Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Wanderings of Mer-Leprechaun

Looking at the year of Fish: 

Out on the NewPort Jetty at the end of December. Been wanting to get out there for years and figure out what Newport, OR is- but it is a 2 1/2 hour drive from our condo. This is one of those photos that suggest we never fight and that there are no dirty dishes in the sink. 

Bri's photo from our rental cabin on the coast for New Years.  That is a massive Redwood stump stuck in the sand on the beach.  So where the hell is the mer-leprechaun. Sure as shit not guarding his gold. 

I added a few new fish species to my life list this year.  This is one of them - the Cabezon.  A really good eating fish that you do not keep along this particular jetty. At the sweet spot in the outgoing tide it required a full one ounce jig to get the lure down in front of the fish. Feel free to chime in my one cocky friend who thinks he is going to get these on fly. 

New posted regulations along the NewPort Jetty.  No keep on Cabezon and all species of Rockfish.  Lingcod can be kept of spearfished.  This is a good thing. This jetty is real close to a parking lot so it likely gets fished a lot in summer. Late December is not known for good fishing here. 

A bigger Rockfish off the Newport Jetty. This one hit a 3" chartreuse rubber shad on a full ounce jig head.
At between 4 and 5 pounds - this individual may have benefited from the closed season to grow to this size. 

Not my work.  A nice slice of a long mural at Cannon Beach, OR 

Back in Iowa for Thanksgiving.  Due to Bri's enthusiasm for my family and the slow season with the home inspection industry this has become an annual tradition - to get back home to Muscatine.  High snob pie crust is made with either leaf lard or duck fat.  

Iowa farm pond.  Secret Iowa farm pond about a mile from the pie making. The Largemouth were hitting topwater "hula poppers" in late November. They did not hit on the 17 degree day --- but they ate on the 50 degree day.  The most fun you can have. 

My fascination with invasive species. I bet I fished the Willamette River 8 times before connecting with my first Smallmouth. A few times this summer I landed 20 in quick morning sessions before work.  Sometimes connecting on 3 or 4 casts in a row.  This fish is native to only the Ohio River drainage. Its diaspora began with the creation of the Erie Canal and other man made transports. There are no regulations on the Smallmouth here and you will see desperados keeping every single one they catch regardless of size.  

I make it a point to get out an fish the American Shad run at least once while they are in the Willamette in May and June every year the past 4 years. A true godsend - as this fish is another saltwater fish that swims well up into freshwater. Though unlike the East Coast of the USA where they are native - the tributary rivers here are too cold. They appear to spawn in the big main stems - as near as I can tell. 

A makeshift salmon fishing shack along the Cowlitz River up in Washington. 

Releasing a one foot long baby steelhead or "smolt" in Eagle Creek, OR.  This fish would be gradually working its way downstream to the ocean where it can grow big.  These freshwater rivers in Oregon are too cold, too clear and too infertile to support big fish. 

Rehashing the glory of this September Coho. The third cast of the morning at first light - in the lower river. 

Another sweet fishing shack along the banks of the Cowlitz River. You know where to find me. 

Getting the gear ready for Costa Rica this month - the Pacific side.  Last Year - In 3 weeks in Belize all of our soft lures got shredded by the end of the trip. So packing a few durable lures this time. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm sure 2018 will be mostly home inspecting ...  but I shall try and get out fishing a few times. 

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