Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gearing up! And a quick trip... :)

If you have been fishing for a while like me... I would say it is a pretty safe bet that somewhere (or many places) in or around your residence, you have accumulated some fishing gear.

It's nothing to be ashamed of... In fact, if you have visited my place, you will know that I have mountains of lures, piles of reels, and forests of fishing rods growing up all around my house... I've been gearing up for years, and for a serious angler, it really is a never ending process... and it is one of my favorite things about fishing! :)

Tackle manufacturers are continually coming out with new fishing "stuff"... Cooler, nicer-looking stuff, stuff that is stronger, lighter, and undoubtedly works better and is more durable than our old stuff! :) I know that if it were up to my wife, sometimes she'd like to tell me where to "stuff" my fishing stuff, lol... (Lucky for me, she is a very understanding woman)

Still there is always more gear (stuff), and there is always (at least for me) a new type of fish that I am interested in chasing. Usually, when it comes time for me to target a new species of fish, I've found that the quest often requires some specialized equipment... which leads me into my current situation.

Lately, I've had muskies on the brain... MUSKY MADNESS!!!!!! I've been fishing for muskies, watching musky shows, visiting all the musky fishing websites, checking out all kinds of musky gear, AND even purchasing some musky fishing "stuff" (lures, tackle bags, hooks, cutters etc...) It's been a lot of fun! The only problem I have run into, is that I can't seem to catch one. I haven't landed a musky since February...!

Central PA is not the best place in the world to be a musky hunter, but it's not the worst place either... This summer I have drawn nothing but blanks chasing muskies. But I keep telling myself that our local fishery is better in the cooler months. So, hopefully I'll have some decent reports about some feisty toothy critters to share with you this coming fall and winter.

As far as recent reports go, I haven't been doing much fishing lately. But I do have one successful fishing report to share with you.

Last Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day, and Marianne and I knew that we had to get outside and do something. The air was warm and the sky was sunny, so we decided to go out and do a little bit of wet wading. The fishing wasn't fast and furious, but we did end up having some action. Marianne scored first, with a nice little smallmouth bass that put up a good fight and showed off some aerial acrobatics.

We continued fishing for a while with no luck. After what seemed like ages, I finally I got a bite and came tight to a nice fish. I fought it for a while and eventually ended up landing a nice looking channel cat... After fishing for a while longer I ended up landing another nice channel cat. Both fish came on soft plastics and they fought hard in the strong current where we were fishing. After the channel cats, it seemed like somebody officially turned off the switch and we were done for the day--no more bites.
If you have been paying attention to the weather lately, I'm sure you've noticed that nights have been getting much cooler. Everywhere I look, it just seems like the woods and waters of central PA are beginning to prepare themselves for a transition towards Fall... That get's me excited!

I love fishing in the cooler months, especially Fall. There are so many different options, and so many different species. Fall is such an exciting time of the year to fish! So here is to hoping that this Fall brings with it good weather, fun times, and success on the water. Until then, I hope you enjoy gearing up for whatever species of fish you may pursue (I know I will) and I also wish you the best of luck on the water! Maybe I will see you out there. Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall is JUST around the corner!!!

In fact, one month from today will be the autumnal equinox--our first official day of fall! Can you tell that I am looking forward to it? :)

This summer has been one of the hottest (and driest) summers that I can remember, and thinking back to last year's comfortably-cool and wet summertime weather provides no relief. Still, I believe we have made it through the worst of it at this point. The end of August is now upon us. The days have been growing noticeably shorter, and the nights have been growing longer. Before long we will be seeing signs of fall, and it is my hope that seeing some more fish on my line (SOON) will be included in those signs of fall.

As for the past couple of weeks... fishing has been S-L-O-W (at least for me).

Last week Marianne had some time off of work, so we decided to break out the kayaks and hit the water. On our first outing we spent a few hours fishing and exploring a local lake, and on our second adventure we made a nice float down the Juniata River.

We did a fair amount of fishing mixed in with the paddling on both of our trips, and we did do some catching as well. We each got a few small largemouth at the lake, and we also caught some smallmouth on the river as well. Marianne caught the largest bass, which was a healthy 14 inch smallmouth and I got a nice quillback carp.

The river fish were particularly tough during our float. We each saw good numbers of some very nice bass, but most of them were not quite aggressive enough to be caught. Oftentimes they would chase our lures, but would pull up just short of biting. I tried numerous lures and techniques hoping that I could figure out how to trigger a bite, but in the end I just couldn't quite put the pieces of the puzzle together. The water was VERY warm during our float, and I think the high temps had much to do with the tough fishing.

Marianne and I also had a nice evening picnic at a local lake this past week as well. We met up with my family and ate some good food and did some fishing along the shoreline. My nephews each caught a couple bass (Bailey is pictured at the top of the page) and I got a couple small ones as well.

Moving on from freshwater to salt, this past week my buddies Brad and Chad accompanied me on a quick trip to Assateague Island where we met up with my good friends Zack, Jenny, and a large portion of Jenny's family for some shark fishing. Every year I try to make it down to the beach to spend some time chasing sharks with these guys, and we always have a blast!

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate very well for us this year. Monsoon rains made tent camping very impractical and uncomfortable (especially for three 6 ft. tall guys). So we decided to come home early, after only one evening of unproductive fishing and looking at a very unfavorable weather forecast. In hindsight we should have stayed longer, as the rains stopped and the shark fishing turned on for Zack soon after we left... In the words of my wife, "Ya win some and ya loose some." :) I guess we lost that one.... Still, I'm looking forward to next year. Here is a pic of Zack with a nice sandbar shark that he caught earlier in the week.
I guess that is all I have to share with you in this entry. Hopefully things will turn around soon... In fact, I believe they will. In the past I have always seen an increase in smallmouth activity as the summer comes to a close, so look for things to start turning around in the next couple of weeks. With any luck I will get back to you with a more positive report soon! Until then, thanks again for reading and hopefully I'll see you on the water.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Quick Trip and a Quick Report :)

I'll keep this short. Dad and I hit the river for a quick afternoon trip a few days ago... The water was low, clear, and very warm--a perfect afternoon for wet wading.

We targeted a semi-deep stretch of water that has some nice structure in it, and we fished mainly weightless soft plastic jerkbaits. Luckily the smallmouth cooperated. We didn't catch a bunch of fish, but we did manage double digits between the two of us... with a few pretty nice ones mixed in! There were some great surface strikes too, which is what I love the most about summertime fishing.

Other than our nice little afternoon trip to the river, I don't have much else to share with you this week. I fished a couple of midnight sessions, hoping for some hybrid stripers or largemouth... but all I got was the skunk. Thank the Lord it's August, and in a few weeks we will be seeing signs of fall... I'm looking forward to it :)

Hope you enjoy the pics!