Enjoying Summer 2013

Well summer 2013 has come to an end. My blogging also came to an end this summer so am showing you folks what I’ve been up to.

Summer was filled with shore fishing new areas, learning to longboard goofy foot and finding a new campsite.

Summer 2013 by hookjsboard

Enjoyed the weather by fishing and longboarding .

H o o k e d
To most, it’s no surprise I incorporate fishing into my lifestyle, after all, I’m a sportsman! So of course, I had to fish on the way to visiting my girlfriend in Appleton.

There’s a bridge that crosses over Lake Butte Des Morts; while driving up to Appleton on highway 41. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to fish. “There’s gotta be fish in there,” thinking to myself while looking at the lake each time I drove over the bridge.


View Larger Map

This summer I made a decision to finally fish Lake Butte Des Morts. Going in with the mindset I might not catch anything didn’t stop me.

I decided to turn this into a camping trip after finding Hickory Oaks Campground near Oshkosh.

camping

My campsite at Hickory Oaks Campground, close to highway 41 and Lake Butte Des Morts.

 

 

Fishing Lake Butte Des Morts, I was expecting bass since there are overhanging trees, weed patches and lily pads to cast towards. Ended up with a northern pike:

 

 

Mepps Spinner

Pike fought hard and nailed the mepps so viciously it bit off one of the hooks! Fish story! That kinda happened.

– Although the pike attacked the spinner, one hook was previously cut off to free it from a backpack. –

 

 

B o a r d i n g
Besides fishing, long boarding has become another way to enjoy free time this summer. At the beginning of summer I set a goal to learn goofy foot. In longboarding,(and other board sports), you have two stances: regular and goofy. Goofy is with your right foot forward on the board. Regular is with your left foot forward on the board.


Your shoes are the brake pads when longboarding. You drag your heel on the ground to stop. Seeing as I hate shoe shopping, I decided to learn goofy foot so I can wear my shoes evenly, making them last longer. (Plus, the less I have to buy shoes the more $ I can put towards fishing. fishing > long boarding).

Normal foot

Regular is my natural stance for long boarding and snowboarding. Regular is with your left foot forward.

Learning goofy has been a success though more practice wouldn’t hurt! More fishing wouldn’t hurt either…

After writing this post am realizing that summer has, once again, went too fast.

Any of you got fishing stories from summer 2013? Any longboarders out there with goofy foot tips? You try anything new for summer 2013?

After The Catch

After the catch, from the lake to the plate.

Do you fish? Do feel the fishing and cooking connection? Patience and persistence are mentioned the most when it comes to fishing. Something that happens after the catch should be caught as well, cooking.

after the catch

Bluegills grilling with green peppers and onions.

There are few more rewarding things than eating the fish you catch. While eating my catch, I remember a few things: being on the lake baiting my hook -or- casting a lure, and feeling anxious for when your bobber will go under -or- strike will occur.

Now, you’re eating the fish that took your bobber under. It’s why preparing your catch brings the fishing trip full circle.

Cleaning fish has always been part of my fishing experiences, thanks to my Dad who taught me ways to clean and prepare our catch. After cleaning the next step is cooking, therefore, the work begins when we decide to keep the fish for dinner, and was finished when we did the dishes after enjoying our catch.

Life Lessons
Cleaning fish teaches responsibility because if you wait too long to clean fish, they’ll spoil. This responsibility leads to being a steward of the land and to make sure you wisely use what you take from the water.

Thus, this connects fishing to cooking. I need to learn how to cook so I can eat my catch. Fishing prepared me for when I’d be living on my own.

When I fish I see an opportunity to catch a meal, and because I am on my own I need to be able to cook on my own. This is why I come to the conclusion that fishing is my bridge to cooking.


By Josh Schwartz 2013. This is the second part of how fishing’s a bridge to cooking. Fishing is Josh’s favorite activity in the outdoors. Catch and release and a responsible harvest are practiced.

Fishing’s A Bridge To Cooking

Fishing’s A Bridge To Cooking

The reason why fishing’s a bridge to cooking is because I’ve picked up on certain aspects of cooking from eating the fish I catch. The lessons below are what I have learned from making fish and can be applied to other game dishes. Read on!

Fishing's A Bridge To Cooking

Crappie are some of the best eating fish. Sometimes I just just use olive oil and a little lemon pepper.

How Not to Overcook
You can tell when fish is done when the flesh is flakey and white. Use this as a measuring stick whether you’re grilling, baking or pan-frying. It’s good to know when fish/meat is done so you know the warning signs of when it’s starting to overcook.

Simply, keep an eye on your food and check it often. You’ll have better success grilling if you don’t “grill it and forget it.”

For deep-frying, when the breading is a light brown it’s done. If it’s a dark brown it’s going to be over cooked. Watch the fish as it’s in the fryer so you can see the different color phases.

Cleaning Fish
Learning to fillet fish comes in handy when cleaning other game since the concept of following along the bone to remove as much meat as possible still applies.

You can scale and gut your catch. Simply scale the fish. Cut off head. Gut it. When cooking, you can stuff the fish with vegetables and seasoning of your choice.

Variety Of Techniques
I’ve used a stove, deep fryer, grill, and oven to make fish. It taught me what to use to make fish, and how to use appliances. I’ve use the these skills to make other food.

Grilling fish introduced me to using tinfoil and oil for cooking.

Learn As You Cook

  • Cutting up vegetables is something I learned when preparing fish.
    Cook your fish with green peppers and onions for great flavor. The flavor is not too strong since you can still taste the fish itself.
  • Side dishes complete meals, and rice goes great with fish.
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning is great with fish. Less seasoning is better while cooking. This allows people to season as they desire while eating fish. You can’t remove excess seasoning from cooked food.
Fishing's a bridge to cooking

Fish seasoned lightly with lemon pepper, in a tin foil boat ready for the grill.

Ask questions and experiment with different spices, methods, and species of fish; it’s the only way to expand your cooking ability, and understand the flavor of each fish. Some stomach meat on fish is good, others not so much.

A great resource for fish cooking ideas is Sporting Chef Scott Layeth; check out his list of fish recipes.

Try the spices and ingredients you have in your pantry and garden to use them in new ways. This is why fishing is a bridge to cooking. Once you cross the bridge to cooking you’ll start knowing what methods you prefer and can share with other fisherman.

Tight lines and good eatin’!

By Josh Schwartz 2013. This is the first of a two part series on how fishing’s a bridge for cooking. Read the second post on Connecting Fishing To Cooking. Fishing is Josh’s favorite activity in the outdoors. Catch and release and a responsible harvest are practiced.

Favorite Bass Lures

bass lures

Favorite bass lures.

Do you have any favorite lures? Recently, I put a list together of favorite bass lures for Sportsman Channel’s blog.

These lures are the ones I tie on frequently and have had the most strikes on.

From these lures the buzzbait and jig & twister tail have also proven effective for northern pike. I have landed many northern pike on the jig & twister combo. The cool thing about the twister tail is that it appeals to rock bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and walleye.

With the Wisconsin fishing opener around the corner, I plan to tie on the lures as well.

What are your favorite bass lures? Good luck to all this fishing season!

Opening Day Fishing 2012 (2 of 4)

This is the second post in a 4 part series on my 2012 opening day of fishing in Wisconsin.

In Southeast WI, it was raining on opening day. Seeing as there was no lightning, I threw on a rain suit, hooked up the boat, and headed out.

While anxiously launching the canoe into the water I was imagining a bass hitting my topwater bait. My rods were rigged with lures appropriate for the spots I wanted to try first.

After starting the motor and heading to the first spot I had planned to go to, I noticed the wind picked up since I left from home. Because of the increased wind, the water was too rough to use a buzzbait. (Buzzbaits and other topwaters work best when the water’s calm or when there’s a slight chop.) I ruled out my original plan and began to feel unsure of where to go.

At this point in fishing, you have to adapt to the weather conditions. As a fisherman and hunter you’re at the mercy of what nature throws at you; your success depends on how you overcome adversity.

Because I was already heading towards the far end of the lake, and since the wind was blowing in a direction that I could drift back towards where I launched from, I kept going. Besides, since there was a no wake until 9am and I was already half way towards the far end of the lake, I just wanted to get there.

First fish of opening day hit hard! Snapped this pic and released

Finally, I got to the far end of the lake. I started the drift and realized there more weeds than normal, and the wind was drifting me faster than expected.

During the initial drift I wound up in an unfamiliar location of the lake, but it  did look promising so I went with it. It was by a patch of reeds. Nobody else was fishing here.

Reaching for my spin cast rod rigged with a Kalin Grub and pink jig head I took a cast. Moments later I felt my first strike!

(Stay tuned for part 3 next week!)

 

Opening Day Fishing 2012 (1 of 4)

 
 

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing blog posts on my 2012 opening day of fishing in WI.
This opening day was different from the others. 

 
Usually, my dad and I share opening day, and because he had to work this year, I went out alone. 
 
They say don’t fish alone, or hunt alone, but you can learn a lot on how you process events and your decision making process. 
Fishing and hunting are great for teaching lessons as the next few posts will show. I’ll go over my decisions that morning on the water during the 2012 WI fishing opener.
 
How often do you fish alone? Do you have a fishing/hunting buddy? Is that person family, friends, or both?  

A Night Before A Fishing Trip

On the night before a fishing trip I’m anxious. Anxious about everything for the trip, even breakfast. Even if it’s a local fishing trip. The feelings are: how baits will work, what baits will work, and the first cast of the trip. Preparing is just as fun as the trip, although often not done as well as I could since my mind is racing about how the trip will be, and how the weather will be.

I’ve often thought I’ll catch a stringer full of the fish I’m after before the fishing trip; I’m doing so right now about tomorrows. Then, I wonder if thinking I’ll catch a bunch will jinx a successful day on the water. Superstitions are silly and I don’t by into them too much, so, I block this silly idea.

At the fishing spot if i’m not catching fish shortly after I arrive, I often find my self praying to just catch one fish and then I’ll be satisfied. And usually after catching that first fish, it’s not long before I’m praying and hoping to catch more. After all, I want a fish fry, or want to tell friends and my dad I was successful catching fish.

Successful catching fish, what determines a successful fishing trip? To be clear, it can mean different things to different anglers. For me catching one fish is successful. And I feel more successful if I do with lures than with live bait. But lures vs live bait is another blog post.

This post is about the feeling of a fishing trip the day before, more specifically the night before. As written earlier, this is the night before early morning Saturday fishing. I’m anxious, and as mentioned above about preparation, I should doing just that, now.

Well, I’m itching to fish now. And more anxious for tomorrow a.m. than when I started this post.

Do you feel anxious before a fishing trip? What do you prepare? Do you get your rods rigged before heading to the lake and buy bait beforehand? Or do you wait till you arrive at the spot to see how the weather conditions are? How do you do breakfast?

Being An American Sportsman

Being An American Sportsman

The smell of the lake as I’m getting into the boat is one of the things that causes me to come back for more. The scent of the air after a fresh rain/snow fall is another.

I’m feeling the early morning dew penetrating my shoes as I walk to a shore fishing spot beside a river or beside a lake. What a gift to chose where my next fishing trip will be. And I can fish by boat; backing your trailer into the lake of your choice is a great freedom as an American Sportsman.

American Sportsman Hooking Up

The freedom of hooking your boat up to the vehicle of your choice and heading to the lake you chose is a great freedom as an American sportsman. And so is the freedom to ride or walk to your fishing spot.

It’s a blessing to get away from the normal daily routine to feel free and adventurous. Discovering something new. The ability to make, and even mark your own path as you leave your driveway. Yes, God has blessed our country; you and I experience those blessings of His hand each time we venture to the outdoors.

These are some of the feelings that come to my mind, being an American sportsman. (If I were to go on I suppose there wouldn’t be enough words to describe the richness of how it feels to be in the great outdoors, to be an American sportsman.)

Let us always remember why can enjoy the freedoms we do as American sportsmen. God has blessed and soldiers have served our country.

One More Cast

You’re at the lake and walk, row, or crank up the motor to your favorite fishing spot. Sometimes it’s peaceful, the water looks like glass. You may even see the sunrise or sunset. Other times it’s windy, wavy, rainy and/or freezing and you feel nature’s elements at every cast. One thing’s the same each time you go out: it’s you and the outdoors.

One More Cast

“Behind a rod and reel is where I feel home”

I love fishing for the suspense and anticipation. It’s the suspense created as my bobber goes under, the anticipation of feeling a strike at any second while casting and retrieving, and thinking of mounting a trophy catch or preparing homemade fish frys.

Think of what fishing can teach; values can be picked up. Patience and persistence are needed to catch fish, especially as they can be stubborn from time to time.

It’s the memories you’ll make, and the moments on the lake where you clear your mind, kick back and relax. Even if the weather turns, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.

Whether you catch and release, or catch to eat, the passion is there. It’s a lifestyle to eat, sleep and breathe. There’s always room for one more cast.

Why do you fish? What makes up your life style? How do you get to your favorite fishing spot?