Monday, March 26, 2012

Bassin' The Midwest: Bass and Crappie March Madness!

Bassin' The Midwest: Bass and Crappie March Madness!: Day 1: With all of the frustration with work coming to a grinding hault on Friday I knew that the coming weekend was going to be my onl...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Broken Success

           I had a VERY interesting evening! I went hardcore bassin for the first time this season. I was loaded for bear with four rods. I had a spinner-bait rod, worm rod, crank-bait rod and a spinning rod. I had a grub of life on the spinning rod which only got me one small fish. The crank-bait came up empty. However, the Texas rigged bps hula grub and the spinner-bait were another story. I toss the hula grub and on my first cast I hook and lose what looked to be a 17inch fish. Son-of-A….. I was furious. The third cast a solid thump and off to left went my line. This fish was heavy! I leaned back and with a huge head thrash my first five pound fish of the year! I switch to a spinner bait and move down the high cut shore line. This shore is nice with the weeds still down I am up high, its like standing on the deck of a bass boat. I cast across a cove, in about three turns of the reel and there was a huge roll! With a fast low sweeping hook set I hear CRACK!!! My mid-range Shimano rod explodes in three pieces! I just stand there shocked like the guy from the second Grumpy Old Men after his encounter with catfish hunter. The best I can guess is I saw a stick sticking out of the ground, I figure I hit it in just the right spot. Then I notice my line did not break and the fish is still on! Sweet at least I got him. I work my way around the lake and catch two more nice fish. I also met a local named Bob and we stood there for a half hour and traded stories, a very nice guy. It was the perfect night to experience broken success.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The 2012 Grocery Run Opener

I am not sure if any of you read my thread on the old DA site about going out for errands and trying your best to squeeze in a couple casts. (I know you do this too lol). Well today was my first grocery store bass run I will call it the 2012 Grocery Run Opener. When I do this I usually pick one rod and one lure. A lot of the time I choose an spinner bait. I can cast them a country mile and they are fantastic search baits and you don’t need to keep pliers with you to get any fish off. Today I hit 4 ponds. In most cases I am in and out in five minutes. Get out of the car run down to a favorite area, and make 5-10 cast then back to the car. When I get a fish, of course a few more casts follow. Today I was throwing a Strike King Red Eye, it was chartreuse and white. Each pond would yield one bass tonight. However I have at least for blow up and miss the bait. If I had been out hard core there would have been plastic to follow in situations like this. One bass SMASHED my bait sooo hard it knocked or ate the skirt clean off!! And yet I did not get the hooks to it. Oh well so is fishing, at least I was lucky enough to catch a few on a beautiful evening and the first grocery run of the year.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kids and the Irish Crappie Jig

On a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day after a morning of fishing with fellow DA Pro-Staffer Darkstar; my mom, sister, and my nephew stop by and I decided to take the kids to a local pond. The fish for the most part are small but if you hit them right there is plenty of crappies and bluegills for everyone to fight something. I first wanted to get my little guy a couple quick fish so I put some waxies and an ant ice jig under a float on his kiddy pole. The bluegill were in right next to shore so he got to watch in amazement as gills fought and stole a few waxies before he landed a couple. Darkstar and I on our recent crappie hunts have had some steady bites from using ice fishing plastics. In this case it is the Micro Nuggie. They are a fantastic bait, easy to use, durable, and come in different sizes. Even the smallest crappie has no issue sucking them in. I decide instead of changing baits every 5 seconds I would try to teach the kids how to use these fantastic bait replacements. I brought three ultra lights as well each loaded with 4lb line. Since we would not be fishing more than 3 feet down I used larger Thill ice floats with the rubber band stoppers, there was no need for slip floats. These floats in low wind conditions cast pretty easy and are ultra sensitive and telegraph a bite so good a second grader can use them and see the bites. My daughter is in second grade and last year just got use to using a big pole and spinning gear. My nephew Max is a great kid and has fished in Wisconsin for pike and walleye but still anxious to learn mid-west fishing techniques. We used two kinds of jigs with the nuggies, Fat Boys and Tungsten jigs. I only had to show my nephew once what to do and it took a couple hand over hand practice casts with my daughter to get it down. The process is really easy. First cast of course, second I had them point their rod tips to the ground(this makes the next step easier), third I had them repeat after me, Twitch Twitch Pause-Twitch Twitch Pause. After each pause they reel one half or full turn of the reel, just enough to get the slack out for the next- Twitch Twitch Pause. When there is a little chop on the water the nuggies tale wiggles on it’s own a bit and you can get some fish without the TTP. My daughter caught several fish and my nephew ended up with a few crappie and about twenty gills. Later in the evening I went back and caught 10-15 in about 45 minutes! It was the perfect day for the Irish Crappie Jig.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Gave Us a Glimpse

After a marathon of pond hopping looking for an active crappie bite last week, we needed too succeed in some tight lines this weekend. Darkstar came by just as early yesterday and I loaded my stuff in his car. The seat warmers again showed me some love!(From here forth all cars I own must have them) It was much colder than I expected for a day that would end in the upper fifties! It was only about 27 degrees as we got set up in our spot, the sun not quite up yet. We picked the pond we had the best luck at the last time out, the pond only yielded two fish. Zip, zip, zip  our slip bobbers sailed in the air. We set our lines at separate depths to try to find the suspended crappies at 4,5,6, and 7 feet down in about 9-11 feet of water. We used waxies spikes and minnows on tungsten ice jigs with just the right amount of shot to balance our floats just right. Many fishermen have no idea how to properly balance a float, just as many do not realize the huge difference the right float can make. It can mean a great day or little to no fish. Just as the sunrise started to hit our faces one of the floats did the sneaky very slow drop into the darkness. CRAPPIE woohoo! It took us just a little more time to dial them in, casting in the right area at the right depth. 6.5 feet down was the magic number today. The bite was on! The only bad side of a fast bite on a cold morning is the frozen effects it has on fingertips hooking small minnows on jigs. Holy crap our fingertips were freaking cold even with hand warmers in our pockets. The crappies moved off and we had a hard time dialing them in again, however a large school of nice gills moved in with some bonus largemouth mixed in. The gills kept grabbing the minnows off the ice jigs so we switched to micro nuggie plastics and stuck them good! We were able to tighten our presentation in the high winds using Thill-Gold-Medal-Series-TG-Waggler floats. The thin profile of this float when balanced with the right amount of shot makes float fishing crappie in white caps possible.  The float just does not have the mass for the wind and waves to push quickly. After 20-30 fish between us we felt blessed that spring had given us a glimpse of the action that is before us among a variety species this season.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carp Rockets Watch The Skies!

On a warm summers day my friend CC calls to say to meet him at the only pond we had to fish. The pond was Mill Pond filled with old bikes, old wood, rocks, and Carp. Big carp and lots of them and by this time I had put in my time and learned their habits. I was getting pretty good at hooking them. My old man had just purchased a new spinning combo and I was NOT to touch it. But I did not hesitate to grab it on my way out of the old dusty garage. It was early summer and it was 80 degrees at dawn. My buddy CC all 6’2 of him (we were only 15) pulled up on his bike as well. “Let’s do it Danno!” He said with a huge smile on his face. My dad had a metal worker he knew make us some beautiful stainless steel rod holders. They were great, easy to get in hard dry ground, and strong enough to hold the big ones. I cast my Dad's rod out first with a large float and a gold Aberdeen hook with golden nuggets of corn threaded up and onto the line. CC was fast and already had two rods out. We fished on top of a high 5 foot wall with two large holes for run off rain water to pass through. The fat boys always cruised the four foot of coffee colored water in front it. CC looked at my rod and said “Damn Dan is that your Dad’s new rod? Do you think you should be using it?” I laughed I said that nothing could happen to it besides it is in that rod holder safe and sound. Not two minutes later as I had my back turned baiting my other rod. I hear a loud SHLING!!  CC yells holy sh-t Dan! I turn to catch my Dad’s new rod flying like a fourth of July bottle rocket out into the muddy abyss!! Son of a B…… I ran and did not hesitate right off the wall through the air and into Mill POOP Water Pond!! Splash!! CC yells what are you doing man? I say panicked “I have to get my dad’s rod back!” Ready to cry and up to my chest I search frantically.  I found a bike, a rake, and several trees. CC was laughing sooo hard he was on his back kicking his huge feet. “I have never seen anything like this.” I tell him too shut up man. CC calms down and says “Dan Man there is no way your gonna find it.” Then Like an old horror film he points eyes wide and whispers “Dan, look behind you.” Ever so slowly my tall orange balsa float swims by me. I take a big swallow and I hook my arm behind it as fast and as deep as I can. I hooked the line on my arm! I followed the line and there was my old man’s rod!! I quickly reeled and the fight was on!  As the stinky mud was all over me; you know the kind that smells like a sewer dark black and fermented, I reel. CC stared on in absolute disbelief. The carp devil slashed and splashed. This was of course my first wet wade. I soon had a nine pound carp and my father’s new combo landed on shore. CC between bursts of uncontrollable laughter just kept saying I can’t believe you jumped in, I can’t believe you got the rod; I can’t believe you got the fish. The moral of this story is stay away from your Dad’s stuff! Oh yeah and keep that rod holder straight or you could end up with carp rockets of your own.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quick Trip 3-6-12

I got home from work this evening and found it warm and still light out. I got dressed as fast as I could and ran out the door down to a local pond. I pitched out some minnows and spikes looking for crappie. I search the 7-9 depths I had found them at the last time and fished different depths looking for my spotted foes. I was out witted this night by the sly crappies. I looked at my feet and was a little surprised to see a gill trying its best to get a dead minnow in its mouth. What we they doing next to shore with the water still so cold? I only had 15 minutes or so left till dark. I quickly adjust to 2 feet down and loaded my ice jig with spikes. BAM BAM BAM in they came one after the other. I caught a quick dozen of these GIANT gills (insert sarcasm). I was glad to have an ultra lite! I fought each like it was the fish of a lifetime playing each one out. Enjoying the unexpected quick action. Funny, I would have just ignored these little guys once things heat up and left them for my kids to catch but they provided me with a few minutes of tiny pan-fish fun tonight.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: Washing Off the Skunk

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: Washing Off the Skunk: Today started earlier than other recent trips fishing with my friend Dan (Pondboy).  I had to get to his house at 5AM to insure we could get...