Do you love big bluegill?
I am totally kidding about throwing anything at the heron - they are massive - that must have been frightening to be attacked!
I think they are beautiful but just not killing all my fish for sport (the bird was so stuffed that it had spiked and killed 4 of my nicer fish and could not physically eat them). It even puked up another from some other pond - what a pig.
As for the porcupine quill floats [ I want to get us back on topic for sure - and sorry for bringing this so far off topic ]...
I think they are very good. I would rate them a C+ and place them far above many other floats on the market and over nearly every manufactured float.
Here are some great things about the African Porcupine Quill:
1. Durable - they are very strong and this is a good value for the purchase price
2. Long, tall & Thin - these cast pretty well (although most Porcupine Quills are slightly off center or have a bend) they cast above average and better than the majority of bobbers.
3. Thin tip creates a good bite indicator. Although not as buoyant as some, these are good for bite indications - not great. Their weakness is in the lift bite as they are dense and not as buoyant as some.
4. Long Tall and thin which makes their resistance in the water less than many floats off the shelf
This is a good choice and I would grade it at a C+ or slightly better. Extra points for being heritage fishing equipment and a great conversation piece push this to a B-. Off center things just aren't the best for casting and they buoyancy trait of these floats are reasons why this would not be my go-to. That said, I would pick this many times over vs. the rest of the field and would fish competitions with this float without losing too much sleep - it's good and more people should fish it!!
Let me review your great things about the African Porcupine Quill
1. Your right, they are durable and don't break like balsa or Plastic
2. By being long and thin and pointed they offer no felt resistance by the fish and premium quills are straight as an arrow,and their buyancy is determined by the shot on your leader.
3. As for lift bites, the quill falls over during the lift,the worst that could happen is you lose your bait, so a simply adjust your quill ( fraction of a second) so that your bait is 6 inches higher in the water column, the fish is rising anyway so BAM, you caught the next one.
4. The only drawback I have had with a quill is when I am fishing with a live minnow, the quill is so sensitive that it indictes every twitch of the minnow.
As for heritage , I could care less, either it works best or I will find something that will. I haven't found any manmade bobber that works better than mother nature's porcupine quill,and if I do I'll be fishing with it. I'm not trying to sell quills or any other bobber I just want to fish with the best equipment I can get, so if you have something better lets see your go-to float. LOFR
[ LOF ]
Porcupine quills don't melt or bend out of shape or crack like plastic either - have to add that.
The Buoyancy of this float is (less) than that of some other floats and it doesn't require as many shot to sink it as other floats of different materials. Quills are kind of heavy and sink a lot easier than others.
This decreased float (in the old float) decreases your lift bite as on other floats when the fish picks up your shot - the other floats will shoot up much faster - giving you a pronounced tip-off to the take (should = quicker hook sets).
Ya with minnows you might want a slightly different setup- these are too thin for the minnows at times for certain. I definitely like to go with the smallest possible minnows but even the shops sometimes don't get the really tiny crappie minnows, then your float is swimming all over the place...
Maybe get you a big, mangy cat?
Naw, cats are cowards at heart - even a small heron is a fearsome thing to a cat.
Hmm how to keep herons out of a yard pond...
1. Hide The Fish
Create hiding places for fish, with rocks, short lengths of PVC pipe, old flower pots, etc
Measure the circumference of your pond and buy the same length of wire mesh (hardware cloth) plus a few inches. Form the wire mesh into the shape of your pond, allowing a little extra. Secure the ends together with wire and place over your pond. This forms a simple fence that prevents herons from alighting near your pond and wading in. Tent pegs are a fast way to secure the fence in place, if your pond is surrounded by soil.
Particularly big dogs that don’t like big birds. This is iffy, though, since you don't know how any dog will react - until you have fed him a lot of dog food.
Some pond owners claim realistic heron statues deter the live birds. This is because the heron is territorial - when they see one standing beside a pond, the real bird won’t come in.
Well, that's the theory anyway. When the pond-side “bird” hasn’t moved in three years, however, well... the real one kinda loses its caution. Statues with bobbing heads may also work for a while.
And many gardeners regularly move their statues around the garden, making a game of the whole thing.
Transparent fishing line suspended ten feet above the pond in a checkerboard grid (squares three feet wide) will tangle the birds and prevent them from getting a good landing or takeoff.
Birds can’t see the line and hitting it once or twice (use the strongest test line you can buy) will deter them. Unfortunately, they have nothing to do but work things out. Don't be surprised if one day the heron just lands outside the grid zone, and simply walks over to the pond.
These automated motion-detectors shoot water and/or emit sonic noises at the approach of unwanted critters, like a heron. They require electrical or solar power, of course, and are bound to be expensive. And there is no guarantee that they'll discern your mangy cat from their intended victim. But some people swear by them ( or at them).
Personally, I favor more “active” control methods... For example, snares and .22 Short rounds to the head of the bird come to mind. But there are many choices, it seems.
Hope this helps.
Great stuff for anti-heron efforts. I think like you too, quick and cheap fix would be best.
This thing flies in and on approach can barely get in my backyard because of trees, houses and having to come in from nearly straight down out of the sky - they aren't exactly helicopters.
Where it really has trouble is taking off. It only has so many feet until it has to clear a 6- foot fence and there is only one path out (this would be where I would put a snaring net to catch the thing and take it for a long ride into the woods with a woodsman).
Ah- I moved a whole bunch of stone today and yes, I will be incorporating a lot of the above fore certain in pond 4.0. I will have to do a step-by-step photo gallery.
Rocks moved today - about 1/3 of the rocks that is. 2 more trips to go for my flagstones which were donated. : )
I wondered about that, too. "Fish gonna eat," my country buddy says. "They're just like you and me that way. But, they do it diff'rent somedays."
I thought about the the temp and time of year, too.
I got ahold of some coarse wagglers recently that remind me very much of porky quills. They are nothing more than a clear plastic tube, with an eye on one end for the line to pass through.
They measure 7/32" (5.5mm) OD and 7" (180mm) in length. For markings they have three stripes on the tiptop, neon orange, yellow and green. Im certain they are not as durable as the porcupine quills, but they only cost $1 for 20 of them with free shipping. I might just buy some more for that reason alone.
So far, they have performed well in water column testing. A a single 1/32 oz jig head will float them upright and there is room for some improvement to the basic design. For now, I'll use them as is.
Definitely take care here - when I have bought some too-good-to be true tackle, I find the eyes break off, the plastic warps in my tackle box from heat and in the end, I wouldn't even give the stuff to a scout group. I have a pile of that stuff.
A porky will last you.