Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Winning Some Swag

Thanks to the blog Tight Lined Tales of a Fly Fisherman, I am a winner.  Ok, not a winner since I didn't win the first prize but I still won something.  Yeah, yeah this is like T-ball where everyone is a winner and gets a trophy.  No, we didn't go get ice cream after the game.  I digress, we were asked to share our most KAVU day and I posted about the striper charter I was on last November.  Somehow, I was selected as the third prize winner and will be receiving a KAVU hat, shirt and stickers.  A big Thank You! to TLTFF and to KAVU for sponsoring the contest.  Once I receive my swag, I will put up a review of the gear.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hitting the Sand

Saturday we headed south to hit the sand and try to see if any stripey ones were heading north within casting range.  After a quick stop at my wife's grandparents' house, we were on the beach and getting ready for some fishing.  I had stopped at a bait shop on the way down and picked up some bunker to toss into the surf, but had neglected to check my rigs and make sure I had what I needed, this would prove to be a costly mistake.

After airing down the tires on the truck we headed onto the beach and found a nice open spot where we wouldn't be crowding anyone.  My daughter made a beeline for the ocean and even though the water was around 60 degrees, she played the whole time we were there.  I got the spikes set up and started to rig up the rods.  I brought one rod to chunk bait and my new plugging rod to give that a break-in and see how it performed.  I looked in my bucket of rigs and found that I had nothing really to use to target stripers.  Oh well, make due with what you got.  I got the bait out and soaking and rigged up my Tsunami Airwave to give it a test.  This rod casts like a dream.  I paired it up with a Penn Battle reel, Suffix 832 30lb braid, topped with a 30lb mono leader.  I tossed out tins, bombers, poppers, everything I had with me and this thing handled them all.  I am anxious to get a fish on it to see how it does under stress, but that will take time.  I need to put my time in and pay my dues before I will be rewarded.

When I got home, I hit the internet to learn about how to properly rig for stripers off the beach and learned about the fish finder rig.  I ordered the right material I needed and will give them a go the next time I hit the surf.

 Photo courtesy of Stripers Online

I did manage to land a horseshoe crab on the bait rod.  Nothing like reeling in a nice wide bodied horseshoe crab.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gone Fishin' Striper Charter

The alarm on my cell phone went off at the ungodly time of 2:30AM.  Normally I would throw that thing against the wall and roll over, but today was different.  I was heading to Rock Hall, MD for a striper charter.  We were going on board the vessel Gone Fishin' for a seven hour trip: leave the dock at 5AM and return at noon.  Capt. Mark who runs Gone Fishin' had another work obligation so he sent Capt. Jamie to run the boat for us instead.  Assisting Capt. Jamie was the First Mate for the day Capt. Noah.  First impression of the boat, damn, what a nice boat.  The thing was spotless and in super condition.  This was one of the cleanest boats I have ever seen.

We headed out of the marina and into the bay and Capt. Jamie and Capt. Noah got to work setting up the planer boards and started to put the rods out into the spread.  They didn't even have all the rods out when we had out first hit and the line popped out of the clip.  First angler up to battle the fish was Andrew who had organized the trip for us.  The spread wasn't even all the way out and we had our first keeper in the box.  This was shaping up to be an epic day.

After landing that fish, the rest of the rods were put out and we were on our way trolling through the bay.  Not long after, another line popped and the battle was on.  After getting the reel straightened out and a battle of about 300 yards of line, another keeper was in the box.  Epic day still going.

I was next up and waiting patiently for the line to pop.  It did and the fight was on.  Although this wasn't much of a fight and didn't feel like other stripers I had caught before.  And for good reason.  Here is my catch of the day.

How exactly I caught a bunker when we were using bunker patterned swim shads about the size of this guy, I will never know.  And he was hooked in the mouth, not snagged.

The morning continued much like the beginning with the rods going off pretty quickly one after the other.  By 830 we had 6 slot fish in the cooler and things were looking good.  Until the tide changed.  The wind and the tide were going against each other and gave a pretty good chop to the water.  This put the fish and the bait down deep and we were unable to reach them.  This condition continued for the remainder of the trip.

The Gone Fishin' crew worked hard though and added extra lines out to try to target the deeper fish.  It just wasn't meant to be.  When we arrived at the dock, Capt. Noah cleaned our catch for us.  Most of the fish were fileted, and very cleanly done.

This was a great trip with a super crew on an unbelievable boat.  I will definitely be hitting these guys up again in the future and would recommend anyone looking for a charter trip to give these guys a chance.  They know what they are doing.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Delaware vs. Yellowstone: A Tale of the Tape


Why do I want to experience Yellowstone National Park and all it has to offer?  Let's compare Delaware to Yellowstone...

Area of land: Delaware covers 2,491 square miles; Yellowstone 3,468 square miles (YNP is 1.4 times the size of the entire state of Delaware

Highest Point

Delaware, Ebright Azimuth 448 feet

Yellowstone, Eagle Peak 11,358 feet

Geothermal Features


Yellowstone over 10,000


Yellowstone over 300






Scenic Vistas









In summary, why is it important to keep Yellowstone's fish and wildlife populations intact and healthy?  Because people have a tendency to screw up everything we touch, it's in our nature.  Yellowstone is one of the last nearly untouched and intact ecosystems left on the Earth.  It's a  wonderland with over half of the world's geothermal features located within its boundaries.  The three hundred geysers found in the park?  Yeah, they account for over 2/3 of all the geysers on Earth!  Where else are you going to go to see grizzly bears, elk, moose, mountain goats, pronghorns, mountain lions, big horn sheep, and on and on?  Where can you go and fish for the native arctic grayling, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and the non-native brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout?  Certainly not in Delaware.

Humans try to make things better.  We can't help it.  Nature has it figured out pretty well though.  

I've dreamed of visiting this hallowed ground and fishing in one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems on the Earth.  I want to experience animals living as closely as they can to being unaltered by humans and their impacts.  I would love to see and hear elk off bugling in the distance, grizzly bears foraging for food (from a safe distance), bison traveling across the grasslands in a huge herd.  I look forward to hearing coyotes howl at the moon after a long day hiking through the park and fishing streams we cross.  Most importantly, I really, really want to fish in the park.  I want to catch cut throats, I want to catch rainbows, I want to catch browns.  I want to stand in the middle of a giant blanket hatch on the Madison river while trout rise all around me and I search frantically in my fly box for the one fly I haven't tried yet since all the others have been refused.  I want to splash big foam hoppers close to the bank as non-discriminating cutties rise with reckless abandon to completely hoover my offering.  I want to embark on a hike at daylight to reach some distant lake that few anglers see each year.  I want to take in all the beauty that is Yellowstone National Park.  And I want to photograph and maintain notes so that when I return I can share it all with you.

Disclaimer:  “This is my submission for the Trout Unlimited, Simms, the Yellowstone Park Foundation and the Outdoor Blogger Network – Blogger Tour 2012 contest.” 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Coleman Camping Heritage Essay

The purpose of this entry is supposed to explain how my family has used Coleman camping gear in the past.  However, growing up I didn't have an outdoors type family.  I would go fishing with my grandfather or my friends when I got older, but we didn't do camping.  My dad wasn't an outdoorsman at all, so I was lacking that role model to take me out and show me things.  I'd like to change this for my family and especially for my daughter.  She's so inquisitive and looks at the world with such wonder that I want to get her out there and show her everything that the natural world has to offer.  I want to sit around a campfire and make smores with her and my wife after a day of hiking trails or fishing for wild trout or canoeing on a lake or down a river.  Since I haven't had the opportunities to get out camping like this, I don't have the gear.  But in order to create these memories with my family, I need to the gear to get out there.

Disclaimer:  “Sponsored by Coleman and hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network, this is my submission for the Coleman Camping Heritage Essay Contest.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where did all the Menhaden go?

Wow!  Check out this article by Alison Fairbrother of the Washington Monthly. 

A Fish Story

Ms. Fairbrother does a really excellent job first outlining the downfall of menhaden and then gets into the research being done to assess their stocks and what is being done politically to try to return the numbers back where they should be.  This is an important issue not just for saltwater fisherman, but also people who wish to see a healthy ecosystem in place.  Definitely worth the time to read!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Win a Trip to The Forrest Wood Cup

Enter the FLW Outdoors and BoaterExam.com contest to win a trip to The Forrest Wood Cup.  Follow this link to enter.

This also gives a chance to bring up an important topic.  Before you operate a boat, make you check the rules and regulations for the state you are in to see if you need to pass a boater safety course first.  I completed my course for my state online.  It took my one night.  For my course I needed to read through information, complete a quiz on each chapter, and then pass a final exam.  Once completed you get your boater safety card in the mail,and you are legal to operate a boat.  Plus, you learn a lot of great information in the course that you probably wouldn't be exposed to otherwise. 

Boating safety isn't something to mess around with.  Make sure you are making it home to your loved ones after every trip.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post: Sportsmen Descend on DC to Save Bristol Bay

A special thanks to Trout Unlimited for providing this post for all bloggers to use.  Please feel free the post to your own blog to spread the word.

Thank you to the NY Times for the map.

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine
Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.
This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.
A recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.
We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.
In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.
You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.

About Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited is the nation's oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. It was created by anglers for anglers in the hopes of conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.