Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank You, 2014!

Fishing has temporarily wrapped up in my area while I wait for the ice to get thick enough to fish on/through.
Time to celebrate and muse over what kind of year 2014 was (for fishing).

First, let me try to generalize 2014's seasonal weather patterns that we experienced here in Iowa.
2014 was characterized by a quick warm-up in the Spring.  I was icefishing through 14"+ of ice one day, went on Spring Break for a week, and came back to start fishing open water!
Spring was followed by a comfortably warm summer that never quite reached its typical hot furnace demeanor.  Actually, you could say it was unusually cool, and this would be substantiated by most of the U.S. having a cooler-than-average summer while the rest of the world was much warmer than average.
Summer in turn was followed by a long, drawn-out Fall.  Temps seemed to hover in the 60's for much of September, October, and first 1/2 of November.
We had the earliest safe-ice (4") for icefishing BEFORE THANKSGIVING (extremely rare), and then several ice-off / ice-on cycles, resulting in some VERY LATE-season open-water fishing...even for a day or two AFTER Christmas (also EXTREMELY rare)!  Crazy!
The white bass Fall run was ok, but would have been better with warmer stable weather.  It didn't seem to last as long as it should have, and was rather spotty.

Now on to the fishing statistics from my yearly Fishing Log.
I decided that rather than typing up a big long text description, I will just post the summary page from my Fishing Log here as images.

This summary page of my Fishing Log, I copy over and add onto each subsequent year, so I can directly compare each of the last 9 years (so far) that I've kept this electronic log.

I will say that 2014 missed tying my 2nd best (most fish in a year) year by 8 fish!  Dang...I should have stayed longer on my last trip!!!  :)

Other than that, 2014 was not my best in any category...but 2nd best in a couple.  I did catch more Largemouth Bass this year than in any of the previous 8 years.

Some notable catches this year:
I caught my first Dorado (Mahi Mahi) this year, and my first Goldfish(es) on a fly rod.  I also caught Personal Best FLY ROD fish of the following species:
-Smallmouth Bass (17")
-Hybrid Sunfish (9.25")
-White Bass (16")
-Rainbow Trout (14.5")
-Smallmouth Buffalo (24.5")
-Pumpkinseed Sunfish (8.5")
-Goldfish (6")

-I had previously caught pike on flies in Canada, and this year I finally landed one on a fly in Iowa!

I caught 18 species on the fly rod this year.

Some highlights were the Dorado:
The Goldfish:
Some 13" Crappies:
A 20" Largemouth Bass I managed to catch 3 times on flies this year:
And a 30" Common Carp:

2014 was a pretty decent year for fishing, all things considered.
I'm looking forward to what 2015 will have to offer!

Good luck to all of you, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 29, 2014

LAST Open Water Flyfishing for 2014

I flyfished a local public pond on December after Christmas.  Still had open water.  As I write this today, December 29, the local ponds are once again (4th time this season?) covered in ice, and it appears they will remain that way until Spring.

I flyfished for 3 hours in 33 degree F weather, used a chartreuse microjig under a strike indicator.  Caught 45 small crappies.
That should do it for fishing this year.  :)
I'll post a separate blog entry detailing my year, and giving all the year-end statistics. :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Open Water Flyfishing Report, 12-14-2014

I'm reiterating some of this, as I find this season's weather so far very interesting.

As I may have mentioned in my previous blog entry,  central Iowa had fishable ice abnormally early in the season.  I fished through 4" of ice on November 22.  This was the EARLIEST in the season I have ice-fished, as far as I can remember.

Then, the ice melted COMPLETELY, and we had open-water once again.  It soon re-froze, and I fished through 4"+ of ice on Dec. 6.

By the following weekend, the ice turn sour again. By Sunday afternoon, some local ponds had at least SOME open water, and a couple were 100% ice-free.  I went ice-fishing.  This was the LATEST in the season I flyfished open water.  Of course streams and rivers can stay open year-round, but for pond fishing in Iowa, this is extremely unusual.

I did well...flyfished for 90 minutes around dusk, caught 33 Crappies, 1 Largemouth Bass, and 1 Hybrid Sunfish on a chartreuse microjig under an indicator.

The local ponds eventually lost ALL of their ice, again.  And as expected, the weather has again turned cold, and the lakes are freezing over once again, for the third time this season!

Monday, December 8, 2014

IceFishing Report, 12-6-2014

I got out icefishing locally on November 22, which is pretty early for this area!  We had  safe 4" of ice for a couple of days.   I didn't have any live bait, so I just tried a variety of icejigs and small spoons tipped with plastics (some were scented, such as various Gulp! products).  I caught bass, bluegills and crappies, but it warmed up that afternoon, and I felt unsafe with the ice cracking under me, so I left.  Within a couple days after that, the ice deteriorated and completely disappeared again.

Fast forward to this week.  Ice started appearing again last weekend and got better over the course of the week.
I ice-fished a public pond in town on Saturday from 9:15am-1pm.  I would have like to have stayed longer, but I had other stuff to do.  The ice was 4" or better everywhere.  It was still in good shape when I left, but once again there are some warmer days in this week's forecast.  Not sure if the ice will stay good or not.

I was using a 1/16th oz Lindee Frostee spoon the entire time, tipped with a waxworm.  The waxworms made a big difference in getting the bluegills to commit, compared to tipping with plastics.

I ended up catching 35+ bluegills, 4 bass (to 13"), 3 crappies (11", 11", 10"), and 1 green sunfish.