Monday, October 20, 2014

The New Honey Hole

Now that I found the pits, I wonder what I ever did before?! It’s a certified honey hole; almost a sure thing to catch fish if you go there. And although I want to fish other places, I’m kind of spoiled by this spot. I want to take everybody there and show them how to fish it… Scratch that, everybody I trust!

If there is anybody I trust, it’s ol Pops. Afterall, he made me so I think I can trust him with a spot or two. ;) We arrived at the pits at 4:30 and took the long walk down to the water. Ol pops was complaining the entire time, mainly because of the fish consumption situation. 

Let me break it down for you. Pops doesn’t believe in catch and release unless it’s undersize or over his limit. He catches fish to eat fish and nothing else makes sense. And perhaps he is looking at it only from his point of view. He pays for his license, he catches fish and he eats fish. Etiquette doesn’t apply to him because he’s not fishing for sport, he’s fishing to eat and I get that. I eat fish every once in a while because I like fish. I only keep them if I know I’m going to eat them. I release 95% of all of my bass and about 75% of my panfish. I keep all my stocker trout and that is only when I (spin) fish for trout which is rare. 
Anyway, I set up pops with my ugly stick and a chrome and dark green Kastmaster. I gave him a quick tutorial on what he was going to do any why and he ignored everything I said! Haha why must we fishers be so stubborn?! Meanwhile I tied on my kastmaster and when I finished up I showed him how to do it. How did I show him you ask? 5 casts for five fish, that’s how! Haha he shook his head and laughed as I made fishing the pits look easy. I didn’t get a bite on my sixth cast but my seventh I reeled in my sixth fish. After that my dad finally started doing things similar to my instructions and he landed his first bass at the pits. 

A bit later something different happened. Every time I have been out to the pits, hours pass by and nobody is out there. This time a couple of dudes showed up and I was pretty surprised. They greeted us and kept walking. They were a couple of young guys, probably mid 20’s, beers in hand. They settled a good distance away from me and that was a good thing.  You never know when fishermen will be weird, rude or stupid… or a combination of those. One of them struck up a conversation with me but I was hesitant at first. A bit later I moved down a few feet and the nicer of the two came over, fished at the spot where I was and started talking to me. And this is important… he said, “I’m sorry I didn’t even ask if you minded me taking your spot.” I didn’t mind at all but it was the fact that he acknowledged that that made me feel better about him. As it turns out he was a cool guy and he’s from Woodland so we exchanged numbers and decided to go fishing in the future. Always good to meet cool peeps while fishing. 
Well Pops and I continued to fish and this whole autumn thing doesn’t seem to be slowing me down at all. Pops got into 8 fish which was a good day for him. I caught a few more than that, making it my best day at the pits yet! After slaying the Largemouth bass I asked ol’ Pops if he liked fishing the pits, his response, “It would be better if I could have kept some to eat!” haha what can you do! 

Total fish: 22 Largemouth Bass

Monday, October 13, 2014

Solo at the Pits

I seem to have a lot of friends that flake on me. Not really sure what is going on there. After Charles flaked on me last minute last Friday I took the trip to the pits by myself. I arrived with three new kastmasters. Two bright green and chrome and the other Chrome and a darker green. The chrome and dark green was a ½ oz lure and the others were identical 3/8 oz lures. I decided to try out the Chrome and dark green just to see if the fish liked it as well as the bright green. I ended up bringing my ugly stik which has 10 lb line on it, ready in case I got into the big one. 

I lit up a cigar, cast out my lure and as soon as my lure hit the water, I already had a fish on. A couple casts later there was another fish on. As it turns out the fish liked this lure better. I spotted a couple of big boys in the shallows but they weren’t in the mood to eat. Or maybe it was the fact that they could see a big guy tossing out a lure tied with heavy line that controlled their appetite. Either way, they wanted nothing to do with anything. 

 I continued to reel in fish after fish in the short amount of time I had so I put out my cigar for later. I was hoping for a big 7 lber or maybe even a 5 lber but unfortunately it did not happen on this day. At about 7:20 it started getting  dark  but they were still biting so I continued. The last fish of the day was also the biggest and it came in the most impressive fashion. I tossed the KM as far as I could with no bite and when it was within 2 feet of the bank at about 2 feet deep it smashed hard! I was hoping for something bigger but the 2 lber was still fun. 

After that I took the long quiet walk back to the car. I finished my cigar while looking at the stars out in the middle of field land, not a soul in sight. The peaceful night after having slayed some bass was perfect. 

Total Fish: 16 Largemouth Bass

** After these 16 bass, my largemouth bass total for the year is at 88. The number of bass I have caught has officially surpassed the number of panfish I have caught this year.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ivy's First Bass!

You have the days when you are super focused on slaying fish and others when I am more focused on the fishing experience as a whole. And while there were still plenty of fish to be had, the fishing definitely seems to be slowing down.

We arrived at the Pits at around 430 pm. The fishing crew consisted of me, Russell and his girlfriend Ivy. Charles decided he would join us after work. Our main objective was to get Ivy into some Largemouth bass because :
#1 she had never caught a bass in her life
#2 she had never caught a fish on a lure before. 

Fortunately we had a spot loaded with fish and I knew how to catch them. Now Russell is a lifelong fisherman. That means nobody is going to tell him how to catch fish and he was going to be the one to show Ivy how to catch fish. Even though we mostly wanted Ivy to catch fish, we had to throw a few casts before she had a line in the water, after all, we are fisherman! Russell drew first blood with a small one on a swim bait. 

A bit later I got into a nice bass on…drumroll please… a Kastmaster! That seems to be the lure that works for me there and after losing my green and chrome one last week I searched all over town for a green and chrome KM but couldn’t find one anywhere. Instead I bought a blue and chrome and a solid chrome. The color that worked on my fish was a solid chrome Kastmaster. 

After catching my first fish I grabbed a beer and relaxed a bit and instead gave my chrome kastmaster to Ivy and told her to cast with it. She wasn’t having any success with the swim bait that Russell had given her so I hoped this would change her chances. Sure enough after a few casts she says, “I think I might have a fish.” Russell told her to reel it in and within a few moments she killed two birds with one stone; she caught a largemouth bass and she did it on a lure. A bit later she caught another one and then Russell took that pole and started casting it himself and got into one of the nicer bass of the day. 

A bit later Charles arrived with his friend James and they tried to get into some fish as well. Charles ended up catching about 4 fish and James got skunked. We wrapped up and walked to the cars where we cracked open a couple of beers and enjoyed the cool breeze. In all we had about a 25 fish day, which isn’t bad at all. Also I drank some beers, got Ivy into some fish and caught some fish myself so scratch the “not bad” thing, it was a fantastic day! 

As cold weather creeps closer I’m trying to get out bass fishing as much as possible. So far that has been once a week. I’m hoping this Friday will be another day on the water but I will have to wait on Charles and see if he is down. 

Total Fish: 8 Largemouth bass

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Let's Go to Work...

1st blood

It had been a while since I had fished with Russell so we decided to get together and fish for some bass. Only problem is that I already had plans to fish with Charles so I had to combine friends… always dangerous! I have friends I can easily mix and others I can’t. Charles is easy going but Russell is a little more particular with strangers so I worried. 

nice one
I introduced the two of them and we walked to the pits. Russell was a bit quieter so I feared the worst. We had a good amount of minnows and we started the day with them, just to make sure we wouldn’t get skunked. A minnow under a bobber for each of us killed the skunk and got the day started. After that we went to work. 

last one of the day
This pond is different than most. Bigger lures that you use in other places won’t necessarily work here. Crankbaits, spinner baits, topwater poppers are for the most part ignored. Charles has been here a couple more times than I have so he has already figured out that some smaller swimbait minnows work here. I tried a little of the above mentioned and then I finally went for the green and chrome kastmaster and that’s when the bite turned on. 

Charles' largest
Meanwhile Charles got into the biggest fish of the day and this is what caught Russell’s attention. It brought him over to Charles to start asking questions about what he used and telling stories about bass. I was glad they began to get along. 

I cast out my KM pretty deep and I felt a hard tug. I had it on my crappie rod with 6 lb test which is the same one with which I lost “The great white buffaloes” so I was worried. In fact, later on even Charles would tell me he was hoping for me to land this one because he saw me lose the last couple and it was bad! This fish was a fighter but didn’t feel nearly as large as the GWB. Nonetheless I slid down the hill, continued to reel and within a few moments I brought in a nice 3 lber. 

pot belly on this one
3 lber put up a great fight
All of us continued to catch bass and take pictures. One thing that irked me was that at one point I was going for a long cast and my line snapped, launching my lucky green and chrome Kastmaster into the middle of the pond.  We finished up with a rather nice fall day with at least 35+ bass between the three of us.

 Total: 13 Largemouth Bass

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First Fruits of Fall

I had half the day off so I decided to hit up Central Putah south of the City of Davis. I need a little practice on the fly rod so I armed myself with nothing but Excalibur. This was my first fall trip and even though the nights are getting cooler, the summer bass patterns still seem to be in play.

There are three different spots on putah that I fish. “Western Putah” is what I call the area next to the dam up through the city of winters. After that there is a stretch that runs in Davis and that is what I call “Central Putah.” Then there is a third stretch in the Davis Wildlife area that I call “Eastern Putah.”

Anyway, I made my way out to central Putah and started off with a San Juan Worm under a strike indicator. At one point something hit but it wasn’t a takedown. After that I went with what is proven to work there, the black wooley bugger, Sure enough after a few casts I drew first blood with a small largie.

After that fish I decided to try some other flies including a sparkly worm (don’t know the actual name, lol) that I had, some streamers, a large white popper, a royal humpy, a lt Cahill, etc.

What finally ended up working was an orange panfish popper I had. For whatever reason they didn’t seem to like it much after that. In fact, the later it got the less they seemed to be feeding.

All in all it was a quick outing, two fish caught on the fly and released to grow. No complaints here. I know this is still summer-like fishing and I’m looking forward to seeing what fall time has to offer.

Total Fish: 2 Largemouth bass

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer 2014 Totals

Time to take an informal tone while I review the summer of 2014. So welcome to my post fishing buddies, pull up a chair, have a cold one or a hot coffee or whatever makes you happy and let’s rap a bit.

Summer is gone and I want to get this seasonal report out into the “blogosphere,” before I end up sitting on it for the next month and releasing it late. Summer is my favorite season for a reason: I am able to get more fishing done and get er’ done nearby. My spots within a 10 mile radius hit most during the summer. That means a short trip after work while the sun is still out at 5pm, can still be very productive. With fall comes an earlier sundown, colder temperatures and the fish in my area begin to shut down. This is why you often hear me talking about “heading to the hills.” The hills and their lakes are at least 45 minutes away so that means longer fishing trips that I can’t take after work.

Another reason that I love spring and summer is that my favorite fish are a’ feedin’! That will be apparent with my summer numbers which are exciting to me! So, without further adieu,  here is the breakdown:

Carp/ PM = 04
Pan Fish = 25
Catfish = 14
LMB = 41
SMB = 01
Trout = 07
Striper = 28
*Steelhead= 00
*Salmon = 00
*Sturgeon = 00
Total: 120 Fish

So let me give you some perspective as to why this excites me:
  •   Spring time brought me 60 fish and to me that was productive, but summer brought me 120 fish.
  •  This summer I caught 120 fish out of the 211 I have caught all year! 
  •   Last year I caught a TOTAL of 80 fish! One summer brought me more fish than the entire year of 2013! 

And aside from that here are some observations:
  • Only 25 panfish which is a decent number but I also didn’t just pad my numbers with easy catches.
  •  41 Largemouth Bass! I had some decent bass days.
  • 28 stripers after having so few last year! It felt good to get out there and catch some tuxedo bass again!  

So those are the numbers and that was my season! Now fall will bring trips out to Collins, hopefully some trips to fish with Mark and some trips to Putah creek to catch some fatty trout.

I will continue to search for some Bass this fall and go after some salmon. AND I will post some pictures of my first annual “End of the Summer fish Fry,” after we figure out a date. Well folks, thanks for swinging by and I look forward to sharing my fishing adventures with you this fall!