"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." John Buchan

Friday, May 27, 2011

Full migration...

So after kicking the tires around some more with this blog I've concluded that I'm fairly satisfied with using this as my main means of archiving my fishing reports and other fishing related info.  I've migrated most all of the content from my http://www.chpc.utah.edu/~brian/Fishing web site over now.  The links, maps, reserved info have all been moved over and are now held in Google Docs and Picasa.  Then I've linked it all up from this blogspot page.  I created a few sub pages on the blog for things like toon/tube modifications, misc pics, and older fishing reports.  Anyway, I think I like how things are looking on this setup and am pretty happy with the tools at hand to store, maintain and keep things up to date.

 Next week I'm off to Park City for some vacation time.  There are some high hopes to get out on the tube a time or two during the week.  Location and date is yet to be determined.  We're hoping that the weather plays nice for a change.  So hopefully I'll have a report or two to add to the new blog soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jig Buffet

So for the past 4 evenings I've been working on a new batch of jigs.  I've again used Matzuo hooks in size 4, 2, 1, and 1/0.  This us my first batch to use the 1/0 sized hooks.  I wanted to try them just to have some longer shanks on some jigs.  Head sizes were 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, & 1/4 oz using my do-it-yourself walleye jig mold.

 For colors I did a bit of new and then more of what I've had.  The new was a rainbow trout head to go with my new Nothland soft plastics.  Pearl base with blue top and pink belly, then silver glitter dipped with UV coat.  I also did a few pearl base, black top, and a bit of ruby slipper on the belly to try a "bleeding" look.  Then a yellow chartreuse with a full cover of copper head which gives a mustard with speckle finish.  Also I did some blaze orange with copper head full coat to go with the Northland golden shimmer soft plastics.  Anyway here are a few pics including a couple taken under a black light.

After the above pics were taken it was time to "bake cure" the jigs so the paint is durable.  Had the usual set of 'nose bleeds' on some jigs from paint collecting at the tip of the jig that was facing down and forming into a bit of a 'Pinocchio nose'.  4 extreme cases of this resulted in very thin threads of paint with a gob at the end between 1" and 3" long or close enough to that.  

Also as I've seen before some jigs reseal their eye shut during the bake.  Tonight the biggest issue was with the new "super glow blue" paint jigs.  They were also the jigs I did last and that had the thinnest coating.  So I'm surprised at this and left to wonder if there is something special with this particular paint or maybe that I had just painted the jigs with it 20 minutes before baking them.  Maybe there is something to letting them sit over night?  Will have to do some kind of tests on this at a later time...  Anyway the bummer due to the sealed eyes is that I broke the eye buster on my Rapala tool lanyard.  I've been expecting it to break for some time but always have been surprised at how well it has put up with the abuse I've subjected it to breaking out eyes from freshly painted jigs.  Though using it to clean out an eye after a bake cure is asking a lot and as I twisted a jig to take it off the buster is when I noticed I had bent it and really broke it since it appears to have been hardened metal that broken instead of bent....  I did manage to 'tune up' the generic eye buster I had in the bigger tackle bag so that it lines up well and used that to finish the night.  Maybe it will prove to a fair buster now that the parts line up well.

So now all I have left to do is the time sink of gluing eyes on the jigs and getting my fingers coated with super glue....  Fun Fun Fun.... :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th @ the Knolls, Utah Lake

Well with the 3 days of info on how fishing, from the shore at least, was near Provo Harbor Jason and I were trying to determine where we should target for a Friday the 13th trip.  Weather forecast looked great, with 3 days previous of good to better conditions.  So we had high hopes that friday might turn into a fair, or better, fishing day.  We had talked about Lincoln Beach, Provo Harbor, Lindon Harbor and The Knolls.  We nixed Lindon as that was the location of our last 2 trips.  Both were poor days, though weather and conditions I'm sure gets the bulk of the blame.  So we were mostly dropping Lindon just to give us reason to go somewhere else for this trip.  On Wednesday Jason noticed a post on Big Fish Tackle from TubeDude saying that he was going to target the knolls on Friday.  Well that helped make our mind up and I sent TubeDude a PM to check to see if he would not mind some company out at the knolls.  We arranged to meet up between 6:30am and 7:00am to start the day.  Bit after sunrise (~6:12am), but maybe the sun being up would help get things moving in a positive way for us.

TubeDude and TubeBabe beat us to the knolls and onto the water.  TD was gracious enough to pause and pass us some of his infamous "blue eyed & left fined" minnows that catfish prefer over the standard everyday type minnow.  Anyway Jason and I finished getting setup though we were already down a few points as TD and TB had already scored a couple cats and white bass.  The promise for the day was looking up, though we had some catching up to do.  We got out on the water a short bit later and started kicking our way down south along the shore toward the rocky point where the two on the "rascal scooters" had already reached... ;)

Along the way I managed to catch a couple white bass, though I was not finding any sign of a concentration of them.  My second pole was dragging a bit of carp meat, fresh from the Wednesday trip to Provo Harbor, and snagging on anything and everything.  This was my first trip out with my new pole holders.  They are still the Scotty brand of pole holders with the Cabelas label on them, but this set works better with my new ultra light pole that has too short of a handle to work safely with the previous models I have.  Will save those to make pole holders for my pontoon for others to use.  Here is a picture of my new holder, note the string clip I attached in a similar fashion to the way TubeDude does.

This holder is a full tube with just a few cutouts up front.  It can be pulled up, as it has a hinge at the back, to let you set the hook as you pull your rod out of the holder.  I'm not really sure that is practical with the poles I have.  I think it is more for larger trolling poles where it might have some value.  So for me it is simply a stationary pole holder that works better with my rod assortment.  If you look close you can see the white plastic handle from a plastic knife electrical tapped to the left front part of the holder.  This lets you leave your bail open as you drag/drift bait for cats and to clip your string between the knife handle and the pole holder to keep string from just spooling out and to provide a minimal amount of resistance when a cat picks up the bait and runs with it.  The cool and unexpected twist is the rough texture this pole holder has on its surface mixed in with the clip produced a very audible tick tick tick and the string is pulled out of the clip giving you a bit more audible notice that something is shopping on that pole.  This setup for the string clip is superior to the way I had things on the other model of pole holders.  Not going to bother describing them here right now so just trust that this works better.

Back to the days activities though.  We moved along the shore near the rocky point where we finally caught up with TB.  TD was still further down the shore line playing in the shallows for some active whites he was finding.  I'm not sure really how many fish TD and TB each had in their baskets at this point but it was clearly more then Jason or I had.  I still only had 2 whites and Jason I think was still smelling the skunk.  So we worked around in that area for a bit.  Jason moved out deeper from the shore and I moved in toward the shore.  We both, with the wind that was still blowing a bit, started to drive/move down toward where TD was at.  I started to catch a white here and there along the shore.  Never really finding a concentration. Then Jason hollers out that he has something on his cat line and that it is big.  I watched him fight and then land a very nice sized catfish.  We estimated at the time that it was 24" + or - 2 ".  Later we measured it out at 26.5".  Took Jason some work to get that cat into his basket but he was all smiles and happy.  This was his biggest cat ever.

We kept moving along toward TD.  I had moved out some from the shore line into deeper water, yes I was jealous of Jason's nice catch and I wanted one (or more) too, and pitched out both poles with carp meat.  Jason kept position near where he caught his cat and I moved down toward TD.  As I moved down TD called out that he had a big one on his line.  I watched him work this fish for a long time.  Much longer then Jason had had to fight his.  So it set the level of anticipation higher as we watched the struggle continue.  After a fair fight, though fair is subjective ;), TD landed his healthy ~9# catfish.  Took it's picture and sent it back for another time.  Here his picture he took:

I spent some more time out in the 7-8' depth that both Jason and TD had caught their cats before one of my lines shot out with some gusto.  I closed the bail and set the hook and could tell this fish was bigger then the usual 'cookie cutter' cat.  Smile plastered to my face I fought the fish for a while, not as long as TD or Jason, but long enough.  When I got it to the surface I saw that I had a really nice cat as well.  Though after a try or two I found out my net was not up to the task, that and the cat would not politely curl up to fit into the net so I could retrieve it from the water.  Went to the backup plan and grabbed the lip grippers and waited for the cat to say "ahh" and locked onto this lower jaw and brought him up.

This is where my "newb" moment of the day came back to haunt me.  That being that I forgot to pack my tube apron that I use as a work surface as I'm on my tube.  Keeps things from falling off into the water and gives me a nice place to work on a fish.  Without that I was kind of having to work on my sides using the pockets as a minimal work surface.  So I carefully held the cat with the grippers and took off the fin spines and delivered the cat into my basket.  Much like Jason's this proved to be my biggest catfish ever. :)

Spent the next while waiting for a repeat of some sort with the cats.  We were kind of thinking the temps had turned the cats on.  The wind had died down and things were warming up.  It was really pleasant conditions to be out in.  Well it was slow going, slow as in nothing, for a while so I took the chance to snap a few "scenic" pics.

Well after enough slowness I headed in to where TD had mentioned the whites had been most active for him earlier along the shore past the rocky point.  I headed that way and started to find a white here and there.  I finally found an spot I could hold and cast in a few directions and land a white every few casts.  I think I managed a dozen or so whites in this area probably bringing my total up to the upper teens as far as basket contents.  TD was back with TB at the rocky point.  Jason was between myself and them.  TD reported that the whites were on fire at the rocky point and that he was landing doubles on his tandem setup.  I modified my line for a second jig but did not seen any doubles where I was at.  It did seem to help though in getting a bite in the first place.  After a bit Jason joined me where I was at until that spot died down.  We then moved back up toward TD at the rocky point.  Once there we got into some good white action and everyone got to add more whites to their basket.

I should admit though that my basket was shy of about 5-6 whites that somehow I fumbled getting into the basket of the coarse of the day up till now.  Have not had that much of a problem in the past....  I blame it on the missing tube apron, threw off my whole game..... :\

TD was showing us some of his hand painted crank baits he had been using with the whites.  So he pitched it again as he spoke and thump and bend went his pole.  He seemed a bit perplexed a the fight this white bass he figured was on his line was giving.  His drag was going bonkers as he fought in this fish.  I kept thinking to myself, he is pulling one on us and has his drag turned down to near nothing and this little white bass is getting the advantage of an easy run on the line....  Well no wool over eyes was involved after all.  Somehow TD had pitched the crank bait and hooked up on a nice carp.  The carp volunteered to join the ranks of 'cut bait' and in a basket it went.

Well it was getting close to time to head back so TD offered his tube towing service and threw me a rope to hold onto.  TB provided the same for Jason.  Well with their 'rascal scooters' going full speed we started the journey back to the vehicles.  Along the way TD stopped to help TB with a technical issue but we got back underway quickly enough.  This time though we had attached the tow rope to the drinks at the front of my tube.  This left my hands free to do some fishing as we went along.  I think I put 4-5 more whites into the basket along the way.  Proved to be a fine way to fish :)  Minimal effort and lots of water covered.  Past a fellow BFT'er along the way that TD knew.

Then it was final photo & cleanup time.

TD Basket:

TB Kitty & Basket:

"Da Boyz" with our silly grins and jumbo cats:

Well after that we finished cleaning up and headed home.  We felt pretty good for the day.  It was kind of a surprise to me as I had spent most of the day "feeling" like the day was going ok at best.  It wasn't until we got back to the vehicles and seeing everyone's basket that I realized how good the fishing had really been.  TD & TB had the most in their baskets, but Jason and I didn't embarrass ourselves with the baskets we had.  So we headed out feeling pretty good about things....

After processing the fish, quite the undertaking, I think we concluded that we had my one catfish, Jason's 2 catfish (he had landed another in the ~17" range), 1 carp (cut bait), ~36 white bass (not really sure how many each of us got as we dumped everything into the one cooler for the ride home).

So somehow this day turned out for fishing to be pretty darn good.  As I said before that kind of snuck up on me and surprised me.  Nice surprise if you ask me... :)

Moab Con 2011 plus a side of fishing

Well I spent 3 days this week down in Utah Valley attending the yearly Moab conference (Moab Con 2011).  Not moab as in the location in utah but moab the high performance computing scheduler (and more)...  Anyway that's why this post is 'after the fact' instead of more 'real time'....

Well not really going to post much about the conference, as this is my fishing blog...  The connection is the conference was just up the street from the Utah Lake State Park, Provo Harbor.  So Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after I finished up with the daily activities at the conference I headed down to the harbor to test things out.

With how the weather has been I didn't set my expectations high.  Mostly due to lower temps, though each day was forecasted to get warmer and warmer.  Though also due to the unusual spring we are having resulting in higher, muddier, and colder water flow the Provo River is dumping into Utah Lake.  In a way these three days were nothing more then diversions and a simple attempt to asses how things were on the lake for white bass.

Tuesday:  Erik joined me this day at the harbor.  We parked along the south side near the small boat launch point into the river.  We started moving out west along the south dike fishing both into the river flow as well as into the outer harbor see if anything was interested.  The wind was blowing some, enough to conflict with good casting bot not enough to shut us down.

After getting all the way down the south dike without anything we headed back to try further up the river toward the bridge at the entrance to the park.  Nothing still... We then move then drove out of the park for one last try along the river up further from the park entrance.  We found a reasonable spot to try and spent a bit there without any action.  So with a bit of the stinky skunk in the air we called it a day and headed home.

Wednesday:  I was by myself on Wednesday.  I went back down and parked again near the small boat launch along the south dike into the river.  It was warmer and less windy then the day before.  So I had higher hopes...  One of my first few casts into the river rewarded with me a tell tell tug tug that felt like a white bass.  I had cast into the river up stream from me on the shore line.  As I brought the jig down along the rocky shore the fish hit.  I figured it first for a bump of a rock that I knew I might drag into so near to the shore.  However the fish tugged back and did a little jump and spit my jig out.  It was enough to encourage me to spend a while in the area in hopes there might be a school.  Well a while later and no further takers...  So I moved on down along the dike.

Along the way I started to notice the carp in the outer harbor where I could see them patrolling the shore and occasionally they would jump or just run their backs up and break the surface.  I started to watch for "social gathering" where the carp gather up together and poke their noses out of the water.  Found a gathering near the bend where the dike turns north.  Flipped out the jig just past them and brought it back through them and thump one of them was on!  Oddly enough I was using my newer 5' ultra light pole with 4# test on it.  That had not cross my mind until I was working on this carp.  Well drag was set well so I figured it was a fight best won by just wearing the carp out.  Well it took a bit of time but I did manage to get the carp into the rocks along the shore where I could reach it (no net with me).  Measured at 23.5", didn't have my scale with me to get a weight.  Dropped him up on the dirt near my tackle bag and chalked a score for some catfish cut bait.

Called it quites shortly after that and packed up my stuff and put the bait (carp) on a stick and headed back.  Though the thoughts of what others watching might be thinking as I packed my carp out had me laughing to myself....  Though regardless of what others think carp still put up a good fight and thats fun to be had!

Thursday:  Erik was able to join me again this day.  We headed down earlier in the day as the conference ended just after noon.  Based on the carp fun from the day before we headed out and parked in the same area again and as before we headed west along the south dike.  We fished again both into the river flow as well as into the outer harbor.  I was a bit more focused on the outer harbor side looking for carp to fight with. I came more prepared today with my heavier pole and slightly higher test line, 6#.  I did not see any gatherings to target right off but I was seeing the carp swim around solo and in small groups of 2-3.  I spent much of my time trying to get a jig to them but did not hook up on any of them.  Erik was mostly working the river flow and possibly having a laugh or two at my expense for the effort I was putting out for the carp.

Well we got the the bend to the north in the dike and started down that length.  That is when we spotted a shallow flat bottom boat out on the west side of the dike.  It looked like the boat was pulling in a gill net.  I did not see, though we were too far to read, any obvious markings to say the boat was something official or not.  So we just watched it as we moved north along the dike.  As we got close enough to see there were two people working the boat pulling in the gill nets.  The nets did not have as many fish in them as I would have thought.  Though I don't know how long they were out there.  The few fish we saw them pull up looked to be "golden" in color so we were figuring carp or suckers.  That pretty much said they were part of the June Sucker Recover Program.  Well they finished up and we moved down and fished into the lake water just past where they had been working the nets.  After a few minutes Erik hooked up on a white bass.  The only for fish for the day.  One could say that each day did in fact get better and better... ;)

Well we packed up our stuff and started the walk back.  As we neared the vehicle we saw the same boat that was running the nets up against the shore near the small boat launch into the river flow.  There was  DWR stocking truck there and they were filling up large tubs of water in the boat.  As we got close they started to net big scoop of fish from the stocking truck and transfer them into the tubs in the boat.  I walked up and joined a few others that were watching.  One of the workers came over and spoke a bit with us letting us know they were planting june suckers to help in the recovery.  We were told they don't just dump them in at one point as the walleye home in on them and eat many of them up.  So they instead use the boat to distribute them around the lake for better survivability.  Here are a few pics I took.

Well that pretty much wraps up the multi day event.  Not much catching but still got the chance to do a bit of fishing which is always a good thing!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Test Driving...

So not being a fan of what is in fashion or liking the idea of doing things just because others are doing them I find myself avoiding Facebook and other "trendy" social networks and the like...  Now before I'm called a hypocrite for setting up a "blog" (a word that has irked me to no end since it was first being used) I figure I can poorly justify it for a few reasons:

-First, is that blogs have lost their new car smell and are not the current hot topic.

-Second, that blogs do not necessarily subject oneself to "social networking".

-Third, well I feel the need and want to log somewhere my angling adventures.  I gave a try at maintaining a log of fishing reports in my ~/public_html/ folder but found that I'm no longer that interested in hand writing html and I'm out of touch with good form and practices anyway...  Not to mention the desire to include a picture log from the trips too.

-Fourth, I've formed the opinion that simply posting my reports to the various fishing forums that I frequent online is a poor choice to use as an archive for some obvious reasons.  Some do not last and previous posts are lost.  Some prove to have to much of a less then desirable element within their communities to want to call anyone a home.  I still will post reports to forums, but I will not use them as the primary source.

So being a confessed Google fan I figure I'll give their tools a test drive and see how using this as a means of logging fishing trips goes. Anyway, to kick things off I'll post a few pictures from the fishing trip I took with Scott and Jason on the 28th of April, the one day that week that had good weather between storms...  We only caught 2 fish that day, but fun was had and that's what matters...