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About buz23

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  1. Lake Champlain is funny. I caught a lot of perch when I used to fish there, but they tended to be small. My fishing was mostly in the south part of the lake where it is cloudy and has a discernable current. Used to fish Mill Bay at Putnam Station when the walleyes weren't biting out in the channel, and when the ice was snow covered there would be no fish at all in that shallow, weed choked bay. With clear ice or late ice, it would be loaded, however, even though it was hardly 6' deep at best. At Lake George you have to sort through a lot of little ones but you do get slabs, especially in the spring when they invade the bays. Saratoga Lake is known for big perch, but the bigger ones hit tipups better than jigs. With my sounder, I locate big schools of finger sized perch too and occasionally bring up a 3" trophy. BTW, Lake Champlain is overloaded with invasive white perch now. I started catching them in the late 1970's, and they are more and more numerous. No size or number limit on them, and apparently when you get into them they come fast and furious.
  2. Ice fishing has changed drastically in the past 50 years. When I first started in the late 60's (upstate NY) it was almost all tipups, pike, walleyes, and jumbo perch (in my lake). I discovered Lake Champlain in the early 1970's and we used to kill the walleyes and saugers, 15 tipups each were allowed and they sold bait by the pint or quart. Not surprising that fishery is almost dead now. I attribute that to increased fisherman mobility (sleds and 4 wheelers), sonar, and the 15 tipup rule. Saugers are almost extinct. 50 years ago it was colder and it was a real pain to drill through 2' of ice with a spoon type auger. When I started fishing Champlain I bought a Jiffy one armed bandit. A few years later I switched to a 6"swedish type mora or strikemaster hand auger - lugging the jiffy around was a pain. Nowdays, like many guys I use a smaller auger (lazer 6") with a powerful cordless drill. I can drill 40-50 holes through a foot of ice on one battery, at about one inch per second. The advent of modern fishing electronics has completely changed the game. It is literally like a video game now. (I haven't used tip ups for years, I hate dragging the minnow bucket around.) A box of small jigs, some maggots is all I need and I catch everything from bass to pike to walleyes and lakers even though I target panfish. I throw almost everything back except I like a perch dinner. I have a sophisticated chart type fish finder (Marcum LX-7) and its amazing to watch your little jig go down in 40 feet of water and watch the perch (or whatever) rise up from the bottom to intercept it as it falls. I move around a lot. Instead of waiting to see if I get a bite, I can tell pretty quick if there are fish around or not. Yes global warming (excuse me, climate change) has shortened the season but it is easier to get through thinner ice. Here in upstate NY I can usually fish my local lake (Saratoga) starting around Christmas and the ice generally holds up to mid-March. Lake George is nearby and is a fantastic ice fishing mecca but it freezes later (if at all). We have had some early ice-outs in the past few years, and several times the local walleye population took a real hit when the spawning run started before the season closed on March 15. They are eventually going to move up the closed season to prevent this massacre in future years. I'm waiting now for solid ice, checking my gear and buying some new goodies in anticipation.
  3. From what I've found (or not found as the case may be) the last couple of years, a "bone" bomber 16a is nearly as rare as your lure.
  4. Can you clarify?? Any direction but from the north?? Or do you mean anywhere from NW to NE?
  5. Back from my annual after-derby week in the Vineyard. I stay in Menemsha and fish the nearby beaches. This year was no where as good as last year. There were two big storms in the week or so before I arrived, and the ocean side beaches were nearly unfishable. There were reportedly still some funnies being caught off the Menemsha jetties but they weren't getting much pressure if that was true and I didn't see anything going on. Fishing was discouraging. I finished up the week with a dozen small bluefish (mostly tailors, one around 4#) and 14 or 15 small bass to about 2'. Most of these were caught during the last half of my stay. There were small sand eels around, Menemsha Harbor was loaded with them and my lure scared them numerous times off the beach. The bluefish were pretty easy to catch around sunset (but not around sunrise). Early in the week it was windy, made fishing tough. And the wind was from the north, but the South facing beaches (and Gay Head) had big surf, so conditions were challenging. I followed the Derby results and saw few fish weighed in the last week. Numbers of bass weighed were about half of the last few years, but average weight was up slightly, probably due to the increase in minimum size. Last year I caught tons of little guys after the derby (over 40 one outing) but many of those were on the ocean side, which had unusually gentle surf. This year I only caught two fish (on my last morning when the surf had finally calmed down) at Squibnocket, and they were just dinks. Maybe I need to bone up on fishing big surf for future trips. I got there on the last day of the derby, and there were maybe a dozen guys out on the jetties. That's probably about as many fishermen as I encountered during my week once the derby was over. I'll do it again. The island is so different this time of year, compared to around July 4 when I also try. I'm worried about the state of the fishery, however. This is my first year when I didn't catch a single legal striper, and I didn't catch nearly as many little guys as last year (summer and fall). I'm getting old and may not see the rebound in the population (if it comes) On a good note, these are the first bluefish I've encountered in a couple of years, however. I drive a green Tacoma with a brand new frame (courtesy of Toyota, who replaced the one that was rotting under my truck) and was astounded at how many tacoma's there are on the island. I felt right at home.
  6. They're invasive in Europe, having come over there with Oysters from here. They are native to NE.
  7. Gay Head Sunset, as seen last night from Dogfish Bar.
  8. I found one source which says they don't like very cold water (<5 C). So maybe the last few warmer winters has allowed them to take off.
  9. So here I am on the Vineyard the week after the derby and I am astounded by the numbers of slipper shells up on the beaches. I only started noticing these creatures a few years ago on Lobsterville beach at low tide. Crepidula Fornicata (I think Crepidula means Cluster, and you know what Fornicata means). I previously found them in clusters, but now there are empty single shells everywhere. I first thought they may have been casualties of the recent storms, but I keep seeing more and more along the high tide line. The picture shows a graveyard in the rocks east of Menemsha Beach. What's going on. Even the surf clam shells that wash ashore have slipper shells on them. I read somewhere (can't remember where) that there was a big increase in their numbers and they were competing with more desireable shellfish. Maybe we need to start cooking them.
  10. For spinning reels: With mono, lay the spool flat on the floor and wind it though your rod guides onto the reel. Stop occasionally and see how twisted the line is, and if it is, flip the spool over and wind some more; keep checking. I just run the line through my fingers a foot or so above the reel and have never had a problem. With briad, put a pencil through he hole and have someone hold the pencil. Then load as above. A few long casts will bring the working end of your line to a fishable condition, unless you are using mono and have twisted it too much when you loaded it up.
  11. Interesting that the town of Beaufort shows up on a map of hurricane predictions. Some irony there.
  12. That's a monster
  13. I don't think the animals feeding on the dead fish will be poisoned. Just think of them as pickled. We eat that kind of stuff all the time.
  14. With a heavy mono or fluoro leader I just use a 5 or 6 turn cinch knot direct to the lure (or split ring on the lure). If things are going to fail (very rare for me) I want to just lose the lure. While I like a loop knot too, I find that eventually they fail (not the knot, but at the apex of the loop). This usually happens about 10 minutes after I begin thinking I should retie.
  15. Lobsterville last fall, at sunset, looking southeast back towards Menemsha. I thought it was unusual to have a spectacular sunset in the opposite direction from the sunset.