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13 May 2014 – Stress, Tragedy, and Fishing

Folks, I apologize.  I had planned to get this written a while back, but it got set aside and forgotten for a while.  I figured I could fix that and get it published now :wink:

So, back a couple of weeks ago I managed to get a few hours of fishing in and got a few pics to share.

13 May 2014 - Cool old tractor!

13 May 2014 – Cool old tractor!

I love old tractors for some unknown reason and I love seeing them in use.  This one just happened to be crossing the road on my way home from fishing :)

13 May 2014 - Yes, I broke the tip off of one of my fishing rods

13 May 2014 – Yes, I broke the tip off of one of my fishing rods

That stress and tragedy in the title?  Here’s the reason.  I had the windows down a bit and didn’t realize my rod tip had gotten in the way when I rolled them up.  It’s since been repaired and works fine, but I was sad when it happened :wink:

13 May 2014 - Keepers

13 May 2014 – Keepers

Here are the two keepers for that day.  Not too bad :D

13 May 2014 - Filleting in progress

13 May 2014 – Filleting in progress

I personally think I’m getting quite a bit better with my fillet knife lately!  Practice and a good technique found online help :thumb:

That’s all for this post, but have a great day and I’ll see you all later :mrgreen:

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10 May 2014 – Keepers!

10 May 2014 - Keepers!

10 May 2014 – Keepers!

Ya know, things have just been busy and cruddy here.  Between losing my job, job hunting, cutting daycare back to two days a week due to costs, and a whole bunch of nasty stuff going on behind the scenes, I’m about to lose what part of my mind I had left.

Today was the first day in a while that I’d gotten to go fishing.  It was windy at times, but it was good :)  I even caught a couple of decent size fish!  They’re now fillets in my fridge and I look forward to cooking them up tomorrow :thumb:  Both were females and I have quite a bit of eggs from one of them, so I’ll look up some recipes for trout roe :wink:

That’s all I can really say for now, but I’ll be back soon!  Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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3 May 2014 – Finally Fishing Again

3 May 2014 - Keepers

3 May 2014 – Keepers

So, I finally got to go fishing again this evening. The last time I got to go was Friday, April 25. Part of the problem has been weather related (winds gusting to 45 MPH or so) and the other problem has been that things are BUSY with job hunting and other stuff happening behind the scenes.

I’ve got all the fly fishing stuff ready to go (fly & bubble pole, redneck Tenkara rod which is a 10′ telescopic panfish pole), but I got out late today, so I just stuck with the Zebco 33 and some neon yellow garlic Power Eggs.

These were the two I kept and which are now fillets in my refrigerator :wink:  It was GOOD to be out fishing again :cool: !!!

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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Job Hunting – Again

Well, today was supposed to be a day off.  I was going to play with Ember, fix her breakfast and maybe we could meet up with Cindy for lunch.  Maybe do… Something.

Sadly, it was not to be.  I will not share details here (not many if I wanted to), but suffice it to say that I’m back on the job hunt again and it was not my choice nor was it expected in the least.

Ember is at daycare.  I’m meeting Cindy and her mom for lunch.

And I’m trying not to throw up.

Wish me luck with trying to keep things semi-steady while attempting to reinstate some sort of an income.

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Fishing – Adding Flies to the Equipment and Skills Inventory

So, I talked in my last post about the frustration of watching a bunch of fish eat off the surface of the water and not having anything useful to target them.  I had plenty of normal lures and jigs and bait and whatnot, but it was only to fish under the surface.  I figured out that I need something for on the surface.

This is what's known as a casting bubble

This is what’s known as a casting bubble

I used this same pic in my last post.  Casting bubbles are useful for many different things in fishing.  The thing I like about them is that they add weight for assistance casting while adding virtually no weight once the line is in the water.  After all, it’s a light bit of plastic with water providing the weight outside of the water.  Get it in the water and all you’re left with is plastic with water inside and out.

So far, I’ve used a bubble like this for help casting with my Dock Demon.  I love that little rod and reel for a bunch of reasons, but it’s never going to be the greatest for casting because the rod is only 30″ from butt to tip.  I’ve used a bubble completely full of water to help cast the line out and then it can lay on the bottom with a couple of split shot sinkers that keep the line on the bottom with floating bait a ways above it.  When a fish bites the biat and runs, it’s is only really pulling on the split shot where weight is concerned :wink:

Casting bubble instructions

Casting bubble instructions

Bubbles like this are pretty simple to use.  There are other cheaper ones that don’t have the rubber that you twist and you just have to use a bobber stop and a bead.  I like these better for the convenience factor :)

The reason I got two bubbles though is for fishing normal flies with bubbles on traditional non-fly fishing gear :)  The video above gives a pretty good idea of how this works.  I figured I’ve got 4 pound line on both my Zebco 11 and my Dock Demon and I could easily add a light weight leader to the 10 pound line on my Zebco 33 if I want to use that.

My first fishing flies!

My first fishing flies!

And here are my first real fishing flies!  I got an assortment of 25 flies by South Bend fishing for under $5 :D  They’re probably not the world’s most awesome flies, but I think they’ll do for now :wink:

Will I ever get into “normal” fly fishing?  Maybe.  We’ll see.  I know it’s not that expensive, but I want to try this out first :thumb:  I’ll be sure to post when I get a chance to try these out :)

That’s all for right now, but I’ll be back before long with more stuff :cool:

Have a great night, everyone :mrgreen:

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Fishing – Thursday Night’s Keeper and Some New Gear

So, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  Things happen, I don’t get to do much, don’t get to go fishing… You know the drill :)  Well, I managed to do a bit of fishing last night after work (it’s a 10 minute drive to the fairgrounds pond) and not only did I bring some meat home, but I learned something too :wink:

25 April 2014 - Thursday night's keeper trout

25 April 2014 – Thursday night’s keeper trout

Remember how I said I brought home some meat?  Here he is :)  I caught quite a few others, but they were a bit too small, so they got released to go get bigger.

The other thing that happened is that I found out my terminal tackle selection is seriously lacking.  I have pretty much NOTHING when it comes to fishing flies etc.  The fish started ignoring my garlic Power Eggs.  No, they were more interested in the flies and gnats just above the water.

Now, picture yourself watching fish jump to get insects and only having bait and lures for underwater and deep under.  Yes, it sucked.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Trout Special

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Trout Special

With that experience fresh in my mind, I went to look through the fishing stuff at Walmart.  I came across these things and they weren’t hugely expensive :D

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Joe's Favorite

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Joe’s Favorite

They’re from a company called Joe’s Flies (joesflies.com) and they’re not really flies in the traditional sense of flies.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Out of the packaging

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Out of the packaging

They’re more of a super ultralight spinner lure as you can see above.  That said, that front spinner part is made to be a quick detach setup so you can swap the fly part of the rig quickly and easily.  If you just took the spinner off, you’d have a fly with a trailing treble hook.  If you took the treble hook off, you’d have a normal fly.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Instructions

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Instructions

Here are the instructions for using these.  As you can see, they’re made to be fished with a normal rod and reel which is nice :)  I’ve got normal 4 pound monofilament on my Dock Demon and my Zebco 11 combo, but it’s pretty easy to add a lighter leader to the Zebco 33 (it’s got 10 pound line) to have three rods and reels to use with these :cool:

Joe’s Flies look like a good way to keep something handy for times when the fish only want to eat off the top, so I’ll keep one with me :)

25 April 2014 - Another casting bubble

25 April 2014 – Another casting bubble

Now, there are times when Joe’s Flies may not be quite what I’m looking for.  That’s where a casting bubble comes in handy.  The one above is my second one (they’re really not that expensive) so I can have a couple of rods set up for something a bit different :thumb:  More on that later :wink:

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!  Have fun, everyone :mrgreen:

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From my Day on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 on 9 April

I got the invite from blog bud Christopher Goodrich and his daughter, The WSO, to participate in The Family and Friends Day on the USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

This was a really good day!

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Fishing – Spooling On Fresh Line

Looking back over my recent posts, I think I’ve done a decent job of keeping up with where I’m going and what I’m doing when it comes to fishing.  I’ll try to get more about Ember in the near future, but for now I’m just going to stay with fishing stuff :wink:  I’m up to … let’s see here… four rod and reel combos, two telescoping graphite crappie/panfish rods, and one two piece, no kidding, jointed bamboo cane pole :)  Add in Cindy and Ember’s gear and there’s another two rod and reel combos.  I’d say we’re fairly well set up in that department 8|  Heck, we’ve got a pretty good lure and terminal tackle collection going, too!

Something a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that all of this equipment requires some maintenance.  I’ll get into the oil and grease for the reels in a bit.  This time we’re going to talk about fishing line for a bit :)

Berkley Mini Line Spooler

Berkley Mini Line Spooler

It seems like a lot of people think a lot about their fishing rod, reel, hooks, lures, and bait, but I don’t see them considering their line all that much.  Fishing line is kind of like a car’s tires – It gets worn over time, it gets nicked, it gets stretched, and it gets twisted.  Every time a hook or lure is cast and reeled in, there’s wear on the line from the reel as well as rocks and other items in the water.  Every time a fish is caught, it gets stretched quite a bit.  Lures and fish can cause line twist.  When line gets twisted, it will cause a tangle.  Tangles take time to fix and they just tend to suck overall.

Stretching, twisting, and general wear are all reasons to change your fishing line occasionally.  There are really affordable options and there are some that make you wonder if they have to harvest it from a rare spider that only lives on a single mountaintop in the south Pacific and which can only be coaxed into giving up its product by beautiful females from the Swedish Bikini Team.  I’m not going to go into the different brands, types, and prices of line here.  This is more about how I’ve chosen to go about spooling fresh line onto my reels :)

Berkley Mini Line Spooler in use

Berkley Mini Line Spooler in use

A lot of the people I’ve talked to have suggested having someone else hold the new line on a dowel etc. while keeping some tension on the line for you and just reeling the fresh line onto the reel.  The problems with this aren’t just limited to a decreased popularity rating among your friends and neighbors.  What if there’s nobody around to help for example?  This is why a tool is needed.

I tried building a tool out of PVC and some all thread, but it had issues.  While it kept the spool of new line from overspinning and creating a mess, it held the spool vertically.  Any loss of tension between the reel and the spool of new line and you’d have rings of fishing line falling down to the floor where they became a mess.

Berkley Mini Line Spooler attached to the rod

Berkley Mini Line Spooler attached to the rod

There are quite a few different line spooling tool designs out there.  I could have gotten one that holds the reel and the spool of new line off of the rod, but it’s about $20 and takes up space.  The same one with an electric line stripper (to pull all the old line off of the reel) is $30.  I decided I wanted something simpler, smaller, and much less expensive.

I decided to get a Berkley Mini Line Spooler (click here for the manufacturer’s product page) because it fits all the criteria I was looking for.  It’s small, you don’t need to remove the reel from the rod to use it, it works with 1/4 pound spools of line (the bigger ones), and it was all of $5 shipped from eBay or Walmart site to store.

Berkley Mini Line Spooler attached to the rod

Berkley Mini Line Spooler attached to the rod

I used my little mini line spooler to put fresh line onto my Zebco 33 Platinum combo and while there was a little bit of a learning curve, overall it went really smoothly :)   I managed to get 20 pound line on my 888 combo without something like this, but it wasn’t easy.  This was much better!  As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to go replace the line on my Zebco 11 combo tonight and maybe I’ll even re-spool the Dock Demon while I’m at it :)

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon :wink:  Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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Easter 2014 – Family and Good Times

Apologies for this taking so long, but stuff got busy.

So, Cindy, Ember, and I all had a pretty good Easter and we hope you did as well :)

Easter 2014 - Ember being cute with bunny ears

Easter 2014 – Ember being cute with bunny ears

Ember was SO CUTE!!!  Yeah, she put the bunny ears on herself and didn’t just chew on them this year :)

Easter 2014 - Ember's baskets

Easter 2014 – Ember’s baskets

The Easter Bunny came and brought plenty of cool stuff for Ember :cool:

Easter 2014 - Ember's first rod and reel!

Easter 2014 – Ember’s first rod and reel!

One of the things Ember got was her first fishing rod and reel setup!  It’s a Zebco 11 combo and it’s a special “Customz” edition which means it has a nicer rod than my Zebco 11 and it’s a really pretty color :thumb:

Easter 2014 - Dinner - Yesterday's catch was good :)

Easter 2014 – Dinner – Yesterday’s catch was good :)

Dinner for me included some trout fillets as I’d caught a couple of fish the day before.  I heated up some olive oil in the skillet, dipped the fish in some egg and milk, and then did the shake to coat thing with some Progresso lemon pepper panko bread crumbs and it was GOOD :D

Easter 2014 - Today's keepers

Easter 2014 – Today’s keepers

Earlier in the day, I’d gone up to the pond and grabbed a couple of decent trout, so one of the last things I did on Easter night was to prep these two fish for cooking.  I’ve been using a method of filleting that calls for gutting and taking the fish’s head off and it’s quite time consuming and annoying.

I went back to YouTube to see what I could find for filleting techniques before startintg in on these fish and I found a pretty good idea.  Click in the video and then go to 5:38 for the relevant part.  There’s also info about prepping your trout or salmon for baking or cooking whole along with how to steak them as well, but the filleting technique was what I was after for my fish :)

Easter 2014 - Skin side of fillets

Easter 2014 – Skin side of fillets

Easter 2014 - Meat side of fillets

Easter 2014 – Meat side of fillets

And here’s the result of the new technique :D  Oh, I still need some practice before I can get the most meat out of the fish and the most bones out of the meat, but this is SO MUCH BETTER :cool:

Well, that’s all for now, but I will be back soon with some more cool stuff :wink:

Have fun, everyone, and I hope you had a very Happy Easter :mrgreen:

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19 April 2014 – A Quick Trip to the Fishing Pond

19 April 2014 - A couple of nice trout

19 April 2014 – A couple of nice trout

So, I had to work 0800-1500 yesterday.  I also met Cindy and Ember for lunch right after that until 1600.  Add to that a trip to the liquor store for wine for Cindy’s sauce with dinner (you can only buy wine in the state owned liquor stores here in Utah) and a trip to Walmart for a few other things and it was about 1700 by the time I was able to head over toward the fishing pond.  Oh yeah – I had to be home by 1800 for dinner.

Funny thing – None of that was a problem :)  I’ve gotten to know the Carbon County Community Fishing Pond well enough now that I can go to a certain part of the shore, put a hook on the line with a split shot sinker about 12″ to 18″ above it, put a couple Power Eggs (chartreuse with garlic scent seems to work best) on the hook, cast a short distance, and nearly always have a few good fish on the line in a few minutes :)

That’s how I got the two fish you see above and I got them both in about 10 to 15 minutes and they were both caught on my little $10 Zebco Dock Demon :cool:  I got them cleaned and filleted last night, so I’ll have them for dinner soon!

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon with more :wink:  Have a great day :mrgreen:

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