Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hand Tied Halibut Jig.

I was watching my Larry Dahlburg DVD, Larry's Workshop and he made a cool looking Halibut jig for big Buts in Alaska, I figured I could make a slightly smaller one for California Halibut. here is what I came up with.
3oz Impractical Halibut Jig with a StankX Thug grub as a trailer
 I started with a 3oz plain lead jig I bought at Fishermen's Warehouse in Fresno, Ca. I tied some pink and Clear Green Flashabou using thin wire, I added some clear tinsel and wrapped it with a thicker wire using some melted left over plastic to seal it over as I just found both bottles of head cement were solid in the jar. I used some powder coat to add some color to the head of the jig and drew an eye marking using a Sharpie. I topped it off with a StankX Thug Grub in Glow in the Dark. Can't wait to throw this guy and see how it does.

What you think about it, anything you would change?

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

As a former service member  I am in the top 7%, the men and women who have sacrificed everything they had to defend this country. Today was about the ones who have lost more and the ones who never came back. Thank you for everything and those reading who have or are currently serving this great country, thank you for your service.
Image borrowed from the internet
Dan

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wading Boot Fail and New Worm Color

Well I forgot all about my boot ripping yesterday until I went to get ready for tonight's mission, looks i am not going to get the 3 years I thought I would out of these BPS White River specials...
Das Boot
 I also mixed up some new plastic, I got Rootbeer color and black glitter from Fishermens Warehouse in Fresno yesterday and wanted to see how it looks. I used red and black glitter and a little salt.
Turtle on the right is plain Rootbeer and on the left is Rootbeer/Motor Oil
 Mixing the motor color gave me a darker more earth wormy looking color as you can see below.
Rootbeer and Motor Rootbeer Oil colored Stick baits
Hitting the river tonight to test some worms and snag some frogs, can't wait to see how they do.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

The Other White Meat...

Well to put it bluntly, fishing sucked today. I planned on doing some jig'n and frog'n for bass and staying out late for catfish. Well things did not go to plan, I was out for about an hour and the only bite I had was a good sized Bullfrog on a StankX Toad.  
Cannibalism frog
 I changed tactics and focused on Catfish. I had to rods one rigged with cheap bacon and one with dead crayfish, I was told they were both killer catfish baits. I did not hook up for about a half hour and got board. I dangled the crayfish in front of a Bullfrog and hooked him. I decided to switch things up and go fro frogs, I shined my headlamp down the bank and saw about 20 or so eyes staring at me.

California has no Bullfrog season and no bag or daily limit so I was free to harvest some legs. I slid my weight right next to the hook and swapped the crayfish for a piece of sinking minnow to give them something to hit. Sitting sidesaddle and walking the shoreline works great if you have a kayak I suggest you try it out. After set the hook and get them into the kayak I slip a knife right behind their heads and throw them in the tank well, it is pretty quick. I chose not to take or post any pictures of the cleaning or any death piles, it might make a fine picture with fish but people are a little more attached to Kermit than a fish.

Funny thing, I was creeping along the shore and set my hook in the water for a few seconds and felt a tug, i pulled this strange shell-cracker up. He was white and had almost black markings like a crappie as well as a mouth that was a lot bigger than then normal. At first I thought it was a Warmouth or rock bass, definitively a strange fish. If you have an idea about this fish let me know.
Strange Shell-cracker
 I got back to the frogs working the shore on the both banks once, ended up with 25 in the boat.
Big guy of the day
 I brought them back home and got to cleaning, the wife is out of town otherwise she might be libel to freak out, it was a fun night doing something different. I got the catch soaking in some salted water getting ready for a hot oil bath.
The bounty
I wish my kitchen was ready, I am still waiting on counter tops, plumping, paint and the major appliances to go in before I can cook. My neighbor said he likes frog legs, I'm going to go over and see if he wants to cook lunch.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Good Reason to Remain Faithful to Your Wife...

My friend Holly was driving down the road a few weeks ago in her town of Superior, Wisconsin when she came across this...
 The spray paint is what caught her eye.
 Most the good stuff was gone, she said there was no sporting equipment left, I asked...
All the good stuff was gone, just empty boxes remain. I am a faithful guy and love my wife, this got me thinking  about how much I have invested in fishing gear, guitars and not to mention the house and other assets I share with my wife. I'm not going to tell ya what to do but I can tell ya; it is cheaper to keep her and ask yourself if it is really worth it... :D

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Honey if you are reading this I want you to know I love you and am thankful to have you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fishing in the Wind

Got out Sunday morning for a few hours of fishing, after about 15 minutes the wind started picking up and blowing pretty steady. I was almost more occupied with the stuff going through my head I posted about the other day than catching fish. The water is still dropping, hopefully we get more from the Pine Flat soon. I caught about 7 or so on the black jig and Hero before i hooked into a large one and it broke off on the hook set. I should check my line more, I think the jig had been on there for at least 2 trips.

Average Kings River Bass
 I switched up to a new jig I just got from Tackle Warehouse by Spro, some kind of finesse jig, it worked well but not as well as the black in the stained water.
Spro Jig and Strike king Hero
 I got sick of being blown around in the wind and decided to call it a day so I packed it in. On Monday my wife had an appointment out of town and suggested I go fishing to pass the time so we could have dinner some time around 8. It was windy bu ti was determined to make the most of it and enjoy myself and the new prescription sunglasses I just picked up.  I pulled into a the put in to launch to find 4 guys drinking beers and riding around on jet skis, not my favorite site. The two are fine on their own but don't mix well in my opinion.

My 3lb barbell and chord worked pretty well keeping me from blowing around too much, I still pivoted in the wind though. The fish were a little more finicky, I had to down size to a Bitsy jig and Rodent to get a bite and ended up landing 10 and loosing 3. Ran into a few guys fishing catfish and one fishing for bass filling up his stringer... I am still not too king on eating fish out of the Kings, but that is just me.
Kings River Bass
 It was nice to get out after work for a change, I think I am going to try my luck at some cat fishing in the near future. I have never had much luck at the whiskered fish and about time for me to get on that. If any of you have any tips for catching catfish out of a kayak please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogger's Block

Over the past few months life has been catching up with me, so many changes have happened over the past year and though things are looking up it still takes it's toll. I write this blog to contribute something positive to the world, with so many people tearing others down or focusing on negatives I just want to write about what I am doing hopefully to reach out to others who share my passions. I do not avoid negatives and personal matters but do make an effort to keep them from polluting my posts and adding to the bitterness in the world.

 Death in the family, personal health issues, family hospitalization and surgeries I have had enough of hospitals and funeral homes for a while. We are a month into a kitchen renovation, living without a kitchen is easy at first but having no stove, kitchen sink or dish washer gets old quick. Sunday fishing on the Kings was short and needed to mentally help pull me out of the rut I am in. It was hard to concentrate on my fishing worrying about family members and wondering when the painters are coming or when the counter tops are to be installed. Since moving the California it has been hard being so far away from my family, this blog has been a great way to keep in touch with my father and uncle who helped kindle my love of fishing. As I said things have been looking up and there are great things on the horizon, I look forward to each day and love my life, sometimes I just need to write it down to remember how much.

Thanks for reading my rant,
Dan

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day on the Kings

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, I couldn't be with my mom so I wrote on her Facebook wall and decided to call her after I got back from fishing. The water was way low as I had to walk through 6 feet of muddy bank to get to the water. I thought there would not be many folks out there due the holiday but I was wrong, lucky for me I was alone for the first few hours and most people started arriving as I was packing it up calling it a day. Two patterns were working, the StankX Hero on a 1/4oz jig and a silent square bill crank in chartreuse black back. Shad were popping but I didn't get any hits on any topwater baits. I figure it was the smaller bass chasing the shad (as that is all I got on the Square bill) and the bigger ones were into the craws.
First fish of the day
You can see how low the water is on the bank
Another nice Kings river LMB caught on a StankX Hero 
Got several of these little guys on the square bill
This guy looks like he survived a bird attack
Good day to be out, ended up with over a dozen fish in about 5 hours, I got off the water by 11 AM because I forgot my sunscreen and did not want to get burnt up.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cayucos Pier Fishing

 Headed out this morning to go fishing with a colleague form work, the plan was to hit Morro Bay and fish of a jetty. The weather did not cooperate with us though. We got down to bay and the waves were crashing well over the rocks and it was still low tide. We met up with two guys who also headed out from NAS Lemoore in the early morning, they had never fished the area before and we decided to stick together.  We went around the other side of Morro rock but there were too many surfers to set up shop.
Morro Bay
Thought this was a cleaver sign
 We ended up hitting Cayucos pier, the waves made ti about impossible to fish from most anywhere else so the pier was our best chance. It was pretty empty when we got there, I set up on the right side near the end of the pier. We brought Anchovies and Squid, fishing Rock Cod rigs with 3oz of weight below them.
Cayucos Pier in Cayucos, California
One of the guys in my party hooked up with a small Ling Cod, he got it out of the water and it flopped off the hook. My first "fish" of the day was a pretty good sized Starfish, I pulled it up and showed it to some kids on the pier. The guys joked that it would spell doom for the rest of the day but i figured it was a good sign as it was the only thing I saw make it up to the deck up to then.
Lucky Starfish :D
 About fifteen minutes after the Starfish my rod started twitching, I grabbed it and pulled in a small Flounder/Sole (I was assured it was legal to keep from several passing fishermen, if this is wrong please let me know. I caught California Halibut before and these did not look like Halibut.) Sand Sole. I was excited to have the skunk officially removed and not by a Starfish.

First Ocean fish of 2012 a Sand Sole
 He had the hook all the way down his gullet, he was a goner anyway so in the cooler he went. While I was pulling the hook a sand flea that was still alive popped out of his mouth. Nasty little things look like the face suckers from the Alien movies.
Sand flea
 I caught two more, one bigger than the first and just a tad smaller, all hit on a anchovy.
Sand Sole Number 3
 David it was nice getting out with you, thanks for driving, we need to do this again.
David playing it cool 
The haul, 3 Sand Sole ready for cleaning
Had a blast and need to do more fishing in the ocean. Defiantly need to do more studying on species identification though. as I was concerned they might not be sole and under sized flounder.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Friday, May 4, 2012

Really?!?!

So I am packing for my trip out to Morro Bay tomorrow, I look up at my Plano Tackle bag and see something hanging from it.
Fluke making a break for it
 To my disbelief there is a lure poking out of it and the rubber is reduced to goo. I figured Plano would use plastic that was non reactive.

Looks like this bag is done after 5 years of faithful service, RIP Plano bag.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Pouring Baits Like a Mad Man

With construction on the house, the new job and all the other changes recently in my life my fishing has slowed down. One of my favorite parts of fishing is tweaking baits and presentations. Recently I started pouring my own plastic stick baits and turtles, I recently ordered bubblegum pink, and motor oil dyes and a bag of purple flake glitter. I thought I was going to get a bottle of glitter but somehow I ordered a 1lb bag! My goal was to pour Bubble Gum worms for my father, his favorite color, and my favorite color motor oil with purple flake.  Here is what I have poured over the past two days.
Motor Oil Grape and several shades of pink worms
 I added Flashabou to some of the worms I poured just to make them a little different and add some movement, we'll see how it goes. I poured some translucent and some opaque. From light pinkish to full blown Barbie Jeep Pink, with salt for weightless and without salt for a flick shake presentation. I am happy with some of the colors and can not wait to see how they do.
Impractical Turtles
I also poured a bunch of turtles from the latex mold I made a few months ago, I have a friend back in Illinois that fishes a pond that I think these will be dynamite in. i can't wait to see how they do. There is a definite learning curve with pouring plastics, wear gloves the stuff gets up to 300 degrees and sticks like napalm. I burnt a batch of Motor Oil Purple flake when I got distracted running around getting the mold ready. Pink seems to burn easier than other colors turning a burnt orange color before the plastic burns and sometimes right after it melts.

If you are interested in any of this I say go for it, watch some videos on YouTube, buy some basic equipment and get creative. Why not catch fish on lures you make when you can?

If you are interested in seeing how I made the mold for my Impractical Turtles click one of the links below.  
Custom Soft Plastic: One
Custom Soft Plastic: Two

Thanks for reading,
Dan