Family Fishing

Matthew & Family Fishing

Hey John and Jon…the teal didn’t cooperate this past weekend, but there were lots of woodies around to make it lively, the weather was beautiful, and the bass fishing was very good. Family fishing with boys learning how to fish soft plastics. Matthew

Hey John…thanks for your efforts on the web site and especially the updates. The kids get a real kick out of seeing themselves on the web.

Bass FishingIt feels like I’m overdoing it here with the pictures, but I’ve got some more good photos from a fishing trip this past weekend. My two boys and I met my brother and his two boys for some fishing on a couple of [deleted]. The weather was pleasant…the limited camping was better…and the fishing was great. In a total of about 9 hours actual fishing on two different [deleted], the group caught somewhere between 100 and 120 bass. We also caught a bunch of bluegill that we didn’t even count. I have included several pictures of the bigger fish. We kept 15 smaller fish (10 – 12 inches) for dinner but released the rest.

We’re all looking forward to more trips this summer. Talk to you later. Matt

At our request Matt provided the following details:

Speaking of gear in your email below, and maybe this will be some help to other parents who want to take their kids fishing…I’ve been teaching my kids to fish texas-rigged plastic worms for several reasons: 1) they are very effective baits, especially on smaller waters, easy to fish, and they will consistently catch big fish; 2) the kids like the action of setting the hook (you ought to see my littlest one double- and triple-setting the hook), 3) they’re inexpensive and relatively easy for the kids to rig on their hooks, and 4) maybe most importantly, they make it difficult for the kids to hang up or hook each other, unlike plugs with treble hooks and even spinner baits with exposed hooks. So when we fish, I usually carry nothing more than several packages of plastic worms, one package of hooks, and one package of weights…what could be simpler and less expensive? Matt

And, still later the same summer into fall…

Bass Fishing

Hey John…Fall feels like its finally here. My brother and I took the boys limited camping/hunting/fishing this past weekend and it felt almost cold Friday night and what a day it was Saturday – just about as perfect as you could ask. We camped right on the dam of a pond on the property and set up our gear for catfish right next to camp. Our Saturday morning breakfast was interrupted several times. Between catching catfish most anytime, hunting teal in the mornings (my oldest son’s first good teal hunt), and bass fishing in the afternoons, we had a great time. We caught enough catfish for a fish fry Saturday night and we killed enough teal for Sunday breakfast. My brother caught two of the biggest bass he’s ever hooked and I caught several real nice ones too. Oh yeah…saw lots of Canada geese, one real nice buck, and two coveys – one had 12 – 14 birds and the other had 6. The smaller covey looked like a mating pair and 4 little ones. I’ve included a few photos of the trip. Talk to you later.

 

At our request Matt provided the following details:

Speaking of gear in your email below, and maybe this will be some help to other parents who want to take their kids fishing…I’ve been teaching my kids to fish texas-rigged plastic worms for several reasons: 1) they are very effective baits, especially on smaller waters, easy to fish, and they will consistently catch big fish; 2) the kids like the action of setting the hook (you ought to see my littlest one double- and triple-setting the hook), 3) they’re inexpensive and relatively easy for the kids to rig on their hooks, and 4) maybe most importantly, they make it difficult for the kids to hang up or hook each other, unlike plugs with treble hooks and even spinner baits with exposed hooks. So when we fish, I usually carry nothing more than several packages of plastic worms, one package of hooks, and one package of weights…what could be simpler and less expensive? Matt

And, still later the same summer into fall…..

Bass Fishing

Jon and John…my kids picked out some photos from our recent cat fishing trip they wanted me to send in to you guys…the one unnamed photo was picked out specifically by my daughter and I send it in against my will and under protest…moments after she clicked the shutter, I dropped the fish on my right foot which was inadequately protected by a flip-flop…it is not the first time I’ve been stuck by a catfish, but it was the first time I have ever been stuck in my big toe.

Bass FishingThe other photos I think represent one really nice trip. My kids experienced a full range of fishing conditions from a thick “cold” fog Saturday morning to near 90 degrees, sunny, and windy by Sunday afternoon. The days were separated by clear cool evenings…it was hard to remember it was late summer.

Bass FishingAlso of interest to me…my son decided he wants to learn camp cooking. So, “Cookie” was born on this trip and prepared all our meals. Dad finally got the long-awaited opportunity to sit back and mind the fishing poles and make the important observations that only a man of many years of outdoor experience can truly appreciate. Unfortunately, my daughter’s attitude seemed to migrate towards Dad’s activities (or lack of) rather than little brothers…I will use the fall limited camping/hunting trips to help steer her in the proper direction regarding camp chores.

Bass FishingThese trips have become so much fun for the kids and I that now, all I have to say the week before is…”Anybody want to head out this weekend?” The universal answers are…”YEAH!” and “Sure!” Then the afterthought…”Where are we going?” They have learned to anticipate these limited camping forays on club land for hunting and fishing because they know they’re in for a good time.

We didn’t manage to get any fish moved because our focus was catfish. We landed one real nice one but lost two monsters that were a little hard on the tackle. We started catching what I consider to be on the small side, but we were catching so many that I finally told the kids to start keeping some for a fish fry…we enjoyed the fruits of our labor last night.
Matthew

Bass FishingHey John…wanted to send in a report and some pics from a recent fishing/limited camping trip on club ground.

The kids (2 of them anyway) and I made our annual sojourn to [location deleted] for three days of limited camping and bass fishing. The weather was lousy – cloudy, rainy, and cold all three days – but the fishing and limited camping was still pretty good.

I was disappointed to see a “road” now leading to two of the most productive [location deleted] that historically had been very difficult to get to…in the past you had to carry your boat or float tube to these [location deleted] and then bust through the brush to get to the water…this created some of the most fantastic bass fishing I’ve ever experienced.

Bass Fishing Bass Fishing

Bass FishingBetween what appears to be increased pressure from fishing, three huge otters in one of the [location deleted], and the weather, the fishing was of much decreased quality than just one year ago. However, we scouted around a little bit and discovered another [location deleted] we had overlooked on past trips. We fished this one on the way out and experienced some of the same quality fishing we had seen over past years in the other two formerly “hard-to-get-to” [location deleted]. It made for a pretty nice trip. We heard our fist gobbles of the year too. Talk to you later.

Bass Fishing

 

Hi John and Jon…thought I’d continue the kid fishing reports and photos. This past weekend the kids and I went limited camping/fishing and did pretty good on the catfish. We had thunderstorms both Friday and Saturday nights to cool things off for some pretty nice limited camping. We had caught dozens of catfish by noon Saturday but kept only 12 for a fish fry.

One thing I’ve noticed is how the quality of the fish have improved…the kids and I first fished this property three years ago. The catfish all had big heads and long skinny bodies. We kept 30 that first year. Last year we kept 12 and they were in a little better shape than the year before. This year the fishing was much better with all the catfish in a lot better shape than in the past with a couple of the fish approaching 5 lbs – we released the larger catfish and kept the smaller ones. I expect this pond will continue to produce some quality catfishing. The kids did most of the work so long as I kept the poles all baited for them.

We heard quail everywhere out there and listened to some pretty good gobbling Sunday morning…sat and watched a nice gobbler strut along the edge of a field Sunday afternoon too. One funny incident happened when a very large snapping turtle wandered into camp Sunday morning…our dog was quite upset with the intrusion and didn’t know how to handle it…fortunately he put caution towards the front and just growled and barked to the point that the turtle was too annoyed to remain on land any longer.

I have attached a few photos…talk to you all later. Matt

P.S. I also attached a photo of my two youngest and their first bowfishing kills…didn’t figure it belonged on the MAHA website but I thought you might get a kick out of seeing the photo anyway…I started all three kids bowfishing this spring and they are definitely addicted. We got into the big-mouthed buffalo in Oklahoma this past May…no pictures so you might not believe the “fish tale” but we here sticking 40+ pounders on the mud flats…what a deal.

Bass FishingHello MAHA folks…I’ve attached several photos from a recent fishing trip on club ground. It is so great when the student surpasses the teacher in ability…my 11-year old was catching three to every one of mine. I only moved ahead when he got too cold and stopped fishing for a while to take a nap in the bottom of the boat…I was able to take advantage of his temporary discomfort and finally start landing some fish. We hooked and released too many fish to keep count…I lost count after the first day anyways. All the fish looked healthy and were in great shape. In spite of the cool temperatures and the extremely low water levels, the bass were very aggressive and attacked our baits with enthusiasm. We woke up one morning to a dusting of snow and another morning to a heavy frost. The best thing about the trip was the wind didn’t blow like it usually does in that part of the country…it made for some nice easy fishing in our small boat. The new gate seems to have helped some although it appears that some folks are bypassing the gate and entering the property from the south side of the property and also from immediately south of the gate, driving onto the property across the ditch…I guess folks who are intent on trespassing will find a way.

Bass FishingWe found two buck carcasses…one looked like it had his antlers cut off and the carcass was left…either that or someone found the carcass and cut the antlers off then. The second carcass was right next to the water with antlers intact…I’ve included a photo of this one. It was a good trip and the fishing was excellent. Matt

Thanks for the feedback Matt. We seem to look especially forward to your additions each season and for all seasons. Good to see your children growing up sportsmen and woman. A note to all the above negative with the positive in Matt’s update and that it reflects life and how it is not perfect. We all should make it the best we can, Matt certainly does!

Matt later responded by email with this follow-up to the comments immediately above.

I agree with your last statement…if folks are joining the club expecting everything to be perfect, they have no concept of do-it-yourself hunting/fishing/limited camping. There’s never a guarantee if this is the route you take or frankly in most other options, and as far as I’m concerned there is no other route. Sure, you can go hunt high fence and pay thousands for a guaranteed hunt with no chance of trespassers and 100% success rate, but what the hell would that be “worth”? Trespassers are a very unfortunate and sometimes dangerous aspect of hunting private/lease land in the Midwest, and probably anywhere in the country for that matter…it sucks but there’s virtually nothing practical that can be done about it but to stay vigilant and to pay attention to what’s going on around you while you’re out there. I hunt other “non-club” private ground in MO, KS, and OK…trespassing is no less a problem there than on MAHA leases…and anybody that has spent any time at all pursuing game and fish should know that.

Hello MAHA folks…good fishing trip last weekend…perfect weather…complete solitude…very little to no wind…no clouds…good bite! No lunkers (although we did have a couple of break-offs) but plenty of nice healthy bass and crappie. By the way…turkeys are still gobbling for any of those members with remaining tags.

Hello MAHA folks…here are a few pics from our recent cat-fishing trip. The fish bit well and often and our three days of fishing on two different bodies of water resulted in enough fillets for a couple of good size fish fry’s. One of the waters we fished sure could use some more fishing pressure though…we could hardly keep more than two poles baited and in the water for more than a few minutes before hooking a cat…at times after casting out I didn’t even have time to set the pole in the rod holder before getting a bite. They tended to be small at less than 12 to 14 inches but were so numerous we kept most everything we caught in order to thin out the herd some. I figure we’ll go back in the early fall to thin them out some more but no more limited camping until it cools off. The mornings were pleasant enough but the afternoons were too hot and without a shade canopy to sit under I don’t think we would have managed to stay out minding the poles.

Bass FishingHad a good catfish trip…the fish were mostly small though and very thin. I think we kept enough for a decent fish fry and enough that the quality of fishing on this particular body of water will improve considerably over the next few years. We should have combined the trip with either dove or goose hunting though…there were enough of both flying around that we could have probably done ok dove hunting from our fishing chairs and setting out some floaters and a few shells for the geese at the other end of the pond…but probably good that we didn’t…it was way too relaxing sitting there catching cats to be bothered by shooting something…Matt

hey John…I wish I had some big fish pictures to show you all but we haven’t caught much in the way of lunkers this summer. As a matter of fact, the majority of our fish might be considered pretty “shrimpy” so I haven’t taken any fish pictures. We caught quite a few though, they just weren’t much on the bragging side, but lots of fun on a fly rod. I did attach some photos though of our recent irrigation lake trip…the water was fine and thunderstorms kept things very comfortable while providing a steady backdrop of thunder and quite an impressive lightning show. Heard lots of quail whistling too and numerous wood ducks were using the lake. I don’t think there’s really any better way to spend a summer afternoon than sitting in the water fishing. Maybe we’ll find some bigger fish before the kids start back to school. Matt

catfushJohn…don’t think I ever sent in any pics from this trip a little while back…spent about four hours of actual time on this particular water – a lake I had never fished before…produced enough fish for two family-size fish fries – one if you include company. Too many small fish to keep bait in the water for very long but towards the end of the morning, we started catching a few better quality cats, even broke off on two with 17-lb line so I figure there are some pretty good fish in this particular lake. The waiting is almost over…Fall is right around the corner! Matt

“…I’ve attached a few pics from our first fishing trip of the year. The weather was atrocious so we didn’t spend much time actually fishing but spent a lot of time playing cards and domino’s…We heard our first gobbles of the year too, which was a little surprising given the high winds and cold rain we were having at the time…Fish we caught looked to be in great shape and Yance had a real hawg hooked and fought but then lost right at the boat…I would have liked to have gotten a pic of that one…”

hey John…had a good weekend fishing with the boys. Weather was gorgeous and the fishing pretty good. Strong thunderstorms Saturday night and early Sunday morning made for some exciting times but otherwise the weather was near perfect. Friday night we got to sit around and watch huge thunderstorms way off to the south and thousands of lightning bugs put on quite a show. The only change from then to the next night was the fact that the thunderstorms came across over the top of us throughout most of the night. The lightning and thunder was spectacular and a bit of hail made us wonder for a moment why we were out there in June…but the fishing and moderate temperatures were the only answers we really needed.

I have included some pics of the trip. I’m not sure how many bass we caught and released but it had to be somewhere around 100 – 120 fish. We caught and cleaned enough sunfish for lunch and probably should have kept more but it was hard to throw those small baits for perch when the bass were hitting so good. Matthew