Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saving for Fishing and Poker

I have managed to get 400.00 in savings so far for the FLW tournaments. I need to get my entry form out for the Team Bass Xtreem Elite Series along with the 20.00 membership. I don't want to miss a spot in that series.

I shouldn't have a problem putting back enough money for the rest of the FLW series by December 9th. I had a pretty lucky weekend. On Saturday I bought some squares for the Ohio State Michigan Game. My numbers were Ohio State 1 and Michigan 0. The squares paid 50.00 a quarter. The third and fourth quarter the score remained the same with Ohio State 21 Michigan 10. I won 100.00 there. On top of that there was a poker home game at the house I went to watch the game. I took 2nd off a 20.00 buy in there for 70.00. I had a 120.00 profit for the weekend after the cost of the alcohol was figured in.

Some of that will go towards Thanksgiving turkey and groceries but the rest will go towards fishing.

My online poker has been o.k. at best. I start doing o.k. then the wheels start spinning and I lose ground a little bit. I started with 30.00 on 2 sites. On pokerstars I am up to 60.00 and on Full Tilt I am at 25.00. I have a holiday bonus I am trying to clear that would give me an extra 100.00 if I play a ton of games by the 16th of next month. It would be a little easier to reach if I add to the bankroll for a while. I might just keep playing a ton of small games though and keep building my bankroll that way.

I have found playing poker again to be enjoyable. It will be a good fix over the winter for not getting to fish.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The One That Didn't Get Away

I don't remember my age and some of the details are a little fuzzy but here is the story of the largest bass I have ever caught close to 20 years ago.

It was summer and I was wanting to practice on some fly fishing for our family vacation in Colorado at the end of summer. There was a set of sandpits about a mile from our house. It was just a phone call for permission and a short bike ride down the road and I would be fishing. I had been down there numerous times as I never have been able to fish enough.

I either had a mosquito pattern or a elk hair caddis tied on. I almost always fly fish with one of those 2 patterns for bluegill. I remember casting for bluegill then pulling my line in to entice a strike. As I was pulling in the line I noticed a fish rise to a dragonfly about 20 feet off shore. The water neer the bank was perfectly calm. Towards the middle of the sandpit there was a ripple from the slight breeze we had that afternoon. The fish had risen right where the water went from calm to ripple.

Instantly I pulled the rod up and began whipping the fly back and forth and landed the fly in the exact spot the fish had risen. Almost instantly the fly was engulfed and I pulled up on the rod tip. The fight of a lifetime was on.

I let the fish run while putting a little pressure on the spool. Not too much since I only had 2 pound tippet and didn't want to break the line. I would reel her in a little then she would go on one of her long runs. My heart was beating hard the whole time. The world slowed down around me and for about 20 minutes I battled the fish. She jumped clean out of the water a couple times. I wondered how I would ever get that big of fish into shore without breaking the line. I wanted that fish more than I had ever wanted anything before. If I lost her it would be devestating.

Finally I got her close to shore where she wrapped up in some moss. I didn't even hesitate to go in after her. I slid one hand under her belly and reached in her mouth with the other. I had her on shore. There was nobody else around to witness the beauty of the catch. I couldn't just release her. I had to get a picture. I quickly found some strong fishing line on the shore and made a stringer so I could leave her in the water while I rode home to get a bucket.

I rode the bike as fast as it would go up hill all the way to the house. I ran inside and breathlessly asked Mom to get the camera ready and tried to tell her the whole story in 3 seconds while I was back out the door. I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket out of the garage and rushed back to the sandpit.

I filled the bucket with water and put the fish in it headfirst. The fish was so big the tail stuck out the top of the bucket. I rode home quickly again. Mom was outside with a camera. We took a couple of pictures then I grabbed the deliar out of my tackle box and weighed it. It went 7 1/2 pounds.

I took it back down to the sandpit and turned it loose. I made sure to hold it by the tail and move it back and forth in the water until it swam off on its own.

I still don't know how I ever got that fish in with 2 pound tippet. I don't remember much else about that day but I do know I had a smile on my face the rest of the day. Even now, anytime I think back about that day, I get a proud smile on my face.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twin Rivers Bass Club Meeting

The Twin Rivers Bass Club meeting was last night at the Donato's Pizza Restraunt in Polaris. I arrived about an hour early and the Donato's was empty. I walked around outside and saw a pet store close by and thought I would go in there to burn some time. The store had a few fish and a rabbit, but other than that didn't have too much to look at. I did check out a few aquariums as I am thinking of starting an aquarium again. The visit to the pet store lasted about 15 minutes.

I walked back over to Donato's and saw they had a bench in front of the building. I waited for about 20 minutes then saw a couple of trucks pull up. One of the guys getting out had a bass pro hat on so I asked if they were part of the club. They were so I enterred with them.

They walked up and orderred a bucket of beers. I asked if the others in the club would drink them if I ordered an extra bucket. They offered me a beer and said if we needed another bucket then we could get one.

We went back to the party room and sat down to wait on the others. It wasn't long before the others arrived. Everybody introduced themselves. I feel bad but don't remember all of their names. There were about 10 members that attended the meeting.

Everybody was talking fishing and hunting and it felt good to be around that type of group. The meeting started and they went over the business side of the club. I got a look inside the business aspect and the direction that the club was looking to go in the future. They are also getting ready for the club elections next month so I got to hear who was running for the positions.

After the meeting ended everybody started talking about the previous season. You could tell everybody had fun this year at the club events. I got some information on the club, the by-laws, an entry form as well as a schedule of last years events so I would have an idea where they would be fishing next year.

I also found out that to be part of the club I have to attend 2 club functions and fish with 2 members. After doing that, the next meeting they discuss the trips and decide whether to vote me in or not. The meetings count as club functions, but going fishing with 2 of the members might be tough during the winter so I might not get the chance until next spring to see about getting into the club.

I asked if I could still attend the meetings if I am not part of the club and they said that I could. I just wouldn't have voting power. I can handle that. I would like to get to know the guys a little better before the season starts next spring so I will try to make all of the meetings.

When I got home I checked with Mizike to see what happened to the Blazer. He said it was ticking like it was knocking. He said when it warmed up it quit. We went out to check it out since it hadn't been driven for a while. He started it up and asked if I heard what he was talking about. I heard what he was talking about and already knew that it wasn't the motor.

A couple years ago I got in a wreck and when I got the Blazer back from being fixed I had notice the same thing. The fan shroud had not been bolted in place. They just sat it into place and the fan blades would hit it when they were spinning. I had originally put a twisty tie around the bolt holes to hold it in place and had not gotten back to it. The twisty tie must have finally broken causing the bottom of the shroud to stick into the fan blade.

I got a zip tie out of the garage and zip tied it into place and fixed the problem.

That is a big relief knowing that the Blazer is still o.k. It still doesn't have A/C and a battery had tipped over in the back spilling acid everywhere and eating away the carpet but it is still drivable. I still have a vehicle to pull the boat. I have had it paid off for 2 1/2 years and it only has 120,000 miles so I am hoping to get a lot more life out of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hoover Lake Fall Crappie

The recliner was pretty comfortable yesterday after a full night of drinking rum on Saturday. Mizike said "Let's go fishing". I finished the game of poker I had already started then we started loading the Blazer with fishing supplies. My 3 year old heard fishing and wanted to go too. I took him even though it was a little chilly and I knew he was going to whine a lot about being cold.

We made it to Hoover lake about 3:30 PM. I had fished a spot 4 years ago that had good crappie fishing but could not remember where it was at. We drove around looking for it for a while before we realized that we needed to get to fishing since we didn't have a lot of time before dark. We started under a bridge that was above a small cove. I had a few nibbles in the rocks under the bridge using a white beetle spin. My son played around and was having fun.

We packed up the Blazer and drove some more looking for my secret honey hole (so secret even I can't find it again). We found another promising spot on a penninsula that went out in the lake a ways. It had a cove on one side and islands around in front of it. There was a road that went clear out to the point with water on both sides. We fished a couple small coves with no luck. Then went to fish the rocks on the sides of the road.

It started getting cooler as it got dark and my son started whining a lot about being cold. I got his blanket and sat him down and put his blanket around him. He was still whining but I knew he would be o.k. until dark.

I fished around some laydowns and had a few nibbles on the beetle spin but missed getting them hooked. I lost a couple jig heads with skirts in the laydown. Then I fished under a mat of leaves that had blown into the corner of the cove. I saw a fish raise in the leaves and dropped my skirt down in that area and started to twitch it. After a few minutes I got the crappie to bite and reeled it in. I hadn't caught a fish in over a month so it felt really good to catch that little crappie.

We left shortly after that as it was getting dark. I saw a little activity but the fish might have been turned off by the cold rains we have been getting. The lake was up quite a bit and had quite a few green bushes in the water.

Mizike has been borrowing the Blazer since he hit the deer. This morning he text me and said that the Blazer's motor is knocking. The other day we noticed that our front van tire has slashes through the tread all the way to the steel belting. Out of the 5 vehicles we have at the house only 2 are drivable now. I hope that I can figure something out before next spring. I definately can't afford another vehicle payment right now.

Tonight I have the bass club meeting. My wife is going to drop me off and pick me up for that since we are riding together to work to save on gas money. I will be there an hour early and then wait for her to drive the 30 miles to come pick me up when it is done.

I need to start ebaying again to come up with some extra cash for tires, fishing, christmas, and everthing else that is piling up while we're trying to get debt paid down.