Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter on the Bay with the Bamwoozler

It's the day after Christmas and what better way to spend it than fishing with Conway and some friends. After a long Christmas night we were a little slow in making our 6:30am fishing date but luckily our pals were just as slow...not to mention it was 43 degrees out...practically Arctic by San Diego standards.

We headed out at the southern end of San Diego Bay. Surprisingly, there was only one other boat out at 7:30am. I thought everyone would be out testing out their new fishing gear from Santa...rod, reel or kayak. But no, they were smart and stayed in their nice warm homes. Well, the early bird gets the worm!!!

As a Christmas joke, a non-fishing co-worker of mine "wrapped" me a bamboo rod from a piece of black bamboo from his backyard, screwed a Quantum Optix 20 to the "handle" and put the rubber from his old mountain bike handles on as a grip. It's got an interesting bend downward, a natural "hook up" bend, and most of the little nobbies have been cut off but hardly sanded off so there are all sorts of protrusions along the length of the rod. Even the guides are misaligned but for the most part fairly straight. I laughed when I saw it but then decided that I had to put it to the test. I put some 12lb flouro on it and took it out today for it's maiden voyage. I decided to name it "The Bamwoozler."

Much to my pleasure it worked like a charm! Ok, it didn't cast all that well. A straight cast usually ended up about 15 degrees to your left. We'll call it a "fast action" rod and it sort of bounced a little when you reeled down quickly but overall it worked out pretty well. Armed with some 1/4oz lead heads and some MC swimbait plastics I set to work proving that my new rod was full of mojo! As I bounced my little swimbait back to the boat I felt a we go!!! I held my breath and set the hook. The rod had a nice bend in it and held! I reeled in my little prize...the rod didn't snap in half, the guides didn't fly off and low and behold...I landed the fish! Here's the Bamwoozler's first fish...a small spotted bay bass. WOOHOOOOOO...GO BAMWOOZLER!!!!

From then on it was a stead picking of bay bass ranging in the 1/4lb to 2lb+ range. The Bamwoozler was a champ!!!!
Conway got into the bass action with a drop-shot rig, some Christmas Tree colored mini-sluggos. He landed at least 6 or 7 nice bass with his drop shot rig...weedless and productive!
Towards the end of our day we met up with some of our yakkin' buddies who were doing some damage on the fish just north of us...Brian, Alan, and John! Brian even managed a couple of nice halibut on the day. No pics so I'll just have to take his word for it! ;-)
Overall it was a great day on the water. The air temps warmed up, we had very little wind, and plenty of steady action on the boat. And best of all The Bamwoozler produced! I might have to talk to my co-worker about a surf casting model!!!!!
Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Launch

Hi everyone! I'm finally getting with the 21st Century and starting a blog. I'll be talking about all my fishing adventures, people I meet, and all the great tackle I use. My fishing covers cold water, tropical beaches, salty water and fresh, paddleboards, kayaks, wading...whatever. If there are fish to be caught...count me in! The 411 part of my blog will include a combination of tackle tips and travel tips. I'm all about low budget traveling with the maximum amount of fishing fun! I'll be posting lots of photos too because I love taking pics and I think they really help illustrate my stories.

Also, check out the website my husband and I have for our fly fishing guide service in San Diego, California...if you're interested in some intensely fun fly fishing for mako sharks (yes, sharks on the fly!) check it out!

I'll start with this little pic. This photo was taken a few years ago in Alaska at the Trophy King Lodge (ok, not low budget but we were invited to visit there) on the Kenai Peninsula. That was my first king was chilly up there but worth the delicious fresh caught salmon. This fish was caught on conventional gear in a 18' skiff while trolling just offshore in June. If you haven't been to Alaska to fish you have to try it at least once!

Here's a shot of the gear we used provided by the lodge...heavy duty line for big fish!

Here's the big halibut I caught on the trip...still small by Alaskan standards at 73lbs but a monster compared to the smaller versions we have in San Diego.

This photo was taken from the window of our room...right on the water, the boat launches from the beach. While we were there it was June Solstice so there was 23 hours of sunlight each day. The tides were also super extreme. You can see how low it is in this pic as the tide goes out. When the tide was high it was splashing up against the lodge.

And here's one of my favorite photos from the trip. We hiked down the beach to watch the salmon start to run up a small stream. While we were there this juvenile bald eagle flew in and sat down on a branch over the water to look for lunch. I slowly walked up to it and started snapping photos. It didn't seem to mind that I was there at all. In fact, it actually walked ever to me. I clicked my camera over to video mode and even took a little video as it checked me out.

That's it for now...

So, log on as I blog on and feel free to make comments and let me know what you think.