Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Holy crap I want to go fishing

I hate that there is no fishing around here during the winter unless you want to catch steelhead. I want to catch steelhead, but I do not know how and I am having enough trouble figuring out how to catch trout without adding to the frustration. I went to the usual spots where I have caught fish all summer and there is nothing.
I have been considering going on a guided boat trip in the Washugal. It is only $65 and I could catch a winter-run steelhead. There is another guide service that guaranties you will catch a steelhead or salmon or your next trip is free. Why would I want to go again if I did not catch any fish?
I hear people say all the time that it is not about the catching fish. It is about getting out on the water. BULL FEATHERS!! For me I need to catch fish. If I get skunked it ruins the whole day for me. I was defeated. Also I can really only justify the money I spend on fishing by supplementing my food budget with fish.

Maybe I will go up to Daybreak Park and try this week-end...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Battle Ground Lake November 3, 2007

It seems like everything around here (Vancouver, USA) is in the "wait for spring" mode. I just read a fishing report for a lake on the other side of the state from me and it inspired me, I am going to go out this weekend and get me some fish, dog-gone-it!! The fellow in the report caught a 23 inch, five-pound-two-ounce Brown on a Wooly Bugger (WB) I have just recently learned how to use the WB. I tried to troll it at Battle Ground Lake, but I am not sure I am doing it right. I first put a sliding, clear bobber. Then a bead and then tied on a snap swivel. Attached to the snap swivel is a leader about 36" long with the WB on the end and the bobber half full of water. I cast out the line and then as I rowed I let additional line out until the bobber was about 60 feet behind me then I paddled the lake. First down the middle and then all around the shoreline. I had one hit down the middle, but failed to set the hook. That was it, I trolled for two or three hours stopping now and again to cast the WB and to fish with other lures and the trusty worm under a bobber. The worm was the only thing that got fish...too small for eating. Maybe I am trolling too fast/too slow, maybe I need more line out, maybe I need to weight the WB to go deeper...I do not know.

Any advice for a novice?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Most memorable fish

I never saw the only fish that ever stripped line from my reel. I was living in Sacramento and went with a buddy up to Yuba City to go salmon fishing, my first and only time. He caught and released one and I hooked and lost one. On the way home I was driving through all the rice fields and stopped every once in a while at an irrigation slough and fished for bass…my main target back then. I was under a bridge and there were signs of fishing there. A bucket, some trash and lots of footprints in the mud. I set up a bobber over a worm because the water was pretty shallow and I figured I would catch some gills. I found a sweet spot and caught 6 or 8 small ones and tossed them back. Then I tossed back to the same spot and missed by a few feet, dang, well as I was about to reel in to cast again my bobber splashed under. Line was stripping out of my reel like gangbusters. I had never had this happen before. I struggled with the fish for about ten minutes and then I decided my drag was set to loose, because I was not gaining on the fish so I reached over and turned the drag setting just a little to the right and bang the line snapped. Never saw the fish always assumed a cat fish.

The most memorable fish I ever actually caught was a bass. I had gone to an overnight outing with my wife’s work-mates. She was working as a legal secretary and the campout was at a lake and the flyer said “bring your boat” so I did. The lawyers all brought their big ski boats and such and I brought my 12’ double-hulled home-made fiberglass jon boat. My wife was kind of embarrassed, I think. We got there in the afternoon so I put the boat in to explore where I would fish in the am. I found a couple of good spots and when I returned there were a couple of the guys who said they would be interested in going with me. They all got drunk that night and no one would get up with me in the morning, so I went out alone. The only thing I remember about the whole day fishing is this one little cove I had spied out the day before. I approached it and cut the 6.5 hp motor and lifted it coasting into the cove filled on one end with lily pads as I drifted close in I cast my hula-popper right next to the pads and as it settled I popped it once and BANG it was sucked down. The fish fought well and broke the water once. It was my first largemouth bass. It was no bigger than my hand, but what a thrill…like it was yesterday.

As a side note I got in trouble with my wife when I told her I was going out after smartmouth bass and when her work-mates said there was no such thing…she defended me. What a gal I married!

Lacamas at night

What a frustrating night.
I went out to Lacamas at the old boat launch on the advise of some other fisherman to catch catfish. He said go at sundown and I was there at full dark and got skunked.
I was having a lot of trouble with my reel. The line kept tangling and I finally gave up on it and used my back-up rod and reel for a while and then just left...try again another time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Night

I do not know where I will go fishing tomorrow, if I go at all.

I could go out to Round Lake and catch a bunch of dink crappie and bluegill.

I could go out to Catapillar Island and catch a bunch of dink perch.

I could go out to Lacamas Lake and catch one freaking trout all day.

Where ever I go I have to go alone...God, I hate being alone. I wish I had a friend to fish with or talk to or hang out with.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wooly Bugger II

I went out to Lacamas this morning. Got there about 8:00 a little late, but it was nice. There was a high fog. The temperature was moderate. The wind was light. I launched at the old WDFW boat ramp. The water is up to almost normal...maybe down 18-24 inches. I motored over to the mouth of the creek to try my new Wooly Bugger. With the water up I did not know exactly where the channel was so I fished "blind" for a half an hour or so with no result. I went back to the old reliable worm and bobber...same result.
I paddled up the creek to a bend where when the water was very low there was a small water fall. I tried the Wooly Bugger again (black and chartreuse) cast, retrieve very slow, repeat. I was pulling the lure/fly upstream where the fall was with a half-full clear bobber and about 36" of leader. I was just about to give up when BANG. I got a strike. It was very exciting. I am attaching a picture of the 12" Brown Trout. I do not know what the cut on his side is, but he tasted pretty good for my dinner tonight.

The Wooly Bugger

I am planning to see if Lacamas Lake is back up.

I was at Sportsman's Warehouse this week and as usual one of the fishing guys talked me into trying something new. First I was told to take these 3" lizards and properly rigged to a jig and tossed into any rocks on the Columbia a smouthmouth bass would be mine...garranteed! I did it with no results. Then I was sold a weedless jig with a black/purple/chartruese skirt and told to work that real slow accross the bottom of any cover and the bass would come running, could not fail. Lost it in about 6 casts.

This time I was sold a couple of nice big wooly buggers. I was told to string a clear bobber on my line then a small bead then tie a swivel clasp on. Tie the wolly bugger to a 36" leader and fill the bobber half way with water cast to cover or where ever I thought the trout were and use a slow retrieve. I am going to try that at the mouth of the creek at Lacamas... be continued.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Waste of time

Wow, what a waste of time. Got up early this morning and had Matthew help me put the canoe on the Jeep. Remembered to charge the battery. Everything was great! Got to the slough and it was barely light. No problem getting into the water.
The problem was the water. It was lower than I have seen it and I heard one of the guys on a real fishing boat say that he had never seen it this low. I was going to try and catch some bass. I went out the night before and bought a "Rat-L-Trap" bass lure. I have crank baits that look like crawdads. I have a few colors of spinner baits. The water was only about four feet deep and clear as a bell. The water temp was...well, warmer than the air. I did not get any response to any of the lures I used.
I rigged a Trout Magnet and caught a few dinky perch. Then I went back to the area around where I fish at the boat launch and caught a bunch of dinky perch. Nothing big enough to eat.
I do better there when I fish from the bank. What a waste of time to bring the canoe, except that now I know not to bring it. I always go there and say to myself that I should have brought the canoe...cured that!
I stopped at Vancouver Lake on the way home because I always see cars parked like they are fishing there. I went to check it out and an old asian guy was going down and since I did not even know where to go I followed goofy was that...he was stopping to pee in the bushes!
I went down where the fisherman were and they were congregating at the place where the slough that connects Vancouver Lake and The Mighty Columbia opens into the lake. A couple of the guys were using noodling poles. I have seen those in Wal-Mart for six or eight dollars and have wanted to try one. They were doing it wrong. They were all fishing less than ten feet from the shore. Very rocky and deep. I did notice sticks were setup for fishing at the mouth of the slough, must be for catfish or carp.
Well, I did not have a great day, but I did not get skunked. That is something, in'it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Late again...

Went to a "closeout sale" Friday after work. Turned out to be a third-rate pawn shop and I ended up with a fairly nice rod/reel combo for $10. Went to Rainbow fishing shop and the guy there was not from around here so he had no good advice and he was trying to do his paperwork so he was trying to get me to leave. I guess he could tell I was not a high-ticket customer. Went to Sportsman's Warehouse to find a paddle since I broke the big one in my canoe. Took my new rod in to see if I needed to get more line on it and got talked into a bass jig...might as well try it.

Well I could not get my lazy butt out of bed again Saturday morning. I did not wake up until 10:30 so I just took my time and made breakfast and did the crossword in the paper. Took my son to work at 1:00 and headed out to Lacamas Lake. Fished from the dock with no response for a while. Moved out to the north of the dock because there are some trees sticking out of the water. Lost my new bass jig on about the fifth cast...oh, well. I did catch a few small perch. Left after awhile and went to Caterpillar Island. The water was low and coming up when I got there. Caught a few more dinky perch and two that I could keep for eating. Caught a fish I have never seen before will post a picture.

My new rod works OK, but I have decided to get more line on it because i think it should cast farther. Noticed that it says on the pole that it is a 6', but it is maybe 5'6" so it must have had a tip repair at some time.

Still can not get any of my kids to go fishing with me. And I have no friends that will. It would cost too much to hire a prostitute to go fishing with me, but I think that is the only way to not go alone...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lacamas Lake 9/26/07

Went out to Lacamas again last night. Got out there a little too late. Did not have much time.
Got skunked for the first time since I bought my canoe 9/1/07.

The closed face reel that I put on the small pole to replace the one that would not reel in the line without tension on it was doing the same thing...grrrrr arghhh. Either I do not understand how they work or I have two bad reels OR closed face reels just suck!

The guys on the forum at were talking about how the expensive rod and reels do not preform any better the the less expensive and you are throwing your money away when you can buy a good reel for $65 and a really good rod for $100. HOLY CRAP! I splurged and spent $25 on a rod/reel combination with a gift card I got for my birthday. The rod broke when I tried to yank a snag loose and I had to Jerry-rig the handle on the reel. I buy most of my fishing stuff at thrift stores and garage sales. I have been checking craigslist (CL) for rods and reels and have not found any to run right over and buy. I do not know alot about them so it is hard to tell if it is a great deal. I did find one rod/reel combo I was going to get from CL for $50 that sounded cool, so I googled the rod and reel separately and found I could buy them new for about $65 combined. Somebody is trying to fool me.

Sergie was there on the dock fishing, I had met him a few weeks back when my son, Dave, went fishing with me. He is of Estonian origin and speaks Russian and Estonian and not enough English to get a cheeseburger. He is a citizen, but there is an exemption for learning English if you are over 55 years old. I do not think there should be an exemption for learning English. Our late president Calvin Coolidge said, "Anyone should be able to come to the US. After two years if they can not speak English we should send them back!" I could not agree more. The NES (non English speakers) are lazy and do not belong here. I know we are a country made of immigrants, but in the past they strove to become Americans. Now they want to be mexican-Americans or Russian-Americans. A lot of the people I met working at the mobile-home factory do not even want to become citizens. they send their money home and like one guy I knew as soon as he has enough American money he will move back to mexico and live on the horse ranch he is buying. Good, the sooner the better! I have no respect for a man who comes here illegally!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Color Selection

I am posting this in an attempt to make a scanned document available to a fellow member...

First Blog

Went out for the first time with my electric motor. What a great investment! Put into Lacamas Lake at the old boat launch. Met up with a couple of guys who said they from the midwest and were looking for crappie. The were sort of rude...I asked for help and they ridiculed me instead. Probably did not mean to.

I caught FOUR great fish. I went to the mouth of the creek that feeds Lacamas and did not know what to do. There was no structure visible since the water was down very low. I did see two trees sticking out of the water about a foot so I had rigged my pole with a sliding float so that the float would allow about 4 1/2 to 5 feet of line under the surface. Threaded a nice fat night crawler on the hook and cast right between the trees. It was so cool after about 30 seconds the float drops I set the hook and WOW it felt like a huge fish. The fish jumped completely out of the water twice before I boated her (I say her because when I cleaned the fish she had eggs) when I did finally get her in the boat there she lay...the biggest fish I had caught as an adult. No one was with me, I did not know what to say. I was so excited I forgot to measure my fish before I cleaned them and cut off their heads, but I estimated this Brown Trout was about 11 or 12 inches long. I ended up catching two more about 8 inches long and releasing them. I caught two more Browns about 10 inches and a rainbow the same size.

When I finished there I started back and thought I would try and troll...I do not know how...did not go well. Fished along the way back and released a few small Yellow Perch.

The battery only lasted half the way back, which was OK I did not mind paddling back the other half.

All in all a VERY good day on the water.

By the way the reason I look goofy in the picture is that I am involved in a contest to catch five different freshwater fish:
Pan Fish

We have to submit a photo of ourselves with the fish making the O-Tay sign so they can tell we did not just dig up old photos.

Sore Lip 'em All