Aug 28, 2010

Quickly Silenced and Immediately Forgotten


Usually a blue bird sky means you should have been fishing yesterday; a front always precedes Mr. Blue Bird.  It has not once deterred me from fishing but an ominous sign it is.  Today was an oddity.  We have enjoyed a big blue sky and mild temperatures for at least five days.  Without the preceding front I guessed the fish would be well adjusted.

At 5:00am the alarm clock produced an unwelcome racket and was silenced quickly.  Once I finally dragged it on out of bed, I loaded the kayak and a spinning rod and headed out a little later than planned.  Didn't make it to the lake until around 8:30 and found a full parking lot. I fished until a prior engagement pulled me off the lake at 11:00.  Overall, it was an amazingly mediocre day and I would not normally bore you with such dribble.  However, I'll be in other countries (yes that is plural and no I'm not happy about it) for two weeks out the next three. This might be all I can muster for some time.


The video experiment continues and I have yet to grasp what it takes to create some top notch footage.  Until I find a camera man willing to follow me around I guess I'll continue kicking this horse until something clicks (or snaps.)  Maybe I'll have a look at a camera with high def and some serious battery life.

Perhaps a travel rod might help add an exotic flair to my videos.  Mexico is known for their pig/fish hybrids, and I can't think of Japan without thinking of Kurita-san.  Now that I think of it that way, a travel rod is a pretty damn good idea. Anyone know of a good one I could fit in a carry-on?

Aug 27, 2010

Once Read, Twice Heard and Left Unheeded

I started with brute force then reconciled and asked politely. 



A season of sloth takes it's toll and my four piece is now a three.  The top ferrule fused - any ideas out there?  So far I've pulled, twisted, and grunted.

PS - you've heard it before and you are about to hear it again.  Break down and clean your rod from time to time.

Aug 19, 2010

Rank and File, Something's Fishy

Brace yourself, I am about to step outside my comfort zone and give you a peak into the Lunker Hunt back office.  This post is not for my fellow anglers, it's for my fellow bloggers and it gets into the nitty-gritty of blogging.


One way to pretend you are attracting new readers is to list your blog on a listing service.  It is pretty easy and requires no upkeep.  Just create an account using your fake e-mail address and forget about it.  LH is listed on a few services and each operates uniquely.  Each service provides a rating to be compared against other blogs.  A good rating puts you high in the directory and, in theory, generates more traffic.  Not surprisingly, I'm most happy with the service that gives me the best rating. So I'll start there...

blogcatalog



blogcatalog was the first listing service I signed up for and, as of 16 Aug 2010, LH is not only listed on the first page of blogcatalog's fishing blogs, it is also ranked above blogs I consider vastly superior. The site format is pretty simple and easily navigable, so finding what you're after takes no effort.

What gets you on the first page and 20th from the top?  I'm not really sure about the recipe for success here, but I know the ranking slides when I go a few weeks without updating.  After a drought the rating immediately rebounds with a single post.  So the volume and regularity of your content seems to play a roll, but I'm currently ranked over a few other blogs with gobs and gobs more content.  Something else is at play here and I think I'll keep it up....whatever "it" is.

Technorati


The ranking system on Technorati most resembles a black box.  They already knew about LH and all I had to do was "claim it," which I did about a year ago.  My blog is currently ranked #11536 (good luck finding that in the master list...I can't) and has an "authority" of 419.  I can not find an angling specific category, so that may be the fundamental flaw in their system.  #11536 out of all blogs may not be bad, but you are better off somewhere else if you want blogs relevant to your interests.

 
Sorry about the caturday pic. I couldn't resist, now back to it....I'm not really sure how to improve the Technorati ranking, but I've discovered cross links controls authority.  Not all cross links are created equally; blog roll links don't seem to effect authority.  How authority plays into rank is unclear, but one thing is clear: Technorati generates about zero traffic for this site.

Blogged


I recently signed up for Blogged after reading a post at Troutrageous.  Without much experience, I'm forced to draw conclusions with minimal knowledge.  Here is what I know so far: they have a nice graphic to show your rating.  The LH rating, as of press time, is "based on editor's review" and is good enough to score a spot on page seven (of nine) in their fishing directory.  The only baseline I have is the Troutrageous post, where a lofty 7.5 (very good) was revealed.

The "editor's review" was brief, as evidenced by a single hit on my stat service.  The editor viewed my front page for an undisclosed amount of time and never viewed the archive or any other link.  Time will tell how the Blogged rating will change or if it even will.  Time will also tell if any traffic clicks through, but I remain hopeful they provide a better service than Technorati.

The Numbers

I'm about 90% sure the total traffic generated from all these services to all of their listed blogs is negligible. I'm 99% sure it is negligible for fishing blogs and 100% sure it is negligible for this blog.  As you can see in the first screen shot, LH has scored a total of 133 hits from blogcatalog.  I believe this is over a two year period, which averages out to 0.0009 hits per day even though LH is the "20th best" fishing blog they have listed.

I am curious to hear your experience, is it similar?  Is it worth our time to worry about this, or should we generate traffic the old fashioned way?  Maybe I'll purchase some radio time, maybe even some billboard space.

Aug 16, 2010

Farewell Two Tone


After 42 years of legendary life, Two Tone is dead and will be properly honored.
"The fish will be buried next to Conningbrook Lake at Mid Kent Fisheries in Chilham, near Canterbury, next weekend and a plaque will mark his grave."

"Anglers will hold a wake and raise a glass of champagne for him afterwards."
This is perhaps the most talked about passing of a fish since Dotty was found stiff and a shadow of her former self

Aug 14, 2010

The Black Cat and a Record Not Meant to Be

Today's black cat was a Mackinaw River smallie that took a mad tom fly in green and red.


I've grown to despise first cast fish.  Usually a first cast fish spells doom for my outing, but tonight the Mack had something "different" planned.  I would not quite call it good luck, but a couple interesting things happened.

First, I caught a fish on a dry fly - a #14 Adams to be precise.  I've tried many times before and never managed a dry fly fish - but tonight that changed.  The longear sunfish seen below rose to the occasion.


Secondly, that fish would be an Illinois record....if I kept it.  Last summer, there was a story at PSO about a new record pumkinseed.  The article carved out a spot in the back of my mind because it mentioned an odd fact:  most of the Illinois sunfish species have no entry in the record book.  It isn't because the DNR does not accept applications; actually no one has ever bothered applying. 


Longear sunfish is one of the unlisted species...I held a record fish and put it back in the water.  To be honest, I would have kept it if I were better educated in fish identification.  Getting a record would be fun, even a small one no one seems to want.

Next time I'll stick it in my pocket and head for the nearest scale.

Aug 11, 2010

Cart in a Crate

Dave e-mailed this to me on June 1st, but he refuses to acknowledge I don't check that particular address very often so I just found it today. He sent it after our trip to Snakeden Hollow, during which we discussed possible designs for a light weight and compact kayak cart. 





Ingenuity at it's best.  I bet it could be used with kayaks, canoes, light Jon boats and out of shape co anglers.  Couple that thing with the shoulder harness we envisioned and I'll mobile as hell.

Aug 5, 2010

Add it up

The family was healthy, the beer cold, the boat fast, the tube bouncy and the fishing was legen...wait for it....dary.  Twas the best four consecutive days of fishing ever experienced.  However, you may find it odd I brought back but one picture.