Fishing Log: 9th Fishing Trip, May 19, 2016

By | May 19, 2016
Fishing Log: 9th Fishing Trip, May 19, 2016
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Seeing Fish!

Where: Griffin Beach, Webster Lake, Franklin, NH

largemouth-bass-1372319-639x402It begins!

Today as I launched my trusty Hobie Float Cat 95, I saw bass! From tiny little bass no larger than bait fish, to some very nice one pounders. So naturally, I tried to catch them.

Do. Or do not.

Well, today it was “do not”.

RedEye Shad

I threw my RedEye Shad, and even lost my favorite color (it was eaten by a tree branch, perhaps as revenge for the stick I caught on my last trip?), but that received no action.

Not even up at the rocky area where I had caught some nice smallies last year. Time to switch gears! And by “gears,” I mean “bait.”

Drop Shot & Dirt Dog

So I used a drop shot rig. Essentially that’s a hook tied with a palomar knot with a long tag holding a drop shot weight on the end. Here’s what I put on the hook:

IMG_0557

 

It’s a “Dirt Dawg,” a new addition to my plastics collection given to me for my birthday by my fishing buddy Dick and his excellent cook wife Deb. As you can see, it features 2 tails! and though it’s hard to see in this photo, the head has little pinchers.

I tossed this up near the shore, and pulled it back slowly. I definitely got the fish’s attention! Plenty of grabs. But it seemed to be only the little bass, tugging on the ends of the legs. Still, I took that as a positive sign, and continued to drag the dirt dog throughout my fishing trip.

Here’s Kevin Van Dam on how to rig the drop shot:

More Sightings: Sonar Style!

IMG_0550

Holding my new FishHunter!

Today was the first day I used my brand new FishHunter.

I will write a full review of the FishHunter after I get some experience using it (and master the many features and opportunities!), but for now, let’s just discuss my first thoughts.

Set Up

Set up of the new FishHunter was truly a breeze! Here’s what I did:

  • FishHunter 3D

    FishHunter 3D Sonar Device

    Charged the FishHunter sonar device overnight (they advise charging it at least 4 hours).

  • Downloaded the FishHunter App onto my iPhone (well, to be honest, I had already downloaded the App LONG BEFORE I even got the FishHunter! I wanted to start using the Fishing Log).
  • Put the sonar device into water. At first I tried putting into a glass of water, but that didn’t work out for me (too much spillage!). So I filled my kitchen sink, and floated the device in there.
  • Went to my “Settings” and chose “WiFi.” FishHunter was already listed, so all I had to do was press it and that was it!

Easy-Peasy, Quick and Easy!

On The Water

FishHunter on the water

The FishHunter on the included tow line.

The FishHunter is capable of many cool tasks, but today I mostly just wanted to connect and see what everything looked like.

To turn the unit on, all I had to do was put in the water. Though you can cast it out with a rod (which I will do in the future), I stuck to the 15 foot leash included with the unit. It will work up to 60 feet away, so I will definitely be using a rod to toss it further and do a map of the bottom in the future.

FishHunter fishOn the water, set up was even quicker, since there was no other WiFi choice out there. I played with the variety of screen options, and eventually settled on the screen that allowed me to track fish.

FishHunter hunting fish.

No, that’s not my bobber; it;s my FishHunter!

Now I have no idea if those were BASS that the FishHunter was alerting me to, but I certainly fished like they were! The FishHunter was telling me those fish were between 6 and 8 feet deep, so I tried a lipped crankbait to fish a bit deeper than the RedEye Shad (which is a lipless crankbait).

Had I caught a bass, that would have clinched my belief that the FishHunter works like magic, and once I figure out all of it’s features, I may STILL think so!

Certainly having the sonar will help me to accomplish the Pros’ number one task:

Find the fish!

I can’t wait to learn more about this device and use it on all my favorite fishing spots.

Conditions

  • Temperature (Air): 60 degrees to 65 degrees
  • Sky: Overcast
  • Precipitation: 0% (hard rain in afternoon!)
  • Wind: SSW @ 3 mph to 4 mph (Beaufort Wind Scale)
  • Humidity: 60% to 44%
  • Visibility: 10.0 miles
  • Water Color: Clear
  • Water Temperature: Unknown (I thought the FishHunter would tell me the temperature, and maybe it will?, but I didn’t figure out how to do that yet).
Webster Lake water

Glassy smooth in cove; waves at point.

Results: Another Goose Egg! (Skunked Again)

The water was smooth and glassy when I first arrived in the cove, but I could see the waves (meaning wind too) just past the point.

I tried out my new FishHunter, and even though I barely know how to make it work, I loved it! It was VERY exciting to hear the sonar “PING” to indicate it had located fish. Now I just need to figure out how to catch them!

My screen would show multiple fish with numbers on them to show depths, and I took a screen shot, but I must not have my camera synched to the FishHunter yet, because they came up blank. But those will be included in future posts!

Listen to a PING! here:

Doesn’t that just make you want to set the hook? (Or dive?)

Techniques

  • RedEye Shad

Used the lipless crankbait parallel along the area about 10 feet from shore where I’ve caught bass before. Also closer to shore where I could see bass. And then I fanned out into the deeper water looking for bass “holding” before the spawn.

Nada.

  • Drop Shot Dirt Dawg

Using about a foot of “tag” below the hook, I threw the Dirt Dawg over to the area where I saw cruising bass, hoping to entice them into hitting viagra per nachnahme. Got some pulls, but no bites.

Will need to research how to best cast and fish the drop shot, since today was only my first time even trying it! Not sure if I’m doing it right or not. So, stay tuned!

  • Lipped Crankbait

Wanting to dive a bit deeper into the water column where my FishFinder found fish (6 feet to 8 feet), I put on a medium long lipped crankbait. Not certain where the FishFinder was telling me the fish were located, I played it safe and fished both sides of the finder, as well as other areas in a fan shape.

But, nothing doing.

Here’s my video on lipped crankbaits:

Conclusion

  1. Shallow Bass Sighting! The bass are coming up to the shore area, so the spawn can’t be far behind. I’ll be looking to hook some big mamas in the days ahead.
  2. New FishFinder! I need to do some research (aka “read the instructions”) to master the technology now available to me to help me locate and then catch these bass.
  3. New Techniques! I will also research the drop shot technique to make sure I’m using that to it’s full potential.
  4. More fun ahead! Looking forward to the weather warming up (finally!) and the fishing heating up with it!

Meanwhile, be sure and let your fellow BassHoles know what’s going on in YOUR neck of the woods, and leave us a comment describing your fishing adventures!

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

 

16 thoughts on “Fishing Log: 9th Fishing Trip, May 19, 2016

  1. Dr Brad

    Hi Roger,

    Looks like it was a beautiful day to be out on the water. Just wish there was some fish around for you!
    Sounds like they are not far off though if they are starting to come into the shallows.

    That fish finder looks awesome. There has got to be an unfair advantage there, but it looks like a really good bit of kit.

    I was up on my local river last weekend (Noosa River). No bites, but the water is absolutely crystal clear, and we could see a lot of stingrays on the bottom. Some were up to 3 feet across! Spotted the odd flathead as well, which are really good cooked up on the barbecue, but no takers unfortunately. They can probably see the line, the water is that clean at the moment!

    Tight lines!

    Brad

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Brad!

      Well, electronics MAY provide an unfair advantage to the angler, but remember this, even professional bass fishermen who are masters of their electronics have days when they still can’t catch a fish!

      I will confess that hearing those sonar pings indicating there are fish near really increased my confidence while fishing. And that’s true whether there were really fish or not!

      I remember fly fishing in a river for trout years (decades?) ago, and after fishing for a couple of hours, thinking, “Maybe there are no fish in here.” Then a caddis hatch began, and the top of the water boiled with rising fish! So it’s not enough to know where the fish are!

      If you aren’t catching fish because they can see the line, you should try fluorocarbon. It has almost the same refractive index as water, and so is virtual invisible to the fish.

      Let us know when you start getting those bites!

      Tight lines to you, too!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Derek

    Great post Roger!

    I am glad that you got yourself a new FishFinder! I know when I go with my dad on his boat how much he relies on it. So one in good condition is a must!

    Hopefully you will catch a good one in the next couple days!!!

    Thanks for the read!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Derek!

      I am certainly looking forward to learning all the features of the FishHunter. I’ve certainly got a ways to go!

      But it will certainly revolutionize my fishing. The ability to see the contours of the bottom will let me know where bass are hiding to ambush their prey. As well as locate fish!

      Very exciting. And all this information sent to my iPhone!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Daryl

    To a non-fisherman, fishing sounds easy. Get a rod, stick a worm on the hook, sling hook into the water, wait a bit and enjoy the setting and finally get a bite. But your description of your day out fishing shows there’s quite a bit more to it and a certain expertise is required if you want to land a catch.

    The Fishhunter sounds like a cool toy 🙂 and fun to use. But doesn’t it give you an unfair advantage against the non techy fish? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Daryl!

      Yes. People often imagine fishing with a somewhat idyllic, romantic vision. Sitting on the shore of the river or lake, watching the water slide by, and as you say “slinging” a baited hook into the water. Then sitting, eating fruit or drinking beer, relaxing, maybe reading, maybe even napping, and of course catching the occasional fish.

      And that’s one possible scenario. But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m searching, seeking, trying tactics, changing tactics, all the while propelling myself through the water with my swim fins and oars.

      As for the FishHunter being an unfair advantage, well, even bass pro fisherman with sophisticated electronics will have days when they still can’t catch a fish! So, we need every advantage we can get!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. James W D

    Whether you catch a fish or not, going fishing is always satisfying. I love how you are chronicling your fishing expeditions and sharing the knowledge that you are gaining through the process. For someone like me that is looking to get back into fishing, it is invaluable.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks James!

      Yes, I’m finding that chronicling my fishing trips has forced me to examine what is important to me as it relates to fishing trips. Obviously catching fish is important! But it sure isn’t the only thing. And learning new skills and techniques is certainly part of the fun!

      Glad this is helpful to you. Should you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Aditya

    Hi Roger,
    I have a four year old son who is very fascinated about fishing and I have no idea about it. Can you please suggest some places around Miami where we can explore and whats the best way to get started on it.
    Thanks,
    Aditya

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Aditya!

      The key to fishing with a four year old (or any young child) is to ensure it will be fun!

      First, that may mean doing more than just fishing. You want to get a rod your child can use (see my review and recommendations).

      Second, prepare for the trip. Here’s a great wikiHow article on practicing and preparing.

      Here’s another article entitled “6 Steps to Fishing Success With Your Kids.”

      Third, locate a fishing spot that won’t be too crowded and is “loaded” with panfish (or bream, or bluegill, or whatever you want to call them). Ask around, ask fishermen and fishing clubs, explain you are looking for plenty of action!

      Here’s a article about Panfish Fishing by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Staff.

      Here’s another article from the same group about Florida Freshwater Fishing.

      And of course there are many salt water charters that you can hire. Though I would check beforehand to make sure they allow a 4-year-old to fish on the boat.

      So mostly you want to get a rod, reel, line, hooks, and other pieces. Practice casting where it’s safe (and not using actual hooks). Then find a fish pond with some type of easy to catch fish.

      Check out Take Me Fishing for Florida.

      I hope these tips help, and I wish your son the best of luck, or as we BassHoles say:

      Tight Lines!

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. Tony

    You have your hands full Roger and I know that is the way you like it. Looks like the FishHunter will help even the playing field for you against the crafty Bass and vengeful tress. LOL. The FishHunter may be the Kill Drone of the fishing world once you master it’s functions.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Tony!

      I’m very excited about the FishHunter. And I certainly need to figure out how to unlock its many secrets! So that will be a great adventure all in of itself, which I will most happily share through future blogs!

      I’m sure it will revolutionize my fishing tactics! And be a bunch of fun in the process. So it’s NOT just a FishHunter, but a FUN-Finder as well!

      Thanks for the comments and confidence!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. Dan

    No joy this time, never mind there’s always tomorrow.
    I like the idea of the fish hunter, in theory it should make life a lot easier, I hope you keep us up to date with how you get on with it. Likewise with the lipped crankbait, great video by the way.
    how much do they lipped crankbait and fish hunters cost? Any online retailers you’d recommend?
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  8. Larry

    Webster Lake looks like a beautiful spot. Is there a lot of recreational boats that use it? When I go fishing, I like areas that are quiet with not a lot of people to disturb the area and fish. I went to Wentworth Lake in Wolfboro last year and there were so many boats that they turned the calm lake in raging waters with good size waves. I couldn’t even find a protected cove where I wasn’t getting bounced around by the waves. Sadly, though the lake looked great when I arrived, I couldn’t stay when the waves were splashing into the boat.

    Reply
  9. Kirill

    Hey, Roger! This fishHunter seems to be a handy tool. I knew about these sonars but never paid an attention enough to read details. You’re describing it just great and I can’t wait for other testing results. And, in addition, tell us what you’ve figured out about catching the fish that you see :).
    Thank you. Kirill.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Kirill!

      I’m confident the FishHunter will be absolutely fantastic, once I figure it all out!

      With my fishing, I can only cover a small amount of water, since I only have my own feet, flippers, and oars to propel my Hobie Float Cat. So I want to really analyze “my” pocket of water thoroughly, and figure out where to fish, what to use, and how to be more productive.

      I’ll certainly keep you posted on my progress!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply

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