Hey guys I'm sorry this report is a little late but I've been real busy dealing with some stuff at home. Coming June 3rd I have to go out of town for 2 months for work. This will probably be my second to last fishing report this summer. Me and Araiderfreak Jr. are coming up Saturday the 28th and fishing till Monday. I want to spend the weekend with my son fishing before I leave home. He has not spent the night on my boat since I rebuilt it and gave it it's new name. He is very excited to streach out and enjoy all the extra room it now has. I will leave a report before I go. As soon as I get back I'll pop in and say Hi! Well here's my Derby report.
I pulled into the town of Clear Lake around 4 pm with my buddy Matt. His work doesn't allow for him to take the entire weekend off so 2 of the last 3 years on derby weekend he comes to hang out with me the Thursday before then leaves early Friday Morning. You guys have seen pitcures of him in the araiderfreaks catfish photos link Ed made for me. I call Matt my Big fish Good Luck Charm. He was with me when I caught my 28lb Channel Cat, my 150lb legal Sturgeon and all those Blue Sharks including the 15 fter. He was also the one with me in Dec. 2002 when we caught and released 20 Channels in 8 hours with a total weight of 400 plus pounds including the 28lber. That was the day a boat came up to me at Wheeler point with this guy in it with a question for me. He asked, ( Are you araiderfreak?) I then replied yeh. He then replied back ( You Look Like A God Dam Raiderfreak! My name is Ed from CatfishEd.com, it's nice to meet you). I new right then I liked this guy. I respect anyone who tells it like it is. No B.S. Thats how I am. For those of you who didn't know me or what I looked like back then my hair was down to my ass and I had a gotee about 6 inches long so looked the part. I respect anyone who tells it like it is. No B.S.
Anyways. We first stopped by Lakeshore Bait and Tackle to say hi to Bob. By 5 we were on the water and heading over to Funtime RV Resort to meet Paul and Little Rocket. I told Paul we were on our way so when we pulled in he was at the dock to help me tie up the boat. We had been talking on the phone off and on for the past 4 or 5 weeks leading up to the derby so it was real nice to finally meet him. He then introduced me to his son Little Rocket. This kid is something else. He comes up to me then his dad intrduces us and he greets me with a handshake like a man. Brings his hand down from almost shoulder high and slaps it into mine with a hard grip then shakes it replying nice to meet you. Then this kid wins me over with the second thing out of his mouth. Looking at my left upper arm he replys (Man thats an awsome tatoo you have on your arm.) This kid had me with the hand shake, but that topped it off. Reminds me of my Grandfather who taught me when I was five or six to always hold with a firm grip and shake hands like a man and if someone gives you a limp lady hand to shake make sure you give them an extra little squeeze. I beleive you can tell alot about a man by the way he shakes your hand. If this sounds alittle extream it's just the Italian in me coming out. Paul it was great to meet you two and I'll email those pitcures of little rocket fighting that catfish after I finish this report. Give me a call Tuesday morning or I'll call you. One way or the other.
After that me and Matt started fishing and within 20 minutes Matt caught and released a huge Carp going 19.9lbs. Around 7:30pm here comes a boat around the corner and it's my good buddy Everett aka, Catman. Visited with him alittle while and he lets me know that he thought Todd, aka, Legcramp was on his way because he had seen a pontoon boat with a black top launching at Redbud. I had talked to Todd earlier back in Sacramento and new what time he left. Knowing this I new he was on his way. Said goodbye to Catman as he left to do some fishing and told him I'd check in with him in the morning by phone to compare and swap fishing secrets. LOL!! Just kiddin guys it's all luck here in my boat. Not long after he left here comes a potoon boat makin it's way towards me. Bullshited a little while with him then he gave me his other 2 way radio so we could talk back and forth. At first I thought this might be weird or a pain in the ass but it was very cool being able to talk to someone else with ease like that. Great Idea Todd!! Wish they just had a little more range on them but it was nice to talk back and forth when the fishings slow. We would keep each other posted on what we caught or to tell each other to get the camera out because a boat was heading your way with a wake and speeding. This really worked well. Plus talking to people that I knew were locals because I'd met them on past fishing trips were very happy to hear what we were doing. A local told me someone was waterskiing in Cache Creek Thursday morning. I had one person turn around and make a run for it at full speed trying to get out of my camera range. Most people slow down just seeing the camera and you don't even have to take a pitcure.
Anyways from Legcramp going by till 3 am when I took Matt back to his car we caught a 20 lb Carp and if i remember correctly 2 Good pull downs. Oh yeh I forgot, just before I was to takee him back I hooked into a monster Cat. It put up a fight for 15 minutes until it finaly went under my boat and got hung up on a log. I could feel it rubbing back and forth on it till it finally broke off. For a split second I was really pissed then I got the hunter side of me under control and was glad it got off. It was just early Friday morning and it would suck to catch a winning fish hours before the derby started.
I dropped Matt off at Funtime where Paul had been nice enough to let him park his caat his camping spot. Paul, me and Matt both wanted to thankyou again for that. When I dropped Matt off Paul was still up to my surprise fishing on the dock and had the biggest Crappie I think I've ever seen. It was almost as big as the mouth of a 5 gallon. Nice fish Paul.
By the time I got back to my spot it was somewhere around 5 am maybe a little latter. I started fishing but with only one pole and not changing my bait every 15 minutes. I would just let it sit there on the bottom while I messed around with my boat. I can always find something to do on it. At 6:30 am my pole gets slammed and right away I know I have a dandy. After a long fight I put it on the scale and it weighs out at 22.7 lbs. I can't beleive it! Hours before the derby starts and I catch a money fish. I go to take a pitcure with my 10 second delay and can't remember how to do it. Look at the manual and that particulair page has ripped out and was gone. Look around and I see a boat coming my way. When it gets to me they ask how I'm doing and I reply all right. Then I asked them if they're doing the derby and they tell me their just Bass fishing. So now I ask them if they'd do me a favor and take a pitcure of my Catfish that I now pickup off the bottom of the boat. They tell me sure then jokinly tell me they're now going to join the derby and will be back to fish by me. I guess they were doing a tournament of there own. They asked some questions like how many Bass boats had passed and which way they had gone then headed on they're way. From then till a little after 8:30am I caught and released 2 small Channels going I think 7 and 10 pounds I have it written down somewhere in my boat. I know they where not bigger than 10 lbs.
Then at 8:30 am I get another pull down and to make a long story short it weighed in at 23 lbs! I couldn't beleive it. By the time I got it in it was about 3 hours before the derby started. Nobody around to take pitcures for me so I'm now on the phone with Olympus Digital Camera customer service and trying to get them to give me directions on the delayed pitures so I can take one of myself. He was asking me for all this info and I cut him off as nicely as possible telling him I'm out in the middle of a large body of water on my boat with a huge fish laying on the deck of my boat dieing. Then told him my phone could die at anytime so gave him my home phone and told him to call me there in a couple of days if he really wanted the info.
Alright guys so I fibbed a little bit. But think of this poor Catfish thats easily over 20 years old. Just laying there looking at me thinking what the hell you doing man? Can't you just let me go without a pitcure. I glance down at with a look on my face that says, ( Hell No I can't!! I only take pitcures of 20 plus lb Catfish). I got her pitcure and released her in good health. She was hard to let go. I kept thinking it's only 3 hours, but then this vision kept appearing in my brain. It was me driving my boat to weigh her in then hitting a log or something in the water and my boat, that I've worked on for the last 3 years slowly sinking to the bottom. Then I had a second vision. It was me standing at the weigh in and everybody pointing at me saying araiderfreaks been using Trot Lines these last 3 years He's just a poacher. All the past years of hard work trying to build a reputation as a good fisherman would be shot down the tubes. All peoples questions I answered and reports of nurmerous fish I caught but didn't take pitcures of because they weren't 20 lbers would all be in question. After I let her go I think I thought and talked about this for the next 24 hours. Catman kept telling me to not worry about it it wouldn't hold up. That helped a little bit. It finally got off my mind completely after I landed an 18.5 lb Channel catfish. A nice female. Then I ended up letting her go when Catman told me that he talked to someone that had went to weigh a fish in that was just over 20 lbs and it didn't even make the board. A fish needed to be 21 lbs just to get on the board and this was only Saturday afternoon.
It was kind of nice but boring at times doing a long derby this early in the year by yourself. I rarely fish by myself for 4 days and 3 nights this early in the year. I'll do it maybe in late May but won't think twice about staying that long in June. Come July 4th weekend I'm out for good till next year. There's to many crazy people around with kids being out of school. Thats when it's time to start Sharkin.
I fished with Catman over 50% of the time which was nice. I hope I didn't talk your ears off Ev, when I'm by myself I'll talk to anyone about anything if they start talking to me. You just have to tell me to shut the hell up Ken, it wouldn't be the first time and won't hurt my feelings a bit. My buddies tell me I can be intertaining in a streach of ultumate boredumb. Thats right late Thursday night you did hear us singing from a ways away and let us know we sounded like a couple of crazy people or lunnies. I forgot what your exact discription of us was. Hey I have an excuse. I'm Italian and Irish so I go around talking and picking fights with myself and as I'm doing that my hands are flying around with every word I say.
I had a better time in the derby this year than I did in last years, even though I didn't place this year but did last year. Alot more relaxing and enjoyable. Think the changes I made on my boat helped alot.
By the way Ed at one time you had a 2 or 3 hundred yard streach of your loyal followers all fishing one boat after another. I really wish you could have seen it. It started with Kevinthecatfishstudents boat then Rocketpowerpauls boat then mine ,Catmans then around the corner was Legcramp. If we could have taken an airial photo it would have been clasic. Either Ev or I came up with the name CatfishEd Corner.
So my weekend total was 5 Channels with the three biggest going 22.7, 23 and 18.5 lbs. All fish were caught and released in that order with 10 and 7 lber caught in between those.
I really wish they'd make it a total weight of 2 or 3 fish weighed in everyday. It would take the luck out of it. People would be winning by skill. I think it takes skill to catch multiple big fish over a day or 2. Kind of like scoring the way Bullriding is scored. It would eliminate the drunk guy that has a chunk of bait on his pole all weekend just sitting and soaking as he passes in and out of contiousness till his little bell goes ding aling aling. Then he gets up having to cover one eye due to seeing double just to make it to his pole. Has his hundred pound test that can drag a Whale out of the ocean up on any beach. Drags it in and wins the tournament. Everything I just comented on are facts and things that I have witnessed, even the hundred pound test. I catch 300lb 15 ft Blue Sharks on lighter line than that. To be honest this particular person was using the exact same rode I use for Sharks also. A Shakeshere TigerRod. Incredible. Sorry if this turned into a small novel.
If anyone is up there this weekend stop by and say high.
Ken, aka araiderfreak
The 22.7 lb'er