Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Friends First Float

Last week I put out an Open Invitation for anyone to join my long time fish buddy and myself out on the local pond. Let's just say....it's probably good no one else showed up. The fishing wasn't that spectacular.

5:30am rolled around on Thursday and my son (who was awake and ready for school) helped me pull my kayak and a borrowed blue friends kayak out of my garage. Che showed up minutes later and we started loading kayaks on cars and rods in trunks.

Buck Pond is only about 5 minutes from my house so the drive and anticipation was short. We pulled in to an empty parking lot....which is good since it's a small lot.

We unloaded the kayaks and put the gear inside and then got ready to push off.

Locked and loaded
Last year when I went on my first kayak trip with the fishingpoet, after we were finished for the night he told me he had prepared himself mentally to the potential of having to give me an hour worth of paddling instructions before the fishing could even start. Thankfully for him (and me) that didn't happen and I just took off. Not a huge accomplishment, because I think it's fairly simple to kayak. Thankfully Che was able to paddle this kayak easily too, and it kept on track better than mine.

First few minutes
We likely pushed off around 6:15am. We saw a lot of carp going crazy! They were splashing all over the place. Che tried to hook some, but the closest he got was getting soaked when a few came close and danced on the water next to his kayak. I would have loved for him to catch a carp, but with all the weeds in this pond, it's not likely he would have been successful landing a beast that size.

Just as 7am rolled around I finally had a nice bass surface and inhale my popper. I yelled "FISH ON!!!" and Che came paddling over quickly to get some photos. Unfortunately, even my $25 zip lock bag can't take great pictures, but does protect it from water....and Che's actual zip lock back isn't really any better at clear photos. But, these are the photos of the fish I caught, so these are the photos I share.


Good morning Mr. Bass
16 inches of bass that saved the day
We paddled around for probably close to 2 miles total, and explored some places I had wanted to. Unfortunately none of those places did anything for us as far as catching fish. We did manage a few other hits but besides the few seconds they were on, we caught nothing else. We did find different types of weeds which may sound boring, but in a pond that has either reeds or rock shoreline, any variance is nice. The pond apparently averages 6 feet deep. I put my paddle down a few times and found it even shallower than that where we were. It's a perfect habitat for the bass I've caught, and the pike I've heard rumors of. Someday I hope to verify the pike by catching a few!

Even though we only brought one fish to hand, I dream of the day I get back there in my kayak again!

So......after getting home, I got out of my wet shorts and headed for the shower. A few hours later I realized my knife was missing. I'm a stickler for making sure my son knows where his knives are (currently in my closet since he didn't know where there were last time) and so I was upset I had lost mine. I searched every where I could think of. Every place I put my wet shorts when I got home, any place it could have fallen and slid under. Ever place was checked, and double checked. I even drove to the pond and asked all the fishermen at the parking lot. Nothing! On a whim I sent a message to Che asking if he had found it. He replied "right on top of my truck where I left it." I had forgotten I had loaned it to him to cut a strap. He placed it on his truck....where he wouldn't forget it....and then drove off. It stayed on the roof of his truck for at least 5 miles...even after we unloaded the kayak at my friends place. I was amazed it was still there, but it made my day to know that my $60 knife would be back in my pocket soon!!!

Here's Che using a MonoMASTER from Guys, Flies & Pies sponsor Grasshopper Outdoors! With all the use this place gets from drive up fishermen, we could use a MonoMASTER the size of a garbage can! 

Mastering some mono!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Invitation

Tomorrow morning around 6am (that's Thursday May 24th 2012) my long time fishing buddy and I will be putting kayaks into Buck Pond to harass some bass. I hear by invite anyone that would like to join us...with no explanation to why I said "I hear by...."

Click this fancy link to see the place we will park and launch from.

The launch
Buck pond is only about 100 feet from Lake Ontario, so you can explore the pond or head towards the lake (something I might try for the first time tomorrow if the lake is calm enough.) The pond is pretty large and offers plenty of places to fish, but note there are weeds to work around.

While there is a lot of shoreline to fish from, the weeds in this pond are pretty extensive, so shore fishing might be an issue. So, while this invite is open to everyone keep in mind I'll be out in my kayak, and you might wish you were too.

If you make it, look for me in my yellow banana kayak, and my friend in his blue one. I'll be the one hauling in all the fish!

The forecast is for 60+ degrees at 6am with 4mph winds.....should be just perfect.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Early Saturday Morning

Yesterday I had my alarm set for 5am. Friday night I put my kayak on the car and left the straps loose but at the ready. My plan was to get up at 5am, eat, tighten the straps, and head off to one of my new favorite spots for fishing from my kayak. 5am rolled around and I jumped into action.

2 microwaved hot dogs provided my breakfast (good food choices are often thrown out the window when fishing is on the plate.) I grabbed my water bottle and wallet and locked the door on my way out. My kayak was slightly wet from the morning dew, but she was ready to rock.

I made the last few tugs on the straps to tighten everything down then started up the car and took off. It was 48 degrees and I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of sandals. The reason I was dressed for summer is because I have a sit in kayak, meant for river runs, and ultimately I get wet. Plus the foot rests were put in by the original owner who was considerably shorter than I am, and they are as far back as they can go...so even wearing sandals would make the cramped conditions even worse. It is amazing however how quickly being under dressed doesn't seem to matter when you are fishing. After the short drive I completely forgot about it barely being 50 degrees out.

When I went to bed Friday night I didn't know if I would end up at Buck Pond or back at Durand Lake. I took some time to think of the benefits of one pond over the other and realized the narrowness of Durand Lake and the high hill sides with trees keeps it shady longer than the openness of Buck Pond. So, in hopes to have the sun help warm me sooner than later I went to Buck Pond.

6:01am
 I put in just before 6am.....it was perfect. The water was completely calm and there was fog floating around. I paddled out past the shore fishermen and made my way out to the furthest point I've been on this pond, hoping to find new shoreline to explore. The shoreline is all pretty much the same, so I paddled around finding the biggest holes in the weeds. This pond is FULL of weeds. I brought my new weed guard flies and found this to be extremely useful in keeping the fly from getting weeded, and from having to de-weed (is that a word?) way too often.

Guarded Condition
Within about 30 minutes I had hooked a nice sized bass. I reeled in all my slack line and started to fight him. He took a few jumps to show off his skills and then tossed the hook. It always sucks to lose the first fish you catch because you never know if you'll get another shot. Thankfully, I got another shot. Just after 7am another bass hit. I reeled in slack line and he dove for the weeds......

This should have been a bass
....it also sucks losing your second fish, because you don't know if you'll get another shot. Thankfully, I got another shot. A while later another bass decided to play along and after a nice fight I brought him in and got him all dressed up for his photo shoot. Recently I got a waterproof case for my cell phone so I'm excited to have the chance to photograph what I catch while in my kayak. So I get the phone out, tell Mr. Bass to smile, he then says "Cheese" and I take the picture and let him go. Then I went to check out the picture of my bass.....yeah....I was disappointed. Here's the awesome photo I somehow screwed up.

For $500 I can photograph your wedding too!
Apparently my new, awesome, Bending Branches Slice Angler paddle photobombed this shot. Let me just tell you I love this paddle. It's only a few weeks old but I've used the hook removal slot at least three times and with the bass above, I was able to use the measuring marks. The bass was 13 inches.

It was a great time on the water and I'm already planning the next trip out...hopefully this week with a friend of mine. It will be his first time in a kayak but I think he'll love it too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Durand Lake

This morning as birds started to sing and my kids got their last few hours of sleep before another day of school, I loaded up my kayak and headed out to fish Durand Lake. For the second day in a row I was able to steal a few hours away and get out to fish from my kayak. Yesterday was a trip to a section of Buck Pond that is secluded from the main part of the pond, cut off by cat tails. Today, it was a trip to a new place for my kayak. Although I've fished here from shore....which there isn't much access from shore, this would be my first time in the water.

I pulled in about 6:30am and got the kayak and my gear ready. Slipping my sandals off I clumsily made my way into a kayak that clearly is better suited for a guy weighing 80 pounds less than I. But, this is the kayak I have and so this is the kayak I use.

If you haven't seen or been into Durand Lake it's a nice place to fish. With a shoreline completely covered in trees and a narrow body of water, the sun was easily blocked by trees, which could be useful during hotter months. These close trees obviously also bring great fish hide outs when the trees fall. There was all kind of shoreline character to explore and fish.

For my birthday last month my wife got me a Bending Branches Angler Slice kayak paddle. It's got a little cut out for helping aid in hook removal. It has been used both days I've used the paddle and at least 2 or 3 times just today! I love the paddle.

As far as fish are concerned....one guy I talked to said he saw a guy carry out a huge bass (not today), and I caught 2 small largemouth bass and about 5 crappie. I can imagine on the right day the place would be awesome. I plan to go back for sure.....so Paul, Matt, and anyone else with a kayak get yourselves ready for an invite one of these days.

A crappie way to start the day
One of two largemouth for the morning
I had a nice surprise visit from my wife and son as I was finishing up. They wanted to see me out in the kayak....my wife after all is the one who bought it for me years ago. My son tried to convince mom to push the kayak into the water after he climbed in. He's only 2 years old and not quite safe enough to go alone in a kayak. 

The reason I think the photos are blurry: I bought a phone case at LL Bean a few months ago. It's been great for keeping water off the phone while out, but I think the plastic window for the camera blurs the images. If I could get the plastic to stick to the lens first, maybe it would work better. So, I'm starting to realize that the case will let me mostly take my phone, and not necessarily take pictures like I had hope. That however doesn't meant I wont, and then share those terrible pictures with you. You've been warned.

I added a section of pool noodle to the case to help keep it afloat should it go in the drink....so far it hasn't.

Phone case and float