Caught about ten LMB this evening mostly small ones but a couple were okay. But for Ohio this early in the year I was very happy. Out of a pond on an unweighted texas rigged swim shad fished as slow as I could make myself do it.
Today is a sad day for entire fishing community. Legendary fisherman Robby Robinson has passed. Legendary is not a word I use lightly. So what made Robby so legendary? After all he was just an ordinary working guy like most of us. What Robby had was passion and the overwhelming drive to follow that passion. He used that passion to learn about and spend the time required to go out and catch more giant shovelheads than probably anyone that has ever lived. Over time he caught so many giant fish that photos of him and then stories about him began popping up in newspapers and magazines. And Robby spread the word of conservation and preached CPR. Catch, Photograph, Release. All the while teaching and mentoring an entire generation of fishermen.
Let's face it anyone can go out a catch a big fish. People do it all the time that have no business doing so. Just like people go out on their first deer hunt and luck into a giant buck. Or people can buy their way into a big fish or giant buck by paying someone else to find it for them and hold their hand till they get it. But not anyone can go out and catch a giant remarkable fish over and over and over again. Which is just what Robby did over and over again.
He joins the ranks of other legendary outdoorsmen like Fred Bear or Billy Westmorland. No hunter ever has done as much in his sport or for his sport as Fred Bear did. From humble beginnings he pretty much is the reason there is the sport of modern archery and bowhunting. And Billy, just a good old boy down in the hills pursued his passion so hard that he caught more giant smallmouth than any person that has ever lived. Just a couple of guys that loved being outside and loved what they did so well that they became legends. Just like Robby. I bet they are all sitting around a fire tonight swapping stories and waiting on a bite...
She wasn't quite a 20 incher...but she didn't miss by much. This freaky warm weather combined with low clear water has made for some epic fishing. Today would have been a pretty good day on Lake Erie much less a fair to midling river in Southern Ohio. I guess I probably caught 20 with several more close to the ones in the photos. All on a pearl with blue back curly shad fished in the eddy seam of the first riffle right above a wintering hole.
With the truck in the shop and some chores to do at home made a short but sweet trip close to home. Nothing too huge but good numbers today. On a clear with glitter curly shad fished in some pretty fast current for the first time since november. Things are getting ready to really bust loose in a couple days
I guess I was in my teens when I first met Dan Gapen. It was at the Cincy sport boat and travel show back in the day when there was still a lot of fishing tackle there. He autographed one of his books for me which I still have to this day. For those of you not so old like me you might be wondering who is this Dan Gapen fellow anyways. Well let me tell you for decades Dan was known as the River Rat. He traveled all over the United States fishing river after river for pretty much anything that swims and writing about it. I think it's safe to say that he has forgotten more about river fishing than us mere mortals will ever know. Dan's grandfather Jesse built a huge log resort in northeastern Minnesota which people flocked to from all over. His grandfather was also one of the first people to stock smallmouth in these waters which have now become possibly the best smallie fishing on earth. Well Dan's dad decided to strike out on his own and bought a resort on the Nipigon River. When Dan was just a boy he worked in the lodge and was "bait boy" till he began guiding at the ripe old age of 14 on the Nipigon River taught by the native Ojibwa Indian Guides It was here that Don Gapen created the world famous muddler minnow one of the world's most recognizable fly patterns. Dan learned to tie at six and by age 8 was turning out flies to sell at the lodge. He received 1/2 cent a fly. It was also here on the Nipigon that the Gapens created the first weight forward spinner that would end up morphing into the famous Erie Dearie type lures. Dan started the Gapen Bait Company which he is still CEO of. Dan also in 1964 created the baitwalking sinker which has also morphed into a million different versions used to catch nearly everything that swims. And in 1964 he created the ugly bug, a soft plastic and rubber legged lure on a jighead, again a lure that has morphed into a million different styles that pretty much dominate river fishing today. Dan wrote extensively on various river fishing techniques and in his homespun way covered some very complicated subjects in a way that made sense. I think in one book I own there must be twenty pages alone on all the various styles of just wingdams and how to fish them. In another he covers vertical jigging with blade baits in rivers which is all the rage now in modern river fishing. And thru it all and over the years his enthusiasm hasn't diminished. Last week at the Columbus Fishing Expo he was all excited showing me underwater video of redhorse suckers striking his companies latest fly. He then gave me two. One of which will be put up unopened as a personal momento of one of fishing's legends.
Last week my truck started making horrific noises as I downshifted or accelerated. Horrific, I'm not driving it another foot noises. Bummer So I call a tow truck.Two hours later no tow truck. Bummer. I call them. "We are so sorry, a hydraulic line broke on the truck we will pick it up first thing in the morning". Bummer but OK. No call,no show. Bummer. Eagle towing BTW don't ever use them. So I call, no answer. Eagle towing BTW. I get off work call, leave another message. No answer. Eagle towing BTW. I call someone else they tow the truck to the shop. "Sir your roadside assistance only covers a tow of five miles you will owe the rest". Bummer. I drop off info and keys and go to fishing expo for three days. I get back, give them a day and don't hear from them. Bummer. I call. Well it turns out the owner has had a heart attack! and we "are not sure when we will get to your truck but we are so sorry". Understandable but still a bummer.So last night I go drop off unsold merchandise from the expo. Right by the river so I put a bit of stuff in the borrowed truck and fish a bit. Then today at work, in broad daylight, somebody breaks into three or four cars at work. Stealing the stereo out of the dash out of the truck I've borrowed so I'll have to replace that. My waterproof camera I love. my bulletproof winter hunting and fishing parka, my rod and reel, a small bag of tackle and my rubber boots! In broad daylight!!! Out in front of work!! Bummer.So by the time you total up a stereo, towing, whats probably going to be hugely expensive repair bill, my camera and some reasonably mid to high end outdoor gear I guess I'm going to end up out two or three thousand bucks for the last week. Bummer. I've had better stretches of luck....