Saturday, January 29, 2011

Powerton 1/29/11

View from the entrance.
I woke up a bit later than I had hoped so I scrambled to get ready and get on the road.  Got pumped up to some death metal and got into the mindset to go slay some fish.  (Slay as in catch, respectfully handle and release unharmed.)  Got to the lake about a half hour after it opened.

The way Powerton is laid out is the warm water discharge area is about a half mile from the parking lot.  So I grabbed my pole and tackle and headed out along the raised retaining wall, wind whipping the mist up off of the lake and over me.

Got down to the discharge area and found about 20 anglers already set up, all baitfishing. (I assume for catfish, as the big draw for the lake is giant blue cats.  Didn't see anybody pull anything in in the couple hours I was there.

The mist was usually much thicker than you see here, it was like a scene out of a viking movie.  A big wooden boat pulling up and commencing pillaging wouldn't have been out of place.

I started out tossing a silver rattletrap that Grandfather-in-law Tom gave me for Christmas.  I worked down what parts of the shore I could, first burning it really quickly and then knocking it along the rocks on the bottom.  Didn't get any bites.

After about a half hour to forty-five minutes, I lost the rattletrap on the bottom.  At Clif's suggestion I tied on a white twistertail grub with a white jighead and started tossing that.  I felt like I got a few knocks on it but I missed every hookset.  Are you supposed to set the hook immediately with a grub or wait until you feel the fish pulling?  I was automatically setting the hook as soon as I felt something so that may be why I wasn't able to hook anything.

Another hour and a half later I decided to call it a day.  Cold was starting to get to me.  Even tho I didn't hook any fish, I didn't come away frustrated like I have in the past.  I attribute it to a couple things:

First of all I put all my gear in my backpack from last semester.  It wasn't much today but it was alot easier to just strap it on and forget about it than to have to pick up a big tackle box every time I wanted to move.  Alot less tiring too.  I think this'll help when I make some hiking trips to less-pressured water at Banner Marsh or Snakeden Hollow in a couple months.

Secondly, I brought a spinning rod rather than the baitcaster I used most of last year.  No dealing with backlashes or having to remember to thumb to reel before the bait hit the water.  Really simplified everything.  I let "being like the guys on tv" get in the way of just having a good time and fishing last year.

Finally, I was happy to just get out of the house.  A nice little walk and wetting a line was just what I needed. 

Don't think I'll be fishing again until the temps are up over 50 though.  Just too cold, it's distracting.  I'll try to get some shooting footage up soon, I have a few empty milk jugs that need exploding.  :)


Rory @ methow gear testing said...

ya its hard to watch tv and see them constantly catching fish, and then go out and get a few MAYBE nibbles. but shooting milk jugs full of water is always fun.

Clif said...

With twister tails they're normally pretty easy to hook. Maybe it was the lure size, how big was the one you threw?

I prefer my spinning gear over bait casters as well.

It'll be shoulder-to-shoulder the first time the thermometer breaks 50.

Mark said...

Rory- My exact words the first time I shot a slug into a water filled milk jug: "F***ing awesome."

Clif- It was a 3". Too big? And I'm not planning on going out back out there anytime soon. It's hard to squeeze between baitfisherman now, can't imagine how it'd be when its warm and I've never had the success there to warrant it. I'm gonna hit up my little Charter Oak pond (since the fishing there was best last spring) and then backpack it deep into Banner or Snakeden like you were suggesting all last year.

heyBJK said...

Just found your blog through OBN, Mark. Anybody who gets pumped up for fishing by listening to death metal is okay in my book!

I've passed along an award to your blog as part of a prompt to discover great blogs. If you're interested, you can find it here:

Looking forward to following you in your quest to master fishing, hunting, and shooting!

Jay said...

Although my blog is pretty much fly fishing only, I have spent my fair share of time fishing hardware too.
The spinning reel is much easier than the baitcasting, but they do have a tendency to twist line... and some lures are worse than others on that effect. A really great book, if you can find a copy, is called The Ultralight Angler by Mark Feldman. I learned more about spinning reel line twist and the properties of monofilament line from that book than anything else I ever read.
As far as the grub goes, a white twist tail grub is one of the best all around lures I have ever used. I've caught trout, crappie, big bluegills, white bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and even channel cats on them. A 3" is a perfect size in my opinion. It excludes the little dinks, and is easily eaten by most any species fish of decent size... however in winter, smaller is sometimes better.
As for technique, if you're using a heavy lead head jig fishing among the rocks (in a spillway setting) you'll feel all sorts of knocks as the jig bounces along the bottom. You'll lose a lot of lures this way too. Sometimes it's worth it. A lot of strikes on grubs come as they are falling. I typically retrieve a few cranks, lift the rod tip and let it fall. If you get a strike on the fall you'll feel or see the line go tight as the fish pulls it. It's mostly about feel, and time behind the reel will teach you what is and isn't a fish... that being said, I still set the hook on rocks and stick all the time.

Mark said...

Gotcha, I'll have to get some more time on the water with some different grubs and I'll try the lifting and falling retrieve the next time I go out.

Put that book on my amazon wish list along with one of the ones Clif reviewed lately, looks like a good read.