Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trading Places

"Hey. You're fishing for bass, and I'm fishing for bream," Nathaniel observed as we worked our along a pond bank, with me popping a Zell Pop and him swimming a micro jig.

In a way that's not unusual. When we fish ponds together, we often both have a bass rod and a bream rod rigged, and it's not uncommon for both of us to be casting for whatever is biting best or trading bass for bream rod from one cast to another. And with both spend time throwing things like Rebel Crickhopper and smallish grubs that appeal to the pond's bass and bluegills .

That said, the old guy definitely is the 'gill getter of the pair and the one who will stick with throwing little stuff. The young guy is the bass fisherman. So for me to be casting for bass and him for bream (for more than a few casts) really is a bit odd and warranted comment.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Brown Trout Begging

Dark skies, an incoming front and oddly mild temperatures for the first half of September have brown trout begging me to come and play. I know they are calling, because I can hear them. And a few Ugly Bugs I've tied (ones I actually think are kind of pretty) really would like to be part of the game. For the same reason that this page has been too stagnant of late (magazine deadlines), I may not get a chance to play the game today. The calls seem to be getting louder, though, so we'll see what happens.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cool Factor Caution

I can tell after only one evening on the water that I'm going to like my new Fujifilm camera a lot, and I'm confident it has outstanding potential for most of my professional needs. I can also see that I'm going to have to be at least a little bit careful to not get distracted by the "cool" stuff it does. Otherwise, I'm going to come home from a trip, load my pictures, briefly be wowed by some special effects image, and then regret that I hadn't shot the same scene in a straight mode while I had the opportunity.

Some of the effects and modes I liked best from my first evening's experiment are only a twist of a dial from the full auto mode, so shooting things in different ways should be that hard. I just can't get distracted by the unique stuff and forget to take the straight images.

Of course, I only scratched the surface of the camera's potential in a single evening, so I'll be in a major learning mode for quite a while and will be experimenting with scene settings under many different conditions. It's a fun sort of education, though, with a really pretty classroom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Toy/Tool

I aded a camera to my toolbag yesterday and am excited to put it to work. The hope, of course, is that I'll get to out it to very good use on some extra large catfish in Tennessee this evening.

Camera is a Fujifilm Finepix S1. It's a point-and-shoot, which admittedly feels a little like a step backward. I really don't think it is, though. It has a giant optical zoom range and fast lens, shoots up to 16 MP and offers the option of shooting raw and a lot of control settings. Extra appealing for today's communication needs, it shoots high def video, has Wifi to work with my phone and has a huge variety of specialty settings for effects.

Learning to navigate the new camera's menus and figuring out the best settings for different situations is going to take some time, but from the little bit of playing I have done I'm excited about prospects.

For now, two batteries are fully charged, and a 64-gig card is loaded and ready. And of course I also have my other cameras charged and ready for action!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monster Appointment on Friday

Tennessee River Monsters has been on a great bite this week,
with 10 cats over 40 pounds in four days. Photo courtesy
of Tennessee River Monsters
Monster time begins Friday afternoon.

That's when I'm meeting Capt. Scott Manning of Tennessee River Monsters to fish the fertile waters of the Tennessee River for monster cats. He's been on them this week -- 10 that weighed more than 40 pounds in four days -- and nothing about weather or likely generation schedules suggests that the bite should change. Rain chance is 40 percent every day between now and then, with scattered afternoon thunderstorms possible, so that is the biggest question mark right now.

Tennessee River Monsters specializes in heavyweight blues and flatheads, plus trophy stripers, on the Tennessee River, between Knoxville and Chattanooga. From what I've seen, we'll use oversized baits for overgrown fish, so any fish that bites is apt to be that monster we're looking for. We'll most likely begin in the afternoon and fish through the evening and on into the night.

I'm an "everything that swims" sort of fisherman, and every style of fishing has its own appeals. Big cats rank high on my favorites list, though, and it's been too long since I've gone after them. I also don't have a blue or a flathead on this year's species list. Most importantly, I really need to freshen my big cat photo files and I'm excited to learn more about how Capt. Manning likes to fish.

I'm also excited about the likely opportunity to play with a new camera. I say likely because it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. More on that to follow, though.

Monday, September 1, 2014


A day on the pond from last September. Looks pretty
warm and fully green.
September in Georgia feels a lot like August in Georgia. Weather and fish behavior alike remain distinctively summerish. Still, in my mind at least, September brings some sense of fall. Labor Day (today) in many ways marks an end of summer, schools are back in session, college football started last weekend, the month name ends in "ber"...  Lots of things about September hint at fall, and we even tend to get a few spells with cooler nights before the month is ends.

I suppose September also seems extra fallish to me because legitimate fall trip dates are near enough that I'm beginning to settle more plans: October trout in the Smokies; November crappie in Illinois and bass in Alabama...

 Some year, September travels give me a head start on fall because I travel north to places where September legitimately is a fall month. That's not the case with this year's plans, as of now. Looks like I may be staying in the South this month. However, when mid-September travels send me to Minnesota, that's a legitimate fall trip.

We've hit 80s already this morning, and the high for the day is supposed to find the 90s. No. Fall hasn't arrived. September lets me start pretending, though.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Johnboat Move

Nathaniel's johnboat needed to get back to the side of the pond, where it would be handy for quick outings, and he and I both had time on Friday afternoon. So we loaded the boat into the back of the Expedition and drove to the pond, which is only a few miles from our house.

Of course once we got pond-side with boat, we thought we decided make sure it still worked by making a lap around the pond. Fortunately, we'd brought a few rods and reels, so we were equipped.

The fish bit less than I would have expected as a hot day cool and the sun dipped over the trees. I mostly fished for bream -- as I tend to at the pond -- and Nathaniel mixed his offerings. We caught a did handful of fish (three apiece, I think) but I would have expected a few more strikes than we got.

That's not a complaint. It was a beautiful afternoon, and a nice lap around the pond with Nathaniel was a mighty nice way to wrap up the workweek. And now the boat is back where we like it to be and handy for the next afternoon outing. Will that be today?