Fishing Log: Second Fishing Trip, April 17, 2016

By | April 17, 2016
Fishing Log: Second Fishing Trip, April 17, 2016
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It’s all about dat bass (or is it?)

Where: Griffin Beach, Webster Lake, Franklin, NH

Greetings from The Smiling BassHole!

Greetings from The Smiling BassHole!

Back to Webster Lake with my Hobie Float Cat 75.

No snow this time! And no ice in my guides!

Thanks to the fellow Franklin, NH, resident who took this photo of me sitting in my Hobie Float Cat 75! I met him on a spring fishing expedition to Webster Lake last year, too. He comes with a metal detector to search for rings, bracelets, coins, and other treasure. So thanks, sir! (I never did get his name!)

Conditions

  • Temperature (Air): 35 degrees to 70 degrees!
  • Sky: Sunny & Clear
  • Precipitation: 0%
  • Wind: WSW @ 1 mph (Beaufort Wind Scale)
  • Humidity: 18%
  • Dew Point: 28 degrees F
  • Barometer 30.31 inches — Falling
  • Visibility: 10.0 miles
  • Water Color: Clear to Slightly Murky
  • Water Temperature: 53 degrees (thanks to a passing fisherman!)
DSC02884

Today, ice and snow free!

DSC02864

April 5, still a bit of winter!

Results: Skunked (AGAIN!)

DSC02892

Boat trailer in the parking lot!

Weather conditions today were greatly improved! Very comfortable. But the water’s still not up to 59 degrees, so who knows where the bass are?

But there were other fishermen! They didn’t appear to be fishing for bass, though. They were all trolling. I overheard two boats discussing landlocked salmon and trout. And the gentleman kind enough to give me the water temperature said he caught some trout.

Techniques used

Pig ‘n Jig

jigsI started with the jig. I’ve never actually caught a bass on a jig, simply because this is the first year I’ve ever tried fishing it! But as I said in an earlier post, the “pig ‘n jig” mimics crawfish, which the bass will feast on before the spawn (and, it turns out, any other time they can find them).

Result: Zip (no bass)

Kevin Van Dam on Jig Fishing:

Red Eye Shad

RES Orange CrawNext up was my new favorite, the Red Eye Shad. There was very little wind, so I was able to safely round the point and fish the rocky area outside the little cove where I put in.

DSC02883

Click to enlarge and view the waves beyond the calm.

You can see the transition from the cove area to the deeper part of the lake: it’s where the waves are rippling in the photo!

Right at the tip of the photo is where the rock ledges begin. And just behind the brush (where you can’t see right now) is where I caught a mess of “smallies” (small mouth bass) last spring. So you KNOW I’m looking for those smallies to return!

Kevin Van Dam on the Red Eye Shad

Results: No bass (smallies or otherwise!)

Jerk Bait

A "Rainbow" colored jerk bait

A “Rainbow” colored jerk bait

As I was headed back to the beach, I saw a fish “roll” in the water. By now I knew the water was 53 degrees, 6 degrees cooler than the magic number of 59 degrees, when the bass start their pre-spawn dances. So I figured the fish rolling was either a trout or salmon.

Since whatever it was, it was on top, I decided to try a jerk bait. These are baits I learned a little about last year, but have seen a LOT more during my recovery. This one is like a rainbow trout, as I know there are rainbows in Webster Lake (I caught a fat one last year on a Red Eye Shad!). It runs about a foot under the water, and I used the “walk the dog” jerk retrieve, hoping for a fish to smash it from below!

Kevin Van Dam on the Jerk Bait

Result: No bass, no trout, no salmon.

Pop-R

A Spittin' Lure

A Spittin’ Lure

Since I’d seen the fish roll on the top of the water, I ended my attempt with a Pop-R.

I flung it far away, and “spit” it back to me, again, hoping there was some feeding frenzied fish who would hit that lure and make my day! I covered a lot of area, but even though this lure sure looks like an injured perch, nobody came to crush the prey.

Result: Lots of spittin’, but no hittin’

Scott Martin on a Popper

Conclusion: No fish = No fun? No way!

Naturally, I go fishing to catch fish. Even though I always let them all go! But even though I didn’t catch any fish today, it was still a productive outing.

Sights & Sounds

man, dog & canoeI saw other fisherman trolling with their boats, the water was beautiful, the weather was lovely. I heard people banging around their homes / camps along the shores of Webster Lake, bringing out deck chairs, getting docks ready, and working on repairs. Winter’s grip on New Hampshire and Webster Lake is breaking up, and today’s temperatures rose to the warm climes of 70 degrees!

Spring has sprung.

Expanding my casting skills

In addition to the techniques I mentioned above with the lures, I also practiced casting. I have a new Medium-Heavy rod. I’ve always had Medium rods, so I got to practice casting the new rod without having to worry too much about accuracy.

I also tackled casting with both arms. Normally I simply cast with my right arm, but I wanted to expand my skills, so practiced using both arms to fling those lures out to try and find those rolling fish!

Chris Myers on casting a spinning rod

Equipment Modifications: Wrap Used Lures!

Mesh Lure Wrap

Mesh Lure Wrap

On my most recent trip to my local BassPro Shops (I was going to say on my “last” trip, but since I KNOW that trip isn’t the final one, I decided not to put it in those words) I bought a lure wrap.

It’s designed to keep your lures from sticking to everything (like the boat carpet, your fishing bag, and YOU!) while you are transporting your rod. I bought a small mesh one to try it out, and I already love it!

It's a wrap for these lures!

It’s a wrap for these lures!

But then I found another use for this wrap. I hate putting my wet lures right back into my box, since then when I get home I need to open the box and make sure it dries out completely to avoid rusting. So as I took off the Red Eye Shad and then the stick / jerk bait, I simply swaddled them in the wrap! Since it’s mesh, the lures get plenty of air circulation. And then I can slip the whole kit and caboodle into a pocket of my bag, and pull them out to dry when I get home.

BassPro Shops has larger versions in the mesh, so I’ll invest in one of those. Plus they have wraps that are NOT mesh, and I’ll get some of those too. In short, I love the wraps!

PT (Physical Therapy)

When I was doing physical therapy, I explained to my therapist how I propelled myself around in my Hobie Float Cat 75. She said, “That would be great therapy!” So, even when I’m not catching fish, I’m strengthening and stretching my knee and patella tendon.

Nice people

boy kayakI saw a “neighbor” (well, fellow Franklin-ite) I hadn’t seen for a year, I met some folks and their dog in a canoe (though at a long distance), and I met a woman and her son who were kayaking (it was his first time solo in the kayak). Indeed, when I hauled out my iPhone and removed it from the zip lock sandwich bag, she mentioned to her son, “He remembered his plastic bag.” So I gave her the bag, as well as my fishing advice to visit Hawkins Pond later in the spring for some awesome bass fishing.

So even though I didn’t catch any fish, I did have a great time, and I got some important experience in.

What do YOU do when you aren’t catching fish? How do you turn a SKUNK day into a productive, rewarding experience? After all, it’s NOT all about dat bass! It’s about BassHole growth.

Be sure and let your fellow BassHoles in on your secrets!

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

25 thoughts on “Fishing Log: Second Fishing Trip, April 17, 2016

  1. larry

    I love to go bass fishing. It is probably my most favorite fish to catch. You have some great pointers here that I am going to have to try.

    I like the tip about using the mesh for wet lures. I never like putting them back in my tackle box wet, but that is what I always do. I never thought about the mesh before.

    Thanks for the great tips.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      You’re welcome, Larry!

      Yes, using the mesh lure wrap as a lure storage device just came to me while fishing! I’m going to be getting some more of these, since, as I said, I love them.

      There is certainly some great bass fishing in Florida! I agree about bass being fun to catch. I used to love to catch Shad in the American River flowing through Sacramento, California, but that was a very short fishing period (when they came in to spawn), while bass are all year. Trout are all year too, of course, but bass are just so much more aggressive. Plus it’s easier to float and fish for bass than wade in raging rivers for trout!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Andy

    I love your pics Roger! Seems like it was a nice calm day. Too bad you didn’t catch any fish but you’re right, it wasn’t a waste of a day. You got to experience nature first hand which a lot of city folks don’t get to experience. The simple things are what people take for granted. Good for you for focusing on the positives and enjoying your fishing session no matter what the outcome. That’s what being a great fisherman is all about.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Andy!

      Yes, I love fishing even on the slow days. It helps that while I was recuperating from my injury, I read an article by a bass fishing pro, who pointed out that what we see on TV is only the action highlights of the day. Even pros can go 5 or 6 hours without any fish. Indeed, the first step is to find where the fish are!

      Since I’m limited in range and don’t have any electronics (yet!), I just try to thoroughly fish the area I can.

      Soon the water will warm up to 60 degrees, and then there will be a lot more action!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Kirill.

    Hi, Roger! What a nice trip! But isn’t it too early for Bass fishing, especially in NH? Here, in upstate NY we usually start at the end of April/ early May. And first ones to come are pikes.
    Still, full of info and useful tips. Thank you! I’ve enjoyed reading it, as usual.
    Kirill.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Kirill,

      You’re right! It IS a bit early for bass fishing here in NH! BUT, when will it be the best FIRST day? There’s no real way to know, so I keep checking so I’ll hit it as quickly as it’s available! And that could be just around the corner.

      We do have some pike here, but more likely we’d run into pickerel. But we have a saying, “Where there are pickerel, there are bass.” So far I haven’t gotten anything!

      Have fun fishing in upstate NY!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. Kerry

    Hi Roger

    love your site, so interesting to look at. im not much of a fishing person but my brother in law is and i know he would love this site too, il be sure to pass the URL onto him. love how informative your posts are!

    Kerry

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Kerry!

      Not everyone is crazy enough to want to spend money, invest their time, work in the water, just to catch fish and then let them go. Though I can’t imagine why not!

      I hope your bother-in-law enjoys the site, and that he shares his fishing stories with the BassHoles who read this site.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, the Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Laura

    Great blog. I’m not a fisherman and I learned some great stuff from your blog. I am going to forward this to my hubby who is a fisherman. He will enjoy this.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Laura!

      I hope your husband enjoys the blog, AND that he shares some of HIS fishing adventures! We BassHoles love company!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, the Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. Dawn

    Hi Roger,
    I love the photos you shared and the experience you had. A day could never be wasted especially when you’re doing something that you love, and in such beautiful weather. Bass fishing is something that is new to me and I know nothing about. If and when the topic of bass fishing comes up I know where to go first.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Dawn

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Dawn!

      Sometimes the weather is not so beautiful! But that’s why fishermen have the right type of foul weather gear. It keeps us comfortable even in the wilder weather.

      If you ever decide you want to try fishing, don’t hesitate to ask for advice! What I don’t know, I’ll make up!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, the Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. sarah

    Just found the right place to tell my uncle about : D !
    I have one question thats always puzzles me!! What’s the diffrence between fishing in lake or river rather than fishing in the brio? We almost have no rivers in our cities ..
    By the way “Scott Martin on a Popper ” is a must watch!!
    Thank you for you article

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Sarah,

      Thank you for passing this on to your uncle! I hope he enjoys it and shares some of his adventures with us!

      I wasn’t sure what you mean by “rising in the brio.” Perhaps you are talking about brackish water? A combination of salt and fresh water? In which case, there is very much in common. In fact, I’ve fished for bass in the Delta in California, which is brackish water. Because of it’s enormous size, the Delta produces many quality fish!

      Glad you enjoyed the Scott Martin video!

      Thanks again!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  8. Andrea

    What a hobby! And like you said, even if you don’t catch anything, its amazing to be outdoors and at one with nature.
    How productive is that for the spirit?! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Andrea!

      I try to keep a positive spin on things! And as you say, on the worst day I’m spending it pursuing an activity I love in the great outdoors!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  9. laura

    Alot of information and tips. Thank you for sharing. My grandpa is a fisherman and would love all the information on your site. I will be passing him along your website information.
    Laura

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Laura!

      Tell your grandpa he is an honorary BassHole, if being one is any kind of honor!

      Tell him for me, Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  10. Marcelo

    This sounds like a great trip.
    Besides not having catch much fish, improving yourself, learning new skills and getting to know more people is always great!
    Thanks for sharing the experience.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Marcelo!

      Every trip fishing is a gift. That’s the way I see it! Though of course the trip where I tore my patella tendon was a special gift! But even that turned into a positive, since that’s when I started my fishing research to build myself into a better BassHole. I may not be a pro, or even a master, fisherman, but I’m certainly much more informed!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  11. William C. Garcia

    Hi Roger,
    This trip sounds nice. Hope you enjoy your trips. But good to know some more tricks and practice to develop your skill. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hope you learn every technique very well.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks William!

      It is a great trip, and I do enjoy them. And I WILL be fishing in some other lakes later in the year, but right now I’m waiting for the spawn to start on the one just 5 minutes from my bedroom!

      Thanks again for the comment.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
    2. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks William!

      I do enjoy the trips. And I do keep practicing new tricks and techniques. OR trying to master the older ones.

      I’ll keep trying!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  12. Summerly

    Hi Roger,
    I like this post and I like how you put the weather conditions at the beginning, gives the reader a better sense of what the day was like. You would think that someone who loves fishing, but doesn’t catch a fish during one of their trips, that they would regard this as a bad fishing trip. You point out so many other ways that the trip can still be successful, such as practising different techniques, meeting new people, and enjoying the beauty around you. It’s great to know you can get so much out of a fishing trip besides just fish!
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Summerly!

      Yes, I try to remember that fishing is a whole bunch of things, including being outside in nature, and participating in some very ancient activities. After all, fish have been around a lot longer than we humans have!

      I do like to catch fish, of course, but I’m happy to expand my definition of success beyond just a fish count.

      By the way, the weather recap at the start is also to help me understand what conditions led to better fishing. So far the water is still so cold that I don’t have much to go on, but that will certainly change in the future. And my attempts to keep a fishing log in the past were dismal, but the discipline of keeping it in my blog has helped enormously!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply

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