August Journal

29 August 2011

This is the last journal entry for the month of August, don’t worry, there will be more in September. I went fishing on Monday and other than some shad, I only caught one fish, I did have another hit. Well this fish was caught on video, it is brief, but this was caught in the cast net. Take a look at this gar, thought I would have to get another net, but no worries, still working.

The Gar Video

27 August 2011

When I got up this morning, I let the schnauzer out and boy it was nice. There was a slight breeze, would have been calm for the midwest, and it was really comfortable. I quickly went through my options, get work done around the house or go fishing. Well the fact that I am writing this lets you know quickly which one I chose. If I don’t quit making this choice, Sanford and Son would not like the way things are beginning to look.

I decide to drink a cup of coffee, try to wake up and I sit around, have to delete stuff from the forum that shouldn’t be on there and begin to get ready. Wife wakes up, probably wasn’t the roar of the garage door right under her bed, but it is possible. It could have been the schnauzer whining at her door, dunno, but she says she is a coming. This is good, helps me out to have a fishing buddy and I just knew that we would need to the camera.

So we hit the water, throw the cast net the first time and had a ton, kept some of the bigger ones, threw back the little ones. Threw on the outside of a school, hoping for just large ones, nothing. Throw one more time, catch about 7 big ones, and we head up. It has to be a good day, the weather is overcast, slight breeze right now, shad all over the place, I am just hoping that the memory card has enough room for all our photos.

We get up there I cast in the nice little spot and nothing, I was truly shocked, I thought that I would at least get a hit. We come back through and right after we pass it, wife gets a hit, it takes it, she pulls, the fight begins for almost 5 seconds, then it got off.

We troll from the river to the ball fields in Bluff City. Water temperature range was 63-77 degrees. Wife gets one more to play with her shad, but it never takes it. We don’t get a thing. Now I understand that all of this stuff is not very exciting information. I also understand that all this documented material is destroying any chance I would have ever had of becoming a guide. However, I thought for sure with this weather, as the wind picked up throughout the morning, that we would have caught something.

So a couple of thoughts, if catching shad is easy, control your excitement, this may just be the best fishing you have of the day. Today I lost two hooks, shad swam into some limbs, so another lesson, if you throw near fallen trees, you risk getting hung. For some strange reason, these shad were not cooperating very well. Another lesson on this, if a shad got you hung the first time, the next shad may do the very same thing, unless you like tying on hooks, learn the first time. I will probably be able to tell you if it happens on different days the next time I go.

Anyway, sorry there was no fish to show, but it was still a good time. Bonding with wife, wetting a line, out on the lake is not a bad thing. God bless and good fishing.

23 August 2011

First off, don’t let the lack of photo fool you, that’s right, finally did not get skunked. The reason there is no photo, went alone, used cell phone camera. I don’t have e-mail on my phone, however, wife does, so I sent it to her. She is having issues with her card in her phone, had it a while, and could not receive the photo. I know, this sounds like a lame excuse, why not just get it off your phone yourself, well, due to the anticipation that so many folks have of hearing about my fishing trips, I just couldn’t get to it.

Anyway, head out to Bluff City, the water is already coming down from the generating, water temp is about 80ish. I don’t have a difficult time catching shad, caught about 9 in around 35 minutes, figured that would be enough and went a fishing. I basically just went on the warm side of the trash line, there were plenty of hits on the water, but plenty of them were the ‘ol yellow bellies (carp). So as I am heading downstream I notice a fallen tree. I had a moment, you know when in the movies someone looks off and they have a recollection of an event. Well that was me, except I didn’t look off like they do, I was on a boat in the lake and the trash line would have caused a mess. Anyway, thinking back to honey hole and the spot up river, there has been some structure around where I have been catching these things.

So I cross the mighty water at Bluff City and begin flipping. Low and behold one hits, I pull and begin to reel, full spool of line, 15 lbs test, good drag set, bring it on today baby. As it begins to come in, I notice that it is fairly big, well fairly big for a large mouth, then it got off. Here we go again I thought, so I head down to some more structure. Flip one in, hard knock, give it some slack, click the reel then this time I am going to set the hook about as hard as I can, boom fight is on. I begin to reel and pull and then it feels as if I have set a hook into a tree. I mean I can’t budge this………..tree. Take a long deep breath, sing joyous music for a moment, then as I am heading that way in the boat, give it slack and the tree takes off. That’s right, this fish wrapped me around a tree and just about gotten away. Had it not been for my keen knowledge of fishing, the rascal would have gotten away also.

However, I pull it in, some folks over on a dock about 200 yards away started hollering he got one, must have been a hard day fishing. Pull it in, photograph, weigh (2 lbs 3oz) put it back in the water, text pic to wife, and start fishing again.

Now here I could tell you about all the shad that were so thick you could just about walk on them. I could tell you about the next hour of fishing, however, to sum it up, nothing. I really need to research these fish, one day you will slay them, 3 days later you may not get a bite. Sometimes they play with the shad and don’t take them, then somedays they will about rip the rod out of your hand. I reckon if I had all the answers, I would not be writing this, I would be taking folks fishing.

Anyway, check back, if we ever get the photo out, I will post it on here. God bless and good fishing.  

21 August 2011

First thing you probably notice is there is no photo, well that does tell of what I caught today, but it certainly doesn’t tell the story. Launched at Bluff City, learned my lesson on the honey hole last trip. Apparently at Bluff City the word has gotten out. Once again I launched with bait fish flipping everywhere, but once the Sea Ark got in the water, the shad go into hiding. This time took about 40 minutes and I was able to bring in about 7 shad, good size, and one whopper.

So I head up to the mouth of the river, put out a couple of balloon lines, prepare my flipping rod and head to a little honey hole there. I flip one toward the spot that will give me the best chance to catch one, at least I think will. I flip it over there and as soon as the shad hits the water, it jumps out and there is one on its tail. I wait patiently, nothing. He chased it a few minutes then must have gotten tired. The wind is blowing so I float on up a bit and make a turn around.

As I am heading up, swirl around one of the balloon lines, swirled a few times, did not take it, wondering if I need to stick about 10 hooks in the shad at this point. As I come back around, hit the little sweet spot again, another chase, this time I see the striper take it in its mouth, then spit it out, happened twice. Even a very nice small mouth came out to take a gander at the shad, but nothing. I pass by again, and this time my line is taking off, I start to reel, and it released, man this is fun, but I sure wish one would take it.

Now I am using my bait casting rod for flipping, I learned my lesson with the lighter rods a few trips ago. This one has about 17 lbs test on it and the drag was set good enough to haul in that monster, however, it is not a full spool, which is fine cause I have muscled them in with this thing in the past. So I see a few more stripers, this playing with their food is going on a lot, I flip one in and the line takes off. When I set the hook the fish is already on the other side of the boat. I start the muscle action, but the drag is taking off. I reach down quickly, hit the motor on 5, look down at the reel and say rats, this is about the time that the line breaks at the base. Yes once again I had one scream all my line off my rod and break at the base.

I try a few more, but they really seem to love the lively bait a great deal better than the tired ones, I am about out and getting tired anyhow. I pack it up and think perhaps one could learn from this. If you are at a point that you think it may be wise to change your line, my recommendation would be, change you line. I stopped using this pole for balloons cause there wasn’t enough line on it. Why didn’t I change it, well I get excited when I go fishing, and don’t want to take the time that could be spent casting, and I am little tight. It has cost me some fish, perhaps some very large fish.

Also, if you have any ideas to add to the fish playing with the shad thing that is going on, let me know in the forum. If I could have caught half of what hit today, I would have been wore out. Take care, God bless, and good fishing.

17 Aug 2011

We have been having some cool mornings, and the generating was going till 10 tonight. Been at least getting some hits up at Bluff City and teh water temperature is still pretty warm 80 today. A smart angler would head to Bluff City, but if you have done very much reading of this journal, you know I don’t really fit that category. So I thought, I am heading to the honey hole, now just to refresh your memory, if you are unaware of the honey hole, go back to the original journal.

First things first gotta go find some shad, however, the good thing about hear, if no luck, I will just bass fish. Head into Candy Creek, throw a few times before going back too far, nothing. Head toward the back and of course they are in the back. Catch about 8 shad and this only took about one hour, not a good ratio, but honey hole here I come.

Get out there, throw one balloon line out, now I know you are thinking 80 degree water why are you doing this. Well, I had a balloon on one of my lines and just didn’t want to change it. Put one out about 15ft deep, and doing some flipping. Within 10 minutes, the down line pops twice, whoo hooo, honey hole is sweet, doesn’t take it, check shad, put back out.

Now I am not going to drag this out, but one thought, I imagined that using a bait casting rod to do flipping one would improve with practice. But apparently for some, this is similar to golf and something that I just may not get too good at. But on a positive note, I am learning how to remove a birds nest in the bait caster rather quickly.

Finally as I am getting close to leaving, I get one more hit, the only thing, I saw it out the corner of my eye, while I was removing  my bait from another rod, therefore, no fish. the honey hole was not very sweet, so note to self, when water reaches 80, the honey hole is no longer the place to fish, I will see it again in the fall. As you could see, no photo, no fish, but still, it was a good time. God bless and have yourself some good fishing.

14 Aug 2011

Got home from church, cooked a little cow on the grill and considered napping. Not sure if sinus issues are happening, but I was tired, the nap sounded good, but gotta go to sleep tonight so I can go to work tomorrow. Anyway, figured I would hit the lake for a couple of hours. Storms off and on all day, but what do the weather men know anyway, there batting average is about the same as a baseball players, about 30% of the time right. Anyway, 60% chance of rain is 40% chance of no rain.

Got ready, son loaded up the boat, filled the live wells with water, headed to Bluff City. Noticing the wind and the chop on the water I thought, well maybe I was just justifying going and the weather guys are doing a great job, looked like I was going to get wet. Got in and found the shad rather quickly, about 10 cast in the shallows and more shad than the last two trips combined.

We head up to the mouth of the river, I put out two balloons and get one for flipping, then the son grabs his re-modified bow and we are fishing. I noticed on his modifications that here were now two pencils with duct tape and yarn which were now supporting an old abandoned reel. I am thinking he would make a good engineer. We head out and there is a swirl behind one, I told him to get ready. We wait, nothing, then we move on up, another swirl, balloon disappears, then re-appears, Striper has talent, could at least make it to Vegas. Anyway, I go back as he is searching for carp, the balloon takes off and against my better judgment, I set hook. I should probably say tried to set the hook, missed him.

We head on up and there they are, the carp. The bow hunter breaks into action. I notice the tip of his arrow and ask if he had been practicing shooting against brick, it was as flat as it could be. He shoots at one, goes high. No problem, will adjust for next one. As we are making another pass, there is one coming near the boat, he waits, releases and I thought for sure that the young man has nailed him a carp, however, nothing. We both considered that perhaps he hit the carp, only there was not penetration due to the blunt end. So we continue on, blue balloon gets played with about 2 or three different times, nothing ever takes it, pink balloons gets attention one time, with not positive results.

Then we hear it, thunder boomers, rats, the meteorologist were right, which is typical, I was just justifying my actions. I unload the shad in the live wells, then start taking off my bait. Son makes one more shot, but it was too far, no success. When preparing the reel in the last one, I notice a swirl, we wait a few extra minutes. Nothing, take off this bait, put everything up, start motor, and there it is, the feeding frenzy I had been wanting to be a part of. Striper chasing shad in two spots on the left, then a few minutes later, two different spots they are hitting the water hard. Bait is out, thunder is booming, text are coming in to get off the water, tornado warnings all around and those crazy fish are hungry.

I go against my own wants, and we put up the boat and go home. Only gone about 2.5 hours, good day of fishing. A little bit of bonding with my son, got to see some action. Opportunity to do some more bow fishing modifications, and I am about to embark on a new project. Attempt to make a planer board out of some spare wood. Will let you know how it turns out, God bless and good fishing.

12 Aug 2011

We leave the house and heading to Bluff City ramp. Remembered everything today, did not have to turn around, didn’t delay in departure and when we cross the bridge, there were shad flipping everywhere, it is going to be a great trip. Launch the boat, pass out a few business cards, get in the boat, grab the cast net, thinking one or two throws is all we will need. However, reality decides to step in and all I am doing is exercising. Remember the repaired net? Well more tears are appearing and now the net is getting tangled constantly. Good excuse for poor throws, however not a good thing when you throw over one flipping. Continue to exercise and then figure it out, school must be on summer break, catch them one at a time, total of 8, only took about 30+ minutes, pretty good work out.

Head up stream and notice the water temperature is dropping, from 84 to 65, head back down to the ball field area. We start to trail a couple on balloons, next year I should have some planer boards. Nothing taking our usual path and I begin to consider that we may have another pepe le pew kind of trip (skunk). Then all the sudden, wife grabs her pole, shad is being chased, balloon disappears, then re-appears, shad survived, then boom, it is on. Wife sets hook, and the fight begins. She battles through and brings it in, 9 lbs, finally figured out the scales, use lbs instead of kg, we are in the U.S.

So maybe a good day after all, and there is a swirl rising up behind the other shad and wished we had a video going. Well, this same event happened just a little while later. For about 5 minutes, this striper chased, wore out, and scared the poor shad to death, but never took it. This is not the first time that this has taken place for me. My wife had a good point, she said that it appeared that the Stripers like to play with there food.

We make a couple more passes, but no more attacks and I notice the moon is full and if we review the original journal, full moon fish at noon. We shut down, head home and try to get the fish smell off my hands. I really like having to wash this off, that means it was a day of not just fishing, but a little bit of catching. Make sure you wet a line soon, tell us about it in the forum, God bless you and good fishing.


06 August 2011

I know what you are thinking, great day the fish was so big that you couldn’t get the whole thing in the picture. Well, let us begin our adventure, starting with getting up. I thought I was going to need to be somewhere else, but found out last night, my attendance was not needed (this makes me feel a lot better than saying wanted). So after taking care of the morning duties, I take off. The wife is going to meet me there, but thought I would tackle the shad alone.

Put the boat in, see a school of shad, do a practice cast, then one throw, more shad than I would need in two trips. However, these were only 3-4″ shad and well I had time. So I went in search of, make about 5 more cast and caught an abundant amount of the large shad. So I have been here 10 minutes, caught a boat load of shad, and I begin to worry. Things are going a little too well for my comfort level, but I will just roll with it.

Waiting on wife, I head toward the old train pillar second cast, boom, the above photo. This bad boy weighed in at a whopping 3.7 lbs. Now the reason the photo is like that, trying to weigh, forgot good camera, sun is out, can’t see on my phone real well, and don’t want fish to die. In other words I was in too big of a hurry to take a quality portrait, plus, if folks don’t read this, they are going to think it was a monster.

Phone rings, wife is ready, saw a couple in a flat bottom paddling, they said there batter lost charge so towed them back. Pick up wife and we are off. About the same time as when we wore them out last week. Get up there and we fish,  and fish, and fish, nothing. A balloon went under one time, another looked like one played with it, but we did not get a bite. Didn’t see anyone pull anything into the boat, I think we just may have had a off day.

I have heard it stated that fishing before a front moves in is great, well, there were suppose to be storms this evening, and I guess for the Stripers the fishing was great, just not for the fisherman. All and all certainly can’t complain, everything worked, caught a bucket mouth bass, beat the rain that still hasn’t arrived, just spent a half a day on the lake. If you figure out these fish, tell me about it in the forum, God bless and good fishing

02 August 2011

The generators were running and I had flashbacks to the day of the slaying (see first fishing journal for details). Pull in the driveway from work, son has the mower that blocks the boat out of the garage and a grin on his face. He had worked on something a couple of days ago and he was going to go after some carp. Go in the house, get dressed (probably should say changed clothes here) and I am ready. Kids already had the boat hooked up, just need to fill the livewell with water that is not boiling like the lake water and were are ready, I thought.

Go looking for the daughter, can’t find the sunglasses. We go through the routine, where did you lay them down last, I don’t know why I ask this question, if she knew that, she would know where they were. We look all over, I attempt to convince her that my polarized $5 glasses are state of the art, stylish yet functional. However, I am talking to the daughter, and I don’t know style. As I help her look and check the clock, I noticed in her sock drawer, there lay the glasses. You are probably asking, why did I look there, well it was cracked open, and doesn’t everyone know you keep your sunglasses in your sock drawer.

So we are off, about 1-2 miles from the boat ramp, wife asked a rather silly question. Son, do you have your license? So I turn the truck around, whistling rather happily (sarcasm), and go back to the house. Get license and we are off, again.

Launch at the boat ramp and begin to look for the shad, to make long story short, nothing. Son goes to test his invention, bow with arrow, compound for a kid, with a spool of stren attached to bow using a pencil and duct tape. He says can I see how it will do when it hits the water, well sure, and he releases. After the release I remind him of the previous conversation about tension on the spool, it is the same idea as the bait casting reel, however, he don’t like to fish. As he sits down and spends a great deal of time, the next 45 minutes, getting the knot out.

Well we go up river, follow the 54 degree water down to 84 degree water, I throw the net into the trash line and catch  the mother load of shad. Starting to feel pretty good, it is now on. We bait up, I consider stretching so that I don’t pull anything in the upcoming battle. And as we head down the lake, one begins to play with the shad, this last for a few seconds, then nothing. I get a hit on the rod in my hand, then nothing. Then we have one more swirl, nothing.

All of this to say, we did not catch a thing (except the shad), which explains no photo at the top. But as my son was going to shoot arrow again, I mentioned that if the knot catches, you will possibly lose the arrow, or it could come right back at you. I was wrong, it came right back at me, hit me a little, no worries, we are very safe, this thing is a kids. It is all an experiment and it did bring me a few laughs.

Perhaps not a good day for fishing, but if you are on the lake, no one gets hurt, and most of the stuff you went with still works, well, it is a good day fishing, just slow catching. And by the way, if anyone finds a small silver dog bowl when the lake goes down, send me an email, the schnauzer no longer has one in the boat. God bless and good fishing.