Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One of the best days of my life, or why I sold my boat

Everyone knows the old saying "the two best days in a boat owners life are the day he bought it and the day he sold it". I bought my latest boat a couple of years ago. Great boat with a 50hp 4 cycle. It was boat number six for me. It will be last. Right, last until I buy another... 

It got great mileage on the water, around 15mpg. Rode nice, drew little water, and was easy to handle. That's the good stuff.
Why I sold it came down to a couple of factors: 12mpg towing mileage and ease of fishing. Launching and retrieving it was a little hassle, but not too bad. Only had to climb in and out 3 or 4 times each way.

What really did it for me was what it took to fish out of it:
  • Get to the fishing area, drop the anchor or trolling motor
  • Catch a fish
  • Land the fish, usually on the floor of the boat
  • Bend over, unhook the fish
  • Open the ice chest, put the fish in
  • Stand back up, cast
  • Repeat
  • Tides or current changing, pull anchor, move boat either by trolling motor or motor
  • Set anchor
  • Fish some more

Not a really big deal, but hey I'm old!

Kayak fishing:
  • Hook up trailer to my VW diesel, 40mpg towing
  • Launch kayak, usually off side of the road - Slayer has a wheel on the back
  • Paddle 10 - 150 feet
  • Maybe stab the stake out pole, maybe not
  • Cast, catch fish
  • Land in between legs
  • Turn around, put fish in bag
  • Repeat
  • Pull stake out pole, move 10-150 feet
  • Fish some more


I would come home from a boat trip completely exhausted. Kayak trips are much more relaxing for me.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hopedale Trout

Since nobody wanted to buy my boat, I tuned it up and took it to Hopedale. I ran around a bit. Went into the marsh behind Lena Lagoon and caught a few trout, then went to the dam and lost my anchor. At about 1pm I headed down the Spoil Canal, where I saw several yaks fishing at the first cut. I went on down to the third cut to the right and anchored in the Spoil Canal right at the cut. That's Blind Pisana Bayou, 2.7 miles down.From 2 till dark it was trout on every cast. I threw back at least 50 11" trout. The only thing they were hitting was a Saltwater Assassin Pinfish under a popping cork, which is similar to the SA Opening Night. That color works great when white shrimp are running. Fished till almost dark and left them biting.





Thursday, October 25, 2012

FNT VII recap

I've been a member of the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club for a long time, but I have rarely gone to the tournaments. This was my third entry. I've always kind of had the fly fishers' attitude about competitive fishing - I never wanted to make what I do for relaxation a competition. The competition in BCKFC is for the most part friendly, and it's a great bunch of folks to hang with. I will start doing
more of them.

I came down Friday afternoon and went over to Joshua's where Nick Lauve (Teknickcull) had just landed his kayak. He had a slam of redfish, flounder, and specks. He said he was in the islands straight out from Joshua's and the water was so clear you could see the bottom. He asked if I was heading out and I said no, I had seen all I needed to see. Thanks Nick!

Saturday morning I started with breakfast at Delta Marina's restaurant since I knew I hadn't brought my light pole and could not launch until daylight. I launched about a half hour past sunup at Joshua's and headed out to the islands where Nick and Paul Bernard were fishing. Paul had already caught his Leopard Red winning red before first light and they both were steady catching trout on topwaters. I put the Rockport Rattler jig head from the captain's bag on with a newpenny/chart. double tail gulp also from the bag and started bouncing it off the bottom next to the grass. Soon I got a hookup. When it got to the boat at first I thought I had a monster flounder, but it was a big sting ray! While I was getting it off the hook, I broke my Okuma ML rod into three pieces. Glad it's lifetime warranted..
The next fish was a nice 17+ inch flounder. Then I caught a keeper speck and then a 12-1/2" flounder which I released to grow some more or hopefully help some else to make a slam.

The action slowed down so I headed south to an outlying island at the edge of the marsh. I saw a lot of activity in the water and tossed the gulp close to the shore. It was a 27-1/2" redfish, 3/4" too big. After releasing her I then moved around to the front of the island into the open water, staked out and started casting towards the island. I caught four specks around two pounds each one after the other. I didn't weigh or measure them, just tossed them in the cooler and kept fishing. I also picked up a couple of high slot size reds there.

Once the tide stopped moving I worked the islands west of the point and picked up another nice red. It was getting past noon so I started heading in to the marsh south of the landing. I stopped and worked a glow gulp shrimp with a Shiney Hiney jighead (freebee from the BCKFC forum) under a popping cork. As I was pulling away working outlying grass clumps, I got the biggest slot red of the day. I headed on in and got to the weigh in for 3pm.

I thought I had a chance, but there were a lot of people weighing in a lot of fish. The redfish were especially impressive, all were big and healthy. After talking to Ben (fishtaco) I knew he had a good chance of winning it with 12 lbs+. It was a lot of fun listening to the awards knowing that I hadn't been called yet. I got 4th place cajun slam. I lot of the elite members get teased about being 4th, but I'll take it any day! It was my first win of any kind in a tournament.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thanks to Steve, Dave, Clayton, and all the club volunteers. It would have been a really nice weekend even if I hadn't caught a fish.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

New kayak - on a trailer

Look a bit further down to my post about G.A.S. I might have cured it this time. Yeah right.
This is kayak number 6 for me, a 2012 Hobie Pro Angler 14. I had a trailer already and with the trailer the size and weight of the kayak doesn't really matter. This is the heaviest kayak I've had, but with the trailer it's the easiest to load and unload. Just about everything I need fits in the front and center hatches. I just grab the ice chest and rods and I'm ready to go fishing. What I like most about the mirage drive is that you can fish while you are moving, no swapping paddles for rods. I've drunk the Kool-Aid and I'm glad I did!


I pull it with my '03 VW Jetta TDI diesel. 37mpg with the trailer, 45 without it. More info: http://myvwtdi.blogspot.com/



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Big redfish

We were fishing at the north end of Northwest Island (it's underwater now) in Lake Raccourci and were catching trout on every cast, then they just shut down. Then I caught this redfish. It hit a glup shrimp under a popping cork. It was quite a fight on 12 lb. test line. It was about 4" longer than the 48" ruler on the side of my boat. We released her unharmed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oil or the Environment?


My friend Joe Kahler posted this on the laflyfish.com forum:
Why is it that to some folks these days, if you're against letting Big Oil do whatever it damn-well pleases in our home waters, you're suddenly branded an air-head tree-hugger or, worse, a Democrat? 
Folks, it's NOT a choice between environmental sensitivity and jobs/prosperity for the people.  That's a line of BS this State bought years ago from Big Oil.  When we hear Jindal and the Petros make that argument in its various forms, we should be hearing them say, "It's a choice between environmental responsibility and maximizing gas and oil profits."  I think they're in denial about the fact that no matter how big your profits, they won't be big enough to insulate you from the consequences of ecological destruction if we don't WISE UP.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bass Cat Popper

The latest Fly Fisherman magazine has a fly pattern called The Cat. It's tied using spun deer hair for the head. I don't mind spinning deer hair, but silicone floatant is not readily available here and I really don't like using it. I used a piece of closed cell foam for the head on my version. The zonker tail really gives it great action. I put one together and went to my local pond to make sure it would float right. It did and got a lot of action, and even bream had a go at it.

Recipe:
#2 Mustaad 34007 hook
Foam popper head crudely fashioned into a head (the bass don't care)
Doll eyes superglued on, then head is coated with Loon Hardhead
3 inch or so zonker tail
Marabou collar
Extra long hackle



Here is a variation using a Rainy's Foam Frog Body:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Deceiver

This is a simple version of the Deceiver fly. It's a great baitfish imitator, great for all species of saltwater fish. I've also caught bass and crappie on it.
#2 - 2/0 stainless hook such as a Mustaad 34007
4-10 hackle feathers
Gold or silver flash
Gold or silver mylar for body
Red bucktail collar
Peacock hurl topping
Black thread
Tie in the hackle, then the flash. Tie in the mylar at the back, extend thread to front of hook, then wrap the mylar body. Tie in the collar, then the topping. Tie cone head, then coat with a couple of layers of Hard As Nails or epoxy.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Inline spinners for fly casting

This is my variation of the Tom Nixon spinner fly: http://laflyfish.com/flies/tom-nixon-spinner.php
I use a long shank #2 - #6 hook. I use about a foot of wire to make it easy to work with. Thread the wire through the hook eye, then wrap the hook 4 or 5 times. Bend a right angle in the wire close to the hook, then hold the wire and twist several times until the wire breaks cleanly at the hook. Straighten the wire so that it is aligned with the hook shank and then put the beads, and the clevis and blade. Then form the eye, it's easiest to do with a small pair of round jawed slip ring pliers. Mine came in a tool kit for bead chain making that Michael's sells for about $7. It comes in a box that is perfect for storing parts. Once you have the eye formed, wrap and break the wire as done on the hook.
A great source for the parts is: http://lurepartsonline.com
I use marabou for the tail and chenille or estaz for the body on freshwater spinners with a #6 hook. On the saltwater version, I use buck tail for the tail and mylar for the body, then coat the body with Hard As Nails clear nail polish.
BTW I learned all this at the monthly fly tying session with the Red Stick Fly Fishers club. Don Richardson demoed it, and even brought a bunch of the Michael's kits and passed them on at cost.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pfluegar reels

I like my old Pfluegar reels. I'm not really collecting them, I use most of them a lot.
Left to right: CJ 1495, US 1495 1/2 with four spare spools, US 1495 DA, Sal-Trout 1554, two Progress 1774's, Progress 60.

Here's some close ups of the Progress 60.






Friday, January 23, 2009

Little Mo part deux

Second time for me that is.. The Red Stick Fly Fishers made the annual pilgrimage to Murfreesboro, Arkansas for the "Rainbeaux Coalition" trip. We stayed at White Oak Creek Retreat again this year. Friday was below freezing all day, but it warmed up into the 50's for Saturday and Sunday. Many more pictures here: Little Mo 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Pen

Thanks to the members of the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club for turning us on to the Pen in Chalmette. Or as they say down there, da pen down in da parrish. From Baton Rouge take I-10 to New Orleans, then left at the split towards Slidell, then take the 510 (Hwy 47) exit towards Chalmette. Once you go over the bridge look for Marina Road on the left. There is a Travel Lodge there with a green roof and a convenience store, it's the first store that you get to after you cross the bridge. It's an hour and a half trip from Baton Rouge.
Anyway, back to the report. In the winter it's an evening bite. Right in front of the new two story camp with the copper roof is a deep hole. Black and red drum are on the bottom. A sink tip will get your fly there. When the trout are in there, they can be caught from the surface down. We caught lots of big black drum, slow at first then every cast right at dark.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hwy 1 fishing spots

Last year Catch Cormier wrote an article for the RSFF newsletter. It details all of the fishing spots that can be reached by car from Golden Meadow south. Here are links to that newsletter and a map of the Fourchon to GI area.
Redletter 0507.pdf
Hwy 1 Map.pdf

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall catch and eat

Hogy, Kevin, and I arrived Friday for the RSFF's Fall Catch and Eat, ready to catch some fish. We went into the ponds to the right of the landing at Catfish Lake and caught trout all day, as well as some reds. Total was about 30 keepers for the day. Saturday we arrived a the canal to Elmer's Island to view a torrent of water pouring through, and 20 mph winds. We back tracked to the TPH and started out bank fishing with poppers under a cork. Kevin went behind the island and caught two really nice flounders and lost several more at the kayak. I saw two guys steady catching trout and went to see what they were using. Large Johnson Sprite gold spoons. I put one on and caught several as well. We ended up with a respectable box of fish. Sunday morning we got to the TPH at about 7, it was still cold. I was about ready to pack it in, but went ahead and tried with a DOA under a cork. First two casts, two fish. We all got in the kayaks and fished the hole and the marsh behind the island. Hogy got a redfish at least 30 lbs to right under the kayak and broke the leader trying to get it off the bottom. I stayed in the TPH trowing a gold spoon and caught trout almost on every cast. Just as we were all about ready to call it a day at 1 pm, trout started busting shrimp in the middle of the hole. We drifted among them and caught schooles on every cast, and some big ones. I was limited out and Hogy and Keven had about 15 nice trout each. We packed it in and went and cleaned fish for over an hour before we headed back to BR. I almost forgot the highlight of the trip. Hogy cut a trout up and put it on the bottom of the hole. He caught and landed a huge gar, over five feet! It was released unharmed.






Thursday, July 24, 2008

Got G.A.S.?

In internet music circles we call it G.A.S. - Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It starts as a quest to upgrade your equipment and it can take on a life of it's own. Luckily by buying used at the right price, you can easily sell or trade equipment for what you paid for it and end up breaking even. Usually there is a detour into collecting instead of using gear. Luckily I'm through with that. I really like what I have now and use it all. For more details on that go to http://noahvale.freeshell.org and click on "My Basses".
Anyway what's that got to do with Louisiana Fishing? I have had a power boat for most of my adult life. I got into fishing from a kayak last year. Well I started with a canoe, and then got a kayak.. I am on kayak number three now. All the money spent on the canoe and other kayaks all came back to me when I sold them. Now I have what I should have gotten first - a Native Watercraft Magic 12. All of my other kayaks have been good, but the downfall with a kayak for me is the seat. In a power boat, you can stand and you don't suffer from "yakbutt". The Natives hands down have to the best seat in the biz. Here's a pic of my new Magic tricked out and ready to do battle with redfish:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Finsport Fly Wallet

I've been on a quest to get the right setup for salt water water fly fishing from my Pungo 120 kayak. Love the kayak, but room is limited. I like to wear a life jacket, and have one with a couple of zip-up pockets. Almost works. And yeah, I have vests, two waist packs, tons of fly boxes, and on and on...
And yes, I support my local shops - when they have what I want. I also shop online. I actually make my living selling online, so I appreciate the support I get as well. After all a lot of online sellers are shops too, some of us are shops available to the whole world...
So I was placing an order at Sierra Trading Post. I get their email come-ons and they sent me a coupon 10% off with free shipping for an order over $100. I put together an order from their already discounted clearance section. Picked up Frog Togs rain jacket for $29!
Anyway back to the topic at hand. I got one of these:
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,97787_Finsport-6008-Fly-Wallet.html
EVERYTHING I need fits in it! Tools, leaders, tippet, more flies than I should really take, all in a 9x5 inch when closed wallet. It has a clip that attaches to a D ring on the life jacket. Love it!



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Suspending Clouser

I got this idea at warmfly.com. Instead of a lead head, a piece of flip-flop foam is used for the eyes. It floats hook down, so the color pattern is reversed. I used some glow in the dark tinsel as well as gold krystal flash. It floats until the bucktail gets wet, then is suspends just under the surface as you strip. So far it has been effective for bass, I also want to try if for specks at night.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fingernail spoon files

These are really easy to do and they work well for redfish. I get the fake fingernails at the "Everythings a Dollar" store for a dollar! The more expensive ones available elsewhere really don't work as well, as they are heavier. A quick scissor trim and shaping with the $1 nail files I got at the same store does it. I then color them yellow with a Sharpie. I've used super glue in the past, but the easiest and quickest way to attach the Mustaad 34007 #2 hook is with a mini hot glue gun. The I coat them with a little 5 minute epoxy and using a salt shaker, I cover them with ultra fine glitter (from Wal-Mart). I do this over a box so that I can catch the excess glitter and return it to the salt shaker. Then after the 5 minute is set, I go over it with a thin coat of 30 minute epoxy and put them on a drying wheel. If you are careful to only use very thin coats of epoxy, they only weigh 1 gram each.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Afternoon gills

I put my kayak in a neighborhood pond late yesterday afternoon. The pond is full of small bass. I could see the bass chasing the smaller bream that I caught as I pulled them in. Some of the ones I caught have signs of bass attacks. I caught a couple of the bass, all small. I kept these bream, probably caught another two dozen throwbacks. After I pulled my kayak up right at dark, I tossed the foam spider along the bank where I had caught several bass on previous trips and caught the three largest bream of the day, one right after the other.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Little Missouri River

Made the RSFF trip to Murfreesboro, Arkansas this past weekend. They stock rainbow trout below the dam at Lake Greeson. It's only six and a half miles of river with thousands of trout. Much fun!
More pictures here: http://ammonspictures.com/v/album_001/little_missouri_jan_2008/





Sunday, January 13, 2008

Made a trip to the Telephone Pole Hole yesterday. Caught several flounder on the east end flats, then moved to the hole. We anchored our boats and waded to the edge of the pit and had good trout action on clousers.








Friday, November 23, 2007

Lake Okhissa

Ok, so it's not Louisiana Fishing, but it's close. It's a beautiful lake, very deep with tons of trees - and fish. Just 90 miles from my house, and better yet just 40 miles from my parent's house in Homesville, MS.