Friday, May 25, 2018

Good Reading

It has been quite some time since I updated this blog. It seems reasonable, considering the time of year and amount of fishing I am doing, to return and regale the endless space that is the internet with my stories and musings. And so, here I am.

I want to start and share with you that, reading IN-Fisherman and Field & Stream is one of my favorite things. The magazines are full of great information for all kinds of fishing. But what's even greater is that they have old fishing stories from the editors in them. One of my favorite things to do is go to the back of the magazine and read those stories about how the old fellas had the greenhorn in the group clean all the crappie while they sat inside drinking beers and playing cards, only to give him a spot at the table as a right of passage.

These stories make me think of my own experiences fishing with my father and our best fishing buddy, Steve. It makes me think of the times I have fished with my Uncle Ken. I think about the things they have told me and the stories that have been passed on to me from their experiences. I am grateful for them.

They are my family history. A rich tapestry of nonsensical, sometimes wise sometimes not, stories that someday I can pass down to my children.

 The reason I tell you all of this is because I stumbled upon an avid fly fisherman and author by the name of John Gierach. I was at my wife's father's house and noticed a book that was called Trout Bum. I have been looking for a good read for a while. Seeing the book, it looked interesting. I read a few pages and it immediately struck me that this was very much like those stories in the back of the fishing magazines.

Now, I don't presume to be the most knowledgeable person in the world on Mr. Gierach. I very quickly realized that fly fishing is a VERY different world compared to your run of the mill spinning style of fishing. But, lack of full understanding aside, he is a fantastic writer. The stories he tells in this will remind you of times you have gone fishing.

The first chapter opens you to the experience where John hooks into a big fish. He states "What you feel is more weight than fight, and the wings of panic begin to flutter around your throat. This is the once or twice-a-year "oh-shit" fish." An avid fisherman, will have felt this experience. 

I had my "oh-shit" fish in February of this year already. Some of my previous posts have been the same. Personal bests...big fish...big moments. Fortunately for me, these fish got to my hands. In John's instance, He had a long distance release, or LDR. 

I want to close by saying, reading is fundamental. Grab a book. Read something. Read this and my previous posts! Here is a link to John's book. He as a plethora of books beyond this one as well. If you are like me, and enjoy a good fishing story, grab it. It will draw you in, even if you do not fly fish. It very likely will get you into fly fishing, like it did to me.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Updates: Two Successive Personal Bests!

Howdy Folks!

I know it has been a few months. Unfortunately, life doesn't always accommodate for fishing, let alone writing about fishing. That said, I have been fishing a a good few times since my last post in March. I have had some good days and I have had some bad days. I have also managed to have two successive personal bests this year! That's a pretty great thing, isn't it?

My first personal best came in mid-March when the weather was still pretty sketchy. She was 3.5 pounds and pushing 20 inches.
I caught her on a jig and worm,as you can see.

The second personal best was a female that was 5 pounds, filled with eggs. Probably pushing a higher weight than she'd normally be the rest of the year. I caught her on a Rebel Frog-R right against the shoreline where I caught 3 other bass that I kept for dinner.

I am kind of wondering if these two catches were the same fish. They had a near-identical lateral line pattern on their right side. I guess it is possible right? They both went back to procreate and to be caught another day.

Fishing at the pond (where I caught both of my PB's) has definitely been fun. I also spent some time at Yellowwood and Lake Lemon trying to broaden my repertoire with the various lures I have. Topwater fishing is something I'm still new to, but I've been enjoying that. In addition, while at Lake Lemon I managed to catch roughly 30 bass in one spot with Bomber cranks. They were all just under 14 inches unfortunately, so I couldn't bring them home, but it was still one hell of a day.

So there's my update. I'll be fishing tomorrow with my father, somewhere. Hopefully we have a good go of things. Keep your fingers crossed!

- William

Monday, March 4, 2013

It is about that time again...

Hello readers (however many of you there actually are). Long time no see, eh? Terribly again I kind of just stopped posting entries near the mid point of the fishing season last year. I really need to work on that. Nonetheless, it is about that time of the year where fishing comes back into season for me and I'm sure plenty of other folks. As I don't ice fish, it has been a long winter. And the darned thing is really dragging itself out. Here's hoping winter storm "Saturn" is the last of this year and things start to get warm again.

I actually have managed to go fishing once this year. There was a short few days where the temperature never dropped below freezing so the pond down the hill actually stayed open. That said, I only caught a sunfish. Oddly enough it was off of a lipless crankbait. It wasn't a Rat-L-Trap, but it was within the same family. Not Rapala, either. Got a few bites using a float and a small trout jig, but no full takes.

More fantastic news, I'll be heading south this upcoming weekend to Tennessee to spend some time with my girlfriend's grandfather and the rest of her family. Should have a chance or two to go fishing somewhere down there too. I've already been scouting it. haha.

I guess that's all for now. Keep an eye out for more. Should be posting more and more once things warm up a little bit outside.

- William

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Father's Day Fishing and Other Updates

It has been a little over a month since I have posted on here. Frankly I have been tired, busy, and not fishing much. Sad, I know. But there have been two occasions I can speak of! First, and more recent was on Father's Day. My father, Tim, and I went to Lake Lemon just north of Bloomington and fished an area we like to call 'the tube'. It is a small area of coastline, if you can call it that, that is lined by endless docks. In the center there is a tube connecting the main lake from the smaller lake.

The spot itself is quite diverse with fish species. In the past we have caught crappie, various sunfish species, striped bass, largemouth bass, and some good sized rock bass (the biggest I have come across). This Saturday just before Father's Day saw some decent fishing. My father had some bites and he managed to bring one fish in before it shook itself loose right below the tube where we were standing. I was slightly more successful, catching two rock bass (one of quality size) and two largemouth bass. The biggest catch was a 16 inch largemouth that actually managed to pull my drag a bit. I was surprised and astonished once I got it shore.

Now I am stating 16 inches because the way I am holding it in the picture was how we measured it. The proper way, of course, is closed mouth to flattened tail. It was likely 17 to 18 inches in length. I won't argue one way or another though. The fish had a good girth to it too. It was one of those catches that make a person want to keep fishing until they were tired AND THEN come back the next day and do it all over again. I was pretty proud of myself once I got it in.

So our early Father's Day fishing trip was successful and we both had a good time. That Sunday my father and brother got to go golfing too! A good weekend if I don't say so my self!

Sometime prior to Father's Day my girlfriend and I went camping down at her mother's pond north of town. It was good fun! We spent the night fishing, roasting marshmallows, and telling ghost stories (much to my chagrin). The fishing was good though! The pond contains bluegill, largemouth, and possibly some channel catfish (we aren't certain though because channel cats don't reproduce well in farm ponds). I was catching quality 14 and 15 inch bass with a strike king jig and a havoc rubber hog attached. It wasn't exactly fast fishing, but it was somewhat tactical and focused. The way the fish were acting was causing me to have to switch to the jig (which was actually my first time) and precision fish where the bass were splashing near the shoreline. Every time I saw a splash near shore I cast it over to that spot and was usually met with a hard strike at the end of my line. 

For someone who is usually limited to crankbaits and rubber worms, this heavy jig was a big change and something entirely new to my fishing experience. It was quite fun I have to say. I hope to have more success with it. Caitlin, my girlfriend, was able catch a handful of bluegill and bass as well! I think she probably enjoyed spooking me as it got darker though. 

Last but not least I, like I expect many Hoosiers are, am praying for rain and an end to this drought. It has caused me to not even fish since early June. My good spot at Yellowwood isn't currently fishable due to the low water. Monroe is low and fish are likely restricted to deeper water. I may try Lake Lemon again sometime.

A tip for any readers right now. It seems as though its rubber worm time more than ever for fishing. That's the only thing I could catch fish on on Father's Day. Give it a try. You may see some positive results! If you do, send me a comment! I'd love to know if it works out for others!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Black Bass Rule Change - Effective Immediately -

I just received an e-mail from the Indiana DNR about a rule change that will have major effects on stream fishing in Indiana.

New black bass rules take effect this week
Rule changes adopted earlier this year to provide increased protection for black bass in certain rivers and streams will become effective on Friday (May 25).
With a few exceptions, a person catching black bass (smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass) from a river or stream may keep only those fish that are under 12 inches or over 15 inches long. The daily bag limit for black bass is five fish singly or in aggregate, which means the catch limit may include any combination of the three bass species. No more than two can be over 15 inches.
The exceptions are:
–Rivers and streams in counties bordering the Ohio River still have a 12-inch minimum size limit, with an aggregate bag limit of five black bass. Those counties are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Ohio, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Switzerland, Vanderburgh and Warrick.
–The Blue River in Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties still has a 12- to 15-inch slot limit and an aggregate bag limit of five black bass, with no more than two being more than 15 inches.
–The minimum size limit on the Ohio River main stem (not bays and tributaries) remains at 12 inches for black bass, with a daily bag limit of six.
The changes are in response to public concerns regarding harvest pressure on smallmouth bass that were expressed during the Indiana Natural Resources Commission’s comprehensive rule enhancement project.
The NRC Advisory Council, Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable, fishing groups and individual anglers supported a rule change to further restrict the taking of black bass, especially smallmouth, to potentially provide a larger number of bass for anglers in the future. The protection for black bass that are 12- to 15-inches long is intended to limit harvest of these fish when they have the highest reproductive potential.
The new rule does not affect existing regulations on lakes or reservoirs (including Lake Michigan), where black bass must be at least 14 inches long to be kept. Black bass size and bag limits at specific locations such as state fish & wildlife areas, state forests, national forests and other sites outlined in Indiana Administrative Code 312 9-7-6 also remain unchanged.

This seems like a good rule-change. Especially for me; I'll be fishing mainly the White River around Muncie in the coming year. Full Link Here.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Yellowwood Lake 5/12/2012

This weekend saw another wonderful couple of days for fishing. The weather was clear. Some rain systems moved north and south of Bloomington and the greater area, more or less. We saw some wind and clouds which is always good for fishing (in the right amounts of course). Saturday was a probably the best day for fishing. There were variable winds and it was overcast for the majority of the day.

At around 9am on Saturday, my mother and I set out for Yellowwood Lake. After getting through town (We have to drive directly through Bloomington to get to Highway 46) we made our way through Belmont and got to Yellowwood by around 10. Traffic and road construction are the bane of my existence driving around or through town. I want to point out as well that out near Belmont, there was someone running for some sort of office with the name of "Catfish" Platter. I have to say...that is one of the best nick names I have ever come across. So cheers to you sir, assuming you won.

Anyway, Yellowwood has re-paved, or re-graveled, their main road through the park so there's not as many horrid pot-holes strewn along its length. Kudos to the DNR for that! The fishing itself was a little slow. Given fishing during the generally lower-activity hours is also hard, we did have some success. I brought live bait to better my chances of catching fish. Plenty of sunfish were caught. Unfortunately, I think only two were probably keepers. They were smaller than I'd like themselves, but had I caught enough of that size I wouldn't have been picky.

Ma was catching bass on rubber worms off a point we have had lots of success with. Two weeks ago we managed to catch 18 bass off of that spot in about three hours. This day was a lot slower than that I'd say. We still had our chances at plenty of bass though. She caught a handful of bass. One (which is pictured below) was a 16 inch female that we took home and filleted. She was a pig! I have to say, that was probably the biggest bass I've ever held. I catch plenty of fish, but they're not usually that big. I can think of possibly two off the top of my head that were comparable that I have caught.

Personally I don't think the picture does the fish justice. She was a good sized fish. Its all the more impressive considering Yellowwood was being dredged the past couple of years and well below normal pool. Makes me very optimistic about the fish in the lake. All the bass we've been catching have been between 12 and 14 inches fairly regularly and I have seen a few in the shallows that were probably about the size of this female.

Unfortunately for me, any bass that I got to bite managed to throw my hook. I was using various lures too. The rubber worms were not setting (I had this problem a couple weeks ago too) and my crank baits were getting thrown when the bass jumped from the water. It is sort of disappointing when these kinds of things happen. I have to say though, there is some consolation somewhere in losing the fish. I like watching the fish jump out of the water. It is great fun. Takes me back to the first bass I caught when I was younger. I was using a top-water lure even though my uncle told me not to. What I got was a little bass that hit it and lept out of the water.

Anyway, it is getting late. I have class in the morning and more things to hypothesize about regarding fishing. I'd like to work with top-waters and spinner-baits more, but with success. May have to watch some videos and see what I can come up with.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farm Pond Fishin'

So yesterday I spent the evening with my girlfriend and her mother fishing at their pond in the woods. We caught five keeper sunfish. Unfortunately we got cut short because of rain. Would've kept them had we had more time to catch some more fish. The fish were fun though. A lot of them were of a color I've never seen before. They had reddish-pink and orange bellies that continued up their sides. Very pretty fish. One was a more traditional looking bluegill. Oh, I caught a small largemouth bass as well. He was feisty!

All caught on half-cut night crawlers. They were very good fighters. Caught them all between 6 and 7 pm. The barometric pressure probably got them a little crazed. The bites stopped once the rain started.

That's all until next time!