Saturday, August 24, 2013

How to Copy an Existing Lure using Plaster of Paris.



            I started off with a Storm Wildeye Live Goby because I have always liked the bait but never really liked the way it was rigged. Cutting into the top of the bait to remove the internal hook and weight and removing the fins from the top. I pinned the bait upside down to the bottom of a tupperware container using pins to hold the lure to the bottom when I poured the plaster of Paris over it. I did a few lures in the batch but the goby was the only one that turned out OK.


The mold turned out pretty well, I screwed up the edges when digging the original lure out. There might be a way to repair the other molds, but I didn't want to waste the time so I just hack sawed the mold I wanted. Using marine resin I coated the plaster so the plastic wouldn't stick. I got a little heavy handed with it and lost part of the pectoral fins, but it is still good enough for me.  

I poured root beer with red flecks, metallic blue with red flecks and yellow with blue flecks. The gobies look just like baby ling cods to me, and if lings are like other predatory fish I know they will not hesitate to eat one of their own.
Image borrowed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwiaht/
 Plus it looks pretty good in the water, I can't wait to try these guys out in the ocean. If you are wondering about the legality of coping lures it is pretty simple. It is legal to copy a lure for your own use, but it is illegal to claim it is an original or to sell. Coping lures for your own use is a great way to experiments with different rigging options, colors and bounciness. The point is to have fun making something and to catch fish.


What do you think?

Dan

Friday, August 16, 2013

How To Cook Sweet and Sour Fish

Rock fish caught off the coast of Big Sur in California 
     

           Fishermen have always faced a dilemma when it comes to taking home fish. What am I going to do with all this fish. Most rock fish caught off California's central coast seems to find its way in a tortilla. Fish tacos are awesome, but there are more options out there. Sweet and sour fish is very popular with California's Asian community and it is very easy to make. The dish is savory, sweet, crispy, chewy, sour, warm and just down right tasty.

Sweet and Sour fish


What you need:

-Four white fish fillets
-One sweet onion
-One bell pepper
-One can of pineapple
-Ketchup
-Sesame oil
-Flour and or corn starch
-Vegetable oil
-Soy sauce
-Pepper
-Rice



             Cut the fish into bite sized pieces and place in a zip top bag. Add soy sauce to the bag and let marinate for at least five minutes. Once marinated add a few table spoons of corn starch or flour to the bag and coat the fish. Let the fish sit while the oil heats up, once oil is hot fry the fish until golden brown. In a sauce pan or wok saute diced peppers until the onions soften, add two table spoons of ketchup. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil. Open a 15oz can of pine apple and add about half the fruit. It will start breaking down and adding to the sauce. It should look glossy and be a little runny, and if it starts getting too thick add some of the reserve liquid from the can of pineapple. Give it a taste test and if it is good to you add the fish and serve over steamed rice immediately. The sauce will work with about any meat, or you can buy a store bought sweet and sour sauce if you don't want to go through making it yourself.

Try it, I think you'll like it.

Dan

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DIY Lure Making: The Polli-Minner

                Saying I like to tinker with fishing lures is a bit of an understatement. Ever since I first suspended a worm under a bobber I have been looking for different ways to get my hook into fishes mouths. Forming and pouring soft plastic baits is a fairly cheap and fun way to hopefully put more fish in the boat. I fish double dropper rigs in the ocean for rockfish and ling cod so I wanted a fat little body most fish could get in their mouths easily, and a flat long tail to add a subtle action as size to the bait without adding much bulk. I formed the blank out of Super Sculpey molding clay and baked it in the oven. After that I sanded the blank smooth as I could and cast it in a two part silicone mold maker putty.
A few spots did not turn out as I wanted, but it is a prototype so I am not too worried about it being perfect.
This might be the ugliest mold I have ever made. I was going to try to mold something else, but by the time I figured out it was not going to work the putty was almost half cured so I added it to the bottom. Ugly mold, but pretty functional.
The first one came out with a lot of pitting because the mold was dry and not fully cured. To get a smoother finish you can lightly oil the mold and/or lit the lure with a small torch or heat gun just until it smokes. The heat gun method is also a good way to add an eye mark with a Sharpie and make it meld into the plastic. It is a good way to customize any soft plastic lure you have.
            So I ended up with a half polliwog half minnow thing--Polliminner! I bet the rockfish and ling cod are going to love it. If I slit the belly a 0/4 hook fits perfectly into the body, but it needs a little weight to get down where the bass are. I think he might do OK with bass, but I can't wait to see what the rockfish think of him.  
                  For a tail that doesn't move much cast it straight or bent to the side. For a tail that swims and thumps hard cast it bent above or below the body--think Mister Twister. It is fun coming up with the ideas for these baits and pouring them, but one mistake would be to group them all together. I think the tail moves just enough, between being jigged and the ocean current it will give it plenty of movement to draw in the fish. 
                Keep like colors with each other and keep them all out of the sun when you can. Colors bleeding together can ruin the hard work you put into coloring them quickly. I find blacks, motor oil, red and chartreuse tend to bleed a little more than other colors. . When I have an idea for a new lure it is hard to sleep, which explains why from concept to prototype the Polliminner came together in less than twelve hours. CCKF is having another tournament, The Cambria Slam Down, in September and I have a few more ideas that might help me there. 

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Friday, August 9, 2013

Viral Turtle

                          I have been gearing up for school and busy with so many things going on with me right now it is hard to get around to writing. I have a few things in the planning stage but no time to get them published. I know this video has already gone viral and most of you may have already seen it, but it still cracks me up. Such a majestic animal the turtle.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Fun in the Land of Lincoln.

               Between spending time with family and fishing my trip to Illinois was an absolute blast. I didn't have time to do any good play by play trips but I did remember to grab the camera from time to time. Here are some of the photos from my trip that I like.
I got in right after the big cicada hatch. Their shed skins stuck to everything and they got so loud at times it hindered conversation.
I bought my niece this koi kite, we got it to go up about thirty feet then the wind died and it crashed. The strangest thing was the wind was more a series of breezes followed by dead calm. I just couldn't get the kite up into the good wind current fast enough.
Smallmouth bass fishing is one of my favorite activities because these little guys fight so hard. They are also so beautiful and seem to be able to change color at will to match the water. I have caught everything from dark brown to light green smallmouth in this river.
This fork is about a two minute walk from a major road, but it feels like you are out in the middle of nowhere.
The damsel flies were enjoying the weather...
We call this shot "The Wilson."
The twister grub and super fluke were the two big producers on this trip.
Even this shellcracker could not resist the temptation of a superfluke. I love the colors on him, it is almost tropical looking.
I cast my fluke to the left of a point over a branch and missed the hit as the fluke came out of the water and over the branch. I opened the bail and let the lure fall back and rest for a second before I brought it back up in an attempt to make as much noise with a fluke as one can, and it got nailed. My rod loaded and the line snapped somewhere near the reel. I could see the line was just lying in the water and not wanting to leave it in the water I had my dad go back for it. I started hand-lining it in, when I got about three feet from the end the fish knew the game was over and tried to get away. The hook was firm in the roof of his mouth, so I am glad I got it out for him, it would have made it hard for him to eat.
River largemouth always seem to fight harder and be built a little thicker than their cousins in the ponds and lakes.
Some of those river largemouth have a lot of contrast, dark blacks and deep shades of green against the white belly.
And some river largemouth are light emerald green. 
Fishing with Teddy of Lucid Grips was a blast (even though he out-fished me two to zero). He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met, I am very thankful for the fishing community that brought us together. He got this little Fox river smallie on a chartreuse streamer right near the discharge. He is getting pretty good with that fly rod.
My niece is turning out to be an amazing person herself. She has a love of nature and the outdoors that I see in myself. Getting to fish with her was a great.
Ed, the Four Season Angler, is not only a great rod builder and great fishermen but one of the nicest guys I have met. I feel privileged just to know him. Between working two jobs, raising his kids, building rods, brewing beer, and helping his wife out around the house he took the time and energy to take me and my dad out fishing. My dad is still talking about the fish Ed put him on. Plus Ed brought some of the great rods he built and they did their job well. Pulling in the bass that smashed out Stankx soft plastic baits. I did well with a jig tipped with a Stankx Sidekick, and Ed slayed them on camo colored Stankx Stix. I also got to meet Nick AKA Brookfieldangler for the first time in person. We have bantered back and forth online but never fished together. It was a pleasure fishing with him, I just with we had more time. 
It was sad leaving the place I grew up, having to fly to the place I am about to raise a family. The biggest thing this trip did for me was put things into perspective by showing me the importance of family in a way one can not see until they go back home after a long time away.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Checkout my friend's pages.
Teddy: http://www.lucidfishing.com/  10% sale of Lucid grips right not for Shark Week.
Ed: http://4seasonangler.wordpress.com/
Nick: http://www.brookfieldangler.com/
Stankx Bait Company: http://www.stankxbaitco.com/

Friday, August 2, 2013

Ever Loose a Rod and Reel While Fishing?

             In my short Twenty Nine and three quarter years on this planet I have lost two rods and reels while fishing. Both times involved going to the bathroom. The first time I was bottom fishing in Washington's Puget Sound and left my rig on the beach like a fool while I retreated to the port-o-potty a scant fifty feet away to come back to find my spinning reel and rod was gone. There was a nice straight line from my cooler where the rod was perched leading to the water--my gift to King Neptune. The second time I was fishing the creek leading to Lake Michigan on Naval Training Command Great Lakes for king and coho salmon nearing the zombie phase of life. I needed to go, so I set the rod down after a retrieve. I was fishing a dropshot with a spawn sac on a number six octopus hook, and as I recall the bait was barely in the water. I ran to the Port-o-john and was back in less than five minutes, but the rod was gone. I am sure it was not a person stealing my rig because I left two cameras out and the keys to my truck (it is a pretty isolated area and I was out early). Despite it only being a shallow pool at the end of the creek my efforts to retrieve the rod went unrewarded.

             This is what makes my buddy Tommy's story so unbelievable, but it is better to just show you instead of tell you. Check it out, but if there are little ones around there are a few F-bombs so turn the volume down.

Can you believe that? I wish I would have gotten one of my set ups back. Some guys just have all the luck don't they?

What have you lost fishing?  Tell me in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

Check out Tommy's blog here:
http://adventuresmidwest.blogspot.com/