Monday, May 9, 2011

Latest addition to equipment

I just had to buy myself another boat. My previous boat was way too slow and clumsy for any longer trips, so I spotted this one for sale. Fortunately this boat was so close to me, it only took me a few minutes to go check it out. The boat seemed to be in a very nice condition, it had 4-stroke engine and it was rather fairly priced. I offered to buy the boat if it works ok on the testdrive and it did. And there it is now.

The boat is Yamarin 490 Big Ride, a finnish built fiberglass boat. It has a side console, which is a compromise, as I'd prefer a narrow center console. If it ever becomes a problem, I can always change the console, as it is just fixed in place by some screws.

The boat is 4.90m long and 2.10m wide, which is why I like this boat. It is ~30cm wider than most comparable boats, meaning that it is much more stable and has much more room inside. It has a deep V-hull for rougher seas and it has a 50hp yamaha 4-stroke engine.

Mud from my dirty boots.

As always, she needs some equipping, tuning and fixing before she is ready for battle. Engine needs new oils, new spark plugs, possibly new camshaft belt and water pump impeller. The battery needs to be replaced and some of the old wirings need to be removed. Then she should be good to go.

Season opener

Finally, the first trip of the year targeting pike!

We pushed the boat to water, started the engine and took heading to big mama's feeding grounds. Weather was very warm and sunny, yet some moderate winds were blowing from the open seas. Water was very low and many shallow banks were totally dry now. Water was murky in many places and a lot of dead water plants and other stuff was floating on the surface.

Well I didn't have much expectations for the season opener and the beginning was very relaxed, not a single fish was seen in the first few places. Suddenly, we saw a lonely pike swimming slowly by the shallow reef. It didn't take long before I got a good strike. A fat mama nailed my fly and fought like a maniac, until Sami took a grap of it and removed the fly from its mouth. This lady decided to kick herself back to freedom before I got a change to take a photo. She was no giant but she was fat as hell, weighing in about 5 kg range. A great start!

The standard size

Then we started to see pikes, a lot of them. They had a great interest on flies but they only followed the fly until the side of the boat. We saw easily 20-30 pikes and bagged 5-6 of them in total, I only bagged two. Most of the pikes were distinctively small compared to the usual size here, we just saw a few big bangers. I think it means that the big mamas are still spawning (my first fish hadn't spawn yet).

The weather was awesome. Powerful sunshine, warm enough weather and a nice fresh breeze from the sea. Despite this warm weather, we still got some ice floating around and the outer islands have huge piles of ice on their outer edges. It will take weeks to melt away.

Poorly visible ice
And yes, I managed to burn my face in the sun....