As the ice melts off our ponds we begin to monitor the water temperature and guess when the catfish and bass will be eager to eat. This year that date was April 8th. We fed a small amount of fish food to a few rather sluggish but hungry catfish, skipped a day and then fed a more more active group the following day. Tripp was fascinated by the fish activity.
Saturday stayed foggy all day. Kathryn’s brother, Tim, visited us for lunch, games of euchre and a short hike through the woods. Tim brought their new dog, Abby and Abby had a good run with Scout. It had been many years since I played Euchre and it was Eric’s 1st time.
After Tim left at 5pm I cleaned Elderberries which Kathryn made into Elderberry/Apple jam. Kathryn had frozen the elderberries bunches that she had picked and my job was to separate the itsy-bitsy, little, tiny frozen berries from the stems.
Sunday I assembled camping gear in anticipation of a 3 day canoe trip through the head waters of West Sacandaga River. I streamlined and re-organized my emergency kit and 1st aid kit. If you’re looking for a great place to buy everything you need for fishing, click here!
Trevor came to play with Eric in the afternoon; with temperatures in the 80s the boys wanted to go swimming in the pond. They boy’s enjoy the water enough, I’ll consider sport fishing when they grow up as a great bonding activity. Since they love the water, I’ll consider visiting the surf shop.
Once there they saw fish swimming around and tried to spear the fish using cat tails. Needless to say they were unable to spear any fish using the blunt ends of cat tail spears. We arranged great lures for new fisherman.
So the boys tried a 2nd tactic – jumping on top of the fish. Challenging to say the least.
A little later we tried more conventional means of catching fish using traditional fishing supplies – hooks and worms. The boys were trying to catch bass. Trevor caught 5 or 6 medium size bass. Below he gives one a quick smooch before returning it to the pond.
After a fashion Eric gave up on fishing with a bobber and caught 3 bass.
Sunday evening Kathryn froze 16 packages of acorn squash.
Eric and I were bachelors this past weekend as Kathryn went to Rochester on a multipurpose visit:
- Lunch with long time friend Debbie
- Shopping for new clothes
- Dinner with high school friend Judy
- Irish-fest with brother Tim and niece Sarah
- Going away/deployment party for nephew John and wife Danielle
- Brunch with long time friend Kathy
Eric’s buddy Jack got off the bus with him on Friday after school. Jack’s dad picked him up shortly after 5pm, so the boys only had about 90 minutes to play together – not a lot of time but psychologically it is a good TGIF get-together. After Jack left Eric and I grabbed a quick bit to eat and hopped into the car and drove to Sonne’s to get Eric’s bike which was being repaired for a flat tire and minor tune-up.
Saturday morning was the Eric’s 1st soccer game of the fall season. This year Eric is playing U10. This is a traveling team which will normally play 7v7 with a goalie on a much larger field. The team has 13 players – which is way too many. I concentrated on the roster rotations. The opening game was versus the other HP team. The game ended up as a 3-3 tie. Trevor came home to play with Eric after the soccer game.
Barb and Joe pulled into the driveway right behind us as we got home from the soccer game. After a quick tour of the home remodeling project we all ate lunch on the deck. Barb and Joe took a tour of the yard; checking out the garden, grape vines, blueberry bushes and elderberry plants. I gave them each a taste of Kathryn’s elderberry tonic. Barb took home items loaned out for Billie Jo’s wedding, 4 packages of decafe coffee and a draft copy of The Guide to Winter Camping to review. The boys played in the pool all afternoon.
In the evening Eric, Trevor and I went to Grande’s and sat on the plaza, played pitch and ate pizza.
Sunday afternoon Kathryn returned home and Trevor re-joined us to play with Eric and go bowling at ADK Lanes.
Afterwards I walked down to the pond under the light of a full moon to feed the fish. It was a gorgeous evening.
As the fish food starts to hit the water the tranquility of the water is disturbed by the bass and catfish cruising for food.
The catfish are particularly aggressive scooping up floating fish food along the surface.
Our pond is stocked with Large Mouth Bass and Catfish. I feed the fish every other day or two and the catfish have grown quite large (22-24″). They are voracious eaters. As I start to throw fish food onto the pond the swirls begin.
More fish show up and begin swimming along the surface to capture the fish food (Agway’s Rise)
Just beneath the surface is a large catfish with it’s whiskers extending to each side.
Last night we went to Hamilton College to hear Anders Halverson the author of An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World discuss his book. It was enlightening. Who knew that Rainbow Trout had such a limited native range and were so heavily promoted.
Suppose that, more than a century ago, U.S. government officials became concerned democracy itself was at risk because men seemed to be less virile. And to reverse this trend they decided to populate streams, rivers, and lakes with “an entirely ‘synthetic’ fish”—quarry with which Americans could rediscover their abilities to capture and kill animals. And suppose that, up to the present, these creatures were still being produced and distributed on a massive scale, sometimes even being trained like gladiators and pumped full of the same supplements as the best human athletes so that they would provide a better fight.
Such is the true story of the rainbow trout. Sometimes vilified for their devastating effects on the native fauna, sometimes glorified as the preeminent sport fish, the rainbow trout is the repository of more than a century of America’s often contradictory philosophies about the natural world. Exhaustively researched and grippingly rendered by award-winning journalist, aquatic ecologist, and lifelong fisherman Anders Halverson, this book chronicles the discovery of rainbow trout, their artificial propagation and distribution, and why they are being eradicated in some waters yet are still the most commonly stocked fish in the United States.
Friday evening Kathryn, Eric and I went fishing in our pond with an intent to catch some catfish and relocate them to the pond below our house. By my estimation there are 18-20 large catfish in our pond and they are overcrowded. I caught a small large mouth bass and a catfish while Eric managed to catch two large catfish.
Saturday morning we had a glitch in our soccer schedule and despite my team being ready at 8:30am, we had no opponent to play.
As we hit the end of October and the temperatures cool the fish become less active. I have been actively feeding 3xs a week all summer and my bag of RISE fish food is nearly empty. On Wednesday we took the last 1/2 can of food to the pond and got only a few fish interested in eating. Not only were there only a few fish eating, those that did were slow in moving to the food.
See you in the spring, fishies.
I have been trying to feed our pond fish nearly every night getting them fat in preparation for winter. As the water temperature cools they will become more dormant and eat less.
It is pretty cool walking down to the pond in the evening. The water is calm and still; a reflection of the sky. Then either due to the vibrations of my footsteps and/or the 1st tiny plunks of fish food hitting the water, the calmness disappears. V-shaped swells steam across the surface of the pond as the catfish come into eat. Reminders of the movie JAWS.
Unlike the bass, which exhibit a single rise, pluck and return to the depths, the catfish bulldoze along the surface of the water with their mouths wide open; cramming in as much food as possible. In fact, I “lead” them across the pond by spreading a trail of food. We have about 20-25 monster catfish – in the 22-24″ range.
Even my supposedly vegan ‘grass’ carp is into the act, scooping up fish food. He/she is now a big carp and I believe may have sworn off vegetables forever in exchange for this preferred meal.