Monday, November 28, 2011

Big thanks to the OBN (again!)

I'd like to take a second to plug my pals over at the Outdoor Blogger Network (again!) Rebecca and Joe do a lot of great things for semi-bloggers like myself. I was honestly thinking about a hiatus from the blog , but they've brought me out of my funk and a sea of waist-high , aspiring young basketball players by featuring my blog this week on the OBN.

I'm very grateful for all that the OBN does , and even more so for being featured. I'd normally be talking fishing (again!) , but lately I'm busy. I don't want to cheapen the honor of being a " Featured Blogger of the Week " , so let me express my gratitude by passing the honor on.

I try to feature a few of my favorite blogs on lazy Sundays , but I've even been slacking on that. In lieu of a Sunday Shout Out , let's do a Monday Mention to highlight a few good blogs in the spirit of the OBN .

First up is a blog I really like.that features fly patterns on the cheap. I do not fly fish  , but if I did....

Trash Flies

Next is a blog I may or may not be a member of. My name is Josh and I have a problem...

The Functioning Fishaholics

Go check those out if my blog is slow (again!). I'll hopefully have a post over @funcfish soon.

Have a great week! (again!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll be away from blogging the rest of the week as I stuff myself with obscene amounts of turkey. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday with friends and family while remembering what we have to be thankful for.

Personally , I'm thankful that my fishing buddy is finally coming into his own as young angler!

And I'm also thankful that my family is healthy and happy , but fish like that are hard to beat...

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Update on the SML Stripers

We've still been catching scattered fish during the day here on the lake. Most recently this past Friday with Jody White of the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team (again)! I was very glad to have Jody back since our last outing was laughable. It was nice to have a chance at redemption , and although we didn't catch the big fish we were after , we did get two fish for my collegiate friend. Always a pleasure fishing with this fine young man , even if he can eat his weight in crackers when the fishing is slow!

That's a start!
Even better!
Jody may or may not have pictures on his blog at a later time of a rather rotund blogger throwing a casting net. Cool set of pictures , either way.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Striper Fishing SML , Fall 2011

Short compilation video of my last weekend on the water. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of netting fish and using the GoPro. Or keeping drops of water off of the lense. The renegade drops of water ruined several good fights.

Have a great weekend! I'll be trying for a repeat.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Importance of Bovine Mysticism for the Modern Angler

Think it's a good day to go fishing? These psychic cows say otherwise.
Driving home this morning I was reminded of one of my all time favorite fishing superstitions. Or old wives' tales. Or fishing voodoo, Whatever you call it. My particular favorite goes something like this : " If the cows are laying down , it's not a good day to fish." and the reverse " If the cows are standing up eating , the fish will be biting."

I can't fathom how this one got started. I imagine an ancient fisherman having a horrible day on the water while a nearby herd of reclining cattle stare him down with the universal " I told you so " smirk gracing their beefy faces. I'm sure there were times when this superstition proved true , just as there are times that it is obviously false. The part that fascinates me is the oral tradition. Little bits of perceived wisdom , passed down by word of mouth.

Most fishermen and women will take any help they can get , even reverting to odd traditions and the occasional bit of folk lore to further the cause. Bananas on a boat? Not on my watch. Eat the heart of a tuna? You betcha. Bite the head off of a mackerel? Sure , why not?

While some are strange , there are many more that have an obvious factual origin. One that I recently heard from a friend (who heard it from an elderly fisherman) , is that " The big catfish on the New River will be biting when the apple trees start to bud. " There is a wealth of information in that simple  statement. The apple trees , like the fish , don't conform to any set date on the calendar , but they do respond to the warmth that comes with the onset of Spring.

I enjoy being a curator of tidbits of fishing wisdom , true , false or just plain silly. I think it enriches the sport and reinforces the bond I have with the centuries of fishermen who came before me. Sharing these anecdotal fishing mantras adds a mythical element to fishing , something those who only use a modern scientific approach are missing. Therein lies the importance of Bovine Mysticism. Keeping oral traditions alive adds to the experience and I am always delighted when one of them proves true , if only for a day.

If things go wrong , you can always blame the cows.

Have a great weekend! Share your own fishing or hunting superstitions in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Disable a Boat in 30 Seconds or Less

I have horrible luck. Mainly I have horrible luck at the worst possible time , but then sometimes the sun shines on me and I have a stroke of good luck that makes up for it all.

First , the horrible luck. I was out last Friday with fellow blogger and excellent fisherman Jody White. Jody is the current president of the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team , so needless to say I was stoked to have him on the boat. We went out right in the middle of a cold front , caught bait and soon enough I had a fish in the boat.

A small one , but a fish just the same.
It would be the only catch of the species we were after on that fateful day. We did manage 2 White Bass , but that's not what we wanted. The cold front was steadily driving the fish deeper , so after a short discussion we decided to move further downstream to a spot I know that should have been holding fish.  I also wanted to show Jody a few hotspots for bass. It never happened.

I started my cold natured boat , let her warm up and eased her into gear. As we got underway , I pushed the throttle forward intent on speeding up. As I neared the end of the arc on the shift lever/throttle control , I was sickened to hear a crunching , grinding sound as all tension on the lever went slack. My boat was dead in the water. Wouldn't go into gear , wouldn't idle. I was sure I was looking at a major problem and a 2 hour drive to secure the necessary parts. Jody took it like a champ , only saying " Sounds like a trolling motor issue " as we contemplated what to do.

We ended up trolling back up to the launch with the electric motor , thankful for a strong battery and trying to fish as we headed back. No takers , but all things considered we were lucky it only took us an hour and a half to get back. It could have been far worse , especially if we had made it to the spot we were headed for. Boat problems suck.

Now for the good luck. As I mentioned above I was not looking forward to a 2 hour drive ( 1 hour each way ) to secure the parts  I needed to repair the boat. I started taking the control box apart and , much to my surprise , the guilty party that had left my 2000 pound boat stranded on the water was this little guy :

A 1/4 inch Machine Screw
Good luck at last! I had the EXACT SAME SCREW here at the house and had the whole works back together and working smoothly in about 15 minutes. It amazes me that such a small screw could cause so much trouble. It held the fast idle lever onto the main bushing that the throttle used as a leverage point to rev the motor up. So I guess if it breaks you're "screwed"?

Unfortunately for Jody , he had to sit out the next two days while I headed back out and did THIS  , followed by THIS. We'll get you on the fish next time!

Have a great week!