Search This Blog

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Year In Review: 2017

Ah, life....what a wild ride. This years festivities didn't leave room for much fishing. Working and metal concerts predominantly shaped 2017, but we managed to squeak out some time on the water anyway!

I came into 2017 swinging with both fists clenched, we blazed new ground and tried to target Burbot in Canada. Unfortunately we didn't succeed but great times were had, however 2017 decided that this would be the trend woven into the year. Read it here: Zero Dark Burbot

I always love getting out on the local hard water despite lack of worthy targets, its part of the Pennsylvanian landscape I've learned to accept and embrace.

I got the frantic phone call from Mark, the shad were in town. You can read about it here, or you can enjoy this picture. Shad! Shad! Shad!

I'm absolutely dumbstruck and amazed by the sole lifer of 2017. If you were to ask me what fish I'd be okay with being the ONLY lifer of an entire year I'd say hands down the Sand Tiger Shark. What an honor to hold one and release it back into crushing waves. Damn.

I didn't plan on going quietly into the good night, however that is what I ended up doing. I tried to nail down another lifer nemesis in the elusive Mud Sunfish. However the glory was all Kori's on this trip as she flaunted her victory over my head. I've taken 3 people to catch them, and three people have caught them, I still wait for my glorious day however. Instead enjoy a photo of a Bluespotted Sunfish:

But lets not forget bigger picture folks. What did the Russo babies catch in 2017? I'm glad you asked, I can happily say I did bring their fishing careers to the forefront of my efforts, they did not let down.  Maddy's caught a fair amount of lifers at this point so she went fishing a lot but managed to secure 1 Cutlips Minnow. Skylar on the other hand has some catching up with her sister to do and caught 4 lifers, and 1 PB! Her lifer Cutlips Minnow, American Eel, Golden Shiner, and Rainbow Trout all made their way to shore. She also caught a PB Yellow Perch.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Russo Baby Lifers

For the most part 2017 has not been the year of Deftik Angling, minimal fishing has taken place replaced by family outings and a ridiculous amount of metal concerts. While this isn't a bad thing it makes for little to write about on a fishing blog and doesn't exactly excite the fishy blog followers. The fishing that has taken place thus far has been baby oriented, establishing those who will be instrumental to the future of Deftik Angling. The Russo babies have been making some serious strides.

Here is Skylar's lifer Rainbow Trout and Golden Shiner, both of which she lost her mind upon catching.

The rest of the family has been along for the ride, I like to highlight the catching of lifers and PBs (Personal Bests) but just getting out with the family is sometimes just as fun. Below is what Baby Tony, Kori, and Madelyn have been up to.

Just because the first half of 2017 has been at an all time slow, doesn't mean the latter half isn't currently being assembled to rattle down the tracks at breakneck speeds. I guess you'll just have stay tuned...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Shad Run 2017

Its amazing to think its been 10 years. I caught my first shad messing around on Senior week in Ocean City Maryland in 2007. Blankly staring at the ocean in the pitch blackness tossing whatever stock jig the pier sold me. I dragged an unlikely group of not anglers to the pier and they actually followed me, during senior week. I landed a few hickory shad and didn't really pay any mind to them as a fish past this.

I was a member on an old now defunct forum called PAC - Philadelphia Anglers Club and through people on there like Mike, Don, Tom, Louis, WG, Matt, Doug, and a whole slew of other people I got taught the basics by a couple of die hards. Like any young kid with some gas money and a dream in 2009 I drove down to Maryland and made my suicide run, listed here : Suicide Shad Run. I then tried again and caught a few in 2010. Failed miserably in 2011 and since I caught both Hickory and American shad as lifers kind of just forgot about it, casually mentioning it fondly from time to time but never really aspiring to participate. I live 40 minutes from the Delaware River, so in essence its pretty shameful, but that is the way of the "lifelister", new species prioritize over "Personal bests" and fun. As I get older I've prioritized fun back into fishing.

Flash forward to 2017, in the here and now. I got a call from Mark saying he tried a couple of times and finally hit the shad run semi locally having his best day ever. The stars of work aligned and we fished together the next day and I had my best day of shad fishing ever in kind.

Day 1

Day 1.5

Day 2.5
I told my wife of the shad run and that the crowds were getting thick. Kori works 7pm to 7am, so naturally she was in the car at 730am jettisoning up to the spot. She worked her ass off as seasoned pros brought in shad left and right. Literally, they were being landed to her left and right. Meanwhile I just stood behind her with spare rigged pole in hand. All this while my 3 year old skylar casted her Disney Moana like a seasoned pro relentlessly behind her. Skylar stated proudly "I'll catch a fish eventually". Tired and downtrodden after 4 hours of casting we went and got lunch and immediately went back. Kori skillfully brought in the el super beasto on 4LB test. Her hard work was rewarded, sure its a single shad but its a similar result to my first ever time, these fish like things a certain way and if you don't get that you'll be left scratching your head.

Day 3.5
The third day of my shad run I talked my father into going. He was also using super light line and after losing 2 he finally landed an American Shad. His first "since I was a teenager". I on the other hand caught Smallmouth Bass and Fallfish. Not a successful day for me but I accomplished what I set out to do, put my family on some shad. The Park ranger was working over time I was stopped all 3 times, on the 3rd effort he said "oh I know you, no need for your license". At least I get recognition somewhere, riverside is the best place I suppose.

Hopefully I'll update this as I fish the run more....

Monday, January 23, 2017

Zero Dark Burbot

Zero Dark Burbot
 Day 1: 1/21/17

If you don't have fishy facebook friends what are you doing with your life? They are the best kinds of friends to have. A friend of mine posted some ice-fished burbot on Facebook and he told me the bite was on...a plan was hatched and within a week put into motion!

This trip in general made me question what I'd do without the worlds coolest wife who didn't question the fact I was going to Canada at an unknown day and period of time. Also probably the best friend you could have ready to jettison across the border at a moments notice, and with this it became so.

I worked the midnight shift and drove from there straight to pick up mark a few things were put in order and we left. We crossed the border with ease and got to our destination early.

Michael met us on the ice just as we were about to set camp in the wrong place and then the serious effort began. You need to give credit where credits due Michael is definitely one of thee nicest people I've ever fished with bar none saying he was hospitable would be a disservice, can't thank him enough.

This was a lot of firsts for us.

  • deepest we've ever ice fished
  • heaviest fish targeted through ice
  • first time icefishing outside of NEPA
  • first time icefishing a different country
  • first time icefishing at night 

It was a lot of firsts and that showed as I spent the vast majority of my jigging time taking in the scenery whether it was the vastness during the day or the stillness cloaked in darkness as coyotes howled in the distance. The fog definitely added a sense of eerie calm. Which occasionally segued by the riotous good time Mark and Michael were having quoting Trailer Park Boys and elevating the fun of the whole trip



We fished for 12 hours and for most of that I jigged. And jigged. And jigged. And jigged....then I jigged some more while semi-conscious. My boots eventually succumbed to the melted ice water and mark came to rescue with a new dry pair of boots reinvigorated I continued to jig. 

Cloaked in a suffocating darkness and flanked by Michael and Mark bouncing spots by what can only be described as having the most fun humanly possible.

I, like I always do stayed transfixed on burbot. It's the first time they've been mentioned here and coincidentally the only time one showed up. As my iPhone clicked over the "A Perfect Circle - Blue" I leaned back transfixed on the rhythm of the spinning vex intermingled with the music and the stillness of the night. Until a red blob interrupted the stillness of my vexilar, and made a b-line to the location of my bait. 8 hours of jigging later, could it be!? I lessened the jigging, I felt a heavy weight, I felt my tip of my pole twitch in my hand. It's time! I gave the burbot his due and set the hook only to be met with a weird/loose type of resistance. It became clear I no longer had a jig, or a bait, or a burbot for that matter. Upon further inspection by Michael who graciously allowed me to use his properly rigged set up he said a kink in the line was the culprit. It's a shame but my setup would of yielded similar results. A sense of defeat came upon me because I knew that was the shot at glory. I have a knack for 11th hour fishing and the clocks hand passed and so did my opportunity. I fell asleep in the fishing hut shortly after. Mark and Michael continued having a blast and we packed up as 2am came. We cannot thank Michael enough who I would fish with again 100 times over. Hopefully next time I'll be more talkative once I ice a bur-bot (Northeast US), a bur-bit(Canada/MN), or maybe even a bur-boat(French Canada). Either way a new challenge has arisen not quite invoking the rivalry of the snakehead just yet but on its way and boy do I love the challenge.....

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Water #2: Frostbiten

        New Water #2 Frostbiten   

                                              A new 2016 imitative to fish new home waters                                           that we once ignored.

                                    This is part 2 of the new series continued into 2017.

59th PA location fished

Some bullet holes courtesy of the locals.

Cabin fever pretty much caught up with all of us at this point. Desperate to get out everyone planned to fish for Monday and 3 out of 4 of us actually made it as planned...

Stillwater Dam, located in Uniondale, Pa. Not exactly known for its trophy class fishing, but a local ice spot we could try out with the added benefit of being completely new. Being twenty minutes from my house obviously nothing of note stood out about Stillwater, this being the reason I didn't fish it in 27 years. However this time we put the plan in motion to see what this dam is made of as we set up to target the ever abundant Chain Pickerel.

Kyle started coughing and wheezing, shortly thereafter he stated he may have the flu and that he should of stayed home. Kyle managed to land one Chain Pickerel before falling asleep in the heated ice tent. Its a good thing he coozied up to the tent too, because today's weather was FRIGID. I'm fairly confident I have mild frost bite on my face as a result of today's venture.

No way was this accurate -_-

Kyle's 1st fish of 2017

Next up was mark who also managed a decent one.

I caught the biggest of the trip, still modestly sized. Stillwater Dam is mostly known for bad fishing and pickerel, so it lived up to its name. Not a likely place to return to unless we are bored locally or in case we want to watch a Bald Eagle hover our location by 20 feet.

My 1st fish of 2017, not a bad way to start the year.

Here is a dead one we found on the ice, locally chain pickerel are despised. 

All in all it wasn't a total bust a new place explored and now, Stillwater Dam will fade back into obscurity.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Year In Review: 2007

2007 was a weird year for me. 
Graduated highschool with an uncertain future ahead. For someone who never considered college suddenly the prospect of attending was ever looming. However that didn't stop me from fishing, heres how I made out.

I caught this slammer Largemouth Bass that manged to pull a jon boat holding me, khalid, and mark (450-500lbs) before eventually being brought boat side. No official weight was taken on this fish -_-

I also caught a Tiger Trout from a local pond, these fish are no longer stocked locally which means I'll have to stare at this Personal Best photo for a very long time

A lot of bass and pickerel fishing occurred in 2007

Being that I graduated and everything I went to Ocean City Maryland on my Senior Week 2007 and was rewarded with at the time lifer Black Sea Bass, Hickory Shad, and Striped Bass. Some of these fish are still PBs today. However any fishing glory was outweighed with having to be rescued by lifeguards...

I put a lot of time into fishing for stocked trout being that its one of the only games in town. This had to be one of the best seasons of stocked trout fishing in my life. I probably landed 50, but here is a slammer rainbow trout and some stocked brook trout.

I went on vacation in Virginia with a ex girlfriend and managed to catch a whole slew of Atlantic Croaker, these fish were a relaxing change of pace to catch and coincidentally 10 years later I still haven't caught another of the species.

At my highschool graduation party I pretty much spoke to no one and instead focused my efforts on fishing the pond of the place we rented. A lifer Golden Rainbow trout was my reward. Interestingly enough if you google these fish there is a fascinating Frankenstein story about genetic mutations and mankind pretty much creating this fish...

 As usual Deftik Angling had its usual suspects along for the ride.