Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Black Lake, NY 2012: Part Three

The largest fish of our trip was landed by my sister.  When I first got a glimpse of the fish in the water I knew it was a monster and started contemplating if I would need a gaff rather than a net.  I positioned myself and the net in front of my sister and told her to not worry about slapping me upside the head with the rod.  The fish would get within netting distance and then take line off of the mismatched rod and reel combo.  The rod was an old, yellow, fiberglass rod from the 1960s and the reel something you would find on a saltwater charter boat.  One of my father's concoctions.  A trait I have somewhat inherited from him.  Push your equipment as far as it will go, and when it gives up, keep it together with duct tape and zip ties.  Although this combination was not the most effective for the job we employed of it; it held up.  After three or so runs we finally guided the bowfin into the net and hauled my sister's largest fish onto land.  The beast weighed in at a respectable 8 pounds and was 27 inches long.  Congratulations Katie!  I hope you beat this record soon.

In awe.

Going back home

The next day we checked the forecast and saw we had heavy rains and wind up to 40 mph on our way.  With that news, we decided to cut the trip short a day and headed home after lunch, pushing the envelope as long as we could.  We tied the kayaks to the roof as the first rain drops were pulled to Earth.  Serenaded by the kayak straps whistling in the wind, we drove back up threw the cow pasture and down the roads we rode on so many times in our youth, unsure of when we would get to take this trip again.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Black Lake, NY 2012: Part 2

Once we arrived on the island we unpacked and then wasted no time getting to the fishing.  I made the decision to go at this trip without worms or minnows which have always been staples on our past trips to the lake.  We both still wanted to have bait under the bobbers while we fished with lures so our first step was to catch bait.  We tried our normal techniques until I decided the fly rod would be a (slightly) more efficient method.  There were plenty of perch and bluegills caught for bait but the trick was only catching the small ones.  I think this is the only time in my life were I wanted to catch as small of a fish as possible.

Too big for bait...
That's better!  This fish was also Katie's first fish on the fly rod!
After bait was caught we threw lots of lures off the rocks of the island with no success.  The bobbers started to go down pretty regularly however and netted us a good amount of fish over the next three days.  As always with me, there were plenty of fish missed but eventually we started catching more than we were missing.

                                        Full of bull


I love those bowfin.  If they hit lures or flies more readily I think I would have a different favorite fish.  They have a distinct prehistoric look to them and are made of only teeth and muscle.  I am planning to do a separate post about them later on for those who may have never caught or seen one before.

Even though we both tried, I was the only one who managed to catch any fish on lures.  The only lure that seemed to be working was a yellow and red Cabelas spoon.  You can see that spoon in the picture with the perch.  It seemed that the pike were moving out of the 4-8 feet deep bay in search of slightly deeper water which meant we needed to try and find them from our kayaks.  Unfortunately, the wind had other plans then we did and kayak fishing was pretty difficult. 

I did try a good amount of time to catch a pike on the fly rod and knock off another item from the challenge list.  But, I failed.  The only fish I managed while trying to obtain that goal was a hefty 17 inch bass.  I caught it on one of my deer hair Dahlberg divers with a rabbit strip tail.  Each one of those flies takes an hour for me to tie so I was glad it landed at least one fish.  I did have a few more hits on it and had a hard time straying to a different pattern after I landed this fish on the Dahlberg.

No fish of real size were cau- 

What's that? I forgot about one?  Oh, I guess that fish will have to wait till the next post.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Black Lake, NY 2012: Part 1

I'm home, showered and fed after a great trip with my sister.  Although the trip was cut a day short due to impending inclement weather and only a few handfuls of fish were caught, we both still had a blast.  After a two and a half hour drive, I stopped for the night in Binghamton to pick up my sister.  We loaded up the Yaris with both kayaks and the gear we would need for the next few days.

The next morning we awoke early and drove to the lake reminiscing as my sister wonderfully captured on her blog, here.

Once we arrived, we loaded up our kayaks and paddled to the island where we'd spend the next three days fishing, kayaking, and enjoying each other's company.