Friday, July 29, 2011

About Face

This week I've done an about face when it comes to my kayak.

Years ago....more than I can remember (about 3 or 4)....my wife got a sweet deal on a kayak and gave it to me for my birthday. I was excited, but after climbing into it, I didn't know if I'd get out if I flipped it....unintenionally flipped it, because I have no desire to do rolls in the thing. Well, that fear combined with everything else that gets in the way of fishing, have kept me from ever (yes, I said ever) taking it out. Well.....that is about to change.

See, this past Tuesday I went out in a kayak owned by a guy that I've never met. A guy who someday I hope to meet and thank personally for the use of his kayak. His wife was home when Matt and I stopped by and picked it up. She was welcoming and made sure we had not just the kayak but also a paddle and a PFD since I was a little cautious since it was to be my first time out in a kayak. I asked her if it was the "lucky" kayak and she told me it was the "tippy" kayak.....yeah....that calmed my nerves!

Having had a successful trip out in it that night, I came home dreaming of the next time I'd get out. So, the next day I went outside and sat in my kayak....and thought "this isn't that bad." I realized the entry into it, although a bit tight, wasn't likely to end up being a death trap if I happened to tip it. I now think there's a good chance I'll never flip it, and if I do, the PFD should provide enough buoyancy to help me stay high in the water and to get out and swim.

....and that brings me to my about face....

My kayak has sat around for years, and even as recently as about a month ago I was trying to sell it....now, I'm rethinking that and looking forward to giving it some time on the water.

So, last night, after assembling some new patio furniture for my wife I pulled the kayak into the yard and had the kids  help me wash it up. They loved helping and even got a chance to sit in it and pretend to be paddling around. They all even took a chance to surf on top of it.

I had to clean it up since sitting around for a while got it a bit dirty.

Before the scrub down
 My youngest son kept trying to play in the water that was inside the kayak...so we put a bowl of water out so he could splash in that instead. Well, it took about 2 seconds before he decided he wanted to go for a swim!
Cheese ball grin
 I had the kids doing the scrubbing inside and out. They helped me take off the stickers too. Next up, a few Guys, Flies & Pies stickers need to be added to it!
Getting all sparkly
Next up I need to get my own PFD, a better back rest, and a good way to tie it to the van or car. I'm even thinking I might try to tie it down to the van to take with us on our next camping trip!

Thanks again to Matt for the trip Tuesday that showed me that I needed to get mine out!

Check out his report from that trip here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My First Kayak Fishing Trip

Last night I met up with Matt from FISHINGPOET and we went out in kayaks to catch some bass.

We met up at his secret location (his house) and loaded up the gear and headed over to his friends house to steal a second kayak. I was hooked up with a nice kayak and a PFD in case I decided to take a swim. See, although I have owned a kayak for a few years, I've never gotten it wet...except to wash out bugs. Without a simple way to haul it Matt was kind enough to pick one up for me to use.

Initially the plan was to put in about 6pm, but after a tour of his compound, a trip to pick up the kayak, and the drive down Canandaigua lake, we probably put in closer to 7pm.

I eagerly admitted to Matt that I was a bit hesitant since I had never been kayaking....but as you know, that doesn't stop you from going fishing. Matt on the other hand kept secret his fear that I'd spin in circles and he'd end up being "kayaking teacher" instead of "fishing guide." I'm glad to report that after I got seated I paddle out and kept a moderately straight zig zag path to the creek. Matt said sail boats call it "tacking"....so I went with that since it made me sound experienced!

Have you noticed I haven't posted any pictures? Yeah, I didn't trust myself to take my camera/phone with me. I figured losing fishing gear to a flip is one thing, losing a phone is just unnecessary.

We made it into the creek and started hitting the weedline for bass. It didn't take more than about 10 minutes and Matt was into a nice bass. Soon after he caught a second. Of course, at this time I think he was likely dying for me to catch a fish....because as we all know, you don't like taking someone to your water only to have them skunked. Probably 40 minutes in to the actually fishing, I finally caught a nice 12 inch bass. Matt quickly paddle over with his new underwater video camera to get some footage. Soon after I caught another bass, a nice 14 inch.

Matt finished off the night by pissing off a beaver, who was willing to slap it's tail a few times for us, and catching a third bass.

Bugs, darkness, and no more hits had us heading back to shore.

Zig. Zag.

Loaded up the gear and noticed my clamps were missing. I searched the kayak, searched my bag, and didn't find them. Then, with my phone in hand, I turned on the flashlight app and walked to the water.......and there's my clamps, in 4 inches of water.......and here's your picture!

GOTCHA!


Check out Matt's report from fishing this same water a few weeks ago. I'll be back to watch the video a few more times to help relive my experience last night!

Now, time to get my kayak hooked up to my car so I can take it out more (than never)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The fishing sucked, but the weekend was great!

First, let's get all the details about the fishing out of the way....because I'd hate for you to suffer just to be disappointed at the end. The fishing sucked! I caught one bass which was only about 8 inches. Besides that, 3 days of fishing when I could squeeze in a few minutes yielded nothing much to speak about. However, it was the weekend of the Rock family reunion.

Every year my wife's family has a reunion picnic and camp out at her uncles house which is out in the country just south of Letchworth state park. My mother in law is one of 13 kids, so the family is pretty large and the weekend finds us tucked closely together in tents and campers. Family comes from all over NY and as far away as Florida.

Her uncle is a kind, crazy, and generous man. He's so welcoming to everyone that comes and this year he made a ton of grilled chicken that was absolutely delicious!

Every year the bonfire is fueled by wood pallets. here's my oldest son trying to deflect the heat with another pallet so he could get close enough to roast a marshmallow.


My wonderful wife had to work Saturday morning at 4am. Being new at her job she didn't really have any vacation time to take, and with little work recently she took a chance at staying on the schedule for the morning, but hoped she'd wake up to no work available...that didn't happen. She ended up with just over 6 hours of work...at 4am....from a camp ground. She was able to connect to her work with her cell phone and laptop and after sitting inside the van for a few hours, she upgraded to an outdoor office for the last few hours.



The highlight for the younger kids was being able to FINALLY do their lemonade stand. They've been dying to run one, and I had the thought to put it up at the reunion because they'd have more foot traffic than if they did it at our house. It turned out great and they will be counting the money and paying back investors (mom and dad) and likely have a great profit!

Collecting cold spring water for lemonade

 




 A few other highlights were frog hunting and listening to the bands.

The tiniest frog of the day...look closer



 Sure, I had hoped for more from the fishing, but with the pond getting hit by fishermen, swimmers, and dogs, it was tough to get the fish to come out and play. Even with poor fishing, I'm already dreaming of going back soon! Might take a day trip down sometime soon, or a single night camping trip.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fishing and Camping

I don't get 3 day weekends much so it was nice to have one this past July 4th weekend.

It started off nice with a night out fishing with my wife. First order of business for the night out was a U turn on the Parkway to help a motorist change a tire. She should have changed the tire many many miles ago, it had a lot of wear on it. Plus, a reminder note to check your spare air...we put the spare tire on it was very low on air and barely did the job....at least we hope so because a mile down the road she turned off and we parted ways.
Messed Up!!!
Once on our way we headed to a creek we haven't fished together for likely 9 years or so. We stopped at the first wadable bridge spot and found an old favorite tree had fallen.


Although we found some places from shore to fish from, my wife thought she'd slip into the water and wet wade up to my spot and surprise me. Well, the surprise was on her...when she stepped in, sunk in, and she fell on her butt.
Black and white
We saw one carp, outside our casting reach, so we took off and went to a well producing pond. Soon after arriving we started to catch a few fish!
Now, it's great to get instructional information from websites, that you can apply in your own life. So, here's our educational part of the show. When you want to get going, but you want to fish the spot your wife is in simply say "I'm ready if you are."  See, she'll assume you mean you are ready to leave, and she'll reel in the line. While she's doing this you slip down to where she was fishing and start to cast....and then pull out the biggest fish of the night right in front of her! Then, have her take a crappy phone picture of it hoping it's quality will sway people to believe you photoshopped the image.


Bass 
Of course, this method might bring some disapproval from your spouse.
Say NO to bass!
....but that disapproval can be reverse pretty easily by getting ice cream.

I ordered mine with 1/2 sprinkles
On Sunday 7/3 my wife convinced me that we needed to go camping for the night at her uncles property. A bunch of her family was there and so we packed up and left. The 1.5 drive went well, with snacks and drinks and kids who behaved.

When we arrived my rod spent most of the night and following morning under the wiper so it was ready to go at a moments notice.
Ready and willing
When we pulled up there were about 5 people on the pond fishing with worms. Reports were that one girl caught a few sunfish and others had caught one or two. But, for the most part, it sounded like things weren't going as well as most had hoped. After about 30 minutes enough people moved and I had room to cast. On cast #2 I landed a bass that was about 15 inches long. One guy, who I just met minutes before, jokingly said he was going to throw me in! Not long after that, he admitted to having a fly rod that he's planning on pulling out and learn to cast it!

The fight
The fish
Besides fishing we had fun eating smores, sitting around the fire, and watching the stars.
It turned out to be a good 3 day weekend full of fishing and a last minute camping trip....and some delicious grilled chicken made by my mother in law!