Unhealthy Outdoorsman 8/8/11

I have a big informational post on guns in the works but before I finish it up I have to squeeze in a weight update.

Finally got to stop at the Dr’s office and weigh in for the first time since 7/29, when I had gained 2 lbs back.

Drumroll please…..

-8lbs!!!

467 and counting.  Thats 13lbs in a little over a month!  Just as I was having doubts and getting down about gaining last time.  I honestly wasn’t expecting a loss at all today!  Woooo!

I think my wading trip had alot to do with it.  Sludging thru 2.8 miles of sand/mud has to burn some serious calories.

Woooo again!

Wading Jubilee Creek 8/4/11

The original plan was to go hike in Jubilee State Park (the closest big piece of open land to me) to scout for the deer season, see if I could find convincing evidence to return in October.

In my scouting I found that a creek runs through the park.  Thinking that obviously deer need to drink, I figured hiking alongside the creek would be a good place to start.

 After googling the crap out of the park, I found a couple sites saying that the creek held Smallmouth.  At that point, just about any notions of scouting for deer went out the window.  (I really don’t know what the hell to look for anyway.)

So I asked facebook for help.  Mike and Clif both suggested I start with the spinning rod.  I tied on a beetlespin and headed out this morning.  This is my total trip from the time I stepped out of my car to the time I stepped back in:

Tracked by the Android app My Tracks.  2.8 miles over 3 hours.  

Rather than just take the easy way down under the bridge at first, I decided to follow a trail and blunder through a bunch of vegetation (some of which was probably poison ivy, if my tingly legs are any indication.) to try to get to the creek. (Thats what the trail above the two tacks at the bottom is.)  After figuring out it was a 10 foot drop to the creek that way, I headed back to the bridge, set down my backpack and rod and slowly slid down into the water.

Right away I tossed the beetlespin along the bank on the deeper side of the creek and on my second cast, I had a bite!  A tiny bite but a bite nonetheless:

Pretty sure it’s a giant crappie minnow.  My dad would call them chubs.

I was stoked.  Second cast, in a pool that I had just slid into and walked across.  Probably the only fish left in the hole that I didn’t scare off.  I tossed about a dozen more casts into the pool without a bite and I moved on.

A majority of the creek was too shallow (3-4 inches or less) to hold fish but I would stop and toss a few casts  any time the water got deep enough to not see the bottom or along banks/stumps/overhanging trees.  Nothing looked too promising for awhile.  Eventually I came across what looked like a pretty decent pool:

The middle thumbtack on the map above.  

I threw a few casts along the bank in the shadows, as close as I could.  The Plueger reel/Sufix line combo that I got for a review from OBN casts amazingly.  Even with a lure that’s probably too small to be cast on that setup.  I’m more accurate with it than any other setup I have.

I had a knock on one cast but missed the hookset.  I cast back to the same spot and immediately got snagged on a root under the surface.  Cool thing about getting a snag when you’re wading is that you can walk over and unhook your lure.  Lame thing about getting a snag when you’re wading that you walk through the water you were just trying to fish to get your lure free.  Convinced that I had scared any other fish out of the area, I trudged on.

I slowly moved along, stopping and casting whenever the water looked deep enough.  Eventually I got to the top of the trail where the last thumbtack is.

Creek Chub Heaven.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

I stopped taking pictures after that because I felt like I was taking pictures of the same fish over and over but I caught 3 more.  Every couple of casts I had a tug on the line.  The combination of the deepish pool, overhanging branches and tangled roots were a perfect sport.

The clasp on my Beetlespin spinner came undone on the last fish and he managed to to shake the jighead off.  I sat down on a downed tree, drank my other water and ate my other granola bar and relaxed for a few minutes.  It had been about 2 1/2 hours by this point and I was pretty pooped so I started to hoof it back.

Saw only one guy, an older gentleman who was fossil hunting.  He showed me  a couple that he had picked up, pretty cool stuff.  I asked him if he knew if there were any smallmouth and he said he had only seen them in the early spring when the water was higher.  I feel like I could’ve caught a couple if they had been in there.

Oh!  I wore my KSOs and they did awesome for the most part.  The only thing I was disappointed in was that they let a good amount of sand in.  The only reason that’s disappointing is that KSO stands for “Keep Shit Out”.  Oh well, I was comfortable and never slipped while walking down the creek.

I’ll be on the lookout for more bigfoot print reports in IL, see if I fooled anyone:

“The prints are 16 inches long and were pushed down with 470+ lbs of force.  The beast must be monstrous!   Hide your kids!  Hide your wife!”
EDIT: My loving wife just pointed out that just because you wear size 16 shoes, it doesn’t make your feet 16″ long.  Then she laughed at me.

Walking along in the sand and mud, sinking up to 6 inches or so with each step gave me a pretty good burn in my calves.  A good workout.

Even though I didn’t catch the smallmouth I was looking for, I’d call the trip a success.  I managed to take what I had read online about creek fishing and turn it into fish.  Now just to find a creek with some bass in it.  Any suggestions?

Unhealthy Outdoorsman 7/29/11

Gained two pounds the past week.  Back to 475.

Super bummed about it.

It was totally my fault tho.  I miscalculated two big meals this week.  (My mother in law pointed it out after the fact.)

No excuses.  I just screwed up.  I need to do better.

Kim from Snug Harbor Bay sent me a motivational email today including before and after pictures of her son, who has lost alot of weight.  I think she’s planning on posting his story soon so keep an Eye out.

I took about an hour yesterday and practiced with my bow, trying out the sight I bought for it late last fall.  I worked up a pretty good sweat.  Soon I’m gonna go for a hike on public land that I might try to hunt this fall and scout out some signs of deer.  Don’t really know what I’m doing as far as that goes but you gotta start somewhere right?  Come to think of it, does anyone know of any resources that would be helpful to a first time deer hunter?

Hope you all are keeping out of the heat.

Unhealthy Outdoorsman 7/22/11

Drumroll please….

-2 more pounds!  Down to 473!

Keeping up the pace.  I still haven’t done much exercise yet, mostly because the change in diet is getting the job done at the moment.  I need to get on that.

I had a couple moments this past week where I had to violently fight the urge to binge.  Mostly on days off.  Seems like when I’m sitting around doing nothing is when the craving hits me.

When I do have a snack attack, I’ve still been replacing junk with fresh fruit.  Seems to be working.

I went into the doctor’s office today to weigh in and the receptionist now knows why I’m there, she just waves me into the back, I stroll back and weigh myself.  Pretty nifty.  Once I get below the 440 mark, I have a scale that’ll work at home.  I think that’s my first short term goal, being able to weigh myself at home.

I think I’ll look into setting up some kind of tracker on the blog to mark my loss in the next few days.

Well, not much else to report.  Thanks everybody for your support.

Fishing with Grandpa 7/14/11

I don’t know if I mentioned it previously but I recently switched to a schedule that lets me out at 3:30 but requires that I work Saturdays.  Kind of a bummer but I realized that the Thursdays that I have off are now Markdays.  I can do whatever the hell I want, with no get togethers, functions, or plans the wife told me about three weeks ago that I totally forget about until the day of.

THEN I realized I have someone an hour and a half away who is retired and down to fish any Thursday I could possibly want:

Sorry ladies, he’s taken.  By my Grandma.  So back off.

So, I threw my Shakespeare Catfish Ugly Stik in the back of the Explorer first thing in the morning and headed up for day of catching tasty catfish.

Well, all Grandpa had in mind was tasty catfish.  After my recent outing with my dad, I have a bit of the Carp Fever.  When I asked if they had a spare can of sweet corn, I got a “why waste your time” look.  Well about 5 minutes after we had anchored by the Dixon dam, my zinging drag and net-that-could-only-fit-half-the-fish gave the answer.

Grandpa caught a couple catfish, and then about 15 minutes later I had another carp bite.

Actually, that’s not accurate.  I looked up to see my pole starting to get lifted off the bottom of the boat, I set the hook and it was ON.  The fish took three runs of 30+ yards with my drag set as tight as the 20lb test mono would allow.  We had to pull up the other three poles from the back of the boat to avoid tangles as the fish tore back and forth in the water.  After a few minutes, I got it up to the surface but every time I’d start to net it, it was dash off another 10 yards or so.  A couple tries and Grandpa took over the and we finally got her in.

BTW, super bad choice to alter this shirt to sleeveless just because of  a hole in the armpit.  My arms are ultra burnt  and still blistery.

Not the 30lb monster I was expecting after the fight I experienced.  (I can’t imagine how some of the pigs from PondbassFly-CarpinCarp on the Fly, or US Carp Pro Magazine fight.)  Not shabby either though.  I promise to bring my scale along on future carp trips to start documenting sizes.

That fish, although not massive, bent my #6 baitholder into some bastardized version of a circle hook.  When I attempted to bend it back, it broke.  Like a dork, I only grabbed my already-rigged pole and none of my tackle before the drive up.  I tied on a #4 Aberdeen but it just wasn’t the same.  For some reason, the carp wouldn’t touch the new hook.  Too big maybe?

Anyway, the catfish weren’t biting in that particular spot so we pulled anchor and drifted about 50 yards to reanchor under one of the bridges with a good view of the town’s new waterfront.

Cuz, you know.  There’s nothing else you could spend money on but a gazebo,  fancy stairs, and walls that keep shore fisherman from being fishermen.  The public school has to run ridiculous fundraisers to keep athletic and fine art programs but at least the kids can lounge by the river with their newfound free time.  *Off soap box*

We eventually pulled up anchor a couple more times before we got into the catfish.  Lots of little ones.  After a total of 4 hours, (Grandpa with 5+ keepers, me with 2, but who’s counting?) we just drove back and anchored 50 yards from Grandpa’s dock (He lives on the river, lucky guy) and proceeded to catch our two biggest fist of the day.  (Mine was the biggest but who’s keeping track?)  After a little bit and a few more catfish, we headed in to clean the fish for Grandpa and Grandma to eat later on.

All in all, 2 carp, 13 keeper catfish and a mess of little ones.  A good outing with my grandpa.  Something we’ll have to do more often, especially while I still have Thursdays off.

Who needs a Buff…

… when you can just cut the sleeves off of a 5xl shirt?

Then again, I haven’t ever found a shirt in Largemouth.

Unhealthy Outdoorsman 7/13/11

Just a quick update on how the weight loss is going.  (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read and then come back. I’ll wait.)

The day after my last post, I went and weighed in at the doctor’s office.  (The only place with a scale that goes high enough.)  I was still at 477.  I was a little disheartened as my weight hadn’t changed in almost a week but I kept on keeping on.  Noone said it would happen rapidly or be easy.
I stopped in today to find out that since last wednesday I’ve lost another 2 lbs!  That brings the total weight loss to 5lbs and current body weight down to 475lbs.  
A few days ago Paul (click the link to see his post busting me out to all his readers as well.) sent me some nutrition guidelines.  (Thanks again Paul)  After that I switched out any snack foods I would usually have for raw almonds and fresh fruit and have been making better choices as far as what I make myself for dinner.  (Tuna sandwiches on whole wheat and even made myself some wild caught salmon last night)  I’m also making sure to eat something every 3 hours to keep my metabolism up.  I think it’s helping.  I’m still tracking my points via  Weight Watchers but since changing things up it’s hard to even come close to my allotted points so it might be a mute point now.
I feel less lethargic already.  I don’t know if it’s from my diet change or something else but it’s a marked change from a couple weeks ago.  Hopefully that keeps up.
2 pounds may not be alot but 2 pounds a week for a year…  That’s something to look forward to.  Hopefully I can keep up the pace.  Thanks everybody for your comments on the last post, they motivated me quite a bit this past week.
In completely unrelated news, I’m taking advantage of my new schedule giving me Thursdays off instead of Saturdays to drive up to Dixon, IL and go fishing with my Grandpa.  If all goes according to plan, we’ll be taking his pontoon out on the Rock River and fishing for bottom feeders.  If nothing goes according to plan, we’ll be sitting in his backyard and fishing for bottom feeders.  Either way, be on the lookout the next couple of days for a report and some fish pics soon.