It has been awhile since anything has been posted to the blog and I apologize. Life has gotten in the way. I’ve been working 16 hour shifts which leaves little room for anything else.
We did manage to get out to a local lake to fish this morning even though the odds were stacked against us. We came off of two days of solid rain and wild temperature fluctuations. And of course, around here, when the sun comes out and the temperature starts to climb, the end result is always WIND.
I ended up buying a 2023 Daiwa Airity 2000S-P spinning reel after all. This was the only contender that I’ve seen in the latest 2023 releases. And in my opinion, this is one classy looking reel.
The Airity is every bit as good as the top-of-the-line Daiwa Exist at a substantial savings. Keep in mind that this is a Bass reel and NOT a Trout reel, so if youre looking for minimal start-up inertia, you need to look elsewhere. The Airity has MagSeal so it does possess some start-up inertia. However, it is VERY smooth when turning the handle. I am not a Trout connoiseur so certain key features don’t mean much to me. I am a river fisherman who chases smallmouth, and this reel weighs 147 grams and has 5kg of drag which is more than enough to handle what we’re chasing. The magnesium frame with the bigger gear is a feature that I prefer and this reel is built to be solid. All in all, I really like it and will put it through its paces soon I hope.
I did spend quite a bit of time throwing minnow baits with my baitcast setup. I can honestly say that I’m getting the hang of it and actually enjoy casting it.
I have become a huge fan of the Veles Handcrafted Lures and have been throwing them almost exclusively. I can’t wait for Spring to get here so we can get back to fishing more. We have sorely missed fishing the rivers.
Until next time…take care and be safe. Hope everyone is able to get out and fish. If not, I’m sure it won’t be much longer.
The weatherman lied and said winds would be calm. Hah…10-15mph is anything but calm. We waited a bit until the temps climbed above 40F and then headed over to the trout pond.
We arrived at 0835 and had the first Rainbow trout in the net by 0844.
Here is where it gets interesting! Off to my left, my wife was fishing, and she LOVES to fish. Everytime I hooked a fish, she would have to reel in and run over to take pictures for me. And I do the same for her. Except THREE trout in a row before she had caught one was starting to grate on her nerves. DANGER DANGER! I heard her “loudly mutter” in my general direction, “Am I gonna get to fish today?” So the image below instantly popped into my head…
I’m not going to say that I slacked off or anything to let her catch up…but I slacked off lol. And it didn’t take long until she hooked a nice rainbow. We were even parroting the TroutMagnetMan! “This joker is cutting up” and “simmer down” as well as “shoot fire.”
So it ended up being my turn for awhile to cast out and hear her drag go off, followed by a speed retrieve and a mad dash over to get photos. This went on for over an hour before things calmed down. I managed to catch 6 and she caught 5 so neither one of us is really complaining. I just thought how things played out was funny. As I’ve said many, many times before…I am blessed to have a wife who is a true ANGLER and is very competent. We make a good team and have a lot of fun.
And as always, our area started getting a wee bit crowded so we opted to head home, calling the outing a success. Thanks for reading and hope to catch you on the next one.
I get asked this question all the time. And I try to explain it as best I can but generally it falls on deaf ears. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing or what. But I do like Japanese fishing gear better than US Domestic stuff. It could be that I am just tired of seeing the same old thing. Even the “flavor of the month” brought to us via corporate marketing juggernauts seems lame anymore. I don’t see a lot of innovation outside of anything that is not Bass Fishing related. Even in fly fishing…we are beat over the head by “Influencers” or other “Cool Kids” telling us what to buy and use while fishing ultra-exotic destinations most of us will never go to. And true, there is some of that in Japan, but I see a lot more innovation and craftsmanship in all aspects of fishing.
Take the Abu Garcia Cardinal 3 image at the header. This is a VERY popular reel in Japan complete with an entire cottage industry surrounding and supporting it. This goes for the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 2500 and 1500 baitcast reels as well. I have seen the Cardinal 3 go for over $1250 USD for a completely upgraded reel. I’m sure they go higher than that!
The Japanese anglers love quality and it shows in their gear selection. But at the same time they like to individualize/personalize key components of their gear.
You can find a plethora of handmade nets in various niche tackle shops that are found all over the country. Crafted with care, attention to detail and soul. I like that and can appreciate that.
When selecting fishing vests you might be surprised that the Filson Fishing vest is wildly popular in Japan.
It is an interesting blend of high tech and old school. Handcrafted wood handle knobs for the latest Shimano Stella reel, your choice of fiberglass, bamboo or graphite for a rod blank, custom thread choices and hand selected handle options. When was the last time you saw a bamboo spinning rod? Some things shouldn’t be built to a price point!
Lures and lure design are another facet of the Japanese. They aren’t afraid to make wild designs or material choices. All of which piques my curiosity.
I could go “on and on” about this topic but I won’t. I already feel like I’ve beaten the proverbial dead horse, and I’m not trying to convince anyone to switch to Japanese gear. I’m just saying there is a whole new world out there for anyone who is curious about this subject. It will take some research, some serious digging and a lot of translating…but it’s worth it. Cheers!
We returned to the trout pond on Sunday morning because the weather was still good, although the winds will be steadily increasing as the next round of storms approaches.
I opted to use my Apia Grandage Lite 61 rod with the Daiwa Presso LT 1000S-P reel on it today. I think it is a really good combo that combines casting distance with fish handling capabilities. And the Daiwa Presso LT might just be one of the best ultralight reels out there.
There were already several people there when we arrived. We weren’t seeing anyone catching trout so we were wondering what was going on. We rigged up the rods and started casting our spoons and were into trout pretty quickly. We were throwing 4 gram Daiwa Crusader spoons since these have turned into the most productive spoons we have.
It was definitely good to catch some trout. We conversed with another fisherman for a few minutes before the mob started closing in and we had to relocate. We still caught trout! I have underestimated trout spoons for a LONG time and they are highly productive…of course these are hatchery raised fish so I’m sure not the brightest portion of the species. Just sayin…
For us, it is not a numbers game, although that does help to solidify/quantify our technique. Rather, just being outdoors and fishing is what we feel is the most important part. We don’t compete with others or even each other. We enjoy seeing ourselves and others catching fish and having fun. Until next time…
After 4 inches of ice followed by 2 solid days of rain…we finally got some sunshine. And to top it all off, there was NO WIND.
We ended up having a lazy morning waiting for the temperature to warm up from its starting point of 22F. It was a nice way to start the day and we never felt rushed.
I took the Stella today and it performed flawlessly. Maybe all of the issues previously were because of me and how I fish. I ended up catching 2 Rainbow trout and the Mrs. caught 3 Rainbow trout. She did really well and looked like a pro out there.
The main thing is that they stocked trout and we don’t smell like skunk. I will admit that I have never really fished for trout with spoons and I’m beginning to enjoy it. Forces you to slow down a bit and focus. Hopefully we will be able to get out a few more times before Trout Season ends at the stocked ponds. I’m definitely ready to go again tomorrow!
Yesterday morning I decided I wanted to practice more with my baitcast set ups. From previous blog posts you may remember that I came late to the baitcast game, so I practice as often as I can.
The weather was 61F and partly sunny, but the wind was a steady 18mph with gusts to 30mph. Not ideal for practicing but I have to take advantage of any window of opportunity.
I was doing pretty well once I adjusted the reel to match the weight of the lure I was throwing. I even managed to catch a small largemouth bass in the process.
The problems started when I got cocky! I started throwing for distance as well as casting into the wind. Huge fail that resulted in a birds nest the likes of which I have never seen before. I ended up having to cut the line off the spool so that pretty much ended the outing. Yes…I can be a dummy sometimes.
Fast forward to this morning and everything had changed. The winds had switched out of the north at 20mph and the temperature had dropped to 26F with a steady ice mist coming down. (Here I will encourage the reader to revert back to the last sentence of the previous paragraph)
I decided it would be a great idea to go trout fishing first thing in the morning. We arrived at sun rise and headed to the pond and started casting. We fished for about 30 minutes before we (meaning ME) were forced to retreat. Two of my fingers on my right hand began to freeze and the pain was making it impossible for me to fish. If you’ve had frostbite before then you know how susceptible you are to getting it again. And yes…I was wearing gloves! I could see it in my wifes eye’s that she was cold too but apparently we were playing a game of “chicken” to see who would quit first. Grrrrr.
So the end result was that we didn’t catch any trout and I had to concede defeat according to the rules of the game. Oh the shame!!!! And to top it off…she coined a new term…SKUNK CHICKEN!
Not sure how I will recover from it all, but my honor is at stake now. I’m already beginning to hate 2023.
2022 was a great fishing year for us. We were able to explore a few new areas with success. We’ve been pouring over maps as well as searching through various online posts seeking new areas to explore in 2023. We have found 2 areas that have a high potential for our type of fishing.
As far as prospective new gear purchases go…we haven’t seen much that really trips our trigger. I had high hopes for the new 2023 Shimano Vanquish but they added the super-slow oscillation system to it. I have that on my Stella and the jury is still out on that. I haven’t given up on my Stella, but I’ve had line issues that I haven’t resolved yet. I plan on re-spooling it with braid to see if that fixes the issue. If anyone follows “Angler Saito” over on YT enjoyfishingchannel, then you would’ve seen how he preferred the 2022 Daiwa Exist over the 2022 Shimano Stella…and I couldn’t agree more!
The 2023 Daiwa Airity does look interesting and I might pick one up. It’s a good looking reel in my opinion. We will see what the street price ends up being. I tend not to be an “early adopter” or “influencer type” and prefer to wait a bit so the kinks get ironed out.
There are a couple of rods that I’m curious about from M&N and M-Aire as well as TenRyu but I’m in no hurry to research them further. And lures…I’m trying hard not to become a collector. I have a thing for handmade lures but if I can’t bring myself to use them, then there’s not really a point in buying them. We spent a lot of time stream-lining our gear to make it lighter and more efficient so I don’t want to undo that effort.
We have pre-planned for 2023 and have purchased plenty of hooks and jigs as well as plastic baits. I’m sure at some point we will have to replenish those, but for now we are good to go. We really don’t see a reason or need for any drastic changes.
Mrs. VeloxSeeker will probably order a pair of custom waders since she has had a hard time finding a pair that actually fits. Simms offers a custom service so that will allow her to upsize her stocking foot booties yet retain a petite wader size. She’s a size 4 which equates to a Womens Small but to get her foot size correct she would have to order a Womens Large. That’s NOT gonna work. Last time I checked the price to do that was reasonable so 2023 will be the year we get it done.
All of this is probably not very exciting to read but we are excited for the 2023 fishing season. Plans are being laid as we speak and we hope nobody does anything stupid on the global stage that wrecks everything. Time will tell. See you on the next one.
We got up this morning and decided we wanted to fish. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we welcomed a new Grandson into the world. He’s a healthy, happy boy and we are so grateful.
The weather has been up and down and both of us have seen an uptick in our work schedules. Squeezing time in to go fishing has been tough.
I had ordered a Valkein Breakthrough Zero Verge BTZV-62GL rod awhile back and decided I wanted to try it out. I paired it with the Shimano Vanford 1000 and off we went. It was 38F, cloudy, cold and damp, as well as windy. We managed to catch 3 before the cold made us head home. My hands cannot take the cold anymore, even wearing gloves, they still started to hurt quite a bit.
As always, it was good to get out. I think we both needed an outing no matter how short it was. Spring is still quite aways off but who knows…so far the winter here has been relatively mild. We hope to log more outings soon. Stay tuned and be safe out there.
I was over on Instagram scrolling through my feed which pertains to all sorts of fishing. I follow mainly Japanese anglers but there a several from all over the world that I follow as well. There are also several lure makers who show their wares and I was impressed by one in particular…Veles Handcrafted Lures based in Serbia. I sent a message asking if he sold on Etsy since I’d seen his site but there was nothing for sale. He replied that he indeed did sell on that platform and would be uploading items very soon. Fast forward a few days and I bought two lures as soon as they were available. To keep this short and stop rambling, I will just post the pics.
I am very impressed with the quality of these lures. Attention to detail is amazing. His prices are reasonble with lures running from $20-$25 apiece. From the amount of work that goes into each one, I would say that is more than fair. If interested, his store can be found on Etsy under “veleshandcraftedlure” and on Instagram at #veles_handcrafted_lures. Catch you all on the next one.
We started the morning at an infamous trout pond because their website said they were stocking trout last night. After fishing for an hour and the wife managing to catch only a small largemouth bass, we opted to try another location. Once again, the people administering this pond are patent liars. Charging people $60.00 to fish here and not stocking is a fraud and we will most likely never fish here again. We KNOW how to catch trout! Stop blaming the fishermen.
But I digress, we changed locations and immediately started catching trout. (Notice: Sapulpa Parks Administration-see above.) This is only the second time we have fished this pond, but we like it since it actually has trout in it. Can you tell I’m a little bit peeved?
All told we caught 8 trout and that one Largemouth bass, so not a bad day at all. We would’ve had a few more but they came unbuttoned before we could get the net on station to receive them. The bonus was that this trout pond is free to fish as long as you have a State fishing license. We were both using trout spoons and they performed well until the bite switched off.
We were tempted to try a third location but Mrs. Velox Seeker wasn’t feeling up to it. She had surgery yesterday and is recovering but the drive to fish is strong in her. She did really good with everything that has transpired in the last 24 hours.
Hopefully my little rant didn’t derail this blog post but I felt it needed to be said. We did manage to have a good outing and accomplished our objective. AND…we didn’t get skunked! Now I will make her rest like she’s supposed to, and don’t blame me for this excursion, it was her idea!
I have been an early riser for decades. I am always up before the sun peeks above the horizon. Part of it is driven by habit and part is driven by physical pain. I have had 8 surgeries through the years to repair damage from use and abuse. On an average night I manage one to maybe two hours of fitful sleep. The rest of the time I just toss and turn trying to find a modicum of comfort.
With the recent Arctic blast and temps hovering around 0F I have taken it upon myself to keep the fireplace going all night. Every few hours I will stoke the fire and add another log or two. Zip will usually sit with me for awhile and watch the fire burn before returning to bed on his own accord.
It’s a great time for reflection. Sitting there watching the flames and replaying events in my mind. I am not stuck in the past by any means, but I do miss several things that I used to be able to do. I spent decades rock climbing, mountaineering and caving among other things, and I miss the mountains. I have a closet full of climbing gear that will probably never be used again. Crampons, ice axes, ropes, packs, helmets, boots, carabiners etc.
But now, my hands don’t work like they used to, and they sure don’t like the cold anymore. I don’t possess the stamina or fortitude to suffer either. I have indeed become old and relish a warm fire and a dry, comfortable place to sleep. But the things I have seen and done stay with me. Always reminding me of what I used to be. And that’s OK.
I am a fisherman now. And I take great pride and joy in that fact. I can slow down and enjoy one hobby and not worry about racing off to the next route or adventure. Perspective always changes when you are closer to the end than the start. But that is life. We might as well make the most of it!
Back in the early 90’s I was fresh out of the military and enrolled in college. I had 3 part-time jobs with one of them working for a local sporting goods store. I was hired into the Fishing Department which I thought was pretty cool. I spent a lot of time drooling over the display case containing the fishing reels. Being the typical broke college student, I couldn’t afford a nice reel. Keep in mind that up to this point about all I had used for a reel was a Zebco33 and its ilk. I hated that reel and still do to this day, so I opted to try a spinning reel.
After careful consultation with my meager budget and Frank, who was the Department Manager and a hard-core angler, I opted for the Shimano TX-4000 reel. I figured it was big enough to catch anything in Oklahoma and elsewhere. I even matched it with a Shimano TX series rod. If I recall correctly…the reel cost me $34.99 and the rod was $19.99. And of course I got an employee discount so it what somewhat less than that. I just remember strutting out of there like a peacock thinking I had the “ultimate” setup.
I caught a ton of pike and smallmouth with this reel when I fished up in either Ontario or the Boundary Waters. But I quickly learned that the TX-4000 was overkill and ended up purchasing a TX-1000 and a matching TX rod. I fished that combo for about 10 years and caught thousands of fish with it. I ultimately retired those reels to my display case and they hold the central position of honor; not because they are high-end reels but from the sheer number of good memories they provided.
All I can say is that these reels served me well and I beat them to hell and back and they never let me down. Reels have come a long way and get better with each iteration, but these two will always hold a special place in my heart. 30+ years later, when I turn the handles I am amazed at how rough and clunky they are. But I guarantee that I thought they were smooth as silk back in the day. Heck, I might even fish the TX-1000 one more time next year just for old times sake. Nowadays I will admit that I’m just spoiled and much prefer the higher end reels, but these will always “get the nod.”