First off, I apologize for not posting anything for awhile. We have been having internet issues and it seems that dial-up is faster than the service we pay for.
With that out of the way…I’d like to showcase a new rod I recently bought. The Palms Pinwheel PFGS-69 UL+ spinning rod. I like how Palms shoots a video explaining their rods in detail. I wish all of the manufacturers did that.
I knew this was a saltwater ultralight rod which was designed for shore jigging. What I didn’t expect was how stiff this rod is. I would compare it to a Light-Medium Bass rod to be honest. In fact, I ended up putting a Shimano Twin Power C3000 reel on just to get it to balance. And that’s fine with me. I fish farm ponds as well so this will be a good choice when I target largemouth bass since this can handle them well. Fit and finish was excellent and I like the aesthetics of this rod.
I’m looking forward to trying this rod out. Prospects are somewhat questionable since it appears that summer has truly arrived. Starting on Monday the weather forecast is calling for 100F+/38C+ every day for as far out as the forecast shows. We’ll see how it goes…
We left camp at 0600 and drove the 5 miles over to the Ed Banks Access point. After a quick scout around we noticed that the far end of the river crossing had been repaired and that we could continue up-river to the Ed Banks Site #2.
We had never been to this campsite and it was nice to be able to fish a new area. It is the most remote campsite in the park with only a picnic table and tent pad available. Few people camp here.
At that time of the morning we had the river to ourselves and the temperature was in the low-70’sF.
We each managed to catch our Personal Best Smallmouth on the Cossatot River at this access point. Both fish fought hard and were worthy of respect. They were released back to where they belong.
The first full day of our trip turned out to be the best as far as fishing went.
We had planned to go fishing today as the weather forecast called for sunshine and about 70F for the high. We waited for the temps to hit 55F before we headed to the lake.
I was using my Apia Grandage Lite 61 with the Abu Garcia MGX Theta 1000s and she opted for her Daiwa Iprimi 62UL and her Daiwa Presso LTD 1025.
When we arrived there was one other car there, a guy who was taking pictures of the lake. As we were gearing up, another car pulled in and they bailed out to claim “their spot” while their dogs ran leash-less all over the place. We find that weird since there are plenty of good places to fish along the shore. To each their own.
After the wind started picking up and more people started to arrive (it’s a really small parking area) we decided to call it a day. We picked up trash on our way back to the car and visited with a few fishermen along the way. It was great to get out, the fishing is beginning to pick up and the sunshine felt great.
We have had some decent rainfall recently and as you can see in the picture, the lake level has come up about 2 ft. Outings like this are enough to whet the appetite, but we are still waiting for things to stabilize.
On a sidenote, we went to the MLF (Major League Fishing) Expo yesterday that was in Tulsa. We walked around and saw a lot of interesting products. Even though we don’t do that type of bass fishing, some of the items were really neat. I got to talk to the Abu Garcia rep and play around with the new Zenon Baitcast reels (VERY NICE) and the Zenon spinning reels. The Abu rep was very sympathetic in regards to the JDM tackle they make but don’t import into the US. He didn’t understand the reasoning behind it…and like us, orders it from Digitaka and other places.
We also visited the Daiwa booths and asked about their range of JDM gear and got several silly excuses in response. They blamed shipping and other such nonsense. Their US catalog is completely void of the gear we like and use, which is to be expected. But we knew before going that it would be highly unlikely that we would find anything for our needs at this expo. In fact, just inquiring about ultralight rods raised eyebrows in every booth we visited. They were politely dismissive but it was still kind of funny. The tech-centric approach and the sheer cost of gear was astounding. And it blows my mind that there are boat motors that cost as much as my car! If I was still fishing bass tournaments, I’m sure I would’ve seen things differently…it’s just not my thing anymore.
We finally managed to carve out some time to make a reconnaissance run up to Missouri to check out the Elk River.
Again, this idea started with a blue line on a map and subsequent research showed that it had potential. We like to visually check out an area before committing to an extended trip.
Access is limited to this river from what we could observe along our routes. There are canoe livery’s everywhere and renting a canoe seems to be the best option if we decide to commit to fishing this river.
We proceeded to head on over to Pineville since my wife found an access point to the river on a map. I think it was called the City Of Pineville Elk River Public Access.
In all honesty, we weren’t super impressed with what we saw and it looks like this will be a madhouse during the summer. The sheer number of canoe rental companies was astounding and hints to our trepidation. In all likelihood we will fish this river at least once. If we could find a long section to fish without staring into peoples windows things might be different. Who knows, maybe our first impression was wrong. I hope so anyway. It was still fun to get out and explore new waters. Hopefully the weather will begin to stabilize some and we don’t get too much rain in a short period of time. But the fishing season is definitely right around the corner and we’re ready for it.
This Nilight 26 inch LED lightbar ended up being a fail on my vehicle. I noticed when I opened the box that the mounting system was completely different than the one that is on my wifes vehicle. Perhaps this LED lightbar has a different application, one that I am unaware of. While installing the LED lightbar I noticed that I could never seem to get the bolts tight enough. I wasn’t trying to crank them down super tight, rather, it was more like just a bit past snug.
As you can see from the picture above, the nut that is designed to ride inside the channel for adjustment purposes, has almost completely pulled out. All 4 of those nuts were in a similar condition. Again, I didn’t put a lot of torque on these nuts but it sure looks like it. Eventually I decided to just remove the lightbar and figure out another lighting solution. I started looking for a more robust mounting system and decided to give a pair of round LED lights a try.
These two lights had a better mounting system that rely on metal brackets to secure it to the SSD lightbar mount. The lights themselves are much more robust and better made. These are surprisingly heavy compared to the LED lightbar. We’ll see how long they last and I’ll report back at a later date.
I may have broken my mantra of “Buy once, cry once” but time will tell.
My wife has been looking for an ultralight rod that isn’t too stiff. She ordered the Graphite Leader Bellezza RV which turned out to be a better stream rod than a perch/crappie rod. Upon researching the Daiwa Iprimi series, she decided to give one of those a shot. As mentioned previously, she liked my Major Craft ultralight rod but I couldn’t find one for her.
Upon receiving the Iprimi, she compared it to my rod and was happy with the action. It is whippy yet has a moderately stiff butt section. A more pronounced parabolic bend if you will. This should be perfect for targeting perch and smaller fish.
This rod should be a good setup when coupled with a 500 or 1000 size reel. We are still waiting on the Shimano Soare XR 500 to become available as that’s the reel that we plan on putting on this rod.
Once the weather is consistently warm and stable, we have a few small creeks we want to fish. This rod should be pretty good in that usage.
I had a couple of hours between doctors appointments today so I decided to test out the Shimano Vanford 1000 after upgrading with bearings. It is better for sure. I cast for over an hour and reeling at various speeds to give it a good workout. It is definitely smoother now and will probably get better over time.
Conditions weren’t great today because the wind was blowing a steady 20-22mph out of the WSW with gusts over 30mph.
And as usual, I managed to pick up 4 more bags of trash. It seems like a never-ending process, but I’ll reach my goal eventually.
My wife was looking for an ultralight spinning rod for panfish and opted to try this rod since the price was really good. This was a pre-order rod and arrived in 2 weeks. Neither one of us are familiar with Graphite Leader rods and decided to try it.
Fit and finish was superb. It is listed as an Area Trout rod but to me seems more like an Ultralight Saltwater rod as it is pretty stiff. In fact, it is stiffer than what she was looking for. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it fishing in a stream or small river, but for small perch and such, I’d use something else.
She likes my Major Craft Ultralight rod, the FTA-582UL, but I can’t find one for her. I guess they quit making it. We might look at the Daiwa Iprimi line of rods for an ultralight rod for summer panfish. Lesson learned. Stay tuned to see what she decides…
Most of you know that I am always trying to leave things cleaner than when I found them. And this applies especially to the water I fish. I encourage everyone to do the same.
To date, I am 3/4ths of the way done on cleaning the shoreline of one of my local lakes. With the lake level being down almost 5 ft, I can access more shoreline than normal. Yesterday was a tough day for sure. I cannot count how many glass bottles and beer cans I picked up. I started out with 10 Walmart bags and 2 big trash bags. The end result was I used them all.
I don’t do this for recognition or anything, it just needs to be done. Afterall, this is a retention pond for our local drinking water supply. If I wait for someone else to do it…I’ll be waiting a long, long time.
And of course, if I’m at the lake, I’ll being fishing. I took the Major Craft FAX-B642UL rod and the Shimano Calcutta Conquest BFS reel with me. Some of you may remember that I really started to try and learn using a baitcast reel last year for the first time. It was nice to know that I hadn’t lost anything over the past few months, I cast without any backlashes or any issues at all.
Obviously I did more trash picking up than casting…but it is always good to get out.
This is another backpack I use from time to time when fishing a river or stream. It is waterproof and has a roll-top closure, but what is unique about this pack is that it has a secure closure toggle system. This keeps it from unrolling.
Another nice feature that I use is the water bottle pockets on the sides. They are almost full length and easily hold one liter bottles.
The harness system is minimalist. There isn’t any padding on the back, other than the sit pad. Just pack carefully.
Also, on the back is a pocket for a removable sit pad.
Yet another nice feature is a removable Wet OR Dry bag. It has a built in roll-top pocket with a clear face for your phone or passport or whatever.
I like this pack since it is simple and relatively low-profile. Quality is great and I haven’t found any flaws or issues with it. Prices are all over the map but if you search online, you should be able to find them for around $80 US.
Just thought I’d share another option I use when fishing…
I measured 4 inches of snow this morning and we are expected to get 2-3 inches more throughtout the day. Temps are right around 12F right now with wind chills making it feel like 0F.
I got up early to start shoveling the walkways and cleaning off the vehicles and get them de-iced and warmed up. I don’t need to go anywhere today so that is a plus.
The fire is going and the wood is stacked and ready to feed it when necessary. Zip was a little speed freak when I let him out this morning. The name fits for sure: he was “zipping” around all over the place.
I managed to get fresh water out to the birds and swept off a patch under a tree out front. Spread quite a bit of bird seed around to help them get out of the wind. We easily have 50-60 birds of all varieties taking advantage of the seed buffet.
We did manage to install a radiant heater in the chicken coop and apparently it’s working since we haven’t seen a single chicken this morning. They are quite content to stay indoors just like me.
Received a package from Digitaka yesterday. In talking with my wife, I asked why she didn’t use her trout spoons more. Her response was that she was afraid to lose them because she only had a few. So I ordered some more spoons. Problem solved.
I also ordered a couple of packages of plastic lures to try out. It’s nice to have various options in case a maker goes belly up or they are sold out.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain or understand the names. Catch you on the next one…