Monday, December 31, 2012

Last chance fishing for 2012... Thin Ice Happy New Year

We haven't been fishing much in the last few weeks, but some cold weather has gotten us excited about fishing.
So this morning we headed to Pequawket Pond in Conway at 6:30 this morning.
We had everything ready, jigging poles, ice shanty, bait, portable ice shanty and underwater camera.
We were ready!
It's always a little scary to be the first one on the ice

Our friend Chris Proulx from White Mountains TV came along for the fun.

As you will remember last December we blogged about ice safety, so we took our own advice.
Clay walked out on the ice and drilled a hole every four feet.

First he had to dig through a foot of snow, then 4 inches of slush and finally he was able to drill into the ice. Just two turns of the auger and he was through the ice, a quick measure and the ice was only 3 inches thick.

So a few more steps and the same. So by 6:35 our fishing adventure was over, maybe in a day or two the ice will be ready... stay tuned.

Happy New Year!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Salmon Sunday

We headed out today to watch the Atlantic Salmon Spawning on  Lake Winnipesaukee.
It was NH Fish and Game's annual Salmon Sunday.

They collect Salmon from the big lake and spawn them and raise the babies in a hatchery until they are a year and half old, when they release back into the lake.

This is done because there isn't enough suitable habitat for salmon to spawn in the tributaries of the lake. Salmon need clear cool, rocky bottom rivers to breed. Because NH has thousands of dams, there is no way salmon can reach the spawning grounds on their own. Some natural reproduction is occurring, but the numbers are so low it can't be sustained.

It wasn't romantic and according to my wife "A little obscene" but the kids loved it and a fish nerd like myself really liked it.

The event took place on Pope Dam in Melvin Village, maybe if we get rich from our book deal I will buy a place there.

Here is the process, its dirty and easy...

Biologists net salmon out of the trapping facility.
A nice looking female

Z gets to pet the fish

An impressive male

Biologists squeeze the eggs from the females into a bowl and the milt from the males and mix them together, give it a little rinse and viola! New Salmon get made... Sounds Romantic
Zoe said it looks like the fish is peeing...

Fresh Eggs! (approx 1000)

The females look deflated after the spawn, it must be a relief to drop the eggs.

Zoe got a chance to spawn some Salmon

She was not shy about squeezing the eggs out of the fish

Mixing the eggs and milt is where the magic happens

Now the eggs head off the to the Powder Mill Hatchery

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Closing Day for Trout Ponds in NH

I (Clay) was telling my daughter (Z) yesterday that trout ponds were closing for the year. She said "Let's go get a trout after school!"
As a good father, possibly going for father of the year, I said "Sure let's go."
Z and Nolan skip their way to the fishing hole

 So after school we grabbed her best friend Nolan and her dad and we headed to Fall's pond on the Kankamagus Highway.
Rocky Gorge

After the short hike across the swift river and rocky gorge, we arrived at our fishing spot.

Chris (Nolan's Dad) was concerned that this pond would be fished out. I said "Have Faith My friend, I know where fish live!"

We set the kids up with a fishing pole a tiny hook, split shot and a little piece of worm. Our kids are 5 so sitting and waiting for a fish is hard work, so we attached little bells to the rod tips and the kids ran around and even played in the water while waiting.

We didn't have to wait long, within 5 minutes, the fish gods provided us with some very nice brook trout.

Nolan and Chris fight a nice brookie

After some quick pictures these fish were released and will not see a hook again until the third Saturday in April, when we will return and catch them again. Happy Fishing

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Search of the Longnose in Milan

Our friend Jake invited us to spend some time in the Androscogin Watershed in search of long nose suckers.. He was after trout, but that just seems too easy to us.

 So we checked in with Fish and Game and they told us about a spot that they shocked several dozen up so we headed out. Hopes high as always

 We fished this beautiful little brook, that was screaming "Fish Live Here" and we saw no sign of life.

 So we decided to float down the Andro and drag some lines on the bottom, there had to be a pile of longnose Suckers somewhere.
Jake found a pile of tiny yellow perch

 These weren't the fish we were looking for, so we kept floating.
Baby Smallie...

Still not the fish we're looking for
Finally Jake got into some game fish action... with this monster Large Mouth

When we hooked this monster fallfish on the bottom, we thought we had our Sucker, but we were snubbed, but this fallfish was a great way to end the morning. We just love these beautiful fish and love that these minnows fight with the same energy that any trout will fight with. So we kissed it goodbye and vowed to come back in the spring and get a longnose during the spawn.