Saturday, December 31, 2011

Late year Carp fishing!

We headed out yesterday with fellow anglers and bloggers, Nick and Todd.
Nick writes the Southern New England Outdoor and Nature Site and Todd writes the blog Trout Undiscovered. Both blogs are terrific and worth following, Todd and Nick are very knowledgeable anglers.
Wow now that's a good looking group of anglers!

Nick is an avid carp angler and showed us great technique called the method for catching these shy fish.

We decided to head to Bow NH to fish the warm waters of PSNH's coal burning power plant.
We found this nifty duck blind

The paddle from the boat launch was an easy half mile upstream and the warm water was obvious. You could see the contrast in water color and temperature.

So we slowly entered the warmer water and Todd spotted a large carp immediately and our spirits were lifted.

We tied off the to the shore and steadied out canoes, baited our area and cast out. This is where the wait began...
Dave casted out a worm on a jig pretty early on and caught a little small mouth bass.

Four hours later and several moves later we were still waiting. Earlier in the day when we saw the first carp we remarked that it was surprising how few anglers target these fish.

After sitting in a cold canoe for that time we now had a better understanding of why people don't fish for them. Hopefully when we finally catch one we'll be as addicted to carp fishing as Nick... maybe we should try fishing for them on a warm day!
Despite not catching our target fish, we had a great time and can't wait to fish with these guys again. We laughed and told fishing stories all day long. A big thanks for the company, because alone this would have really sucked!

We haven't given up and will make another few attempts this winter.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catch-M-All's guide to Ice Safety!

We're all anxious to get out on the ice and catch some fish, but before you head out please make sure you're safe!
We borrowed some of this language from NH Fish and Game's Ice Safety website.

Never assume ice is safe, always test it for yourself!
Yesterday we were out on Pequawket pond in Conway fishing on six solid inches of ice.
Zoe looks deflated in her over-sized  winter clothes

Last night it was warm and rainy and we didn't want to take any chances.
Here's how to check the ice for safety.

 Dave decided to stay off the ice (the safest move) with his cell phone handy.
Clay increased his life insurance policy and headed out.

1. Wear a Personal Floatation Device
2. Tie a rope around yourself (not your neck!).

Clay wore a PFD under his jacket and tied a long rope around his body.

3. Drill or chip a hole every few feet, ice thickness can vary a great deal from one spot to the other.

Clay carried an auger on the ice and drilled a hole every few feet.
At first everything seemed cool, 4 inches, 5 inches.

Drill a hole every three to four feet.
Clay is measuring the ice, not guessing.

Then Disaster, the ice was crispy soft and only two inches thick!

4. If the ice is less than six inches, fish somewhere else.  The fish aren't worth dying for.

* If you do break through the ice, don't panic.  Move or swim back to where you fell in, where you know the ice was solid.  Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard.  This will help lift your body onto the ice.  A set of ice picks can aid you in a self-rescue (wear them around your neck or put them in an easily accessible pocket).  Once out of the water, roll away from the hole until you reach solid ice.

Without panicking Clay came off the ice going exactly the way he walked out.
Please be careful, always have a back up plan and don't head out alone!

If the ice is a solid six inches have a great time.
If the ice is crispy and soft be extremely careful. It is not safe ice!

We traveled to a smaller pond and did the same test.  The ice was six solid inches so we had a safe afternoon of fishing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

we put the ice in Solstice!

We headed out today to one of our favorire unnamed ponds in hopes of icing a few fish.
The weather was perfect, 45 degrees and breezy and the ice looked solid.
We gathered our gear and took a step onto the ice and made a hole. So far so good, we had almost 4 inches of ice.

We took another step and the ice cracked and shuttered under our feet, so we made another hole. Still almost 4 inches, this pattern went on for almost ten holes and we finally got to the part of the pond we wanted to fish.

We jigged a tiny glow in the dark jig topped with a piece of worm, but the fish weren't interested. And the ice was still shaky. Even though our brains told us we were safe on that ice our instincts would not allow us to relax and fish, so we got off the ice in a short time.

We remembered that we had a minnow trap sunk into that pond so we chipped that out before we took off.
So no fish were iced, but we did walk on water so that's gotta be good for something! Until next time

Monday, December 12, 2011

White Mountains Today

We were on TV again, we thought we'd share the experience! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Smoked Golden Shiners, just in time for the holidays

So you've been invited to Holiday Party and you are supposed to bring an appetizer.
What's an angler to do?

We at Catch-M-All have the solution! You'll be the talk of the party and a hero!

Smoked Shiners!

Go to your local pond and jig up or trap a pile of shiners. If you're not feeling adventurous go to your local bait shop...

Keep the shiners alive as long as possible.

Go find some wood for smoking, we chopped up a piece of Oak, but apple or hickory will also work.

Fire up one burner on your grill and put the oak right on top of the flames, keep the flames low.
Yeah, Clay could use a new grill!

We soaked the oak in water for a while before doing this, but if your using large pieces of wood it really doesn't help to soak them but it keeps your wife from worrying about a big fire.

Close the lid on the grill and let it get smokey, the temp should be around 200 degrees.

OK Now the fun part, take those little shiners, chop their heads off and gut them. Rinse them off and pat them dry.

Take the shiners and get them on the grill as far from the flames as possible, you want to smoke these on a low heat until they are pretty near dried, an hour will probably do it for small fish like these.
We served ours with Chog Nog and ate them on live TV!

Serve them to your friends on crackers and enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

We did a little December fly-fishing!

We headed to a tiny construction pond that is fed by a tiny brook in Conway.
Clay had some luck there the night before for golden shiners so we thought if the shiner bite was on maybe the trout would be hungry. Also someone pointed out that we haven't done any fly fishing during the quest so we figured we should do a little before the ice comes...

We had a selection of flies available and chose a tiny floating fly. Clay made a bunch of casts and had no luck, we figured the trout were down deep. Since we didn't have any other small flies that sink we chose to add a split-shot to the line and Dave made a few casts.

After about 5 minutes Dave had a little wild brookie... We took some pictures, let the fish go and called ourselves successful fly-fishermen and went on our way!

Who wants a free hat??? We're giving this one away!

We did it, we got to 300 "likes" on facebook.


So as promised we're giving away a Catch-M-All hat, this hat will make you as good looking as Dave and Clay and will do a great job increasing your catch as you fish! maybe

So if you want this hat, simply comment on this post, say something like "I WANT THIS HAT" or anything clever to that effect.

Everyone who enters will have their names dropped into the hat, and we'll pick the winner on Friday the 9th at noon... that should give everyone plenty of time to get in the contest.


That's it super easy

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Wire has written a nice tribute to us! Thanks!

Catch-m-all is fishtastic

The Wire

Click the link above to read the full article

Here is an excerpt  

"Catch-M-All is an example of Everything That Is Good In Life, the exact opposite of corporate cat litter. Every other week, when we receive Dave Kellam and Clay Groves’ latest column chronicling their quest to catch and eat every species of fish in New Hampshire, my spirits lift because I know I’ll get to spend the next 10 minutes giggling. Not only do they hunt down each fish one at a time, but then they scheme up ways to eat them. It’s great writing, great humor, a great idea and wholly questionable fishing, it’s educational and completely ridiculous, it’s inspirational and weird and utterly unique."
Yes, that’s right.
Dave and Clay, thanks for bringing us the joy of fish.
This tribute was written by Dave Karlotski, with fond memories of Andy Rooney

We love being called the opposite of corporate cat litter! Thanks Dave Karlotski and thanks to the Wire for the Support of the Last Year! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A November Spent Searching for The Elusive Banded Sunfish

For the past three weekends, we tried catching banded sunfish, one of the 13 species left to catch on our quest.
Banded Sunfish (Enneacanthus obesus) from Wikipedia CC
This fish only gets three and a half inches long and they are listed as a species of Special Concern in the state due to their limited range in southeastern NH and vulnerability to habitat destruction. They live in swampy ponds into which some developers just love to divert polluted stormwater.

They are listed as Special Concern for us because we can't catch one.

There is very little written about fishing techniques for banded sunfish and nothing on fall fishing for them. We have tried two areas that fisheries biologists reported seeing them in the recent past, but no luck so far.

We tried Ice Pond in Hampton:
Shout out to the NH Coastal Program and NHDES who helped Hampton manage this conservation land. 
Nice looking banded sunfish habitat.

I checked every sunfish that came in at the right size: notched tail  = not a banded

We experienced inverted fishing: We were disappointed anytime we hooked into a fish too big to be a banded.  Beautiful male bluegill in fall colors. 

Nice looking pond and a zillion small sunfish.

Pumpkinseeds came to the party too. A bit big still. 

All of these fish were very dark. We wondered if they were matching the dark , dead vegetation in the pond. The little red edge on the gill cover indicates this is a pumpkinseed. Size #20 hook and a piece of redworm worked.

And a pond in Lee:

Perfect habitat for banded sunfish: shallow, brown water, weedy, in Southeastern NH.
Phragmites around 20% of the pond. The old reeds in the water create an impenetrable catacomb that we just know protect banded sunfish. 
Another sunken boat.  Moby banded sunfish strikes again. 

We are hoping that winter will focus these fish into the deepest part of the pond, since during the summer they like to swim in dense vegetation. We can then target them icefishing, using sonor and light jigging poles. Until next time Moby.