Moving Right Along

As life goes by, and we’re all spinning around on the axis of mind-created time, it’s easy to lose track of what all this means. You can get lost in the moment, so to speak, but that’s better than being lost in your mind by a long shot. I often think of these things when I’m in the quiet wilderness, because, out there time means nothing, and the human mind is just another form, among many, grasping for just another moment, before the last darkness arrives.

It seems complicated, but it’s really not. It’s only as complicated as you try to make it. That’s why I like to live a simple life, without a lot of drama, and endless mind games that we humans tend to call life. I wasn’t smart, I was just lucky that I realized this while I was still alive. Now, I’m reaping the rewards, while I’m still alive.

Life, for me, is not an endless merry-go-round of wonderful things happening all the time, I do sit around a lot, and do absolutely nothing. However, I choose to do that, when it feels good. Sometimes the weather is not favorable, or sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything. It’s probably a little of both today.

Still, even if I’m doing nothing at all, I’m usually considering my options. I may not want to go out fishing right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t research some information that might help me catch more fish. I may not ever be able to take fishing seriously, as a sport, but I can certainly improve my odds of putting some nice food on the table by paying attention to what others have done to catch more fish.

I tend to pick certain things as ‘a subject of interest’, and then put some effort into doing that particular activity, so that it yields the desired outcome. Of course, it has to be something I’m interested in, for one reason, or another. I know that there are fish in the lakes around here, and I want to catch some to eat. So, I guess I need to find out how.

After doing some research, I’ve decided to change the way I’ve been doing things, as far as fishing goes. I’ll admit, I was going about it in a bit of a half-assed fashion, and yes, that’s partly because I don’t take it seriously. However, I can still not take it seriously and do things that might increase my chances of catching something.

For example, I found out that I wasn’t putting some of the lures I have on the hook properly, and I now know how to fix that. This, alone, will probably improve my score card, when it comes to actually catching fish. Also, my equipment needed some attention, and fine tuning.

Time of day, and time of year, are important factors, when it comes to catching fish, even though fish have no idea what time is, and why would they? They have no use for that human mind created nonsense. They do know dark and light though, and also cold and warm, and these things are important to fish. So, if you want to catch a fish, you have to know what fish like, and what they don’t like.

Also, different kinds of fish like different things. Trout are cold water fish, they will follow the temperatures in the water, which means that you will find them in deeper water in the summer. Pickerel/Walleye are much the same, and since these are the only two species of fish I’m interested in catching, I will concentrate my efforts on the habits of these two categories.

Both of these fish species will come in to shallow water at night, to feed on the minnows that stay in shallower water for protection. But, I’m not all that interested in fishing at night, maybe I might catch a few in the early mornings, or late evenings, but I expect to be doing most of my fishing in the daytime. This means that I will have to go deep or go home.

Going deep means that I will have to change what I’ve been doing up until now. Most of the typical fishing lures available, things you would cast out, and reel in, are not really meant for deep water. They might go down ten feet at the most. In order to go deeper you will need to add weight to the line, usually in front of the lure.

I know that there are special setups, such as down-riggers, or even a simpler setup employing a three-way swivel with a heavier weight on one of the sides of the swivel, in order to drag the lure deeper. However, these won’t work for me, since I’m fishing from a kayak. I feel that my best bet is to fish straight down, while drifting with the prevailing current/wind.

Even so, Trout, and Pickerel/Walleye, tend to school, which usually means that they locate in one particular area of the lake. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the deepest area either, it could be somewhere in between, in an area called a ‘themocline’, where the temperature is just right for them. So, finding where they are could be a problem.

Some people use fish finders for this purpose, but I do not intend to invest in one of these. Depth finders might be of some assistance, and I have considered getting one of these, since they have become much cheaper in recent years, but, as always, I like to take the simplest approach to anything. In this case, the simplest approach means searching for them, by trial and error.

It should also be noted that fish go through periods of, what might be referred to as ‘dormancy’. They don’t really want to put a lot of effort into finding and catching food. In these times, they may need some extra enticing, before they will hit an artificial lure. Live minnows do seem to have a leg up on artificial, but many pro fishermen catch just as many fish on artificial lures, as on live bait.

So, this raises another question. For someone like me, who isn’t really interested in the ‘sport’ of fishing, but just wants to catch some fish to eat, which artificial lure would be the most productive, and least difficult to use? The answer seems to be, what are commonly called, plastic grubs, or many might know the trade mark Mr. Twister twister tails.

Other companies make these soft plastic lures, but I think it was the guy that started the company Mr. Twister that first brought them to market, way back in 1972. Ya, they’ve been around that long, but I’ve never used them before. In fact, I was never one for fishing with artificial lures at all, when I used to fish more, years ago. But, from all the research I’ve done, it seems that these lures are a staple in every pro fisherman’s tackle box.

Well, if it’s good enough for them, who am I to argue? I got some, and they weren’t all that expensive either, just four bucks for a package of 8. Also, my research showed that the white ones were the best ones for Pickerel/Walleye up here in the north, so I got white. Seems to me, if you can find an artificial lure that works as well as live bait, then it make sense to use something that can be reused over and over again.

Without even knowing it, I already had some Mr. Twister soft plastic lures, in the form of minnows, in my collection of lures. However, I was not putting them on the hook correctly, which caused them to spin around, in an unnatural fashion, when I was reeling them in. The fish were probably blowing bubbles laughing at my plastic minnows, spinning around like they were having some kind of underwater seizure.

These soft plastic lures need to be properly threaded onto hooks known as jig heads, which are just painted lead balls, on the top of a hook, in differing sizes, and weights, depending on how deep you need them to go. How you put the soft plastic parts onto the jig heads makes all the difference.

Now that I’m armed with some better intel on how to fish, and what to use, I’m feeling more confident that I can land some nice dinners on my plate at some point. I will try to work it into my regular activities though. I definitely don’t want to get to the point where I feel that I need to go out and catch some fish. It has to be enjoyable if I’m going to do it at all.

With that in mind, I do see some very promising weather on the near horizon, which might mean some kayaking, and fishing, but weather does have a funny way of changing, and I’m not going to be packing my stuff in the truck on the word of the weather gurus around here. I’ll make my decision the night before, when I can check the satellite and radar myself, and make my own decision about what it might be like the next day.

Speaking of weather, I’ve been quite satisfied with the weather this summer so far. It hasn’t been too hot and humid all the time, in fact, the temperatures have been fairly nice, at between 20 and 25 Celsius for the most part. We really got ripped off for spring, so this kinda makes up for it a bit. Now, I just need some light winds, if that’s not asking too much, and I’ll be away.

Windy days are good for walking though, and I do take advantage of them, even if I don’t always post about it. Here’s some pictures I took on a recent walk;

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Just for those who might be interested, the real name for these is Fragrant Water Lilies, and they are edible, the flowers, the leaves, and the roots are entirely edible. There’s no reason to starve if you get lost in the bush because these are everywhere in the swampy areas.

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I’m never at a loss for fantastic scenery, it’s always all around me here, and I’m grateful for that.

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Here’s another one of those signs warning us to keep out because of pesticide use. Doesn’t it seem ironic that they’re warning us to keep out of a radioactive mine site because of pesticide use?

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Every season has its own smells and sounds, and summer is certainly no exception.

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The wild roses are still blooming.

Anyway, things are still moving along nicely around here and, with any kind of luck, there’ll be fresh fish on the menu soon. Stay tuned.

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