Tristen Goes Fishing

Sunday, July 29, 2012 4 Comments

I took my girlfriends three year old son, Tristen, fishing this week. As many of you know it has been dreadfully hot these past few weeks in Kansas so after giving him his brand new Spiderman fishing pole and his own tacklebox, we packed up mid morning and headed to a local Lawrence pond to fish for an hour or so before the heat hit. He was very excited about his fishing pole and could not wait to catch fish. 

I set him up with a basic bobber and hook rig, with one alteration, instead of using a standard straight shaft or Aberdeen style hook I used long shanked circle hooks. I have not fished with bobbers for years but one of the main things that turned me off from it initially was the tendency for the fish to swallow the entire hook and severely injure itself. As someone who practices 100% catch and release this was not acceptable for me. I am happy to report that the circle hook fixed this problem entirely, with no deep hooks or injured fish. For those interested I was using Mustad Circle Streamer Size 8 hooks, model # C71S SS. 

Tristen caught two Bluegill, I believe his first fish ever but I will have to confirm this with his mother. Regardless he was very excited. He picked up casting very quickly and was easily able to cast beyond 50 feet. Further he was patient and attentive at waiting for the bobber to go under and then reeled the fish in perfectly, well after I adjusted his drag properly. Honestly, the only guidance I had to provide was that if a turtle approached the bait we needed to reel it it quickly to avoid catching the turtle. His response for the rest of the morning every time he saw a turtle was, "Bad Turtle, Stay Away" it was pretty cute. 

Personally, I had a blast. I love fishing and it is one of my greatest passions. To be able to take someone  young and teach them about fishing and further for them to have a successful day was beyond words. I cannot wait to take him out again. I know there are some 4 lb Bass lurking in that pond, how exciting would that be! 

Tristen's First Bluegill. 

Number two. He wouldn't hold the fish and the best he would do is touch it's tail. Something to work on I guess. 


Clinton Lake Update

Sunday, July 29, 2012 0 Comments

A few weeks ago I was at Clinton Lake fishing near the feeders and was able to talk with one of the KDWP Ichthyologists about current fishing conditions at Clinton as well as past and future stocking efforts. The first thing he said was that the only fish which typically use the feeders are Catfish and Carp. Crappie, Bass and other gamefish typically do no use the feeders as a food source at all. I was somewhat surprised by this as it seems a huge effort to just support a Catfish fishery as most anglers regard, unfortunately, the Common Carp as a trash fish. Though admittedly we Fly Anglers have no problem with the development of large Carp to run our spools. Finally, in regard to the feeders themselves he said that during samplings they have consistently found large Blue Catfish off the feeder adjacent to the beach by Rock Creek. 

Secondly, he said that it has been about 5 years since the last stocking of Wipers and that Clinton had been on the docket for a restocking this past year until a sampling earlier in the year revealed a population which did not require it. Finally he mentioned a plan by the state to develop Clinton into a much more productive Smallmouth Fishery.