Friday, September 30, 2011

Sorry for My Recent Absence

Bad blogger , down boy , DOWN!

I've been trying to fish a little when I can ,but mainly I've been spending my fishing time on our small ponds with my son. He's very interested in fishing and the outdoors right now , so I'm going to indulge him. It makes me proud to see him so interested in fish , their environments and how to catch them. I'll be following his lead when I can , he picked a good spot on the big pond today.

From last week , no cameras today!
I'm also unplugging a little and getting out more. I think we all need to do that.. Striper season is just around the corner and the little guy pictured above is ready to catch his second big linesider. He caught a nice 8 pounder (Striped Bass) last year , but I didn't get a picture. I need to remedy that.

I did manage to write a guest post for my friend Celia who writes ...Just Trying to Find My Way

You can find it here : My Guest Post for Celia - or how my big mouth got me in trouble on Twitter (AGAIN!)

Go check it out and leave her a  comment!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Shout Out #6

I haven't done one of these for a while , so I think it's long over due. Today I'm going to feature three bloggers that I have a great deal of respect for as writers and fishermen. If you're not following these guys in some way , you should add them to your favorites or follow them on Facebook , Twitter or via RSS. Great group of bloggers and some great reads if you look back through their blog archives.

First up is Ken H. who writes The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond under the alias Quill Gordon. Recently , Ken has given us a touching glimpse into his personal life as his community struggles to recover from the hardships caused by hurricane Irene. Be sure to look through the archives for some great reads and a good dose of humor. I'm a big fan of anything he's written chronicling the adventures of his close friend Eugene.

Up next is Mike who writes the blog titled Troutrageous! Mike does a great job of keeping his blog up to date , interesting and relevant to the world of fishing. There's always something fun going on at Troutrageous and for this reason alone it's worth your time. Mike is one of the best bloggers out there and I highly recommend his blog for anyone looking for an entertaining read.

Last , but certainly not least , is Ken G. who writes Waterdog Journal. He's constantly on the move exploring the waters near his home with a rod in hand. His great writing paired with a good eye for photography have carried me along on many trips to the Fox River with him and it's always great reading. I'm a huge fan of the simple yet effective ways Ken fishes , a back to basics approach that a lot of us gear heads could learn from.

That's all for today. Be sure to check these guys out , you won't be sorry!

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Make that THREE winners in our Happy Birthday Something's Fishy giveaway!

I used the random number generator at to pick three winners , starting with 3rd , then 2nd and lastly our grand prize winner.

Third place and a prize package consisting of " One filler spool of Suffix Elite Monofilament in 14 pound Hi-Vis Yellow , One filler spool of Suffix Siege Monofilament in 14 pound Neon Tangerine , One hand tied bottom fishing rig and One hand tied Fireball rig." goes to lucky number 13 , Amber Kincaid!

Second place and a prize package consisting of "One filler spool of Suffix Elite Monofilament in 14 pound Hi-Vis Yellow , One filler spool of Suffix Siege Monofilament in 14 pound Neon Tangerine , One hand tied bottom fishing rig and One hand tied Fireball rig. " goes to lucky number 1 , Alex!

Our grand prize package consisting of " One 12" Star Crab Trap , One Filet/Bait knife kit , One filler spool of Suffix Elite Monofilament in  14 pound Hi-Vis Yellow , One filler spool of Suffix Siege Monofilament in 14 pound Neon Tangerine , One hand tied bottom fishing rig and One hand tied Fireball rig. " goes to lucky number 34 , Stealth!

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone else that took time to enter! This is going to be a yearly thing , so check back often to see when the next one will be.

Winners , send me an email through the contact form HERE or directly to my email HERE

Thanks again to everyone who played along!

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Recurring Dream

Sorry for the test post earlier , had to see if I could get the slideshow thing to work. I've been putting off writing about my recurring dream of late mainly because I didn't want all of my followers here on the blog to know how crazy I am what happens to me in the middle of the night. I think it's time though , since at least a few of you clicked through to read about the test. Here's a little recap of what has happened at least two or three times a week during my troubled slumber here at SF HQ over the last month :

I sit alone on my boat , the Gun Boat , somewhere on Smith Mountain Lake. It's a cloudy day , but the air is cool and crisp with a faint tang of fallen leaves drifting on a gentle breeze. The lake itself is relatively calm  , except for a slight bit of chop stirred by the breeze and the occasional splash as a shad breaks the surface. The water is gin clear and I marvel at the schools of shad surrounding my boat. I certainly haven't had any trouble catching bait on this trip , as I have a lively one on a hook under the boat. It's a nice size shad , evident by the occasional twitch of the rod. I constantly glance at the depth finder behind me to look for signs of life , but the screen is always blank.

I'm sitting sideways on the pedestal seat mounted on the casting deck , with both feet on the rail. Drifting downstream , I watch the schools of shad and marvel at the reflection of clouds and trees on  the water's surface. Some nights a few birds flutter overhead , but the only way I see them is in the reflection on the water. Other times a big fallen maple leaf lands silently beside the boat and begins to drift beside me , on it's way to a watery grave.

I gently reach beside me to thumb the trolling motor controls and correct my drift as I approach a fishy looking point that juts out into the lake like a jagged piece of glass. And then it happens.

Fumbling with the trolling motor , I hear , but don't see the rod flex in the rod holder moments before the bait clicker starts screaming at an alarming rate. Horrified at being caught off guard , I yank my feet from the rails , plant them firmly in front of me as I stand and grab the rod in one fluid motion. My boat rocks angrily as I lean back and pull up sharply on the rod , intent on burying the hook in this behemoth's gaping jaw and beginning my efforts to subdue him. Then I wake up.

I'm sure my muttered curses about missing the fish again have awoken my sleeping wife at times , but then again maybe I don't vocalize them as loudly as my sleep addled brain thinks I do. Who knows?

A real one , from a few years back.

I do know I need to get this sh!t out of my system and soon , before I end up hurting myself trying to set the hook. I'm also starting to wonder what happens if I catch him. Isn't there some old wives tale about dying if you don't wake up from an " I'm falling " dream before you hit bottom?

Only a few more weeks until the fall Striper action gets started here on the lake , and I CAN"T WAIT!

Have a great week!

Just a Test

I have a cool interview coming up soon , and I need to try this out. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners some time tomorrow afternoon! Let me know if the slideshow doesn't work for you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Only Three More Days


Get in on the free giveaway. It's easy to enter and you'll get some nice stuff to help you get started surf and pier fishing!

Now that that bit of business is out of the way , I've got some more pics from vacation that are finally seeing the light of day here on the blog. First up is a picture of the crooked Rodanthe Pier. I assume it was straight and square when they built it , but 60 + years of hurricanes and Nor'easters have a way of warping the deck.

Safer than it looks
Next is a little puffer fish. They get so upset when handled.

Here's a shot of the pier house

Here's a picture of what's left of an old bridge (or something) on the Pamlico Sound. This is what happens to just about anything built on the Outer Banks , if the wind and waves have their way.

An angry Seagull

Don't F#$% with Jonathan Livingston Seagull
That's all I've got for now. Stay tuned for the announcement of the contest winners on Thursday.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fighting a Big Sting Ray

On the East Coast in the Summer , big Sting Rays are often around the piers. I try to avoid catching them , but that's not always possible. They put up a good fight that can last for an hour or two , but otherwise they are considered a trash fish , so they get thrown back or end up breaking your line. Other times they are simply too big to bring on deck and I end up having to cut the line after getting as much as possible back onto the reel. I don't like leaving them with a hook in their mouth , but I use regular hooks instead of stainless so they will rust out quicker.

The best fight I had during my vacation was a big ray. I hooked him on the north side of the pier and he pulled me all the way out to the end and halfway down the south side before finally breaking my line. Lots of fun , but a workout. It's unbelievable how strong they are , especially when they get to be six or more feet across , like the one I had hooked.

About 30 minutes into the fight.
They are fun to catch though. Even more so when they are big enough to put a bend in a 12 foot surf rod. I'd still rather have a big bull red or a king , but I'll take what I can get.

This guy was tagging rays , not sure why.
A small one on the planks.
The big thing is to be careful with their barb. It takes some practice to learn to cut them off so you can use the rays for shark bait , but some people do it. I just avoid the barb and get them back in the water as soon as possible. Hard to see in the pictures , but the barb sits on top of their tail at the base close to the body. Be careful if you hook one!

Have a great week!