Saturday, August 29, 2009

Soft Plastics, Smallmouth, and a Sunny... :-)

I was off from work this past Thursday and (like always) I really had the fishing bug. Still, my lawn mower had quit working the week before and I knew I needed to dedicate the morning to fixing it. Shortly after noon, however, I realized that I could not get the part I needed until Friday morning...SWEET! I had a couple of hours of free time--and a perfect opportunity to wet a line. :)

The air was relatively cool and the sky was overcast... It almost seemed like the beginning of fall, and I knew what I had to be done. Off to the river, for a quick trip. The conditions were perfect for fishing a soft plastic jerk bait--one of my favorite ways to catch smallmouth. I hadn't fished the Juniata for a couple of months, but conditions were excellent and I was sure that I could scrounge up at least couple of fish.

It didn't take long. On my first cast, I was gawking at a large group of kayakers, when I missed a massive strike. I reeled in my bait and found that the tail had been completely ripped off of my soft plastic lure. Bummer! I quickly retied and continued on in hopes of making up for the missed strike. Luckily, my efforts were rewarded. I waded and fished for about an hour--ending up with 3 nice smallmouths, one 16+ incher, and a pretty little sunfish.

To be honest, I expected to catch a few more fish than I did... but the quick little trip was still very much a success. It was nice to visit the river again--to wade around the weed beds, feel the gentle breeze, and to take in the summer scenery. Speaking of which, I saw a bald eagle on this trip. It flew overhead about 100 yards away and continued up river. It you haven't been fortunately enough to see an eagle in person, definitely make an effort to see one. They are huge birds, and very impressive to see in flight! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Look out swimmers...!

I was lucky enough to spend Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week with my good friends Zack and Jenny and their family at Assateague Island State Park, in Maryland. Zack and Jenny had been on the beach since the previous Friday and had been fishing hard without much luck, so hopes were not extremely high as far as catching. Still, with Hurricane Bill churning in the Atlantic we hoped some of the effects of the storm might change things up for the better.

I arrived Tuesday afternoon, and we fished that evening and into the night without a bite. The next day we got started in the morning, but were unfortunately told to leave the beach because of an oncoming storm, which never materialized. Luckily, after we returned to the beach in the afternoon a couple of sharks decided to come inshore to play. First off was Matt, a friend of Zack's from Johnstown area. We were all lounging in our beach chairs when the tip of Matt's rod twitched ever so slightly... we all walked over to the rod, but honestly didn't expect much as the sharks we are used to catching generally hit like a freight train and this seemed more like a bait stealing skate or dogfish. Matt picked up his rod and could feel that a fish was biting and taking some line. Sure enough, before long he set the hook and was into the first shark of the trip--which turned out to be a small, but sleek looking dusky shark--not a monster by any means, but still enough to draw a crowd from the resident beach goers, fearing for their limbs, lol.

About an hour after Matt's catch, I had just re-baited and casted out one of our smaller bait rods when I thought I heard the faint sound of a reel clicker. I paused for a second then dismissed the thought. A moment later, everyone was yelling and we were all racing over to my rod. The line was peeling off of my reel and I quickly tightened up the drag, turned the clicker off, and just like that was tight onto a fish. The fight turned out to be a little bit less than I was hoping for, but the angry little shark did make at least one more decent run. In couple of minutes I had shark number two on the beach--another small dusky nearly identical to the previous one.

Last but certainly not least, was Jenny's dad Dave, who brought in the most ferocious critter of the trip. I can't say it was the toughest fight, but for all who were there I can say without a doubt that the hook set was memorable, lol. There is not much I can say about this beast, so I guess I will just let the pics speak for themselves... ;)
All in all, it was an awesome couple of days. Time flies when you are having fun and these days were no exception. The action wasn't fast, but like always, everyone had a great time and we actually did end up catching a few sharks. I only get to see Zack and Jenny a couple times per year and it is always a joy to spend time with them. Fish or no fish it is great to spend time with good friends--but thankfully we didn't have to deal with the no fish part on this trip, lol! Thanks again Zack and Jenny for an awesome couple of days, and for sharing your campsite and hot dogs with me, ha ha. And thank you all for reading as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Flatties and a toothy...

I haven't had a whole lot to report lately, but I did do a little bit of fishing this past week at the beach in Ocean City MD. Marianne and I stayed with her family from Saturday until Tuesday afternoon. I only have one picture to share with you so far (and its a cell phone pic, so poor quality) but I should have some more to post soon--after they are downloaded.

We had a great time! My brother-in-law Chad and I did a some flounder fishing, and caught a couple small ones. And one evening we all hung out on Assateague, made a fire, and fished for some sharks, also a lot of fun... (minus the horrible mosquito bites, lol) We ended up catching one shark, which I think was a small sandbar or maybe a dusky shark. This was the first time I tried using eels as bait for sharks, and I was surprised and happy that I caught one. This was also the first time that I had my kayak on the open ocean, as I kayaked a couple of baits out pretty far from the shore. It was lot of fun, and a bit interesting lauching throught the waves and then again trying to land safely on the shore break when I came back in.

Hopefully I'll get some more pics up from our trip soon. Next week I'm planning to head back down for a couple days to meet up with my buddy Zack and his fiance Jenny and her family. My buddies Pete and Chad might come along, too. So hopefully the weather will be good and I'll have some more fun stories to share next week. That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bees and Bass...!

Seems like time has been very limited lately, for one reason or another... But luckily I was able to get out a couple times this past week. :)

Thursday afternoon I hit a small pond that I hadn't been to since I was a little kid. My fishing time was cut short because somehow I ended up getting into a nest of yellow jackets, and was rewarded with a nice sting on my ear lobe, lol. Still the bees didn't chase me away before I was able to get a couple bass, with one nice one about 17 inches.

Later (thursday evening), Marianne, Lucy, my nephew Gabe, and I hit another local pond. Gabe and Bailey had gotten Marianne a new lure as a present--a pink Dancin' Tadpole--her favorite lure! We needed a good excuse to try it out. Fortunately, we had a great time at the pond and we all caught fish. Marianne got a real nice bass on her new tadpole, I got a couple small ones, and Gabe caught the lunker of the trip--a 19 1/2 incher! What a beautiful bass it was. Congratulations Gabe!

On Friday Gabe, Bailey, my Dad and I took a drive over the Shade Mountain to do some fishing in Middle Creek by Faylor Lake. We found a bunch of largemouth bass, sunfish, and rockbass. I think I had the largest of the trip, which was a bass around 14 inches... not bad for a creek bass! We all caught a bunch of fish and had a great time. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera along so there isn't any pics from this trip. I can't wait to go back though, wading the creek with my Dad and nephews was a lot of fun!