Caught this on 1st cast, which really upset several who had been fishless for hours , Actually, a great story.  I showed up at this small pond to try it for the first time.  4 good ol'boys were fishing, so I  asked them how they were biting as I walked by.  'Not a damn fish!.' one of them said.  I walked down about 50 feet and cast out.  Caught this bass on first cast.  As I got it out of the water,  I could hear them (or the beer) talking;'That aint right,  that's just wrong!"   Thought about it for a second,  had some kid take this pix with my cell phone,  released the fish, picked up my rod and went back to the truck, got in and drove off.  As I got out of their sight, I had to pull over and get the laughing out of my system.  I  have often wondered what was said about the guy that caught a bass on first cast, then left.

Mattys 1st Bass

 Brad got 2 like this Htgn resivoir

John proving you shouldnt stand in a small boatTabby witth nice bass from Ouabache
Cardboard boat that floated amazingly well and won our heat with a 450# passenger load!
    Notes on fishing.....
...Weirdest place ever fished- Rattlesnake lake, central California-not a place to relax...
...Proudest of..31 lb carp landed on Zebco w/4lb test line
...Worst day 09 - channel off Mississippi-ugly spot, noisy, no bites
...Best day 09-  last trip of year, smallies were extremely active, caught 13 over 14" in about 2 hours.
...Best day 10- Hillsboro river- 1 lg bass went about 10#-used dead cricket, needed net
...Worst day 10-Spent 4 hours at Eva no nibbles
...Best day 11- 1-5#largemouth, 2-3#largemouth, 1 monster turtle, 5 small bass, 4 bream-osprey, worm pieces, 90 minutes
...Worst day 11-walked for 1 hour at hilochee, never found water
....Best day 12--caught 1-5# catfish, 1-2# bass, 2-nice bluegill from center of lake while rude bassmaster types looked on in amazement
...Worst day 12--tried to put boat out in wind, got pushed into weeds over and over
...Best day 13--caught 31" bowfin from Champions Gate
...Worst day 13--no bites on chilly, very windy day, then dumped all of tackle on OldLk Davenport pier
....Best day 14-got 30" gar,. 3 nice brim, 3 nice catfish from Davenport swamp
....Worst day 14 - Melbourne bridge,. Went thru bait quickly , skunked in a normal hotspot.
....Best day 15 - got 3 medium bass in 10 minutes on pier ramp when regular area was full with people c not getting a bite(O.L.Dav)
....Worst day 15 - fell out of boat, ruined smart phone, didn't drown on my birthday
....Best day 16 - Scottish gentleman had a plane to board at 3,. Couldn't take his stuff,. Gave me 3 Jarvis Walker poles, 3 tier tacklebox full  of gear, and a foldable net
.....Worstday 16 - fell while loading boat,. Hurt back and maybe more,. Hit concrete ramp pretty hard when rope broke

    If you fish a lot, like I try to, you find out that there are categories of fisherman.  You know in advance a lot about the person if you let them tell you what they fish for.
    Bass masters- spend a fortune on new lures, rods, reels, and fast boats with gaudy paint jobs.  Each individual thinks they are the real expert and will catch a monster with the latest lure.   They call many fish 'trash fish' and try to get them culled from any water that might hold a bass. Travel alone or in pairs.
    Fly fishermen- travel lite, usually catch small fish, and seem to think any way but their way is inferior. They spend a lot of effort buying or making small lures that are supposed to imitate whatever bug is hatching. Usually loners.
   Cat fish fanatics- its a southern, good ol boy mentality.  They find a spot, start a campfire, and often fish all night. Usually they believe in stinky bait and enough beer to scare away the mosquitos. They have fun and sometimes catch a really big fish.
    Crappie catchers-Little bobbers, long lite poles, looking for good tasting fish and large numbers of them.  They sometimes sink Christmas trees in the water, knowing that next Spring that structure will probably hold crappie.
   Carp enthusiasts-huge in Europe, use very long poles, prebait, mixtures and exotic equipment. Stateside, they're considered lepers by the bass men.  A 15-20 pound fish is  no big deal to them, and they carefully unhook, weigh and release, much to the chagrin of bass men. That's me below but I was a little younger and skinnier.
   Guided Charter Fishing- decided to try it last year, and invited Brad & John along.  Went to Northern Michigan, saw a beautiful area on Lake Huron, nice people.  The fishing wasn't what I expected or enjoyed.  You're on this 30 ft boat, with a captain and crew man.  They drive out about a mile from shore..Then they hook up about 6 or 8 poles, lower the lines into the water using outriggers and electronic fish finders. Then they drive back and forth until they see a hit, then they grab a pole and hand it to you. You reel it in, with your fish.  To me, it wasn't fishing, it was reeling in a guaranteed fish.  I got no pleasure out of it, and the tab, between boat, hotel, gas and food ran over a thousand dollars. I get more pleasure sitting on the river bank, hoping for a bite on the pole I baited, cast, and hold. 
    Ice fishing- never done it. Know people that do and love it. I'm just surprised that these people seem normal in most other ways. My mind cannot wrap around the thought of walking out on ice on a bitterly cold day, drilling a hole, then sitting still staring at the hole.  I don't enjoy being that cold. I just shivered thinking about it.
  Good ol boys-don't care what they catch, just want to use up a few worms or minnows, maybe get a fish or two. Usually use a bucket for tackle box, have a chair, 2 poles, maybe only have 2 or 3 hours (I fall in this group).  They spend a lot less $$$ than the other groups(except catfishers),  but buy the funny fishin t shirts, because they don't take it serious.
There is a hierarchy with equipment and bait..
Fly Rod/reels-top of the line attitude, but in reality not much use if you cant wade the water or have a lot of brush around. They are fun, but very limited.
Bait cast- used almost exclusively by bass pros, probably because its harder to learn to use which makes the pros look superior to the average fisherman.  Downsides are they're very expensive and you often get 'birds nests in the bail
Spinning-rod reel- probably used the most, fairly easy to learn, most flexible of the combos, can go from ultra-lite to deep sea use, strangely enough, the very heavy and very lite combos are usually inexpensive, while the middle weight ones often get pricey.
Spincast-(yer basic Zebcos and copies of them) easy to use, inexpensive and fun. Should be used by all beginners and most intermediate fishermen. Downsides are limited line in the enclosed drum, drag not effective, and usually cheaper to replace than repair.
Cane pole-(often metal, not really cane)- basic fishing, long pole  line and hook. Should be used more than they are. When fishing is slow, you can always catch a bunch of sunfish with a pole-always.

Wendall Butcher was showing me where some ponds were when he caught this monster. It ran under brush by shore, and I ended up hiking back to truck, getting a rake and pulling the bush out of the water so he could untangle it. 20 3/4" x 15.5"girth

5/1/10 - quite an experience in Haines City, Florida.  Was fishing from pier at local lake. Nice man, R-----Gardner offered for me to accompany  him and fish from boat. About 2 hours out, we saw some smaller(2-3ft) alligators. After we'd both cast a few times. I switched to a black Jitterbug.  The gator ATTACKED it..fight was on.  I got it to the side of the boat and he got its head into the net.  We decided quickly that it wouldnt be smart to lift it into the boat- and I wanted a picture.  I was fumbling for my camera phone when the gator had enough of us and started thrashing, cutting the line and some of the landing net-obtaining freedom.  Best part of it was Matthews excitement when I told him I caught a gator. It was surprising how strong even a half grown gator is..
FLA Trip- bank fished several times, very little luck.  Had fun when a kid calling himself Mr D caught nice bass with bacon from retention pond and didnt even know how to unhook it. Same place got hard hit off mcmuffin. Several great lakes in area but boat is a necessity.

3rd wk May-went to Htgn resivoir,  small boat launch- fished from tailgate of truck, caught 1 sunfish, 1 bullhead, 5 channel, 4 drum, all on worms fished on bottom. Felt good for a change.


florida has tons of lakes, but almost all are unaccessable without a boat.  many have no tresspassing signs, remind me of the old song-signs, signs, everywhere a sign..
2010 results- 2 carp, 13 red ears, 16 channel, 1 bullhead, 1 flathead, 9 drum, 3 largemouth, 1 smallmouth, 1 gator, total 23 bluegill, 11 puffers, 14 striped panfish(salt), 2 turtles, 3 weakfish, 7 talapia--  total  107
11-13 ft gator, waiting for a fool, close to Auburndale
1-18-11  toho- caught 28" Northern Pike on gold weedless spoon!  Had an audience-lots of ppl there due to Bassmasters tournament, so I released it without taking a photo..
2-5-11 melbourne--had a very friendly pelican who chummied up to me for free fish
4-01-11 indian river sting ray! 
5-22-11 osprey-earlier a.m.- 1 5#largemouth, 2-3# bass, 3 small bass, 6 bream, 1 bigggg turtle-best ever in fla.
6-6-11   osprey -1 bass size of top pix, 1 lunker about 6.5 lbs, 5 smaller bass, 4 sunfish 9-1130 am
Best TRUE Fishing Story Ever=I'm 9 or 10 years old, living on May Ave. with my grandparents.  Ronnie M. and I have the fishing bug, we want to go down to the White river and fish, since its at the end of the block..  However, its been rainy, the river is high, and my grandparents wont let me go to the river, no matter how much we protest.  as a sort of protest, we pry up the storm drain cover in front of the house, and drop our lines in there, saying that there would be fish in the drain water.  After a few minutes, some of the parents  notice us sitting there and find it quite amusing. They make a point of meandering to where we sat, with our lines disappearing in the manhole, first asking us what were doing, then informing us that there werent any fish in that storm drain.,  We are stubborn and continue to sit there. A few minutes later, my cousins, the Steeds, drive up. The oldest boy had just got his license and they were cruising aimlessly= seeing us there, they had to know-and we told them.  About 20 or 30 minutes later, they came back, excited.  .  "You wanna have some fun, they asked."  By then, we were bored out of our minds, but unwilling to admit defeat., so we were eager. My cousin said, "We saw a man fishing down by the bridge, got to talking to him, and, here- we got this for you." -It was a carp, in a bucket of water, still alive.- They left, and we stared at the fish for a few minutes, when we realized what that small carp made possible. we only had to show that fish to one old man, and our legend started.  We could hear him across the street saying -'you"ll never believe what those boys caught in the drain-they caught a fish!  It spread up and down the street, and we had to show the carp to half a dozen parents, who were trying not to go into shock.
  We never told/
  Note---I doubt that any one reads this, so I have become lax making entries.  If anyone is reading this, please send me an email at dphndrsn@gmail.com .  Todays date 9-22-11.
12-08-11 -- Fished 3 hours at Lake A, Teneroc.  Caught 3 nice channel cats.  Bass and   crappie weren't biting at all.  Bass havent been for a while.
 MERMAID ALERT !!!  BJ SHOT THIS 11-27-11 at Epcot.  About 5 foot length....
__Turns out it was a pair of grass carp.. First I've seen in Fla.________________
2011 Summary
----Several Med. Bass from Osprey, and a few bigger bass,  mostly on natural reddish worms finesses on bottom
----Teneroc, Lake B turned up some nice crappie which hit gold bass lures, and some nice channel cats on worms
----Saddlecreek was fun for Talapia, when it was hot, then shut down
----Toho seemed to have a rat problem and a mocassin  problem, quit going there after a rat, dying after a snakebite, crawled up next to Bettys foot.
...Jan  month   6times             6bass    12 sunfish                                                          11.5hrs
...Feb    9 times      3 bass(1 nice)  40 bluegill  -boat is ready
March.    9 times          1 bass  39 bluegill 1 warmouth                                   only worms work
April  12 times- skunked 2 times,  12 bass, 27 bluegill, 5 sunfish, 1 rock bass, 3 talapia (Bj got 1 talapia that was huge at saddle creek) 
May   7 times-                                 7 bass,  16 bluegill, 9 sunfish
MATTY 1st of 2012
A Chilly Day at Mansfield
Smirking because nobody else is getting any fish!
4-13.....Friday 13th!..on way to fish, saw a very large water moccasin trying to cross the road.  Should've quit then.  Got to my favorite spot, been fishing maybe 15 minutes, when a 4 ft gator came out of weeds in front of me and scared a water snake I hadnt noticed.... Ended up with 5 fish, 1 was a nice sized sunfish, but lost 1 small bass and a bobber to the gator, who wasn't afraid of me. I finally whipped it over its head when it got too close, but it only retreated about 10 feet and stayed there, watching me-as if it was my friend... Florida is nice in that you can fish all year, but I miss the hell out of Indiana, where I could enjoy the fishing and not worry about the damn reptiles trying to kill me.  Plus, I miss fishing for carp and catfish. They were a lot more fun than occasional bass or large sunfish.  If things don't change, I think I will find a new hobby, or go back to my painting.
4-17....Fishing @ Ch.Gate b/c nothing to do. Caught 3 bluegill, and 1 decent bass on nibbles.  Caught very decent 3# bass on gold lure by irritating it. Using cane pole almost exclusively.
BJ caught huge talapia(nile perch) at Saddlecreek 4/28/12 using cane pole! A lot of people tell me you cant catch talapia on a pole,  but they forgot to tell the talapia.
5-30....afternoon, bj & i driving back from Clermont on 27, passing Lake Louisa state park.  Saw 3 bears playing at the edge of a lake! Looked like 3 cubs, but I think 1 had to be mom bear.  Pulled off road and watched them for a while. Felt surreal.
6-18...bank fished 1st time Old Lake Davenport.  No pier, cops sat there and watched after warning me of gator. 5 sunfish. Couldnt cast out far enough.
6-19...took pond prowler on water at Lake Eva for trial run. It floats nice, seems very stable. Went home, added oar clamps and lowered seat(BJ thoughtI was sitting too high). Will try tomorrow on Davenport..
6-20...unloaded at Davenport, had trouble rowing back away from dock. Wind picked up instantly, couldnt get 20 ft away from weeds. Oar malfunctioning, cast once and wind blew me back into weeds. Got back to dock, had a hard time getting boat back in truck. Totally a downer. .
6-29...after days of downpour due to T.S. debby, went to Osprey.  Caught 16 Bream, mostly good sized, 4 small bass, mostly on redworms with fly rod setup.
Also had gar trying to eat bobber. Saw several large bass. Good day...
7-24...had boat back in Lk Davenport..it did better, 1 oar loose (tried to fix later),  water only 5' deep out 20 ' from shore,  caught 5 sunfish when back at ramp,.. 
7-30.....went to melbourne today,  was walking on sand and burned right foot so bad it looked like skin falling off...really stupid....
8-4...--tried supermealworms from petsmart,  they do catch some fish, and dont need refridgerated, but they give me the creeps the way they try to bite you when you pick them up.  
8-10...have had boat out, getting easier to handle, yet spins like a top, need to work on it...went bank fishing just b4 dark at old lk davenport,..got 8 nice bluegill
and 1 very fat bullhead on small hot dog pieces soaked in pickle brine...
8-11...1 small gar.  1st gar ever.
8-14...went to hillsboro st pk w/bj,  caught 25 gill between us.  need to work on comfort.  ..
8-24...went to auburndale flea mkt..bought $8. matzua spin rod..bj caught nice channel cat at saddle creek on cane pole/red worm.  hurricane on way.
9-15...caught my first  bowfin....wow, fun, good fight
9-26...fishing at Old Lk Davenport w/ bacon fat. Caught 2 big gill, 1 reg gill, 1 very fat bullhead.  Saw very large snake come from area of truck, slowly went across driveway into weeds.  Looked it up,  it was a Florida cottonmouth!   Very intimidating, not in a good way.
Sept, 2012...what I learned....still need to improve oar system....boat needs shorter poles...big peat lake looks good for a try....met rudest ever trying to fish at davenport, 2 carloads puerto ricans pulled cars to edge of water, set out chairs and had their party there, not caring that nobody could fish or put in a boat there.
I have names for the people I meet while fishing...since I cant remember names...I improvise them
New York Clive.....Tim Hawaii....Car salesperson Annie...Freddy Worker...Joe Alaska
Nov 7......Caught nice flathead catfish
Nov 19, 2012...too cold to fish, wind blowing, and this old man caught this, on ham skin
Nov 27---almost got in 'disagreement' w/ a 'bassmaster' when he thought I should 'get out of the way' on the boat ramp.  30 min. later they watched, shocked, while I pulled out a big catfish, small bass, and 2 gill from the center of the lake.  They were getting skunked. Must stay w/ spinning for the occasional 'big' fish as the Daiwa Us was groaning and now I need to re string it before using again.
2013-   January--caught  42 bluegill,  24 bass,  2 channel,  2 bullheads, and 1 crappie-have went mostly to new ul spinning reel on yellow pole w/ 4# line-  some bobber,  lot freelining-- using boat @ davenport,  but need better seating for using motor-need figure out 2nd pole better
March- fishing at Champions Gate w/ red worm under bobber,  caught aprx. 30-32 inch Bowfin.  Got it to shore, on 4 lb line fly rod,  had no net or pliers to grip it.  It bit thru line and went back in water before I could get photo.