Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Multi-Species Fishing continued

My tackle backpack and current contents
Now you've seen a look at Sean's gear, here's a look at mine. As mentioned before, the backpack style tackle box is no doubt our favorite. When shore fishing, carrying your tackle is inevitable, and keeping as much out of your hands is key to hauling around ample amounts of gear. To the right is a picture of my trusty backpack and current inventory which has served me well for several years.

From the bottom going clockwise the contents are as follows:
Four spools of line ranging from 8-30lbs, styrofoam pieces, large floats, fingerless gloves, sunglasses, sanitizer, bottle of water, bag of plastic baits, portable depth/fish finder, various unopened hooks and rigs, knots and beads, small box containing small hooks and jigs, small box containing split shots, clippers multi-tool, hook sharpener, electrical tape, headlamp,  extra 9v battery for scale, powerbait jars, 50lbs digital scale, tape measure, and pliers multi-tool.
Other than whats pictured, the most common items I put in my backpack would be extra cloths and food. Its not unheard of for my backpack to weight in excess of 30lbs when fully packed for a long trip.

Below is a picture of the contents of my plastics bag, I'm quite fond of Berkley PowerBait. 
My soft bait collection
 Furthermore, below is pictures of all of my bait boxes and there contents.
Hooks, swivels, and sinkers box
Bass hooks, jig hooks, small floats, etc.
Crankbait box
Jigs, spinnerbaits, used plastics, etc.
I also keep a good stash of extra sinkers as they are a common victim to snags.
Sinker stash containing 2-4oz sinkers in various styles
 Finally, here's my rod and reel collection. It's not nearly as organized as Sean's, just a small store bought stand that will only hold the smaller rods. Also pictured is my aquarium which contains a Bullhead catfish named Bob who is hiding under the rock.
My rod and reel collection as well as my aquarium

Monday, December 26, 2011

Multi-Species Fishing

As mentioned before, we are multi specie anglers. This means that we need to have the equipment to fish for panfish such as crappie, bluegill, and perch one moment and fish for catfish and carp the next. Within the last several years we have accumulated over a dozen rod and reels each and hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars in terminal tackle. Therefore organization is pertinent. We have found that the backpack style of tackle boxes have enough room for our equipment as well as are the easiest to carry over long distances. Which is useful when bank fishing. Below is a picture of my tackle box and its components.

My tackle box and its contents.
Starting from bottom and working clockwise: The first pocket contains slipfloats and springfloats. The pocket at 7 o’clock contains gulp alive products and boilies...common carp bait. The pocket at 9 o’clock contains catfish floats and headlamps. The pocket at 11 o’clock contains hothands, glow sticks and clips, a lighter, and a ziplock bag containing a list of current state records. The pocket at 1 o’clock contains a multi tool, a knife, hook sharpener, knife sharpener, 20lb big game fishing line, and a 50lb digital scale. The pocket at 3 o’clock contains lighters, electrical tape, and batteries for headlamps and digital scale.

Inside of the tackle box there is a saw, filet knife, gloves, 100lb spring scale, and various smaller tackle boxes. As mentioned above we have tons of tackle, more than what can fit in our backpack style tackle boxes. Therefore we have several boxes that we interchange depending on our fishing interests.

Here's a look into my individual boxes. Not pictured is of course my camera.
Hooks, Swivels, knots, beads, etc.
Sinkers, sinker slides, and styrofoam
swimbaits, grubs, spinner-baits, jigs, etc. 
Crankbait Box
Swimbaits, crawdads, and frogs
Worm box

At any given time our tackle boxes can weigh in excess of 25 pounds. Here’s a picture of what my tackle box weighs now with just three boxes. Often times I will pack 4 or 5 when I am unsure of what species I will be targeting during our fishing trip.

Since we target fish large and small we need to have rods ranging from 4 foot ultra lights to 9 foot medium heavy rods. Since our rods vary so much in size its hard to find a manufactured rod holder that accommodates for the wide range of sizes. Therefore I have found the best way to store my rods is on a simple home-made rod rack. Below is a picture of my rods on the home-made rack.

The bottom consists of a 1x6 inch board with 1.75” holes cut every five inches apart. This serves as the base of the rod rack. The top is a 1x4 inch board with 1” holes drilled with offset groves cut to allow the rod tips to slide into them. Here are two pictures of the cuts described.

Last year Rylan invested in some plastic storage containers to store his excess fishing supplies in, and I liked it so much that I stole his idea. Here’s a picture of the containers.
Storage Drawers.
From top to bottom:
The first shelf contains floats, tools, and extra bags for storage. The second shelf contains spools of line, reels, and reel parts. The third shelf would normally contain the clear tackle boxes containing my hooks, sinkers, and panfish lures. The fourth shelf contains the crankbait box, worm , and swimbait boxes. The fifth box contains boilies, blood bait, etc. The last box contains miscellaneous fishing supplies such as tarps, cast net parts, old tools, etc.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/17 Crappie Trip

With Winter at our door step, lately we've been doing quite a bit of crappie fishing, something we've not done often in years past. We fished Rocky Fork Lake Saturday from 11:00am until sunset. Sean caught 11 crappie, 4 bluegill, and 1 yellow perch with the two biggest crappie around 11 inches. I caught 10 crappie myself, none over 10 inches. With the water temperature dipping below 40 degrees we expected to find the fish fairly deep but that wasn't entirely true. One crappie came from less than 5ft of water while the majority came in the 6-18ft range in water depths of 12-22ft. All fish came off of submerged structure on crappie and bass minnows.

We utilized two different technique's of fishing the minnows. Sean's setup was a minnow hooked with a jig hook (1/32 for crappie minnows and 1/16 for bass minnows) and either set tight lined inches off bottom or jigged slowly at different depths. He also worked an ice fishing jig (1/32 moon jig) tipped with a wax worm slowly on the bottom, this method produced the bluegill, perch, and a few of the crappie. On the other hand, I used slip floats with a minnow hooked below the dorsal fin. Both methods produced fish but at this point it's debatable which technique is preferred, they both have pros and cons which I hope to discuss in the future. Didn't take any pictures, hope to get some next trip.

Towards the end of the trip an unlikely visitor approached our minnow bucket looking for a free meal.
Unfortunately this Great Blue Heron had an injured foot but we didn't mind letting him have a minnow. We also caught him a bluegill to eat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

About Me

Fishing. That’s pretty much my life, that and work. I'm not biased to any certain species; I enjoy fishing for every game fish that southern Ohio has to offer (Flathead, Largemouth, Carp, Gar, you name it). Since I was 16 (9 years ago), I've dedicated thousands of hours to my passion, always on the pursuit of expanding my fishing knowledge and experience. For the most part I am a catch and release fisherman but occasionally I will do some selective harvest with the mindset of preserving fisheries for future generates. I graduated from Shawnee State University in 2011 with a degree in computer engineering and I have worked as a computer programmer ever since. This blog is my way of giving back to the fishing community by documenting my experiences to share with others. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Post

Currently under development, more information will be posted soon.