After a few days of thought, I've come up with a quite a few different goals to meet as far as fishing goes. I tried to keep these realistic so that its possible to meet all of them this year. When a goal is met I will reassess and "kick it up a notch."
I realized that some of the goals I have in mind have absolutely nothing to do with bass fishing. Hopefully nobody minds that I include other species in a blog entitled "Intro to Bass Fishing". I've just been bitten by the fishing bug in general, a day that I catch any fish is a good day fishing.
However, I did go ahead and break these up into bass/non-bass goals, as bass fishing far outweighs every other goal I have in mind. So without further ado, here we go:
- Catch a Smallmouth: My dad tells me I caught a 2.5 pound smallie when I was 5 years old while fishing for bluegill with a nightcrawler but for the life of me I can't remember a single thing about it. I read/see such great things about smallmouth bass, I really want to target them as the summer goes on and turns into fall.
- Catch a bass over 3lbs/document it: Those of you who remember my night adventure awhile back may remember that I think I caught a bass over 3 lbs but I had no scale and no tape measure to accurately document it. I'm now armed with a nifty Berkley scale/tape measure AND a camera with a flash, so bring on the 3+ pounders!
- Catch more than 5 bass in one outing: I had one day this spring where I caught 5 bass (the largest being the one I'm holding in my profile pic at 14"). Time to do better.
- Catch a bass on a fly/popper I made myself: I really look forward to this one. I can't imagine the feeling of fooling a bass into eating a lure I made myself, I'm stoked. I'm hoping to get a fly tying kit soon, then this one will really take off. I actually made a popper the other night out of cheap craft materials from walmart, a spare hook and my mini-multi-tool (without a vise, bobbin, or any other traditional tools I might add). It's god-awful ugly and I accidentally painted the feathers but maybe by some miracle it'll catch a fish. Behold:
(Told you it was god-awful ugly. Sorry bout the "Just Married" balloons in the background, this was the only shot with a decent focus.)
- Catch a bass on a jig, crankbait, and carolina rig: All of which I've failed to do. I think the carolina rig will be the easiest, as it seems to be just adding sound to a texas rig and moving the weight away from the plastic. I've caught almost all my bass on a texas-rigged worm this year so hopefully carolina rigging comes naturally to me. I'll count each of these as a separate goal on the official list I'll make up, just lumped them together to save space and not be redundant on this post.
- Catch a bass with my dad: This one is probably most important to me. As I've mentioned on here before, my dad is really big into fishing but he's a panfish/catfish/walleye kind of guy. He's caught quite a few bass, but has never really targeted them. Well, he takes his girlfriend out fishing for bluegill about once a week and my recent obsession with bass fishing has convinced him to buy a cheap kit of plastic worms, dust off his ancient baitcaster and give bass fishing a serious try. I'll be sure to mention if he pulls in a monster in the next couple trips. Also, he and I are planning on going fishing Father's Day weekend, which gives me a pretty good segue into:
Non-bass related goals:
- Catch a trout on the fly: This is probably the most logistically difficult goal I have, since I don't think trout can naturally live in Illinois waters. However, the DNR stocks trout twice a year at different sites across the state. Dad and I are going to hit up the Coleta Trout Ponds near Rock Falls, IL first thing on our daytrip and try to catch some trout. This may prove impossible since it was stocked in March and won't be again until October. However, all the flyfishing blogs I follow have got me stoked to give it a try. If it doesn't work out there, we're planning on heading to Lake Carlton in Morrison and chasing some bass.
- Catch a carp on the fly: I follow a ridiculous amount of blogs. Two of these are roughfisher.com and Carp on the Fly. These guys make carp fishing on the fly look easy. I remember fishing for carp on the Rock River with canned corn, that was a blast! (We had one take off with my dad's pole because he was busy baiting my sister's pole when I was probably 9 years old. That day was not a blast.) If its that much fun on standard tackle, it's gotta be a hell of a fight on a fly rod.
- Catch a walleye/sauger/saugeye: My uncle Roy Vivian started fishing professionally in MWC and FLW tourneys last year. He spends most of his time up north but he said the next time he has a tourney on the Illinois River, I can pre-fish with him. Should be a good time, not just fishing but catching up with my favorite uncle. I don't get to see him that often. As long as that trip happens, I should accomplish this one.
- Try cooking each of the species of fish that catch: Obviously only if its a legal fish. I never liked fish when I was little so I've avoided it most of my life. However, I recently had fried catfish and grilled salmon and they were both delicious so I'm going to seek out different recipes and try them out. If I find any good ones I'll be sure to share them with you guys. I don't know that this can be fully accomplished because it seems like there's ALWAYS another species out there, so it may not get added to an official list of goals. Nevertheless, it's one of my objectives in fishing.
So there they are, the things I'd really like to accomplish by year's-end. Like I said earlier, some of them will have the ante upped after they're met. Is there anything you've accomplished that you think every angler should also? Do you have any goals for the coming year or just as a fisherman in general?