odiousgambit's Blog

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Fishing With OdiAugust 5th, 2013 at 6:05:07 am

Ha! On the contrary, this is a 'big nothing' vis a vis some real fishing like we see with Face.

I like to fish. I've done some pretty cool deep sea fishing in my time too. But I have come to realize in life that to be a real fisherman you need to buy a boat, and I've pretty much decided I am not buying one.

There is a particular type of fishing I can't give up on, though, and lame as it is - sorry - I feel like blogging about it. Basically, I like to get out in a stream on a section a little hard-to-get-to. What I find then is that I have something pretty close to my own private fishing hole. Currently this is about a quarter-mile walk from my back door and hard for most others to seek out. The people who still do this kind of fishing fly-fish, and those kind of folks aren't showing up at my hole. A few floating-trip folks will come through, sure, and some will stick a hook in the water going by, yes. But that's it.

Here's my kind of goofy fishing:

Buy a spinning reel get-up right off the rack. Accidentally break off the rod tip closing a vehicle door on it, or somesuch [g] ... this way you won't really care how you treat it! I like to change into a swimming suit and cheap tennis shoes. Get out into the stream quite literally [those shoes will spare your feet]. Stick on a #6 hook, a cork bobber and a very light sinker [I suck at fly fishing]. Hook up a worm. Start catching fish! When you need a fresh worm, just dunk the reel end down into the water if you need to [meh, the tip is broken anyway, and it survives OK]. Every once in a while switch to a small lure, a popper is good. Yep, you gotta figure most of the fish are going to be kinda small, so you better learn early that big hooks and big lures are for *big* fish! In the meantime, should you catch something big, it ought to be fun!

It is amazing sometimes how many sunfish you can catch. At my new hole I have been catching the venerable smallmouth bass as well ... a much better fighter than the same size largemouth. Catfish and some red-eye [don't know the proper name for the latter] with some luck.

I like to eat fish, but most of the time I throw the small fish back, hoping to catch one fish big enough to eat ... the wife, cool about some game, is not a fish eater. So one is enough. This last time out I caught one sunfish barely big enough to eat no matter what, but the poor guy had swallowed the hook so deep no way am I getting it out. So I kept 3 eatable sunfish to make a meal, fish that probably would otherwise have gone back in. No way was I unhappy, though, sunfish can be some good eating! So the below pic was breakfast Sunday morning, fish on top of stone-ground grits and a couple of farm fresh eggs.

IMO you do *not* filet small fish, although this opinion has started an argument plenty of times. I just think fileting is for large fish. All this means is you need to learn how to pull the bones out in one piece. OK, yeah, you have to watch out for other bones too, but if you are too wimpy for that, stay away from me! The pic below shows what you should wind up with if you know what to do.

From hereon you will likely be spared further blog posts on my fishing. All I can say is, if my new location didnt offer a stream like this, the value of the property in my estimation would go down about $20,000!

Recently these fish made a great meal! But I can't identify them at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/fish/

Many possibilities are eliminated by habitat [these would not be found in brackish or saltwater]. White Bass and White Perch are eliminated by the dorsal fin of those fish not matching the small single simple one of my fish.

the beer can is for scale, although it made the fish look somewhat smaller somehow. BTW I hate trash where I hunt and fish and am a net remover of trash, especially aluminum cans.


August 5th, 2013 at 1:30:02 pm
Two things I don’t want you to ever repeat again…

1 – “To be a real fisherman you need to buy a boat”. Completely and undeniably false. The vast majority of fishing I’ve done has been by way of my two wet feet. The biggest bream, biggest largemouth, biggest steelhead, biggest salmon, biggest catfish, biggest sucker, biggest carp…all by way of foot. The biggest smallie I caught was on a boat, but by far the majority of them were on foot. Hell, you can catch walleye in the Allegany River on foot. Pretty much the only reason you’d “need” a boat is if you wanted lakers (lake trout). “Real Fisherman” has nothing to do with boats or trucks or Lowrance fish finders, or $1,000 rod and reel combos. A “real fisherman” is simply one who has to go out and do it, and will do it in spite of anything.

2 – “Crick fishing is lame”. Bullshit. I’ll take a fly rod, hell, I’ll take a stick and some line, and go down to my local chub hole and pluck minnows all day long. 4” fish? Who gives a shit lol. Catching an 8” fathead minnow is no different than catching a 30” steelhead. They’re both “big”, both require a skill, and both get you into the great outdoors. Hell, chub fishing is best when it’s 80*; sometimes that’s better than the snowstorms you have to endure for steelies lol. And a hole all to yourself? You are a blessed man.

On the “redeye”, it could be a Redeye Smallmouth (I forget the “local” name, something like Kooz), but I don’t think you’re south enough for that to be it. I’m guessing it was small, kinda had the same colors and features of a smallie, but was short and fat, almost like a crappie and a smallmouth had a baby? And very noticeable red eyes? I’d bet it was a rock bass. I’ll pop a pic of one in here when I get home so you can say for yourself.
August 5th, 2013 at 3:52:41 pm
>I’d bet it was a rock bass

I think that is it!

on the other, thanks, I consider that supportive!

and suitably chastised on the "never repeat again" [g]
August 6th, 2013 at 10:12:33 am
Got busy working on my truck and haven't got my pic in. To the intertron!

Obviously the shading and patterns can vary by location and habitat, but rock bass are all generally this color and shape. Crappie shape, smallmouth colors, and those deep red eyes. Probably not much bigger than your hand from wrist to fingertip.

Unless is was the length of your forearm, which would point it toward the Redeye Smallmouth, I'm guessing this is what it was.

And sorry about the "chastising", it wasn't meant in that manner. It was, I suppose, mistranslated passion. I prefer old-school over almost anything almost all the time, and hitting a crick with a cane pole, in my mind, is more pure than the electronic-and-composite-material world of bigwater fishing. My boat is simple, and merely makes my season longer since the cricks get too hot and the ponds too weedy in July and August. It has nothing to do with being "real" or not.

All I meant was equipment don't mean jack. If you have the passion, that's all it takes. That's all it IS.
August 6th, 2013 at 5:39:23 pm
you're pretty much confirming it on the rock bass with the photo, plus when you wrote it , it rang a bell from back when I first got it ID'd by someone

re the chastising, hey, no problem, I was glad you didn't do the opposite and go "dude, lame, lame! no more posts please!" [not that it would phase me much]
August 9th, 2013 at 12:35:21 am
I thought a sunfish was a broad.
August 9th, 2013 at 5:15:05 am
You can bone and eat those, too.

/rimshot. I'll be here all week, folks!

Ruger Luger and MoreJuly 11th, 2013 at 8:41:57 am
Coyotes howling at night has a way of motivating a guy to proceed with his gun purchases. I like to keep it local with most things I buy, especially guns, at a place that has a gunsmith. So I headed not too far away for a shop that's been around. Not surprisingly, there is also a shortage of .22 guns these days. Wouldn't you know it! I am the type of guy to wait out shortages instead of adding to the problem, but my sense of urgency didn't come from thinking Obama was a-coming-for-my-babies. Oh well, I'm sure you couldn't possibly pay more than you have to now. Being careful to buy local means paying more too, usually, although I did get the shop to come down on the price, a package deal on two weapons plus some extras. I suspect I paid $100 or so more than someone who would shop it hard and time it right. This guy offers service, though, did come down on the price, and I wanted it now, so I'm not complaining.

It was unclear when I might be able to get a Marlin 60 or 10/22 Ruger [see Face's Firearm thread], there is just a huge demand now. The dealer did have what is basically a bolt-action version of the Marlin 60, and had what I and some others like to call the Ruger Luger. Magically, some ammo appeared too! Honestly, I've always been able to dig bolt action, so that was no sacrifice. And holy cow I have lusted after that Ruger Luger since time immemorial, there was no way I was passing up this used one in good condition [wikipedia says the particular model was last made in 2005]

So I bought a Marlin XT-22TR

and a Ruger MK II, which has an interesting history


[per wikipedia] Sturm, Ruger & Company was founded by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949 in a small rented machine shop in Southport, Connecticut ... When it came to designing their first auto pistol, Ruger decided to incorporate the looks of the German 9mm Luger and the American Colt Woodsman into their first commercially produced .22 caliber pistol ... which became so successful that it launched the entire company.

Hunting Blog IIJune 26th, 2013 at 8:17:56 am
Exploring some areas near my house and saw a coyote today. It let me walk right up on him, so that worried me a bit ... was this critter healthy? I slowly backed up to hunt for something to use as a club, at least; it did see this movement and took off in "yikes!" fashion. Sometimes even the most wary just don't see you; a 'yote probably depends on scent a lot, and this one didnt pick up mine.


I guess rabies shots aren't as bad as they used to be. Nonetheless, I just don't like being unarmed in the woods. I'm not going to be toting around a big shotgun all the time, though, nor a muzzleloading rifle ... wouldnt want someone to think I was hunting out of season, never mind the weight of it all.

Gee, a .22 pistol or rifle would be just perfect, eh? Not an option at the moment.

What's wrong with this picture?

PS: BTW the attitude of Virginia's game and fish [DGIF] is, please shoot them on sight.

June 28th, 2013 at 5:34:38 pm
Yes, now I have heard it, "what sweet music they make"

Coyotes though. Similar, not the same. More whiney, sort of. Very creepy, we've got a pack!

June 28th, 2013 at 5:35:18 pm
They started up last night about 10 PM.
June 29th, 2013 at 1:10:50 pm
I still ain't never seen one, in the woods or otherwise. Weird than you got so close, even if it didn't sniff you out, it's still got ears.

I hate their cries. Had some at Pop's back when I was living there, sounded like a baby screaming
July 19th, 2013 at 6:20:06 am
Here are some comments by a 35 year old 118 pound female and her un-armed encounters with bobcats, wild horses and grizzlies.
Her namesake, the original blonde coyote, a deaf dog-coyote mixture in New Mexico was recently put down.

I crossed paths with this guy on the Yosemite Falls trail in January. After a cold night camping in the snow, we got up early for a hike and were the first on the trail. When I stopped to take off a layer, I saw a tuft of fur not twenty feet off the path. A bobcat! He was taking a nap. I took a couple of quick shots and at the snap of the lens, he opened his blue grey eyes and looked right at me. Then he went back to sleep.

Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, so high that in winter the water turns to snow on the way down, sifting into a giant pile of powder on the frozen river. By the time we stomped up through knee-deep snow all the way to the thigh-deep summit and slid our way back down again, the cat’s nap was over and he was long gone, a few strands of housecat hair marking his place.

Hopefully I’ll see a desert bobcat out here one of these days. I hear they’re smaller than their mountain relatives. As they say, paths that cross will cross again…

Previous posts on other close animal encounters: Wilding Horses & The Grizz
July 19th, 2013 at 6:37:36 am
August 6th, 2013 at 5:35:42 pm
just saw this. Cool!

Very rare to actually *see* a bobcat in my various necks of the woods, however, they are definitely there!
August 17th, 2013 at 7:38:56 am
>just saw this. Cool.
Ah good. I wasn't sure how a hunter and gun aficiado would react to the adventures of a 118 pound female who confronts her wildlife armed only with a camera and steady nerves.
Often an animals sense of smell will be over-powered just as ours can be. That is when there may be trouble because the animal has been deprived of the warning he would otherwise have had and may be forced into an attack.

Odiousgambit's Hunting BlogApril 28th, 2013 at 7:36:57 am
Face has inspired me to post about my hunting.

Since I don't expect any comments [much] I think a weblog will be the way to go, it sort of says "no comments necessary" and also sticks around better.

Yesterday got another Tom for this spring. This may seem unremarkable to non-hunters, but there are plenty of dedicated hunters who seldom shoot turkeys. I can go for years without shooting one - although it might be rare to go a year without being on a hunt that *someone* got one. There would be some hunters who brag it's no big deal - and there are a few who kill a lot of turkeys - but for the most part "don't believe it." The longtime writer for the Washington Post who writes about hunting and fishing, at least for years, just had stories about going for turkeys and never getting one. Finally found his name, Angus Phillips - perhaps by now he has bagged one.

Not so much of a story this time. The lonely old fellow started gobbling at daybreak and was "ready to rock". Observing a bit of caution, he nevertheless bit for the calls he heard and came right up an old trail to within range. We got treated to some very nice displays - if you've never seen the puffing up and tail-spreading in the Tom's display, you've missed something. Especially under the circumstances. At times a guy wonders if the bird will hear his heart beating and take off!

First picture: My hunting buddies listen after calling. This was later when we wanted to see if one of them could get one as well. No such luck. Bragging rights definitely come with getting more than one. Now, If you don't feel a twinge of "wish I was there" looking at that picture, you just aren't an outdoorsman.

The lucky hunter with his bird. The idea is to fan the tail out and show the beard. Forgot the latter bit but it is a cell phone pic and they are a little deficient for detail anyway I think.

The plucked bird is not quite ready for the pot after about an hour of plucking this morning. Another plucking session before we give it to the cook.

BTW they don't open the season till the breeding is done and hens are on the nest. By this time the males are pretty much surplus and you could probably harvest them all and it wouldn't affect the population.

It remains to be seen how I handle this blog. I might get into some 'essay' type stuff or not.

April 30th, 2013 at 6:13:23 pm
If we could get Nareed to not be so squeamish, we could between the three of us put on a purdy good show. You do the land, I’ll do the sea, and she could tell us all how to cook em up real good =) Too bad I think she’d dive headfirst into Windows 8 before touching one of my fish…

Good luck with blog. I’ll be sure to follow intently.

And I don’t mean to be “one of those guys” (I can’t help it), but remind the old timer that boom sticks don’t have drop safeties (gun against the tree). Even if you’re only a few hundred yards away from the truck, a turkey load to the ankle is sure to put a hitch in yer giddyup ; )
May 1st, 2013 at 1:48:47 am
>she could tell us all how to cook em up real good

just for the record, you better get the right recipes for wild game. Huge blunder to use a normal recipe, the meat is too lean. For wild turkey, the best we've found involves braising [water in covered pan] and larding [salt pork pinned on top]. And we treat the LL Bean cookbook like the Bible. [still available at least on ebay]

>remind the old timer that boom sticks don’t have drop safeties (gun against the tree). Even if you’re only a few hundred yards away from the truck, a turkey load to the ankle is sure to put a hitch in yer giddyup ; )

I'm not slow to pounce on unsafe practices I see, but I let this one go and am guilty myself constantly. The right tree catches the endsight in the bark, which is not to say the practice is totally safe. Your assumption he didnt unload his gun is correct of course; opening the action on my pump would do, maybe you will have me doing that. BTW I do bark at people who lean guns against vehicles.

I keep an eye on the way other hunters mind where that muzzle is pointing, that's A#1 with me.
May 1st, 2013 at 2:01:20 am
PS: the LL Bean cookbook relates how wild turkey tastes. Paraphrasing, " you already know. It tastes like turkey! but even *more* so." In other words, a somewhat more intense turkey flavor and not to worry, the best turkey you ever ate!
May 1st, 2013 at 1:07:13 pm
LOL again, I don't mean to be the nitpicky heavy. I've also done the tree thing, also loaded, also with action closed. Just catch the rib and bead sight in a rough barked tree and you're good to take a leak or whatever you need. It's just that ever since becoming an SD carrier and having a child, I kind of went to the extreme concerning safety. Since some less practiced folks might be tuning in, I'd thought I'd bring it up.

Truth be told, any of the old timers I roll with would've given me a whack with their hat for telling them to do anything. "I been carrying this thing and piss-leaning since 1948, and..." blah-blah-tongue lashing-blah for the next 20 minutes lol.

And not to slight the father of gun safety Mr Jeff Cooper, but I've always disagreed with his "Golden Rule" of never putting finger to trigger until attaining target in sights. It's a very good one, but "Golden"? Not in my book. Guns go off without trigger manipulation. They're tools, they malfunction. My Golden Rule is never cover something you don't want dead / destroyed. Follow that one rule, and you'll never make a big mistake.

Props to no car leaning. Nothing ever leans properly against a car =)
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