Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time for my Bucket List

Photo by Adrian Jones

(For this post, I'm following the suggestion of the OBN prompt regarding Bucket Lists. Since I've spent all my free time doing OBN stuff anyway - and, consequently, not fishing - I have nothing else to write about!!)

Kari Murray, the author of I Don't Wear Pink Camo in the Woods, wrote up her Bucket List last winter and published it on her blog. I've been meaning to do the same, but it just never rose high enough in the mental "to-do" list. I would imagine that's what happens to a lot of Bucket Lists. But, I like the idea of publicly putting out the list of goals, and knocking them off as they occur. As an added plus, by writing them down and making them public, there amay be people out there who can help you facilitate those goals. Of course, this Bucket List will involve only outdoor-related stuff.

Let me begin by pointing out that I HAVE NOT been short-changed in any way, shape, or form with regard to opportunites to pursue my outdoor passions. Traveling for business has afforded me many opportunities others only dream about, and I don't lose sight of the fortunate hand I've been dealt. I also don't apologize for it. It simply is what it is. But I still have a mental list of things I want to do before my time is up. So, without further ado - my Bucket List

1) Visit / fish Alaska

2) See the Northern Lights

3) Catch a Golden Trout on a fly in a stream in California.

4) Catch a pike over 50"

5) Fish the Amazon for peacock bass.

5a) Catch Golden Dorado on the same trip

6) Do a productive fishing trip with my Dad and son.
(We've had one unproductive one so far)

7) Catch a fish in all 50 states - see the list at the right of this post.

8) Catch a good (> 40") musky, on purpose

9) Trek in Nepal

10) Flyfish for brook trout in Labrador

11) Fish the Seychelles

Some of these are never going to happen (unless the Lottery gods smile upon me), some are quite do-able. Of course , I'll take all the help I can get to accomplish these goals. So, if you have a condo in the Seychelles that you're not using for a few weeks and you need someone to look after it - let me know!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Era, and more time in front of the screen of a computer

Today - Monday, October 18, 2010 - marks the official beginning of a project that I hope to someday be able to look back on and say "Geez - remember way back when the OBN started?"

I'm sure some of you have noticed the Outdoor Blogger Network buttons / logos that have been appearing on the sidebars of some blogs over the past few days. Well, today is the official launch of that website. What is the OBN? Why do we need another website? Who cares? Read on and I'll explain in my own simple way.

A few months back, Rebeca Garlock - The Outdooress - and I met to fish some of the fine waters she writes about. That was it - we were going fishing. If you read these pages (and I'm assuming you do, because you're reading this!) you know that we "clicked" from the moment we met. No weird awkward silences, nothing - just like we were old friends fishing together. And, as we found out throughout those couple of days, we shared a few visions of what we would like to see our respective blogs become, and, even more so, where we thought the whole Outdoor Blogging community was heading. Or where we thought it SHOULD BE heading. These conversations were much the same as many we've all had - "What would you do if you won a million dollars?", "What do you want to be when you grow up?", ... [BTW - I have NO intentions of ever growing up!] Just typical, pie-in-the-sky kind of conversations. Except that this one didn't just fade away, into the background, into the graveyard of "What if...". We kept talking about this. And we started laying the groundwork to actually DO the site.

Our vision, in a nutshell, was to develop a place for readers of Outdoor blogs to find the best material on the web, and for Outdoor bloggers to have a centralized "meeting place" - a cyber "neighborhood bar / cafe", if you will. We wanted the Outdoor Blogging community to have something to be a part of, and to be able to amass a common voice in the media if need be. We feel that if we can have a somewhat consolidated voice, that we can become a viable part of the media (strength in numbers, if you will) where, now, we are individual voices in the forest of the industry. Finally, we wanted to create a centralized point of contact for manufacturers of outdoor related products, so they can more easily facilitate product placement for reviews, and have an archived listing of past reviews.

It is a pretty ambitious plan and goal.

And, the one thing we don't ever want to lose sight of (because, if we do, it will be the death of the site) is that the OBN HAS TO be a place people want to log into, and want to be a part of. It has to be fun.

Because, in the end, if we're not having fun doing this stuff - why are we doing it?

If you're a fellow blogger, and want to become part of the Outdoor Blogger Network, click on the OBN button alongside this post and become a part of the network!

Finally, if you've already signed up for the OBN, make sure you return to the site to see how YOU can win some cool stuff in our Inaugural Giveaway!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some days you're the pigeon - today, I was the statue

Today was a beautiful Fall day. Actually, it was a little warm - almost 80 - but very little wind, and not a cloud in the sky. My plan actually came to fruition, and I carved out 2 whole hours to fish , from 1:15 to 3:15.

A beautiful Fall day on the pond

My mind raced - stick with the original plan of crankbait / swim jig? Spinnerbaits always do pretty well here - maybe I'll go with one of those. Based on previous Fall excursions here, I figured I'd fish faster rather than at a slow, deliberate pace. I lowered the trolling motor and started on my long awaited 2 hours of solitude and fish un-hooking.

Well, at least the solitude part held true.

A turtle sunning itself

Total tally - 3 hits, no fish hooked and, obviously, no fish landed. A total skunk. And I just don't get it. The first time around the pond - it takes about an hour - yielded nothing for the sunny half. I missed one hit on a 1/24 oz. jig w/ a white grub on the shaded half. I slowed down on the second go-around, and got 1 hit on a 5" Senko. Whiffed on the hit. Finished up by getting a half-assed hit on a Cubby just before I left. Only 2 days before, Jesse - a co-worker at work, and a really good fisherman - put his boat in the pond and fished for an hour. He got about 9-10 bass up to a pound and a half. And a nice walleye. He planned to come out this evening to use the boat for an hour or so. I really didn't feel like calling him with such a pathetic report, but I did. I knew the beating I'd take at work for getting blanked, while he would put a bunch of fish in the boat, would be relentless. He was stunned that it was that bad for me. [I texted him at dark and asked how he did - 2 hits, 1 - 5" bass! It stayed bad] At least I can show my face tomorrow at work.

I just don't know why there was such a marked difference over the past 2 days. Weather conditions have been stable and warming - usually good in the Fall. I threw: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Senkos, grubs - both 3" and 2", Cubbies, buzzbait, swim jig, Sammy. Nothing.

Thank God I wasn't being relied upon to provide for the family, or we would have eating Stone Soup.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Pre" fishing, sort of

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to get a chance to get out on the ponds for a few hours and sample a little Fall largemouth bass fishing. (Barring some unforeseen work crisis)

My "pre-fishing" consists of thinking about what I will use for the bass tomorrow. I figured I would share those thoughts, then post tomorrow nite with photos of my successful, or unsuccessful, outing.

The day was chosen because it was the only one I had that I could possibly get out, and I think it will end up being a good one. We had frost over the weekend, with highs in the 50's. It is now gradually getting warmer, and will be sunny tomorrow. I've had fairly good success on days like this in the past.

My plan going in is to do what I've done with some success in the past - square-lipped crankbaits on the main body of water, and spinnerbaits and swim jigs along the wood. The pond doesn't have much weed to speak of. I'll take one baitcast and one spinning outfit along.

I expect it to be pretty good, and will be a little disappointed if I don't bring a few bass over 2 pounds to hand. But - we'll see.

I'll let you know tomorrow what actually happens!