Saturday, June 22, 2019

Falls Lake, 6/22/19

We hooked up the bass boat and took off to Falls Lake, and loaded in at the Barton Creek (Six Forks) landing this morning. When we got there, the water was calm. Even though there were lots of trailers on the lot, only a few were to be seen. By 8am, the lake was the Atlantic Ocean. There was no calm water to be found. A few people were throwing jigs and spoons in the deep water, but no one seemed to be catching anything (including us, hahaha). Below is pic of our major haul of the day. By about 2pm, we had all we wanted of the sun and surf, and loaded out. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Airfield in Rain, 6/20/19

Debbie and I ran over to the airfield pond a little before dark, just as the rain was moving in. She was throwing 5" Yum Dingers rigged weightless, and I was fly fishing. The rain came in waves with a little thunder and lightning, but we caught fish and had a great time. Here's a few pics...

 Caught this guy on a small floating bream fly...


 I caught this little guy on a bream fly...

Tippett's Mill, 6/20/19

Debbie and I got up at 4:30am this morning, and got ready to go to Tippett's Mill to fish a bit before it got too hot. We had connected to the Jon boat trailer last night, pulled one of the covers off, and get everything else ready to go. Debbie prepared and packed a breakfast to have on the pond 1st thing this morning, and we headed out. 

We got there just as it was getting light  enough to see how to load in. We scouted the pond ad fished until about 10:30am. There was a huge flood about 10 days ago, so the water temp was down, the lower sections of the trees were muddy from the high water that had come and gone, and there was a moderate amount of trees down in the pond & river feeding it. 

Debbie and I were both using a combination of top water and sub-surface. I caught one pretty good LMB on a top water frog with a 2/O hook that I lost right at the boat...she gave us a good look before spitting the frog out, and left us with our mouths hanging open. I switched to a wide spaced 4/O hook and my hookset ratio improved. Some where around 9am, the top water action stopped. We had several hits, Debbie also hit one on a 5" worm the got off after running under the boat, it was also a nice size. Here's a few pics from this morning of what we actually landed...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Little Polishing...

I had noticed some of the boat had what felt like "dry spots" in the gelcoat, but they would scrub off with my fingernail. I surmised it to be fish spunk, soft drink, muddy feet, etc that had accumulated over time. I washed the boat, and started applying Meguiars Gold paste wax. Despite the boat being shiney, I could still find the rough and dull spots all around it...especially along the top of the hull and on the areas inside. I also noticed what looked like hard water spotting. 

Years ago, I had a similar problem on Debbie's car. he car was parked near a train track, and I had read about "rail dust" (a fine metal particulate that will contaminate some types of paint), and how to use a clay bar from Meguiars to remove and clean it. I put her car in the garage after a wash job, and after about 2 nights of working over the entire car with the clay bar, the car was as good as new. 

By mid-day, the heat had come way up and the sun was tough. I pulled it in the garage, closed the door, and cranked up the AC. I decided to give the claybar a try, and it worked!! All of the spots came off, and the fiberglass felt as slick as if it were new. That's saying a lot, considering this is a 1996 Stratos! I came behind that with a coat of Meguiars Gold paste wax, and this thing sparkles like a new boat. This should help protect it through the rigors of the summer heat, sun, and UV. Here's a few pics...

Monday, June 17, 2019

Solar Charger for Trolling Battery

As summer moves in, we'll be doing more fishing early in the morning and late in the evening. I wanted a way to add a little power back to the trolling battery while the boat was on the trailer or at the dock during the heat of the day. We had added one of these to the starting battery on the pontoon boat years ago, and it made a huge difference to that and the battery was always ready to go. 

This solar panel attaches with suction cups, is waterproof, and has a cable that easily leads to and clamps on the trolling battery posts under the rear hatch. 


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Remote Trim/Tilt, 6/16/19

We've finally been able to start using the Stratos bass boat a bit, and seeing a few little things that I wanted modify to help with operations. One of the changes was the need for a remote trim/tilt control up front. I'm always up front, running the trolling motor, while Debbie is fishing on the rear deck. Often, we'll ease up in some really skinny water, and I need to raise the motor. One of us would have to get down, go to the console, and raise the motor. I fabricated a 3-conductor wiring harness, made a "fish tape" from a piece of stiff electric fence wire, and pulled it through the boat from the rear to the front. I connected the harness in parallel with the up and down tilt circuit on the motor and in the driver's console. I installed a pair of normally open push button switches in the front control panel, one for up trim, the other for down trim. The 3-conductor cable was connected to those and labelled. I can easily reach those with my toes while driving the trolling motor, a nice addition to the controls. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Airfield, 6/15/19

Debbie and I had been keeping our grandson, Desmond, a few days. As a result, we had not been fishing any. After his mom picked him up today, we headed off to a local pond to get a little fishing in before dark. I was throwing beetle spins in search of bluegill, but only picked up a small bass. I switched to top water, but no takers. Debbie was using her favorite, the 5" Yum Dinger worm rigged weedless and weightless...and she was steadily picking up bass. I switched to that, and started catching bass as well. For a while, Debbie was on the other side of the pond from me, so I didn't get many pics of her catches. Here's a few pics from the evening's fishing...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Airfield, 6/5/19

Debbie and I ran out to the Airfield pond for about an hour before lunch, today. Debbie was looking for large mouth bass by throwing 5" Yum Dingers, I was determined to catch some bluegill on a beetlespin. It worked for both of us, here's a few pics of what we caught...

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Kerr Lake, 6/4/19

Debbie and I headed up to Mom & Dad's place at Kerr Lake (John Kerr Reservoir). They're near the Nutbush ramp, and have been there since the late 80's. I've been fishing there, off and on, since that time. We mostly fished with 2" - 3" minnows, for Striped Bass in the deep water, and Catfish on the bottom. There are some legendary catfish in that place! 

We've never gone looking for large mouth bass in there, and had even heard some of the long time residents say there weren't many LMB in there. Debbie and I have caught a bunch of smaller bluegill in Kerr lake, and after talking about it a bit, we decided to make an effort this summer to locate the largemouth. We found they seem to favor banks with a sheer drop, but only to 2-3 feet, then a shelf for a distance out. They also liked being far away from people, in calmer water, and shade. Everywhere we found those conditions, we found LMB! We'll be fishing up there a lot more this summer, exploring the lake, to find the spots the LMB seem to like more. 

This gave us a chance to really shake out the bass boat better, and get more used to handling it. Here's a few pics...

Two at the time....

My only dink this trip!

While banging the rip-rap at Nutbush bridge...

 Time for a bathroom break!

Bathroom break for Deb...

4lb 7oz fatty!