The Functioning Fishaholics

Oct 182012
 

Quick update:  83 days of fishing have taken place so far this year.  Trying hard to hit 100 before 2013.

While I’m sure “fishable” ice won’t come to PA until next year, this video got me thinking about ice fishing.

*** Warning Foul Language ***

YouTube Preview Image

 

Pretty sure that guy will use an auger (instead of his #%$) next time…

 

 

Sep 032012
 

Ok so I mostly relied on spell check…  J is for Jalapeno.  J is also for Jalapeno jelly.  Unfortunately J isn’t for fishing…  Consider this post OFF TOPIC.

Over the past few years Wifey and I have learned how to craft a fine food.  A jelly, made from peppers.

It was nice knowing you peppers…

When I say jelly I mean jelly…  Imagine, if you will…  grape jelly…  now take out the grape and add spicy jalapeno flavor.

Ooh pepper guts…

If you’ve ever done canning to make your own jelly you know a lot of sugar is involved.  For those un-initiated…

POW! 6 CUPS!

6 cups of glorious sugar go into about 7 or 8 jars of this stuff.  Diabetics beware!

Bubblin!

This is the business end of jalapeno jelly…  Wifey dumps pepper guts, sugar, and some other random stuff into a big pot.  This all cooks for a while.

Oh… I see that someone is doing some canning…

At this stage of the game you’ll want to open all of the windows.  Boiling down peppers over a stove is EXTREME!  What boils off can only be compaired to getting blasted in the face with pepper spray.  Consider yourself warned.

1 Batch down

If you’ve never heard of the term “canning” it basically involves placing something in a mason jar, affixing a special sealed lid to the top and boiling the crap out of it to kill any bad germs.  When you are done you have the provincial equivalent of canned goods.

What to do with leftover peppers?

After making two batches of jalapeno jelly we had some leftover peppers.  Some cream cheese, Colby jack, and pepperoni and BAM!  You got poppers!

Home made jalapeno poppers

If the breading on these looks a little odd it’s because I did it.  After eating these I’ll tell you that organic peppers that are baked instead of fried have A LOT more heat than your standard appatizer level poppers.  These made a great dinner but I have a feeling I’ll be regretting it later…

 

Anyway do you like seeing stories about food here?  Let us know in the comment section below!

 

 

Sep 032012
 
Aug 302012
 

Over time I’ve come to the realization that there are many outdoor bloggers who follow the usual, well beaten, sometimes paved, often boring, path.

 Allow me to present a few mile markers of the journey:

  • love for the outdoors
  • willingness to share
  • burning passion to become a “great” writer
  • the idea, “hey maybe I can make money doing this”
  • delusions of grandeur
  • boredom
  • frustration
  • quitting/failure

If you don’t read a lot of blogs perhaps you miss the tell tale signs of a blogger that’s following “tried and true advice”.

What the big boys do: 

  • write reviews
  • publish the press releases of others
  • allow guest posts on the site
  • write guest posts for other sites
  • allow advertising of others for profit
  • filming short videos
  • writing e-books
  • maintaining a list of email addresses
  • publishing an electronic newsletter

Sound familiar?  While few bloggers follow all of the tried and true steps above, we all try.  Even this blog has subscribed to a fair share of these ideas.

Which brings me back to the reason I’m writing this post…  Why the hell does this blog exist?

What started as a brag board for a few friends fishing in South Eastern PA slowly became a destination forPennsylvaniafishing fanatics.  Fishing shows, gear reviews, even interviews of and by some fishing legends.

All this is well and good.  It’s been a good two year run but it is time to make a change.

Personally I’m asking this blog, “step up or step out?”

A few months back I told a regular contributor to the site that I was discontinuing all guest posts until I could either step things up or decide to shut the blog down.

I and the rest of the Functioning Fishaholics love fishing (and quite frankly love having a site devoted to our antics). But the question remains what the hell is the point of this site?

When we started it seemed like a group affair.  I (Matt) would manage the site and publish posts, we’d go out as a gang fishing, take some photos, maybe video, and I’d come back and tell our story.

Over time the site became its own entity celebrating fishing inPennsylvania.  However as the site grew professionally and fishing reports declined I started to realize that the site has lost its soul.

Can a website actually have a soul?  You ask.  While I don’t yet know the answer I do know that playing the blogging game, following advice of other pro bloggers, and walking the well beaten path is boring.  (sorry about dissing your sacred cows, o world of blogging)

Perhaps it’s all of the Star Trek I’ve been watching lately but I believe the purpose of writing should be, “To boldly go where no one has gone before.” …

Ok so that sounded a lot less cheesy in my head but either way my point is still valid.  Who the hell wants to read the same boring stuff?  The same structure, different sites, different pictures, BUT ALL DOING THE SAME THINGS.

One of my Twitter buddies had a list called “People who’s writing makes you feel like you’re there” or something like that.  I remember a year or so ago when I first saw that I was on that list.  I felt special.  It was as if someone had pinned a medal of honor to my chest.

I must say, over time my right to wear that metal has diminished.

Writing should be: 

  • Personal
  • Unorthodox
  • Unique

When you write for someone be it a book or blog post you are inviting them into your head.  For better or worse you need to make in impression.

Personality is a trait that is largely lacking in the online world.  Sure, we all stand on our soapboxes and pretend to be special but it is that tiring “celebrity of now mentality”  that has turned the internet into a graveyard of one hit wonder celebrity writers, photographers, videographers, and bloggers.

Who cares what’s hot at the current moment?  In the outdoor world we still worship legends who were in there prime decades ago.  Why doesn’t this reverence follow bloggers?  Why you ask?  Because we as a community have lost our soul.  Sensations fade…  Souls are eternal.

As I close this piece I ask myself, “Will I post this?”,  “If I post this should I even edit or re-read it?”,  “Will anyone agree, care, or be offended?”.

In that order I respond, “Yes”, “barely”, and “who cares.”

If you come back to this site (after reading this long rant without pictures) my promise to you is this.  I’m going to get personal.  Yep that’s right.  I’m going to attempt to pour myself, my feelings, opinions, judgments, and random thoughts into each post.  From now on this will be a quest to find this writer’s soul.

My hope is that my renewed sense of purpose as a blogger will be nothing less than the delivery of a personal, unorthodox, and unique perspective.

And yes, this will still be a site about the love of fishing.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.  If you’d like to share yours below I’d be honored.  If you’d like to stay quiet that’s cool too.

 

 

Jul 252012
 

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of a fishing trip that spawned The Functioning Fishaholics blog.  Happy birthday to us!

Happy B-day (via Wikipedia)

Running a blog can be tiring work.  Lots of late night writing, schmoozing with fishing legends, and of course FISHING!

Here’s a sample of what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • 216 Published Posts
  • 508 Comments
  • 2022 Twitter Followers
  • 9402 Tweets
  • 474 Google+ ers

As you can see we’ve been busy.  On top of the stats above. we’ve also collectively enjoyed hundreds of hours of fishing over the past two years.

Despite our hard work (and fishing fun) it’s always amazing to see the traffic stats for the site and realize how many others are sharing in our adventures.  Through the love of fishing and the outdoors we are all connected.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.  We value every reader and hope that our adventures are worth coming back for.

As we head towards our 3rd birthday, we’d love to have you join in on the fun.  Follow us on Twitter or Google Plus, leave a comment or two, send us a fishing report or pictures.  We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Jul 252012
 

In case you missed it we’ve had a little contest going on over on “The Twitter”.

In order to buy as many followers as possible try to break the 2000 follower mark we decided to hold a little contest to reward the awesome outdoors folks who pay attention to our 140 character ramblings.

The contest rules were simple:

  • Follow @funcfish
  • Include the hash tag #2020for20 in a tweet

It took a little over a month to gain 100 new followers.  We had 30 people in total who entered in the contest.

So who was the winner?

Using a random number generator, lucky #17 was selected.  This number belonged John M. from Ohio aka @mcg52 on Twitter.  Congratulations John!

Thanks to everyone for playing.  Breaking the 2000 follower mark on Twitter has been on our bucket list for a while now.  It’s amazing to have found so many people who love the outdoors!

 

Jul 232012
 

Mom and I went to Lake Nockamixon Saturday afternoon to see if we could find some fish…

The rest of this post may come across as “a negative fishing experience” so if you aren’t into that kinda thing please skip it.

 

A cool beautiful day on lake nockamixon

A cool beautiful day

It was a cool and beautiful day on Lake Nockamixon.  Over the past few weeks the temperatures have been extreme.  It was nice to finally be able to fish comfortably again.  I decided to give Nockamixon a try since it is a little deeper and cooler than much of our other local water.

Nockamixon Catfish

Mom pulls up a Catfish

Mom was fishing like a champ with worms.  She pulled up this Catfish within the first few casts.  I had a few bites here and there on lures but for the most part I wasn’t having much luck.

We started out on the Fishing Pier at Lake Nockamixon.  Bad move.  Everyone else fishes here.

Everyone…  Especially a guy in a gray truck with a green stripe.  Although the lack of paint on his tailgate was notable what really stood out was is impecable taste in music.  This “gentleman” was kind enough to blare one of my favorite bands Nickelback loud enough for the whole fishing pier to hear.

Looking back at it I’m not sure he was even fishing.  Yep…  Pretty sure he sat in the truck playing the whole Nickelback album for multiple hours on end.  Every now and then my heart would leap in joy as the music stopped and he started his truck.

Not sure what he was doing but he didn’t leave…  If I was a betting man I’d wager that him and the unruly children chucking rocks had been sent by satin himself to torture me.

Purgatory:

  • Kids throwing rocks into the fishing hole
  • Dude blaring Nickelback for hours
  • NO FISH

After throwing large rocks at pedestrians near by and breaking a few truck windows mom and I eventually decided to try another spot.

Not like it mattered.

Most of Nockamixon’s accessible shoreline is featureless.  I threw cast after cast with only slight interest from the Sunfish.

After hours of fail with lures I finally broke down.  I borrowed a hook and some worms from mom and decided to catch Sunfish after Sunfish until all of her bait was gone.

I guess I’m spoiled.  I guess I’ve gotten too used to mom and I catching big fish every time we go out.  That being said, I have a new personal rule that I hope to never break again:

NEVER fish a large featureless lake shoreline again.  In fact…  Never fish a lake without a boat.

There.  I’ve said what had to be said.  If you like Nickelback please go to their fan-site and stop reading about fishing NOW!

How’s fishing in your neck of the woods?  Do you like horrible music and rock throwing children?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Jul 222012
 

How could you not love a glove built for stripping and fighting? I mean, when you’re on stage and the dollar bills are flying everywhere, you need something to protect your hands right?…

Ehm… Let me back that up…  This IS a (somewhat) family friendly FISHING website after all!

 

For FISHING use only

Today’s review is brought to you by Glacier Glove.  I have to admit, when I hear the name “Glacier Glove” I immediately think of a rugged product made for ice climbing, or crab fishing in Alaska.

When I was approached for this review it was nearing the end of spring and I feared that I’d be reviewing a cold weather glove in the beginning of Summer.  To my delight I was introduced to the Glacier Glove 50+ UPF Stripping / Fighting  glove.  A product perfect for hardcore Summer and year-round fishing.

Lightweight fishing gloves perfect for Summer

Lightweight fishing gloves with 50+ UPF sun protection – perfect for Summer

Initial thoughts:

My experience with fishing gloves prior to these stripping/fighting gloves consists of thick uncomfortable neoprene gloves purchased from Walmart.  Immediately upon opening these Glacier Gloves I could tell I was dealing with a different class of product.

“Wow is this silk?”

The material on the back of these gloves has an elegant, silky, almost rubber like texture.  As I stood in my kitchen opening the package I could hardly complete my visual examination before I HAD to try them on.

As a big guy with big hands, finding gloves that fit and are comfortable is something I’m not used to.  With hands measuring 8 1/2″ long by 4″ wide, I was pleased to see size XL Glacier Gloves were a perfect fit.

With a synthetic leather palm fitted with black gripping pads these gloves have enough traction to hold the slimiest fish.

Glacier glove stripping / fighting gloves work great as driving gloves!

Or steering wheels

Ok, Ok, I know these are FISHING gloves not DRIVING gloves but on my first trip with these gloves I had to give it a try.  (by the way they performed flawlessly)

How do they fish?

My first experience with Glacier Glove’s fighting / stripping gloves was in the beginning of April.  In Pennsylvania fishing in early Spring can be a challenge weather wise.  In the morning it’s cold, in the afternoon it’s hot, at times there is even sunburn.  On this particular morning it was early and quite cold.  I was wearing a fleece but my hands were getting pretty chilly.  I decided to don the Glacier “sun gloves” and see if they could help warm me up.

Comfortable but not too warm

With just the right amount of warmth I noticed my hands stopped cramping.  As the day warmed up I also noticed that I had to take off my fleece but my gloved hands stayed a perfect temperature.

Using my glacier gloves on opening day of trout season

Glacier Glove Grabbing a stocked Rainbow Trout

These gloves have an amazing amount of grip.  Stocked Rainbow trout can be quite wiggly and slimy but these gloves made them stick like glue to my hands.  (As a side note: This fish was being kept to eat.  If you are catch and release fishing please keep fabric away from the fish’s  skin so you don’t damage their delicate slimy surface.)

Glacier gloves holding a largemouth bass

Perfect for Bigmouth Bass too!

With a product like gloves you need to take your time and give them a thorough beating.  As far as quality goes, the Glacier Glove stripping / fighting gloves  are both strong and durable in the field.  They are built well and should last for many seasons.

In the beginning of this Summer I took a trip to Cape May New Jersey and tried surf fishing for the first time.  Lobbing heavy lures with braided line quickly destroyed the skin on my casting finger.  Remembering I had my Glacier Gloves in my bag, I quickly put them on and was able to at my wife’s dismay continue fishing for HOURS.

Were there any cons?

If you have never fished with gloves before they will take some getting used to.  Luckily, these stripping / fighting gloves are fairly thin and easy to get used to.

Smell.  If you are fortunate enough to catch fish while using these (or any) gloves, I would recommend washing them when you get home.  I forgot to do this after one trip and let’s just say I learned my lesson…

Overall impressions:

Overall I don’t think you’ll find a better lightweight fishing glove on the market.  These gloves are great for fly fishing and convectional fishing.  They should also get you through some mildly cold situations.  The Glacier Glove Stripping / Fighting Gloves do a great job at protecting your hands from braid, sun, and occasional hooks.  At $29.99 they are a fantastic piece of fishing apparel!

Disclaimer:  These gloves were provided to us for purpose of review.  That being said, if we break them we would buy another pair.  If you’d like a pair of your own click our affiliate link here.

 

 

Jul 102012
 

It’s HOT in Southeastern PA!  Almost too hot to fish!

All of this heat, coupled with some additional work stress, made last week hellish to say the least…

Stressed out?  Too hot to fish?  Why not shoot books?

Stress + Heat – Fishing = decreased motivation.  Although I’m glad I’m not the only unmotivated outdoor blogger the site has been suffering and finally last Sunday I decided SOMETHING had to be done.

There was a break in the temperature (mid 80’s) so after the other functioning fishaholics couldn’t get their act together I decided to head down to the Perkiomen Creek with the competition.

Sunfish Fest 2012

Sunfish Fest 2012

The water temperature varied between slightly cool, where the water was flowing, to uncomfortably warm where it was still.  Although Mike and I were chasing Carp on the fly we mostly found sunfish.

Lots and lots of Sunnies

Lots and lots of Sunnies

A few big Carp were circling in the water but we had no clue how to catch them no luck getting them to show interest in our flies.

Instead of Carp, we quickly learned our day would be devoted to Sunfish…  At one point Mike and I were pulling fish out on every cast.  I think I had a string of about 15 fish in a row from a single pool.

If the Sunfish get boring...

If the Sunfish get boring…

After a while I got bored of the little fish and had to throw a few crazy flies here and there.  The articulated Perch pattern above is made from two 1/0 hooks and is about the size of my hand.  While I didn’t find any of the Perkiomen Creek’s 12″+ Smallmouth Bass, I did get to make an ass of myself.  (:

All and all, it was a good few hours of fishing.  Mike and I got some great casting practice in for this Fall’s Steelhead trip and the relentless onslaught of Sunfish kept things interesting.

As far as the rest of the Functioning Fishaholics go Jeff and Mike did eventually get on the water and their report was almost identical.  Looks like the only thing biting in this heat is the Sunfish.

 

Been fishing lately?  Staying cool?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

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