Monday, January 31, 2011

A Monday To Remember

A couple of milestones to mention. Back on Tuesday the 25th when I beat my personal best trout, I failed to mention that it was also a completion of New Years Resolution #3.

Second one is that I just noticed, this morning, that Josh "Chappy" Chaplin from the "Waders Deep" blog became my 100th follower. Thanks Josh. Josh is a local fly fisherman from Truckee, California in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you get a chance, stop in at Josh's site and say HI. Josh is a member of OBN and needs a lot more followers.

Wow, 100 followers. I'm astounded. Little did I know that when I started this blog, and when my friend Dave from Missouri (we were childhood best friends and are still good friends) became my first follower, that a little over two years later, there would be 100 people that like reading what I write. The original intention of my blogging was to just let the local fishermen know what I was catching, where I was catching them, and what I was using to catch them. I had no idea our blogging community would grow to such proportions.

So, thank you one and all. I've made many friends and have even had the honor to meet several of you over the past two years.

As I creep up on 300 posts and continue to write articles for the local newspaper, I've also become their fishing blog writer. It's still in it's infancy, but I'll keep you informed as to when it rolls out. Now, if I could only make some money from all this writing. That's OK, I started writing a book 25 years ago. Maybe one day I'll finish it and become famous (and rich?).

Speaking of books, any of you out there watch the series on ABC called Castle? I was in Borders last week and came across two books written by Richard Castle. The two books, Heat Wave and Naked Heat are supposedly books written by Richard Castle and profile his partner Kate Beckett whom he calls Nikki Heat in the books. I haven't gotten to Heat Wave yet because I also picked up two Clive Cussler books and I'm sorry to say, they come before anything else. When I've read Heat Wave, I'll let you know what I think.

OK, I'll shut up now. Till next time.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Holy Fog, Batman

Left the house at 0730 with the intention of launching the Float Tube Cumberland in Lake Amador. The further I dropped in elevation, the foggier it got. When I finally got to the lake, you could barely see your hand in front of your face. Check it out.

This "stuff" is called Tule Fog. Tule fog is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Great Central Valley. Tule fog forms during the late fall and winter (California's rainy season) after the first significant rainfall. The official time frame for tule fog to form is from November 1 to March 31. This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Accidents caused by the tule fog are the leading cause of weather-related casualties in California.

The option of launching disappeared when I checked in. There's no way I was going to be in a float tube and get run over by some boat that couldn't even see me. Besides, the Float Tube Cumberland doesn't have a fog horn.

Plan B - Go to the spot across the lake from where we usually fish and give it a try over there. I wandered around the area for about 30 minutes and it was impossible to see the lake, let alone find the place I was looking for.

Plan C - Try and find my way back to the resort and make my way to the point by the spillway. The road I was on spit me out at a shack that just happened to be at the dam and I was able to get across and down the road to the parking spot.

Mark, that's Bear River Mark, was already there and had landed a 6lb-2oz male Cuttbow. I got one rod in the water with Rainbow Power Bait and put a Kastmaster in the Brook Trout color (got my order from Fishermans Warehouse yesterday) and out it went. I couldn't get a fish to touch my line to save my life. I went from somewhere around 0900 to almost 1:00pm and nothing.

Yuki showed up about 10:30 and between then and 1:00pm, he landed one of the 10" stockers.

Mark packed up and left, just about then, and I moved to the spot by the spillway where he had been. By the way, that one was all he got today. My Power Bait was out for about 15 minutes and I landed one of the 10" stocker Rainbows. About 15 minutes later, I reeled in my second stocker. I actually snagged a rig that the fish had previously taken and pulled him in that way. Does this count as a catch?

I packed up and left at 2:00pm, got to be home to feed the cats on time, you know. Left the two for Yuki to add to his one.

The sun did show it's face, somewhat, at about 1:00pm, but it was still hazy. Clear enough that I could see across the lake to the spot I wanted to fish and couldn't find earlier.

Not a terribly productive day, but not a skunk. Did see several big ones caught in our general vacinity, but none that wanted anything we offered. That's it for Friday. Have a great weekend.

Till next time.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mark Gets His First Trout

No, not me. Not Mark & Rich, Mark. Not Mark from Bear River. A new Mark. We're everywhere, like Starbucks. Mark is 9 years old and the trout in the net is his first. They didn't have a scale, but I'd estimate it at around 4+ lbs. A good way to start a fishing career. Let me tell you, he was way stoked.

Yesterday was one of those Pine Needle raking days, where I raked my butt into the ground. I don't know what's wrong with me, I do it every year, and every year it gets harder, but unfortunately the California Department of Forestry has this 100' defensible space thing around your house and they they get really picky if you don't have it cleared. So, I called this morning to find out if it was a burn day and was informed, it wasn't. I had the option of raking some more pine needles or going fishing. What do you think?
Got to the lake (Amador) at 0845 and set up one rig with a slip sinker rig and Rainbow Power Bait. Used Kastmasters on the other. Over the first three hours I landed three 10" stocker Rainbows all on PB. Yuki and his daughter showed up, just as I was landing the third one. They wandered over to the other side of the spillway and fished over there.
The rest of the day was a bit slower until I caught the next one at 12:30.

Personal best on a spinning rod was 4 lbs 12 oz. This one went 5lbs 2 oz. A new personal best.

I wanted to let her go as I usually do with a personal best, but unfortunately she was bleeding. After that, zip. Packed up at 1:3o and headed home. Needed to make sure I was home by 4:00pm to feed the cats. If I'm late, I walk in the door and the cats are pointing to their watches wanting to know when they are going to get fed. Don't need any more calls from the SPCA about cat abuse. These two (cats) have the SPCA on speed dial.

As I was leaving, Hoppy came up to say good by. Hoppy's dad rescued him from the pound and sadly, he had a "dead" leg. No one else wanted him when they found out about his leg, but his dad took him home, got him fixed up, and now he's a three legged trout dog. Hoppy came and sniffed each fish I caught to make sure it was OK to put it on the stringer. He particularly liked the big one.

Nothing on lures today. All on PB. I did get a video of an Osprey, but I wanted to get him diving on a fish. Do you think he'd cooperate? Oh, hell no.
At press time, I'm having a little trouble getting YouTube to upload it, wander over if you get a chance, it might be there.
That's it for Tuesday. Till next time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

International Sportsman Exposition

Wasn't planning to go there because it's usually the same year after year, but there were a couple of things I wanted to pick up, so I decided to cruise the aisles and see what was happening. As it turns out, they have made some significant changes from last year.

The hunting section looked the same to me, but not being a hunter, all I really saw was outfitters.

One change, was that an entire building was dedicated to fly fishing. Well, fly fishing and a couple, OK maybe 50 or so boats, but fly fishing was my focus. Most of the well known fly fishing companies were there. To mention a few, Scientific Angler, Rio, Sage, TFO, and G Loomis. A couple of the local fly shops were there too. American Fly Fishing Company (whom I should be getting stock for, since I spend bunches of money there) and Fly Fishing Specialities.

One thing that will stand out is that I had the opportunity to meet Denny Rickards. Remember, last December, I caught that 2lb 4oz trout on the rust colored Rickards Seal Bugger? Chatted for bit and then off I went to check out the other booths. The one booth I specifically wanted to get to was the Orvis booth and meet up with Frank Pisciotta from the California Fly Fishing blog. Nice to meet face to face with a name, although I had already seen his picture on his blog site.

Stopped for a bite to eat at one of the stands. Decided on a hot dog and fries and made the biggest mistake of the day. I don't know how someone can screw up a hot dog & fries, but they did and it came back to haunt me later. Enough about that.

Then I went over to the other building where the rest of the fishing booths (and a few more, maybe 50 or so boats) were. I wanted to pick up a few lures from Fisherman's Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. Fisherman's Warehouse didn't have them (nor did the store on the way home) and Bass Pro Shop wasn't there. So much for the lures.

Since I couldn't spend anything on lures and my wife turned me loose with the credit card, I managed to find a really cool pliers and line cutting tool called Boomerang Tool. It has a belt case and guaranteed to cut (their selling point) up to 85lb braided line. I looked on their website and the one I bought is not listed (I was going to show you what it looked like), I guess because it's a new product. That and a magazine subscription (can't have enough, like fishing rods) was all I able to spend. Oh, I suppose I could have spent more, but I was being good.

Lots of good seminars put on by Orvis, but I didn't stay for them. Lots of good fishing stuff and lousy food. That's it in a nutshell. Now I have to get out on the web and find the lures.

Till next time.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Almost Didn't Get Skunked

It was like a Trout Pond reunion at Lake Amador today. Rich & Mark, Ken, a friend of Ken's who I don't know his name, Yuki , and a few friends from the lake, Vasily, Steve, and his son Wil. If we'd had beer, a BBQ, and some burgers, we could have had one big tailgate party. Only one that didn't show up, was the fish.

It was slim pickin's where the trout were concerned. Vasily seemed to be the big winner, He packed out a limit by Noon. Mark & Rich caught, at least one I saw, but other than that, it was a wash out.

I managed one hook up and a small fight, but it ran me into the cable across the spillway and eventually cut me off. And that, as they say in the movies, was a wrap.

I did see a lot and did a lot of sight fishing, but even running a lure in front of the fishes nose, all they did was ignore it.

Good to know they are still out there. Always next time. Tomorrow off to the ISE, so when I get home, I'll let you know what I think. All I plan to hit is the fishing section as I'm not a hunter.

Till then.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chupacabra In Georgetown ?

We've all been following Ben, over at Abnormal Outdoors, about the Chupacabra story. Two days ago, Frank Gallo in Georgetown, about 40 miles from my house, shot one. The animal had huge claws, canine-like teeth and almost no fur on its body. Just like the picture on Bens site.

If you want to read the whole story, here is the link.

According to California Department of Fish and Game Warden Patrick Foy, "It's probably a juvenile bear and has developed some type of an ailment that's caused it's skin to shed all of it's fur".

The latest update from Channel 10 is that a DNA test confirms the it is a juvenile bear, but they are still testing to find the cause of the hair loss.

Frank is not so sure. Check out the story.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog Giveaways & Shoreman

It's Saturday morning and since I'm not going fishing, I wanted to make a quick comment on the giveaways that other bloggers and OBN do and why I don't enter.

In years past, I've been give the title of Mr. One Number. Since the California Lottery was established so many years ago, I've played a zillion times. It doesn't matter if I get tickets with numbers I pick or quick picks, if I buy 1,5,10, or 100 tickets, I only get one number. This past Mega Millions draw (380 million) I purchased 5 quick picks. I got one number.

So, what does this have to do with giveaways? I don't win, ever. So I refrain from entering, so other have a better chance of winning. Makes their odds better.

I just wanted to let all of you out there that are doing giveaways, and I think it's a great thing that you do. I just don't want you to think I'm snubbing you, in any way, by not entering.

This has been bothering me for some time now, and I wanted to get it off my chest. Thanks for listening and keep doing what you do.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Personal Best - It's A Tie

On the way home on Wednesday, I realized I still had my fishing license around my neck. So I took it off and threw it over my shoulder into the back seat of the truck. Yesterday morning I unloaded the truck and my license was no where to be found. I had stopped at Bob's to drop off the fish and thought I might have dropped it there. I went and looked. Nope. Might have dropped it when I put the trash can out. Nope. Missed it when I unloaded the truck? Nope. Emptied the truck. Nope. Checked my fly vest to see if it got caught on it. Nope. Went back out and unloaded the truck again. Looked under the seats, between the seats, under and in the console, in the glove box, behind the seat in the back, in the bed. Nope, it just wasn't there. Even went as far as calling the resort at Lake Amador (they hadn't seen it) and driving out to the lake where I had parked. Nothing. I was baffled. It was turning into one of those Twilight Zone things. I threw it into a black hole.

Next option is buy a new one. I wanted to meet Yuki at the lake this morning and that was the only option I had. Now that the DFG is electronic, no buying it twice. Says you already have one. What do they know?

Anger sets in and I storm out to the truck again. Takes a lot to piss me off, but I was this... close. Unloaded the truck again. Still nothing. Re-looked at every nook and cranny and it just wasn't there. Where the hell could it have gone?

As I was backing out of the truck, I looked once more at the little "back" door and in the little storage slot in the door, I noticed a bungee cord. Stuck my in the slot and low and behold, there it was. It was leaning against the outside of the door and could not be seen from looking in. What are the odds of throwing my license over my shoulder, into the back area, and having it fall in that little slot in such a way that it disappeared? From now on, It hangs in it's spot on the hanger hook, in the back window, ALWAYS.

Which brings us to the title. Got to Lake Amador at 0845, put out one rod with a slip sinker rig and Rainbow Power Bait. The other rod with a "Brook Trout" colored Kastmaster. Yuki was fishing on the other side of the spillway using the method he learned on Wednesday. Almost immediately caught a little 10" Rainbow. One of those DFG planters. Unhooked and back out for another day. The outlook for the day was good. But, from then on, it was NADA.

Around Noon, I moved over to the open lake side of the pennsula I was on and put out the Power Bait. Continued to throw the Kastmaster to no avail. Decided to try something else. My friend Rich (of Rich & Mark) uses a Rapala a lot, so I put on an F-11 in Firetiger. I got a good pass from a fairly large trout, but no hit. I cast out again in the same area and half way in, the fight was on. Once in the net, I realized I didn't have my camera, so I put him (notice the Kype)on the stringer for a few seconds while I ran up the hill to my truck and grabbed the camera. Snapped a shot, unhooked him, and he was off to be caught another day. Did get a scale reading on the handy dandy Berkeley Digital Scale and he went 4 lbs 12oz. A tie with my personal best at the Trout Pond last year. Short of filling him with sinkers, thats all I could get out of him. One ounce more would have been a new personal best and one resolution for 2011 completed, but it will have to wait for another day.

Excuse the bad picture, but I wanted to hurry and had already let him go when I saw the shot was not very good.

So, another good day at +Lake Amador and I almost put this lake on my list of lakes I didn't want to fish any more. Just goes to show you. Oh yeh, I entered the derby. Ran into the guy (Ralph)that works at Lake Amador and he said my tag from Wednesday probably would have won something nice. I guess, by my own stupidity, I'll never know what that was.

Till next time.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday At Lake Amador

Decided to head out to Lake Amador yesterday. We were in between storms and I wanted to see if there were any more of those big fish still there. Got there at 0830 and checked in. The cost of fishing Lake Amador ($17.00) doesn’t look so bad now that the Camanche Trout Pond has upped its fee to $15.00. While I was checking in, the woman at the counter asked if I wanted to enter the derby. I told her I didn’t because of the experience I had at Bear River Reservoir fishing a tournament a couple of years ago. “Only $5.00 to enter”. Sorry, bad feelings about tournaments.

Went to where we fished last Friday. What a difference in weather. Last Friday I was freezing. Yesterday I was fishing in a tee-shirt. Started with a walk across the spillway. Last Friday it had water running across it and yesterday, dry as a bone. Tried a little sight fishing with a white Wooly bugger I tied on Tuesday night. Didn’t see anything on the surface and I think the problem was the sun was coming up causing a glare on the surface. Have to wait for the sun to get over head to see the fish better. Went back to the truck and got my spinning rod and fished the red Sonic Roostertail across the spillway, around the point, and back across again. No takers.

About that time my friend Yuki (met him at the trout pond a couple of weeks ago) showed up. So we set up on the other side of the parking lot, opposite the spillway. We fished Power Bait on a slip sinker rig and threw out a couple of Kastmasters. Mostly just sat around and talked.

Walked back over by the spillway and noticed that the sun was up far enough to see fish swimming around just below us. Us being myself and another Mark (getting to be quite a group of Marks) I had met previously at Bear River Reservoir. I went back to the truck, rigged up my fly rod (I really wanted to catch one of those big trout on my fly rod) and zipped back to the hill. Out went the white Wooly Bugger. Nice cast, put it about 10 feet beyond the fish, and stripped it right by him. He just turned his nose up at it. Can a fish do that? I asked that before and nobody seems to know. Then out went a Thinmint and then a black Wooly Bugger. They weren’t having anything to do with flies yesterday.

Now it was time to get serious. From the bluff (I’ll use that term to describe the spot that is about 10 feet above the water) I put out one rod with Power Bait on a slip sinker rig. Then I tried the red Roostertail to sight fish the ones cruising by. No interest in the Roostertail and the PB just sat there. Took one more trip back across the spillway and managed to lose my brand (crap) new red Sonic Roostertail on a rock fish. You know, those gray ones attached to the bottom. Good thing I had a backup.

Back to the bluff and back out with the PB. By now it’s getting on to about 11:30 and we’re sitting there, fishless. This is not looking good. I’d be happy with one, just so I don’t get skunked. Then my line went straight. Mark thought I had his line, I thought I had Marks line, and we started to reel in. His came in, mine has a fish on. It weighted 3 lbs 15 oz. (see the picture below, bottom one) OK, I’m happy now. Once landed, we noticed that the fish was tagged. Remember the tournament I mentioned (and didn’t enter), well…………

Caught a few more that were small on Power bait and Kastmasters, and then during one cast, I hooked one that immediately snapped the line. Kiss that Kastmaster goodbye. Mark saw it jump and guessed it was better than 5 lbs. Damn; it was one of my best Kastmasters, the gold one with the red and black dots. It was in the Brook Trout color. Fortunately I had a backup, actually two. Pays to be prepared.

Up to the truck to get the Kastmaster, tie on a snap swivel, and back to the bluff I went. The next fish in was 2 lbs 15 oz (in the picture below also, top one) on the Kastmaster.

About that time, I see Yuki across the spillway talking to one of the guys fishing over there. Yuki starts fishing and the guys head back across, calling it a day. I’m still on the bluff casting my little heart out when Yuki looks like he has a fish on, good for him. A few minutes later, I see him walking across the spillway holding a fish that’s almost down to his ankles. Turns out to be the biggest fish he’s ever caught. It weighed in at 4 lb 13 oz. He was on the “jazz”. The one I caught on Friday, the two big ones today, and the one Yuki caught are all Cuttbows, a cross between a Rainbow and a Cutthroat. Amador is famous for this fish.

I caught one more (see the picture) that was colored in a way that we weren’t sure what type of trout it was. One opinion was that it was a Kokane, another said it was just a Rainbow, so I took a picture in hopes that I could get some help identifying it.

Yakked a bit with one of the guys from Lake Amador (he convinced me to enter the tournament since it runs through April) about the fish in the lake. He claims that the fish are getting too big. How can you respond to a claim like that except to say “Aaah, too bad, guess we’ll just have to catch them”.

That’s it for today and to think I almost quit fishing this lake. Go figure.

Till next time.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Almost A Personal Best

Resolution #3. Beat my personal best (4lb-12oz). Almost did it the first time out of the gate.

Met Rich and Mark at Lake Amador this morning. Foggy, extremely cold, and damp. My fingers got so cold that when I warmed them up, they hurt. That's how cold. Right off the bat, Mark put two on the stringer.

Then it was my turn. We were standing up on a little hill about 10 feet above the water and waiting for the trout to show themselves. All of a sudden, two were swirling right off shore. I had just put on a red Sonic Roostertail (this is the lure I've caught the most fish at Amador on) and I threw it out just beyond the two. I slowly reeled it in and one of them turned a 180, swam over, and gobbled the Roostertail. A short fight and Mark had it in the net.

It seemed to fit OK in the net. If you'll remember some time ago, Rich and I had a discussion about the size of my net and a lost trout, that he claims was the fault of my net being too small. Worked OK this time, although Mark did waffle about the size, once it was on the stringer. This will be an on going dispute between Rich and I for a very long time and Mark has to side with his dad, or walk home. It's a long way to Lodi.
The rest of the day was nada. I fished Power Bait on a slip sinker rig and nightcrawlers under a bobber without results. Couple of guys from Sacramento, that were next to me, were fishing minnows under a bobber and had one on and missed a couple of hits.
Packed up and put the three fish in the bucket I carry with me. Might have to get a bigger bucket.

Mark donated his two to Bob so I can keep getting my driveway plowed. Been a bit lean as of late, so we fattened up Bob's fish stash.
Here are the three, and the weights are as follows from top to bottom. 4lbs 13 ozs (Mark), 4 lbs 8oz (Mine), and 3 lbs 6 oz (Mark).
Almost beat my personal best, but fell a few ounces short. That's OK, the year is young.
Till next time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's In A Name.

The OBN challenge. Northern California Trout. Not too hard, there. I tried to set up the blog with the URL of Northern California Trout, but somebody on Blogger already had that, so I went with shoretroutfishing which was what I was doing at that time and called it Northern California Trout. If there's a will, there's a way.

Sunday (the 9th) will be the completion of 2 years of blogging. I have to tell you, it's been a great 2 years. I've made a bunch of friends and had a ball. Oh yeh, caught a lot of fish too. Besides, it give me a reason to go fishing all the time. I have to report to you guys what's going on out here, don't I?

Have to tell you all a little secret. When my wife and I got together, some 14 years ago, I kept telling here I could catch fish. She didn't believe me then because I never brought any home, but she does now.

I'll be back in the saddle (so to speak) by the end of the week. Working through vehicle repairs through tomorrow, then back to fishing.

Till next time.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

On this first day of 2011, I've taken the time to clean up the old blog site. Changed a few colors In hopes I can keep your interest and spiffed up the look. With remorse, I've also removed some of the sites on the blogroll that haven't posted in 3 months or more. If I've removed you in error, please let me know so I can put it back.

I was over on Mikes site (Troutrageous) and he had posted New Year's resolutions. I did an article for the local paper last week and it had some of my resolutions for this year, so I though I'd just re-print it here in case you didn't see it. So here goes.

It's the end of the year - time to make some resolutions for the new year to come. I've always believed that New Year's resolutions can be negative or positive. They can deal with things you've done this year that you don't want to repeat next year, or with things that you want to accomplish in the coming year.

Where do I stand with these, you ask? This past year has been a good year in the fishing department, with the exception of scoring that elusive steelhead. I have some friends who go after steelhead and catch one or more every time. On the other hand, I have been pursuing them for two years and have yet to catch one. They call steelhead "the fish of 10,000 casts." Well, I passed 10,000 a long time ago, but I think the method I've been employing has been the wrong one.

So, resolution No. 1 is: change my tactics for fishing steelhead and catch one.

Resolution No. 2 is: go back to fish in Heenan Lake. You can only fish this lake from the Friday before Labor Day until the last Sunday in October. I've talked with the guys at the local fly shop and have been given the key to this lake (well, maybe). Now, all I have to do is wait until the Friday before Labor Day.

Resolution No. 3 is to catch a trout larger than my personal best. I know that 4 lb., 12 oz. isn't a particularly large trout, and I know there are bigger ones out there, but that's my personal best and a record to be broken in 2011.

This brings me to the smaller resolutions for next year. One thing I plan to do is visit the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton on Feb. 25, 26 and 27. I've been to the Outdoor show at Cal Expo on several occasions, but it seems to be the same, year after year.

Resolution No. 4 is: attend the Fly Fishing Show. One of the things I want to take a look at is called Tenkara, which is a form of Japanese fly fishing, using only a rod, no reel. I have several friends who are already into Tenkara and, since I fly fish, they've been bugging me to move to the next level.

There are also some nearby lakes that I plan to fish this coming year. They may not be in Amador County, but they are close by. One that has been on my list this year, and I didn't make it to, is Lake Alpine up on Highway 4, East of Angels Camp. Steve, the guy that delivers UPS to our house, has trying to get me up to this lake all year. I'll have to make it resolution No. 5 to fish this lake. In this resolution, I'll also have to include a few of the other lakes in Alpine or Calaveras County - maybe try New Melones again.

The flip side of my New Year's resolutions begins with negative resolution No. 1: not fishing Lake Tabeaud again. Lake Tabeaud offers free fishing, and it's close to where I live - in the Pine Grove area. The lake is stocked by the California Department Fish & Game once or twice a year. It has two ways to access it, one off Tabeaud Road at the day use area and another around the back of the lake, by the inlet tube.My problem with Lake Tabeaud begins with the fact that I've fished this lake a dozen times and only caught one fish. I caught it by bottom-bouncing a night crawler at the inlet. The sides of the lake are very muddy, even in the summer, and, as muddy as it is, it can be hazardous. Several times, I've slipped while fishing this lake and have come close to major bodily damage. I've often thought that the way to walk around this lake is with football cleats. I've talked to float-tubers, as well as bank fishermen and the catch has always been slow. Even though this lake is stocked, to me it's not worth the time or the danger.

Negative resolution No. 2 is: drive down dirt roads more carefully, so I don't get rocks jammed between the skid plate and the transfer case on my truck. Such occurrences cause people to pull their hair out - I don't have that problem, since I don't have any hair - or to use four-letter expletives during explanations to the better half of why it costs so much to have rocks removed so the transmission on the truck isn't destroyed. Those kind of things.

So, what's on your New Year's resolution list for 2011? Let me start out easy, a new fishing rod? After all, how many fishing rods does a fisherman need? The answer is "one more." Maybe a float tube is something you want to get this year? Don't forget flippers. Maybe those Simms waders you've been wanting all year. You'll need them for the float tube and for creek and river wading. Oh, and that new bass boat? That would be cool.

Here are a few statistics on New Year's resolutions.

1. Forty to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year.

2. Of these resolutions, the maintenance figures are: past the first week, 75 percent; past two weeks, 71 percent; after one month, 64 percent; and, after six months, 46 percent.

3. While a lot of people who make New Year's resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't make resolutions.

So let's make those resolutions. We, as local fishermen and fisherwomen, want to see if we can push that up higher than 46 percent. I know I should be able to complete the five resolutions I listed above. How about you?

For 2011, I wish tight lines and full creels for all of you.