Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another Epic Pike Failure, and people still want to fish with us!

We headed back to the Connecticut River to hunt Northern Pike again. This was our 9th trip after this trophy.
As you can tell from our title, we failed again.
This is from our last pike outing. a 25 inch failure!

I met with Stephanie from Canaan in Hanover, faithful fans will remember her from our failed Halloween Pirate Pike Adventure. She was looking for more abuse from this animal.

We got on the ice at 2pm, drilled some holes, and fished.

The rig was simple, a 1/0 hook, attached to a 12" wire leader and attached to a tip up. We hooked a live 8inch white sucker behind the head and let it swim free under the ice.

Stephanie wanted to mix things up so she used a few golden shiners. She may have been the smart one here, she did catch the only fish of the day. But it was not a pike, it was a nice yellow perch.
Abi the wonder dog was planning on eating that perch

We put our time in waiting for a bite, and despite a hit and run flaaag and Stephanie hooking a pike while jigging and failing to land it. Nothing really happened.
We were hoping to see more of this!

So as the sun set, we packed up and hiked back to the car, our heads hung low and we drove home.

The next shot at Pike will be Jericho Lake, Berlin. Word has it that you can keep one that is 20". So we'll give it a shot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clayfest on Ice!

We headed to one of our favorite little ponds in Conway.
Pequawket Pond!
Abi the Wonder Dog waits for her fish

This is a great place for bringing kids fishing because the fishing is fast and furious!
Since it was Clayfest, I (Clay) decided to take my family with us for the day.
Grady lands the first fish of the day

Zoe releases her fish

So Zoe invited her friends Grady and Max and we fished our hearts out.
Well the kids fished for ten minutes, they each caught a fish and then played hid and seek around the portable shanty. So the grown ups got to do some fishing. We caught more than 30 fish in a couple hours and had a great time!

Max wants to make a hole

Kiss the fish!

When ice fishing with kids, bring lots to do and extra help.
Mumsy Nelson (My mother-in-law) My wife were there to help out.


Grady loves dogs!

Max clearing the hole

The cold doesn't keep Sammy from eating her dog!

We brought a grill and cooked hot dogs and made hot cocoa. It was a great day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I had a dream

On Martin Luther King Day 2012,  I had a dream of catching another fish for the Quest: a banded sunfish. Clay was up north damaging his internal organs while sledding with his kids, so I ventured out solo to
Ice Pond in Hampton where NH Fish and Game had documented the existence of banded sunfish a few years earlier. The ice was about 4 inches thick but clear. The water was moving up and down in the hole as I walked around, but I never felt in danger.  The deepest spot I found was 4 feet 3 ".  I figured if I fell through. I would simply stand up.

The ice was clear, but the water was stained brown like tea.  This picture shows bits of roots that I suspect had been nibbled by muskrat or beaver. The marshmallow-like blobs are air bubbles frozen in the ice.
The banded sunfish eluded me again. I fished in 2 and 4 feet of water.  I did not even get a nibble from the many bluegill and pumpkinseeds I know live there. Perhaps the ice was too clear which made the fish too spooked to bite. 
Even my favorite jigging rod could not conjure a banded sunfish. 

A cold looking beaver lodge may have held fish in a deep channel near by, but it also harbored patches of  thin ice. 
So no fish for my effort, but I will end with a good MLK quote:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK would have made a good angler.  - D

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday the 13th Northern Pike fish number 35.5!

This was our sixth time targeting Northern Pike...

 Brandon Zeoli who, a NH Trophy Angler,  invited us to come to his super secret pike spot on the CT river and we jumped at the chance.

On the way to the River we stopped into AJ's Bait and Tackle in Meredith for a little advice, Alan's advice, buy bigger bait, use 12" steal leaders and a 1/0 hook. So we gave Alan some more money and he gave us a nice pile of suckers about 8inches long! Big Bait-Big Fish
When Clay arrived on the ice Brandon and his friend Randy from Maryland were already on the ice fishing and the holes were already drilled! We love it when things are easy!

As soon as Clay said hello, Brandon had a flag! Fish on! A few seconds later an 18 inch Northern Pike was on the ice. The keeper size of these fish is 28" so we took some pics and let it go
We changed the background to keep the secret spot secret!

Clay couldn't wait to get his bait in the water, so he hooked a large sucker behind the head and started lowering the line down. As soon as the sucker hit the water a large fish swam past the hole and sucked down the sucker! Fish on! Clay set the hook so hard the fish came right up out of the water and onto the ice!
fishing with buffalo?

No we weren't fishing at the beach...

We thought we had our fish, so we took some pictures and scrounged up a tap measure...25 inches, three inches too short. We're calling it a success and fish number 35.5, but we still need to catch a keeper so we can see what these trophies taste like. Once we do we can call it 36 so half a success anyway!

Monday, January 9, 2012

We have a feature article in Wildlife Journal!

We've had a great year and have gotten a lot of attention, we're happy to announce that our latest article is a feature in New Hampshire's Wildlife Journal!

Let us know what you think!