Tag Archives: Fishing

First Fish of 2015

The Popeye IV is not in the water yet, but I was lucky enough to be invited onto another Captain’s boat for his first run of the year.   Due to a stroke of luck I just happened to be standing next to the first rod to get hit.  The First Fish cranked in was this healthy 12 pound King (Chinook) Salmon!

The rest of the trip was followed by a mixed bag of Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, and Lake Trout.  The weather was fantastic!  flat seas and reasonable temps for this time of year.

Looks like this season is off to a great start!

Capt. Bill with the first fish of the year. A 12 pound King Chinook Salmon.
Capt. Bill with the first fish of the year. A 12 pound King Chinook Salmon.


Woodwork Progresses

I had planned on stripping and sanding most of the woodwork this month, but I was not expecting to be able to do any staining or poly.  The warmer than average temps made it possible to make progress.  I was able to heat the inside of the boat up to the mid 60’s with a small electric heater.

Here is the port site panel.  This terribly neglected interior has been the subject of years of sun damage and leaking windows sills.  I am still unable to determine if these water stains Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Port Side Panel before sanding.are from a leaky roof, or just from the occasional water spray that gets up and over the drain gutters.    I have 3 goals for this refurbishing project; it must make the boat presentable, it must be cost effective, and it must be done by the most efficient means possible. I removed the locker doors and the solid wood trim pieces to work on in the heated shop.  This gave me the opportunity for me to test a few methods and several products before continuing with the work.  I think the end result will be a dramatic improvement without sacrificing too much time and dollars.

This panel was taken down with a random orbit sander and 120 grit paper. It took of the outer layer of grime and original stain color and left a nice clean and smooth finish.
Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Salon area woodwork sanded and cleaned.You will see some shavings on the floor because  I tried hitting the wood with a block plane.  It was working pretty good and true to hand planes, left an extremely smooth and clean surface.  But unfortunately, the wood is not straight enough and flattening it in place would remove way to much material.  I would try removing it and and taking it back to the shop, but that would take way more time than I can afford.   I have good random orbit sander with the dust collection port and if I hook it up to the shop vac, it leaves behind very little dust.  The darn thing blew a belt and the dust was making a terrible mess.

Woodwork Progresses…

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Salon area woodwork before sanding.You can really see the damage the sun has caused over the years.  There was a card table stored in this spot and most of the original mahogany color remains.  I don’t think this weed has ever been touched since it was new in 1978.

Here is the panel that was just done and ready to move onto the next.  I went with a darker stain that I would have liked; Minwax Red Mahogany. It’s very close to the original stain and it blends well with areas that are not sun bleached.

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Saloon area woodwork sanded and cleaned.The original colors in the non sun-bleached areas are a little deeper and would require a more aggressive cut. This would take more time as I would have to go over it at least twice with different grits and these side panels are veneered and I would rather leave behind as much material as possible.  It’s a nice looking color however and I am happy with it so far.  I would have liked to get a layer of poly on this, but I thought it would be best to make sure it completely dried. I might get one more chance before the next cold snap.

Popeye IV Trojan F-32 Port Side Panel woodwork with mahogany stain.

A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work…

Sunrise over Lake Michigan
Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Whoever said “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” was dead on right!

It’s nearing the end of the 2013 season and fishing continues to be slower than average.  The weather was predicted to be horrendous this weekend so we did not book any trips.  But Mother Nature and the weather Gods gave us a break for a few hours and the Popeye III launched out of Waukegan Harbor, IL. for a quick morning trip.

The bite was not on, but we managed to put one nice Brown Trout into the cooler.  We had a monster on the hook; probably a mature Chinook, but it went sideways when we were just about to net it and it tangled with the rest of the gear and got cut off.  We took a few more hits on other gear but we could not managed to get them hooked up.

It was still fun to get together with some friends and fellow captains and mates for a little “Fun Fishing” trip and nothing beats a nice boat ride. There are only a few more possibilities for fishing trips before it is all over…

No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow…

15 LB Rainbow Trout
15 LB Rainbow Trout

We found this chunky female Rainbow Trout down 65 feet deep in cold water.  We were fishing an area that was 175 feet deep and was holding cold water half way down.  We were on the look out for large bruiser Chinook when this mama hit the line.  It was a bit of a surprise find because the Rainbows typically prefer warmer water than we were fishing and do not mind being towards the top of the water column in the mid day.   Nonetheless she put up a fair fight stripping or yards and yards of line from the reel, but we got her home anyway.

They say that if you follow a rainbow to the end you will find a pot of gold…  Well there was no gold here and it look like I still have to keep my day job.