2008 year end review
Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:12 PM
However, spring did provide some nice largemouths for me...
First trip out on Green Lane...
The usual Pocono Slaughter...
The finesse bite in the thick stuff was hot....my specialty...
I also made a couple springtime shad/channel outtings below Fairmount. My first shad...
Then summer arrived and it was flathead time. As my first full summer in flathead pursuit mode, I devoted much more time, not to mention money. I started off good, with a new PB of 16lbs...
While, unhooking that one, Charlie hooked into a twin 16er! We got used to those shot flurries of action between long lulls of bullshitting and bug swatting.
I tangled with a few decent channies, always a welcome change...
I then went what seemed like forever before I ran into another decent fish, but I battled the heat and pressed on. I enjoyed many long hot nights on the banks with a bunch of PACers.
Eventually Charlie cracked the 20lb barrier...an exciting moment as I splashed into the dark debris filled river to grab the bristly lower jaw.
It wouldn't be summer without some hot weather bassin'. Green Lane topwater largy and finesse smallie...
Then in July, we bought a house and my fishing time decreased to some degree. It seemed I was getting more familiar with my sawzall and cordless drill and less familiar with my beloved ABUs and slider worms.
After numerous offers from Flathead Fanatic to fish from his boat, we finally set up a late summer trip. The weather was horrible, not to mention the traffic, but we eventually made it to FF's favorite logjam. The river was high and muddy and I had a feeling that if we braved the conditions that something magical would happen. About an hour into the bait soaking ritual, I was rewarded with my PB 27lb shovelhead! I felt a great weight get lifted from my shoulders...
After hearing Tan and Romo and the boys rave about TOG, I was eager to get into the action. Tan showed Charlie and I the ropes one perfect fall day and it was possibly the most fun I had all year. We bailed blackfish until the greencrabs were gone and went home with mangled hands and sore forearms. My pics from that event are elsewhere, but it was a blast, none the less.
I would like the thank the following PACers for your assistance, company, bait, beers, nets, laughs, and ballbreaking: Charlie, Tan, Jude, Chris, Romo, Aki, Enoch, FlatheadFanatic, and Esquired, and anyone else I missed. It was a great year, and while I didn't get to fish the colder months as much as I would have liked, there's always next year! I look forward to fishing with more of you. Also, thanks to Louis and Matt for creating and maintaining the message board.
Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:30 PM
I'm not done 2008 yet!
but great job everyone especially Tan.
quite an impressive line up. perhaps i shouldnt even be impressed as its the "tan-standard" as I see it for 3 years now.
3 freshwater species over 30lbs in 2008 is my claim to fame.
Nice recap, guys!
Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:46 PM
One question, do you fish for Tog for the fight and food or just because they are good eating?
I keep 1 or 2 fish for the table and the rest goes to friends and family.
Sort of like if a guy offers you a slab of prime rib, are you gonna refuse?
Like Aki stated earlier, I spend about $150 to $200 on one of these trips, I mind as well get my money's worth. Sometimes my friends and family even like to compensate me or give me tip for these fish popcorn. If fishing was free like the Schuylkill, then there would be no reason for Death.
Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:49 PM
Tog party boat: $60
Tip to mate: $10
Gas and toll: $40
Cigerett, redbull, m&m, bottled water, and sandwich: $15
Hook, weight, and leader: $15
Pool money that I'm not going to win: $10
Live tog at Korean market: $10.99/pound
If I just want a fish meat, I'll rather spend $10.99/pound than spend $150 with a risk of getting skunked.
You also forgot about waking up at 3 or 4 am, driving a 1 and half down to the shore, spending 8-4 on a rocking boat, and not getting home until 7 or 8PM.
If I wanted meat, I would just sit on the couch like most of you and pay the $11 per pound.
Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:04 PM
The year really got started with captain Dano and the super jumbo stripers on the flats. We were taking turns picking up the runs, and I was lucky enough that the first two runs it was my turn for ended up being 37 and then 36lbs! Ridiculous! The ride out to the flats at sunrise was awful. It was unbearably cold and tough stuff Dano didn't wear gloves.
My next trip was to OK to fish Lake Hominy in early April. I had a few days work in OK and it was timed perfectly because a 4 day carp tournament would be ending on Hominy 2 days before I arrived. about 14 teams fished the tournament, and I figured all that bait can't hurt my chances. Well, it turned out conditions were awful for the tournament, and only about 6 or so fish were caught! The weather changed and lake levels dropped in time for my arrival, so there was a chance things would work out.
Oklahoma is an interesting place. Rolling hills, fields, oil wells, and cattle. And lots of controlled burning of brush. This place cracked me up:
I fished Hominy for about 2.5 days by myself before meeting back up with my friend David who is the carp tournament czar in the US and runs a specialist carp tackle store in OK. Hominy is known to have some big mirrors and lots of fully scaled mirrors, and I was hoping for a new PB. It didn't happen, and many of the fish I caught were on the smaller side. I ended up catching about 12 or so fish on the trip, with the 2 biggest near the 20lb mark (didn't weigh them). Fishing overnight, in a strange place, isolated, by myself in the middle of the woods, listening to critters all around me and coyotes howling in the distance - it's an interesting feeling. Some might call it gangsta, some might call it stupid. But it was definitely a time I wished I was packing heat.
When you are sitting around alone for a few days, cooking and a few cold ones help pass the time.
My two best fish:
The town of Hominy itself was like an abandoned native american ghost town. Not much going on besides the gun/pawn shop and the Sonics.
I fished another secret lake out in OK for a day before heading home, but that trip didn't pan out. When I returned back to Philly, it was time to chase some tidal titans of the Schuylkill, as George calls them.
Early in the spring, my car died. I bought a new bike. Louis and I planned to take a different approach carp fishing. Over the last few years, I bought way too much carp gear, most of which doesn't really enhance my chances of catching a fish, it only enhances the pain in the neck caused by carrying too much unneccessary gear. By virtue of riding a bike to the river, I had to scale down my gear and what I brought with me.
Two telescoping rods with baitrunners, a gallon or so of bait and small bag of end tackle (and maybe some beer, too) was all I needed.
Louis and I fished a few different locations, but one in particular produced the most fish. By the time June came around, we had landed 3 30+ lb fish on the Schuylkill and at least 10-15 more over 25lbs. It was a very satisfying pre-spawn.
We saw the biggest carp (among people we know) come out of the river at nearly 35lbs. I also caught my second biggest carp of my life at 33lbs. After the spawn, fishing slowed down, and as it got hotter we didn't bait as consistently and we caught less fish. But, best year of carping on Schuylkill, if I compare the hours i actually fished with the number and quality of fish caught. I even managed to get my Dad out a number of times, and he actually was there and photographed my 33. The funny part is, when I got that run, I initially offered the rod to him, but he was fixing his coffee ;D
Just writting about this, I am starting to get psyched again for the pre-spawn and a chance at some more 30+ fish!
But, backtracking a little bit, the first 30+ out of the Schuylkill, which was caught by Louis in late April or early May I believe, occurred while I was away on a trip to Tennessee to fish a dammed section of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga TN. Again, I was way for work in Alabama and I decided to plan an excusion to to go fish with Kent Glass (kg1870 on this forum) in TN. Kent and I over the years have communicated alot on this forum and www.carpanglersgroup.com, and I considered him an angler and a person I respected, so I thought it would be a great trip. I worked in Ozark Alabama (and the town is just as awful as the name might sound) a few days, then made the six hour drive to Chattanooga. I met up with Kent on a Thursday morning, and planned to fish until Sunday early afternoon. The fishing started off really slow. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY slow. But, if you call it quits too soon and don't keep working at it, you'll never catch. I could have packed it in and gone and laid around in a hotel, but I kept at it, recasting, baiting up, trying new things, and it eventually paid off. In the first two and half days, I think Kent had caught two fish to my NOTHING! But, one of those fish was 38 pounds! This section of the river system is known to produce BIG fish, and Kent and others have had numerous fish over 40lbs. The weather started to change on Saturday afternoon, and we were thinking conditions might change in our favor. I decided a slight change of location was needed, and moved to a different location. I also began using Kent's packbait, as I had no confidence in my bait configuration considering I had already blanked for about 60 hours.
Being that Kent is getting up in the years, he needs to nap regularly. Fortunately we had plenty of opportunities for that!
By Saturday evening, I was feeling pretty tense. No fish yet and I was leaving the next day. Another friend of mine had been down to fish this same location and blanked for 3 days! I didn't want to go out like that. I was vigilant. I stuck with Kent's bait, recasted regularly and baited up and waited. Around 10pm that night I had my first run and first fish! To my surprise it was my first ever, and new PB buffalo!
I caught another buff and few teen to low 20lb range carp over night. Early Sunday morning, Kent had another gorgeous 30. I still had about 5 or 6 hours to fish.
Back to back, within a matter of about 45 minutes, I land the two fish above, 32 and 30 lbs. I felt both lucky and relieved. Going on a big trip like this with high expectations for good fish can put a lot of pressure on yourself. Thankfully, I had good advice and bait from Kent to help me out. It was a great relaxing trip, and I totally had a blast fishing with Kent, Brian and Ivan.
Back in Philly, I fished the Schuyk some more throughout the summer. But, work would take me out to Portland Oregon for a few days, and there was no way I was going to pass up fishing. I headed to Oregon in late June-early July. I worked for a day, then had 5 days of exploring, camping and fishing. I booked a day with a reputable sturgeon guide for the trip. I wanted a prehistoric levithian.
Well, Oregon had a cold spring, then massive heat wave and rain. Rivers rose like 10 ft, then dropped down as I arrived. It was in the mid 90s every day and blazing. I struggled to catch anything that wasn't a filthy American shad. I could have filled my entire trunk and back seat with those dumb fish if I had the energy to do so. The Columbia river gets a run of about 8 million shad It was pure carnage like I have never seen. Dudes hooting and hollering, ripping shad heads of right after they caught them and filling burlap sacks with the stank-ass fish they were harvesting. I took part in it, but I just released the fish. The trick out there is to use about 1oz of weight above your two rigs, with it was darts or the bladed hook. You need to get it deep in the swift water.
Sturgeon actually patrolled the banks here, looking for dead or injured shad, or even just an angler to basically hand feed them a severed shad head.
i probably caught a couple dozen or so shad in the few hours I fished for them, but got really bored with it, and they weren't that big. i was too embarrassed to take a picture, which in retrospect was dumb. I spent most of my time carp fishing. Well, not so much catching, but just sitting in the blazing sun. I did fish some beautiful locations that just looked so carpy.
I fished hard every day. I saw one carp the entire trip. I thought the guided trip on the last day was my salvation. I knew I would catch a sturgeon. at the docks at 5am and on our way. We were fishing the Williamette river, which is to the Columbia as the Schuylkill is to the Delaware. Except the Willamette is nearly 100ft deep in some holes. We fished a number of spots, one boy o nthe boat with me landed a 75-90lb fish. I caught one 3lb sturgeon on a 4lb peice of cut shad. We fished hard all day long for nearly 10 hours. No levithians. I was heart broken. But, I'll be back in 2009. All in all, an enjoyable and relaxing trip. Looking forward to returning.
For the rest of the summer I fished here and there, mainly for a few hours in the evening on the Schuyk.
Come September, I was pumped for Salmon! I had been planning to go on this trip all year and couldn't wait!!!! Louis and I hit up Oswego a day in advance to do some carp fishing.
Before an awful night sleeping in the car, avoiding the rain and dodging falling trees, I caught a few decent fish from Oswego. We were then off to get to lifting. And did we lift. I thought the learning curve would be steep. There were so many salmon around, I lost count of how many I caught the first day and how many I snagged or broke off! Potentially one of my best days of fishing ever.
Hands down, that trip got me totally addicted to Salmon. I wish I could have made the Erie trip, but I chose to go to California instead. No good fish out there, but I already talked about it...http://www.cookplex....91.msg16176#new.
There were a couple other trips and highlights in there...first decent carp from the Big D, a trip to the St. Lawrence with a PB channel cat and a load of decent carp, blanking for at least 100+ hours on Louis' and I trophy lake carp lake in the Poconos, blanking on the Pocomoke river in Md etc...lots of exploring this year. But 3 carp over 30, 2 stripers over 30, a PB striper and buffalo, good memories and great trips with friends made 2008 a great year of fishing.
In 2009, I hope to get my first California ADULT steelhead or salmon, a Columbia river sturgeon, another 30 or two from the Schuylkill, along with some lifting in NY and Erie. Can't wait for new journeys and fishign adventures alone and with other PAC members!
Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:05 PM
I try to do a couple of new species (which is good) or new places (which is even better) each year. You have inspired me to make that an even bigger priority on 2009. Now I just need to figure out where to go, when and what to fish for, but I am sure I will work it out.
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