This is an excerpt of the "Compleat Angler" book (Page 154-155), written by biographer Izaak Walton and first published during the year of 1653: 360 years ago.
At that time, the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) was just introduced in England:
"The Carp is the Queen of Rivers: a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish, that was not at first bred, nor hath been long, in England, but is now naturalized. It is said, they were brought hither by one Mr. Mascal, a gentleman that then lived at Plumsted in Sussex, a county that abounds more with this fish than any in this nation." (Page 153)
...not to mention that their spawning pattern was already well studied by many different Philosophers, including Sir Francis Bacon (the "empirical" dude):
"I told you that Sir Francis Bacon thinks that the Carp lives but ten years; but Janus Dubravius has writ a book 'Of Fish and Fish Ponds,' in which he says that Carps begin to spawn at the age of three years, and continue to do so till thirty: he says also, that in the time of their breeding, which is in summer, when the sun hath warmed both the earth and water, and so apted them also for generation, that then three or four male Carps will follow a female; and that then, she putting on a seeming coyness, they force her through weeds and flags, where she lets fall her eggs or spawn, which sticks fast to the weeds, and then they let fall their melt upon it, and so it becomes in a short time to be a living fish: and, as I told you, it is thought the Carp does this several months in the year." (Page 157)
Isn't it amazing? Izaak would be happy to see how England and the whole UK adapted so well to Carp fishing! "Carping" is a big sensation over there (and a minor sensation over here!).
The current record for Carp has already passed 100lbs! Just like Izaak predicted back in his time (360 years ago), Carps are resistant fish that can live a long life-spawn compared to other fish, not to mention that they can grow to enormous sizes if they have a lot of food available.
And this is how "science" is made, guys! Every little observation and discovery during a fishing session can be something that will contribute for the future of fishing. Nowadays, we have computers that do a lot of work for us; however, we are unique because we have "expectations." We know how to "expect" from what we see, and then create different hypothesis based on experiences, whereas computers will never be able to do so. They can only be programmed by us.
Fishing is in essence a science and an art. It's even more unique than other Sciences, since it involves the handling of another living being, which is why we owe to respect fish and wildlife (never waste a fish, handle with care if CPR is practice, and harvest selectively). From a philosophical and scientific point of view, it's the "empirical method" at work: for example, fishing is almost always unpredictable when it comes to knowing what kind of fish will come next; however, we can have expectations as to what kind of fish we are fighting after seeing the bite pattern. And even so, sometimes we end up being wrong!
And so I say guys: every passionate angler is a scientist at heart, sometimes even without realizing it.
Also, hands up for my friend Tony G., who caught a ~30lbs Flathead Catfish between Market and Spring Garden, on the tidal Schuylkill River:
Location: Newton lake
Time: 9:30-2:00 p.m.
- 2 Largemouth Bass
My mother recently arrived in the USA for vacation (this Tuesday), so, I decided to catch her some good quality fish to eat. Jimmy and I went to Newton Lake today for some Northern Snakeheads and Largemouth Bass. Since he decided to help me out on my request, it was a little bit easier for me.
I ended up taking home 4 Largemouth Bass. So, hopefully we will have a nice dinner tonight. Taking fish home once in a while is not a bad idea; however, keep in mind that Jimmy and I harvested selectively! Make sure to ALWAYS practice "selective harvest" when taking fish home with you.
In other words:
- We never harvested any "Trophy Fish" that could endanger the Species in that body of water. All fish above 16 inches or 2.5lbs were released. Our fishes measured: 1.80, 2.05, 2.18, 2.22lbs (average size).
- We picked an open body of water with a healthy population of Largemouth Bass. Harvesting LMB and other game-fish in closed bodies of water with a limited population will definitely harm the aquatic ecosystem.
- We follow the laws! It's past spawning season for Largemouth Bass (no harvest until June 15th), and they were all bigger than 12 inches long.
- We did not keep our limits. I took home only the necessary amount for a good meal. There's no such thing as wasting fish. Plus, fish taste much better when they are fresh.
And, of course, try to harvest as little as possible. I usually CPR all my fish, unless I get it for my parents to eat. They just love to eat fish. Plus, not all fish around these areas are safe to eat! Never forget to follow the FISH CONSUMPTION charts.
If these rules are followed, then harvesting fish for human consumption becomes healthy for the angler and his loved ones, not to mention that it brings the least possible impact on the aquatic environment around you.
Since I took home some Largemouth Bass, this created quite some heated up discussion on the Facebook Page. I even had to ban some people from the Facebook community because they simply did not know how to express their opinions without offending others around. I got quite a lot of hate messages, etc.
But, I would like to point out that Selective Harvest is very productive if used correctly. I'll use my friend Chris' (from The Right Anglers Facebook page) words for it:
"Selective harvest is a very real and useful practice. No keeping small fish, big fish, breeding fish, or rare fish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with harvesting fish for food or bait as long as selective harvest is in play."
And you guys can certainly read the rest of the discussion on the FB page, if it interests you. =)
Location: Absecon Bay
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m. (7th)
Time: 9:00-4:00 p.m. (8th)
I went to Atlantic City for 3 days with my family (Sunday-Tuesday). I was able to fish for an hour on Monday and a couple hours on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch the best tides; however, it was still a good experience!
I ended up catching only 1 thing: a Limulus (a.k.a. Horseshoe Crab). When I landed it, I had absolutely no idea what that "thing" was. I only knew that it looked like Kabuto from Pokémon. Hahaha.
Being a little bit scared of the thing, I let it go by shaking my rod. Therefore, I didn't take a proper picture of it. It was heavy and big, though.
The fishing was tough. I fished for 1 hour at the Jetty on Monday, and I didn't see anyone catching anything. One guy walked out with one Flounder - his only catch of the day.
On Tuesday, I decided to fish the back bay - at Harrah's. I missed high tide by 30 minutes, meaning that the current was pretty strong when I got there. I got a couple bites, but couldn't land anything. The crabs were quite the nuisance too! There were a couple other people fishing there, and one guy landed a Skate. That was pretty much it.
Time: 4:30-7:00 p.m.
- 1 Bluegill
- 5 Rock Bass
- 7 green Sunfish
- 12 Redbreast Sunfish
After coming back from Atlantic City on Tuesday, my family and I decided to go to the Tyler State Park.
We spent about three hours there. I missed one Trout on the corn (the only one that I was able to spot). Then, I decided to do a little bit of exploring! As I walked around, I saw a small Common Carp feeding on the bottom (about 3lbs) and two Smallmouth Bass swimming around (less than 0.5lbs).
I switched the corn to "Gulp! Minnows" for some Multi-Species fishing. I finished the day with 4 different Species of fish: Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish and Rock Bass.
Nothing new, but still fun to catch!
Time: 2:00-6:00 p.m.
- 2 Creek Chub
- 3 Spottail Shiner
- 4 Spotfin Shiner
- 5 Redbreast Sunfish
- 1 White Sucker
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Bluegill
- 1 Banded Killifish
I went to the Tookany Creek for some Multi-Species fishing. Unfortunately, I finished the day with nothing new (I still have to catch a Blacknose Dace).
After 3 hours of fishing, I finished with a couple different Species of fish: Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, Spottail Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, White Sucker, Creek Chub, and Banded Killifish.
I did see a couple beautiful things there, though: (1) a Water Snake that wacked my Bluegill; (2) a Mandarin Duck swimming in the Tookany Creek (photo below); and (3) a 4-5lbs Channel Catfish swimming around!
I wasn't able to make the Catfish bite, even though I threw my bait right in front of it. That little fella's wariness is top notch...
I'll definitely go back there with some cut bait, just to catch that fish!
My snake video got pretty famous around the Philly area! It's below, for those who haven't seen it yet. It also made an appearance at LiveLeak, the Philadelpha Metro online newspaper, and the RightThisMinute online video show.
I guess the video was pretty funny since I cursed a lot on it, not to mention my weird accent and people's love for Snaked. Hahaha. Hard to believe, though, huh? A 4-foot snake wandering around in urban waters... =)
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
- 1 American Eel
- 1 Channel Catfish
I fished the Schuylkill Banks today with my friends Don G., Tony G., and Nadir G.. The weather was nice - cloudy, but also hot.
Don ended up with 2 Channel Catfish. I finished the day with one Channel Catfish and an American Eel, and Tony...well, Tony missed a huge bite! =)
Nadir arrived last; therefore, I hope he ended up catching something!
Not very productive, but a good day of group fishing.
Time: 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
- 3 Fluke (Summer Flounder)
My friend Jimmy and I went to the Barnegat Bay today for some Summer Flounders.
Our initial goal was to fish the Great Bay; however, plans changed and we ended up hitting the Barnegat Bay.
We ended the day with 6 Summer Flounders (3 keepers), and one Skate. I got 3 (all small ones), and Jimmy got 3 (all keepers!) He also missed a forth one that was pretty big (22 inches+). That one is still out there!
I missed a bunch of bites, but it was certainly a great experience for me. Hopefully next time I'll also be able to land a Sea Robin or a Skate for my Species list!
Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.
- 7 Redbreast Sunfish
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Green Sunfish
- 10 Mummichogs
- 2 Banded Killifish
- 1 Fallfish
- 1 Spottail Shiner.
I went to the Byberry Creek in Northeast Philadelphia for some micro-fishing. I ended up with a bunch of Mummichogs, Redbreast Sunfish, Spottail Shiner, and a new Species: a Fallfish.
One of the things I like the most about the Byberry Creek is its fish diversity! So many different types of fish in such a small aquatic environment. Also, it's a very pleasant place to start micro-fishing or just take the kids for some "Sunnies."
Time: 7:00-10:00 p.m.
- 1 Bluegill
- 1 Pumpkinseed
- 1 Green Sunfish
I went night fishing with Don G. at the Delaware River for a couple hours. Nothing new, unfortunately!
Ended the day with a couple Sunnies - Bluegill, Green Sunfish, and Pumpkinseed. We attempted to catch some Largemouth Bass on top water baits, but nothing! Don missed 2 Blow ups on a Popper. My Buzzbait only made noise... =/
It was a calm and pleasant night, though! Night fishing in a safe location during Summer time can really be a blast.
Time: 12:00-3:30 p.m.
- 2 Largemouth Bass
I went fishing at the Manayunk Canal with my buddy Don G..
The morning was great; however, in terms of fishing, it turned out to be a tough day - super hot, humid, and only a couple bites. We covered a lot of water (from Fontaine Bridge to Main st.), and I ended the day with only 3 bites, 2 Largemouth Bass. Don missed a couple bites, ending up only with a weird snail! I have to say...it takes a great deal of ability (or luck) to snag a snail! Haha.
No skunk, at least!
Time: 4:00-7:00 p.m.
- 10 Black Crappie
- 1 Bluegill
After 3 hours or so of fishing, I ended the day with 10 Black Crappies and 1 Bluegill. No other Species whatsoever!
I didn't try for Carp due to the ridiculous number of Red-ear Slider turtles there. The Carp could definitely be there, though.
Also, no Catfish. I had one bite on my "Catfish Rod," and it turned out to be a turtle. Haha. When I saw the rod bending, it got me excited for a second or so!
No fish passed the mark of 6 inches...But it was still a wonderful day out with my nephew and family. Can't complain!
Time: 3:30-6:00 p.m.
- 10 Bluegill
- 1 Redbreast Sunfish
- 7 Green Sunfish
- 1 Golden Shiner
The goal was to catch a couple different Species of Sunfish for my fish tank. It wasn't bad: I finished the day with a couple Green Sunfish, Bluegills, a Redbreast Sunfish (from the Delaware River! Wow.), and a kid also donated his Pumpkinseed to me. Hehe.
But, hands up for the Golden Shiner below - one of the prettiest I've caught this year! Beautiful fish! Certain a rarity around Philly nowadays.
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m.
- 17 Redbreast Sunfish
- 8 Rock Bass
- 15 Green Sunfish
- 1 Pumpkinseed
It's been a while; however, my father finally arrived on the USA this Wednesday!
We had some family time right away, and then we went to the Neshaminy Creek for some Multi-Species fishing! My dad, of course, was itching to go fishing with me (it's been about a year or so).
We went to Tyler State Park. I missed a Brown Trout there on a small jig, and ended up with 5 different Species of fish. My father ended up with 4: the "Philly Sunfish family" - Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, and Green Sunfish.
Awesome first day of fishing for him! As a Multi-Species angler, my father doesn't need to worry about Sunnies anymore. =)
And this ends the July Fishing Sessions post! =)
Don't forget, fellas: Practice CPR - Catch, Photo, Release. Practice Selective Harvest. Protect our environment!
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,