Saturday, August 31, 2013
The kids and I went back to the lake late this afternoon to let the turtles get back to the water. They had their fill of hot dogs and kiddie pool time - While Noe and Marlon were letting the turtles go, I was trying to catch the pancakes I know live in the depths. Summer is slipping away and we have the goal of making some epic Bluegill gyotaku... I nailed this decent sized LMB and a bunch of almost-epic gyotaku sized bluegills. Noe had trouble letting go of the smaller turtle. She'd let it swim away and recatch it before it got too far. I had to distract her to give the tiny guy a running start. When the two guys were out of reach, they popped their heads back up out of the water and sent a telepathic message "thanks for the rock'in dogs SUCKAS!" - after that, I let the kids take turns wrestling the 'almost" bruiser sized bluegill. Tomorrow is another day!
After brunch, we were out on the road getting errands done. We were out West - Asburn/Leesburg area - and in between Dick's (where I got a bunch more 1/32 ounce jig heads) and Wegmans, we stopped off at the Goose Creek fishing spot. I did not bring fly gear, just the ultralight spinning gear. I wanted to try out more of the soft baits - especially the Gulp minnows. The current was not as strong as the last time - so the tailing section was not as pronounced. And the bass were not as concentrated either. I hooked into two - and like most of the bass I've hooked into recently, they jump and spit the hook. I think the weight on the hook gives them something to throw... I'm still new to softbaits so forgive me as I learn. If you have ever wondered, Gulp does work. I had two other baits on the same jighead and there wasn't a time when I had the Gulp on that fish weren't picking at it. All to quickly, it was time to move on and I caught this fish that Marlon and I are not quite sure how to identify - I think it is a "Flier" Centrarchus macropterus; Marlon's thinks it is a White Crappie. This is the second one we've caught at Goose Creek - we'll do more research to find out what it is.
I opted to just walk to the lake this morning to go fishing. I brought the 5wt flyrod and my St Croix Ultralight spinning setup. I walked up to the dam and did the rock dance first. I saw these two little turtles swimming around without a care in the world. I figured I'd give them a life lesson (don't forget to check your 6 periodically) then let the kids study them for a while. They got a free meal out of the ordeal so their plus one. Using the spinning rod, I hooked into another yellow perch, and again as I was pulling it up to hand, it came off the hook. I got a small bass the same way (spit the hook after a jump). I finally got one to hand - handsome devil too. I used the flyrod back around toward our side of the lake, I hooked into a decent sized bluegill (not big enough to make into an impressive gyotaku). I saw one of the old resident grass carps hovering close to shore - I suspect these ripening berries are one of the reasons - time to breakout the blueberry fly... Driving around to different spots is awesome, but I do appreciate the local waters (nearly in our backyard).
Friday, August 30, 2013
Marlon and I went fishing late Thursday afternoon. I took my lightweight spinning gear and fished a Lunker City 1" shad on a 1/16 ounce jighead. Marlon fished a killer bug on the Daiwa Soyokaze. I brought six Large Mouth to hand - with a couple making some drag stripping runs (which sounds awesome even on small gear - like some kind of primal reaction). A few of them also jumped and threw the hook! These weren't record breakers by a long shot but they were still tons of fun. Marlon dominated the bluegill. The lake was full of feeding fish - bugs in the air again. The bite shut down after dusk - I know what I'm doing later today...
On Tuesday, I took the kids to the lake and before getting run off by the same bugs that were causing the top water fish feeding boils, we caught a few. The orang"bucket" in the picture is actual a very small metal flower pot that Noe got at a birthday party. The fish inside are all first year bluegill. With the feeding frenzy going on (flying ants in the air), the bluegill were gorging themselves and were really easy to catch. We landed a couple of fingerling large mouth bass in the mix also. These guys have about 2.5 months left before the cold sets in - lots of growing that needs to happen in between.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
I went fishing this morning at Gravelly Point. Met up with a friend from work to cast flies and check out a new spot. There were several schools of shad (I think) swimming around the shoreline and near the boat ramps. I ended up catching 10+ sunfish of various species, but the carp and catfish I saw only glanced at the flies I was chucking to them - mostly short clouser minnows - at least I got a glance. Fishing here is pretty surreal - Reagan International is right across the drainage. I had a few chances at some largemouth bass, but again - they were only moderately interested. Nice way to spend some of Sunday morning, and I get to mark one more spot as "fished".
Since I didn't catch any fish at the first beach, I felt like I had to try again. We hit this beach to the West of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel where we had fun catching those baby pompano and croaker earlier this month. The wind got to this place too - I couldn't see any fish in the water. But we did see a bunch of dead stuff washed up on the shore - two dead dolphins topped the list. 20+ horseshoe crabs, 2 decorator crabs, and one big redfish head. Despite the ominous appearance, we took it all in as part of the cycle of life (although oddly enough there was a report on NPR that discussed there being 170 reported dead dolphins found throughout the Chesapeake Bay this year - higher than normal). Oh - I didn't break out the rod/reel - I bumped into a guy fishing and asked if he had any luck - not a bite. I saved myself the second skunk session and enjoyed the family walk.
Back at it - hanging out, getting tan, trying to fish (no bites - water was too choppy), and surfing!!! As you can see, it was windy - but unfortunately I anticipated slightly lower wind speeds - the 16m2 kite I brought was too big. The choppiness of the surf gave Marlon and Noe a new perspective of surf quality. The last time we went out and the surf was like this, they had some apprehension to getting in - this time they just charged it, but weren't able to stand up as much. It's the hard times that make you better, but conversely any surf is better than no surf when you have to drive 3.5 hours to get wet.
Saturday morning - secret spot (but completely in plain view) - mission to hook up a LARGE carp. I recent bought a Ranger 471RR net - with an expandable handle (~78" from the bottom of the handle to the top of the net) - so landing these guys was easy now. Everything was in place... In the pictures, you can see a lighter colored carp swimming around - that was my target. BUT at the last second, the smaller mirror carp pulled a blocking maneuver and then I was battling it instead of the ginormous one. Well - any fight is better no fight. This guy was 30 cm - not the biggest carp I've caught but it still brought a smile to my face!
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Marlon and Noe took their yellow belt tests today for Tae Kwon Do and after they 'kicked butt', we had sushi for lunch to celebrate. Then after that, we headed to Riverbend Regional Park to go hiking and fishing. We all caught some fish, but La seemed to have the most fun. Without recanting the whole afternoon, a better way to relay all the fun is to take excerpts from La. (1) BAM! I CAUGHT THE FIRST BASS (2) DON'T BE JEALOUS (3) JUST BECAUSE I CAUGHT MORE FISH THAN YOU DID DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE ANY LESS OF A PERSON (4) I LOVE FISHING WHEN I'M CATCHING FISH (5) I NEED A FISHING SHIRT (6) HOOOO! LOOK AT THIS - I CAUGHT ANOTHER FISH - THAT'S FOUR! HOW MANY HAVE YOU CAUGHT? WHOOOOOO! That's my La ;)