Friday, August 30, 2013

Big Green Sunfish

Apparently it doesn't take much to get me excited...
I've caught countless Green Sunfish over the years.  Most of them were 2"-5"  range.
In the past couple of years I've been getting some larger and larger ones in a few places.  I've caught some 9-inchers this year, with the biggest I've measured being 9.25".
Today during lunch I caught another 9-incher.  This one was SO just seemed even BIGGER.  I had to measure it.

 It takes a 10" Green Sunfish to qualify for an Iowa Master Angler Award...which seems crazy...I've NEVER seen one that big...yet.  I really kind of suspect that many of these "Green Sunfish" people catch that are 10" or better may actually be Hybrid Sunfish.  But maybe not?  If not, that means that these fish DO get bigger, so hopefully within another year or two one of my local spots will produce one that big.

Anyway, I also did catch a crappie, a couple Hybrid Sunfish, a couple more Green Sunfish, and a couple small Bluegills, all on a gold microjig under an indicator.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to the Schoolyear Grind

My kids have been back in school for a few weeks now.  After school activities have resumed as well.  To me, that means its back to being difficult to find time to go fishing.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.  So, last night I dropped my son off at one of his activities, and then flyfished for about 75 minutes just before dark.  It was a public pond in a nearby 'burb.  I fished a variety of flies, caught a few bluegills, before I finally settled on what the FISH wanted, rather than what I wanted to use.  The fish wanted something that floated on the surface.  I ended up catching 15 Bluegills (biggest was a nice 9.25" fish), 1 Hybrid Sunfish (a big chunky 9-incher), and 1 surprise Crappie.

Both of these fish fought really well.  The bluegill in the bottom picture..I seriously thought I had a 13" bass on the even took line out of my hand!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

U.S. Stream Mapping

If you are interested in finding streams, knowing what is upstream or downstream of your favorite fishing spots, or whan to print stream maps...this is a great website (I learned of it from the MidCurrent flyfishing e-newsletter).
This is the link...check it out!

National Atlas - Streamer

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Evening Fishing, 8-21-2013

I fished Saylorville last night from @ 5pm-8:30pm.  

I spent the first hour trying to fool some carp with my fly rod.  I missed the hookset on the few strikes I got.

Then I walked up to the tip of the point, and tossed a Pop-R around it for the rest of the time.  I caught 8 Largemouth Bass up to 17.5”,  and at least 25 White Bass up to 14.5”.  Most White Bass were in the 12”+ range…best average size I’ve experienced so far this year.  About 8:15pm, the action shut off abruptly.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birthday Fishing, 8-19-2013

It was my birthday.  Who wants to work on their birthday?  I took the day off and went kayak-fishing with my buddy Jay.

It was a SLOW fishing day, but we didn't try many spots either.  I'm guilty for wasting a lot of time trying to catch carp on the fly rod.

We put in at a Cherry Glen gravel ramp.  I caught a bass from shore while waiting for Jay to show up. 

Then the first bay north of there, I caught a Wiper on a Pop-R. 
As gulls and osprey would fly over, carp would scatter from the shoreline, so I beached the kayak in that bay (while Jay drifted down to Oak Grove), and tried stalking carp, but it was cloudy and they spotted me first.  I chucked the topwater from the rocky point on the south side of that bay and caught a couple largemouth bass, biggest was a nice 17.5-incher. 
I caught a white bass in that bay before I left there.

We drifted on around the corner towards the beach.  I marked a lot of fish pretty much everywhere, but the schools of baitfish were generally 5'-10' deep, and not near the surface.  So, there was very little surface activity to direct our efforts.  We beached near the 2nd rocky point NE of the Oak Grove beach.  I caught 2 bass there, the biggest was a skinny 19-incher that had one bad eye.  I slowed my Pop-R down so he could catch up to it. :) 
I also spotted a number of carp there, but once I got my fly rod out, I didn't see anymore.  Bastiches!!  I caught a white bass there as well.

We continued on down the shoreline past some Turkey Vultures hanging out along the shoreline:

Then we went back to the Marina Tower.  We knew it wouldn't be pumping...but the wind was blowing right into it, so we had hopes something would be going on there.  We saw a few tiny bust-ups.  Turns out...not much was going on there.  I caught some big shad on a fly...yeah, they tried to eat it!   That's a new species for my fly rod list!  I'm sure I could have caught more if I'd used a smaller nymph!

I caught one carp on a fly, had another bigger one on that broke the line after rubbing it on something rough.

We actually resorted to using shad..or chunks of shad...for bait, and Jay caught at least 3 nice bass on that, and a Drum. I caught one bass on the shad.  That was pretty much it.  We saw one big bust up north of Oak Grove beach as we were making our way back, but it was done before we could get to it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Flyrod Fish Species Life-List Update

Yep...its a "slow news day".  So, I was perusing my Fishing Log.

After adding a couple of new species earlier this year, I have now caught 30 species of fish on flyfishing gear, 25 in Iowa.

The Iowa species are (my Fly-Rod Biggest of each species is in parentheses):
1.Largemouth Bass (20.25")
2.Smallmouth Bass (16")
3.Bluegill (9.75")
4.Redear Sunfish (9.5")
5.Green Sunfish (9")
6.Pumpkinseed Sunfish (7")
7.Hybrid Sunfish (9")
8.Black Crappie (13")
9.White Crappie (14.5")
10.Wiper (18.5")
11.White Bass (15")
12.Yellow Bass (7")
13.Yellow Perch (10.75")
14.Walleye (19")
15.Channel Catfish (31")
16.Yellow Bullhead (13")
17.Common Carp (32")
18.Grass Carp (36.5")
19.Shortnose Gar (26")
20.Bigmouth Buffalo (28")
21.Smallmouth Buffalo (22.5")
22.Freshwater Drum (11")
23.Rainbow Trout (14")
24.Brown Trout (14")
25.Brook Trout (12")

And the following species were caught in other states:
26.Northern Pike (24")
27.Peacock Bass (18")
28.Oscar (13")
29.Spotted Tilapia (10")
30.Mayan Cichlid (10")

I have also caught Steelhead and Chinook Salmon on flies...but since I was using spinning gear to cast them, I can't count those species yet.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lunchtime Flyfishing Report, 8-6-2013

I haven't flyfished during lunch for awhile.  Tried one of the backwater ponds below Saylorville Lake dam.
Only caught one fish, a Freshwater Drum.  Iowa's only relative of the highly desirable saltwater Redfish.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Saylorville Lake, 8-4-2013

I love it when my expectations are exceeded.
I didn't have high hopes of catching much of anything...IF anything.  But, I headed out to see what was what at the lake.  I ended up fishing from  about 6:15pm-9pm.
I had a spinning rod and a fly rod with me.  First stop, I did a lot of casting.  I finally had one hit, which turned out to be a really nice 15" White Bass:

Apparently he was all alone, because I didn't get anymore.
So, I started slowly walking up the shoreline hoping to spot some carp in the shallows.  I saw one.  I got my fly rod ready, I made one cast.  Well, I put the fly in the water about 3 times before I was satisfied and actually started a retrieve.  I couldn't see my fly, but saw the carp turn and nose down about where I suspected the fly was.  My line tightened, I set the hook and FISH ON!  I tell you, times like that make you feel like a HERO.  After all the times when the fish ignore my offerings...or I just never spot the fish before they spot me.  It isn't easy...but sometimes it FEELS like it is!  :) 
Anyway, I landed the carp after a nice strong battle.

I didn't see anymore carp after that, except a few that took off away from shore before I ever spotted them.
I switched back to spinning gear and continued fishing for whatever would hit.  I was joined by my buddy and his wife.  I ended up catching 4 Largemouth Bass up to @ 16", and one surprise Bluegill.  We saw fish crashing schools of shad near the shoreline, within easy casting distance.  Only a couple fish were caught by casting to them, though.
The ending was a nice sunset.