Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TRB Awards Banquet

Twin Rivers Bassmasters had their club awards banquet this Saturday at Gordy's in Columbus. The food, company and atmosphere were all good. I was able to see who all the top dogs were from last year. I guess this is going to be some tough competition this year.

We all decided to get in on a pool for the Classic. Ken had made up slips with all the boaters names on them. We each put some money in the pool and drew 3 names. The top 3 placed boaters got money along with the points champ overall and the points loser overall and the big bass.

I drew Russ Lane, Alton Jones and Kevin Worth. I knew Alton did not make the cut but had a good shot with having Russ Lane to make a little money. Unfortunately Russ did not finish in the top 3 even though it was looking like he might in the live blog on b.a.s.s. on Sunday. He did catch the big bass the final day and got me my money back plus a little. Christina drew 36th 37th and 38th place and sewed up worst team for most of her money back.

During the draw everybody was calling for KVD. If he is in the top 5 on the last day the odds are good that he will ultimately be victorious after the last day.

Our next meeting is March 1st. Hopefully after that meeting I will be able to fish with a couple members so I can be voted on to join the club. I think there is a high level of comradery and competetiveness. It will be fun to battle the fish with these guys this year.

Leo's 4th Birthday

Leo turned 4 last Tuesday the 16th. We had been asking him what he wanted for his birthday all the week prior. All he wanted was a birthday party with Mizike, Kimber, Christina (my wife), Gavin, and me.

I got off work, picked Christina up at her work and then headed to the babysitter's to pick up Leo and Gavin. We then picked up Kimber at home and called Mizike to take some time off work to come to Chuckee Cheese. It was also Kimber's birthday.

We played some games and had fun winning tickets. Leo got to pick out what he wanted with the tickets as we got ready to leave. He got some pretty neat toys that he will play with.

When we got home we had some cake and Leo got to open his presents. He got some Monster Trucks and a ramp for them, and a new spiderman fishing pole with a light up handle when you push the button.

This will be his 3rd pole and he is only 4. The first scooby doo pole was lost over the side of the boat this spring. He had gotten a full size spiderman pole after that. He could not cast it quite as well with its longer length. It got tore up pretty good at Kentucky lake battling giant shellcracker sunfish and largemouth bass. The reel eventually busted off the handle and it would not cast any longer. The last trip out with it I would have to loosen the drag, pull line out of it and thow the bait out in the water. Thats a lot of work when you have a 3 year old that wants to reel all the time.

I used his pole a couple of times and I think the scooby pole had more casting distance and accuracy. I used it about as much as some of my other poles in the spring last year. When it came time for a new pole I considered a zebco combo, but I think this pole is more set up to keep Leo interested in fishing this year.

This weekend we spent quite a bit of time in the yard and organizing his tackle box. He cast his rubber fish plug, and I practiced flipping to the base of the tree in the front yard. The neighbors must think I am losing it sometimes. One of them asked if I was fishing for snow fish. I doubt she'll make the regional cut in the FLW BFL this year! I was fishing for snow BASS.

Time For Some Life Changes

With the conclusion of the Bassmaster Classic and a 3rd KVD classic championship, I am ready to make some life changes and to get out on the water. Problem is that we are still getting snow and cold.

I am figuring that the weather pattern we have been getting will start to change mid March. We have been getting a good snow once a week for the whole month of February so far. The time changes on March 14th so that is the day I have been making big plans for.

My first plan is to finish getting the boat ready for fishing by that date and be ready to get out to fish. I will get it organized and all of my tackle stowed, garage organized and cleaned so I will be able to get the boat out and in easily.

My second plan is to stop smoking by that date. I am working on cutting back now. I have been chewing a lot of gum to try to take away the urge to smoke. I have been smoking for 13 years off and on now. I had chewed for longer than that and have gone nearly a year without chewing. That lead me to smoke a little more but I think quitting smoking will be easier than quitting chewing. It is scary how after a year I could still pick up a can of chew and start the habit all over again. I still think about it often. Not quite as much as I used to.

My third plan is to start excercising, mainly running. I have gotten lazy in the last several years and my weight and appearance are showing it. I am the heaviest I have ever been at close to 235 pounds. It might be more I haven't actually weighed myself. I started excerscising a bit the other night and my belly weighs a lot. I could hardly do sit ups or push ups.

I would also like to spend more quality time with my family. I spend time with them but there is a lot I could do to make it more quality time.

There are things that will help me accomplish all of this. I have ambition to change finally for myself and for my wife and kids. My wife is on board with wanting to make changes too. The weather will be getting better and the evenings will be light longer. Mizike and his fiance will be leaving. That will help with my smoking, not having somebody mentioning going outside to smoke all the time. I am also finally getting energy from not doing rotating shifts. It has taken over a year to start to feel normal again.

See that belly. It needs to go!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mizike moving to Oklahoma

Times are constantly changing and I am about to be spending a lot less time with my roomate/friend/fishing partner Mizike. He has applied within our company for a transfer to Oklahoma City to be closer to family and friends and his family's farm.

He has gone through several interviews and will be making a site visit next Thursday for a 3rd shift Supervisor position. From my experience with the company its now down to not if he is getting the position but when.

I think it will be a good move for him. He and his fiance will be getting married in August, and it has to be a little rough living together out of a room in our basement. I'm sure they are ready for a place of their own to get their life together started. He will be closer to the family farm so he can help out there. He will also get a little bump in pay for the position as well.
We have had a good year. Once I got a promotion and we were not on opposit shifts any longer we have been able to spend quite a bit of time together. This year we started tournament fishing together, had many late nights drinking, and made it out on quite a few other adventures as well.

I am glad we were able to do so much together. I am a little sad that he will be close to 1000 miles away again and we will rarely see each other after a few weeks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time for Spring Maintenance

I learned from last year to have transportation and the boat ready for fishing early. I was stranded without a pulling vehicle last year for our second tournament when I waited until the last minute to get my hubs replaced on the blazer. Open water fishing will be coming right around the corner. This is a good time to get started making those repairs so your not stranded at home when you could be fishing.

This fall I had a grinding on the drivers side rear of the blazer. The blazer is mainly used for fishing so I don't drive it much during the winter. We had replaced the brakes last spring (so I thought)! I guess we had not replaced that one. It was rubbing metal on metal. We got it replaced with a new brake pad and went to pull off the other side and replace it and realized that we had replaced that one last year. We must have really been in a hurry to get to the lake that day. We replaced the passenger side as well this time so that they would both be new.

The blazer is ready to go this spring now. My tournament schedule starts a little later this year so I have more prep time and can get on the water to figure out the fish a little longer this year. All but a couple of the tournaments I have scheduled are as a co-angler this year. It will be a year of learning for me. It will also save a considerable amount of money between entry fees, pulling gas and boat gas. I think it will be fun being in the back of the boat, more fishing and a few less worries.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Club Meeting 2/1/10

Twin Rivers Bassmasters had their monthly meeting last night. It was an interesting meeting and there were some heated topics being debated for this years tournaments and the future of the club.

One issue was having the paper tournaments that counted for points. There are 2 paper tournaments in the clubs roster this year. The lake debated was lake Erie. The tournament is scheduled for June 5th and 6th. During that time you can only keep bass that are 18" and over.

A few of the members were arguing that paper tournament takes the fun out of the weigh in, as well as changes the actual weights of the weekend. They argued that you can catch an 18 inch fish that weighs 3 pounds or it can be a fat 18 inch fish that weighs 4 pounds. They also argued that we could have the tournament a few weeks later when the length limit drops down.

On the other side of the argument the other members said that there is an 18 inch length limit because it is one of the best times to fish that area. The bass are everywhere and will bite anything dropped at their noses. It makes for fun fishing and gives the less experienced anglers a chance to catch a lot of fish.

As a newcomer to the club I can see both points. My opinion however is that you are fishing for points to make the fish off and be the club leader at the end of the year. All of the other tournaments are weight not length tournaments. Also, if you are a decent angler you should be able to fish Lake Erie and find bass any time. We should schedule a fun trip for everybody to have fun and catch a bunch of fish at that time. If we are going to do a tournament at that time of the year we should use the length limit that is in effect at that time. Only 18"+ fish should be brought in and weighed. We don't go to lakes around here and say that any fish between 9 and 12 inches should be written on paper so that the less fortunate anglers can have a weighed in fish.

I'm not saying I won't fish the paper tournaments, I would love to get out on Erie and slay the crap out of Bass. There wouldn't be anything better, and the only way I could do that is if the club has the tournament at that time. There were members that are not rejoining this year due to the paper tournaments.

The other issue that was debated heavily is the future of the club. The main topics that were brought up were that there is not an incentive to remain a B.A.S.S. club anymore, and that there is not the camaraderie that there used to be in the club. There were quite a few members that will not be renewing their memberships this year.

All of the arguments seemed to point to one thing to me. This club is set up to fish club tournaments. There is no advancement past that as there used to be. In order to advance to any other level you must participate in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation tournament trail or the Weekend Series. In the past camaraderie was built as the competition lead to the opportunity within the club to advance to a regional and even further. There are only a couple guys in the club that fish the Federation Nation trail and there is hardly any representation for Twin Rivers Bassmasters within B.A.S.S. besides that. Last year Twin Rivers did not compete at the State Chapter level.

One solution for that might be for the club to help with the dues and try to get some of the members to become active in the Federation Nation or Weekend series or compete attempt to get members to the State Chapter level in order to compete outside the club level. Part of my plan is that once I learn enough that I would feel confident is to fish the Federation Nation trail. I would use the club as a gateway so that I could compete, as you must be a member of a club to fish those tournaments.

The club also talked about switching to a FLW club. The other idea that was passed around was to not be affiliated with either as you have to pay dues each year and most of the guys just want to fish the club tournaments anyway.

I think the B.A.S.S. affiliation is a good drawing point for members still. I do wish the structure was different and the club tournaments counted for something more than bragging rights at the end of the year. I am joining the club to learn and fish with some guys that do well at many tournaments outside the club. I am fishing the FLW BFL series to learn but if I do well I could advance to regionals and even further.

In Twin Rivers Bassmasters, I think the clubs are for competitive fun. If you want to get serious, fish the Federation Nation or Weekend Series tournaments, the club sets up their schedule to keep those dates open. You could also fish the Opens.

Monday, February 1, 2010

First Fish of the Year Family Competition

The family competition of catching the first fish of the year has been concluded. After several years of holding the title I fell short this year to Dad. After a lacksidasical attempt on my part Dad decided to drill some holes in the ice and put forth his best effort to knock me off the throne.

I spoke with him this weekend and he said on the 23rd he was in Northern Kansas visiting my aunts and uncles and him and my uncle snuck off to Norton lake for a couple hours. He said he was using some wax worms my uncle brought and they hauled in a bunch of bluegill and a few crappie. He said that there were quite a few fishermen from Colorado out on the ice fishing as well.

Back in the prime of the lake a lot of fishermen from Colorado and Nebraska use to fish there. The lake must be getting good again since it flooded in 2008 and they left it full this time.

He also said a blue herron came down on the ice near him. He tossed a bluegill about half way between him and the bird. The bird jumped up and he thought it was going to fly away but it flew right to the fish and stabbed it, flipped it in the air and ate it. Wish I was there to witness that.

All of the good fishing reports I have been hearing around here is that Indian lake is producing real well through the ice. Limits of saugeye are being caught along with crappie and bluegill. I was speaking with the head of Team Bass Xtreem and he was saying he has made it up there quite a bit and has had some good luck.

I will probably either make it up to lake Erie to ice fish or wait for the ice out before I go fishing again.

The Twin Rivers Bassmasters meeting is tonight. I really enjoy going to the meetings. After not having one last month, I am ready to see how everybody has been doing. Hopefully I can get a couple fishing trips scheduled with the guys before April so I can get nominated in and be an official club member before the tournaments start.