Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If you know me, the idea of me writing poetry alone would be enough to make you laugh. I'm no hopeless romantic with pen, paper, and a beret. Nonetheless I was required to write a poem for a creative writing class he at Auburn University, and naturally fishing rose to the top of the potential topics list. 14 lines later, a fishing poem was born. For your entertainment, I'm passing it on to y'all.

The sight of the river creates a spark in the hearts of some men,
 Building a fire in their soul as they walk closer to the water.
I reach the edge of the clear mountain stream and begin to become more aware.
A splash echoes off of the rocky bluff downstream.
Something is here, and it is hungry.
I cautiously wade into the crystal rapids,
One misstep would alert them that trouble has entered their domain.
I whisper to myself my strategy as I ready my weapon.
With one graceful motion, the chess match begins.
I watch my fly begin its drift, wandering the current as it glides towards an eddy.
A sly grin grows on my face as I watch the checkmate grow nearer.
The surface explodes, shattering the silence like glass.
The line transforms from spaghetti to a rubber band at its breaking point.
The real battle has now begun.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finally Meeting the Alabama Rig

First off, the "Alabama Rig" I luckily stumbled upon is in fact a spin-off of the original called The Swarm, made by Sworming Hornet Lures.  As far as functionality goes, the Swarm and the original A-rig are basically the same.  After all the publicity this five armed monstrosity has received it feels strange to be seeing it in person instead of in a twitpic on my computer screen. 

 Tomorrow I will be heading out to my local honey hole (exact location will remain top secret) to test this contraption out.  As far as what my expectations are, it's hard to say.  This rig is just another tool in a bass fisherman's arsenal.  Like other tools, this rig has certain situations that it excels in and certain situations where it probably isn't the best option.  It seems that many anglers have raised the A-rig to a "magic lure" standard that no bait can match. Many other anglers fear that this is the precursor to what I like to call the "NCAA Tournament Bracket Rig".  Everyone just needs to step back and view it for what it is, just another bait in the endless sea of lures.  I'll post again this weekend with the results of what this castable umbrella rig turns up for me tomorrow. 

Until then, Tight Lines and have a great weekend folks!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Photo Recap

Well it's been too long since I've updated this site, so I figured I would bring things up to date with a brief photo recap of where I've been since I last posted. I'd love to write about each and every thing I've done but I just don't have the time so here goes:

Bass fishing in Alabama

A little striper fishing below Martin Dam in Alabama

Took a break from fishing to waste shells trying to hit clay targets

Did a little more bass fishing in Alabama...

Even more bucket mouths in bama...

Went on up to Tennessee to catch some smallies

Had some spots mixed in with the smallies

While in TN I had the opportunity to get into some rainbows too!

Took another break from fishing to sling some lead

Moved on down to Florida to tackle some Kings and Snapper, this guy was putting the whoopin' on me! Team work makes the dream work though, and we managed to land him.

Gonna be eating good for awhile after this trip

Did a little inshore fishing too while on the coast, these trout may not be huge but they still managed to put up a stout fight!

       And that's where I'm at now. Not to sure where I'll end up next but I'll keep y'all posted now that everything is up to date. Until then,
                                Tight Lines!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pompano Have Arrived!!!

This past week I was lucky enough to have a week off to head down to Florida in search of some good fishing and some much needed relaxation.  I had heard the pompano were beginning to show up so I stocked up on shrimp on the way in.  Most people use sand fleas but I haven't been able to find any in the surf for awhile so I figured shrimp would have to make do as a substitute. 
      Now before I give my recap of the fishing I do have to put out a disclaimer.  Although I was on the coast for around 8 days, I only managed to get about 3 quality days of fishing in.  Why you ask?  Well have you ever been in Panama City Beach during spring break season? Lets just say there is plenty to keep a man distracted on the beach...
                                                    But anyway, back to the fishing.
       First day:  The bite in the surf only seemed to be in the small window right after sunset but just before dark.  This is usually the case but most times there is always something going on throughout the day, but not this trip.  The first day resulted in only a decent sized sand shark, which wasn't the target species but was a fun test on my pomp setup nonetheless.  After the shark I packed it in and decided to give it another shot the next day.
      Second day: The second day out turned out a little better, and I finally got on the pomps.  I only managed to wrangle in one, but it was my personal best.  It measured 22 inches long and weighed in at a hefty 5 lbs.  

       The rest of the trip is somewhat of a blur, but amongst the madness a few more silver sides were snatched from the surf. 

      Now I sit here with plenty of memories, a well stocked freezer, and what appears to be a week long hangover.  Already planning the next adventure, so we'll see where I end up next.

Until then, Tight Lines!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

TN Trout and Striper Trip

I wish I could say that my trout and striper pursuits were more fruitful than they actually were, but I can't lie.  I can however proudly say that no boat/improvised floatation was used in my endeavours.  After a day in the hills in East Tennessee on my home rivers, all I have to show is this one rainbow caught at the buzzer. 
     Oh yeah, and the obligatory "One That Got Away".  Said escapee was the closest to a striper catch we had.  Sidenote: If you happen to see my mojo run by please try and catch it and return it to me, because I have somehow managed to lose it and it is dearly missed.  I used to go out and tear up hybrids and striper all morning then change locations and slay trout till dark, but apparently I've managed to lose my touch since leaving the volunteer state.  Now I only had about half of a day to get back into the swing of fishing these rivers and figure out what the fish wanted, so I'll give myself the benefit of the doubt for now until I can return with more time to see if I've still got it.  Ok, It's time to focus on the positive aspects of this little trp down memory lane and quit moping...Glass half full right? *crickets chirp in background*

     This little adventure was fun even despite the outcome.  I got to hit the water for the first time in a long time with my good friend Zak, one of the only people in this world crazy enough to join me on my many half-baked fishing adventures.  Good company is just as key to a solid fishing excursion as the tackle itself in my opinion.

   It was also nice to visit my old spots again.  South Alabama and Florida's Gulf Coast have plenty of excellent fishing to keep me busy till the end of time, but I've yet to find any area that offers a trophy striper fishery and a phenomenal trout river within a rock's throw of each other. For those that are curious these two rivers I've mentioned are the Cumberland (for striper) and the Caney Fork (for trout).  I fish the Cumberland River right below Cordell Hull Dam, and I usually fish the Caney Fork River tailwaters right below Center Hill Dam but this time I changed it up and tried out a new spot (the surprisingly nice area accessible from the rest stop off of I-40 found just before exit 268 when heading East).  I'm a sucker for tailwaters.  The drive between spots is only about 15 minutes, so when one fishery isn't producing I change gear and move on.

                                                                  The Caney Fork River
                                                   Cumberland River looking at Cordell Hull Dam
                                                  Looking down river from the dam at "The Hull"

    For the striper, we tried just about everything we had on hand.  They wouldn't touch a thing.  My list of baits tried in the approximately 3 hour timeframe I was there is the following: Texas rigged Zoom Superfluke (White),  3/4 oz Krocadile Spoon (Silver),  1 oz Bucktail Jig (White/Silver/Green), Curlytail Grubs on light jig heads (Chartreuse/White), and finally some large live shiners fished in and around deeper holes and current breaks.  The only real taker came on a shiner fisher in deeper water on the bottom, but whatever took it never even seemed to know it was hooked (no headshakes or speedy runs).  In fact at first when Zak set the hook we were sure his line had gotten stuck in the rocks, and didn't even stop to think it could be a fish.  This cluelessness lasted for a good minute while Zak contemplated the unfortunate loss of one of our last good live bait hooks.  Then while I was staring at the tightened snagged line thinking of what strategy to try next, I noticed it began to slowly move up-current towards the dam.  Zak let whatever this beast was swim and chew the bait for a few more seconds before giving it a solid pull back, only to have this oversized triumphant bastard give him its first giant headshake. And it was with this headshake that the fish let us know we were no match, spitting the hook immediately...and alas, The Kraken was gone back to the depths from whence it came.
         This frustration was enough for us to decide to pack up and move to the Caney.  Afterall, I can catch striper in South Alabama, but I don't think I could find a trout stream down here if my life depended on it.  Before we got to the Center Hill Dam exit I decided to pull off at the rest stop just to see if I could locate a suitable fishing spot in case the dam happened to have both generators going (very common in the Winter months due to construction on the dam).  I had heard a while ago that there was a small fishable area a short walk down from the parking lot. What I found was a nice stretch of very hikeable shoreline with a deep cut rock bank on the other side of the river.

         Daylight was a precious commodity at this point so I decided to just go ahead and give this spot a shot.  All I had in my truck as far as trout tackle went was about 3 slightly oversized spoons (1/4oz I believe).  I didn't even have a rod that would fit in the ultralite category by any stretch or the imagination.  My rod selection consisted of a couple hardcore striper rods, a few various bass rods, and 3 surf rods.  So with my favorite soft plastics finesse rod and 2 Kastmaster spoons in hand, me and Zak began our trek up and down the shoreline trying to catch any trout dumb enough to not to notice my 12 lb line. 
ENTER STAGE LEFT: Bone-chilling torrential downpour.

         As the last glimmer of daylight began to slowly disappear, we found ourselves soaked to the core with only one curious trout that short-struck Zak's spoon and got off.  The realization began to set in that all this gas/gear money may all only result in a skunk and hypothermia.  I began the solemn ritual of taking the last cast (which usually means my last 10-20 casts if we're honest).  I think all of my frustration went into these last few casts, because for some reason these seemed to have just a hair more distance to them.  It was these extra couple of feet that helped me reach the deeper channel of the carved out rock wall of the opposite bank.  As I watched my spoon on its wobbly return from the other side, I noticed what looked like a fish following it closely.  Next thing I know, I'm setting the hook on my lures stalker; and in a bout two seconds I had him flopping on the bank.  I don't think I have ever been this excited about a fish this small in my entire life.  He was the day saver, the anti-skunk, and my justification for waking up early and spending more money than I needed to.  By my reaction you'd have thought I'd either just landed the world record or won the lottery.  A quick picture and smooth release later, both me and the fish were on our way. 

Even though not all trips end up turning out the way I had hoped, I can definitely say that it's always an adventure.
                Till next time,
                           Tight Lines

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bass on the Fly

First of all I'll be honest, I did use a boat this weekend. That is if you call a leaky 10 ft rectangular piece of metal a boat. The goal of my day trip was to catch largemouth on my 5wt fly rod.  I only had one fly on hand (black wooly booger) so I did my best to make it work.  The beauty of using a fly setup for these bass is that it's very effective on these lockjaw winter bass.  All I did was let the fly sit suspended around cover and twitch it every once in a while.  The result was 7 bass in a matter of a couple hours. None were anything to write home about, but tons of fun nonetheless. Plus a 1 pound bass on a small fly setup with a very light tippet is plenty strong enough to give you a good fight.  Next time I'll be more prepared with more flies to try, but my little wooly booger worked just fine for this trip.

      Many people seem to have the misconception that fly fishing is all about expensive gear and usually only done for trout in mountain streams, but this is completely untrue.  You don't need the most expensive Orvis gear complete with fancy vests and nets, and you can fly fish for just about any species that swims.  A simple inexpensive starter combo bought at Walmart will get you where you need to be as a beginner.  Also, YouTube can teach you just about anything you need to know to learn how to start (casting, flies, etc). I'm no expert by ANY means, but I do manage to take my bass pro combo out and have plenty of fun catching fish in a way many never try. So if you're getting bored with catching 'em on conventional tackle, give fly fishing a try.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Surf/Bay Report

Well this flu still has me stuck indoors for the time being so I figured I would share this past weekends results with you (or lack there of). I left Auburn late Friday night to get a little fishing in on the coast. The weather was miserable with blistering wind speeds and freezing temperatures, but it beat being stuck inside. I split my time up evenly between the surf and the bay, with both sadly turning up nothing.  All I caught was this lousy virus and some serious lack of sleep. Aside from a couple of missed strikes the trip was relatively uneventful, but this view made the trip worthwhile so I'll quit complaining!