The Functioning Fishaholics

Oct 172011
 

I apologize in advance, this post will be rushed to print.

Jeff, Kris, and I took a trip to Deep Creek Sunday to do a little hunting for Smallmouth Bass.  What we caught was something none of us were expecting from this warm water fishery.

As we alternated between inline spinners and Senkos we worked our way down the trailing stream at the tail end of Green Lane Park.  Jeff threw a 4″ Watermellon/black Senko into the middle of the stream and hooked into something he assumed to be a Smallmouth Bass.

As the fish got closer to the shore Jeff had a feeling that the fish on the other end of his line was big but it seemed to be fighting a little hard even for a Smallmouth Bass.

As the fish neared the shore we could hear Jeff yell “Dude, it’s not a Bass!  It’s huge!”

20" Rainbow Trout - Deep Creek

I’ll just say two things:

1.  That is a MONSTER trout for Deep Creek

2.  It was caught on a 4″ Senko

While not a traditional Trout kinda guy, Jeff was very pleased with this monster fish.  I’m still blown away.  To my calculations this fish would have either had to swim over three dams or travel miles and miles upstream to get to the spot where we caught it.

Congratulations Jeff!  You now hold the record for largest Rainbow Trout on The Functioning Fishaholics record board!

*Please note this trophy was returned unharmed back into the wild.

Oct 172011
 

The following is from Paul Baechtold founder of Casting Currents, a site dedicated to sharing the stories of why we love fishing.  Please take the time to read this through.  Paul shares our love for fishing and we hope you’ll share your story with him on his site.

January 31st, 2010

(Ring…ring…ring…)

“Hello?”
“Paul? It’s your mom… Pop-Pops isn’t going to make it. Two months of fighting double pneumonia on emphysema-tarnished lungs is too much for him to handle. Dad’s been down there, in the hospital with Aunt Terry, Uncle Tim, and Mimi for about two weeks. Mimi’s being monitored by nurses too because her blood pressure is through the roof with all this going on…She’ll be okay, but Pop-Pop won’t.”
“Okay, I’ll e-mail my professors tonight, and start driving down early in the morning.”
“No Paul, you can’t. Your dad, Mimi, Tim, and Terry don’t want you to see him this way—as your last memory and all…”
“What? That’s messed up. I can handle it. I’m an adult. He is my grandpa. You can’t make me sit around all day and night in my dorm agonizing about nothing except him and how he is doing. I have to go down there.”
“Paul, no… Your dad can barely handle seeing him like this and he is his father. He doesn’t want you to wake up in the middle of the night like he is right now with nightmares about the hospital or about Pop-Pop.”
“But don’t you get it? I am going to be that way here, unable to do anything except worry and then feel guilty about not being there when he passes. I have to go.”
“Paul, no. This is not up for debate. You are to do as you’re told, and we will fill you in with updates. There is no other possible way to handle this. Don’t fight your dad on this; he has to deal with too much already. Make life simpler for everyone down here, and just stay up there praying every day and night.”

I hang up the phone. Tears immediately flow down my cheeks—from being overwhelmed, from feeling helpless, from pure sadness. I have no choice in this matter. I have to sit and wait for the news, the worst news anyone can receive—death of a loved one.

Pop-Pop died eight days later, in his sleep, from complete organ failure in his lungs. One second he was pumping oxygen to the rest of his body, and the next he was not. Like the flip of a coin, his luck ran out.

My dad called me in tears that night. I could barely make out the words coming through my phone over the excruciating cacophonic sound that was a mixture of sobbing, sniffling, and hysteria. There was nothing more important to Pop-Pop than seeing a smile on everyone around him and happiness for his family. He was hardnosed, and justifiably so after serving three tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, but with age came a softer side that he consciously showed to everyone around him. He provided a better life for his three kids than he and Mimi had, and did everything in his power to ensure his four grandkids had it even better than his own kids.

My most vivid memory of the two of us is from when I was young- probably around three or four years old. Fishing was our adventure. Every time we’d go down to Alabama to see them, we would spend at least a day out on the lake or at least fishing from the docks of Lake Guntersville. When the weather wouldn’t allow it, he’d put my little raincoat and boots on me, and take me out to the driveway where he kept his boat. It could be pouring down rain, and he and I would sit in that boat talking about nothing (as I commonly would do as a little boy) and he’d watch me practice casting into the bird bath on the other side of the driveway. To me, it did not matter that we were sitting in the driveway, we were fishing. I was with him, and he was with me. I caught my biggest fish sitting in that boat, in that driveway, in Aniston, Alabama- with Pop-Pop by my side.

February 11th, 2010

Today is the day of the funeral. In honor of Pop-Pop’s service to his country, current members of the 101st Airborne Division came and did a 21 gun salute. When I realized what that truly meant, and what serving our country meant to him, I cried uncontrollably, almost hysterically. In between the sounds of the gunfire and the orders of the regiment leader, you could hear the occasional sob, people sniffling, and above everything else- me. Leaving the funeral, I tried to wipe away the remnants of the tears still clinging to my cheeks, and quickly began thinking very existentially. How could I ever do something as meaningful in my life as he did when he made the conscious decision to serve his country and lead men into foreign battlefields? He was not your average soldier… In recognition of his service and decisions made in the field of battle, he retired from the military with the most prestigious rank offered to non-officers- Sergeant Major. I was ready to enlist, but knew I couldn’t. My mom would never let that happen. A feeling of insignificance took hold of my heart and mind, and no matter what I tried I could not seem to shake its grip on me.

Consciously, and probably sub-consciously as well, I walked away from Pop-Pop passing onto a better place with the intention of redirecting my life so that it revolved around the activity that connected us the most—fishing. Every time I pull up to a lake shore or wade into a shallow creek bed, I go back to those rainy days sitting in his boat, in the driveway. I go back to how he wanted nothing more than to see my face light up every time I got that hook to land in the bird bath. Every time I catch a fish, I know he is up there smiling. I have become an avid marine conservationist, because as long as fish populations are healthy and thriving, he is with me. Becoming a passionate fisherman may seem like a somewhat insignificant defining moment in my life, but to me fishing is my life. When I’m stressed, I fish. It is my chance to spend a couple more hours with him, and it always feels like I’m making up those days I couldn’t be with him and the rest of my family in his final days. There are nights I dream about the chance to sit in my driveway, in my boat, with my son or grandson passing on that same bond that Pop-Pop shared with me. Pop-Pop may be gone from this earth, but he is never gone from my heart and soul for as long as I have access to some poles, some bait, and water.

Oct 162011
 

I walk a fine line between being an outdoorsman and being an out and out nerd.  If it’s not obvious by now, I absolutely love technology, especially anything related to the web, social media, blogging, online marketing, etc.  I constantly have the struggle, “Do I help them with fishing tips or do I tell them how to kick butt in the outdoor social media world?”

The great outdoors

That being said it is time for Funcfish.com to change direction.

 

I have good and bad news.

 

Bad news:  I’m no longer going to be posting technical posts like the one below on this site.

http://funcfish.com/2011/08/5-reasons-your-fishing-blog-will-never-make-money/

Good news:  There is another site (dare I say EPIC site) that is going to allow me to geek out 100% and give away all of my technological secrets.  Yes folks all of the blabbering I do about social this and wordpress plugin that will now be found on another site.  Please click the link below for an example.

http://www.outdoorbloggernetwork.com/blogging/?p=120

I'll be nerding it out over here for a while

I really want to thank Rebecca over at The Outdoor Blogger Network for allowing me to express my geeky self over on their site.

So for super secret trade secrets of The Functioning Fishaholics head on over here

For the best online fishing addiction support group this side of Trappe PA stay right where you’re at!  On with the fish!

Oct 142011
 

Have you ever seen a Barreleye fish?

Before you watch the video below take a look at this picture of the Barreleye and see if you can tell where his eyes are.

Barreleye believable!

This brillant video by MBARI researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler will easily be the most amazing thing you’ve seen all day.

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I don’t know about you guys but footage like this makes me wish I would have went into Marine Biology.

As a Pennsylvania fisherman, I’m constantly catching the same species of fish on every trip.  While I love photographing Bluegill, Bass, Trout, and other freshwater fish, variety is often lacking.

It’s always fascinating to see new creatures and the diversity of life that exists deep within our oceans.  I tip my hat to the hard working Marine Biologists that work to capture just a few minutes of elusive fish like this.  NICE CATCH!

If you’d like to learn more about this exciting fish:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barreleye

http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2009/barreleye/barreleye.html

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1643/CG-07-082

 

So who wins in a fight?  The Barreleye or the Candiru?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Oct 092011
 

There once was an evil lurking in the depths of Skippack Creek.  A blight from a foreign land.  Its shape and form were a silvery white. On wispy fins it glides through the water slowly lurking… Waiting.

Only a blur, it haunts the depths...

This ghastly fish has been seen on a few occasions from the shores of Skippack Creek.  Where the Creek crosses the bridge of 73, a ghostly fish you will see…

How was this curse brought?

Some say the Ghost Koi of Skippack Creek escaped from a garden pond asylum.  Others say the fish was left behind by its former owner, unwanted.  A discarded fish that outgrew the love of a child.

Perhaps the Ghost is one in a long line of evil spirits descending, reproducing, multiplying in Skippack Creek.

The face of a ghost

October ghost stories aside, let’s all do our best to keep these beautiful Ghost Koi (and any other foreign species) OUT of our local water.  I’ve been watching this fish over the course of the year from Spring to Fall he started out at 4″ and is now about 10″ in length.  Hopefully someone catches this fish and returns it to a private pond ASAP.

I was able to get him to chase a Senko worm but something tells me this elusive Ghost will be a tough catch!

 

Do you have a spooky invasive species story?  Do you think jabbing a hook through a Koi’s face is barbaric?  Let us know in the comments below!

Oct 072011
 

Fall is in full swing in Southeastern PA.  The leaves are starting to turn, water temperatures are dropping, and lately it seems the bugs are growing in size…  but before we get to that, have you ever seen one of these?

Wonder if it has a seat belt

Looks like a sh… show on wheels to me!  If I can’t get a sweet Bass boat to tow behind my vehicle I wonder if wifey will let me have one of these.  I think next time I drive past it on the way to work I’m going to hang a sign that says “office” on the door.

Anyway, back to the bugs or in this case GIANT mammal sized bugs.

Giant hands, giant folded wing Crane-fly or Midge

I didn’t want to get my hand near this thing but then I remembered reading somewhere that Crane-flies (hopefully) don’t bite.

1 1/2" Caddis?

Living 1/4 mile from the Perkiomen Creek always makes for some great bugs when the outdoor lights get left on.  This one was about 1 1/2″ long and looked to me like a Caddis of some sort.

Eat your face beetles

Ok so this last picture was from the summer but I’m still never going outside again.  These beetles were about 2″+ long and I wouldn’t be so scared BUT there were two of them.  They must be reproducing!  And no they aren’t roaches.

All of this crazy big bug action has me craving some fly fishing.  Luckily Montgomery County looks to be blessed with a beautiful weekend.  Hopefully the weather holds out and I get in some serious fall fishing.

Are you or someone you love being invaded by giant mutant bugs?  Call an exterminator, then leave us a comment below!

 

 

Sep 182011
 

I’ve just been staring lovingly at these pictures for too long not to post them.  I found myself a nice fat Smallmouth Bass over at Deep Creek Dam a little while back (luckily WordPress lets me backdate posts!)

Here she is along with a few others I caught that day.

Smallmouth Bass on Deep Creek

Hey there piggy

What a fun fight.  I did my best to measure 18″ while balancing on the rocks and trying to size up this chunker.

What a beaut

Most of the fish I catch in the local streams don’t give my drag much of a workout.  While the fight didn’t last too long this fish did manage to make a few solid runs before coming to hand.

Little guy

It was good to see the little guys were biting.

another deep creek smallmouth bass

Not bad

This Smallmouth Bass was a decent size for the creek.

What the?

Boxer briefs and an air pump?  Looks like a Troutrageous! party

largemouth bass caught at deep creek dam

Ooh lookie here!

And just so you don’t go thinking I had a one species day, here’s a Largemouth Bass I was able to catch right before heading out.

With the sun setting and the mosquitoes bleeding me dry, I decided to call it quits.  I can’t wait to take another shot at this spot.  Last time I was here I saw some fish that were easily larger than the one I caught.

 

Been fishing lately?  Did you lose an air pump?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Sep 172011
 

Why can’t you drink in Pennsylvania state parks or other local PA parks?  I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on the shore and put down a few beers while catching some fish?

You’d think the home of Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery would be more progressive in its stance on outdoor drinking.  Right?

So what’s the reason?  Why can’t you drink in PA state parks?

 

It’s Because:  You’re an idiot.

 

Picture of alcohol can in the river at a park

Misplaced flag, misplaced can.

That’s right I’ve resorted to name calling.  You, my drunken friend, are a grade A idiot.

Picnic table littered with beer cans and broken bottles

And here's why

Why is it that people can’t just drink beer and throw the trash away?  I mean, when I enjoy a cold one at home I (eventually) put my cans and bottles in the recycling bin.

Broken Beer bottles at the park

You had to break them... Seriously?

Not to be an eco-nut (far from it) but broken bottles just suck.  Especially if you step on one.

Budwiser can left in the creek

Not in MY creek!

The worst is seeing crap like this in the water.  The river should be a place of peace not a place of trash.  Beer cans, worm containers, Tasty Cake wrappers, giant bird nests of monofilament, NONE of these things are good for the water we love.

No drinking in state parks due to litter and broken bottles

Pick it up

Maybe it’s the bottles and cans still clinking around in the back seat of my car, perhaps it’s the fact that I hate seeing trash on the water, either way, I’m angry.  Trash of any kind shouldn’t be left behind.

Leftover bottles and cans, acting like an @#$$#@$ when you drink, starting fights, property damage, there are a ton of reasons why Pennsylvania doesn’t let you drink in the park.  Today I’m picking on leftover trash.  Let’s start there and work on being more responsible.  Maybe if we can start acting like adults, Pennsylvania will let us start drinking outside like adults.

 

Do you like to get KRUNK and throw a line?  Enjoy a little moonshine by the fishin’ hole?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Sep 092011
 

While we tend to keep things light and fun on Functioning Friday, today we are going to talk about being S.A.D.

Seasonal affective disorder is defined (by The Functioning Fishaholics) as the feeling you get during the cold and dark months when you are just pissed off at the world, angry, sad, and depressed because you can’t go fishing as often.

All kidding aside, S.A.D is a real disorder.  Real life serious.  I’d even be willing to bet that 9/10 fishermen in the northern states get down in the dumps and even depressed during the winter months.

The leading theory minus the scientific mumbo jumbo is that the brain needs sunlight.  Yes that’s right, you now have an excuse for more winter fishing!

For those of you who can’t fish during the cold months, here is a new wacky, but clinically proven new product called Valkee.  Or as I call it, “light therapy for your brain”.

S.A.D. ?  VALKEE can help!

S.A.D. ? VALKEE can help!

I won’t give away all of their secrets but if you are interested in learning more head on over to VALKEE’s website.

As crazy as this idea sounds, I might actually give it a try this winter.  Wonder if I can only program those earbuds to play the calming sounds of my favorite lake!

In other Medical (fishing) news:

What’s hot right now in the medical world?  FISH!  Yes folks that’s right.  Fish scales are being used to regrow bones!  Finally, a use for all of those “surplus” Carp.

Peep the video below!

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So what do you think?  Are you putting flashlights in your ears or saving fish scales for Grandma’s hip replacement?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

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