Thursday, July 31, 2008

Late night crabbin'

As I said in yesterday's post, I went crabbin' down at the pier near my house. The crab season here has been slow, and everyone I know, even commercial crabbers are having a hard time finding crabs. I happened to check the Coast Guard buoy close to where I live on the web, and saw that the water temp had increased 6 degrees since the last time I checked. Everyone around here had been predicting mid August for when the crabs would start to show due to the warmer weather, so I figured, what the heck ? My sons and I set up some poles fishing the bottom for croakers, and started baiting our crab baskets.
I use both crab pots, and crab baskets for crabbing, but in this post, I will be explaining the baskets. It is basically a collapsible wire net basket with a drawstring, and a baited hook in the center. You can use old fish heads, or chicken necks for bait. Attach the bait to the suspended hook, and lower the basket into the water like in the first pic. I use lightweight nylon cord that floats, so when the basket is on the bottom, the line will float. Keep a little tension on the cord, and wrap around the pier rail. Make sure to crab in shallow water, around 5' to 8' has worked good for me. Then all you do is wait for the cord to start shaking!

Once you see the cord moving, you pull it up out of the water in a quick, steady motion. The outside ring rises up first, creating a net, and traps the crabs. Using this method, and fishing 4 baskets at a time, I can catch around a bushell in about an hour. Last night it took about 3 hours, but that was OK, because we also caught 9 croakers, and around here, crabs are selling for $100 bucks a bushell green, and $125 bucks + for cooked. Lets see, $1.50 for chicken necks= a bushell of crabs. That's a good deal for me ! I got out of the house, caught some fish, and got a bushell of crabs for cheap. If you want to try this on your own, you can get the baskets at any fishing supply or sporting goods store. Even the Wall-Mart here sells them. They go for about $5 bucks each, and last for years. I still have some that are 8 or 9 years old that I use. Well, that was my night. I had fun, and got to hang out with my boy's. If you have a good crabbin tip, leave me a post, because you learn something new everyday !!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Before I go..........

Some fishing funnies I like..................

I'm goin crabbin on the pier, so no post from me tonight : )

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What about a spincast ?

When fishing from shore, I prefer to use a closed face reel. I have about 20 of the Zebco 808s that I wouldn't trade for anything. Recently at a yard sale I had stopped by had a lot of old fishing gear for sale. A lot of 202s, and some old poles. I would never buy an old used pole, but I saw a newer Penn spincast reel that caught my attention. I got it home and pulled it apart to clean it up some . I put some 30lbs test on it, and attached it on a spare med/heavy rod I had. This morning, we decided to go after some croakers and spot off the pier. The spincast was not my first choice of setups, but after I had 4 lines out, I decided to give it a cast. I attached a Carolina rig, and a 4oz weight, and put on some bloodworm's. My first few casts were not my finest, and I had a hard time positioning where I wanted the bait. After about 5 attempts, I had the hand of it, and got it close enough to where I wanted the bait. The moment of truth for me was when I unexpectedly hooked a catfish. He landed himself, swallowing the hook, and yanked the drag letting me know he was on. I initially snatched the rod, and all it would do was bend. I thought I had a late rockfish, or maybe a skate because I did not expect a catfish in the shallow water where, I had the bait The drag feature worked great, and allowed me to play the fish until it tired out. When I got it to the pier, I saw I had about a 14lbs cat. Nowhere near the record of 68 lbs in my area, but still a lot of fun. I continued using the Penn setup the rest of the morning, and took one of my 808s out of rotation. I am planning a trip to Gander Mountain this weekend, so I think I will give the spincast reels a closer look.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stormy day

Stormy weather today where I live, so no fishing. Oh well, at least there is a good race today, or so I thought. Tire problems killed the race today. It had to be run under several cautions and slowed the race to a crawl, in my opinion. The drivers did not run hard at all, and this is a "roll the dice" kind of race. I have seen the race run to extremes before, but today it seemed that everyone was driving with their fingers crossed. If nothing else, it was a good time to tie some trot lines. If you don't know what they are, they are used to to fish multiple baits at once. I use 300' sections, weighted at the ends, with a float about 6' from the weight. I tie chicken necks about every 6' to 8' feet, because I crab . They can be used for catfishing, but I would rather reel one of those in with my pole. I have not had a chance to go crabbing all season, but with the weather, rain, and cooler water temps, the crabs around here have not started to hit yet. Many of the commercial guys I talk to think the crabbing will not get good until mid August. My 300' of trot line can get me about a bushell and a half in about an hour, but many of my friends that have started crabbing tell me that 2 or 3 hours of work is only bringing in about half a bushel. I say, hurry up August ! My lines are ready and baited, and in the freezer. When I am ready for them, I will pull them out the day before and drop them in an empty cooler to thaw.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm so NOT sorry !

Uh-oh! I didn't mean to offend ! Really ! Well, maybe I did. But I will not be ashamed because I like big muddy trucks. I will not be ashamed because I am barefoot. I will not be ashamed that I hunt and fish. I say this right up front because someone in one of my groups at a networking site I belong to told me to " come out of the woods, we have food stores now ". I know we have food stores. I go to Wall-Mart on a regular basis to get my freezer bags to put my game and fish in to store in the freezer. I was also told that " participating in a useless sport like mudboggin is a waste of resources and destructive to the earth ". I quickly removed them from my friends list, and decided not to leave them any type of response. I am proud of who I am, and proud of my boy's, who hunt and fish and love the mud just as much as me. That being said, Sunday is approaching. I have decided to do some fishing on the beach. I have between 5 and 500 rod and reel combo's because where I live I can saltwater and freshwater fish. I am planning on saltwater fishing. I have 4 poles, 8' heavy action with some 808 Zebco reels on them ready to go. I strung them fresh this year with 30lbs test, and tied them with new swivels and Carolina rigs. In case you do not know what that type of rig is, it's basically a swivel attached to about 3 feet of wire, and a swivel at the bottom for the weight. It generally has 2, and sometimes 3 connection points to attach your leader and hook. I am using this rig because the water temp here is about 72 degrees, and I want to fish the bottom. I am going after some spot and some hardheads. If you don't know what they are, read tomorrow and I will post picks. Have a great Sunday, and GET OUTSIDE !!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mud bog 101 part 1

I live in an area that still has the good old county fair. It's full of livestock, crafts, carnival rides, all the new tractors and attachments, and best of all, the country and bluegrass bands that give the concerts for free every night. I have been a fan of the fair since I was a little kid. I had entered goats and vegetables to tried and win ribbons and trophies. I had a calf one year, but it didn't work out to good. When I was younger, back in the 70's, the biggest attractions were the demolition derby's and the old dirt circle track races. When the 80's rolled in, the dirt track was full of weeds, and that part of the fair was forgotten. In 1983, My then small town had groups of 4X4 guys that had branched off from each other and had organized trail rides, and late night diggin trips that allowed braggin rights and tall tales of super trucks that could go through bottomless pits and climb tree's. To this day, I'm not sure who brought about the idea, but one of the 4X4 clubs obtained the permission, insurance, and equipment to dig a pit and start the mud bogs. I have been to a lot of mud bogs, I mean, I have been attending and participating in them for over 20 years. And I have never seen the same type of pit. Different soils in different locations make up some of the difference, but everyone has their own idea of how a pit is to be laid out. Some construct a downward sloping pit at the entrance, that slopes back up at the exit. Some construct pits that have a few " speedbumps in them. Some build them shallow to ensure a full pull if you get good wheel speed from the start. The bogs in my area is a friends and family kind of crowd, and in the pits, everyone will lend a hand to change tires, tighten lugs, add some water to the radiator, and such. Our next bog is in a week, and I am ready to go now. Since I will be discussing this topic in the future, I thought this post would make for a good primer. Untill next time, GET OUTSIDE !!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm from the country

I feel sorry for those that are stranded in an urban setting. I am so thankfull that my all my family were country people, and I am glad that my boys can live in a place where they are not fenced in. I fish, I hunt, and I live for the outdoors. Am I the barefoot hilbilly you might be picturing in your mind right now ? Could be, but it's what I enjoy. Today,around my house it was an awsome day. Sunny skies and not to hot. A day that you could go out and do stuff and not sweat to death. We rode the 4 wheeler around the trails, and picked some stuff from the garden. I even walked down the dirt driveway and picked a few blackberries. While walking around the yard, I noticed it's time to cut the grass. I'm pretty good at keeping the grass cut, not like most who could lose the mower in the weeds. I think tomorrow after I cut the grass, I will try to get out and catch some fish, and pull some of the cucumbers out of the garden for dinner. Untill next time...