Monday, December 15, 2008

Catching Up, A couple things

The Boat -

The boat is winterized and ready to be picked up. Under warrantee the engine was fixed and problems gone. The trim motor was replaced and the excess salt that was building up in the engine was due to the transducer of the depthfinder/fishfinder. Apparently at high speed the water was splashing up from it and getting into the engine. The boat is shrinkwrapped and has a part being made to fit the fishbox up front that had a crack in it. Very happy to have all of this covered under warrantee.



The Concert -

Martin!!! Went to see martin Sexton with Christine, Mike and Jenny. So amazing, again. The acoustics in the Berklee Performing Arts Center are incredible which was an added bonus to the performance. Memorable moments to me were Candy, Glory Bound, Way I Am, My Maria and Blue Christmas. Most amazing of all was Hallelujah though. A song that I never really listened to much on my ipod. It was nothing short of breathtaking. He was able create an amazing chorus using the more talented than usual crowd. Everyone singing Hallelujah in harmony was unbelievable. Tears were literally streaming down my face. Gypsy Woman was also really cool. When he went over to his effects microphone he jammed out on an Eastern Scale for awhile until going into The Star Spangled Banner ala Jimi Hendrix. Awesome!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh Well, Next year

Went out on the boat on Columbus Day weekend with Gene Bourque. We found a nice school of bluefish in Quicks' Hole. That was fun, but we were both looking for one more nice bass for the year. No such luck. Tons of people were out there for the final day of the Martha's Vineyard Fishing Derby. More boats than i had seen out there all year and we were out there early too.

Long story short(ish). Trimmed up my engine while fishing in close to some rocks. Left the engine in the water just barely and engine running. The trim motor ends up burning/shorting out on me and it would not go back down. Had to start heading back in early and it still took us nearly two hours to return. Normally a 20-25 minute drive. It's covered under warranty so I am optimistic. Boat is getting worked on and winterized at Edwards.

Thomas has officially caught the last bass of the season. We went to Parker's and he caught a 14" bass on a small Storm shad. Really cool. This was his first bass that he had casted, hooked and reeled in by himself. Doubt I will muster up the energy to fish one more time at Mashnee. Such a long haul to get there and now it is such a crap shoot as to whether or not there are fish.

I have to say that I had an awesome fishing season. I remember having an earlier post about trying to find the irony in how slow my season started. I think I learned a lot about fishing, family and me as a fisherman this year. I am not going to be one of those guys i read about that fish 5 nights a week between the hours of 2am and sunup. Isn't going to happen!! Sure I will do the occasional nighttime excursion, but not with enough regularity to compete with the likes of the local sharpies. I have come to realize that in the spring and fall (which happens to coincide with the best fishing for bass) I am just far too busy to fish like crazy. School is in session and our whole family revolves around a school schedule. Add the kids' spring sport schedule and it is hard to find any time to relax let alone fish.

My memories from this season will be:

1. The epic fishing at Mashnee during the first week of June. I caught and released multiple bass in the 20 lb. range.
2. Fishing the Elizabeth Islands including Cuttyhunk and catching bass on every trip. Almost a keeper every trip too.
3. Taking the boat out to Stellwagen Bank and watching the whales and searching for tuna.
4. Going out with the family in the boat and docking up in Onset and eating at Marc Anthony's.
5. Fishing in the same spot as other people that were catching nothing and hooking up on the 7" bone Hogy. Happened multiple times.

Tom's fishing blog will most likely become a Borning family blog for the next 6 months or so. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where did September go?

I can't believe September has come and gone. I think my grand total of fishing outings for the month was 2!! Only really upset that I wasn't able to get out there and try for the Albies that finally came in to Buzzards Bay the past couple weeks. Between the start of school, kids soccer, vacations and weather it has just been near impossible for me to find the time to get out there. In situations like this in the past I normally would sacrifice a little sleep in order to get some fishing in, but the fact is that for the whole month of September I was sleeping horribly. I had the worst case of allergies that I can remember since I was in high school. So, the amount of sleep I was getting was already compromised - forget about adding fishing to that! There were even a few nights that I was up from 2-4am blowing my nose and sneezing that I considered heading out to wet a line. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Only a few weeks left and the big bass are on the move through the canal. If wishes were horses (I still have no idea what that saying means) I would get out to the Elizabeths one more time on the boat and the west end of the canal a few more times sprinkling in some dock fishing at my October secret fishing spot, Parker's Boatyard. Thanks to Dr. Mosychuk I can actually breathe and sleep again. So maybe I will get some nighttime fishing in with eels and search for my first 30 lb. shore fish. Frankly, one more keeper bass would be nice no matter what the size plus I would love to get a couple big bluefish. Here's to hoping.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Surf Talk and JDRF Fundraiser

I decided to do a fundraiser on a message board called Surf Talk. It has been a success so far having raised $85. What surprised me was the tremendous outreach by other anglers out there that have been willing to donate plugs. I now have 10 prizes in the raffle. Two RM Smith plugs which run at least $25 a piece, a package of Hogy's, 5 homemade plugs that look amazing, an antique Atom plug and a couple other plugs as well. My goal when i started this was to hopefully raise $100 so I am almost there, but now I have a feeling that I may get closer to $150. As of right now I have 5 entrants in the raffle so each person will actually win two things and when I repost a new thread I will include pictures of all the great prizes and discuss the incredible odds of winning. Hopefully this will gain me another handful of entrants at $5 a piece. Here are some pictures of the prizes being offered.





Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting Ready to Heat Up - Or Cool Down

The general temperature of the Cape is starting to cool down quite a bit which means to me that the fishing will start to heat up. I have been disappointed at the lack of bluefish, albies and bonito in Buzzards Bay this year and I am hoping that those that fish these waters regularly are rewarded with a nice fall blitz. Overall I am very happy with the season I have had as it has been the most productive in terms of keeper bass that I have caught on my own ever. It will take a long time to add up to two of the amzing trips I have gone on with Steve Page where we threw back probably close to twenty-five 40" fish each trip. In a way though I do not even count that trip. I did not catch the fish. Yes, I was holding the rod and reeled the fish in etc, but I was not the one who found the fish and chose what rod, lure, line etc. to use. With the lack of fish in Buzzards Bay it has meant that I have had to make many a trip to the Elizabeth's in order to find the good fishing which has been loads of fun, but it has not been kind on my gas bill. Yes, I get great mileage on my boat and can get three to four lenghthy trips out of it, but it adds up real quick for a family of teachers. Christine has been awesome about letting me go out on the boat just about whenever I ask. I alos think that I am quite reasonable about it too and try to make it as painless as possible. In the early summer i could leave at 4am and have enough light to see so I was done fishing by 9am. Now that I have to leave at more like 5am I am done around 10am, but the possitives are that I really still have an entire day to spend with the family after I have done a morning fishing. I am thinking that I am going to have to be willing to get down and dirty this fall. Lots of layers and deal with some heavier seas and not be afraid to get a little rained on. With school in full swing I am going to need to take advantage of the weekends as much as possible. I am not afraid to take a sick day or two, but with having to be out a good amount for Thomas and music festivals etc. my days add up really fast. Before my last trip with Gene I told myseof that I would like to get just one more keeper before the season is done, but since it already happened I think I may add one more to the list.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Fishing

I was looking forward to getting in some fishing this weekend before getting back to school. I went out early on Saturday morning with some eels and Hogy's. My plan was to fish the Vineyard sound side of the Elizabeth's. I started out casting around some rocks near Robinson's Hole where I have caught some bass before. Nothing there. I moved on to some rocks near Quicks' Hole and still no luck. I decided to move towards Cuttyhunk. This is the first time I have fished the Vineyard Sound side of the island. I went right up to the fishing club and stated throwing some eels. I saw a few fish near the surface that were pushing some bait around, but they were not interested in eels so I threw the Hogy at them and soon after I started doing that they were no where to be seen. I ended up going all around the island fishing rocks and the rip that sets up at the end. Still no fish.

On the way home I decided to fish a couple spots around Naushon to try and avoid the skunk. I did manage one small schoolie and a few casts later while I was getting out a knot I reeled in and had a fluke. My first one of those.

Yesterday I went out with Gene Bourque. There was a stiff NW wind that made Buzzards Bay pretty unenjoyable on the trip out to the Elizabeth's, but after we went through Wood's Hole Vineyard Sound was as flat as could be. Gene showed me some great spots along Naushon to fish. At one spot Gene got two nice keepers in the 30-35" range and I missed two fish and my line snapped on another upon setting the hook. Maddening. We worked our way south and Gene was able to get one more fish just under keeper size. We were almost at Cuttyhunk and decided to fish these rocks on Nashawena that looked rather fishy. This time I hooked up twice and brought in a nice just under keeper fish and a nice 30+" fish.

The interesting thing about the fish we caught was that each time one of us hooked up the other one missed a fish at just about exactly the same time. It was like as soon as one fish decided to attack another followed.

The ride back was awful. Vineyard Sound was OK in spots, rough in some and dead flat in others. After thinking we may go through Robinson's and return through Buzzard's Bay the 5 foot waves changed our minds really quick. We were able to really make good time from Robinson's down to Wood's Hole on the Vineyard Sound side, but it took nearly an hour to get from Wood's Hole to Fiddler's. What an uncomfortable and bumpy ride. But, worth every second of it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marshfield Trip

Before leaving for Marshfield I did some research to figure out whether my boat was capable of getting out to Stellwagen Bank safely. Seeing that it was possible I needed to then figure out how to fish for tuna with my limited resources of rods, tackle etc. The guys at Hogy were helpful in showing me the best things to throw at busting tuna with spinning gear. The guys at Bad Fish hooked me up with a nice trolling spread at a reasonable price.

Went to Stellwagen three times. I had a nice map and Christine's hand held GPS was very helpful. Within two miles of the bank I was looking at some boats and saw this huge black mass come fully out of the water and splash down. Humpback whale, so cool. I have been on three whale watches and never seen a humpback. I did see a few schools of tuna rise, but they come up and go back down so fast I only managed a few casts that had a reasonable chance at hooking up. I trolled for a while too, but no fish. On the radio it sounded as though nobody was hooking up so I didn't feel that bad.

Went back the next day with Christine's dad and brothers Mike and Dan. The seas were choppy and the ride there was slow. When we got there we did not see any tuna, but we saw the most amazing whale show. We were beside a humback for about a half an hour and he was jumping up and out of the water for us. Incredible.

Two days later I took the family out with Christine mom and Aunt Bitty. About half way to Stellwagen we saw multiple small schools of tuna rise up. I made a few casts, but still no luck. We went out to Stellwagen and it was feeding time for the humpbacks. They were travelling together today usually in groups of tow or three and coming up to gorge on food. While I was there I saw the hugest school of sand eels that I have ever seen. Off and on I would mark bigger fish down below and was hoping that they would come up to feed on those sand eels, but no luck. Christine got some great pics. Here is my favorite.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why So Early?

Mike Earley doesn't quite share the same belief as I do that the early bird gets the ....... fish. Well, I think I was proven right today. No, we did not catch a large number of bass or any keepers, but I do not think that many people do this time of year at the West End of the canal. We decided to use eels. Right off the bat we were hooking up with blg bluefish. Unfortunately the blues were biting off our rigs and boating the fish was near impossible. We decided to enter a cove where there were birds working and we were rewarded with a bunch of schoolie bass. We went back to a couple drifts that we like and we started to get some good bluefish action on plugs. There were multiple boaters that were having horrible problems with etiquette. Annoying, so annoying that I will choose not to discuss it much. I truly feel these people were just dumb and not intentionally being pricks. Moral of the story: I would say that Mike and I boated 4 bass and 3 bluefish plus multiple long fights with blues on eels only to break off at the boat. I only saw a couple other boats get one fish let alone many fish.

That's why so early.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A week of firsts

This past week was a week of firsts.

1. The family went out on a little boat trip with Suzanne and the Earley children. On our way from West Falmouth to Meganssett I saw a boat approaching and I just knew that we were going to get boarded. Long story short we did not have a third adult life jacket so the Coast Guard was going to follow us in so that we could get one. The funny thing is that I knew this would not be the case. Tommy Earley was on the boat which meant we really could not go that fast. After about 2 minutes of following us they pulled up beside us and said they weren't going to follow us in.

2. Mike Earley and I went out on a fishing trip that we turned into beer drinking, sightseeing, maybe a little fishing trip. When Mike was gassing up his boat the gas overflowed a little bit so Mike knew he had a full tank of gas. With a full tank, flat calm seas and a twelve pack of beer we decided to head towards Cuttyhunk. A first for both of us. On the way there we came accross some unorganized bird action which turned out to be a few schools of schoolies. Mike got hold of a nice healthy schoolie. We then road south and we did hit a little fog here and there, but we made it to Cuttyhunk and went in to the harbor. It looks like a snapshot of 1910 if you ignore all the boats in the harbor. On the way back we stopped by some fishy looking rocks just north of Quicks' Hole. I prophesized that I would catch a 32" bass and sure enough I was able to bring in a 31" keeper. We would have thrown the fish back, but unfortunately the hook was caught up in the gills so bad that by the time we were able to free it the fish was severely bleeding.

3. Yesterday morning I went on a fishing trip with Mike Kennedy. We were headed towards the Elizabeth Islands for the hopes of some bass, but the expectation of bluefish. I was right on with this prediction other than the fact that I missed about 4 bass hits near Quicks and Cuttyhunk. There were nice schools of bluefish in Quicks' Hole and Cuttyhunk. We could have stayed all day and caught hundreds I am sure.

Yesterday afternoon our family boated around to Washburn Island. We met the Fish/Lott family and did a geocache. We tied up and ate dinner before attempting to beat the sunset. On the outgoing trip it was a little rougher than we had hoped so we left an hour and a half to make the return trip. Vineyard Sound was much better on the way back with 2 foot waves, but very navigable. As soon as we hit Woods Hole the seas were down to nothing and we were pleased to see that they were the same on the Buzzards Bay side. This was lake calm and we were actually able to open the boat all the way up and we were home in no time at all.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

For summer I have been so busy. Starting on Wednesday I had gigs on every day with multiple gigs on Thursday and Saturday. The big string of gigs ended Sunday morning with a church gig. Mike Earley and I had planned an Elizabeth Islands jaunt and that started a little before 4pm. With a full tank of gas and near flat calm seas we decided to head out towards Cuttyhunk, a first for both of us. We decided to fish for the blues if they showed, but they didn't. Not one. Just south of the Weepeckets we saw some birds, but they were acting a little stange. Long story short there were a few schools of bass breaking on bait, but it was pretty unorganized. Mike caught one healthy schoolie and I had a few bass follow the Ranger on metal leader that I had bought to catch all the bluefish I knew that we would be catching. I switched to a bone Hogy when I realized we were on bass, but the schools were so unorganized we kept heading south. Around the colder water there was a bunch of fog, but we were able to keep the islands in sight and get down to Cuttyhunk and back safely. On the way back we went by Quicks Hole and saw a few spots that looked rocky and fishy. I told Mike that I ws going to catch a 32" bass around these rocks and sure enough I got some really nice swirls and finally a hookup on the 7" bone Hogy. Well, it was only 31", but it was a great fish and really pulled some drag. Unfortunately the fish inhaled the bait and the hook was really hung up in its gills. When we finally got the hook out it was bleeding so bad we knew it was going to die so we kept it. I am looking forward to getting to Cuttyhunk early some morning to get a big bass.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Good couple days

Friday morning - I woke up early, 4:30am to be exact. There was already a little light in the sky, next time I will get up earlier. Got in the boat and headed towards Naushon. Second cast on a bone Hogy and it got slammed. A huge bluefish! Next drift I through out a plug and no takers. Drifted again to see if there were some bass in there and again a bone Hogy got nailed by a bluefish. I left and repeated this scenario almost exactly at three other points on the Buzzards Bay side of Naushon. The bluefish were all over 10 lbs. and they would not take any plug or metal I tried to serve to them. I went through Robinson's Hole and fished Naushon on the Vineyard Sound side. Second cast and I nailed a 29" bass. I new it was a bass almost immediately because of the head shakes. I was proud of myself in that I was able to bring in the fish and successfully maneuver the boat away from the rock I was drifting into and the lobster pot behind me. I decided to keep this bass, most likely the only one I will keep this year. I caught 5 or 6 small schoolies and went home. Made fish cakes with the striper and they were amazing. Almost tempts me to keep another, but I feel a little guilty keeping bass for no reason. Perhaps I will try the same recipe with bluefish, but I think it won't be as good.

Saturday - Went out with Mike Earley and we repeated the same steps that I did the day before, but we had different results. It was calm! Super calm! All morning long. Haven't seen anything like it in Buzzards Bay before. We happened upon some birds and caught a handful of small blues around the Weepeckets. We then started hitting all the points that brought large fish and I was only able to get one small bass here. We went around the corner of Robinson's Hole and we did not have any luck other than a couple bumps. We did see another fisherman fighting what looked to be a nice fish. On the way back home we stopped by Woods Hole and fished a rip just at the entrance. Bass were stacked up behind it and we were able to catch a few healthy schoolies in the 24"-26" range.

When I got home the family decided to go out on the boat. We went to a nice sandy spot near Sippewisset marsh ate lunch and went swimming. When we were done here we drove towards Naushon and of course when we got around the Weepeckets we happened upon some birds and some bluefish. Thomas was excited that his Bass Pro Shops popper caught a bunch of bluefish. The best part was that Christine reeled in her first fish. Christine and Thomas each brought in two as well. I am amazed at how well Gwen does at bringing in a fish. She is perfect at reeling at the right time and knowing when to let the fish run. I actually think she could reel in a large bass if the opportunity ever presented itself. Overall an awesome couple of fishing days with great weather.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dave Matthews 6/24

Went to see the Dave Matthews Band at Great Woods, I mean the Tweeter Center, I mean the Comcast Center last night. Great show! As I get older I look at things a lot differently. I found myself thinking about the band and how it was not that long ago they were playing for a few hundred dollars a night, loading a packing their own gear etc. I wonder if musicians like that ever get bored playing for thousands of people.

A few cool things - They added a trumpet player to the mix and he was a very decent player. My favorite part was his flugelhorn solo, but throughout the evening he displayed good solo chops and a range that wouldn't quit. The Dave Matthews Band has a knack for shaping songs dynamically. Every song (and solos within the song) have a definite dynamic arch that keep variety in their music, something that many bands these days are lacking big time. I am impressed at how much better the saxophone player has gotten over the years. When the band first started it was a struggle for him just to play in tune and although I have still heard many a better high school sax player he is getting better and his improvised solos are continually improving. The drummer is still impressive and interesting. The most underrated player in the band is the bass player. He is solid and never takes the spotlight away from soloists or singer. He is constantly in line with the kick drum, but adds appropriate fills that are cool to listen to. Great songs performed were Trippin Billies, Gravedigger, Ants Marching, Rapunzel. My favorite of the night was Crush. Really cool to hear all of the crowd singing along.

A few not good things - Ok, the drummer is good, but two Foot Joy golfing gloves while you play? Somehow I do not recall seeing Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Gene Krupa, or in the rock genre, Neil Peart or Gregg Bisonette wearing gloves. Lame!! Dave played the piano during one song and it was the worst song of the night. There was no chorus or bridge to the song and even though the band still performed their bell curve dynamic arch it still fell flat. The piano riff was elementary at best. Gwen could easily have played it. The viloin player is the worst musician on the stage. The worst improviser I have ever heard make tons of money. I can think of a half dozen high school violinists that I have taught that I could have taught to improvise as well in about an hour. And no I am not exaggerating.

All in all an awesome concert. Dave's music is so happy sounding even when the message is dark. The stage was really cool looking and offered many different views of the players. A word to Comcast Center. More lights and bigger walkways!!! Very uncomfortable exiting the concert.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh Yeah!!

The Celtics Win! The Celtics Win! Theeeeeeeeeeee Celtics Win!!!!

Amazing game last night. So much fun to watch an outstanding team just demolish another team in the most important game of the year. It is definitely fun to be a Boston sports fan. The Patriots, the Red Sox and now the Celtics. Awesome. Now if only the Bruins would get sold to an owner or owners that actually cared about putting together a contending team we would be all set.

I had a big win today too. I just "won" a Penn Captiva 8000 surf casting reel on ebay. I am pretty happy with it. Good price and it was exactly in my "Mr. Cheapo" price range. $62 including shipping. Looking forward to getting in some fishing real soon. As much as possible before the dog days of summer really get here. Here is a picture of my new reel that will be here in a few days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Ready

School is out on Friday!! You can't see it, but I am doing a tap dance in between each sentence I am writing. Yesterday I took some time to get all of my rods up to speed. Respooled my two light tackle setups and swapped reels. I also got some more braid for the big boy and respooled that too. I have been putting a lot of thought into the big boy recently as well. I think the rod is going to be good for me for a long time. It is sturdy and has enough backbone to horse in a big fish. Eventually I am going to upgrade the reel. I have been doing a little looking and I am hoping to spend less than $100 and hopefully more like $60. Right now I am looking at an Okuma Salina and it also looks like there are a couple lower end Shimano's that may work as well as possibly a Daiwa or two. I am looking hard at some ebay listings and also in the shops. It is not a huge thing, but I do not want to lose a Striper Cup worthy fish because my reel gave out. I have still only been out one time on the boat by myself for a fishing outing. I am looking forward to many early morning starts and getting out to the Elizabeth's with a bucket of eels and/or trying out more of the trolling thing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Woke up early to go fishing with Paul and Mike Kerrigan. We were on the water by 6:30am. Headed towards the Elizabeth's and happened upon a huge school of bluefish that occasionally came up to the surface to bang bait. There was an amazing amount of fish on the fish finder and an incredible amount of bait in the water. It was fun to see Mike catch his first couple blues after relearning how to cast. We each caught a few and headed to Robinson's Hole. We anchored at the Southwestern most point of Robinson's and started chumming. It wasn't long before we started getting fish...dogfish! We pulled up three and then got out of there. The ride back stunk because I thought about swinging by Middle Ground before heading in. Vineyard Sound had the occasional 6-7 foot wave whereas Buzzards Bay was barely 1. Bad choice. In addition, the rain started to fall making it hard to see. I probably burnt an extra $20 in fuel and a full hour of time getting back Vineyard Sound instead of Buzzards Bay. Another lesson learned. Christine set up an awesome cookout and we ate very well and watched a Red Sox 9-0 murder of the Reds. Awaiting the Celts game tonight and hoping they just end it tonight so that I do not have to stay up so late anymore, unless I am fishing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Couple Lessons Learned

Went back to the West End of the canal last night. The fish are still there, but there are more small fish and bluefish now. I did see someone catch one really nice bass, but mostly I saw small fish being caught. I caught one fish on the night, a nice healthy 25-26" fish I would say. I lost one more and had my offering exploded upon on numerous occassions, but with no hookups. There was a boat out in front of me and the other two guys near me and I tried my hardest to cast as close to the boat as possible as to let them know that they were too close. I landed a couple casts within 10 feet I'd say. Not sure they understood the message, but they did not stay too long. The two guys next to me were sporting their $800-$1000 surf casting setups. As a direct descendant of "Mr. Cheapo" i would show them that I could catch fish just as good as them. Well, one of them anyway. The guy immediately to the right of me did not hook up at all while I was there, but the guy on the other jetty probably brought in 10 fish. Wish I was bold enough to ask him what lure/color he was using, but no big deal. This night ended up being one that I will chalk up to learning the ropes. I will be better prepared in the future because of it. I have been doing a lot of reading and feel that I had all my necessary supplies packed in one backpack. Loaded up, but not overdone is what I was shooting for and I am pretty much there. New lessons are:

1. Braid line will mess up your finger when casting hard and often.

2. Close the bail with your hand to make sure that the braid does not spool on loose.

3. Put your light on a lanyard.


1. After fishing on Thursday night when many awesome fish were caught my finger had a small cut on it that I chalked up to nicking on a hook. Don't get me wrong I had heard that casting braid will mess up your finger, but over the years I have not had that happen. In retrospect I have not had this happen because usually I was casting with eels and not trying to cast my plugs the lenghth of a football field out into the middle of the Cape Cod Canal. Anyway, about a half hour in my finger is killing me. I decided to work through the pain and deal with it later.

2. Shortly after repositioning myself on a jetty I notice I have a knot in my spool. I empty out the line to get to it and it is unfixable. I retie the leader and begin fishing again. About a half hour later there is an even bigger knot in the spool and it was obvious that it happened at the very end of a cast because it was deep in the spool. Unfixable again. I had to stop fishing because I no longer had enough line on my rod.

3. While getting the final knot out of my spool I had my mag light flashlight in my mouth so i could see what I was doing. It fell out of my mouth and in to the water. Now it looked like there was a spaceship hovering under the rocks of the jetty in three feet of water. Light coming up between every crack. This made the last few minutes of untangling and cutting the braid very challenging, but eventually I did it.

Solutions:

1. I will wear a bandaid whenever i am going to be casting with braid or tape it up. I am way to cheap to spend $20 on an Aquaskinz casting glove.

2. First I am in need of a new reel that closes as soon as I begin reeling, but in the meantime I think I can avoid the knots by closing the bail myself.

3. Not that I haven't read that I need to keep my light on a lanyard, but now I will definitely do that.

Although last night was not a very successful night in terms of fish caught I did avoid the skunk and manage to catch more fish than one of the $1000 shore fisherman. More importantly i can chalk last night up to a good learning experience that will hopefully allow me to have more success in the future.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Great Weekend

Had three gigs this weekend. Nice to get some extra cash. I am really starting to like playing with Salsa Night Band. Even though I do not understand what the people are saying much of the time they are really nice and we communicate with bare bones English and my limited Spanish.

Saturday morning Mike Earley took his friend Rick back to the West End of the canal and Rick hooked up to a nice 28 lb. bass. Mike also brought home a honking bluefish that had to be at least 12 lbs. I was too tired from the night before to get out in the morning with them. It is a really weird feeling that I feel because before Thursday night if I knew there were huge fish in a particular area I would have been there in a second no matter how little sleep I had. Thursday was so good I almost feel as though I have no need to experience the same fishing at the same spot. At least I am not felling the same desire to prove my fishing expertise or lack thereof because now I have 4 keepers under my belt for the season. Having said that, I had so much fun that I think that I am going to go back there tonight. Apparently the fish are still there from reports that I have received.

Great news!! After Thomas' baseball game and my wedding ceremony on Saturday I was able to get the boat put in and it is now being officially rack stored at Fiddler's Cove. On Sunday morning we went out on a family boat outing with Christine's parents. It was awesome. We went into the west end of the canal and were able to dock up in Onset Harbor and eat lunch at Marc Anthony's. Best pizza in the Cape Cod area. There were a lot of boats fishing, but I did not see a single hookup.

Gwen scored her first goal in lacrosse yesterday. I was so proud of her. There is so much luck involved in girls lacrosse. If a girl gets a pass and it is the second pass they need to pass it again until their team can legally shoot on net. I can't count the amount of times that Gwen was the second girl to receive a pass only to have to make one more pass and have that girl score or get a shot on net. No biggy! She is really starting to understand the game and I am so proud of her newly found athleticism.

Thomas had a game and although he did not score he played outstanding. He was very agressive during ground balls and was able to get a couple shots on net. It was their 2nd and last game of the year and they ended up in a 5-5 tie.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Big wins all around

I got a great report of some nice bass being caught near the West End of the canal. I had to get there. Mike Earley and I went a little before 8pm. Amazing scene. Big bass crashing plugs. Usually I am a light tackle guy, but I knew I would have to be chucking plugs out deep so I let it rip with my 9 foot ugly stick. A cheap surf rod, but it got the job done. Plus, I have it lined with braid which definitely has added a good 20 yards to my cast. After all was said and done I pulled in four bass in the 20lb. range and one nice bluefish. Mike was unable to cast quite as far as me, but he hooked up twice and did bring in a nice 20lb. bass.

Celtics win, Celtics win, theeeeeeeeeee Celtics win!!! Huge win for the Celtics last night. Close game and I think that this could turn out to be a great series. Celtics definitely had the benefit of some hometown calls from the refs so I wonder if that will continue next game. If the Celts can pull off a game two win they are totally in the drivers seat. Knowing that if they can just get one win in LA that they can come home to win it all. Exciting times for Massachusetts sports fans.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Figures

Last night it was only a day past a new moon, it ws foggy, it had been dark and rainy all day. Could there be any better fishing conditions? I told Christine that I was going to go fishing at the canal. I changed my mind and decided to watch Top Chef with her instead (which she proceeded to sleep through). I did get a chance before it started to get about a half hour of fishing in at Parker's. A lot of menhaden are still there and I was able to get two small bluefish and two healthy schoolies. Reports came flying in this morning about great action at the canal last night. Of Course!!! I still had fun at Parker's, but this is starting to get a little ridiculous. I need to start maiking a committment to getting out there when the conditions dictate it. I knew and I didn't do it. My fault.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fishing report and a prediction

On Sunday morning Mike Earley went to Middle Ground and released 20 keeper sized striped bass. The squid are coming through and the big fish are following. This is just like the time I went out with Steve Page and we happened upon the same circumstances. It is truly amazing fishing. Monday morning Mike Hogan went out and pulled in 8 keepers with a charter he was running. So, Tuesday i decided it was time to take a day off and get out there. When I got to middle ground nothing was happening. I did not see any squid, fish breaking, or fish being caught. After an hour I look to my left and I see this huge seal. Yes, a seal in Vineyard Sound on June 3. I get out of there and try a bunch of other spots with no luck. I go back to middle ground and start fishing again. I see a couple seagulls diving here and there which at least tell me there is squid in the water again. I manage to catch three stripers on the Double Wide Amber Hogy. With so much weed in the water it was the only way to consistently get good casts in and not bring up a pound of weed every time. The fish were 26", 26" and 27". No keepers, but I felt good that I was the only one that I saw catch any fish. Every now and then you would see a bass come flying up out of the water to attack squid, such a cool sight. Apparently the fishing just kept heating up too because Gene Bourque went back and caught a few nice fish later. It was nice to get out there and catch some decent fish. This was the first time I had gone out on the boat by myself and I was really happy with all aspects of it. I was out for 5 hours and burned hardly any fuel. I continue to shave seconds off of my self proclaimed mastery of loading and unloading of the boat on to the trailer.

Prediction - More seals equals more Great White Sharks. There will be more sightings of Great White Sharks this year than ever. And, within the next two years my horrible prediction is that there will be a shark attack on an outer beach on the Cape.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

MARTY!!

This weekend was incredible. Awesome meal and saw Martin Sexton in Portsmouth, NH with Chris, Jill, Mike, Jen and Christine. I was blown away by his amazing singing and guitar playing. Multiple times during the show I was almost brought to tears by his amazing voice. Standout songs to me were Candy, Glory Bound, Gypsy Woman, Purple Rain and his encore Way I Am. His falsetto vocals were breathtaking, but his huge voice in his normal range was equally impressive. I have always enjoyed the recordings I have heard of him when he uses a talk box to alter his voice to sound like a distorted guitar. He does it so appropriately and it reminds me of a tone that Jimi Hendrix used to get on his Fender. Not to be outshined by his voice his guitar playing was outstanding too. Although he never breaks into any amazing runs, he is flawless at playing his low E string in a bass-like manner while playing chords with the higher 4 or 5 strings. His thumbs on both hands are used much more than your typical rhythm guitar player. Often times his two thumbs were working to play the bass line while his other eight fingers concentrated on chordal accompaniments.

Fishing - NOOOOOOOOOO! It happened again. The big blitz of stripers that follow in squid to middle ground. Mike Earley reported to me that he was out early Sunday morning and caught 20 bass and they were all keepers. Unbelievable!! Glad Mike got into some good fish and I feel fortunate that once I happened upon this occurrence about 6 years ago. Also heard that Mike Hogan released his first 50 in Woods Hole. This year is just one that I would like to forget in terms of fishing luck. Admittedly I have not put in the time and I need to start. Early mornings and/or late nights need to happen with a little more frequency in order for me to really have a gripe about my bad luck. I guess when you get right down to it, I am just jealous.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fishing Logs

I have been asking myself a lot lately whether or not I would be a complete dork if I kept a fishing log. In a couple books I have read by avid anglers they swear by them. I have never been one to take into account the tide or wind. Usually my fishing is of opportunity. If I can find a slot of time then I get out there and go. Perhaps if I keep a log and I do have the chance to get out I can look at where I fished in the past on that date to have a reference as to if there are fish in a particular location or not. I have actually thought about getting a few of those composition books and not only logging my experiences, but borrowing from others as well. A couple great fisherman have online blogs/logs and if I coupled mine with theirs it could be a great situation.

Fishing lately has been pretty hit or miss around the Cape. I have heard of decent success in the canal, but I just really do not enjoy fishing there that much. I will go to the Railroad Bridge on occasion, but that is about the extent of it. Weather will be bad this weekend so my trip to NH to here Martin Sexton is timely. I foresee a couple mental health/fishing days off from school in the near future.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday - Christine took her students to Six Flags for a Great East Festival so I had the kids. We ended up swinging by Parker's after dinner. There was a lot of bait again. I decided to fill up a trash bag for the freezer. Everytime I snagged a menhaden they got chased by small stripers. The third one was chased by a beautiful 30" ish fish though. I tried leaving the menhaden out there, but no luck. Tried fishing with a Hogy and a Storm shad, but unable to get a fish to stay on.

Saturday - Andrew, Susan and Baby Aidan were over and we had a nice day at Thomas' baseball game and then a kids fair at North Falmouth Elementary. Later that night I took my students on a field trip to see the Boston Pops. John Williams was the conductor. Last year was my first year seeing the group in person at Boston Symphony Hall and I was brought to tears by the amazing sound and accuracy of the orchestra, but mostly by the brass section. The program was excellent and I was excited that they concluded the entire evening with E.T., my favorite movie score. The french horns were breathe taking.

Sunday - We decided to head out on the boat and we ended up having a great time. We headed out to the West End of the canal and then into Onset Harbor. By the time we made it into the harbor it was 11:00 and close to lunch time. After being convinced to dock the boat we did and we found the legendary pizza place, Mark Anthony's. Unbelievable pizza. We got home by 1:30 and it felt as though we were all ready for bed. I am impressed by my ability to launch and take out the boat. For a relative newbie I think I am the fastest at it that I have witnessed. Now if I can just get my boat driving skills up to that level I would feel a lot better. Getting there. Unfortunately, we missed out on going to a cookout at Mike Kennedy's that we had been looking forward to for some time. Christine and I were under the impression that Andrew and Susan would be leaving Sunday, but it didn't happen. It was impossible to talk Andrew to coming to the cookout with us and both Christine and I were uncomfortable leaving our kids with the Garcia's at our house. Overall a great day, but would have been nice to see some friends at Mike's. That would have been an unbeatable day if topped off with that.

Monday - Memorial Day Parade was a success. Wished I had more students there, but with how my scheduling has been for the past two weeks I can not blame me or the students. Thomas got sick and it was a frustrating cookout / graduation party / birthday party at the Kerrigan's because of it. He was a trooper as always and after he finally puked he seemed fine.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Attempting to find the ...........irony?

Now I have resorted to not only trying to find the fish, but now the irony in the fact that I have not caught any fish yet. Perhaps the first fish I catch this year will be a keeper and not a schoolie. Maybe I am going to have the best run I have ever had at some point. Maybe I am going to win the boat, or a weekly prize in the Striper Cup. Better yet, maybe the Toyota Tundra. Probably none of these are going to happen, but it sure would be nice to say," Isn't it ironic that I started off the season so slow and... (insert improbable happening here)."

At lunch today I got a bump at Trunk River, but just one. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........................

Might have to do some early morning fishing this weekend. Saturday, Sunday, or both.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strike One, Two, Three, You're OUT!!

Getting more and more frustrated at my lack of caught fish this year. Thomas and I dropped Gwen off at lacrosse and had a solid hour and a half to find some fish. Gene had caught some fish at Megansett the night before and I had seen a ton of bait and a nice fish at Parker's. So, we started at Parker's and worked our way back to Falmouth High School. We went out on the end of the docks at Parker's - Strike One. We took some casts at Megansett after that - Strike Two. One more stop, West Falmouth Harbor - Strike Three. Being the cartoon junkie that I once was I remember a Bugs Bunny where he struck out three batters on one slow ball. Similar? Probably not.

Got back to pick up Gwen with 15 minutes to spare and Thomas and I played catch for a while. He is finally starting to be less afraid of the ball when catching. He has a rocket arm and can catch, but he constantly steps to the side if the ball is coming at him and catches the ball beside him. He'll get it and last night was a great step in the right direction. We had a stretch of 9 tosses back and forth where no ball was dropped. Thomas' new goal is to play for the Commodores when he is in college. That would be amazing even though I am not holding my breath.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why I hate lacrosse

Yes, I am being sarcastic, but with Memorial Day approaching I have yet to land a fish in '08. I love that both Gwen and Thomas are active and becoming more athletic. Gwen especially has become so much more comfortable with her body through lacrosse and gymnastics. I love it, BUT by this time last year I had already brought in close to 50 fish, schoolies, but fish. Now with Monday - Thursday nights all filled up with lacrosse practices I only have three possible days really to get any fishing in. Friday evenings I like to spend with the family and I am usually quite beat after a week of work. Saturday mornings Thomas has baseball at 9am. This is not a very good excuse because it has been going on for a month and he has only had one game! Why? The second thing that I hate - the weather. Every weekend the weather has been windy and rainy making the windows of fishing time even smaller than what they already are.

PHEW!!! I'm venting and I really don't hate lacrosse or the weather, I am just frustrated. Last night after work I swung into Parker's and had a nice fish follow my Amber Hogy in. I would say the fish was in the neighborhood of 28". About 20 yards past my cast I could see a huge school of menhaden and eventually they worked themselves to the dock I was casting from. They were huge and plentiful. I snagged one and livelined him, but had no takers. The fish I snagged had to be 14" long and weigh close to 2 or 3 lbs. That's a big bunker and there were about a hundred just like him. The rains came and I was still in my school clothes so I got out of there.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just had to share this

Here is a video from youtube that I find to be absolutely hilarious. Yes, I love both Jackass and Jackass 2. I cannot help myself in laughing at other peoples ability to have the cajones to do extra crazy and stupid things. This video shows two kids jumping in the fish tank at Bass Pro Shops. My favorite part is just before the second kid jumps he yells,"Canonball!" Looks like all the fish were unharmed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

They're Here

In the immortal words of Poltegeist's Carol Ann, "They're here." Only I am not referring to the "TV people," but rather the bluefish that have made their way into Buzzards Bay. I was able to take the kids out yesterday and shortly after leaving Megansett we happened upon some diving birds. Again, there were no fish popping up, but obviously there was a large amount of bait getting pushed up by something. Gwen took a few casts, but her shad was not heavy enough to get down to the bottom. For some reason Thomas was not into casting yesterday even though he has gotten really good at it. after casting into the birds and coming up empty I decided to ride over where the birds were and checked out the fishfinder. A lot of bait and some fish hunkered down deep. Like last week, 30 feet of water. I trolled around with a heavy white bucktail jig and managed to hook up. I could tell right off the bat that it was a bluefish, but I was never able to see him to confirm. I could see my white bucktail hanging out of somethings mouth right before it shook me free. During the rest of the short trip I was able to mark some more fish, but unable to get more strikes. I even found this unbelievable ledge that had a huge amount of fish stacked up right behind it. By the time I was able to get the gear on to it I had lost the spot and was unable to find it again. Tough without GPS and I am hoping to fix this problem pronto and also tough with Thomas doing a blood sugar and looking to have a snack. It was a beautiful day and all in all I had a lot of fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Proud Papa


Here is a picture of Thomas just after scoring his first goal in lacrosse. He is standing right in front of the coach in red. By the way, the goon in the background with his arms up is me acting like Thomas just scored the winning goal in the Olympics to upset the Russians. It was a pretty neat play. There was a huge scrum just to the right of the goal and Thomas entered it a little late. he got his stick in there, dug out the ball and turned to view a clear path to the goal. He threw an excellent bounce shot and that was that.

About my last post --

Christine gave me a bunch of garbage about a product review in my blog. Obviously this is really stupid, but it is not as dorky as it may seem. Its actually pretty cool. While searching around the humminbird website looking for a new unit (more on that later) I saw a place to write reviews. On a couple of message boards that I frequent Humminbird really gets a bad rap and I like mine so I decided to write a quick review. When I was done writing the review it asked me if I would like to post it to my blog. Not that I really cared, but I thought it would be cool to see how they did it. I just sent them the blog address and then a pop up window asked me for my blog password and it was done. Pretty cool.

Why am I looking for a new fishfinder unit? On the last fishing trip I talked about how Mike and I were marking fish and making a drift, but what I failed to mention is how hard it was to turn around and make the same drift. It would have been very easy if I had a GPS unit. Mark the spot on the GPS unit and return to it after the drift is done. This is the case with most companies, but apparently not Humminbird. I had been told that if you want to change electronics you need a whole different transducer and mount etc. I went on to the Humminbird website and found a unit of the same size, but had GPS. I currently have the 343c and the 383c has GPS. The price difference is not even $200 and I think that if West Marine had this on display I would have bought this in the first place. I called Humminbird and they said that their units are completely compatible, meaning that all I need to do is attach the face of a 383c to the base of what I already have and I am good to go. Now I am pumped up. I decided to check out ebay and see what is up with prices. It looks as though I could sell my 343c for about $200 (probably a little less since it is used). It also looks like I could buy a brand new 383c for around $360. Pretty good deal. I will probably end up buying the 383c first and sell the 343c on ebay with the mount and transducer that comes with the 383c. I have also thought about calling Humminbird and seeing if I can just send in the face of my 343c and pay the difference for a 383c face. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Review of 343c

Originally submitted at Humminbird

The 343c features a brilliant color 320V x 240H 3.5" display and advanced DualBeam PLUS sonar with 2400 Watts PTP power output.


Happy overall

By Tom from Cape Cod, MA on 5/14/2008

 

4out of 5

Pros: Screen Resolution/Clarity, Reliable Performance, Screen Size, Sonar Performance

Best Uses: Saltwater, Boat Navigation

Describe Yourself: Recreational Boater, Avid Angler

I have only had my boat for a short period of time and love the unit. Very clear and easy to read. Marked some fish on it this past weekend and started catching. Loads of fun. I wish I was not a cheap mooron because I would have bought the 383c unit with GPS. Looking to upgrade right now and I am told that the transducer and mount do not have to be changed which I think is rather unique in comparison to other companies.

(legalese)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Finally!!

Mike Earley was instrumental in getting us out on Mother's Day to fish. Somehow he persuaded Suzanne to take the other wives out to an extended lunch/dessert on Saturday. This gave us 4 hours of fishing on Mother's Day morning.

It was windy and a bit cold, but doable. We decided to head to the West End of the Cape Cod Canal and then work our way back. On the way to the Canal we came up on a huge flock of birds that were diving. It was clear by some of the rises that there were fish breaking under the birds. I feel pretty confident that I did not get too close to spook the school, but as soon as i got us within casting distance the birds took off and so did the fish. We slowly went over where the action had been occurring and I noticed that there were some interesting marks on the fishfinder. I have not yet taken the time to completely figure out how it works. I was pretty sure that this had to be fish. Mike and I took some casts and Mike hooked up to the first fish of the season, a small 20 incher. We turned around and repeated the drift. As soon as I told Mike we were over the fish he hooked up again. I was very excited to be reading the fishfinder accurately. We repeated the drift a few more times and I finally got a hit, but it felt like areally small fish and he never really latched on. Mike got a couple more hits too, but we were unable to boat any more fish.

We went up to the West End of the Canal and did see some bird action, but there were no fish under them. On the way back home we swung into the mouth of Red Brook Harbor and made a few casts into the rocks at Wing's Neck. After a while we saw a few striped bass working on some bait in tight to shore. About ten feet away from where we could reach with a cast. Could not tell what the bait was. Looked too small to be herring. Bigger than peanut bunker and smaller than adult menhaden.

I am going to be trying to take advantage of any free time I can muster in the next month as the fishing is really going to start heating up. A couple sick days may be in order as well.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So Close

I took a few casts here and there yesterday during lunch and after work. I have not been hitting a lot of the usual early season estuaries and river systems, but I have been fishing the warmist water I can find easily. Along the south side of Falmouth there are many outflows from small estuaries that dump out into the open ocean. I fished a few of those and had my first hit of the season. I admittedly was not ready for it and probably could have hooked up if I wasn't in a daze. Stayed for another 15 minutes and was unable to draw another strike.

I took Thomas for a few casts at West Falmouth Harbor before Christine's concert and we had a lot of fun. Thomas was excited to finally try out his new RED fishing rod. He also put on one of the shad lures that I got him at Bass Pro Shops last weekend. He casted really well. I am hoping that he or Gwen get into their first keeper this year. I had another hit, but again I missed it.

Saw a really promising fishing report on Surf Talk from a boater who went out yesterday. He told of a lot of top water action in Buzzards Bay, including the West End of the canal. Of course, like last weekend, the weather is supposed to be horrible this weekend. I do not think I am going to sit around and do nothing this time though. I am finally going to put the foul weather gear to the test and rough it. No Excuses!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Almost there, Really!!

Went out on the boat twice over April Vacation. Both times were very relaxing and I was more concerned with getting comfortable with the boat again and chatting with the family than fishing. Did I just say that? Anyway, on Saturday I had to convince Christine that we were not crazy for going out this early. There were enough boats being trailered on the road and out in the water for her to feel comfortable. Phew. The seas were almost flat calm so this was very nice for everyone because our last trip with the entire family was much too rough to enjoy. I was hoping to get up into Onset Harbor or Buttermilk Bay to see if there were some fish or seals, but the kids got a little bored around Mashnee Flats so we turned around.

Then, on Thursday I took my mother out while Christine and the kids went geocaching. The seas were around 2 to 3 feet, but the temperature was mostly comfortable and it was nice to just chat about life with my mom. Ocean temperatures were a good 4 to 5 degrees warmer on Thursday then they were on Saturday. Good weather to blame for that. We went into Red Brook Harbor and the water actually reached 57 degrees. This was the only spot I took a few casts, but this was mostly just to get my line wet for the first time and cast the new Hogy Skinny.

Fish reports have more and more fish being caught on the south side of Buzzards Bay area like Marion etc. Even a report of a couple keepers. Usually the first keeper out of Woods Hole comes the first few days of May so maybe this weekend I will see what is happening there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can't wait much longer

I am ready to say the least. This week is the weather that we have been waiting for on the Cape. Should be coming close to 60 degrees almost everyday. So, with April vacation coming up and this nice weather I checked out the 10 day forecast. Looks like one week from today it is supposed to be cloudless skies and 60 degrees. Perfect time for the first outing of '08. Not expecting to catch much. Just hoping to get out there and get comfortable with the boat again. I will probably attempt to make my way up some rivers and deep into harbors to look for some small schoolies, but not top priority.

I am looking forward to using this new product form Hogy this spring. The Hogy Skinny is their new line of soft plastics which are made to imitate small bait like seaworms etc. I got some yesterday from Gene Bourque and rigged them up last night. I will probably be casting with Gwen or Thomas' rods which are 6 footers with 10 lb. test line. Good way to start. C'mon sun, I am rooting for your warming capabilities. Water temperatures usually need to be approaching 50 degrees to have a shot. Wish me luck on a successful vacation.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I won!! All skill, I swear

Yeah!!! I won the NCAA tournament pool at work. We had over 20 entrants in the winner take all format. I actually entered two brackets this year. My first bracket I picked very few upsets and decided that I would just do the picks as fast as possible and not over think it. This left me with four number one seeds in the Final Four, that will never happen. But, it did. My second bracket was my upset bracket that found only one top seed making it to the Final Four, NC, Louisville, Texas and Pitt. I had NC winning this bracket. After I entered my picks and they were finalized I kept thinking that maybe I wanted to change my pick to NC in both brackets and have them beating Kansas in the Fianl Four. I also pondered giving Coach Cal's team the nod, but that was my heart talking and whenever I choose with my heart I lose. I have been doing these NCAA brackets ever since my Junior year of college when UMASS made the Fianl Four. I normally do very poor on these brackets. Last year, I picked the entire Elite 8 correctly, but only had one team advance to the Final Four. A good start. Over the years I have picked Kansas to win it all a few times including when they had Pierce, Pollard and LaFrentz. What a great team and I still can't understand how they lost.

Watching the Championship Game on Monday night was exciting. Kansas was playing well and I just kept telling myself that I did not care who won. If Kansas won then I got the $$ and if Memphis won then chalk one up for former UMASS coach, John Calipari. Memphis blew a 9 point lead with 2:12 left to go. They missed 5 of 6 free throws down the strech, made a horrible foul and turnover that ended up being turned into a 3 pointer. 5 points in about 20 seconds. Lastly, even though i love Coach Cal I need to point out that he really made a mistake by not calling a timeout with 10 seconds left to go. His team should have fouled Kansas on the way down the court before attempting the final three pointer that sent the game to overtime.

Here is the link to my bracket.

http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/347849

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why am I so cheap? Dad?



Well I am consistently seeing these guys on message boards talking about all the reels and rods that they have. Penn, Abu's, ZeeBaas and Van Staal. Hundreds of dollars, for the REEL. Then they talk about their rods Lamiglas, Tsunami etc. Yes, hundreds of dollars. Some of these guys are fishing with outfits that are worth close to or over $1000. Did I mention these are surf fisherman? Don't even get me started on how much trolling guys spend on their reels and rods. A nice reel goes for about $1000.

When in Mexico with my parents my father became quickly known as the crazy barterer. "Mr. Cheapo" is what one of the store owners began to call him. I am not sure if it is just his fault though. Honestly, Christine and I are both teachers with two children under the age of 10. Oh yeah, we have a house on Cape Cod, two cars and a brand new boat. Obviously we have spent some money on things and do not have extra cash laying around for $1000 fishing setups.

I will continue to use my Ugly Stick with the stock Shakespeare reel it came with until it goes down. When the reel dies (which could be soon) I will feel quite comfortable buying a nice Okuma reel in the same size that will cost well under $100. I have two trolling setups for the boat. One is a setup that my father bought when I was about 6 years old and it still works. I am also thankful of the great birthday present that my mom got me this year. A nice boat rod with a large Penn Senator reel. I have two other light tackle setups for bluefish and schoolie stripers. These are freshwater setups that combined cost me under $100. I love them both, lots of fun to fish with.

Don't get me wrong, if I had the money I would buy a Lamiglas rod with a ZeeBaas or Van Staal reel in a second, but for now I will concentrate what I am putting in the water rather than what I am holding out of the water.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is all the fuss about?

I have been frequenting a message board that features fellow anglers asking questions and chatting about fishing and in particular about striped bass. There seems to be a huge buzz about hand made surf casting plugs. I love a surf casting plug like the rest of them, but these guys are going crazy. Going to shows just to buy them and Oh Yeah, they just so happen to cost $20-$30 per plug. No thank you, I will stick with my Atom surface poppers and my Danny style swimming plugs from the tackle shop. And I will only spend $8-$15 tops.

I must admit however that some of these guys have taken it to a high level of artistry. Pure works of art. Hand painted and/or air brushed. Big eyes and through wired. Incredible, but I can't imagine fishing with them because they are honestly gorgeous. I will try and get a couple pictures below of some prime examples.


Friday, March 14, 2008

My Best Striper of Last Season


In early June of 2007 I got a call from friend Mike Earley and he told me his father was unable to make their scheduled fishing trip. Mike invited me to take his father's place on his 18' Parker center console. This would be my first time fishing along the Elizabeth Islands and I was looking forward to it. Mike took me out along Naushon Island and we had decided that slinging live eels would be our tactic for the evening. Mike and I had already been fishing twice earlier this year, once from shore and once from his boat. On both occasions I managed to get a fish on my first cast and I was hoping for the same this time. We got out to just about the southern most tip of Naushon and started to drift in close. I eeled up and let it loose. Within minutes, on my first cast, I was hooked up with my best fish of the season. I had already brought in many a schoolie and many a bluefish this season and I could immediately tell that this fish was much larger. Mike couldn't believe that I again had nailed a fish on my first cast for the third trip in a row. Mike measured the fish and I was excited that it was 39", not my best ever, but a very respectable fish. Unfortunately for the remainder of the trip we were unable to find that fishes friends anywhere. That's fishing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Geocaching


Yes, geocaching is actually a word. I had to look it up to make sure i was spelling correctly. I first heard of geocaching from our friend Amy Fish. I used to be a bit skeptical and kept telling her that someone was going to bury a bomb, stalk her while she was off in the wilderness. But, I must admit I was wrong. I really enjoy doing a geocache with the family. It is a great way to get a little exercise, fresh air and socialize.

Yesterday we did two geocaches in Chatham and we brought Mike Kennedy and his fiance' Jenn with us. The caches were challenging, but were worth it as the views of the two ponds we were near were gorgeous. I, of course found both geocaches. I am quickly becoming the master of finding these things. :) It is fun.

After geocaching we went to eat a The Squire on main street Chatham and then went to the beaches to see if we could see any seals. No luck. The picture above is of Thomas and Gwen near where we found the first cache overlooking Goose Pond. By the way, we did see a couple fisherman down there looking miserable next to a fire and not catching anything.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fishing Trip?


A couple months ago I had Christine read this great article in On the Water about family fishing and young kids reeling in large fish etc. She thought it was really cool and thought that we should charter a trip. Who am I to vote against that! So, I tried getting in touch with the actual Capt. that wrote the article, but was unsuccessful. When talking to Gene Bourque he suggested Capt. Dave Peros who is one of the more popular fisherman around the Western part of Cape Cod. I went to his website and his prices are great for the family trips. Less than $200 for 4 hours. I hope that Christine is still interested because I just emailed him and I am trying to set something up. I'm psyched. This way Christine can get a fishing/casting lesson from a pro and not have to learn from me before the upcoming season starts. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Music month - I'm a Fatty

This month is music in our schools month and it is always a little hectic. Our huge All Band night concert is on March 12. I was unable to rehearse the 6th grade band last week because of Thomas' diabetes appointment. Plus, the jazz band has not practiced for three weeks because of my Celtics game, vacation and the high school IAJE festival. The 5th grade band sounded outstanding last week and I have one more practice with them this afternoon. I will also practice with the Jazz Band after school today and I am sure that they will do well too. I will have the 6th grade band tomorrow and look forward to getting any kinks out before our big concert.

I am starting to come to the realization that I am absolutely 100% addicted to eating. I am physically incapable of not eating like a horse. Everytime I try and eat less, or eat correctly, or do exsercise there is always something that comes up and I do not follow through. I really hope that I can figure this out. I am sick of being fat. The other thing is I am pretty sure that I am developing sleep apnea along with some severe snoring. When I have a little congestion it gets even worse. I feel so bad for Christine. Somehow I need to find a way to lose some weight in a way that I know I can keep it off.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fun Time

Had a great birthday dinner tonight with Mike and Jenny. On top of a great meal that Christine made I got some nice stuff from my mom and Christine's mom. A lot of stuff for the boat. I got a new trolling rod which I am pumped about. A nice big Penn Sesnator reel and heavy rod that will be useful to bring up large fish. I also got some Boater's World cash and West Marine cash. Psyched!!

I have to share this video that I happened onto on YouTube. Unbelievable high seas and a cruise ship is right in the middle of it. Check out the video at a little after 1 minute into it and the boat goes so far over on its side it is breathtaking. The waves must be boardering on 30 feet in height.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Getting Older

33!! I am fine with it. All I want for my birthday is an early spring and a really nice striper to weigh in for the Striper Cup.

We took Thomas to Boston yesterday for some pump information and we decided on the CozMo insulin pump. It is just a little bit bigger than a cell phone and it has many options for keeping track of blood sugars and giving different insulin doses for different meals etc. Christine and I know a few people that have the CozMo and they love it. We were very happy that after we made the choice that the nurse was very happy that we had made that choice as well.

Music in our schools month is coming up which means Christine and I will not be able to take a comfortable breath until after the All State Music Conference. Christine and I look forward to this every year because we get to see old friends and eat nice food in a nice hotel. It is our yearly working vacation.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Boston Sports


Here is the best picture that I could get with the crappy disposable that I bought. I think that you can still get the idea of how close we were. You can see the Knicks players on the bench at the bottom of the picture. It is so exciting to have sports going so well in Boston again. This year is turning out to be similar to the '85-'86 years of the past when all four of our major teams made it to the finals. Celtics won, Red Sox - Buckner, ahhhhh!!, Patriots got crushed by the Fridge, and the Bruins lost to the Oilers. Incredible stuff. I still have a hard time watching the Bruins. I know that they are under new management, but after they traded away Joe Thornton it disgusted me. Now they have some nice young talent and are playing well under their new coach. If the Celtics weren't so good I would probably be watching more hockey. One of these days I will have to get the kids up to a Celtics game. I am sure they would love it. Plus, I think that the new garden is a great place to watch a game. I was fortunate enough to be at one of the first games ever played there when it opened as the Fleet Center. I was in the hoop band at UMASS and they played BC.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wireless and New Boat


This is the first blog written on our new wireless connection. I have not yet posted pictures of the new boat as they were taken on Christine's really nice camera which I choose not to touch. I have since taken off the bimini top as I do not see the point in having one. It gets in the way of casting and even when it is all the way down it blocks the livewell. Why get a boat to enjoy the sun and have a top to cover you up. Sunblock!! Here is a picture of me launching the boat for our family's first trip on the boat. This was a typical day this past fall. Weather and sea forecasts off by 10 degrees and 2 feet in wave size. We launched out of Megansett Harbor and were able to putt around the covered area before hitting some rougher seas and turning around. I was not into getting everybody wet on our first trip when it was close to 50 degrees with water temperatures in the 60's.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bummer

The pictures I took at the Celtics game came out horrible. It was raining outside and I did not want to risk getting the digital all wet and neither did Mike. I had this crappy disposable and I forgot to hit the button to make it flash even though it was quite bright in the Garden. When school starts up again I will mess around with some of the pictures and see if I can lighten a couple of the better ones and post.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spring is in the Air!!

Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but after a pretty cold night last night it was quite spring-like when I walked outside. Birds chirping and the sun getting rid of some frost. Perhaps fishing is right around the corner. I sure am hoping it is. Here is a video that you really should check out that I found on YouTube. The video claims that a fish is going to eat one of those birds, but it doesn't quite work out that way. It is a lot of fun. Sorry in advance. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Celtics Game

Last night Mike and I went to the Celtics, it was amazing. First of all the dinner at The Palm was incredible from start to finish. Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and some Hitching Post Pinot Noir. Also, can't forget the Ahi tuna and scallops 'n' bacon we had for appetizers. The Filet Mignon was the best cut of meat I have ever had and it was cooked to perfection.

We were in the first row directly behind the Knicks bench. It was laughable to see Isiah Thomas' demeanor. He looks as if he could care less and when he talks to his players it is like he is just one of the guys. He sat on the bench the entire game and only got up twice to receive his two technical fouls to get ejected. Apparently the only way he knows how to fire up his team. What a joke.

I hope to get my pictures developed as soon as possible and post them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Celtics Tonight

Mike Kennedy and I will be heading up to Boston tonight to watch the Celts play the Knicks. We decided to splurge for our birthdays and get front row seats. We both thought that we were going to be on the floor accross from the Celtics bench, but it looks as though we may be front row behind the Knicks bench. Either way it is going to be awesome. We are going to go up early and start drin---- I mean eating at the Palm Restaurant at the Westin Hotel. Mike and I went to the Palm twice during our stay in Las Vegas and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. Incredible cuts of steak and veal. I will post some pictures and details of the game ASAP.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Middle Ground - Bad Idea!


This past summer Christine's dad, Paul, told me he wanted me to take him out to catch some fish on the Whaler. I will never pass up an opportunity to go fishing. We went out and the seas were in the 2 to 3 feet area which is just doable in the 13' Whaler. As soon as we exited West Falmouth Harbor we saw the schools of bluefish rise up and we started catching. We slowly made our way south in Buzzards Bay and even went up the side of Naushon for awhile. Paul then said he wanted to go through Woods Hole. I had never done that, but I thought we should try. And why not, as Paul said,"A Whaler won't sink." It was a little hairy in those few spots where the opposing currents meet, but we made it through and eventually went all the way around to Falmouth Harbor. It was the longest and most adventurous trip I had taken in the little boat. This made me a little cocky so the next day I decided to go out to Middle Ground. I had only been to this location one other time when Steve Page took me out. The forecast called for seas 1 to 2 feet until mid-afternoon and then turning to 2 to 4 feet. I left Falmouth Harbor at 5 am and was at Middle Ground in no time at all, before the sun came up. I managed to put a few bluefish in the boat and then the sun came up. When the sun came up, so did the seas. Every now and then I would take some water over the stern that was bogging down the boat a little and I started to bounce around like a cork. After slapping out a lot of the water with my hands and some clever maneuvering and a bunch of luck I was able to make progress back towards Falmouth Harbor. It only took me 15 minutes to get out to Middle Ground, but it took over an hour to get back to Falmouth Harbor. This was the most scared that I have ever been on a boat and at one point I actually considered just driving to the Vineyard and waiting out the waves. I have chalked this up as a big learning experience.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mr. Bluefish


There are a lot of anglers that do not enjoy catching bluefish. Not me. I love catching these fish. What a great fight. Most fisherman (including me) are drawn to the challenge of cacthing a trophy striped bass. I think that most large stripers see better, are picky eaters and do not like to move much unless they know it will be a worthwhile meal. If I had to chose catching schoolie stripers or catching bluefish I may chose the stripers just due to their lack of teeth, but for the fun of it I would probably want the fight of the bluefish. I admit that most of the time there is not that much science that goes into catching bluefish. Still, pound for pound it is one of the best fights to be had. There are two great bluefish stories that i would like to tell you about.

1. I was in 5th or 6th grade and my dad and I went fishing at our favorite surf spot at Craigville Beach. I remember it being in mid to late October. We had caught a few fish the night before, but nothing too crazy. In fact, to save some money we cut up chunks of the small bluefish that we had caught the night before to fish with on this day. Soon after we got there the water began to bubble. An absolutely massive school of menhaden was being pushed towards the beach by an equally massive school of large bluefish. The tough part about this fishing is that there was so much bait it was hard to get the blues to choose our offerings. The menhaden were jumping onto the shore so we livelined a couple of these and caught a few fish. We had bait for the rest of the season too. I had the smaller of the surf rods and decided to not use a whole menhaden this time and I used some of the bluefish from the night before. I remember casting out in front of me about 10 feet and BAM! I fought this fish for what seemed like an eternity. It was the biggest bluefish that my father and I had ever seen. Our guess was that it was 16-20 pounds. We had caught our fair share of 12-14 pounders over the years and this was much bigger.

2. This past fall before the time change the sea forecast was good and I decided to take the kids out on the Whaler to do some fishing even though it was a school night. Christine was away at a meeting so what better way to be Mr. Mom than to take everyone fishing. The kids were a little apprehensive, but somehow I got them to agree on the trip. They admit that it was a good decision to go. We put in the boat in West Falmouth Harbor and headed North. The water was like glass. As we headed North we noticed it looked like it was snowing over near New Silver Beach. It was birdtastic. I have never in my life seen so many birds in one spot. Plus, the amount of fish was unbelievable. From the outermost point of New Silver Beach all the way to the Norhtern most side of OldSilver Beach there were literally thousands of birds with fish pounding bait all over the place. It was just a monstrous feeding frenzy. There were mostly bluefish in the 4-8 lb. range, but I am pretty sure that I saw some albies and/or bonito mixed in. At one point Thomas had a snag in his reel and when I pulled up the lure there was a black sea bass on the end. This was a great trip because for most of the time I set the kids up with top water plugs and they were able to do the most fun kind of fishing there is. Usually when I fish with them I approach a school and do not get that close as to not spook the school. I would cast, get hooked up and let one of the kids reel in the fish. Not today though. I was able to turn off the engine and the fish were all around us. The kids could cast for themselves, hook up and reel in their own fish. I would say each kid brought 20 blues to the boat. It was all I could do to keep up with unhooking them. When we left the frenzy was still going strong and a few other boats had joined the excitement. Incredible.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Crazy Striper Video

As I wrote earlier I remember too well how rare it was to see stripers around the Cape in the 1980's. When I saw this video I wanted to throw up. Apparently in the area where this was taken you are allowed to net stripers for three days a year. I cannot believe that a fish that was once as scarce as the striper is now allowed to be fished for like this. Admittedly, I am only posting this to see if I can actually get the YouTube video to come up on this blog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Me and Funny Fish


My first experience with false albacore and bonito was with Mike Earley and his father while on their 18' Parker center console. It was the first time I had been fishing with Mike on his boat about 4 years ago. It was early September and Mike told me that there were reports of false albacore around. False? Why is it called a false albacore? After a brief explanation we were off and running around looking for them. We were in front of the opening to West Falmouth Harbor and Mike shouts, "There." Right off the bow the seagulls and fish just began to break. I was sitting on the seat in front of the console and I stood up and made my first cast at a school of false albacore. I did not even get to crank the reel and I was hooked up. It was a great fight and I was so amazed at the speed at which it travelled. Unfortunately, the fish went under the boat and snapped the line. It wasn't until later that I realized how hard it actually is to hook up with one of these fish. To be honest, I haven't even hooked up with a false albacore since.

Two years ago when I first got the Whaler the "funny fish" season was poor and there were very few reports of these fish around. I did see a couple fish jump one morning in front of Old Silver Beach, but it looked like they were just having fun and not even breaking on bait fish. This past year however was amazing for these fish. On the last week of August these fish were blitzing all over Buzzards Bay. I spent a whole day chasing them around like an idiot and did not even get a hook up. The next day I put a long leader of flurocarbon on and cast into another school and it lined up perfectly as they were heading right towards me and my lure looked like it was part of the school. Bang, my first Bonito. I was psyched that I had a camera and Gwendolyn was excited to take pictures of her proud dad. Now for the embarrassing part. I felt pretty sure it was a bonito at the time, but I started to doubt myself. So I ended up putting the fish back in the water and only after I looked at the pictures and compared with other photos I found online that I was sure it was a bonito. Hopefully the picture will work when I attempt to post it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Me and Boats

Ever since I became a teacher on Cape Cod I have been fantasizing about having a boat. With the teacher schedule and being surrounded by water how could I not get one? Well, teachers do not make enough, at least when they first start out.

As a kid I grew up down the street from a man named Sonny Troianos. Sonny had a boat and since he sold it when I was about 8 years old my memories of size are probably way off. I do remember countless fishing trips to the Horseshoe and over to the breakwater at Hyannisport. I even remember when we all went over to Nantucket, barely. Another great memory I have is the time my grandparents visited from New York and we chartered a fishing boat. I recall using umbrella rigs and pulling in multiple bluefish at a time. A couple trips I would rather forget involve long excursions out to see for mackerel out of Atlantic City and for Cod out of Plymouth. Puke fest. Admittedly, if I cannot see the horizon in big rolling waves I am screwed. I have been out fishing with Capt. Steve Page on 3 occasions which are probably the three best days I have ever experienced catching large stripers. Also, I have been fishing on Mike Earley's boat multiple times and put a lot of nice fish in the boat.

Two years ago, my wife's father bought a 13' Whaler and since he lives in Reading, MA he decided to keep it at our house. That August I experienced my first boating by myself. I was diligent in checking the weather and sea forecasts and I can still remember my first trip like it was yesterday. I put the boat in at West Falmouth Harbor and before I even left the harbor I saw a large school of bass attacking bait. I honestly lost count of how many fish I caught, but it was amazing. No keepers, but a lot of 20-24" fish. I could have stayed there longer, but my main focus for the day was to get out on the open water. As forecasted the water was like glass. I motored North in front of Old Silver Beach and decided to slow down a bit. Just as I did I saw a few false albacore rise not too far from me. The few casts I could get at them was unsuccessful, but it was pretty neat because for the rest of the season the "funny fish" were not really around as much as other years.

This past spring, summer and most of fall were spent on the Whaler. I had a great time and with the help of Christine's dad I got a little more daring as far as the distance that I would travel. Paul and I actually went all the way around to Falmouth Harbor from West Falmouth Harbor. I know it doesn't sound far, but when you factor in how long we fished in Buzzards Bay and around Naushon Island it was impressive. The turning pont of the summer was when the Clymer's and Borning's decided to go out on a trip and Christine rode with me in the Whaler while the rest of our family went on the Clymer Donzi. Christine was absolutely miserable with all the bouncing and I think this was the turning point in to her really getting on board with us buying a boat of our own. It took a while for us to decide on the right boat. We were going to buy used. A center console with ample seating that could be practical for both fishing and family. We looked at a few good prospects, but we were both apprehensive to buy something when we did not really know how well the previous owner had cared for the engine etc. Finally, after a great weekend on Martha's Vineyard we went boat shopping and found the perfect boat. It a 18' Seaswirl Striper with seating for 7 people on padded seats. It is also a great fishing machine when seat cushions are removed in the front. I have only been out on it 6 or 7 times, but it is amazing and I am chomping at the bit for an early spring trip to the Elizabeth Islands.

Fishing Bug is Bad

I have the fishing bug so bad right now. Ice fishing definitely does not do it for me, not that I have ever tried. I am not even sure that trying to hunt down some hold over stripers would really do it for me either. I have been reading that the stripers are in abundance down off of Virginia Beach including a 73 lb. giant.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hogy's

I mentioned in my last entry that I was fishing with a Hogy. For those of you that may not know about the Hogy lures they are awesome. Admittedly it took me a while to learn how to fish it correctly, but once I did I was almost guaranteed strikes if fish were around. At first my problem was that I was fishing it more like a rubber worm for largemouth bass. I recall my friend Chris Shrum loving to fish the Slug-go in freshwater, but I was always into my rubber worm. The Hogy is similar to a Slug-go but the plastic is more life like running through the water and the Hogy has many different sizes from 7 inches to 18 inches. Also, with their larger baits I suggest using their tandem rigging which has a second hook that enters the bait further down as to cash in on any short strikes. Plus, I like having that extra hook there because sometimes a plastic bait can have an eratic movement which may effect where the fish strikes the bait. Having the two hooks is better than one, definitely for the 14 inch and 18 inch baits.

When I finally mastered the speed and rod action required to properly fish the bait it was an immediate change in the amount of strikes. In my defense I did not have a lot of practice with the Hogy because my prime fishing months are July and August and I was unprepared to lose a Hogy to a bluefish that often. In the fall, as the stripers were easier to find I got more practice with it. One evening I was down at Parker's with Mike Earley and Kevin Clymer. Just as I arrived Kevin hooked up to a nice bluefish that hit his surface plug, but then after that getting bites were hard to come by. I was able to see a few schoolie stripers go by so I switched to a Hogy and I immediately started to get strikes. I had a few Hogy's ruined by bluefish, but I also had a few schoolies hit it as well. Neither Mike or Kevin hooked up the rest of the night, but I managed a few fish and I feel it was due to the Hogy. The following few weeks I killed the fish at Parker's with the Hogy's. Check out the action on this clip or visit them at www.hogylures.com

More on the Patriots

I woke up this morning and it felt like I had just broken up with a girlfriend the day before. One of those traumatic events that you wake up the next morning just wishing it was a dream. My son, Thomas, being diagnosed with diabetes was the last one until last night.

The fact of the matter is the Giants defense was outstanding. So was the Patriots', but unfortunately it was not enough. Tom Brady was rattled and rightfully so. He was sacked 5 times and was rushed on almost every throw he made. The Giants were the best team last night and that is at least comforting. It was not bad refereeing or fumbles or interceptions. The Giants played better and won the game. Congrats Giants fans.