May 21, 2010 at 2:03 am #1259216
I set out yesterday for a 1.5 day trip to have a little fun learning how well thing go when you rely on just a fishing rod. To be honest, I did sneak a little food into one of my hipbelt pockets. I brought:
– Oatmeal (2 packets for 1 small breakfast)
– Starbucks Via (1 packet for 1 cup coffee)
– ZipLock bag of Lemon Pepper Shake n Bake for fish
I definitely learned a lot about relying on a fishing rod. Here's some lessons:
1) Bring enough splitshot! I only brought three and two cracked open quickly and the third was lost the first evening on a snag. That eliminated 7 out of 10 lures because those 7 were too light to cast effectively without weights (Lure Count: 3).
2) Better still, bring lures that are a little bigger so that can be cast at least moderately well without splitshot.
3) When you're down to 3 lures and you get a snag in about 2 feet of water, go and get it! Don't pull on the line until it breaks and then you can't spot where the lure was (Lure Count: 2)
4) Don't do stupid stuff like trying to change you gloves while 1 of your 2 remaining lures sinks and snags on the bottom (Lure Count: 1).
5) Find a way to prevent fish from getting away! I lost 4 out of 5 fish that were on the line.
The first evening I had a fish get away early and then I got no action from about 5pm until 9pm. Right when it was getting too dark to fish at 9:10pm I got a nice trout on the line. I fought it for a while and got it right up to shore. I should have just yanked it onto the beach but I reached down to grab it and it jumped out of the shallow water and tossed the hook. No supper the first night.
The next morning I had another fish on the line while my breakfast was cooking but again it got away. Ditto a 4th time a few hours later. Finally around 2pm after probably 10 hours of total fishing time I caught one. This time I wasn't messing around. I just reeled it right up onto the beach and then grabbed it.
That fish was a small trout (180g, yes I brought my scale) but I was thrilled to have something to eat since I'd only had 2 small packets of oatmeal in the past 24 hours. Shortly after I caught this fish I lost my last 'cast-able' lure due to a bad cast onto a floating log (Lure Count: 0). I tried fishing for a bit longer with a lighter lure but it was useless when you can only cast 10-15" and the lake doesn't get deep until 5-10 feet out.
Despite my fish being rather small, I filleted it because I wanted to use the Shake 'n Bake which is super tasty. I used my 1.75" blade Buck Hartsook knife (0.5oz) which would have worked well but my finger were numb from the cold temps.
Weight of Fishing Gear: 10oz
Weight of Meat Caught: 3oz
Cost of Fishing Tackle Lost: $20
Time Spent Fishing: ~10 hours
This is the lake I'll be fishing in. Over the 1.5 days I hiked/bushwacked to the far end and back (11 miles total).
Got a bit of snow higher up last night:
My trout dancing on the shore:
Shake 'n Bake Trout coming right up!
May 21, 2010 at 3:06 am #1612082
@antigLocale: Pacific Northwest
What ultralight fishing rod are you using? :)May 21, 2010 at 7:02 am #1612124
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I'm glad your efforts weren't in vain Dan, I'd be going crazy working off of 2 small oatmeal packets. If views alone could satisfy a mans hunger then you'd be stuffed, your backdrop looks amazing.May 21, 2010 at 7:10 am #1612125
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
PNW is beautiful!May 21, 2010 at 8:36 am #1612148
I was using a 5', 4 piece Quantam rod with a small Quantam reel which combine to be 7-8oz. I picked it up on eBay for $29 Buy It Now and they're still available:
In addition I'm using a rod case out of a florescent lightbulb tube (1oz), small tupperware case for the reel (1oz). Then I've got a Merrell (sp?) fly fishing foam case (0.2oz??) with my lures in it.May 21, 2010 at 8:36 am #1612149
where is this?May 21, 2010 at 8:42 am #1612151
It's at Cheakamus Lake, which is just outside Whistler, BC, Canada. I live in Whistler, so it was just 7km (4 miles) up the highway + 7km (4 miles) up a logging road to the trailhead. Then it was 3km (2 miles) hike to the lake. There is a trail alongside the lake for the first half so I followed that for 3-4km and then the trail ends so I bushwacked (fairly easy going) another 3-4km to the far end and then back. Initially I was going to circle the lake but things were pretty swampy at the far end so I couldn't get through.May 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm #1612224
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
My experience has always been that if I rely on fish for food, I never catch any!Jun 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm #1617978
Dan–one suggestion–don't fillet the trout, just put the whole thing (gutted and gilled) onto a stick over the fire. There's too much waste when you fillet them, and when the skin cracks and peels off easily, they're done. The flesh pulls away from the bone.
[EDIT] It might be considered criminal in some parts of the world to cook trout in Shake 'n' Bake. That stuff is for catfish.Jun 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm #1617994
@whiskyjackLocale: The Canadian Shield
I always take my fishing gear with me on hikes, and have learned a lot of the same lessons, and expanding on retrieving snags from 2' deep water to getting waist deep in late october (brrrr!!) and diving when the weathers nice :D
For keeping the fish on the line, aside from always keeping tension on the line I keep a few tackles with barbs cause sometimes I'm definitely eating my catch.
For smaller fish, as mentioned just cook em whole.
I'm going to get a little bell to put on the tip of my rod for the next trip so I can leave a pickerel rig in the water while I do other stuff. If I were laying awake hungry hearing that bell ring would be music to my ears lol
I usually fish on lakes and once I get one I save the guts, weight them down with a rock in some shallow water and cash in on the free live bait when the leeches show up!Jun 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm #1622603
Yeah filleting wasn't the greatest way to go. Since then I've been cooking them whole. YouTube is awesome for learning how to do things.Jun 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm #1622860
Looks like heaven to me. Thanks for the great photos. Nice trip, great initiative.
Yes, definitely try trout next time cooked head, bones and all. You can still bread it. Just slit from the anus up to the gills, slit the back of the gill attachment, loop the gills with two fingers and pull. 95% of guts will follow. Scrape remaining guts and blood vein. Bread and cook. Once cooked the meat peels away from the bone leaving no real bones to deal with … pure delicious meat and skin (scales are immaterial in small trout). That said, your fillet looks cooked to perfection.
Total envy on my part.
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