fixed from the last stranding and it runs like a dream, just a top notch perfect repair job. I had a metric tons of stress with so much to do - son's graduation, him going to Fla with his mom for two weeks, two job interviews, race team stuff, financial stuff... the list was long and most of it was bad. But the graduation was great, he loved the plane ride and is having fun with his mamma, I banged out nearly every single piece of dreadful work on Wednesday, and today I spent all day running 240v line, hooking up my new air compressor, and I lived to tell the tale! I didn't even start a fire, it was that good (with a shout out thanks to Jonny L for assisting) The only thing that could've made the day better... hitting the lake.

And it was mind blowingly perfect out. The weather claimed 13 mph winds, but there wasn't a wisp. Erie had finally settled down and cleared from the non stop storms and was smooth as glass. My new motor could take me where I want, I could troll wherever I want, and with everything taken care of, I could just drink beer and cruise with Ash until dark.

The eve started out slow. With nearly no time on the water, I hadn't really identified any hot spots. We decided to just hum along randomly and cover water; we had beer, it was warm, and that was good enough.

After a good hour without anything doing, I decided to put down the beers and start trying. I readjusted my thoughts from "last years spots" to where the fish should be based on the crazy weather, and almost instantly Ash hooked into First and locked up her $5. It was just a little rockie, and I chose then to explain that First, Biggest, Most changes in summer since the seasons are all open. Open season means we now go only by legal fish, so 6" smallies don't mean jack. Fortunately for her, rockies are "any size, any number", so this one counted. Mark it.



We had a bit of a lull before I hooked into a good sized smallie, taking the top spot at the time for Biggest. I quick released it without pic so I could get back in the action, and almost immediately nabbed a good eatin' perch, taking the lead for Most. My apologies to the Ashley fans for the shirtless pic, but =p on you. It was hot, and I was drinkin' lol



Ash answered with a hell of a smallie, but got a little carried away on the retrieve. She tried horsing it in even those the drag was screaming in protest, and after about 5 seconds of that the line gave up the ghost and the fish swam away with my $8 Rapala. I let her sit in silence for few minutes as she retied, then asked her if she learned anything. She pointed out almost all of the things she did wrong, so that was good. I just had to remind her we were fishing differently, big smallies are different than big trout. Trout need to be in quick. They're raping your line over rocks and around trees, their mouths are hard to get a good set on, and most importantly, they tire easy and will die. With trout, you only have about 3 minutes to get it in and still have an easy release. 5 minutes and you're going to have a 30 minute recovery like we had this year. Anything more is an almost definite harvest. Smallies fight forever and seem to never give up. And you can fight them forever, they have no quit in them and will just swim away no matter how long you rag them for. Mostly she just needed to let it fight when it wanted, and take it in when it allowed, which I was able to demonstrate later.

A bit later and I had a few more rock bass, and then I set into a plank. It was big, it was heavy, and it wasn't fighting like a bass. I tried to convince myself a 30" walleye came shallow, but I knew what it was as soon as I hooked it. And it was exactly what I thought - a damned sheephead. Ash exclaimed "It's huge!" immediately follow by "Garbage fish! -1!" =p I explained FBM rules that garbage fish of extraordinary size still count as a point, but despite that and this fish's large size relative to our other catches, it was quite average. Another -1 for Face >< It also had a number of leeches in its gills, which I pointed out to Ash. I did try to pry them off, but they were in good enough I didn't want to chance damaging the gills and killing the fish. Leeches will drop off when full and the fish will be good to go so I just tossed 'er back, cursing my luck to be the Garbage King this year.

Ash eventually nabbed another perch bigger than mine, but not good enough for Biggest.



We tooled around as the sun began to set, me nabbing a few rockies here and there, her mostly watching me catch fish =D Suddenly, I heard a splash and saw that a fish had jumped. Almost immediately, it jumped again, I saw it was a smallie, and I heard it rattle. It was Ash's fish trying to get the lure out of its mouth! I grabbed my net just in case (I was drunk, it seemed like a reasonable idea =p) but of course there was no way I'd be able to net it. It eventually stopped and I assume it finally shook the hook, sending my $8 to the bottom.

I was pretty much done by this point, but Ash said she was content to just keep floating. Hell, I ain't going to argue, and I was likewise content to sit and watch the sun go down, even though fishing was probably over. Then BOOM! Pole bend in half and a monster smallie rockets out of the water before I even got a good hold of it. Here is where I was able to show Ash how to let it go went it wants to go, and take it up when it allows you to. Before I new it, I had the tank in my hands and completely sealed the deal on Biggest.



And that was the last fish of the night. We hummed along, watching the sun shoot off its pinks and oranges as it settled into the lake, marveling at just how ridiculously smooth and nice it had been, and eventually headed in for some cones at the local ice cream shack. Sure, it was only a quick two hours on the water, only one of which we were into the fish, but c'mon. There is just no better way to finish off a great day.



ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 5 (2) 5 (2) 0
Ash 5 3 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.