Thursday, May 9, 2013

Massachusetts and new species

Well, I've moved Eastward to Massachusetts.  The good thing about all of this is that there are tons of ponds and a lot of good bass fishing areas.  I decided to go to a nearby pond and try it out.  I ended up catching two pumpkinseed fish.  They look like a bluegill but with a lot more color and a lot more fight.  They were quite aggressive in snatching my spinner for such a small fish.

Saying Goodbye

I moved to Logan about two years ago.  I didn't go fishing as often as I would like mainly because I didn'tknow where to go.  We moved Apartments in January of 2012 and it just so happened that we lived above some awesome neighbors.  We didn't really formally meet until about a month later in church.  I was sitting in priesthood and +Ben Friend shook my hand and informed me that he was my neighbor.  I don't remember much about the conversation we had but I remembered how friendly he was.  A few weeks later as we were heading out of our apartment to go to church, Ben and his family were getting into their car and he came over and invited us to lunch after church.  We excepted and have since then found out what great friends the Friends are.

Kat and Julia hit it off early sharing the same weird tv shows they like to watch.  Their kids (Maddie and Bubba) instantly took to me and never left my side.  Ben and I started talking about fish and he introduced me to the "Tiger Muskie".  He also invited me to come ice fishing with him one of those days and I accepted.

That next Saturday we embarked on the first of many fishing adventures.  I owe it to Ben for most of my fishing knowledge.  Before him, the only fish I had ever really fished for were catfish and trout.  He taught me all about Bass fishing (and got me hooked on it might I add), Muskie Fishing, crappie and blue gill, and much more.  He also invited me to have fish tacos on more than one occasion with his family to try out bass and bluegill, etc meat for the first time.

Well, sadly people come and go in our lives and the last weekend of April would be our last time ever fishing together.  I moved to Boston for the summer to do a summer job and Ben has graduated and will be moving his family to Alabama or somewhere else in the south soon to start his career there.

We planned out a last time ultimate camping/fishing trip so we could properly say goodbye, and what a fun trip it was!

We scouted out the area of cutler reservoir and decided to take boats down close to cutler dam and camp on an island.  Camping on the island really brought the boy out in me.  It was fun and adventurous.  We could fish on all sides of the campsite.  We loaded up our boats (and I mean loaded!) and putted down the lake to the island....

We threw out some poles as we set up camp...Although we brought some wood with us, whoever was here last left us some dry wood.  We used some and left some of our own behind again.  We fished most of the night but only managed to catch those pesky mud cats and a few carp.  The next day we fished in the boats all morning but still only caught mud cats and carp.  Either way it was a really fun trip and it was a good way to say goodbye to a great friend.

 (John managed to catch two fish in one go!)

Taming the Logan

Ever since I moved to Logan I have tried fishing the Logan river with no success.  Most of the time it has ended up with me being frustrated and getting my flies stuck in trees.  I can finally say though, that I have managed to catch fish there.  About a month or two ago, Ben Friend started catching some fish on the Logan.  He told me where to go and said that he would meet up with me later.  I got to the spot and tried fly fishing to no avail.  When Ben got there, he didn't have his fly gear, rather a pole and the trusty Blue Fox gold spinner.  I decided I needed to try that as well and sure enough, fish on!  I was so happy to finally break the Logan river curse...

 A duck

These Browns were long and skinny but full of spots and color

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Newton with "Rosco"

Through the whole winter, I have been taking foster kids ice fishing and trying to get them a fish through the ice.  I haven't been able to succeed and was stumped as to why.  I finally figured it out the other day; it's because I have been taking them to Hyrum!  I have tried and tried to like Hyrum.  I just don't seem to catch many fish there no matter who I'm with or what I do.  So I decided to take a little bit longer of a drive today and took Rosco out to Newton.  Rosco is the only foster kid I take out now and it had been a long time since we visited Newton.  He was excited and so was I.  I could sense that he was finally going to be able to catch a fish.

We got to Newton and walked to the place where Ben and I had been fishing before, hoping to reopen the holes we made with a machete I have.  We got to the location we were at on Saturday and the snow had covered everything up.  I started to brush snow away with my foot and told Rosco "I know the holes are right here somewhere".  All of a sudden I hear a CRACK! and Rosco's foot had stepped onto a hole and he fell through to his leg.  (I know I know, it seems a little rude to laugh but it was kind of hilarious watching him  flail his arms unable to move anywhere til I could help him.)  My safety instincts kicked in and I immediately ordered him out of his boot and sock and had him wrap my coat around his foot to dry and keep warm.  We got him settled and he replies "at least we know where the holes are now!"

With that comment I figured we might as well fish for a bit and try and dry out his sock.  So after wringing the sock as best I could, I set it on the back of his chair and got our poles rigged and ready.  We dropped our lines down to the bottom and then reeled up about two turns.  We waited for a while and just when I was thinking we should move to a different spot, I saw a little tug on my pole.  Rosco soon after yelled about getting a bite and soon was able to pull this nice perch up...

I pulled one up soon after and we were excited.  We had a few more tugs, but missed them all and it died back down.  We finally decided to pack up and get back in the car to warm his foot up better.  We got into the car and started driving and passed a town called Benson.  I remembered a spot where Ben showed me once where it was good fishing for blue gil so I asked Rosco if he wanted to try it.  He said he did and felt his sock and boot were dry enough to walk in.  We walked out and noticed an old man coming off of the ice there.  We decided to fish where he had dug holes.  We started getting little taps and I kept pulling the hook out of the fishes mouths.  Rosco all of a sudden gets a tug on his pull and ended up catching a nice little Large mouth.  Unfortunately by this time my phone was dead so I didn't get a picture but Rosco sure was happy about it.  We had to leave soon after but I'm glad I was able to get Rosco some fish.  Seeing him that happy really made my day.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Perchin' at Newton

+Ben Friend talked to me the other day about possibly making a trip up to Bear Lake today, but after more research, we decided to stay closer to home and hit up Newton instead.  It was the right decision.  Newton has become my favorite place to fish over the last year.  It has plenty of variety of fish, and it almost never ceases to disappoint. Even if I go there and have a slow day, I'm always willing to go back because I know how good it can be. That, and there is always the chance for the elusive Tiger Muskie.

We got up and headed out to the lake at 6 am.  After a brief stop at the store to restock some propane for the heater, we got there right at sunrise.  It was a bright, clear day from the start. We made a little hike to stay clear of getting stuck in the snow, but the snow was frozen hard, and we followed old trails that made pulling Ben's ice sled a piece of cake.  Ben had been doing some research and we decided to try and fish in a little more shallow water due to the perch spawn soon to come.  We fished maybe 10 - 20 yards off shore where it was only 12 feet deep.

The struggles:

Ben had surgery on his arm last week, so it was hard for him to dig holes.  Not wanting him to hurt himself, I offered to dig his holes for him.  The problem was, i was sick all day Thursday, and although I had had plenty of rest and I thought I had regained all my strength, my body let me know otherwise.  I felt so weak! It was pretty pathetic, I was huffing and puffing just to finish one hole.  I finally finished digging the holes and in the meantime, Ben had gotten the tent set up.  We picked the tent up over the holes and got our chairs and equipment inside.  Pretty drained from my pathetic performance, I didn't have any desire to mess with any of the jigs that were on the ice poles.  So I let down a bigger jig normally used for trout, with a pink head and a white body tipped with a wax worm on one pole; and I used a green ice fly tipped with wax worm on the other.

The rewards:

It didn't seem to matter what we used however, because as soon as we let our lures down into the water and let them sink to the bottom, we had a fish on.  We actually ended up only using one pole each because the action was so hot.  At the beginning of the trip, Ben wasn't sure if he wanted to keep any perch, but by this time we decided to keep one limit (50 perch).   Even with this goal, we were throwing back about 3 out of every 4, only keeping the bigger and fatter ones. We easily reached the 50 perch for the day and we estimated having caught around 200 fish all together.  It was a very fun day and very rewarding.  The only regret we had was that we wished we had brought Ben's 8 year old daughter out to get a great experience.

Towards the end of the day, we were having a bit of fun.  The water was really clear and we could see our bait down at the bottom of the lake, so Ben decided to have a bit of fun and make it a bit more challenging by fishing by hand.  We would wait til we saw the fish take the lure, and then yank it to set the hook.  It was a fun day.

Ben "hand" fishing

My biggest perch of the year

The perch we kept.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Two "Firsts"

Last Monday, Martin Luther King Day, +Ben Bartholomew , +Ben Friend , and I took advantage of our day off from school and took a trip to Pineview Res up in Ogden Canyon.  I've wanted to go there  for sometime now, hearing of big muskies and crappie (pronounced crop - ey).  We arose early in the morning and got to the lake a little before sunrise.  It was really foggy and the fog made the frigid morning extra cold.  Pulling the sled with all the ice fishing equipment however got our blood pumping and we were nice and warm when we got to our destination.  +Ben Friend has a friend on fishing forum who was kind enough to give us some gps coordinates to a spot on the lake where there usually are some big crappie. We dug our holes and the fishing was a little slow, but enough to keep us there.  It soon got too cold for us again and we put up some tents.  +Ben Friend also came prepared with an extra tent and heater that he borrowed from a friend.

It was all perch in the beginning, though +Ben Friend had caught a few crappie.  I finally pulled up my very first crappie! I was very happy with it.

The fishing was on and off all day and when the sun came out it warmed up quite a bit and became a really nice day to fish.  We used jigs tipped with wax worms and found that ones with a lot of green and yellow seemed to work the best.
 Ben and his first ever crappie
 Ben with his biggest crappie of the day
 As the sun came out, we tried different spots to see if it was any better, it really wasn't though.
 Big Crappie!
We ended up with quite a feast for +Ben Friend and his family.  We had a great time together and it was well worth the trip down.  +Ben Bartholomew left about a half hour early so he could get a nap in before he had to work.  Much to his surprise, however, some idiot parked right behind him, trapping his truck in.  Luckily he was able to maneuver his way out but it made all of us mad....seriously, who does that?

On the way home I snapped this shot, I love seeing frosted trees in the winter time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

First fish of the year/Hyrum

I got home last Friday night from Christmas vacation and was eager and ready to get back into fishing. +Ben Friend texted me and asked me if I was up for fishing on Saturday morning.  I replied that of course I was and then asked if he cared if I invited +Ben Bartholomew .  He didn't and +Ben Bartholomew was excited to try out his new pole he got from his wife, +Melanie Bartholomew , for Chirstmas...

We set out early Saturday morning hoping to get to Hyrum Reservoir just before sunrise.  We met +Ben Bartholomew at a store in Hyrum and drove to the lake.  We got there and packed the sled to the other side where +Ben Friend had caught some nice fish before.  It was a very chilly morning...

Although it was cold, we dressed warm and when the sun came out it turned out to be quite nice.  +Ben Bartholomew had the great idea to bring hot chocolate with him and shared his goods and +Ben Friend had his ice fishing tent that we set up with a heater inside to get warm if we needed to.  The fishing was slow but picked up off and on.  We ended up with around 40 or so fish caught, and kept about 10 of them to eat...

+Ben Bartholomew jigging his pole

+Ben Friend checking watching the fish finder

+Ben Bartholomew 's first fish of the year...and first through the ice in a very long time

He thought he might eat it but decided to cook it first.

My first fish of the year

Our set up.  You can't really tell but there were tents all around the lake.  Hundreds of fisherman joined us in the cold weather to fish.

The fish we decided to keep