Heya, people! How's the fishing going? Hopefully, everything is going well!
I've gathered 4 questions from different readers that follow the Blog, all asked during this month. So, enjoy the May E-mail FAQ.
1. "I've seen your Statistical Fishing Chart for 2012. (http://extremephillyfishing.blogspot.com/2012/01/statistical-fishing-chart-for-2012.html) Is the information there really accurate? Does that mean that you take your time to measure every fish that you get?
Yes, the information there is accurate, indeed. I measure every fish with my hand in a matter of seconds. Basically, by memorizing the length of my hand (from wrist to the end of middle finger) and dividing it in 3 parts, I'm able to accurately measure any fish I catch. The weight, on the other hand, is an estimate. I use mainly the PA boat and commission fishery charts for different Species of fish, so I have the estimate weight for a certain length. Therefore, emphasizing it once again: the length is accurate, and the weight is a close estimate. The Chart itself was created for me to record my PBs, days spent outside, and number of fish caught in a year.
2. I've read your report on the Tacony Creek (http://extremephillyfishing.blogspot.com/2012/05/fishing-at-tacony-creek-discovery-of.html), and I found it awesome! Keep up the good job! I do have a question, though...what do you think is the main reason for the Tacony to not hold Game Fish? I mean...it used to hold it as you mentioned in your post. So, why it can't hold big fish now? I was thinking pH. Is that correct?
That's a good question! There are many factors that contribute for a rich aquatic environment (you may have heard of some of them): Dissolved oxygen, pH, water fertility, and so on. One factor that people often forget about is simply food: a rich aquatic environment requires a LOT of food for fish to grow in it. I'm discarding the other factors because there are different fishes living in the Creek at the moment. Different levels of dissolved oxygen and pH will influence when it comes to different Species of fish (some are more, others are less adaptable to it), but I still think that the main factor is food.
There's a rule of 000 (zeros) for the aquatic "food pyramid" (Sources to Large Fish). It's easy to memorize, hence you start with 100.000 (one-hundred thousand), and just start taking zeros off until you reach 10 (ten).
100.000 --> 10.000 --> 1.000 --> 100 --> 10
Phytoplankton --> Zooplankton --> Baitfish --> Small Gamefish --> Large Predator Fish
Basically, 100.000 pounds of Phytoplankton in a body of water will only produce approximately 100 pounds of Small Gamefish, and only 10 pounds of Large Fish!!! Bluegills, Crappie, and Perch would fit in the Small Gamefish category, while Bass, Walleyes, and Muskies would fit in the Large Predator Fish category.
Therefore, a body of water with a total of 1.000 pounds of Large Predator Fish will need approximately 10.000.000 pounds of Phytoplankton.
But then, where does the Phytoplankton come from?
This is when pollution, water temperature, and so on affects the source of Phytoplankton.
If you want more information on it, you can access the link below:
Although it's a link for marine biology, one can learn a lot about freshwater biology from it. (I did most of the exercises on that link).
3. There are lots of reports of Mike this month. Is Mike part of your Blog now?
In reality, anyone can be "part" of this Blog. I'll post any report that anyone sends me (firstname.lastname@example.org) as far as it contains "trustable" pictures/information. It just happens that Mike has been fishing a lot, and we keep in touch a lot with each other. So, I guess yes - Mike is part of this Blog, indeed. However, I'm the only one with direct access to it - in other words, I'm the one who posts and maintains the Blog.
4. I love your Blog! After reading your reports and posts, I went to the Schuylkill River, as well as the FDR Park. However, I didn't catch s***. I used your advices, and even bought the same lures that Mike has! So, what am I doing wrong?
Reading is certainly a good start. However, accumulating knowledge is very different from performing actions. For example...You may know a certain set up, but you may not be using it correctly. That's when the field experience comes in - watching other people fish, or even movies, and so on. And even after having visualized it, it's still a very different story when it comes to doing it yourself.
All I can say is: be yourself. Try to use all the information you have in your own way. Then, you will see what works and what doesn't. From that experience, you will start to build your own expertise when it comes to fishing.
For example...Just recently, I saw I Bass nesting in shallow water. As a fisherman, the will of fishing that fish struck my heart like a thunder - I grabbed my rod in a heartbeat. I tried plastic baits, crankbaits, and so on...and nothing seemed to work! I would cast it in front of his face, and he was just ignoring it. While fishing for this Bass, I had noticed that he was chasing Bluegills around - the Bass was protecting his nest, indeed. He wasn't trying to eat the Sunnies; he was trying to chase them away.
That was the hint that I needed in order to know that the Bass wasn't hungry at all. Therefore, I had limited options: create a reaction strike (which is what most people would opt for). So, I tried everything in my lure box, and nothing worked!
That's when I had an idea! How about creating a "feeding frenzy"? Have you ever been to a Buffet? If you ate until you were full, would you be able to give another bite if someone put your FAVORITE dish in front of you? And so, I went to test my hypothesis. I hooked a very long nightcrawler (whole) on a size 10 hook (very small), and I hooked it in a very loose way.
First cast, the reaction strike came due to the worm's "natural" movement! The Bass bit the whole nightcrawler off the hook, hence it was only slightly hooked on it. It wasn't originally a ram or ram-suction performance - the Bass was simply biting whatever live creature approached his nest. However, after biting it, it didn't spit it out like it would do with a plastic bait - he tasted it and swallowed it, as expected. After this, I changed the number 10 hook to a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook, and I hooked a whole nightcrawler through the hook. Sincerely, the nightcrawler barely covered the whole hook, not to mention that the shape of the nightcrawler became the shape of the hook.
First cast with the Gamakatsu, the Bass ran for some ram-suction action! It got hooked right away, and I landed it after a short fight - 2lb 3oz.
This second bite was not a reaction strike. The Bass literally ate the first worm, and liked it. When the second one came in the water, his guard was totally down! Ram-suction action right in front of my eyes. What a glutton, huh? But my hypothesis worked, and I gained expertise once again.
If something doesn't work, don't give up. Change it, change it, and see what works best.
Uffs...that's it for now! Hope you guys enjoyed the FAQ.
Best of luck for all of us!
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
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There are fishes around us! Follow my Statistical Chart for 2012 for my catches during this year:
--> Added Data from Schuylkill River (05/25/12, 05/27/12)