Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Day On The Bay!

Sunday morning was an early start. I left home at 1:30 a.m. Heading out I had to pick up a cup of coffee as I was in for a long day. I arrived at my good friend Scott's place around 2, we loaded up the truck and boat and we where off to Green Bay .

We arrived and were on the water by 6 am and headed to a spot on the west shore that we fished last year. We set up running crawler harnesses with 1 oz inline weights over 18-22 feet of water. Before we could get all six rods in the water we had a fish on. I handed the rod to our friend pat who is just getting into fishing. I knew it was a nice walleye by the way it hit the bait. Sure enough it was a nice 26 1/4" eye. 

This is the first and biggest eye pat has ever caught. It was a nice way to break him into walleye fishing on Green Bay .

 We continued on throughout the day bouncing around the bay. We managed to catch 5 more keepers ranging from 24 to 16 inches on length. All in all it was a good day on the bay. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bass Are Biting

I was able to sneak out on my home lake this week. Bass continue to produce right after sunset. Here are a few pics. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Been M.I.A But I'm Back At It

I have been missing in action for awhile. Work has been incredibly busy and most of my time was dedicated to that. I was finally able to get some fishing in this week with my good friend pat.  

  Fishing has gone back to normal on my home lake. Twister tails did the trick for catching all kinds of fish. We caught a ton of bass, bluegill, crappie, and one walleye on this outing. Here are a few pics. 

I should be back to my regular postings. Check back soon. I will be getting the Friday fish porn postings going again as well. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another Rod Build Complete

  I posted last week about the current rod build I had going on. This one is for dear old dad for fathers day. The rod looks awesome to say the least. They just keep getting better and better. This rod is a spinning rod with the new Microwave Guide System see other post here . I went through the specifics and posted some pics on how the system works. The rod in general should be a fish catching machine.

  The rod- on all the guide wraps I went with a dark green thread wrap as that is dear old dad's favorite color. Cross wraps where metallic green and silver to give the cross wraps a little pop off the blank. The rod features a split grip handle, so on the split end I did the same cross wrap as I did in front of the fore grip. The Microwave guides are like  the cherry on top of the sundae. I can not wait to give this rod to the old man. I know he going to absolutely love it.

  I also added a little touch that I know he will appreciate. On the last few rods I have been using a metallic marker to mark the line weight, length, and a serial number so I can track back to replicate a rod and such. But the cool thing I have been doing is "naming" the rods. The previous trolling rod I built for my Walleye friend was named " The Old Sock In The Wash" because that is usually what we call each other cause we are such great friends. Then when I came to this part of the build I was stumped on what to call it. I wanted it to have meaning, and be kind of funny at the same time. My father and I joke with each other quite a bit and always call each other funny names like Putz, Dufuss, etc. The list could go on, but I didn't want to put something silly like this on a rod he was going to look at constantly, and then it hit me. The old man used to be an over the road trucker for many years, and he is also very polish. His old CB radio handle is one funny name and fits him to the T. The Cb handle he used was " The Happy Pollack" Very fitting for him, and his rod I believe. He should get a kick out of it, and maybe a slight tear in his eye. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did building it. So I give to you some photo's of the newest rod "The Happy Pollack" .

The Rear Split Grip Cross Wrap

The Cross Wrap And Hook Keeper In Front Of Fore Grip 

Another Shot Of The Rear Split Grip

" The Happy Pollack" Name On The Blank

Close Up Of The Cross Wrap

Rear View Of The Rod

Guide Wrap With Microwave Guide

Close Up Of Guide Wrap

Close Up Of The Microwave Guide

A View Down The Rod As It Dries

 One more coat of finish tonight and the rod is complete. Dad might get his gift a little early as I can not wait to give it to him.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lake Improvements = A Whole New Body Of Water

  My home lake aka Candlewick Lake underwent a vast change this past week. The lake itself was closed for a week due to some water treatments that where being done. Candlewick has an amazing team that helps regulate and manage the lake and it's resources. What this group decided to do has made huge improvements to the lake. They performed a treatment that would rid all of the unwanted weeds and algae, and at the same time boost water clarity. The bonus is that the treatment will last for 10-15 years I believe.

  Prior to this lake treatment the water clarity at times was slim to none. Usually on an average day you could see 2 feet down. Now the water has cleared up so much that you could see 8-10 feet down. This changes the game all together as far as tactics go. Here are a couple of photo to show how much the water has cleared.

After day 1 of the water treatment

Day 2 of water treatment

  They covered almost every square foot of the lake with the treatment going off of GPS. There are places that I have never seen what the bottom looks like, and now it is like a whole new world.

  Last night I got on the lake because I was anxious to see what it had looked like for myself. I was blown away, and can't thank the guys in charge enough for making my home lake even better than it was before. Now for the fishing. I started out tossing my go to twister tail and ended up catching a few Crappies. That was good, but I wanted to explore and see what the rest of the lake was like. I started at the mouth of a finger and started tossing a Zara Spook Bait (topwater). 2nd cast in and something exploded on the surface, and I set the hook. Not my biggest or my smallest, but it was my first pike of the year.

  I had a few other misses on the top water, but just couldn't hook up. All in all it was an awesome night to explore the new and improved home waters. Should be interesting to see how the lake progresses and how the fishing tactics will change.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Next Rod Build Begins

  The start of yet another rod build is under way. This particular rod is for my first fishing mentor, my dad. Fathers day is approaching fast, and after the last rod build I had old dad drooling  over it. So I figured what better than a custom rod for my dad for fathers day. He is a big time Bass fisherman and has a ton of casting rods, why not build him a spinning rod. This particular rod is going to be very different than any other spinning rod you will find on the market today. I am setting him up with a Microwave Guide System that just came out last year I think from American Tackle. The guide system itself intrigues me on its functionality. It will reduce line slap on the rod itself, increasing casting distance and accuracy, and also increasing sensitivity. Here is a pic of the first guide or stripper guide as it would be called in the rod building world.

 The little eyelet in the center of the big one actually comes out about a quarter of an inch past the big eyelet. This is what helps keep line slap on the rod down. After this guide there is one slightly smaller than it goes down into micro guides after that, similar to what you would see on a micro guided fly rod these days. Here is a slow motion photo taken of the Microwave Guide system in action versus a conventional run of the mill type of spinning rod.

 Here is a photo of the complete guide set.

  It will be very interesting to give this rod a cast when complete. I already have a feeling it is going to phenomenal!

  As for the rest of the rod I went with an MHX blank 7' 1 piece 6-12lbs line in a medium/light action, with a split grip layout. Here is a photo of the grip mounted with the reel seat on the blank.

  When the package arrived from Mudhole, I was shorted the fore grip. I had to improvise as I am under a time restraint right now with other things I already had on the agenda. The fore grip wouldn't be here until mid to late next week and that would have set me way back behind schedule. So a couple of weeks ago I was fishing on my home lake and was snagged in the rocks and needless to say I broke my rod that I was fishing with. I was sitting in my work area wondering how in the hell I was going to complete this rod without the fore grip, and then I saw the broken rod in the corner. It hit me to use the fore grip off that rod as it was no longer a good rod to use. I pulled the old fore grip off the rod and gave it a sanding as it was tinted with dirt and fish slime. Polished it up and slipped it on the rod and it almost looked like it was meant to be.This fore grip is actually slightly longer than the one I originally ordered, and I believe it will be a little more comfortable fishing with the new/old grip.

  I will continue to post pics of the build as it progresses. I started wrapping guides last night in a dark green color, as green is dads favorite color. I will have some nice trim bands on the guide wraps, as well as some pretty cool cross wraps to go along with the rest of the rod. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Monster

  This Memorial day weekend was a little more memorable than most. A few exciting things happened that will leave these memories forever etched in my mind.

 First and foremost eventful thing that happened was my great friend Jordan tied the knot with his now wife Danielle. I have know Jordan for years. We have camped, fished, and hunted together for many years. When I first started getting into the blogger type realm of things I started a dot com which was Trailtheoutdoors.com. Jordan was the first guy I signed up to post stories, how-to's, and many other things. I closed down the site for awhile and was work with Blake at Illinois Wisconsin fishing, and now here I am as Trail the Outdoors again, but on Blogger. Jordan I am sure will have some posts to add on here come hunting season. I look forward to them and also look forward to watch him progress in the next chapter of his life. Congrats again you two.

 After the Saturday wedding I more than needed Sunday to recoop from the many barley pops that were consumed during the reception. I saved my fishing time for Monday.

 Monday morning we had a slight drizzle on my home lake. It finally quit around 1 p.m. So I hooked the boat up, grabbed my son, and we headed to the lake in hopes of finding some fish. With all the crap weather we have been having I thought for sure we where going to get the old skunk. I was wrong. We landed one fish, but this fish was one for the memory book. If you have been following me for any certain amount of time, you would know I target Walleye quite a bit. On my home lake I finally found some sort of pattern that would produce walleyes constantly. I think my biggest to date was 22 inches. That all changed Monday afternoon. I was pitching a stand up football jig in a pumpkinseed skirt with a uncle josh's pork trailer in hopes of catching a few Largemouth Bass. To my surprise I hooked into something large and full of life as it peeled drag from my new baitcating reel. As I finally saw a flash as it got to the boat I told my son to grab the net. He hasn't had many nettings on big fish, so it took him three tries and thankfully he landed this monster for me.

  This beast was 26 1/4" and just over 6lbs. It is my biggest eye to date out of Candlewick Lake. It is a fish that will stick out in my mind for years to come. Hopefully one day I can top this one out of the old wick.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Fish Porn

Here is this weeks installment of Friday Fish Porn. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Get out and FISH!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Rod Build Finished

  Last week I posted the latest rod build I have been working on. This rod is for my good friend Scott. I put in a lot of time on this build and also added some nice cosmetic touches. I tried my first cross wrap on this rod and I must say it came out pretty dam good. It defiantly added some extra pop to this rod. The following pics are while the rod was drying with it's second coat of finish on it. The third and final coat went on last night. Hope Scott loves the rod as much as I do. It will be his Birthday Gift for the big 60 this weekend.

 I will have some more pics of this rod to post once the drying is done and I can pull it out of the rod dryer.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Night Bite

  Saturday night was my chance to escape and get out on the lake. I called up a good friend of mine to see if he wanted to come share the water with me. Travis replied instantly saying see you soon. Travis arrived at about 6 PM and we shot the shit for a few and headed down the street to my home lake. Candlewick Lake is a gem when it comes to night fishing. It almost seems the fish are more active at night. We fished the same area all night, and I couldn't even tell you how many fish we caught. It had to be at least 50+ ranging in all different species. We caught, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, and Walleye.

  Last year I finally figured out a tried and true pattern to catch the eyes. It seems like the pattern continues on this year as well. Although we are hitting this spot a little earlier than last year we are already catching them. I caught a 17in. and Travis caught a 14 in. Travis threw the 14in. back before I could get a pic, but I did get a shot of the 17in.

 The yellow/ pink bodied with white tail was the hot twister for the night. It caught around 80% of our fish for the night.

 The big surprise to me for the evening was the rather large for this lake Small Mouth Bass I caught. I have only caught  2 or 3 out of the lake before with them being no larger than 8-10 inches. So when I got this one to the boat and in the net it was a big surprise.

 I didn't put it on the bump stick, but if I had to guess this one was in the 15 in. range. It was a great fight without a doubt.

  We kept a couple Crappie for Travis's fry pan along with the 17in. Walleye. Crappies that where kept where all over 10 inches. Some nice slabs for some great eating.

  It was a great evening on the water. It was good to catch up with my old friend Travis, and I will have a rod build coming up for him in the next few weeks, so watch for Travis's rod build coming up soon on here.