Monday, July 5, 2010

Perfect Weather, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Eating, Weekend!!!

This weekend was pretty much as good as it gets. I still had to squeeze some work in here and there, but spent a majority of the time just playing with kids, friends, and family. Also the work wasnt so bad either, cause it was just a handful of fishing trips and also catering a big fish fry. More on that later on.

Here are some pics from a 2 hour fishing trip friday evening at my best and favorite fishing lake. We were drop shotting night crawlers on the bottom in 25-40 feet of water and caught an amazing mixed bag of fish that included lots of walleye, rainbow trout, and bluegill with a handful of yellow perch, black crappie, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass, and a catfish:

Saturday morning I was up at 4:45 am and headed out onto the water for an early morning fishing trip at 5 am. We fished shallow water this time hoping to catch some fish still up along the banks before the arrival of the hot sun. We caught some really nice big bluegill and a few bass up close before moving back out deep for the cool water species.

The move out deep in the last hour of the trip paid off big time. Fedi Davidovics, the Hungarian Handyman landed a 10 lb rainbow trout which we didnt get a picture of in order to get a quick release in the summer heat. That fish was an absolute monster consider it was stocked as a 1.5 lb fish back in 2008!!! We did get some good pics of this nice 4 lb rainbow and 7 lb hybrid striper that he caught though. We caught alot of fish out deep, that is an absolute blast dropping bait down to the bottom and having a big striper or trout come and slam it! We can locate the schools of fish pretty easily these days and just drop bait right down in front of their face!

We were back in by 7:30 am and decided to just grill up trout for breakfast.

After breakfast I had to get my gear in serious order. I had to be in Cuba by 1 pm to coordinate some fishing trips for some guests of a client and then cater a fish fry if we were so lucky as to catch enough fish to eat for dinner. Usually I am super prepared for stuff like this, but I had a crazy week leading up to this weekend and just didn't have anything ready. Chef Todd helped me get the food prepared with a quick trip into the Canton and both him and I were off towards Cuba on time.

So its the middle of Summer, middle of the afternoon, super sunny and 85 degrees outside upon arrival at Cuba. Chef was worried that we weren't going to catch anything and just worried and a bit nervous in general. I on the other hand wasn't so worried. There are 10 lakes on this world class property and they are all being managed just a bit differently with an emphasis on their main attributes and unique characteristics. Basically what I am getting at is 24/7 365 there is (and especially will be in the near future) a lake and place and species of fish that will be biting.

We decided to have a little fishing tournament on the big 31 acre lake. Chef Todd's fishing partners were, man I cant believe I forgot their names already, but they were two very nice young ladies ready to do some serious fishing. Even though they lost the fishing tournament by a mere 4 fish, they were dedicated and hardcore fisherwomen. Here are some pics of their catch:

Todd and his crew fished pink bodied road runners that he called funky chicken or something obscure like that. They did alot of casting and some trolling and caught 40 really nice crappies and 15 bluegill!

My fishing crew was called team Awesome! And let me just say that they kicked some major ......... in this fishing tournament. With four young lady anglers and myself out in the boat I had to come up with some serious creative fishing techniques to not only put fish in the boat, but to keep their attention, focus, have a great time, and win the tournament too. I made sure we had plenty of drinks, doritos, sunscreen and snacks for the 3 hour tour.... I knew I wouldnt remember their names so their new names for the fishing trip were #1, #2, #3, and #4.

We drop shotted minnows and nightcrawlers in 6-10 feet of water and hit the motherload of fishing spots with our very first spot, and we never moved from it. Sometimes when I would get busy removing fish or untangling a pole, #2 would start pointing back to where we needed to be. It didnt take them long to figure out exactly where the fish were and what they needed to do to keep plopping fish in the cooler.

The technique was very simple, I had 3/8 ounce weights tied 16" below their hooks and all they had to do was simply drop the weight to the bottom and wait a few seconds for a bluegill or crappie to gobble up their bait. We didnt care about swallowed hooks because the tournament was just as many fish as you can possibly catch for the fish fry. We didnt have to worry about catching many weeds with this rig either because the weight goes down to the bottom and sits in the weeds, but the bait stays up off the bottom and fishing vertical doesnt get caught up much.

Usually I like to take pics out in the boat, but with this being a tournament and me taking off fish, tangles, and baiting hooks nonstop while running the motor I just didn't get er done. Then once we got back the girls headed out swimming and I headed out to meet the excavator to talk about the wetland project for one of the lakes. Anyhow once we nailed down a gameplan with the bulldozer guy we counted our fish and snapped a couple quick pics. We ended up catching 33 crappies and 26 bluegill to win the tournament with a total of 59 fish in less than 2 hours on the water! If you do the math, that is exactly one fish in the cooler every 2 minutes of the trip.

Here is a cooler filling up pic:

#1 and #2 holding up some crappies:

#2 with the biggest crappie:

#2 with #3 in the background

Same fish, but this time you can get a glimpse of #4 in the background

There was another boat of 3 high school boys who ended the tournament with 6 fish and one other boat of 4 people who were kind of on pace to contend for the title, but got called in an hour early to take care of some stuff. Altogether we cleaned 90 crappies, 40 bluegill, and 3 catfish for our fish fry. Chef whipped up a big batch of his special cole slaw, french fries, some breads, and of course all the fish. Another fella also fried up some chicken legs and some other people made some other stuff to compliment the feast.

Here is a pic of Todd winding down after all the food was cooked.

I got back to the lake about 9pm and just sat by the fire and scarfed down some big chunks of fire roasted bacon and then finished off the whole bowl of puppy chow.

Sunday we woked up bright and early and just played the whole day. First thing I went out fishing with my dad, brother chad, sister amy, and her husband Jared. We just fished for an hour quick before church and caught lots of big bluegill, a couple goldens, and several rainbow trout.

After fishing we had a big breakfast and then had a church service. The kids sang some fun songs and then headed out for an adventure around the lake while about 30 of us adults just talked in depth specifically about the events of Acts 27 and 28.

Not even many of my friends or family know this, but I am actually a very deep thinker. I have trouble with speaking words and really conversation in general, but thinking and comprehending in depth is something that I do very well. The Bible has me fascinated to say the least. I am so intrigued that here is my challenge to anyone with enough spare time to be reading this far down in a blog post from the diary of a lake nerd: Just take a half an hour some time to close out the entire world, everything. All of your thoughts, ideas, beliefs, assumptions, schedules, this, that, and the other thing. Just simply open the Bible up to the new testament or to Acts 27 if you want and read for awhile. If you can get to a moment where you can close out the world and simply read I think you will be fascinated with what is documented in that book.

So after the kids got back I took em horseback riding (with much help from Rebekah and Annie). Mae, Noah, and all of the herd of kids running around everywhere absolutely love the horses. My Aunts and Uncles have been boarding, raising, and training horses for 27 or more years and they brought out some kid friendly horses for the weekend. They started breeding fresian horses a few years back and have a whole herd of all kinds of different horses out in Middle Grove and Hanna City. They kind of turned their hobby into business just like I did with fish.

After horseback riding we played lots of volleyball, swimming, and just relaxing all the way till dark.

Once the sun went down we watched Canton's fireworks from the top of our hill, and just did alot more of the same- eat, relax, eat relax. I might not have mention this, and there is no way I am going back through to find out if I did, but we had about 100-150 people up to the lake everyday from thursday till monday. Some people camped, others just comed and goed. On Saturday afternoon while I was gone fishing 93 out of the 96 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of my grandma meister were out at the lake and took a family picture by my Uncle Sparks fire truck. They actually saved me a spot on the truck and took my picture in that exact spot sunday afternoon to crop me in.


  1. Nate -- (this is Linda, one of the fierce fisherwomen Chef Todd got stuck with at Billy's in Cuba) wanted to thank you and Todd for a GREAT fishing tournament, although I think if we counted per person, the LadyFish boat would've won. But I tend to be competitive that way. Seriously, it was a spectacular time. Not only did I get to spend the afternoon fishing with my best friend, but the dinner you guys cooked was scrumptious. Now, I need to find out more about those horses on your blog............

  2. Wow... That looks like an awesome holiday weekend. Nice post.