Monday, April 14, 2014

Saratoga Lake 4/13

I finally got the boat out of storage this past Saturday. Yesterday (Sunday), I decided to put it on Saratoga Lake for a few hours to shake the rust off. It was a fairly blustery afternoon and water temperatures ranged from 44-46 degrees in most areas on the lake. These are what I consider perfect conditions for Saratoga. Hopefully, this report doesn't sound like it was written by an FLW Tour Pro.

We spent some time throwing jerkbaits in the shallows (specifically, perch colored X-Raps). It was automatic. I didn't keep track of how many fish we caught. I usually get a lot of doubt via the comment section when I post those numbers anyway. I acquired a Go-Pro camera this winter. Once I get it dialed in I will be sure to post a video of a 100+ fish day to put the doubters to rest. Spook Wizard and Picky Anonymous won't know what to do with themselves anymore.


I spent the rest of my evening messing around with my new electronics. I can't seem to get a great side imaging picture at the helm so I am thinking I need to lower the transducer so it will be able to clear my turning chines. I am also having issues with my boat's computer system (despite purchasing a brand new computer this winter) so I may have to take it into the shop as the issue appears to be beyond my limited expertise. I am hoping I won't be side-lined for too long.

As always, thanks for reading and rejoice as open water season has arrived!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On the Board!

Since graduating college, this has been the latest I have gone into a calendar year without catching a fish. I am happy to announce that I put an end to that streak yesterday and officially waved good bye to winter. I ventured to a small pond near my house and was happy to see that it was completely free of ice.

I began working the shallower end of the small pond with one of my favorite ice out baits: the Rapala X-Rap. Within five casts I was hooked up with a dink. I immediately ran back to my truck and switched rods and broke out my new Kistler Helium 3 7'6" Heavy Action Flippin Stick paired with braid and a 1/2 oz. black and blue Dirty Jig. I was now looking for my first jig fish of the year. The first fish is always nice but the first jig fish is really something special.

I pitched the jig to some reeds that extended into deeper water and couldn't get the bite I was looking for. I then moved to a rocky shoreline with a nice drop with some grass on the drop. I worked the jig slowly along the drop and felt what I have been longing for, a bass picking up my jig.

I didn't care how big the fish was, it was going to get a powerful hookset to release my frustrations of the long winter. To my pleasnt surprise, I actually felt some weight in return. I now have to wait until Saturday to pull my boat out of storage. The rest of this week could feel longer than the entire winter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Open Water? Not quite yet...

I don't think any bass fisherman in the greater capital district would disagree with me when I say that winter has overstayed its welcome this year. However, it finally looks like it's over and we should see some of our lakes opening up this week.

I will be pulling my boat out this weekend. I believe I will officially put it on the water on Sunday. I have a lot of work to do on it to get it ready for tournament season and not a lot of time to do it. May is a very busy month for me so the one thing I will be lacking going into this year is time on the water.

Good luck to everyone this week and weekend as it finally looks like spring has arrived.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Elite Series Rookies

When I started my blog a few years back, I titled it Fishing Out Loud because I felt I had strong opinions on the sport of fishing and today is one of those days where I have something I need to get off my chest. The articles and blogs targeted at Elite Series Rookies is making me sick to my stomach. They have a "welcome to the big leagues" type tone and if I were an Elite Series Rookie that got off to a rough start to my inaugural season, these are the last things I would want to me reading.

Take a second to read a few of them. This first one is about New York's own Joe Sancho who is fishing his first season as an Elite Series Angler.

http://www.bassmaster.com/blog/view-ear-hole-rookies-tale

Now I don't know Joe. I think I have fished one tournament against him since I have started fishing tournaments but if I were him, I would take this article as a complete lack of respect. I'm sure Joe doesn't look at it that way though. I am sure he is a much better person than I am, as is Don Barone (author of the above article). To me though, I didn't read the article as "Meet Joe Sancho." It read more like, "The Elite Series Anglers are good and you are crazy if you think you can hang with them."

The same goes for this article written by Brent Chapman...

http://www.bassmaster.com/blog/hey-rookies-these-guys-are-good

Again, I have all the respect in the world for Brent Chapman and while I know the article was intended to help the Elite Series rookies, it just doesn't read that way to me. It again reads that the veteran Elite Anglers are better and we know it. Is this true? Likely, but let's give some of these rookies who had a few tough outings a break.

If I were an Elite Series Rookie (which I probably will never be for the record) and I bombed in my first two tournaments, the last thing I would want is any national attention focusing on my poor performances. I certainly wouldn't want any charity. I would appreciate it if Brent Chapman, a former Elite Series Angler of the Year, approached me privately with the advice instead of making it a public showing.

Maybe it is just the competitor in me. When I read these articles it really makes me want to qualify for the Elites and beat these guys. Do I know they are good and do I respect their talents? Yes. Would I probably get my you-know-what handed to me in my first few tournaments? Yes, but don't make me feel inferior on top of it.

Again, I want to express that I have tremendoes respect for Don Barone and Brent Chapman. I think they are both class acts and I do not think their intent was to draw reactions like the one I had.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fishmas All Over Again

There is only one thing we can do when the weather delays the open water season and that is...spend more money on fishing tackle. I recently upgraded my entire lineup of Kistler Helium LTA's to the new Kistler Helium 3's. I am very excited about the upgrade and can't wait to put my new rods to use. If you are are bid more budget conscious, check out the Kistler KLX's or the Kistler Pro Series Rods.

The other area I upgraded was my reels. I decided to outfit my rods this season with the new Shimano Curados. I am a huge Shimano fan and I am very excited about their newest Curado. It looks sharp and I can't wait to put them to use.

Like I said, if you can't go fishing, why not support the industry. Full disclosure: I am not sponsored by Shimano, I am just a huge fan of their products. I am however, sponsored by Kistler. Please keep in mind that I was using their products long before they began to sponsor me. I am just a huge fan of being up front about these things so there is no confusion.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Upgrading Gear

If anyone is looking for some used rods or reels, I am upgrading some of my equipment which means my old stuff has to go.

1. Kistler Magnesium 6'6" MH $80
2. Kistler Helium LTA 7'0" H $120
3. Kistler Helium LTA Spin 6'9" MH $120
4. (2) Shimano Curado 200E7 $150 each SOLD
5. Shimano Curado 50E $155 SOLD
6. Shimano Curado G7 $90  SOLD
7. Shimano Curado 200 DHSV $90 SOLD
8. Shimano Cronarch 200E7 $155 SOLD

Please e-mail me at scwilkes22@gmail.com if you have any interest or would like to see pictures. I obviously keep all my gear in tip top shape but would love to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks,
Sean

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lake George Lake Trout Part II

I know what you are thinking. That is not a lake trout. You are correct. It is a smallmouth bass. I also did not catch it at Lake George. I caught it on Saratoga Lake. In fact, I caught a whole bunch of them yesterday  in 12 to 25 feet of water on a Rapala Jigging Rap. I even caught a couple of largemouth as well.

Now, onto the title of this blog. Saturday I went back up to Lake George in an attempt to finally figure out those infamous Lake Trout. I took my first ice fishing trip to Lake George ever a few weeks ago. I had a feeling it would be tough considering it was my first outing and I didn't take any help or assistance from anyone. I wanted to figure them out on my own.

Despite the fact I didn't catch any lake trout on that trip, I did think I was onto something. I saw plenty of them and I thought that if I just mix and matched my jigs this time around, I could entice them to bite. Again, I saw plenty. I again, could not get them to bite. We had a few that appeared very interested and a few even committed, swiping at the jigs but we couldn't connect. It was as frustrating as anything I have ever done while fishing. We had to see over 15 lakers on the screen, we got 4 to commit, only hooked into one, and lost it. What the heck?

I am sure there are some Lake George faithfuls that are probably laughing at me right now but I don't care. I will get them next year. However, I still needed to catch some fish this weekend so we went to Saratoga Lake for a few hours yesterday morning and slammed them. In the first hole I cut I had a smallmouth on as soon as my jig hit the bottom. It was a good day and hopefully the last time I hit the ice this season.