Friday, July 25, 2014

Out with my Boys

"Sometimes the stars align" is usually taken to mean the great things that can happen, but it implies that usually they don't. That's been my July, car trouble and the time/effort involved in making up for the unexpected expense has kept me off of the water. This in turn has made me lose more than a little sleep. So it wasn't really a surprise when I hadn't really slept the night before I was supposed to head 'up North' to continue working for my Dad. I let him know that I wasn't going to be making the two hour drive to work when that was about the amount of rest I'd managed. Of course, after that I couldn't sleep due to the thoughts of work missed and all that crap... So I tied some flies. No (or little) sleep isn't great for production tying and I wasn't really getting anywhere when my oldest woke up and wandered downstairs. I said, "let's go hit a stream" and he replied, "Nah, let's take out the boat". So we loaded up the boat, along with little bro, and headed out to a lake I have very little experience with that isn't too far away. (Never mind the argument of, "if you're too tired to work, why aren't you too tired to fish")


Nice place
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about taking both boys out in the little 'tin tub' boat all by myself but the boys were their usual well-behaved selves and there was little to worry about. Even though we don't have a motor yet, the boat still offers way more mobility on the water. Especially when you consider how hard it is to move around when you've got two young'uns. It also supplies some needed options when it comes to technique. On the boat I can easily have the boys troll, jig, drown some bait, or cast and retrieve. All while I'm able to still get some fishing of my own in. This trip it was all about finding some fish (they seemed to be holding between 25-30' of water) and doing some vertical jigging. I really like using this technique with my boys because it's fun, effective, and not reliant on casting skills. The fish finder takes some of the guess work out of the equation and keeps the kids engaged even when the fishing isn't fast and furious. (for this reason I like to keep the fish icon option on and the 'fish alarm' too, anything to keep their attention).


Hard to get a good pic in a small boat

Unless you're Cado and can pull off the one hander
Usually when I'm out with the boys pure catch & release goes out the window. They love bringing home dinner, and I get to teach them some selective harvest. This makes some people's skin crawl, and I get that, but most fisheries are meant to sustain some harvest (it's even encouraged at most) and I see nothing wrong with keeping enough for dinner (here's a write-up on what the biologists say). Enough is a very useful term in all of this, and for my family two mid sized fish is plenty for a great meal. There's no reason to keep some for the freezer in my opinion, I'd just be robbing myself of an excuse to go fishing again, and if I wanted to eat frozen fish I'd buy some at Walmart. 


A couple of nice Tigers for the table
The boys put in a hard day's worth of fishing, I did more rowing than I was prepared for, and we all came home happy. Our sunburns were earned through some serious sunscreen and the fish cooperated just enough to make our efforts seem justified. Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.


- Kidder

The fishing's just an excuse to get out here