Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Colors, The Colors!

As soon as I had my mold for pouring my own Soft Plastic Swimbaits I started going crazy with color, glitter and pearl-essence combinations. I was going to post each one and talk about why I think it would work, or what I was going for and well...
I did way to many to do that, I just can't wait to go try them out and catch fish off a lure that I crafted from scratch. It is pretty exciting. 
 The New Motor Oil color I got looks amazing with blue and purple glitter in it, the stuff glows green in the sun and looks more green brown when not in the light. I did some pink and purple combos for my wife and some oranges to look like rock fish.
I think I might take a few and use them to make a plaster of Paris mold or two so I can make more of a specific size swim bait at once.

If you haven't read how I made the mold for these lures click HERE.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Smashed German Potato Salad

My Smashed German Potato Salad.

If you are sick of all the mayo heavy potato salads out there this one should be a welcome change. 

 So here is what I used
Potatoes
Yellow Onions
Green Onions
Thick Sliced Bacon
Olive Oil
Pepper
Spicy Brown Mustard
Salt
Butter
Fried up the bacon and chopped it up. 
 Cooked the Taters until the skin blistered
 Used a knife to slice up taters while it was still hot
 Added the Onions and Bacon added salt, pepper and mustard to taste. I like to add Olive Oil to lighten up the smashed taters. Serve hot or cold, it usually lasts about a week in the fridge but in not normally in there for too long. 
Hope you try it and like it,
Dan

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tough Time on the River

Had the pleasure of fishing with a new friend I met off central Coast Kayak Fishing  and a friend of his friend Mike on Sunday. I decided to hit the river and see if the fishing has stabilized. Well short report: No.

Got out on the water by 0630, it was at the top of the bank and flowing much faster then it was during the winter, most spots had about a foot of visibility. I know it all sounds good so far, so here is the kicker with the 100 plus degree days we have been having the water temp was 60 Fahrenheit! Most people I talked to were skunked or had caught one dink LMB.

We paddled up current and against the wind about 4 miles, it was a nice day to go out but it was not as good as it had been before they released the water down stream. I missed 2 and even got one to the edge of the boat just to flip off before I could make a gab for him.

Derrick got the only fish.
Derrick with the fish of the day
On the way back I almost got run over by a jet ski and there were 2 kids in a v hull shooting guns a little too close to me for my comfort, I got back to the landing and found it full of day campers and kids. I miss fishing during the weekdays, this 9-5 job has it's down sides for sure. Derrick and Mike, you guys are hardcore to make it all the way up river to me with a 45 minute lead, I'd fish with you guys any day.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Mantis

Made a new friend over the weekend, the wife found him in her car  on the drive home from work. I let him go on the passion fruit plant in front of the house. Hope he sticks around for a while. 
Baby Mantis

Thursday, June 21, 2012

DIY Swim Bait Mold Pouring

After my Avail Party boat trip I knew I was going to need a lot more swim baits. The way I figured is the DIY way, grabbing a block of Sculpty putty  I went to work forming some swim bait shapes, most were standard but I made one ribbon tail (I didn't use it) and one Rock fish type I made for a larger jig head.Once I formed them to my liking and baked them I sanded them smooth.
4 swim bait blanks
Rock Cod Swim Bait
Threw together a box out of scrap n my garage and aluminum taped it to a baking sheet.
I bought a lb of Alumilite RTV Type III and short poured the mold. Had to wait 4 days and pay another $15 shipping to finish my mold and even then there were weak spots. So I covered them with some porous cloth for strength.
Once it cured I pulled the mold off the sheet.
Used a razer blade to clean up the top of the molds.
I could not wait, I mixed up some pearl for the bellies and a small batch of florescent orange for half and motor oil for the other half.
The final product turned out nice. 
I really lie the way everything turned out.
I am excited to see how they work. If I were to do it again I would have gone for the 3lb tub of RTV and done a few shorter skinnier swim bait blanks.

Thanks for reading.
Dan

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day

Dad, thanks for taking me fishing all those times and putting up with my crap when I was a teenager.

Wishing you other fathers a good Fathers Day as well
Dan

Friday, June 15, 2012

Big Ol Bumble Bees!

Growing up in Illinois I thought be had some good sized Bumble bees...
Nothing like here in the Central Valley, they love our Passion Flower plant and the Sunflowers we planted.
 Just to give you an idea on the size, my man hand is touching the flower the bee is on!
One of these guys buzzing by you sounds like a Huey coming up on you, I don't want to see what a sting is like...

Thanks for reading
Dan.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Back

Been wanting to get out but my back has been acting up.
My MRI from 2 years ago
Still might try to make it out tonight, back problems suck.
If you are young and think you are strong and can lift anything without consiquence, here is your warning. It can take you away from the things you like to do.

Thanks for reading
Dan

Thursday, June 7, 2012

BBQ Smoked Chipotle Frogs Legs

You might remember I caught a bunch of bull frogs last weekend? http://theimpracticalfishermen.blogspot.com/2012/05/other-white-meat.html
Since I had no stove with my kitchen being in the middle of renovation I had to figure out another method of cooking them up.
Ribbit
I decided to smoke them in my electric smoker. I pulled the legs out of their lemon saltwater bath to dry and salted them with Kosher salt to help them dry out a bit to take to the smoke while I loaded the chip tray with some soaked apple wood chips.
Ready to go
I smoked them at about 225f and checked up on them every 30 minutes or so. After about 2 hours the meat looked like it had shrunk a bit and pulled away from the bone. I made a glaze out of Sweet Baby Rays, Chipotle pepper sauce from the can and some honey. I gave them a good dose to caramelize, I tasted one and it was not too dry so I brought them in to rest. After 10 minutes resting under some tin foil I sauced them with the rest of the glaze. 
BBQ Smoked Chipotle Frogs Legs done
 My buddy and Marine loved them and my neighbor who grew up eating fried legs said they were better than most the frogs legs he had ever had. They lacked any swampy, muddy or fishy taste people talk about, the taste was chicken wings but the texture was more consistent than chicken wings, as they are white meat and not dark. 

If you like frogs legs I recommend you try smoking them, and if you have never had frogs legs I urge you to try them. 

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fishing with Yakhopper

Day 2. I got to fish a private lake north of Fresno with Eric, AKA Yakhopper. he is a super nice guy and even brought a spare yak for my buddy Vlad. I went 3 for 4 the smallest fish being around 2lbs and the largest around 5 here are the pics. 

Getting ready to launch

The first fish was mine and came off a Stank X hero in Dirty Craw on a Olive American Tackle Swim Jig.

Another look at that first fish, about 2 minutes after I caught my first Eric hooked up with a 4 pounder. I watched him loose 2 and catch 2 before my next fish.
 

My best of the trip, just over 5lbs, she had a weird pointed under bit lip.
 

Beavis Fish
 

It was nice adn hot with a little wind, the lake was going through a turn over and fishing was tough, Eric was getting his all in the shadiest water he could find and I was catching mine in the open and near the sun. I was about to give up and taking my time when I hooked up again.
 
 
Third and last bass of the day, the three I got were decent fish. I bet it is a dynamite lake when the water is a little less stirred up and a tad warmer. I wish Vlad would have caught something though.  He had a hit on a Texas rigged Rootbeer colored stick bait I poured myself, but could not set the hook. I had a great day out and the scenery was worth it alone. Eric I'd fish with you any time, same goes with you Vlad. 

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Monday, June 4, 2012

Party Boat!

I had the best weekend since my wedding, my Marine buddy Vlad rode his bike up from Camp Pendelton and I wanted to show get out and have some fun. We went fishing on a party charter, made fish tacos, kayak bass fished a private pond with Yakhopper and smoked frogs legs for the first time. I am going to share about most of it but it will take at least 3 posts to do it. It is overwhelming just thinking about all of it.

So first with the party boat, my buddy the Marine and a Corpsman in the Navy I work with packed up and headed out at 0345 in the morning headed south on CA-41 to Avail beach to catch a 0600 departure this was the first time either had been fishing in the ocean and the first time my Corpsman friend had ever been fishing. In the rush I forgot my camera so all the pictures today are off my buddies smart phone. I headed out there not really knowing what to use So I brought a few jigs I made and a few rock cod rigs. If you have never been on a party boat this is how it works. You go aboard a boat with a bunch of people, they cruise out to a spot that should hold fish, a crew member tells everyone when they can fish and how deep the fish are and you are standing shoulder to shoulder hopefully catching fish. They tell you keep your line taunt, it keeps you from hanging up and helps you detect the bite, very few do this. If you let you line go slack you end up tangling up with other peoples line, loosing bait and loosing rigs, most people seem to like that method. The first fish I saw brought up was by my marine buddy, a nice little Gopher fish, his first ocean fish.

Gopher Fish
 A short time later my Corpsman friend caught his first fish ever, another undersized Ling cod! The next fish caught was by Vlad, a Tree Fish. Not much like the Northern Pine Branches  I have caught in the past,  if I could name it it would be called the lipstick wearing Zebra fish.
Tree Fish
My first fish came off a jig I made out of Flashabou and tipped with a 5 inch Thug grub from Stankx baits. 
Homemade jig and with a Thug Grub
 First fish was a short ling (first Ling ever), it was shook off way before I could get a pic, a few drops later and I had my first keeper Ling cod. Next drop I lost the lure in a reef, then I got a Chocolate Rockfish on a 9 inch swimbait and a Gopher fish on a 7 inch white swimbait with a 5oz head.
Limit of Ling Cod
 I lost all my heavy jigs and the sea started getting rougher so I cold not even feel the bottom any more so I switched to Rock Cod rig with a squid strip on the lower hook and a swim jig on the upper hook, I caught 4 Gopher Fish in a row alternately on the squid and the swimbaits. I gave it a good rip on the drop and had a massive strike, took me a few minutes to reel up the keeper Ling on the other end of the line. I dropped down again and caught one more fish a Black Rockfish before breaking off on the reef. Then the crew came over the speaker and announced we were heading back.    
I tried to hold all of them but couldn't do it
As we came back in the waves got worse but the sun finally burned through the fog that surrounded us all day long. We headed back in, 2 Ling Cod and 14 Rockfish between the 3 of us. Vlad's first salt water fish and John's (the Corpsman) first fish ever. It looked almost too good to go home but I knew we had to get back because I knew what was going to happen.
Avail Beach
 FISH TACOS!!!
Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and Sour Cream

Thanks for reading, there is more to come. 
Dan