Friday, March 30, 2012

Fat stocker

It happens sometimes for no good reason. I step to the water, make a cast and a big fish ends up tackling my tackle like a freight train. What makes this occasion even more amazing is that I actually land the fish. Not the type of fish I am going for mind you but a decent fish nonetheless. In this case I was chasing bass with heavy metal. You might find me doing this early in the year when a lot of water distance needs to be covered from shore.

This lake has a mix of largemouth bass and stocked trout. Sometimes I get a nibble early in the year from these stocked fin slappers whether I want their attention or not. Certain times of year I find lake dwelling trout to be “annoying” when my focus is on other species. However when these fish come with a bit of gumption and fairly large in size, it can change the outcome as well as my overall perspective on the day. If not for this skunk-beater “cow trout”, I would have had to carry a goose egg all the way home.

My name is Matt and I’m still a fishaholic. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mattsabasser’s pretty lame blog promotion drive

The slump of 2012 really cut into my shameless bragging and made my blog more or less stagnant. This slowed my views and hits down to a trickle. A few months back the “fishing with hookers” video lost me a few folks in the follower’s department. I was afraid of that happening along with a few bloggers signing off or moving to another format. My imaginary PR department (and my follow list) has taken a serious hit of at least four or five followers. To make matters worse the number of new followers has nearly come to a standstill.

It all points to the fact I am not trying hard enough. Not trying hard enough to promote my blog and apparently not willing or able to spruce up the format once in a while. (Sigh) The sad part is that I am probably not going to either. I just want to fish and don’t have the time for managing a part time marketing department on the side for this blog. My focus is on the fishing content. Here is where you come in. For 2012 I am running a shameless blog promotion drive in what will be another failed attempt at making my fishing blog more popular.

Top ten things you can do to shamelessly help me but I’ll totally understand if you don’t.

  1. Follow my blog if you don’t already. Most of my blog hits come from IE outside of my follow list. C’mon guys…show some love. You got a Google e-mail. Sign up and add your avatar thingy to my fishing blogilicious.

  1. Share my blog with a few folks you already send a bunch of stuff to. I don’t even mind if you put something in the subject line like “Cool video link and also some weird guy’s fishing blog…”

  1. Add a few rates to recent posts that you have liked. I know this sounds a bit like groveling. Whatever step exists below groveling is probably where I am at right now.

  1. Add a comment once in a while. A new post on my blog averages fifty to one hundred hits in the first week and then views drop off. Unfortunately my comment section averages about five comments. This is most likely due to two factors; poor writing and most of my viewers are lazy. Let’s meet halfway on this. I will promise to edit my posts better if you add a comment once in a while.
  1. You could put me on a follow list or something like that? One day I will have a follow list and it will be the best ever. You will see. Hopefully my pictures and blog post titles are enough to make it worth your while.

  1. Put in the good word for me around town. You know, say something like, “That Mattsabasser is alright. He just wants to fish.”

  1. Submit my blog to OBN on their “Featured Blog” listing that they have going on.

  1. Don’t hate me for not using a fly rod 24/7 in Colorado. As long as the big fish are going back with minimal harm we should be able to agree to disagree. Fishing is a religion to some in Colorado and my spin fishing trout scene is often referred to as blasphemy.

  1. You could give me a blog shout if you wanted. I know that my efforts probably don’t deserve to be listed on blogs with more advanced layouts, Google banner ads and actual bonafide sponsors. Some blogs are so “boingity-boingity” that a blog shout for Coloradocasters would go virtually unnoticed. In that case you have nothing to lose.

  1. Pick up some trash at one of your local fishing venues and post it up on your blog or even one of the local fishing forums. It would be nice to say something like, “Mattsabasser, this one is for you” with a link to my blog or something like that. It would warm my heart greatly to see the trash pickup photos outweighing the “sink of death” pictures.

More about ColoradoCasters and the Mattsabasser

Once upon a time I envisioned the ColoradoCaster’s entity as some sort of waterhound fishing club with a handful of lunatic anglers shamelessly bragging about their amazing fishing exploits. A few years and many venues later these efforts have boiled down to one thing…a guy that just loves to fish.

Mattsabasser was a term developed at the water cooler and a handle on a few fishing forums back in the day. There are many supporting cast members that I couldn’t do all of this without such as Don and I have even gone so far as to separate those exploits into a different title called The MAD Fishing Show…none of which have been remotely successful in regards to promotional endorsements, TV show offers or anything of that nature. I don't reach out to promoters which is 99% of the problem.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not too shabby

Roll up to the spot and realize that I had forgotten the crucial piece of the frame that bolts the tooner pods together. Guess that is what I get for hanging out too late and loading gear up at 2:30M. Don makes a cal and the landowner agrees to let me use one of their paddleboats for the day. This was both a blessing and a curse as the rudder was broken and I found myself having to use one of my tooner oars to move in the desired direction. It seemed as if my fishing slump was starting to form into a full on downward spiral. The fantastic spring weather and a few of Don’s jokes were just enough to hold up my spirits.

Water was crystal clear and hanging just above 48-degrees. Wind was light with the occasional breeze between 10-15mph. Vegetation was still dormant but still created reefs of structure and open pockets. Baitfish were congregating near or in the open pockets. To build confidence I decided to target a few of these guys with a beaded nymph on the long rod.

Beaded nymph? Long rod? Don had made a challenge that we fish this lake with only fly rods. It sounds crazy for this Mattsabasser but I was looking to change things up drastically in attempt to break out of this slump. Maybe I was getting bored with spin fishing. Maybe a gear switch would bring something fresh to the table. As fish nipped at the feathers at the end of my fly it seemed to be adding frustration more than anything else.

Varying the presentation I found that pulling the fly away from the fish as they moved in for the strike would bring heavier bites. As the sun rose to mid-sky the bass became more active. I could see them swimming around the pockets or lumbering in areas of cover. These fish were deep and hanging on the bottom. Getting the presentation in front of them with floating line was going to be an issue.

“Should have stripped and went with braid.” I mumbled remembering a few last minute decisions.

First I went with some streamers and large baitfish flies on the surface. No bites and a handful of change-ups later I decided to weight everything down with some lead. It didn’t sound right at first and looked a bit ridiculous to be honest having three small weights on the line. I would have used four but that would have looked obtuse. Luckily it was enough to pull the gear down to the lower depths where the fish were. A few casts, a few strips and wham! Spring bucket!

As the day wears on I am getting the hang of things. The hookset was still hit and miss but I was putting fish on the end of the line. Keeping them there was another story. A paddle here, a peddle there and I was in an area full of potential. In the distance a bass is seen slowly cruising along the edge of the weed line. Cast out a safe distance ahead of the fish and let the lure sink. The bass goes nearly vertical and pounces on the bait. I can see the fish’s jaws slam the bait in a flash of speed and suction. Seeing the strike is thrilling for me but also greatly helps in timing of the hookset. A few bursts of energy and the fish was in the hand.

I didn’t get many fish to the reel and scolded myself constantly for having too much line at my feet. Lessons learned were enough to fill the large truck that the farmer uses to feed his cows. Fishing farm ponds like this can be a little too easy sometimes hence the fly rod challenge. Next time I will come with a completely different setup on the longrod or maybe two.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

Monday, March 26, 2012

And so it shall be known as “The great slump of 2012”

Wintertime and the months I call “the cold three” typically cut into my fishing success taking my shameless fish bragging down a notch or two. This season however has been my worst slump ever. It seemed that right after I got a little yackity shmackity on the 2012 “Fish It” post the fish gods put a serious smote upon my game. This slump was so bad that not even my determination or bag of excuses could overcome it.

Looking back and trying to pinpoint one particular cause of this slump was difficult. Even in the worst situations I am able to pull something off most of the time. Not this season. Bites would be far and few between. When I would get the opportunity from a fish of shameless bragging quality even the tiniest mistakes would bring tragedy.

For example, I stumbled onto a trout frenzy in February where for once my timing was spot on and the fish were highly active. I land one fish, then another and then hook into a huge trout shortly after. This fish is practically double the size of the previous fin slappers of the day. Battling the brute was an intense battle of patience and drag. Finally get the fish to the boat, remove the hook, set the time delay on the camera and the fish jumps out of my hands.

The following week I am trying my luck at a different lake and searching fish in a lake that holds a good population of bass and crappie. I somehow manage to pick the one gorgeous day without hurricane force winds howling like mad and the ice had come off a week prior. Expectations were set on high as my casting elbow sorted through the tackle on a series of search casts. The retrieve is slow go but no takers. Slow things down even more and then even more. Nothing. Eventually I get the tooner to northeast cove and on the first search cast the bait gets a series of small nibbles. In the distance my eyes spot a patch of glowing white. Quickly I realize that this is an albino trout. Instantly my right arm grabs the rod that had been set up for crappie while letting the bass bait float to the bottom underneath me. One cast with the lightweight jig and wham! I hook into the white flashing fish. Realize the odds of this fish being here and me catching it are staggering. But here I was mystified with the very rare fin slapper on the end of my line. Bring the fish to the boat and it wraps itself around the line of the bass rod left to tangle in my moment of haste. My only play was to release the fish and undo the snarl. I paid the price for being sloppy with the gear.

A few trips were shut down by wind. Not average winds mind you but hellacious wind that toppled trees, light poles and turned water into a white heavy chop. This knocked out Plans A, B and C forcing me to fall back on Plan D…a small slip of water close by. Re-tool the gear, work spots for two hours and then bail after not seeing so much as a bug moving. Go home and plot the next trip. The following trip comes and I start the ballet of dejection all over again. Anyone else might have taken that moment to ponder other sports or activities. Not me. This only makes me more determined.

Eventually I realized that this was all in my head and simply of symptom of the season. My luck was failing because I wasn’t doing any my luck any favors so to speak. Using some common sense and reviewing past notes easily avoids picking destinations at the worst time. Applying more focus can help eliminate that one vital thing that gets forgotten or avoid that one crucial mistake from happening. There may be many factors to a fishing slump and all of them need to be considered if the slump is to be turned around.

In closing let me state that my lack of blogging posts has not been due to lack of effort but more due to lack of success. I could have continued generating posts with filler content as opposed to shameless bragging.  This would have kept my two sisters from sending me a few e-mails with the subject, “Are you still alive?” But that is not what my blogilicious is all about. Sometimes it is better to say nothing at all. The good news is that the weather has turned and I have no doubt my fishing success will turn as well.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic