Friday, December 31, 2021

Fishin' Hole Hoppin', 12/31/21

 Wow, the last day of 2021... Debbie was feeling better, so we decided to get out and do a little more fishing. Along with her improvement in health, this is additional medicine for her soul...she LOVES fishing :-) We set off to have a bit of breakfast at the Waffle House, then move on to the first stop. On the spur of the moment, we decided to make it at a private fish camp & pond we have access to that we call "Amos". Debbie set about and caught the first fish, a little black crappie. We were no longer skunked! We fished around the pond a bit, I picked up a bass that weighed 3lb 11oz. Here's a few pics...

A look down the pond from the dock...

3lb 11oz on a 6" stick bait

Below are a couple of funny pics I took of photos on the walls of the fish camp house. These have been a round a long time, and are family friends of the owner who caught some large carp in that pond in days gone by....

Next, we moved on to the #2 spot for the day, another private pond we call "Browns". The Brown family are gracious to allow us to fish in their private pond. There are lots of bass in there, and are well fed. We've caught some monsters in there in previous years. I got skunked, but as usual, Debbie snatched a few in with her favorite 5" Yum Dinger stick bait. Here's a few pics of some of them...

After a bit, we decided to hit one more spot and call it a day. Since we were close to another private spot we called "Dale's", that's where we went. There was a good bit of movement there, and we caught several nice bass to finish out the day...and did something we've never done, but more on that shortly...

Now, this made for a good story... There was some movement down near one of the very STEEP bank sides. Debbie wanted to get down there, and since we didn't have the Jon boat, it wasn't gonna be easy. We took a rope from the truck and tied it to her, I wrapped it around a tree for a brake, and lowered her down to a spot she could sit and fish, and tied her to the tree so she wouldn't fall in. She would catch, swing them around, and I'd take them off. Next time we'll use the boat, but it worked and she was a happy girl! Here's those pics...

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Fish'in Hole Hoppin', 12/29/21

 Debbie said she felt the best today, that she has in over 6 months. She _LOVES_ to go fishing, but since her stamina isn't up to par yet, we decided to do a bit of local bank fishing. We always love hopping from place to place when we do that, so we set out to check out a few spots. It was overcast, temps above 70 degrees, and intermittently sprinkling rain. Unseasonably warm, for sure...but the water is cold. I didn't measure the temp, but it's cold.

The first place we went to was a public spot under and around the bridge where 231 crosses Little River just south of Zebulon (and just off hwy 96). We climbed down the rip rap and fished a bit, but not much happening there today. Debbie picked up a blue gill on a beetle spin, and I was skunked :-) We stayed about 30 minutes, rotated through several types of bait, and decided to move on.


Next, we stopped at a place we called "Fish Foods" and were horrified. We hadn't been there this year... IT WAS GONE!! It was located across from US Foods in Zebulon, had been there for many decades. They have cut the dam, drained it, cut all the trees, and are filling it in to build more houses. Just what we need...more houses everywhere. Progress. I guess... Well, we moved on...


Next, we stopped at Moccasin Creek where hwy 97 crosses it, just east of Zebulon. We climbed down the rip rap, and fished a while. Rotating through baits, Debbie picked up a bass on a 5" stick bait, weightless and weedless. The water is cold, they're not chasing bait, so slow and stop were the best bait presentations. We stayed about 30 minutes and decided to move on. 

After that, we popped into a private place we call the Secret Pond. We didn't go to fish, but since we were close and had not been in over a year, we wanted to check the path and make sure we could get the Jon boat trailer back down there. We talked to a couple of people who were fishing, threw bait a few minutes, and left. The path is good, so we'll be back with the Jon boat, soon!

We were  close to another private spot we call "Dale's Place", because it belongs to a friend named Dale :-) It was about 45 minutes before dark, so we decided to stop in. BINGO! This place was hopping. I was throwing a 6" Cabela's stick bait, Debbie was using a 5" Yumdinger stick bait. They weren't chasing anything, but slow sink, 30 seconds of still, and bump it a few inches...that was what they wanted. We caught several bass from about 1-1/2 lbs to one Debbie caught at 3lb 14oz. We fished until dark, sometimes we each had one on at the same time. Great evening! Here's a few more pics...

3 lbs, 14 oz!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Cow Pasture, 12/28/21

 Debbie and I Went out to the private spot we call the "Cow Pasture" this afternoon, to do a little bank fishing. It was the first time in a long while, this has been a rough year with family and health issues, and we haven't fished a lot. The temps were unseasonably warm at about 71 deg F, partly cloudy, and a breeze out of the southwest. We were using light tackle...micro rods and spin cast reels with 4lb mono. The bait was #1 beetle spin rigged with 1/32 oz crappie jig and creme "Smoky Shad" grubs. We had a blast, catching a bunch of small LM bass, blue gill, and black crappie. Here's a few pics of the evening...



Friday, December 17, 2021

Kerr Lake, 12/18/21

On December 18th, I went to Kerr Lake with a friend to do a little fishing as a front was moving in. Mark put his 21' Skeeter in at Henderson point. It was around 65 degrees, light breeze, and was overcast. We got in around 8:30am. By noon, the rain has started moving in. We were seeing fish piled up around 30+ feet, but jigs and such yielded nothing. They simply weren't interested :-) I'm assuming the lake has turned over, and the large mouth bass seemed to be hanging out off rocky points, 10+ feet deep. We picked up a few little tournament winning big fish of the day is in the first photo, below...hahahahaha.... Mark is in the 2nd photo with his bigger-than-mine fish of the day. Mark had several good hits and some that got off, and the bait of the day was a soft plastic creature bait (salamander, watermelon color). It was still great to get back on the water!


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Moccasin Creek, 10/19/21

We stopped by Moccasin Creek a little while, today. Debbie has been very sick this last summer and fall,and we've gotten very little fishing in, as a result. We caught a few Black Crappie, and Debbie snagged this lil' LMB. Not much to write home about, but we had fun, nonetheless!



Friday, September 24, 2021

Charging the Trolling Battery On The Water

I've pondered how to deal with the trolling battery while on a fishing trip. Sometimes, the boat may be on the water a few days, so charging or switching the battery out is a chore. In addition to the solar panel that charges the trolling battery anytime there's sunlight, an electrical circuit to bridge from the engine battery to the trolling battery during times when we're driving from one spot to another seemed to be a workable idea. The trolling battery/motor is 12 volts, so this was an easy task.

Initially, a few tests were made with jumper cables and an ammeter, and the idea seemed to work OK without causing a serious load to the engine battery or alternator. Usually, since the engine battery isn't much above that of the weakened trolling battery, the charge current is around 10 amps, tapering off to much less as the trolling battery charge level increases. 



Both battery negative (-) terminals were connected together with some heavy black wire from a set of scrap battery jumper cables. A 12 vdc relay was installed with the normally open contacts connected to the trolling battery via 20A fuse, and the common (moving) contacts connected to the engine battery. I put the fuse in the battery circuit in case something went wrong with the trolling battery or wiring, and to limit the current in the event we totally killed the battery and didn't want to load the alternator / engine battery too hard. 

Up front, a switch was installed to control the relay. 12 volts was picked up from the ignition switch, using a switched source that is only live when the ignition switch was on. I didn't want this accidentally left on during times when the engine was not running. Aerator and Bilge Pump switches get bumped "on" all the time by accident, so a covered switch was installed for the Trolling Charge to require an intentional movement to activate the switch.

This circuit works pretty good. Care must be taken not to leave the switch "on" when starting the engine (the starter would attempt to pull from both batteries and probably blow the 20A current limiting fuse). I plan to take the automation of this a bit deeper over the winter months. The next phase is to sample the alternator output, and energize the bridge relay after a delay of maybe 1 minute (if the master bridge switch up front is "on"). Likewise, if the engine is "off" (no alternator output), the bridge relay would be disabled. 





Sunday, July 25, 2021

Boddies Millpond, 7/25/21

Debbie and I drove over to Boddies Millpond in Nashville, today. We brought the Jon Boat, and had a good time. The bite was tough...I was the de-skunking person today, and managed to pull two out of the fray. It is a beautiful place, but was stinkin' hot, and we called it quits before lunch and headed home. Here's what I caught...


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Airfield, 7/24/21

Debbie and I ran over to the local private spot we call "The Airfield" for a while, today.We arrived about 2 hours before dark, and it was "on". Debbie immediately started catching LMB on her favorite setup...6'6" rod, Bullet reel with 12lb mono, 3-0 wide space hook, and 6" watermelon & pearl Yum Dinger rigged weedless and weightless. I tried rattle traps, but there was too much moss to pull through. Top water got very little attention. If you can't beat'm, join' I rigged a worm and hopped in with her. Lots of fun!! She caught 17 bass in 2 hours, right up to dark. I switched to the fly rod and picked up a bunch of bluegill. Here's a few that I got pics of...