Friday, November 27, 2020

Lake McConaughy

Hit McConaughy for the first time with my friend Luke. We did a little slabbing and drop shotting. Pretty good time. That lake has some really nice bass.

Monday, October 26, 2020

P-Lo and 11 Mile

Weekend of 10-17 - Diane and I fished P-Lo Saturday and Sunday. We caught a lot of Walleye each day. Slabbing at Middle Island. Diane Caught a nice catfish.

Weekend of 1-23 - I fished 11 Mile on Friday. No pike. 4 good trout. Very cold. Saturday and Sunday I fished P-Lo. Sunday Kevin was with me. Between the two of us over both days we caught 14 fish. One of which was about a 10lb carp. Found a new spot for slabbing close to turkey creek. It was really really cold, wet, and windy on Sunday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

P-Lo with Russ

The slab bite is good at Plo. Russ and I hit middle island and SMB Point. Friday I got 8 from SMB point in the evening. Saturday we caught 21 with 8 keepers. Russ got a 25.25 walleye. I got a new PB at 20.25. Next day Russ got a huge catfish, almost 28lbs. We caught a bunch of walleye but no keepers. Pretty good trip.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Spinney w/ Diane and SGM

Saturday Diane and I fished Spinney. We caught a good amount of trout, a few pike, one 27". Sunday Russ fished with us. We probably caught 15 or so fat bows. Several MA. Had to tow in our 3rd boat of the season. Both days were about 21F at 6:30am!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Chatfield 9/30

Hit Chatfield this morning with Diane. We fished from 7am till noon. Did best on the point just outside the marina and Massey Draw. Caught 8 or 9 fish. Mostly smallmouths, with a few walleye, and a yellow perch. All fish were super fat. The birds were diving on shad all day. Apparently everything at Chatfield is living large right now. Fished in about 12-16 FOW. Raps and blades. Vertical and casting. Water temp was 60-61.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Replacing Lund Fuel Vent

Up until 2020 models Lunds came with a plastic fuel tank vent on the port side bow. The vent stuck out about 1/2 inch and was easy to damage. After breaking off 3 I decided to see what my options were. I found a flush(mostly) mount stainless steel vent from Attwood that is mostly a drop in replacement. The model number of the stainless steel ven is 66032-3, you can see it here: https://www.nauticexpo.com/prod/attwood/product-22400-418439.html. For refrence here is the old style (66419-3): https://www.nauticexpo.com/prod/attwood/product-22400-562207.html.

Here are the steps to replace the plastic vent:

First thing is to remove the gas hose cover. To do this remove the two screws that hold the plastic gas cap assembly to the gunnel.

Open the gas cap and remove the four screws that hold the cap to the cover

Remove the two screws that hold the cover to the deck.

How you should be able to fully remove the cover and get it out of the way.

Now unscrew the old vent. Once that is done you should be able to pull back the gas and vent hoses away from the gunnel.

Now is a good time to remove the p-trap part of the old vent assembly from the vent hose

The new stainless steel vent is quite a bit bigger than the old vent. You will need to drill out the old hole to about 1 and 3/8 inch. I did this using a cheap unibit I got from Amazon for $10. After cutting deburr the hole.

On the inside I had to cut a little bit of carpet away from the gunnel so the new vent could make a good seal

Now install the vent. I used blue loctite on the backing nut and the removable screen. Not sure if this is needed, but I did not want anything vibrating apart. After the vent is installed in the hull plug it into the hose and tighten the hose clamp.

Put the cover back on and tigten everything up and you're done!

Cherry Creek

I fished Cherry Creek a bit before work Thursday. I think maybe I found a bit of a pattern. Vertical jigging puppet minnows in 12FOW near the marina. I caught 6 pretty quickly. Biggest was maybe 14" Also managed a couple on blades veritcal. Pretty happy to catch something with all the shad around.

Monday, September 21, 2020

11 mile and Spinney

Fished Spinney Friday evening and Saturday. Friday evening I only fished for an hour and a half. Managed two small pike on s-waver. Saturday I fished with Russ and his son Kevin. I got skunked. They managed 8 fish between them. Water is super low. The docs are being pulled out Monday. Slept in Sunday. Launched the boat at 11 mile about 11am. Fished for pike for 2 hours. Had one follower and one maybe hit. I then tried the north shore in the back abd did really well. Trout bite was hot using a small white tube w/ 1/4 jig. Also caught one small pike.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Chatfield and Cherry Creek

Catching up on some walleye fishing. Hit Chatfield a few times. Caught a decent amount of SMB, few walleyes. Seeing a fair amount of shad which is good. Hit the creek a few times. Shad EVERYWHERE. Its harder to catch fish, but you can catch the biggins. Blades and jigging raps. Fishing shallow. Have to use side scan or blind cast. Misc: Seaguar smackdown seems to sucks for jigging raps, it always breaks. Trying some fireline I have. Hopefully it will last longer Use 20# floro leader for blades and jigging raps, seems to help with fouling After a cast let the blade pendulum down on a tight line to stop fouling. Got a little better at double pop with 'raps Fished a larger shiver minnow today, seems pretty cool, should try it more often.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Spinney 8/29

Hit the lake Friday about 4pm. Not much wind at all. Got a 27" right away and missed a couple of more bites on the 'main' point. Diane caught 3 small pike. Saturday we had 0 wind. It sucked hah. Water completely covered in pollen stuff. Laker super low, surface temp was 61. Got one bite at 9:30 on a S-Waver 120, fat 33.5" Diane caught a fat trout and a small pike. At about 1pm the crazy wind, rain, and lightning moved in....really really fast. Scary just how fast the weather can change up there. I felt 100% safe in the wind and waves in the Lund, but the lightning was literally right over head. So we headed in, along with 15 or so other boats. The ramp was packed and would be for 20 or so minutes. I looked around and noticed a kayaker near the dam. The wind was blowing into the dam so it had the biggest waves. The kayker looked to be struggling a bit. I saw two boats drive right past him. I drove over and asked if he was okay. At this point it's hailing and the wind and waves are howling. He said he needed help. I did a loop around him, killed my motor, and let my boat drift side to side into his kayak. He grabbed my boat, we began moving all his gear into my boat. Then he got in. I pulled his kayak into my boat. Once everything was secured we headed towards the ramp. I spoke with the guy a bit, he seems to have a hard time talking, I think he was really cold and tired, and probably in shock a bit. I noticed he was not wearing a PFD! This guy was pretty lucky someone stopped to help him. If he would have gone in it would 100% have been over for him. Anyway, got him back to the ramp and he was very thankful. I did manage to get some of his mono around my prop shaft :( I'll check this week and see if the seal is jacked.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Zeroing in on the biggins

 About 3 years ago I watched a video with Aaron Wiebe and Jon B. fishing for giant pike on the fly. It is an amazing video and really got me all gassed up on catching a big pike. That video was actually my motivation for taking up fly fishing.

The next couple of years I managed a few pike here and there, but nothing to get excited about. I never really went too hard, but pike were always in the back of my mind.

Last fall for some unknown reason I decided I wanted to try Spinney Mountain Reservoir for pike. I had never been there before and really have no clue why I decided it was time to try it out. I bought a bulldog and a couple of spinner baits and away I went. On literally my first cast I caught a dink pike. It was pretty cool. Managed to catch probably 5 or so that day.

I went up to Spinney 4 or so more times that fall and did pretty decent. The largest pike I caught was 32" on a husky jerk.

This spring I did not fish for pike, mostly just chased walleye. It was a great spring and we caught a ton of fish. Once the front range lakes got too busy with boat traffic I found myself going up to Spinney again. I also  decided it was time to get real serious about pike.

Time to do some more research and gear upgrades. I watched a ton of muskie and pike videos on the tube. I wound up picking up some Buchertails, different spinners, glide baits, swim baits etc. Picked up a really nice swimbait rod rated for 2-10oz lures and a super nice St Croix Mojo Muskie rod rated for 3/4 to 4oz. I put Abu Garcia Revos on both of them with 40# Powerpro.

Now with new gear, information, and renewed resolve I hit Spinney. Fished multiple 14 hour days. Casting non stop all day. I had results immediately. Probably 20 pike under 24", maybe 6 between 24" and 28", and 1 at 33". Its going well, but no true monsters yet. But I know they will come.

Saturday the 22nd I started fishing at 5:30 am. I got one 28" pike on a Storm glide bait about 9am. Then nothing for hours and hours, not even a follow. Around 5 pm I decided to work the points on the south west side. I caught 5 mid size pike right away. I missed what must have been a big one in a little cove leading up to the first point. He left a huge swirl in the water. The wind had picked up and I had some slight mud lines. I was throwing a 500 Buchertail nickel on black. Caught 2 more IIRC, best around 24". Now it was about 6:30 and the wind was blowing pretty good out of the east. I headed to the North west end by the inlet and did a drift over about 13 FOW. 5 minutes in caught about 24 incher. Got him back in the water and maybe cast 3 times and BAM got a good fish on the line. It happens so quick its hard to really remember the details. I know I had the fish for maybe 10 seconds and then he ripped a bunch of drag out and I thought I lost him. The fish then went and buried himself in the weeds. I winched him out and fumbled with the net. Of course the net hung up on everything, but I still managed to net the fish.

Maybe 2 weeks ago I spent some time going over my plan for dealing with a big fish. I figured out how to set up my net so I would not have to hold it. This involves putting one end under the port console and a velcro strap holding the hoop to a handle on the gunwale. I also bought a phone mount that sticks to the windshield of the boat and found an app to constantly take photos until stopped.

After I got the fish netted and the net secured I went to work on getting the fish unhooked. The fish did multiple death rolls in the net and had the hook and net completely tangled. There was no way I would be able to get this fish untangled and unhooked before it died. Thankfully after watching a Youtube video by Todays Angler I bought a heavy duty pair of hook cutters. I used the hook cutters to cut the treble hook away from the rest of the lure. This freed the pike from the giant tangle. I was then able to get the hook remnants and lure out of the net and get the pike situated so he could relax and breath.

As soon as I got the fish sorted I put my phone in the mount and got it taking photos. I pulled the fat pike out the net, got a few picks, bumped him, 35". I put him back in the water and held him next to the boat for about 30 seconds, then he kicked off and went back to the depths.

I could not be happier. All the planning and research had put me on this fish and had me prepared and informed on how to safely deal with him. The fish and myself are not much worse for the wear.

In Colorado 36" and over is a Master Angler for pike. I missed it by one inch. I'm actually happy with this. I feel like a true Master Angler pike should take more time, and I'm more than happy to keep up the hunt.

Lake McConaughy

Hit McConaughy for the first time with my friend Luke. We did a little slabbing and drop shotting. Pretty good time. That lake has some real...