Friday, December 23, 2011

Get Back Jack!



It's nice to just have a few minutes to catch up with all of you. This day off couldn't have come soon enough. The busy schedules we all  have sometimes makes it hard to blog as much as we would like. I find this morning's bright sunshine and a good cup of coffee a bit different from the hectic pace of the last week or so. I'm taking time today to enjoy it!  The Christmas season is filled with so much to do and so little time that we rarely stop for even a moment. Before we know it the New Year has come and gone and it soon becomes just another blur in our memories of Holidays past. My wish for all of you this Christmas is that you can pause for awhile, reflect on what Christmas is truly all  about, and share that very special gift with those who you hold deepest in your hearts. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and wishes for a safe and Happy New Year!

The last few winters around here in Illinois have been relatively cold with plenty of snow and ice. I was starting to really enjoy them. A new found commitment to ice fishing, my weekends and late afternoons were spent drilling holes, setting up the portable shelter, and jigging up a few gills, with an occasional bass and crappie thrown in for added excitement. What a way to spend a cold winters day. With my Coleman heater and a few good layers, I could sit out in the shanty for hours and be quite comfortable. Last year I purchased my first underwater camera (I returned it at the end of the season because it was shorting the battery out, and it wouldn't recharge.) Watching finicky pan fish take your ice jig and not even feeling them bite was a real lesson. All the times I had spent ice fishing before, that had ended in futility, with us wondering why we couldn't catch anything, were now completely explained. You have no idea of how excited I was for this season to begin. With a new underwater camera on the way and my friend Rich's new flasher we will have all the tools we need to have a successful winter of fishing...but we have no ice!

Yes, you heard me right. There is no ice at this point in Illinois and I am wondering what I am going to do without it. I would like to take a trip up north if time and money permits me to do so, but at this point it is very frustrating. So I sit here at my kitchen table, preparing to spend this day shopping with my son Bryan and getting ready for our Family Christmas, while waiting patiently for Jack Frost to get his lazy ass back to work so we can go ice fishing!



Thanks again to all of you who read and follow the Blogs at Fishing Headquarters and at Cappy's Pond.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where Is Cappy?

Most of you have probably been wondering where the hell I ran off to, since you haven't seen any new posts from the pond. Well to tell you the truth I've been working! I know it is hard to believe that someone who enjoys fishing as much as I do would actually have a job, but I've got to pay the bills just like everyone else. The early mornings during the week are spent reading e-mails, checking on work related technical information and preparing my car for the long day in it. My position at Toshiba is going quite well but the days are long enough that I don't have much energy left during the evening hours. I'm lucky if I can stay awake past 9:00pm and I try to spend as much of it with Shirley and Bryan as is possible.

For the moment the blog at Cappy's Pond has taken a back seat on the weekends just so I can get out and fish a bit. The good news is that with each week I get a little more comfortable with the job and I'm sure that within a short time I'll be back strong with my writing. I really miss it, and I hope you do as well.

We did manage to get out this last weekend for a few hours at the pond and to my surprise I was able to wrangle up this catfish.



It was a collective effort. I reeled the fish in while using Bryan's rod and reel since he had to make his usual visit to the park. Tyler gave me a few catfish tips and pointers that I used to my advantage. His theory was that the catfish can smell the bait and will move into the general area but might not be able to find it. He suggested that I move it an inch or two to help trigger a strike from an interested onlooker. The boy was right! I moved the bait about an inch and it smacked it! My nephew and son are becoming quite the catfish kings. Sure was nice to feel a fish at the end of the line, even if I let the boys take all the credit with the pictures.

Well, it's off to bed for now, but I hope to be writing more posts soon. With the cold weather expected to hit later this week, ice fishing won't be far off. I'm looking forward to it!

Thanks again for visiting with us at The Fishing Headquarters & Cappy's Pond, and remember you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'll "B" At The Park!


Yesterday morning my son Bryan and I or "B" as we like to call him, managed to get out to our local fishing hole with my nephew Tyler to search for some big cats. The weather was hot and sticky, making for good catting weather in my book. The bite was slow however and we waited patiently for almost three hours for something big to happen. Other than a few small pick ups that resulted in empty hooks we were quite disappointed in our results based on the perfect conditions. We set up in three different locations with the same old story until we decided to give it the old college try (very fitting for the first day of the college football season) and moved over to one last spot.

Our presentation is quite simple and easy to use. A 6.5ft Daiwa medium action spinning rod/reel combo with 10lb test Trilene XL line. A Eagle Claw # 2 (red) snelled hook and a 1/2 oz sinker 12 to 18 inches up from the hook. Bring a few comfortable lawn chairs and plenty of water and snacks (we forgot them) and some Oscar Meyer franks for bait!

B decided that it would be more exciting if he went over to the playground to look for his friends from school, rather than sit with his boring old Dad and cousin and fry in the sun like fried chicken on a barbecue grill. He disappeared for an hour or so in the middle of our three hours of zilch, only to return and ask, "Are you getting any?" My response was the usual, "No, but at least we are trying."

I decided to give up on the cats and started searching the nephews tackle bag for a good bass bait, when B's line went slack and I told him that he had a bite. He gave it a few seconds, patiently reeling up the slack line, felt the weight of the fish and set the hook. We knew right away he had hooked into a good fish and the battle was on. The rod was bent over, but he is a strong kid and does a nice job fighting the fish. After a few good pictures we released the monster back into the pond for another tussle for some other kids.




Now this is the second time in the last two weeks that B has managed to catch the big one and Tyler and I have been skunked! I'm not sure what is going on here but the next time we go for the big cats...I'll be at the park!

Thanks for visiting us at Cappy's Pond and The Fishing Headquarters. Check out the videos on YouTube @ Cappy's Pond. Remember you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bryan's Catfish!
There are only three reasons a man should ever be awake at 4:30am. The first one is obvious, for no man would turn that down...well with exception for the other two. Fishing & Hunting could cause me to think otherwise... holding out until after lunch when it's too sunny for Mr Buck and Mr. Muskie and I could use a little help to jump start my afternoon nap.

As I pour this first cup of coffee, I realize that I am not about to partake in any of these things this morning and that doesn't make it any easier to be awake. However, the job beckons me to be there by 8:00 and the visiting puppy woke me up from my fishing dreams at 4:30. So now you know why I am taking these precious minutes to hammer out a few paragraphs to share with my fishing friends.

We've been catching a good amount of bass and catfish from the neighborhood ponds. The cooler nights of the past week or so have helped things wake up a bit...but heat is expected to return just in time to mess things up for the holiday weekend. The bass have been hitting mostly on 7.5 inch Culprit worms in any shade of purple, rigged on a 1/8 oz plain worm head. Stick to the deeper edges of the weed line, but don't stray too far. These fish aren't chasing any thing down with all this sun, so be patient and you will still have a few good tussles with Mr. Bigmouth.

The Catfish really have a taste for good ole Oscar Meyer franks, served up just like you used to make them when we were kids. A wiener (ha, I said wiener) on a hook with a weight about 2 ft up the line is all you need. Fish the deepest holes you can find for best action, and make sure your rod is stiff enough to handle a big Flathead or Channel catfish.

More updates to follow over the weekend as I spend a few quality days fishing the Elgin, IL area with my son Bryan.

                       

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Puddles To Pelicans



Although I am somewhat accustomed to my new job, the thought of going to work on this beautiful Monday morning did nothing to excite me. For I have left my heart in another place, far away from the hustle and bustle of suburban Chicago. It hit me hard, last Friday morning, while walking the city streets, with lightning, thunder and pouring rain. The taxis and buses took their turns in a splash fest, trying to soak me a little bit more than I already was. It seemed to be in far contrast from the playful laughter heard by open fire hydrants, where children cooled themselves from the intense heat, less than twenty four hours before. There, while standing in the puddles of  the concrete rain forest, I realized that this was normally our week to be vacationing in Northern Minnesota.

If you have read any of my posts in the last two years, you know of my deep love for Pelican Lake, in Orr Minnesota's north woods. Our summer trips, although too short, were always filled with fishing memories that I have tried in some capacity to share with all of you. I headed east this morning,  looking into a bright golden sun. The only problem was that I was on the left side of my Chevy Trailblazer, instead of the right side of my seventeen foot Lowe. Oh how I wished to be heading the boat into Saunders bay, maybe to search for hungry small-mouth along the rocky structure on the south shore of the main island. But on this day, I was headed to the office to ramp up my service knowledge of Toshiba's line of products, instead of over to the resort boat ramp. Don't get me wrong. The launching of my new career with Toshiba is a good thing. Two years of unemployment was long enough, but you all know I'd rather be launching my boat.

The deep blue sky overhead today, clouds all but disappeared, reminded me of those mid summer days as a young teenager back on Pelican. Lying down on a wooden boat seat, feet up on the gunnel, while the sounds of the water splashing against the aluminum, lulled my cousins and I off to sleep. The call of the loon swimming near the boat, would wake us from our slumber, then casting Gator spoons for Northern Pike would once again be foremost on our minds. Returning to the docks for supper, the smell of fresh cooked fish and homemade fries would fill the late afternoon air. Cooler evening breezes, like the ones we had today, helped to make conditions perfect for good fishing, great campfires, and some of the best sleeping weather you'll ever find.

I'll make it through this week, although it won't be easy, and I might get caught daydreaming a time or two. Maybe of a large-mouth bass hitting a power craw as it falls off  the side of a log, or an eagle as it swoops down to grab a surfacing crappie at dusk. My mind might be taken back to night time walks on the beach hand in hand with someone special. Whatever it will be...I know the hard work this week and the ones to follow will bring me closer to my next trip back to Pelican Lake and the pristine forests of Northern Minnesota. At the least, it will help me get through a few more of those puddles.

Thanks for following all of the bloggers at Fishing-Headquarters. Please feel free to share the links and posts from Cappy's Pond, and remember: You can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Updates From The Pond


I don't know where the spring of 2011 ran off to, but it sure left in a hurry. It seems like only a month or so has passed since I was fishing from the portable ice shanty and now it's summer already. Looking forward to an afternoon/evening of fishing today after some yard work. Maybe the fish will be in a better mood now that the sun is shining again!
The long road from the workplace to the unemployment line and back to the workplace is almost complete now. After trying to just land any decent paying job I could find, knowing I wouldn't be happy, I received a call from Toshiba Business Solutions of Arlington Heights, IL. Finally a job that fits! I will be starting there as a Field Service Technician on July 11th. I am looking forward to this opportunity and working toward re-establishing my bankroll (for a new boat) after 23 months of being unemployed!
Our baseball season just ended last night for the South Elgin AAA (8,9,10 year old) Pirates. We ran into a good fielding and hitting team in the Red Sox at the South Elgin, Sperry Tournament.  I think the final team record for the year was 19-5 give or take a game in the win column. One loss was by forfeit for only having 8 players. The kids had a stretch of 12 wins in a row and we had a noticeable improvement in our game as the season progressed. I was very proud to be a coach of such a great group of kids. Their effort was outstanding and we even talked a little fishing in the dugout from time to time. Congrats to these young ball players on a superb season!
July is just around the corner and I can't believe that my son Bryan is going to be 10 years old in just a weeks time. I'm sure that Shirley and I just brought him home yesterday. I can remember giving him his first bath while we listened to the Cubs game together his first night in the hospital. The amazing part is that the Cubs actually won that night, something that doesn't happen very often these days. Happy 10th Birthday to my super fantastic son Bryan. I know that I am the luckiest father in the world to have a son like you.
We got a few fish this spring! The collage below showcases some of the action we had from local Illinois ponds to the pristine woods of Northern Wisconsin. I hope that the end of summer collage for 2011 will be just as fun and exciting. A  bass fishing tip for this summer.... It doesn't matter what type or color of lure you are throwing, as long as you learn how to use it correctly. Location of the cast, speed of the retrieve, and paying close attention to the subtle differences, on the casts that produce a fish, will help you to become a better angler. I fished almost the entire spring season with one spinner bait and two types of plastic worms. Almost all the bass I caught were on these 3 lures. Simplify your arsenal. Study your results. The more time you spend learning the baits you use, the more fish you will be taking pictures with. Have a great summer fishing season and remember, you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the
water.



Thanks for visiting with us at Cappy's Pond and we'd love to see your digital fishing photos. You can send them to: kirkcahill@sbcglobal.net or post them at Cappy's Pond or The Fishing Headquarters on Facebook!




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Gear Review!

The spring of 2011 here in Illinois has been far from ordinary. Rain has played havoc with our rivers leaving just a few days that were available for wading. Shore fishing the Fox has gotten us the occasional smallmouth bass, but turbid and murky conditions can make it difficult to consistently produce fish. I have spent the spring concentrating on largemouth bass opportunities that have been available at some of the retention ponds here locally. Needless to say, I have not been able to get out and test this new Sufix 832 Advanced Superline that was sent to us courtesy of the Outdoor Blogger Network and the folks at Rapala VMC Corporation. When I spooled this new line onto my ultralight spinning tackle about three months ago I was eagerly awaiting the start of the open water season and my first encounter with Fox River walleyes. Little did I know that the amount of times I would get to use this line would be far and few between.







When spooling up the reel I noticed right away that this line has a very thin diameter, one that is rated at a 4lb mono equivalent. At a 10lb test rating I was impressed at how much line I was able to spool onto my reel. I took a few minutes to read about the differences in this line over other braided lines and how it was made. It seemed like a product that was manufactured with some extensive scientific research and a process that was very unique. To say the least I was very anxious to get out and try this line, well that is if it would ever quit raining!
The 832 in the Sufix name refers to the 8 fibers (7 Dyneema & 1 GORE Performance Fiber) weaved 32 times per inch of line. Like I said before, this isn't your ordinary braid. I tried to break it with my hands and it's some very strong line,  it can be a little difficult to tie knots because it is so thin and very limp. Also, I noticed that it's not that easy to cut with an ordinary line/nail clipper and will fray a little at the cut which can make it even harder to tie your knots. Here is a picture of the back of the package that shows the 832 weave.

The ability to make long casts with this line is something that I really liked compared to some other braids that I have used in the past. It flows off of the reel spool quite easily and doesn't seem to catch in between itself when it is reeled back on and casted off the spool repeatedly. The green color was also a plus because I have been using different green colored lines for some time now and I feel it will consistently out fish any other color of line. So far so good. Now lets see if we can catch a fish!
We (Rich Korolewicz & myself) made it out to the local pond this weekend for a day fishing for catfish and I was going to test out just how good this line actually was. One thing I wanted to mention was that the Sufix 832 line is very difficult to see being that it is so thin. Which is why I haven't used it while bass fishing because it is so critical to be able to see your line when casting in and around structure for bass. We set up at the pond with four rods and some pieces of chicken/pork franks on a hook large enough to keep the bluegills from hooking themselves. A local pond fisherman that I have met before always catches cats with this method so I thought it was a good place to start. As we were fishing, here comes "local pond fisherman" to set up down a ways from us and proceed to catch 2 nice cats while fishing with (you guessed it) the same thing we were using. Here is a picture of one of his cats.

After catching his 2 fish he was tired and decided to go home, leaving us a head of some cut bait that he hadn't used. We continued to fish about another hour or so with not even a bite. I grabbed the cut bait and hooked it to my line and sailed a Sufix 832 Advanced Superline mega cast toward the middle of the pond. Rich sat and watched the now three rods as I took the other to cast for some bass. A half hour or so later I saw Rich holding my rod/reel and looking a bit perplexed. Whats up? I asked. He said. "You had a bite!" My response went something like this. Nothing is going to bite that fish head unless it's really big or a turtle. Within seconds, Rich felt the fish again and set the hook.  The video link is at the end of the post  for what happened next. Enjoy it!  Oh and by the way the Sufix 832 line is really good. I think you'll like it!
Thanks again as always for visiting with us at Cappy's Pond and feel free to share our posts and links with your friends and family. Remember, you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water.
Disclaimer - Kirk B Cahill & Cappy's Pond have written and filmed an independent and honest review of this product for the Outdoor Blogger Network. The product was supplied free of charge by Sufix/Rapala VMC Corporation to Cappy's Pond through a contest on the OBN in return for a gear review. Kirk B Cahill & Cappy's Pond are not  associated with Sufix/Rapala VMC Corporation in any way and we did not receive any other compensation for this review.
Now for the video at Cappy's Pond on You Tube!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunglasses! Sunglasses! Sunglasses!

In preparation for this years IHSA bass fishing tournament sectional, the coaches, boat drivers, and fishermen were again advised about the importance of boating safety. A checklist was given to each boat prior to the days events and a safety inspection was performed by the Illinois Department of Conservation at the launch sites.

Not only was this for the obvious reason to avoid any potential accidents, but also as a teaching tool for the students to learn how to be safe on the water. The boating safety checklist included common boating items such as PFD's (Personal Flotation Device), fire extinguisher, sounding device, anchor, flares, first aid kit, battery post insulating covers, live wells (for the bass of course) and last but not least was protective eye-wear.

I always wear a pair of polarized sunglasses when fishing because it allows me to see structure under the water that would normally be invisible. Polarized glasses help to reduce the glare from the water's surface, allowing me to quickly spot, logs, weeds, rocks, etc. that are all natural fish attractors. But I also wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the elements of the sun, wind, rain, bugs, and debris that could ruin a good day of fishing.

This past Sunday while fishing on my boat with my good friend Rich and one of his buddies, I was once again reminded as to the importance of those sunglasses. For whatever reason, Rich on one of his back-casts didn't  remember to look, or was just so focused on his fishing, that he forgot where I was standing in the boat. The forward motion of his cast launched the lures (demon spinner) treble hook into my nose! After a very loud OUCH, and a few expletive deleted, we assessed the situation and began to perform surgery as if I was a fish and Rich was trying to perform CPR (catch, photo, release).

One of the three hooks went into the left side of my nose and back out the same side, past the barb! The other hook had entered through the left nostril and was too far in to be seen but had not come all the way through. We decided to cut the one exposed hook and pull it all the way through, with hopes that it would be a clean enough cut to not do any more damage. It came out fairly easily and I looked no worse after that removal. The next one was going to be a little bit harder to get out, and the decision was made to pull it out the same way it went in. After asking me if I was ready, Rich pulled it out very quickly, and other than a little bit of bleeding for about an hour, I was good to go.

The first aid kit was brought out to use some alcohol wipes and a bit of antibiotic ointment, and after that chaos we decided to head to the bar for a beer and a good burger. It wasn't until the next morning that I noticed the scratch on my sunglasses. When we looked at where the other two hooks had landed, and figured where the third hook probably scratched the sunglasses, we could only imagine that it might have been worse.
I am so glad that I was wearing my Strike-King sunglasses. Rich apologized for the rest of the two days, and I didn't have to pay for any more food or drink for the remainder of the trip.

As always we managed to have a good time, laughed (at Rich's expense) and caught a few fish too! But the best part of the trip was knowing that by following a good safety tip I avoided the possibility of doing some severe damage to my eye, and that helped me really enjoy those all you can eat crab legs for dinner (at Rich's expense).

Thanks for visiting us at Cappy's Pond! Take your Mom fishing this weekend, and remember that you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water.            
                

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Retention Pond Bass. What Are You Waiting For?

I wasn't too excited at first, when I noticed a lawn intruder sunning itself near our patio door just a few days ago. The big yellow flowered dandelion was a reminder to go buy some lawn fertilizer and get ahead of the weeds before they take hold.  Just another expense to add to an already dwindling bank account. With the price of gas what it is today, and everything else increasing in cost because of it, I'm not sure how much longer we will be able to make ends meet. I always try to look on the bright side of things, so after filling out a few more job applications on Monster, I decided to take advantage of the warmth of the sun and head out to the pond. If fishing wasn't so accessible to me, via a short walk or an easy bike ride, I probably would have lost my mind by now.

The algae was blooming again at the retention pond, not surprising to me, considering the giant weed I still had to remove back at the house. I started throwing my favorite Strike King spinner bait that has made many days fishing for bass seem too easy. Within a few minutes I reeled in a small 10 inch largemouth that just couldn't get enough of  that lure, and I knew I was going to have a good afternoon. It was around 4:30 and the warmest part of the day by far. Every few casts I would get bumped or see a swirl and I ended up with six fish after an hours work. I was having fun but was wondering, why they were all so small? Here is a photo of the biggest of the day.



The next afternoon I again returned to the pond and had almost the same results! Six fish in about an hour with most of them around 12  inches. I know that this body of water produces some hefty fish so I knew I would have to change my tactics to find a bass worthy enough to be considered "a good catch".

On the third afternoon, (aren't I lucky to go fishing three days in a row?) I started with a wacky worm instead of the spinner bait, hoping that the slower presentation would entice a larger bass. I knew that I was going to give up a few fish because the little bass were loving the spinner bait, but nothing in this world comes easy or without a price. Here is a photo of the wacky worm and hook I was using.



It was around 11:00 am when I made that first cast with the wacky worm and I got a few bluegills and small bass to grab it from time to time, but was only able to catch one 11 inch fish within that first hour. Was I doing something wrong ? Will patience win out over going back to the spinner bait? I decided to press on, confident that my angling knowledge of retention pond fishing for largemouth bass would prove itself again in the long run. A few minutes later I felt a good bass inhale the wacky worm and the fish was on. It was the first large bass that I have felt hit the bait while using fluorocarbon fishing line, and let me tell you it was quite a difference. I swear I could feel the mouth of that fish close on the worm. The battle was a good one with a few good runs and a scary moment when I thought she was about to jump...but she was really hooked solid! See for yourself...



After snapping a few good photos (self portraits are hard to do with a camera phone) I released her back into the pond to recover for the next encounter with her later this spring. I am still amazed at the size of some of the bass that are found in these retention ponds. I have fished a number of different ones and as long as fisherman release these beauties they will be there for others to enjoy. Some neighborhood associations treat these ponds with weed killers and other chemicals for mosquitoes and such. Please check with the local neighborhood association before eating any fish from these ponds!  As always leave the area in better condition then it was when you arrived and respect the property of the surrounding  homeowners and parks that are adjacent to these waters. If we all do that we can enjoy more good fish like this one....



Thanks as always for visiting Cappy's Pond and spending a few moments fishing with us. If you are on Facebook look us up at Cappy's Pond and also at The Fishing Headquarters. Post and share your retention pond fishing pictures. We'd love to see them. Remember you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lady Luck!

Sunday started out like most spring days along the banks of the Fox river, cool and windy, but as afternoon approached the blustery winds brought warmth up from the south. I waited till after lunch to grab the rods down off the garage wall hop in the Trail Blazer and make my way down to the river. Smallmouth bass would be the target species of the day. The first stop was below the bridge on Spring St. in South, Elgin. I tied a white spinner bait to my new rod and reel combination and began casting the eddies and rock structure in and around the bridge pilings. Working this area for an hour or so, with no fish to show for it, I decided to look for slower moving water.

Returning to the car, I headed up river to Elgin, and took up residence on shore, near the Grand Victoria casino. The water was moving much slower there and I anticipated that I might have found some better structure and conditions that the fish might be relating to. Within fifteen minutes I had a good sized smallmouth bass grab on to a chartreuse spinner bait (the white one was now hanging off of the river boat's tow line) and make its way toward the surface. The fish exploded above the water and threw my spinner bait like the shooter throws dice across the craps table. I stood there for a minute and pondered the thought that it was a good idea I went fishing instead of gambling. For on this day luck was not to be on my side.

After another hour or so I returned home with no fish, no pictures, and only the memory of that smallmouth bass leaping in the foreground of the Grand Victoria casino. I played a little catch with my son, working on his pitching, and soon Shirley called us both in for Sunday dinner. As we walked in the house he turned to me and said; "Dad, I love days like today, when you go fishing and I play with my friends and then we end the day by playing catch together." It was those words, spoken from my nine year old son, that made me realize that just maybe lady luck is always on my side!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello? It's Supposed To Be Baseball Season!



You'd think after all these years of living in Chicago that I'd be used to the crappy weather we get around here, but I'm not. Heading into the last week of March, the temps around our neck of the woods can be about as unpredictable as the upcoming Chicago baseball season. We'll, maybe that's a little bit more predictable than we'd like. Our South Elgin Pirates little league team is in full spring training mode already, except we haven't been able to practice outside yet. The fields are still not open for practice, and with good reason. With highs around 35 degrees and lows well into the 20's we just don't have the temperatures needed to let the grass take hold. This week promises for more of the same. Windy, wet and cold. Welcome to spring in Chicago.
I have managed to get out here and there, trying to catch a few fish with limited results. There just isn't any consistency at this time of the year when water temps are still so cold, and there is so much wind. Some fisherman have managed a few fish, but it is not without spending a great deal of effort. Finding active fish and then getting them to bite is like teaching Alfonso Soriano how to catch a fly ball, it requires more time and patience than I'm willing to give. I'm still a Cub fan, and a Bud man, but my brothers look more comfortable catching fly balls than he does, and they only play 18 softball games a year.
Getting geared up to fish this inclement weather requires you to be dressed as though you are going ice fishing. The difference is that there is no warm ice shanty to head into when you get cold. While wading the Fox river last week, with winds blowing over 20 miles an hour, I managed to withstand the icy water for about 2 hours before the sight of my truck sitting at the rivers edge was too much for me to take. I was wearing insulated waders and two sets of thermal underwear and I was very glad to get into that truck and turn that heat on.
It would be nice if things started to warm up, get these water temps where we need them, and let these fish start moving a bit. After all, the baseball season starts next week! In the meantime, get out when you can, pick the warmest part of the day, dress warm, and dream of the better fishing days to come!
Thanks as always for taking a few minutes to fish with us at Cappy's Pond and The Fishing-Headquarters! Hope to see you out multi-species fishing your favorite waters, and don't forget to share your experiences on our forum page, or drop us an e-mail at the FHQ!
Cappy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Springing Forward With Good Thoughts


First off, I'd like to thank all my readers for letting me take some much needed time off from Cappy's Pond. The everyday grind to try and land a good job is starting to get to me, and I wonder if there are any fish (jobs) left that are worth casting (applying ) for . The extra effort that I have put forth over the last month will hopefully pay off soon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that good fortune will come my way. Sooner than later would be nice. The way it's looking, this spring and summer will be quite painful in the pocket book with gas prices rising and our house values dropping like water from my upstairs toilet. I will keep my head up, and try and stay above the swirling water.

It's been so long since I had time to sit down and write, that I almost forgot my login. I have taken the rods down off the garage wall, cleaned a few reels and made a few trips to the Fox river in search of anything that swims. A few carp have managed to get caught up in my twitch baits, but it would be nice to actually have a fish hit the line instead of roping them in rodeo style. The river looks so inviting for the fish to be making their spring runs. Water levels are good and relatively clear which should give way to a good spawning season. Let's just hope that the spring rains don't come all at once and dirty it up too much.
This week I will be getting out wading for the first time with minnows in my bucket. My sister Cheryl will be glad as she likes to beep the horn when she crosses the bridge in her Suburban and sees me standing in the middle of the river fishing my favorite hole. I'm sure that after that first sighting my nephew Tyler will be ringing my cell and asking when he can come along. He has the fishing fever and it is my duty as an ambassador of the sport to continue to encourage him to pursue his passion to fish. After all, where would I be if I never had anyone there to take me fishing?
I hope that you can find the time this year to introduce someone new to the sport of fishing. For recreation or sport, fishing offers us so much more than meets the eye. I like to step back each year and reflect on what it has done for me in my life. Most of us were lucky to have someone who took the time and the energy to take us fishing at an early age. When that first fish grabbed the bait and got our hearts pumping it set the foundation for what has become for most of us an obsession. Make it a point in 2011 to give someone else that opportunity to experience all that fishing has to offer.
Fishing reports from the Fox river will be coming soon so make sure you check back by the end of the week to keep updated on the spring fishing. Maybe I'll have some good walleye photos and a job to add to all the excitement of spring. Thanks for visiting and sharing my posts at Cappy's Pond, and remember, you can't catch any fish if your line isn't in the water.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tax Break

With a pot of coffee close at hand, I decided this morning to start digging into my 2010 taxes. Not the brightest idea in the world for a Monday morning, but what the heck, they have to be done sometime. After a few hours of gathering all my papers and pondering over why I don't just hire a good tax accountant, I shut the computer down and headed out to the river. The Fox was looking as beautiful as ever, with the bright blue sky and golden sun above, the river bottom shown right through the crystal clear water below.

Fox River, South Elgin, IL

I walked along the banks enjoying the warm weather and fresh air, while looking for a few deeper pools to cast a float-n-fly and entice a smallmouth bass or two into an early season tussle. On this day however, the water was quite shallow and so clear that any fish who dared to be in this area would have been an easy meal for Mr. Hawk as he circled above the river.

For the next couple hours I made a fairly good attempt at fishing, while spending a great deal of time studying the river bottom and it's newly formed structure. Fallen trees from the blizzard of 2011 have strategically landed in some superb locations and I can't wait for the river to rise and create some new homes for Mr. and Mrs. Smallie.

When I first moved to the area in 1994 this creek to the right would flow so hard that it would create a deep pool. Over the last few years the creek flow has been reduced to a trickle and has filled in. No more walleye or smallmouth in this spot!   
       
I like to search the river this time of year for key structure such as riffles, pools, boulders, logs, etc. to familiarize myself where the good locations will be, once the river returns to it's normal stages. Taking a stroll over the South Elgin bridge I could see the base of the bridge pilings and the rocks below. When the spring rains hit and the water clouds up and becomes murky I will have a visual of the hot spots to target for bass, walleye, crappie, pike and muskie. It's a good tip, and I highly recommend you do the same on your local river. The added knowledge you gain at low water stages can be very beneficial later on in the season.

These boulders always hold a fish after a few good spring rains!

Well, I made it back home with no fish, completed the taxes, and gained a better understanding of what lies ahead on my next wading trip in the Fox River! Thanks, as always, for taking a little time to come fishing with us at Cappy's Pond.
          

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Visit With An Old Friend...The Fishtrap

A few weekends ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon walking around America's Outdoor Show, looking at all the latest items for 2011 in fishing tackle and other outdoor gadgets. A number of items caught my eye and I stopped to investigate and chat with the exhibitors, listening to them pitch the reasons why I need that particular item. A brochure was often handed to me to read later, in the quiet of my home or office, where one can make a better informed but less compulsive decision. In most cases I would say thanks for your time and move on down the aisle to other booths or displays.

Late in that afternoon, when most of the crowd had headed home, I came across a booth that had some lures on display. The sign behind them read Weedless Bait Company and I almost walked right past it without even taking a second glance. Then I noticed the familiar looking yellow and red packaging with the word Fishtrap on them. I couldn't believe my eyes! I hadn't seen these lures in over 20 years and thought that they were out of production. A conversation was quickly started between myself and the current owners of the Weedless Bait Company http://www.weedlesslure.com/ about the many northern pike that we would catch while using these unique spoons.

I started to think about the many products that I had walked by, glanced over and viewed with skepticism throughout that afternoon. With all the different tackle that is available to us today it is difficult at times to know what works and what really doesn't. It often takes a good friend, known fishing celebrity or someone you trust to get you to try a new lure or product. I'm here today writing to you as a fellow blogger and outdoor friend to tell you that this is one of those lures that truly works!

The concept is quite simple when you think about it. Pike live on the edge or right in the weeds the majority of the time. Spoons have always been a great choice for pike fishing except the treble hooks tend to foul up in the weeds. Single hook weedless spoons will help get you through the weeds, but many fish can be missed by the single hook only presentation. The lures from the Weedless Bait Company will get you right in where the big predators await, and help keep you there, catching fish instead of pulling weeds.




Two of the hooks are positioned within the body of the spoon (as pictured above) while the third on the bottom is held secure by a retractable weed guard. When a fish strikes the spoon the hooks are disengaged, allowing a split second stationary pause of the treble hook while it is engulfed by the fish. How many times has a fish hit your bait from the side and missed the hooks completely? The amount of times that this will happen is significantly reduced by this spoon. If you are going to go pike fishing this year, you've got to take a few of these spoons along with you, give them a try and you'll see just exactly what I'm talking about.

The spoons come in three different sizes, with 25 fish catching colors to choose from. The Musky (5-1/2 inch 2 1/8 oz), The Senior (3-5/8 inch 1oz), and The Junior (3 inch 5/8oz). My favorites are the Red-White, Red-Yellow, Black-Yellow but as you can see on the website, there are many great color patterns. I've used the spoons many times and have had great success with them. I will be purchasing some new ones for my next pike fishing trip, now that I have been reacquainted with an old friend. To tell you the truth, I have never used the plugs at all, but based on the spoons success It would be worthy of a good try. I'll have to get a few of those too!

Visit http://www.weedlesslure.com/ and pick up a spoon or two and give it a try on your next fishing trip. I think you'll like them just as much as we do here at Cappy's Pond!

Disclaimer- This was an independent review of the Fishtrap and the Weedless Bait Company. Cappy's Pond and Kirk B Cahill did not receive any compensation for this review nor is Cappy's Pond or Kirk B Cahill associated in any way with the Weedless Bait Company and http://www.weedlesslure.com/  As with all product reviews at Cappy's Pond, our goal is to provide you the reader with an honest review of the products mentioned to help you catch more fish!     

                                                                 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Underwater Views

I dropped the tiny pink ice jig down to 13 ft, about a foot or so from the bottom. Watching the wax worm as it wiggled and writhered upon the hook, a perch slowly swam toward the bait. My son and I watched intently as the fish inhaled the offering and spit it back out of its mouth. "Bryan! I never felt that at all. If he does that again I'm setting the hook." The perch mouthed the jig one more time and I reeled him in, shaking my head in disbelief for what I had just witnessed. Even with 2lb test and the most sensitive of ice fishing rods, I never felt that fish take the bait. Our first fish of the day had been a long time coming, but what I learned on that Sunday morning will stay with me forever.

A week before I had checked out a new underwater camera from Cabela's. While browsing for some new ice jigs, clothes and such, I stumbled upon a skid of fishing cameras all marked down to make way for the new spring items. Should I or shouldn't I? Well in the end I decided to wait, and after an hour or so of contemplation, I headed home. After weighing the pros and cons of the almost purchased, I realized that I would take Shirley's wrath over going on another ice fishing outing without an underwater camera. I ordered it online, had it shipped to the store and it was $10.oo less than at the Cabela's store. Go figure. Shirley turned out to be an easy sell, when I told her that since it's technically for the boat, Keith and Kevin would be willing to put up their share of the cost. Whew! Jumped that hurdle, now I have to sell that one to the brothers.

I made another trip to Cabela's, Hoffman Estates, IL store to pick up the camera. I brought it home, charged it up and was quite surprised at the quality of the 7" LCD display, case and battery pack.




We managed to get out on the ice that following Sunday to use it for the first time. Pisatkee Bay (Fox Chain-O-Lakes) was our destination and a windy day greeted our arrival. After checking a few locations and not marking any fish on our flasher we headed to the east side of the bay for some signs of aquatic life. We marked a few small fish and decided to set up base camp and poke around a bit with the camera to see what was going on.

The first fish we encountered were small bluegills, which had taken cover near a submerged Christmas tree. We had the bluegills zoning in on our baits when a member of our group decided to walk near our portable shanty. Whoosh! They were gone when they heard the crunching of the snow and vibrations. A good lesson was learned about the importance of being light of foot, when at all possible, to avoid spooking finicky winter fish.

A little while later I noticed a walleye had swam by, but off in the distance. After searching the camera in all directions we found that he had taken up residence within the same submerged tree. The next hour was wasted trying to antagonize a walleye from it's lair, only to realize our attempt was futile!


If you look closely at the photo to the right you can see the walleye relaxing within the tree. He was most likely taking a nap just like all the other fish in Pistakee Bay on that Sunday morning. We managed to see some sheephead (drum) on the camera, a few white bass and a perch, along with the bluegills but it was a tough go around and the boys and I had enough of drilling holes, moving and working baits over the few fish that we saw.

We opted for the comforts of a warm bar, a pizza, and a few good drinks to warm the insides from another good day on the ice. I still adhere to the old saying that a bad day fishing always beats a good day at work, even when fishing and work become one in the same. A day outside in the fresh air with my good friend and our sons is about as fun as it can get during mid-winter. I'm looking forward to our next ice fishing adventure and hopefully some better fishing. The camera worked flawlessly and I believe that I made a good purchase. We will see if it helps me catch any fish, well I guess it already did. I caught one perch!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a few minutes from your busy day with me at Cappy's Pond!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cappy's Pond Joins Fishing-Headquarters!

With the big weekend arriving today at the America's Outdoor Show, it seemed like a perfect time to let all of you know about an exciting new adventure here at Cappy's Pond. Beginning this weekend I have joined on with the Fishing-Headquarters, an outstanding website for multi-species angling.  As a writer and blogger for the FHQ, I will be able to introduce many new readers to Cappy's Pond, while utilizing the great talents of Andrew Ragas and Ragas Media. Cappy's Pond will be right along side, with some of the best fishing blogs on the Internet.  The new blog site can be followed at the Fishing-Headquarters. Here is the link to the new blog site at http://www.fishing-headquarters.com/cappyspond/. I will continue to post at both Cappy's Pond sites, but like me, you will find the new layout and design to be superior in comparison. I look forward to your comments on the new changes as you follow Cappy's Pond at the Fishing-Headquarters. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ice Fishing Fun 2010 - 2011...We're Just Getting Started!

Having a great time on the ice so far this year. Looking forward to more great action as we head into February...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...Updates And More

I haven't posted anything new since last Wednesday and I just wanted to keep you updated on the happenings at Cappy's Pond.

Although I managed to finally restore the house to it's pre-holiday glory, it was not without some stern looks and stares from across the dinner table. Most of you understand that it's just too difficult to use your time wisely, when you could be outside freezing over a ten inch hole waiting for a sign of life. I'm still in good graces though, since Scruffy hasn't had to give up part of the mud room, at least not yet.   

Today, there is some excitement in the air as Fishing Headquarters has released the second issue in its outstanding e-mag publication. I was invited to write an article for the magazine and will be a regular contributor going forward to issue # 3 and beyond. I ask you to take a few minutes today to look over the current issue, read a few of the articles and provide some feedback for the Fishing Headquarters. A link is listed below for issues # 1 & 2  http://www.fishing-headquarters.com/magazine.html. Andrew Ragas and his group have some "reel" talent over there and I think you will be impressed with the content.

Blog changes are again in the works and I will soon be moving Cappy's Pond to be included along with the other outstanding blogs at Fishing Headquarters/Blogs. I am excited to be included along side these other great fishing blogs with their quality web design, awesome video productions and overall fishing knowledge.
If you could make sure that your blog rolls and links to Cappy's Pond are listed as http://cappyspond.com you will automatically be rolled over to the new page when it is completed. If your link is still listed as http://kirk-cappyspage.blogspot.com please make the change now. Thanks!

Cold weather has hit Chicago with a blast today as we are expecting wind-chills to dip to -20 to -30 below this evening. I will spend a few days next to the fireplace and dream of the open water season, while re-organizing the ice fishing equipment for next weeks warmer weather. I included a few pictures of a good walleye caught last spring while wading the Fox River. It wont be long now.



One final thought...

I am sorry to inform my Green Bay Packer friends to the north that the Bears will be celebrating a victory on Sunday. Although I was as surprised by your teams improbable stretch run this year, almost as much as you were. The one thing all of us can agree on, is we are glad that we are not playing against the Vikings! At least our teams didn't collapse under pressure the way Minnesota's roof did! The great part about being a Bears fan is we have two other teams we can always laugh at. Enjoy the game, even though you will not like the outcome. Sorry Packer fans, this is our time to take the cheese! 
   

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pelican Lake, Orr MN

Most of you who know me or follow my blog posts are aware of my close ties to Pelican Lake in Orr, MN.

This weeks photo prompt from the Outdoor Blogger Network asked it's bloggers to find a photo of their favorite destination.

Amongst the cold of winter it's nice to dream of a warm summers evening and the beautiful sunsets over northern Minnesota. Pelican Lake, time and time again has offered me the opportunity to marvel in God's creation. I couldn't begin to describe how many gorgeous sunsets I have viewed from a boat on Pelican Lake, but I can assure you that each one captures a moment where time stands still. It is those images like the ones shared below that make me long for each summer and the memories I have made there.
Here are a few of those images for you to enjoy!






Do they look familiar to you? They should. These images have been the header photos for Cappy's Pond since day one. I don't think any other lake will ever be worthy enough to even be considered. We are all entitled to our opinions...aren't we?

Thanks for viewing and following with us at Cappy's Pond.




     

Monday, January 10, 2011

Frabill Bro Series 28" Deadstick Ice Combo - Gear Review

When the Outdoor Blogger Network notified me that I was a winner for a new ice fishing rod & reel combo from Frabill, I almost started drilling holes right near my kitchen table. I have used other Frabill products that I have purchased in the past, and for the most part I have been very happy with them. My first thoughts were that this ice combo would be no different.

It arrived the day before Christmas Eve and I greeted Santa's helper and his big brown truck after hearing the box being placed at the front door. I opened it at once, and placed it on the island in the center of our kitchen for all to see.



I got out on the ice a few times over the next few weeks to give it a try and was quite impressed with the overall quality of the combo, although the fish were not as cooperative as we would have liked them to be. With a suggested retail listed at Frabill of $44.99 the Bro Series combo worked flawlessly even with temperatures dropping well into the teens. Sometimes I even sat  it directly on the ice and it didn't freeze up.
The special Sub-Zero lube that Frabill uses really works!


The handle on both the rod and the reel are large enough to be used with your gloves on, and at no time did I feel my fishing "feel" was being compromised by wearing the gloves. The sensitivity of the fluorescent orange tip of the pole was adequate for catching small panfish (and I mean small) even though I prefer one with greater sensitivity. If we had gotten on some bigger crappie and gills the backbone of this combo would have been able to handle the largest of panfish. The large guides allowed for easy line travel even with the lightest of line and jigs. My nephew Tyler got to use it one afternoon, out fished me (30 to 14) and seemed to like it better than his own combo.

Here is a video I took from inside our ice shelter while fishing on the ice.

video
        
Overall I (we) am very pleased with the Frabill Bro Series 28" Deadstick Ice Combo.

As soon as I get done posting this review I will be heading back out on the ice to attempt to catch a few big gills for dinner.

Disclaimer - Kirk B Cahill & Cappy's Pond have written and filmed an independent and honest review of this product for the Outdoor Blogger Network. The product was supplied free of charge by Frabill to Cappy's Pond through a contest on the OBN in return for a gear review. Kirk B Cahill & Cappy's Pond are not  associated with Frabill in any way and we did not receive any other compensation for this review.     


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's In The Name? Just About Everything

Another outstanding writing prompt from the Outdoor Blogger Network has led me to give you a little insight on the origin of the name Cappy's Pond.

To start, we have to go back and ride along on the voyage of the Starship Enterprise. The captain of the ship in the famous Star Trek series was none other than James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. My nicknames over the years have all sprung from the true original Captain Kirk. A short list would include; Cap, Cappy, Captain, Captron & Tron.

Tron, which eventually turned into Captron was derived directly from the movie Tron. A good friend of ours David Mayer also know as "The Maggot" thought that I looked like one of the characters in the original film. After a few Canadian fishing adventures the nickname became Captron and to this day my license plate is CPTRON 9. The 9 being the ninth day of the month for my birthday. Now you know who's truck & trailer has been parked at all those launch sites.

I love to wear fishing caps (baseball style) and I don't go out of the house very often without having one placed upon the top of my head. My brother Keith has called me Cap for years and when I started this blogging thing I thought Cappy would be a good name for the blog title, which became, Cappy's Blog.

Since the original blog name, I have tweaked it to Cappy's Pond. The Pond comes from my childhood and the hours that I spent at Windemere pond in South Barrington, IL. A private subdivision that we would sneak into so we could experience the quality bass fishing that was available there. The police officers knew me quite well but would leave me alone as long as the residents didn't call me in for trespassing. I learned to dress in dark green and brown to blend in to the surroundings, at least until I shouted "Yeah!" after catching a nice bass. A pond contains a collection of different creatures all living together. In essence this blog is also a collection of my fishing adventures. The "Pond" fits well on both accounts.

Well, now you know where the blog name came from, now if we only knew where the blog is headed. I don't want to let the minnow out of the bucket just yet...but if I were a betting man ( I LOVE TO PLAY THE HORSES ) I'd say it might end up along side some other great fishing blogs on one of my favorite sites... Fishing Headquarters. If you haven't been to this site you probably want to take a look around and enjoy one of the best fishing sites on the Internet. I think you will like it as much as I do, and then you'll know why Cappy's Pond might just end up at the FHQ. At least that's what a little fishy told me.       

Cappy's Pond on Youtube