Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Secret Fish Catching Weapons

We're going paddling/surfing/fishing this weekend!!! I've got a score to settle with some freshwater piscine adversaries and these Gamakatsu size 10 SL45 hooks covered in blue yarn are going to be "Killer Blueberries". The orange yarn size 14 eggs are stripped down sand crabs - advertising what I think the small fish would want - "just the eggs please - no shells". We'll see if this works as I'm not sure the baby pompano are running around the lower Chesapeake yet. And the fall back for the common bottom feeder - a small orange and black clouser minnow. I am going to bring spinning gear, lures and bait as well as the fly gear (Daiwa Kiyose 43MF, Orvis Helios 8 wt and the Nissin Fine Mode). Weather is looking good too - can't wait!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hooked SUP Fishing at Lake Audubon

Damn that MTI inflatable PFD makes me look like I have a gut!!! But they are oh so much cooler to wear in the summer. Anyways - I brought the Hooked SUP out and rigged a seat/cooler/snack bin/storage container to it with bungees. The Igloo cooler was way lighter than the Yeti. I know the Igloo will not hold ice as long, but for an afternoon paddle, it works just fine and the weight savings is worth the difference. I did land two small large mouth bass and three decent sized bluegill. The bluegill were sucking down insects that were hanging out on the water's surface - I just cast my fly out near where the ripples were and SMACK - bent rod and big smiles. The last one I caught had some weird growth on it - it's hard to see on the pictures, but it looked like some kind of amphipod. The Scotty tri-rod holder was awesome! And with the RAM Mounting Adaptors, I could use the RAM rod holders I already have - and they worked great both for the flyrod and the tenkara. I don't anticipate any issues with the spinning rods. And trolling lures while getting exercise on larger bodies of water should be a blast! So much so that the MTI PFD might not make me look fat anymore. Having a decent distance to paddle straight, I got to see how the board tracked. For full disclosure, I have on a much smaller fin than the board ships with (almost half the area less that Alex Aguera's stock fin) - primarily to avoid damaging the glass fin. The board still paddles straight! You can feel the extra drag caused by the extra width, but that is a very small price to pay for the incredible stability the width gives. I can walk all over the board without worrying what the board is going to do in response to the weight shift. This may not be a factor for most of you out there, but if you want to manage rods, lines, nets, etc to catch aquatic creatures, then you need the width above 30". We still need to take a picture of the truck loaded up for these local SUP outings - nothing too dramatic, but carefully considered placement of everything to make for a fun day on the water.

Paddling Lake Audubon in Reston

The forecast for today originally called for 70% rain. WRONG. With the dismal outlook, we had planned on knocking out some errands - changing the van's transmission fluid, begin shopping for back-to-school, finishing off the outfitting on the kids' new SUP board (Tahoe Grom) and more cleaning. After a while, I was getting cranky because I haven't had any water time. We did not have enough time to go out to Beaverdam Reservoir, but we did have some time to check out Lake Audubon. I paddled here last when I was back from my last tour for a conference (old blog post from September 2011). Marlon and Noe really like the Grom - they were each keeping track of how long the other had been using it - looks like we'll have to save up some more and get a second one. The ULI FAQ is a little wide for them right now - but both these boards are ding proof so that's what they'll be using for the foreseeable future. La met a new friend paddling another inflatable - NRS I think. The length of Lake Audubon is better for paddling then Lake Newport - but the fishing honey holes are different (as they should be for a different body of water - it's just that I don't know where they are).

Baitcasting is Kicking My Butt!

After decades of fishing spinning gear and my recent successes at learning to cast a flyline and tenkara rods, I have slowly been trying my hand at baitcasting. Nothing like a overspun sourced birdsnest to bring you back down to earth. But hey - practice makes perfect and you can only get better if you try and try and try again. At one point as I was practicing by casting a 1/8 ounce weight I was getting good distance despite completely missing my target (hard left every time). At least I wasn't spinning a birdnest. Weight on the lure and setting the brake for the weight of the lure seemed to be key to getting better. I figured I should try a lure at the end and see if I could get a fish on - mistake - I got birdnested. Back to square one...

Flyfishing the C&O Canal in Georgetown

La had made arrangements to meet with an old friend down in Georgetown this past Friday evening. Knowing the C&O Canal was right there by the parking garage, I brought along a tenkara rod and some flies. When we got there, a few sunnies were showing topside. The water was pretty clouded, but that's typical for the C&O near it's beginning point. I hooked into two - and I had to work hard for them, not what I'm accustomed to when it comes to sunfish. Fun session in the middle of the Nation's Capital - although a carp would have been the ticket (next time).

Weta Trimaran for Sale - Blades

I'll post a reference to this on the yahoo groups site, but in case you are browsing via a web search, here are some pictures of the blades - daggerboard and rudder.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weta Trimaran for Sale - Add Ons

Pictures of the balloon tires for pulling the boat across the beach, the hinged mast base for smoother (more reliable mast stepping) and proof that I've switched the battens out for better ones. Give me a shout if you are interested in becoming the HOOYAH!!!!'s new owner.

Weta Trimaran for Sale - Sails and Spars in Perfect Condition

As the post title says - the sails and the spars (bowsprite and tiller extension) are in perfect shape.

Weta Trimaran for Sale

We have decided to sell a few more things - our 14.5' trimaran and trailer. $9495 for the boat and trailer and all the goodies I've modified the boat and trailer with - hinged mast base, wide tires for the beach dolly, ramp for the trailer, wind vane, clam cleat on the attachment point for the main halyard, and more. The boat is clean as can be, the sails crisp and the trailer has never touched saltwater. Email me if you are interested. I am willing to drive within a days range to deliver/meet halfway. We are hoping to move overseas next year - hate to sell the HOOYAH but in the land of perfect surf, do you sail, or do you SURF?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Letting Yourself Go the Way of the Spare Tire

I've hit on this topic a few times over the past months - going wider isn't necessarily a bad thing. The wider boards give you the little bit of edge when you need it most (going over the top of a breaking wave standing up, taking a step back to set the hook, or multi-tasking). But storage options have to be considered in addition to just the boards. I thought the IKEA shelving rack I bought back in California with it's 33" width would be the be all - end all garage solution. The ULI FAQ posed an interesting quandry. Then came the Jackson Big Tuna. Neither of those would fit into the rack, but I made it work - tilting or leaning vertically. With the Hooked SUP, I didn't want to do that. I went to Home Depot, bought some wood and screws, and after a lot of measuring, cutting and a couple of battery charges on the drill, I widened the rack from 33" to 37". After culling the herd over the past year and streamlining down to just a handful of boards, having an organized place to store them is a good feeling. Getting a wider pair of pants must feel the same way...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Same Point in Time - Different Perspective and Fist Pumping

We had all four boards nested together during our breaks. La and the GoPro were working the same space - cool perspectives. Besides the cruising around, the kids and I had to break out the fist pumping to ensure we made it back through the thick aquatic plants, the swooping ospreys and the oppressive heat. Our fist pumping was very good, very good indeed (we made it back didn't we??? ;)

Second Outing on the Hooked SUP

Yesterday after we got back from Goose Creek, I was scrambling around the garage to finish off the shelving rack (next post), cleaning out the Surf Taco from the earlier trip and organizing the other boards. All sweaty and ripe, I figure what better time to break in the Hooked SUP!!! I took the board out for a paddle on Lake Newport but the pictures Marlon took of me got erased in one of the GoPros today. Oh well - that's what these second day pictures are for. This board is MEGA stable - I can walk in circles around the deck. I can walk way back to the tail and not sink it in at a steep angle - that width back in the tail makes a huge difference in stability (but we all knew that already don't we ;) We took four boards with us today - La's Flatwater, the ULI FAQ, the new Tahoe Grom and the Hooked SUP - over to Pohick Bay. It was hot with hardly a breeze - but still 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. We had the big hats on today, neckerchiefs for evaporative cooling, lots of drinking water and we were still hot. The black deck pad didn't help my feet a whole lot. We practiced some towing drills - figure with the kids having to paddle themselves around now (unlike the Big Tuna kayaking days), what would we do if they got too tired or hurt. I had two tow lines rigged and we tried towing. Noe stopped paddling behind me and enjoyed the ride - which was ok, I needed the exercise and old habits die hard (lazy butts). I saw a bunch of fish on the way out - but when I made a follow up pass on the way in, there were three ospreys hanging out in the trees crying out - either pissed at each other, or pissed at us for hanging out in the dining room table. I noticed most of the fish I saw earlier (coincidentally when there were no osprey hanging around) weren't hanging around anymore. I did manage to hook into this bluegill - you can always count of bluegill to keep away the skunkfish - can't get skunked while on your first fishing trip on your new fishing SUP can you? - NO you can't!!! And I didn't!