Blake Rasch's Strikes, Bites, and Fights

This is my fishing blog. I'm Blake Rasch and I'm an outdoorsman!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Range Reviews: Tactical: Getting a Contracting Job

The Range Reviews: Tactical: Getting a Contracting Job:

"Recently I recieved a very polite email from a young man desiring to become a contractor out here in Afghanistan. He had found several of my posts on Afghanistan and US Government contracting and got in touch with me with some very good questions. I thought it would be interesting to discuss it and perhaps help a few of you out with some pointers."

The Range Reviews: Tactical: Getting a Contracting Job:


Friday, December 17, 2010

In Afghanistan: It's Been a Long Road

My Dad, Albert A Rasch tells his story about the first weeks he was in Afghanistan, at Bagram Airfield. Bagram is also know as BAF, and it's a NATO/ISAF base.

In Afghanistan: It's Been a Long Road

"Sometimes, I walk with a little trepidation. I wonder if some poor, hungry bastard has me in his sights, and is wondering if he should risk the massive retaliation that the Predators and Apache gunships will visit upon him for his ill conceived idea."

You can read the rest at:
Albert A Rasch In Afghanistan


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors: The Texas Native Fish Aquarium Project

This is a great blog with great posts!

'Texas Cichlid is the only Cichlid native to Texas and the only Cichlid native to the United States. It is a popular aquarium fish all over the world and under appreciated here at home in my opinion. It is also a popular game fish in Texas and northern mexico and is often referred to as the Rio Grande Perch. The Texas Cichlid is a subtropical fish that lives in the creeks, streams, rivers and lakes of Central to South Texas. Its native habitat is the lower Rio Grande drainage in Texas, and north-eastern parts of Mexico. "

Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors: The Texas Native Fish Aquarium Project


The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Spoons: They're Not Just for Cereal!

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Spoons: They're Not Just for Cereal!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"But do tell: A spoon in a bird's chest?

That is too damn weird - whatup with that?"

Couldn't resist it, honest!

After Holly's comment on the spoon in the pelican's chest, I promised to have a short discussion on the lures used for fishing that are called spoons.

My near-shore spoon selection:

Dressed nickel spoon, dressed nickel Krocodile, brass Krocodile, dressed nickle KastMaster, smaller dressed nickle KastMaster, hammer finished Hopkins spoon, brass Clark spoon w/swivel, and nickel Clark spoon.

To those folks that don't fish, it might seem a little strange when fishermen talk in their peculiar jargon. Plugs, streamers, midges, spinners, jigs, flies and spoons are all artificial lures used in the attempt to fool a fish into striking and getting itself impaled on a hook.

Who invented the spoon,
or the history of fishing spoons according to Albert.

My guess is that this all started sometime in the past when a Viking lopped the arm off of some other guy who was having breakfast on the deck off of his lodge. The spoon flew out of the now detached hand and fell into the water, whereupon the two were amazed when a fish sped by, and struck at the twisting, flashing spoon as it dropped into the depths.

That's why I think fishing spoons are probably among the oldest manufactured lure. When they saw that, they probably figured out that a shiny piece of metal might just get a hungry fish to strike. So they headed over to the smithy, fight and arm forgotten, and told the smith to hammer out a thin, oval shaped, concave dish of metal and attach a forged hook to it. Eureka, the spoon was born!

Spoons are generally either silver or brass in color, and normally come in either a polished, or hammered finish. Spoons wobble or dart depending on the retrieve, and the flashing and sparkling play of light off the body attract fish. There are painted and partially decorated spoons too, but I don't use them much, the nickel and brass ones pretty much working out well enough for me, thank you very much.

How do you rig a spoon?

Spoons do tend to twist and turn, usually in one direction. It's one of the things that makes spoons so attractive to fish. If you don't take the spinning or twisting action into account, you will end up with a spool of badly twisted line that will not retrieve properly, jump off the spool, and become weaker very quickly. Some spoons have a swivel built in to allow them to rotate without affecting the line. If your spoon is without a swivel, you will have to put one on the spoon, or better yet, rig one on the running line.

As I said, there are two ways to accomplish the task. The easiest way is to add a swivel right to the nose of the spoon. If the spoon does not have a split ring attached, you will have to add one. Go with a size larger than you think you need, it won't affect the action; quite the contrary, the larger size allows the spoon to flutter and drop much more convincingly without the drag of the line right at its nose. Next add the swivel to the split ring and call it done.

The way I prefer to do it is the following. I add a split ring to the nose of the spoon just as we did above. But this time add anywhere from twelve to twenty-four inches of leader to the split ring, and then tie the swivel to the leader. If you use Spiderwire, any of the braided lines, or one of those wacky colored lines, this is the only way to go. Fish can see those lines, especially in clear water and will veer off your lure when they catch sight of the line leading away from it! By the way, I only use the Uniknot for all my knots. That will be another post in the near future.

If you are using a light spoon, like the Clark spoons, you have to add a little weight to the rig in order to cast it, or get some depth to in the retrieve. Just add a torpedo sinker, or even an egg sinker above the swivel. Just a reminder, you do this with the second rigging method. I always add a small bead between the swivel and the sinker to protect the knot from any unnecessary abuse from the sinker.

If you are running into some Bluefish, Spanish Mackerels, or gator Seatrout, you may need to use a wire leader. The same rules apply.  With spoons costing anywhere from $2.99 to $6.99 for the small to medium sizes, it doesn't take many cut offs to make you use a wire leader! Length can be as short as 2" to as long as 12". Try to use the finest wire you can find, and hope for the best! If the bite is hot, it probably won't matter what length the leader is. If the fish are running shy, you may only be able to use a short leader.

Maintaining your fishing spoons.

Like everything else, your fishing gear needs a little maintenance in order to last a good long time. The first thing I do at the end of the fishing day is rinse everything off with fresh water. Rods, reels, and lures get a good washdown and dry before being put up.

Spoons though, get pretty beat up with time. They get dragged across the bottom, banged against rocks, swung into pilings; after a while, they lose their shine. The first thing to try is a good old Brillo pad. That will usually get your nickel colored spoons shiny again, or at least less dull than they were.  Brass lures get the same treatment, but then I finish them with Brasso for that extra shine. Wash them well with dish detergent when you're done, you don't want to leave any soap or polish residue on the lure.

If your lures are pretty bad off, or maybe you found one that is beat up bad, you can refurbish it with some elbow grease. Some fine wet/dry sandpaper and a buffing wheel on your grinder will bring a junker back to like new condition. And as I mentioned before, with the prices as high as they are getting, it doesn't take too many yard sale finds to make it worth your while.

I have a couple of old spoons that I need to refurbish and when I do, we will cover it here.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member:Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Avoid Gettin' Snake Bit! A Chronicles' Classic

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Avoid Gettin' Snake Bit! A Chronicles' Classic

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Avoid Gettin' Snake Bit! A Chronicles' Classic

How to avoid getting bit by snakes
What to do if you get bit by a snake
What anti-venom should you use
What antivenom should you use
What to do if you get bit by a snake.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Birdwatching on Bicycles

Today my parents and I went on a bike ride. We went to one of the lakes on the side of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

On the marsh end of the lake we saw a sand hill crane on her nest. She had built up her nest with the grass from the marsh. The nest was about four foot wide and about a foot and a half tall. Sand hill cranes build their nest in the middle of marshes to protect their eggs and young from predators.

We looked around carefully, and saw all kinds of birds. Mockingbirds chasing cardinals, mallard ducks feeding in the marsh, red wing blackbirds hanging on the reeds, anhingas chasing fish, pelicans floating calmly, and several common moorhen poking around in the weeds. The mockingbird was hunting by putting his wings up high so he would look bigger, that way the bugs would jump into the air so he could grab them.

In the shallows of the lake, we saw a whole bunch of tilapia in there nests. They were some of the biggest tilapia I have seen. There were many schools of minnows around the tilapia.

On the way home, we saw another sand hill crane probing the turf with his long beak looking for bugs. Mom insisted we stop, so she could give him some bread. He got so close that we could have touched him if we wanted to.

Near our home there is another lake that has a whole bunch of baby alligators in it. They seem very friendly, a little too friendly for alligators. I think some one has been feeding them. Feeding alligators is a very bad idea. If they the lose their fear of man they will be trapped and killed.

I am looking forward to going fishing later this week, maybe with my friend John or if I'm lucky we can all go to the beach.

Thanks again for stopping by and saying hello!
I appreciate everybody coming here and sharing in my adventures!

Thank You,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bass Fishing Fever

Hello everyone!

This is just a quick note on today's exciting adventures! What a fantastic day!

My friend Darrell with his first bass! 13 inches 2 lbs

Darrell with his second. A new PB! 15 inches 3 1/2 lbs

Another shot.

This is my first bass of the New Year! 16 inches 4 lbs

This is my new PB! A full 17 inches and a whopping 5 lbs!

These are the lures we used.
The top one is a Yo-Zuri,
and the bottom is a bream pattern Rattle Trap.

I hope that all of you have a great year, and catch lots of fish.

Tight Lines,
Blake Rasch
Strikes, Bites, and Fights