Captains Log 2016
Last year I put 12 giant flathead over 40 pounds in my boat 2 of wich were within 2.5 pounds of that elusive PA state record. I am set to begin my 7th year since starting my guide service. Last year I had the best season of my life. Thats nothing compared to how many giants I will boat this year!
Spring has sprung early this year. Thank goodness because that was my toughest winter ever and I need me a big cat fix. I headed out to explore some new bait water today. unfortunately it was still a little cold to catch any bait. This creek has some promise though.
Holy cow its march 8th and its almost 80 deg. Mother nature is a bit confused I think. I like her a mess though because this will get them cats up and moving from their winter slumber. I always fish channels 1st in spring and this year Im starting early. I hit the river today with no rods. I just wanted to map some areas with my mapping software I FINALLY figured out. It sure was good to get out on the water. No matter how I feel when I get out on the water I feel at peace and all my troubles fade away. It was a beautiful sunset this evening.
A good friend and one of my best customers called me today and wanted to catch some cats. I took him out on Lake fredrick wich is mostly channel cats. We had a great day and landed around 20 cats the biggest of wich was an 11 pound channel. One of the things I love about fishing is the element of surprise. You just never know whats going to bite next. Their is not many flathead above York Haven dam. Its rare to get one but we did land a small flathead. Also this 3 pound large mouth took my cut bait. It was such a treat we decided to snap a picture.
I have been driveing around making grids on my gps for maps. Its boring but worthwhile. I decided I needed a fix and called dale to see if he wanted to go channel cat fishing. We caught around 10 the biggest was about 12 pounds. Here is dale with a quality Susquehanna channel cat
As I said this last winter was my toughest ever. I am very low on funds and need to do what ever I can to earn some scratch. If I didnt need the money so bad I would not bother but their is a tornament coming up and Calvin has offered to pay the entry fee and let me keep the money if we place. Thats an offer I cant refuse so Im gonna go for it. Ive spent the last 2 weeks prepareing for this. Im gonna fish my but off and hopefully the catfish gods will grant me a victory.
I never worked so hard to prepare for a tournament in my life. I desperately needed that money for bills and getting my business started this year. 41 boats showed up for today's catfish tournament. The cold front made the mourning bite tough. However, it got better in the afternoon. By the time the cats started biteing we were short on time. We put around 2 dozen channels in the boat. We just couldnt get them teeners before time ran out. I fished my butt off and came up just short of the money in 4th place with 49 pounds 5 ounces for 5 fish, I was only 7 ounces away from 2nd place and 5 oz from 3rd. Its a tough loss for me but,... thats fishing for you. Now Im really going to be pinching pennys but thats the life Ive chosen. When the goin get tough the tough get goin. Some how Ill find a way to survive.
1st trip of 2016 is in the books. These guys drove up from Md. To fish for some channels. They had a blast even though we didn't get any giants. They are coming back this summer to try for some flathead.
The weather was phenominal for catfishing today. I hit the river with my good friend Steve Reed for some early spring channel cat fishing. We had a good day with a good average of about 11 pounds. We caught a total of 18 and the biggest was 13 pounds. I enjoy fishing with steve because he has a ton of time on the water fishing for channel cat and we share info and secrets wich makes us both better cat men. Steve used to fish alot of tournaments and did very well. He doesnt do them any more because he knows they hurt the fish and the fishery. Our best spot was when he fired up the grill for some hot deer sausage. For what ever reason its like the cats know we are eating and they start biting? Steves hot meal is one of the best parts of our trips to this area. It was a great day on the water with the biggest average size channel Ive seen yet this year.
The page is up...and its ofishal :) all the biggest flathead in PA were caught on my boat last year. Other than 1 47 pound carp we also caught 2nd through 5th biggest fish of any species.
I am very lucky to be booking trips this early. The river is at 55 degrees and its not even april yet :) The channels are feeding GREAT! I ran 2 5 hour trips in a row last Sat night and we caught lots of quality channel cats. 1st was my good freind and best customer Mike and his boys these guys are capeable cat men but they still book trips with me and I am greatful for that. Second was my 6 time customer Joe Belcher and his buddy Brian. These guys are also good cat men but still came down from the northern Susky to fish with me. We had a blast on both trips and caught so many nice channels we lost track of how many. They were both great trips with LOTS of fish caught. Biggest channel on each was a tie for 11.5#
I am proud to say that I have a page and a half in the most prestigious fishing magazine in the country. In-fisherman magazine! I'll be in the May 2016 issue as well as the annual Catfish Insider please pick up a copy. This has always been my favorite fishing publication. This is a dream come true to be in not just once but twice.
Every year Im up to my eyeballs in spring boat projects to get ready for the upcoming season. Im not the best boat rigger but I do the best I can. Even if I dont know how Im stuck figureing it out because I cant afford a professional. It takes me a while sometimes but I always get er done. Sacred are the preperations to catch the whisker fish.
I upgraded My 1198 with a humminbird helix 12. Or at least so I thought? It is to bright even all the way dimed. Just looking at it kills my night vision. It keeps freezing up. I half to pull the power cord and plug it back up so it will work again. The GPS is not as respnsive. i guess the internal antenna is the reason? It looses bottom way to much. I bent my self in half along with selling my old unit for this. It looks like Ill be spending some time with customer support to fix the bugs. I want my 1198 back but I had to sell it to pay for my new unit. Hopefully I can get the bugs out soon.
I hit the river with Steve again to scout spots for the upcoming tournament. We had a great day and would have weighed over 60 pounds if it was the tournament. I caught a 14.5 pound channel that is big fish on my boat so far this year. As always steve brought a hot meal. Dear tenderloin YUM YUM! I need to do well in this upcoming tournament. If I dont Im gonna have trouble paying my bills. This one is do or die for me. Live to cat fish... cat fish to live.
Today's lute...I worked my butt off for my bait fish's this afternoon. It's good exercise though.
35 boats showed up for saturdays catfish contest. It started rainy and then the wind picked up and was howling at 25-30mph most of the day. I spent half the tourney targeting big fish but they always seem to be fickle for me on game day. I abandoned the deep water strategy and went shallow and found some cats but, It was a little to little to late. We were in 1st place until the last 4 teams weighed in and bing bang boom. we got knocked back to 4th. Although 4th isn't bad I needed income. Its always a gamble and today wasn't my day. So much for my hopes of much needed funds. When it rains it poors.
Saturday was a long day for me on a couple hours sleep. I ran a 5 hour catfishing bachelor party with Shane after the tournament. We fished from 2 boats tied together from 8pm -1am. I was tired as hell but we still had fun. If I weighed our 5 biggest channels from this trip at the tourney I would have won. It figures .. big fish of the night was 11.5#
Holy cow its the middle of June already. I dont know where to begin. Trying to run this buisness all by my self is more than I can do but I am doing my best. Keeping up with the people,the catfish, the bait, working from 2 locations, equiptment and boat repairs and, the website updates is almost more than I can handle. Throw in the buisness aspect of being a guide and Its enough to drive me crazy. My weakness is trying to do to many things at once. So all I can do is prioritize and take it 1 task at a time.
Lets see ... where to even begin? I retuned my defective Helix 12 to Humminbird and got a replacement. The new one is awesome and I like it better than my 1198. The only complaint I have is its to bright while navigateing with the GPS. This season has taken off nicely and I am swamped. We are boating some pigs regularly lately. Most noteworthy is a 40.5 pounder that was unbelievably strong. I riged up a 3rd generation mount for my Sony action cam. This years captain cam is new and improved and I will have more video footage than ever this year. Finding time to edit it . Thats another story. I still have gigs of unedited content from past years. I just have more important things to do right now. I can hardly keep up. Ill keep trying because the longer I do this the more I realize guideing is my destiny. If you're trying to get a hold of me please be patient. Every one who wants to fish with me is very important. I am just overwhelmed with more than I can handle at this point. It sure would be nice to meet a nice girl who has a buisness degree :) but for now ....Im doing all I can. Stay tuned catfish fans. Im going to try to update this log more frequently.
After running a slow 5 hour trip I decided not to go back out on my own like I usually do. Instead I headed back to camp. I took some time tp organize the area under my awning. As you can see I now have 8 flourescent green ugly stick tiger spinning rods. I decided to make the rods the same and sell some of my other spinning rods. These rods match up perfect with the shimano bait runner 12000d reels. They are bulletproof and have the strength to whoop any flat cat we may encounter. I have some other new combos as well but only me and my very best customers will know about them.
As I was loading my boat my winch stand broke. It kept me off the water for 3 hole days. Luckily my clients rock. Jake is a mill right. He took time from his busy day to weld my winch stand with gussets. Now its stronger than it originally was. He also booked a 3rd and 4th trip for this year and we bartered a discount on his 3rd....now back to the state record hunt.
As part of my tip this evening I got about 30 pounds of reeses peanut butter cups and kit kat bars :) My client happend to work at the reeses factory. YUMMY!
Big fish on sonar not eating my bait.... very frustrateing... Need some dynamite for bait next trip. Ill fix em.
This is the biggest spider Ive ever seen in the wild. It is over 3 inches easy just accross his body. This is the 2nd time I saw this mother. I think he is gaurding my fire wood pile. Leting me know Im suppose to be cat hunting not makeing fires
The next person that tells me I already have to many catfishing rod and reels I am gonna unfreind them. I dont need that kind of negativity in my life. This is my Penn Fathom 20 levelwind. It has 30!... yes thats right.... 30! pounds max drag! Ill be turning some heads with this one :)
I know what it takes to put the slobs in my boat. Like the giant Flat Cat I am nocturnal. If it a 5 hour trip. Im goin back out fishin solo. There is a fish with my name on it out there and I FULLY intend to earn him
I had some FANTASTIC clients last night Chris was a good fisherman which makes my job easy and Ashley was as enthusiastic as any female I ever had aboard my boat. Even at 430 am she was still fired up. All the good energy made for a great catfishing trip. We caught over 20 flatheads. We boated 2 piggies mixed in with the dinks. Ashleys was 28 pounds and chris's was 24. I don't normally stay out as late as we did but I was determined to get Chris a big one. It payed off and Chris got his on the last spot. People as awesome as this is why I am a cat fishing guide. We truly had a great time. 2 new Personal best catfish caught and some treasured memories to be stored away in our happy place's. Life is good. I'm gonna get some sleep.
This is the filter adapter I desighned for my camp bait tank. Hopefully it makes for some happier bait during the hardest time to keep em happy. The dog days of summer
I fished and I fished hard through early July. My people and I put some awesome flathead on the boat. We made some lasting memories and shared big cat adventures. If a picture is worth a tousand words. Check these out :)
Im trying these neversnag anchors out. They are 11 pounds each and so far I like them. Every year for the past 3. My rope breaks and I loose an anchor. This year I got new rope to Keep my new anchors out of the river.
I finally had a week end off and some free time so instead of taking some time off. I chose to do some personal fishing.
I have wanted to be a channel catfish guide on the river long before anyone was catching Flat head in the river. i upgraded my boat in 2008. I didnt feel It was right to charge money untill I was comfortable with a large jet boat, able to safely navigate the river and fine tune my flathead fishing skills to be above average. For 2 years to get used to dealing with random personalities I would pick up strangers fishing from the bank.
This is my freind Mike. He and I met at a boat ramp 1 night in 2009. I asked him if he wanted to come out in my boat and the rest is history. I tell ya what this guy had the cat fishing fever back then.
7 years later between family and life he had not been catfishing in years. I knew he could use the thearapy so I invited him back after 7 years to fish aboard my boat. We had great time with the biggest cats being 15 and 36 pounds. I think I awoke a sleeping giant because he is now buying new tackle so he can get back on the water
I had some Veteran Philly Flathead hunters come visit. We had a great time copareing tactics and tradeing stories. Dispite the experience on the boat. We had a slow night. That is flathead fishing for you
We would have weighed 96.5 pounds for 3 fish if we were fishing a tournament Thursday night. Calvin amd I both came within a pound of our PB. Mine was a strong 40 .5. His was 36. We each got a 20 too. I seriously thought I had the record ... I was flipping out. It was a BIG cat but,.. not big enough,.. not yet. I got a wicked case of that big cat fever. Im fishing hard, living this life the best way I know how.
Livin that life
and this is why I do it
This is where I sacrifice my dead bait to the catfishing gods. Each night I put my deads here and in the mourning their gone!?!?...
I got a rod and reel as a gift from a client. This is my new shark rod. It was given to me by my friend Tim Squares. To big for catting but Ill put it to use some day
I removed my hater rant. I aint trying to make them happy. Im better than that
The boat projects are never done. I finally fixed the annoying rattle coming from my rear hatch. Its not pretty but it worked. I replaced my 2 year old cargo netting also the sun destroys them every couple years
this is what I should be doin instead of messing with this site.
so far so good. Im sticking to that resolution :)