Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cabelas, Aquaview, & Fish Tv Faceoff

Under Water Camera Review 2012
Cabelas, Aqua-Vu, & Fish Tv Faceoff 

Cabelas 5.5 inch camera 
This camera has a great price point at 120.00, came with a great carry bag, and promise; however it came up short in performance. With the 12v battery, case, screen, and cable the camera was very heavy and large. Hard to lug around when an angler also has electronics, heater, shelter, minnows ect. The camera itself was hard to get in and out of a six inch hole. The biggest issue was the led lights broke on its first trip severely dampening its effectiveness. On the Pondboy score of a possible 5 hooks, this affordable option only gets one hook.

 Aqua-Vu Micro Av 
 I had extremely high hopes for this camera especially after shelling out 299.99. The small size was great for moving around since it fit in my pocket and small tackle bag.The small size became a problem when you want to sit it somewhere and watch it while you fish. It needs a stand or holder of some kind. The infrared lighting on this system rocks, you can see your jig at night. The small diameter of the cable I though would be a plus but lining up and maintaining a direction to watch your jig is a struggle. The line is on a cheap plastic spool that cracks very easily. The notch that hold the line does not do its job and the line falls off the spool often. The fact that it is rechargeable is a great asset. All cameras should be like phones and laptops. The color screen I thought would be a huge plus, funny thing there just is not that much color down there. My local lake just does not have the clown fish. Also for the price this system cannot record! My phone has that option and I paid less than half of this camera’s price. This camera scores 3 hooks on the Pondboy 5 hook scale. 

Fish Tv 
This camera is black and white and is shaped like a TV! The TV has a couple different models one with a video out to record and one without. All underwater cameras need to come with a 4gb drive and usb hookup. I cannot believe this is not a standard feature across the board with all cameras at a price the average angler can swing. The price point for this system was not bad at $135.00 it was smaller that the Cabelas camera and easier to carry and move around the shelter. The cool camera is disguised as fish and I had no issues getting it in and out of a six inch hole. It is powered by 10 c batteries. That’s around 10.00 bucks every time you replace them. But with the C’s the camera is not heavy. Some come with a 12v power cord if you choose to 86 the C’s. The camera was easier to control but it still took some effort. However aided by a camera compass (plastic disk) once your at the right depth, control was much easier. This camera comes with invisible infrared lighting as well which out shines the LEDs. I was able to record by using my camera to record the screen and still came up with some fun clips. This Camera gets 4 hooks on the Pondboy 5 hook scale! 

Fish TV is the Winner in this camera show down.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ice Fishing Clinic with Pondboy

It was very early when the first Dupage Angler member Darkstar showed up at my house. With a hand shake and some laughs we went to the lake before the others to make sure the ice was safe. The winter of 2012 has been an interesting one for ice anglers. Drill, check, drill, check drill, and check, 4-5 inches everywhere, Fantastic. It did not take long for the others to check in, SteeliePete, Wacky Bass, Fluke, M Wolf, and Brimreaper. I bring them to a lake I know very well. The wind was whipping and cold. We started drilling and checking electronics while others get to fishing. Mwolf came up big with the first fish and his first ice bass!!! Blue bird skies as pretty as they are always seem to have an adverse reaction on the bite. A few small gills are found some caught and some missed. The lack of fish was NOT a result of not looking and fishing. As we decide to try another location we pulled away and gazed at the swiss cheese we had created. At the second location Brim nails a very nice crappie right on the first drop! Everyone who went to the second spot caught fish but had to work for them. This location has been one of my favorites but the bite was slow here as well. Everyone had figured out how to catch fish here and I was really happy about that. Darkstar and I figure that we would give it one more try and head to a third location for some night fishing. Darkstar has an aqua view micro and took some time to dial it in. We managed to catch a few more gills and a bass, but like the other locations the bite was slow. We watched helplessly as schools of gills swim by and do not bite. Tired and arms ready to fall off we pack up and head for home happy filled with new memories, friends, and some new fishing skills. I want to thank everyone who attended and braved the weather, wind, cold, and tough bite. I had a great time and look forward to the next angling adventure. For the rest of the photos click here:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: I got off cheap

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: I got off cheap: I got off cheap. For less than what I spent last summer on a 7' carbon-fiber rod and baitcast reel I got enough gear to cut a hole in the ...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: First time fishing in 2012

Darkstar72's Fishing Blog: First time fishing in 2012: It was less than 20 degrees.  It was early. I arrived at my friend Pondboy 's house at 7AM.  Today, the 21st of January 2012 I took my fir...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gone fishing video

River Grubs make for a Fall Lake Surprise

Darkstar and I meet up and river fish when we can. He had received some info from Ken G on a grub he likes to throw. I have a whole box of “walleye grubs” from years past from fishing Canada and the fox for fall walleyes and I always carry some in with me when I hit a river. But Darkstar told me that these grubs seem to produce more and was nice enough to give me a handful to try. I was tired today fighting off some virus and my little guy is sick.(anytime my kids are sick I am a nervous wreck) Anyway I decide to make a few casts at the lake I live across from. Do to a lot of poaching I have not had the success I used to have in an hour outing 1-4 fish makes me pretty happy and gone are the days of many decent fish. I went out to clear my head not really with any fishing plan. I grabbed a walleye rod that still had this grub that Darkstar had on it and a pair of pliers that’s it. In one hour of fishing this Producto spring grub in Pearl-White I had landed 8 fish and missed 3 ranging from 9 – 18 inches! I am sure I would have cleaned up more had I not run out of light! Now I have grubs for large mouth but they are bigger I usually go with a Kalins Grub or something like it I also fish smaller versions for crappie. But the walleye grub I use for just that or smallies never used one for Largemouth before. Had I not had a headache and been to last to grab and rig rods I would not of thrown the spring grub. The grub itself is affordable and the spring design makes for smooth movement and holds a hook well. It is also durable I used the same grub the whole time. The jig head is different as well. Ken did his home work. The jig is sold at Cabelas The hook is larger, stronger and has a wider gap and I was able to pull it form snags easily. SIZE:1/16 OZ-SIZE 1/0STYLE:BARBED COLLAR The only down side is the hook sometimes impales the tail but it takes a second to fix it. The longer length on the shaft makes tail biters get caught as well Find the 1/16 oz jig with the hook size 1/0. They have a page with all their round jig heads and it was a little confusing. Of course since I was lazy I did not have my phone or camera. (sorry guys) This grub not only will be replacing my current walleye and small mouth grubs it will be part of my Largemouth line-up as well. Thanks Darkstar and Ken G for improving one of my presentations.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pipe Dreams This Pattern was Amazing!!

On this cold day in January I thought I would look back on the pattern of the summer. Many bass fishermen know that bass love drainage pipes. Usually a fisherman will work their pond or lake and will make sure to fish “the pipes”. Crappie fishermen have done this forever. After a good rain the rain water that is delivered through the pipes is like manna form heaven for all kinds of fish. This special delivery of water is loaded with bugs, oxygen, and all kinds of goodies. Crappie fisherman can sometimes stay on a pipe all day due to the large schools crappies can hang out in. One summer night while fishing with Fluke I caught three good bass 1,2,3 all in front of the one pipe in the county that had a little running water with the vicious heat wave that was upon us. After a large rainfall I thought that the bass would be loving this opportunity. So that is when I decide to only fish pipes for a day! My rules were pipes only! The only exception would be a couple of fan casts to the left and right of each pipe. What happen next was amazing! All most every pipe I fished had bass on it. Not just small bass either. I fished a black 7inch curly tail worm Texas style and a smaller bullet weight. I used a spinner bait and crank bait for my fan casting. In eight hours I fished 19 ponds and lakes, 9 subdivisions, and dozens of pipes!!!! The result was about 30 bass. Many of 18 inches! I missed about eight good fish as well. The hard part was having the self control to make myself leave a good pond that I know produce a few more fish. I had to believe that the next pond would have fish as well and I would get the most active fish. I was right. My largest fish was over 20 inches and believe it or not, when I went to shore the fish it shook and threw the hook. I dove after it and tried to scoop it but it was to big and slipped out of my hand. My father during our competitive catfish contests always said “listen punk it does not count unless you touch it!” So next time it rains, take a bag o plastics and make your self some pipe dreams. PS. Carp fisherman, I saw about 1000 carp at these pipes that day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just for fun

My First Ice Fishing Trip

It was a Friday in my sophomore year of high school I watched in amazement as the Eskimos ice fished on tv. I could do that, I thought to myself! I call my best friend Ben and told him that we were great fisherman and how hard could this possible be? We made plans to meet at my house at dawn the next morning. 

7:30 Ben shows up gear in hand. I grab mine; we mount our trusty ten speeds, and start up the frozen street. It was pretty freaking cold but we did not notice. We were filled with adrenaline and excitement about our new angling experience. As we traveled and faces got chapped we talked about our indoor soccer team, breasts, fishing, boobs, an upcoming party and back to women.

Mill pond my first true spot that belong to just me, well it had to. I could not drive and the mud hole was the only body of water in the neighborhood. We got there and I was already cold, but there was NO WAY I was going to say anything. At 15 you never blink first! Ben asks me “how do we make the hole?” Since I did not see the beginning of the show I guess on how I thought this must be done. “Dude I brought tools” The way I figured it I saw a guy sculpting ice with a chisel. Soooo that how we must do it! I pulled out a hammer and my dads brand new chisel.

WACK, SMACK, and BOOM!!! So it went and went and went on. About an hour in and on my turn to chisel Ben is getting his pole out. I say “dude you have to take off the top halve of your rod.” He asks me why and I say “not sure man I just know they have to be short.” With each slam of John Henry’s hammer water and ice splashed us in our faces and all over our ill-outfitted bodies. At the 2 hour mark we broke through! Unfortunately our hole was only 2 inches wide.

By now I am freaking freezing and I cannot feeling my face, hands, or feet. We are fishing though! Hell we just worked our pubescent asses off. So we bait up both our now stunted zebco 202’s. We put on bread. Yes, bread. I forgot to mention that mill pond was a dingy carp pond!

So here are these two poor son of as guns are covered in frozen water and ice, fishing with two zebco 202s that are missing the top halves, two lines, two bobbers, and two big balls of bread fishing for carp. The species least ice fished for. Could you only imagine if we would have hooked one? 

So finally I tell my friend I am wicked cold. He agrees that he is dying as well. We admit defeat and start home. Mill pond was about 2 miles from home and to add insult to injury, about half way we realize that we are not going to make it!!!! I HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN THAT COLD. We were smart enough to know we were in trouble and stopped at a friend’s house. Her mom welcomed us with open arms got us dried off, called our folks, slowly warmed our hands, and got us some hot chocolate and food. 

It was truly lucky we did not get frost bite that day. When we got older and became skilled ice anglers every time we went one of us would say something in reference to that fated day. Ben even added the cliff notes version of the story during his speech at my wedding. 

With hard water coming up I wanted everyone to have a chuckle and look forward to a great season. Stay Safe.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Root River : A Crumbling Fishery for a Serious Angler.

The Root River : A Crumbling Fishery for a Serious Angler.

I have been fishing the Root River in Racine Wisconsin for 20 years, most of the time in the fall for Kings and sometimes in the winter for steelhead. There has always been many fisherman and many fish. The Root River draws anglers because it brings a fall run of salmon some pushing 35 pounds! Catching these fish on the fly has burned some completely vivid, awesome, and lifelong memories in my head. First and foremost it is not easy for most serious fisherman to all of the sudden share spots and large fish with others.

Because of this there are some unwritten and some very real laws to help the fisherman get along, catch fish, and like any sport keep a fair playing field as well as good sportsmanship. Here are the UNWRITTEN RULES:

1. Do not be stupid.
2. If you want a good spot get your butt out of bed early and claim one
3. Do not walk through a fishing hole. There is only one way and that is around.
4. If you snag do not go in after it. If you could afford a license, you can afford to lose a few flies
5. Do not be stupid.
6. Do not sleep until 8 eat a nice breakfast and expect to walk up and squeeze into a top spot ( also see rules 1,2,5)
7. YOU CANNOT KEEP A FISH THAT IS FOWL HOOKED (real law) sooo do not waste everyone life by trying to tow a tale hook salmon against the current. Break it off genius.
8. There are fish limits for a reason, do not steal, sell, net, harpoon, or SNAG them (see rules 1 and 5)
9. We do not care where you are from and what they did there or how you were raised. If your dad was stupid don’t pass it on. Your in America now follow rules 1 and 5
10. FISH Sanctuary. I am just guessing but I am pretty sure you cannot fish there (see rules 1 and 5)
11. Get a license
12. I love casting spoons. However casting them in 2 -3 foot of water in the middle of fly fishermen may be breaking rules 1 and 5
13. There is no fishing before the official start time. I am fairly certain that’s why they made one
14. No night fishing in the rivers does not mean hey lets night fish in the rivers
15. Just because you look like a fisherman doe not mean you are one. Manners… Get Some

This weekend we saw almost every one of these rules broken. I asked a friend if he removed all of the fisherman who broke rule #1 how many would be left, he said “ out of all of them here and not here lined up along the entire river 30.” Unfortunately the fun of catching these fish no longer out weighs the endless quagmire of stupidity. As each season passes the amount of sad pitiful characterless wanna be fisherman doubles and the salmon numbers seem to go down. Racine (sorry if you live there) is a dirty nasty town and not a fun place stay. The truly sad part of this is that if the city and state agencies got their heads out of their $%$, and invested in clean up, education, stocking, marketing and shoreline/river up-keep, improvements, and construction this could have been a win win for everyone. You know the saying there is never a DNR agent around when you need one, goes double at the Root. I have read and been told that in other states and fisheries the fishing is better, the areas are nicer, and the anglers in general follow rules 1 and 5.
One of these years this smart young man will be spending his fishing dollars at a real salmon run. By next season unfortunately my anger will have dulled and my endless need for fishing will still not be quenched and I will most likely break rules 1 and 5 and go back.

Oh I almost forgot Root River Report: Water and fish are numbers low. Few fish hooked. Biggest fall run of pee brained scaled slimy want to be anglers to date.

Why I Fish

My best friend and wife asked me once why I fish. The only thing I can remember about how this started is that I was about 9 and I was playing with GI Joe and something said go ask your Dad for a fishing pole. I was not completely sure what fishing was. That Christmas My parents got me a boy scout model Zebco 101 and by spring me and the old man were off to the races. The long days out with my father are what I miss most about him now that he has many medical issues. It is one of those times in your life when you look back and just want one, one day back. If I went back in time now, I would run up and hug him tight, ask him what I could carry, and talk his ear off all day long.(we did not talk much when we fished. ( Most guys don't talk but I should have talked with the old man.) The best way I can describe fishing is it like stopping time. You step out of everyday life and are alone, away from all the bills, noise, hardships, traffic, and responsibilities. I have children now and a busy life so the hard core day out is rare. I usually spend too much time preparing the night before, making sure I have the right rod and tackle just set-up the right way; because tomorrow I will not be beaten by any mere scaled foe. Before I know it the alarm goes off. You’re tired but it is not the same tired as if you were getting up for work. I don’t need a shower to wake me up. Hell, I am going fishing! I grab my stuff pack a snack, water, and camera. I sneak out of the house not to wake the children who would be upset that I am not going with them the way I always do. I pull out in to the darkness hoping the no other angler has the same plans as myself. (There is nothing worse than getting to your spot and there is someone already there!) You drive as excitement builds and you start to wonder how many battles are in store this day. I get there and get my waders on and load up. That is the first time when you feel at ease. The night and quiet rap around you and you hear the running water of the creek that is forming a low fog as the sun starts to rise. When I do get this opportunity for one full day I go wading. I have fished for just about any species you can name. There is just something about stepping into a river and being a part of the system of life around you. I am fishing for smallmouth today, or Bronze Backs. They are so very strong for their size, coupled with the current they are a great nemesis. Once you’re in the water it is like another universe. I have heard divers say the same thing. I start out with live bait and a small balsa wood float. I get hypnotized just watching the bobber slip in-between the ribbons of current. Then, it is gone. Holy Crap!! Stay calm. Stay calm. Wait one second...... NOW!! The water explodes, your line makes a screaming sound and there is a heavy pressure in your arm. Control it, there you go, turn him, turn him, and keep his head up! You reach in with a flash and it over, you have one. They are beautiful in their own way. I have no need to keep it. I will go to jewel if I need fresh fish for dinner. So I let it slip away and hope to fight him again or that my kids may one day hook it when it is old and fat from years of life. At that point I Settle down and take a deep breath, relax, and get ready to do it again. That’s it. It's perfect. It is part of who I am

1986 Fox River Report:

1986 Fox River Report:

After a long day of playing hacky sack, playing on sega genesis and listening to my brand new walkman. My dad comes home from work and says we are going night fishing in Elgin! Totally Awesome. I scarf down my mom’s famous chili. My dad takes the frozen milk gallon filled with water and breaks it with a hammer for ice. I go down to the basement fridge and grab crawlers, leeches, and chicken livers. He grabs the lantern and the net and I grab rod-holders, rods, bells, and buckets to sit on. We load the wagon and mom yells to be careful. I say something about catching a body to gross her out and my father says to knock it off. He starts the car, I try to sneak in a def leopard tape, he looks at it and says “No way am I listening to that sh-t” I laugh and we are on our way. As we cruise down Lake Street we play slug bug while he sings to Waylon and Willie and the boys. We drive past the ADULT drive-in and laugh at the titles. Now playing PussnBoots snicker snicker. He laughs and says “Daniel it does not matter how far you stretch that neck of yours, you are not going to see anything!” We turn down Slade street and now my stomach gets nervous and I am excited to get started. This is the part were I foolishly tell the best fisherman in the world that I the zit faced mullet wearing punt is going to kick his ass tonight!  He is wearing some very old bib over-alls some beat-up hat a trucker gave him at work.(which was amazing in itself the mans head is huge) He chuckles and says “we will see what we will see.”  We each set up two rods with Wolf river rigs. A wolf river rig is a bell or river weight with to snelled eagle claw hooks above it . Each hook is a different size. There is a small one on top for leeches, minnows, and red worms and a big one on the bottom for crawlers, shrimp, and livers. Each rod is casted at a 45 degree angle down river and placed in a rod holder. Then a clam on bell is put at the top of each rod as a strike indicator. With in the first minute my ugly stick bends to the breaking point and my bell is yelling at the top of its metal lungs!! “I got it!” I jump on the rod and the fish is huge heaviest cat I hooked this year. Even up stream its more than I can handle. Something is wrong though. My old man yells “its you drag its too tight!” I fumble with the drag the way women fumble their keys in horror movies. SNAP!!! I actually fall on my ass. I start yelling and swearing. The happy hillbilly next to me just laughs. Next I tie on a new rig only to throw my bell through the night across the river. You see, your suppose to take them off BEFORE you cast. Now my mustached nemesis is getting tickled at my misfortune. While I am tying I here get the net! Dad gets a nice cat, then another. What the ….. I stand up and take a step only to kick my lantern in the river. When I bend over to look my brand new flash light falls out of my flannel shirt to its watery doom. Wilfred Brimley over there is laughing so hard he cannot breath (my dad really looks like the Quaker oats guy). I get into one of the pouts that only a teenager can gets themselves into. I yell “I am going to the john” As I start walking up the hill I hear his drag again! God hates me I mumble as I find the nearest big tree to mark my territory. Right when I am in the middle of my business my bell starts going hard. Holy cow!!! I wiz all over myself tryin to get my jeans right and slide down the hill to my rod. What no fish! What gives??? My dad is holding his belly just like Santa. He cannot talk he is laughing soooo hard in his hand is MY BELL. About 30 minutes Later my dad gets a fish. He pulls it in 10 yards, then it would stop. He give it some line, pull it ten yards and it would stop. This goes on for a while and he says “dang it son, you give it a try.” The same thing happens to me. Finally he grabs the rod and says game over and goes to break the line. It gives! He reels in and it is heavy but not swimming. I shine the light down and it is a cat wrapped around a log. This channel cat is now a flat head because we were banging the poor fishes head against this log!!! Man that was funny.

Things settle down I manage to catch a couple small cats and the old man catches 4 for more. He has totally beaten my butt again. I have had one of the worse nights fishing of my life. However with all that went wrong this is one of my very most cherished fishing memories, worth its weight in gold, and more important to me then many of my great nights I would have with out the old guy. 

To you younger fisherman: Get your dad and a camera and go fishing. Carry everything, don’t complain, fish where he wants, Listen to his music, talk his head off, hug him, thank him, and say I love you. For time is moving just like the waters you fish and these opportunities will not always be there. These trips are proof that there is a GOD and he loves you both.