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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


You are at the lake and enjoying the company of your fellow fisher people and really enjoying the beauty of your surroundings.  There is a cold drink, your favorite sandwich and snacks close at hand.   And, oh yeah, your line is in the water.  Try to remember to move your line around, not letting it soak for long periods of time.  Reel it in and recast.  Use this time to change your bait.  If you feel you are in a good spot just reel the line in a few feet.  This could help you catch a few more fish.  Ponder as to whether or not this could be a good time to move to a new spot.

I have to relate a funny story.  My wife and I were fishing with a couple who are very close friends.  The husband loves to fish and is a very proficient fisherman.  His wife, who is the salt of the earth, could care less if she caught a fish.  She loves to throw out the line and sit back and read a book.  Catching and landing a fish is the farthest thing from her mind. 

So, the day we were fishing, the young lady's line had been in the water at the same position for an extended period of time.  Her husband, becoming more frustrated by the moment, finally requested that she reel in the line just a bit.  She looked at him and very sarcastically replied, "Do you really think that if a fish is hungry it will not swim three extra feet to get something to eat?"  I cracked up, my wife cracked up, and the line was NOT moved a single inch.  I kept my mouth shut knowing better than to try and explain the whole idea about moving the bait.  It was difficult.  She never did catch a fish but really did not care!

But the real take away here is this- move your bait if it has been sitting in one spot for awhile.  You will catch more fish.

Try it, you'll like!

"Til' next time"


Sunday, October 16, 2011


I would like to emphasize a technique that I always employ before I start the day's fishing-  when you are setting up your equipment and choosing the lures, hooks, weights, etc. that you will be using for the day, make sure to spend a little extra attention to your rod.  If you have a two piece rod and are getting ready to assemble, hold the tip of the pole so the eyes are at a 90 degree angle to the ground.  Then insert it into the bottom half.  Insert at this angle while GENTLY and slowly turning until the eyes of the pole are lined up.  Push down with a little pressure to make sure the two pieces are snug.  If you just push the top piece in and twist back forcing it to fit, you will eventually expand the connector and the top half of the pole will slip around.  This may cause it to come apart while casting and you could possibly lose the rod with a fish on the line.  Not a pleasant experience, as demonstrated below.

We love to entertain visitors.  One year, our dear dear friends Ron and Diane were out from Cincinnati for a few days to enjoy the beautiful area around Steamboat Springs. There were scenic drives, good food, shopping for trinkets and tee's, and of course the roaring river where Ron and I would take in a bit of trout fishing.

It was an overcast day (a rarity in the state that gets over 300 days of sunshine) and by the time Ron and I reached the river, it was drizzling.  Of course, this would never deter a couple of die hard sports such as ourselves.                                                                             

Now, a little history of my fishing experiences together with Ron.   We dated two very close friends who were in high school together.  (We both ended up marrying these cute little sweethearts.)  But I digress.  After a double date, we would head down to the Ohio river for some hard core catfish fishing, usually around midnight.   We would down a couple of beers and wait for the big cats to come around.  There were some great stories that came out of these fishing outings that have to be told in person in order to appreciate them.  All fact, no bull.  In looking back, the stories were the only thing to come out of these trips.  Can't remember any fish that are worth bragging about.  But we laughed a lot and had fun!  What fishing is all about.  

The only other fish outing I can remember making with Ron was to an Indiana State Park.  Once again, it was raining and the fishing was not good.  Ohh, we were catching a few fish but they were tiny...and I mean tiny.  We then got the bright idea of putting the fish next to small rocks to make the fish look bigger in the pictures.  What turned out were pictures of small fish next to small stones.  I wouldn 't swear to it but I think it was Ron's idea.

Because of life's journeys, Ron and I really did not get to fish together as much as we both would have enjoyed.  So you can imagine how thrilled we were to be able to be going fishing in a Colorado river.
When we approached the river, the current was strong, bouncing off rocks and downed timber just as nature intended.  I left Ron at a good spot and I moved downstream a little ways. We both began to fish and within a couples of minutes, I heard Ron calling my name.  I knew what it was!!   Ron had caught a fish.  I ran back to see if I could help land the fish, but then I saw it-  Ron standing there with just a half of a rod, the top piece bouncing it's way downstream like a fallen stick that just fell from an overhead branch. I watched as the rod tip floated off to be lodged in a beaver dam somewhere down stream.  And there was Ron exclaiming, "Hey, what's wrong with this pole you gave me!"  The only thing I could do was laugh and, of course, Ron cracked up as well.  Our long awaited fish outing was over before it began.  But once again we achieved what fishing is really about: having fun and laughing out loud.  Hence, the lesson learned- a quick twist of the tip of the pole will certainly save your equipment and prolong your fishing outing.

But alas, I have since had the privilege of fishing with Ron and, well, history does have a way of repeating itself.... 

Saturday, October 8, 2011


It's good to be back.  Like most great authors and writers I needed a sabbatical.  Not really- I was on a long, fun-filled vacation.  But let's get fishing again, this time in the lake.

If you get bored fishing the lake from the shore and you can see fish "rising" in the middle or in an area you can't walk to, bust out your belly boat!  This is really a fun way to fish in a lake.  Of course, you will have to plan well ahead for this action to be taken.  You will need to bring your belly boat along with several other items that are necessary. Flippers for the feet if you want to get anywhere in the water.  Chest waders to keep you dry and warm.  And, most importantly, your life vest to keep you from going under.  All kidding aside, this is essential.  Too many things can happen while on the water.  They make several life jackets for this experience, so choose one that fits your specific needs.  I was lucky enough to get one as a gift from my daughter.  What a sweetie, looking out for the old man.

Keep in mind, you still have to bring your fishing equipment as well.  Belly boats are different so you will have to decide yourself  how to arrange everything you need in, on, and around the boat. There will be plenty of room on the boat for equipment and plenty of compartments for water, snacks, a rain jacket, a camera , and other items you may feel you just can't do without.  I do have one recommendation:  be sure to bring an extra reel, lures, leaders, and a second rod if possible.  When something happens to a piece of your equipment, it can be a long kick back to shore.  You will certainly waste a lot of valuable fishing time. Make sure you store them out of the way so they will not interfere with your casting or retrieving areas.  

When you hook a fish while in the belly boat, make sure you paddle away from any obstacles in the water such as a fallen tree or boulders.  The fish can get caught up on something and you do not have the mobility that you would on shore.  This is for the benefit of you, your equipment, and the fish if you plan to release it.

Another good time for a belly boat is if the lake has a retaining wall that you can't access.  You can use a stealthy approach to get to the wall.  The retaining walls heat up faster than anything in the lake and this will attract smaller fish.  They come looking for debris and morsels.  And we all know who comes looking for small feeder fish.  So slither close with your boat, and maybe you will land one of the big lunkers. 

If you do use a belly boat, keep your eyes on the sky.  AT THE FIRST SIGN OF A STORM,  paddle as fast as your little flippers will go.  Don't hesitate.  Safety is still first priority.

And lastly, when you come back on shore and are stepping out of your belly boat, make sure it is completely on shore when you step out- especially if it is a particularly windy day and you are captivated by the two moose standing in front of you!  A story for another time....

Try it! You'll like it.

'Till next time