|I was born and raised til I was 6 in a small town in Nebraska; then I moved to a small town in SW Iowa and lived there until I was 22. I've lived at the following places in my life: Phoenix, AZ; Bainbridge Island, WA; Arlington, TX; Dallas, TX; Irving, TX; Omaha, NE and Glen Allen, VA.|
I've fished since I was 8 years old and some of my best memories of fishing as a kid were at my Uncle's cabin, which was located at Round Lake in Minnesota. We (my cousins and I) would take a 14' aluminum V bottom boat out and fish for Bluegills using wooden red and white bobbers and night-crawlers. The Bluegills were huge and we'd catch our share and bring them back to the dock where my Uncle Joe had a live tank attached to the dock. This is where they'd remain until there was enough of them for my Uncle to clean. From time to time my Uncle Joe and I would go out and do some Northern fishing by trolling along in the boat with lines out the back and minnows on the hooks. We caught a few nice ones but the lake didn't have a large population of Northern Pike in it.
In my high school days, I'd fish a couple different small lakes, ponds or a few creeks that were around Glenwood, IA. I'd fish for Bass, Bluegill and Sunfish, Channel cats and Carp during the summer months. Many evenings I would be found either on the Keg Creek or Pony Creek Lake fishing for Channel cats and Carp. It was great sitting back in my lawn chair, a crackling fire burning, poles setup along the bank, waiting to see one of rods bend and line start being pulled out of the reel.
For several years, I hunted snapping turtles (see photo right) during the late winter or early Spring just before the ice would start melting. My method for catching them was to walk along the shoreline about 5-8 ft. out on the ice and look for a large dark circle under the ice. This was usually a large snapping turtle, who was feeding on the winter fish kill that was trapped under the ice. I'd watch the turtle for about 5 minutes to determine in which direction he was moving so I would know where to cut a hole in the ice. Once the direction was figured out, I'd move about 2 feet past the turtle and start cutting a large hole in the ice (larger than the turtle). By the time I'd have the hole finished, the turtle would be right underneath it, so I could reach down in the water and grab him. This method is 99% safe since the snapper is so slow you don't have to worry about his mouth at all.
I just wanted to quickly mention that I did hunt for many years with rifle and shotguns. Rabbits, squirrels, geese and pheasants were the main game that I hunted for. Out of all of those, pheasants were by far my favorite game to hunt with Rabbits coming in second. It's been years since I shot my guns, being in Virginia doesn't offer me the chance to do any pheasant hunting. I definitely miss that part of living in Iowa but I have great memories of hundreds of hunting trips to hold on to.
Now getting back to fishing, once I moved to Arlington, TX , I decided to join a local Bass club (Irving Bass Club) and there I met fishing partner Bud H., who I fished with for the next 4 years in the club. We had some great times during those years fishing club tournaments. Tournaments in my opinion are not really enjoyable, it's too much like work, if your line isn't in the water you can't catch a fish! So casting is all you did.........ALL DAY LONG. Don't get me wrong, I had some great times with Bud fishing these tournaments but non-stop casting all day long can get old. Here's a few photos of the Bass I caught while bass fishin' (photos to right yet to be added)
There was times I'd get the chance to sneak off with a good friend Bill M.(photo right yet to be added) and do some crappie fishin'. Nothin' better than being anchor'd over a brush pile in 25 feet of water, kicked back with our lines over the side and having a good time talking and of course, pulling crappie up every couple of minutes added to it. As you can see by the photo of me holding a crappie, we'd catch some nice ones
Once I moved to Virginia I started fishing creeks, streams and rivers using a Old Town Discovery 174, which was large enough to stand up in without worrying about tipping over. I'd fish the Shenandoah River, Dragon's Run (love that one), Chickahominy River and the upper James. I was mostly focused on Largemouth and smallmouth bass, Pickerel and Bream. And about 5 months ago I finally purchased a Fisher Hawk 3V 17' Aluminum bass boat w/40 hp Merc and started fishing the James River for Cats. Reason I went directly to fishing for catfish instead of fishing for Bass on the James; I enjoy sitting back and having my line in the water NOT casting every second. So what's better than catfishing when it comes to doing that? Nothing in my opinion except maybe bobber fishin' for some good sized Bream.
So now you know a little about myself and how I got to where I am in the sport of fishing. If you're ever out on the James River and see my boat, please feel free to stop on by and say hello. I always enjoy meeting others who like to fish.
More photos to be added soon.