Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blowin' and a throwin'

Wind is one of the fiercest adversaries during spring. It can also work in your favor. Although 30mph wind doesn't allow flyfishing for me, It gives me a reason to do different things.

I caught my first fish on a new corky.

I caught a real nice red on an old corky.

And to end the day, a long cast with a baby SS produced a hookup with a good pull and hopes of another trout. Earlier in the day I had a fish on that left a little slime on the line. And there are only a few fish that I know of that have the ability to slime.

Slime, fuh reel doe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Damn bobbers!

I dont usually find topwater plugs on the bank. Maybe because the plugs aren't usually neon orange and yellow. But I just dont. On the other hand, I have quite a large collection of floats, bobbers, popping corks, leader material, weights, hooks, line, TRASH that I find almost routinely along more populated areas that I am forced to explore and fish. Im not saying all bobber fisher's are lazy or irresponsible. I have broken off lures on fish too. But it seems that the rig I find now is increasingly streamline in relation. Bobber, plastic covered steel leader, 4 ot trebel hook on a clip, yards of line ahead of the cork, ect.

Last friday I walked out to a new spot I have been fishing. On the way out I noticed a bobber floating. There are a couple piers along the way that I pass in front of to legally access the area of interest without trespassing or risk being towed. I thought the popper might be owned by the guy on the pier, but when I looked back I was about 75 yards from the pier where the guy was fishing. I looked back to the bobber and it was gone, I looked at the pier and the guy was reeling so I(although this seemed unlikely)assumed that it was his . I thought that he might have let his line drift with the current but there probably wasnt much line on the reel! I looked back to my destination and started walking. Then the bobber came back up in my path. There was a fish on the hook! I walked very slowly up to the cork and with a topwater reeled up to the tip of my rod I swiped at the float snagging the line underneath. When I lifted the rod tip the mess of monofilament and leader was thoroughly jacked around the plug. The fish on the end shot off like lightning! I lightly played the fish( which turned out to be a 4 pound trout) and landed her. I got my forceps and expected to pop out the hook and let her go but it was all the way in her gut. All 4 ot's. I left her 3/4 submerged while bending the clip and working it loose from the hook eye. When free I slipped her back into the water and she swam off strong. I dont know if the fish would have lived, but I didnt catch her. So I wasnt putting the fish on my stringer. Reguardless of how the fish was hooked it was free and I could go on to strike out for the 2 hours of fishing that day. Even though I didnt catch anything I slogged back to the truck with a good feeling about life and later expeditions into the great outdoors.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring is alive!

I wanted to call this post "when the water comes alive". But spring can only happen once a year and fish have to eat all year. That's why spring is so special. Everything alive begins the years marathon of feeding, reproducing, resting, and surviving or outlasting all the predators and brutal water temperature and weather. That is a fishes life. And to be present when one of the most visual and impressive yet frustrating happenings goes down is why I love being obsessed with fishing and not other "sports". There is an unknown factor that can be played from the deck when least expected. The unknown today were newly hatched rain minnows.

rain minnows from DeMatt on Vimeo.

Rain minnows to me, is a catch all term for small bait fish that hatch in large numbers that sound like rain drops on the water when spooked by something. These were more than likely small shad. When they moved into the area I was fishing they seemed to push the larger bait fish and mullet out. And in turn the predators started to feed on the most plentiful and easiest prey. Like bulldozers large fish plowed through schools with a purpose. It went like, accelerate, strike, swallow, accelerate, strike, swallow, accelerate, strike, swallow, cruise. A lot of fish I saw in the shallower water struck large bait fish schools five or more times before moving down the shore or on to the next school. Although this display is impressive it is also absolutely frustrating. With the presence of so much food the fish are keyed on them. Normal top waters or plugs like the skitter walk and even the small super spook or badonkadonk are too large and loud to get any attention. I have caught fish with 4" glow or white gambler flapping shad on 1/16 jig heads when around frenzy's like this before, but when the flurry was in full swing it was pitch black and there was super gnarly live oyster shell all around in varying depths of 1/2 a foot up to three feet deep. During daylight hours these fish could have been targeted with a weedless, weightless rig and a light wire worm hook rigged on small sluggo type baits. Maybe even an old school speck rig or spoon. I was armed with nothing of the sort. Luckily, I had some action at the beginning of the outgoing on a corky devil and skitter walk.

first of flurry from DeMatt on Vimeo.

It was an amazing evening. For a die hard, walking a quarter mile in waist deep water with a sticky muddy bottom payed off today! With so many houses and people owning land adjacent to water the number of quality spots that are easily accessible by foot are a thing of the past. Especially if you want to be by yourself. You might be able to find a little stream by hiking in the mountains but where I live there are waaaay to many people. Luckily not many are willing to work as hard as me. Maybe smarter(as I curse the walk home). Not harder. Look out when I have the means!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shoes of the future?

In the market for new boat shoes?
After weeks of recommendations from a friend I finally got some vibram five fingers. And they are pretty freakin sweet. Designed to NOT provide support but to actually protect your feet and allow all 26 bones to do what nature intended. To work rather than be bound in thick back, knee, and ankle hurting soles. I took my first jog in quite a while. It honestly took me about a quarter mile before I started jogging without hurting. I had to concentrate to keep the majority of my weight on the balls of my feet. By concentrating on forward movement rather than the normal up and down lumbering hop that thick padded soles train us to think is normal. After some adjustments my knees didn't hurt, my back didn't hurt, and I made it a lot farther than I thought I would being the first time I tried to jog in over a year. I also jogged in the grass along the walking trail made of concrete which helped the impact of my fat ass protecting my knees and back. And when the trail ended I crossed the street and ran alongside a mowed drainage canal for about 300 yards and back. And on the way back home I stayed near the ditch and noticed some of the firs carp of the spring moving up to spawn. And a BIG one about 20lbs! Looks like its time to stalk some rubber lips soon! I also found this soccer ball about half way home which I dribbled to my house. These shoes will be making their debut on a flats skiff in the future. Hopefully sooner than later.