Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Fish Habitats - a Fake Hollow Log, Hopefully Bass-Attracting Barrel Structure

The Angler's United website I talked about back in my previous post about building a fish habitat/structure out of a plastic barrel also had what they called a Bass Bungalow built out of rolled up snow fence.  Some snow fence rolled up into a 6 ft. long, 16 inch diameter cylinder sounded almost exactly the same size as two 30 gal. barrels bolted together with some holes drilled in the sides.

It was a quick process to cut the tops and bottoms out of my two barrels with a Sawzall (I'm still trying to figure out what I can do with those cut out pieces). 

Cutting the tops out of two barrels

Cutting the bottoms out of two barrels, don't forget to leave that lip!
Before I got too far ahead of myself, I did remember to leave enough of a lip on the bottoms so I can actually bolt these barrels to each other, as it's kinda hard to have a structure built out of two barrels bolted together if you can't actually bolt them together.

Now I had to drill the actual holes to bolt these two barrels together, I needed at least three bolts to hold these together, but the way I saw it, no matter how carefully I measured there was almost no way all three would end up matching.  I'd been hard at work for almost 5 minutes by this time, so I sat down in an almost comfy lawn chair to rest while I thought about how I was going to drill those holes.

After some intense lawn-chair-sitting-thinkerating, I decided to start by drilling three holes in one barrel, then I would eyeball the first hole in the other barrel, put the first bolt in, and drill the other two holes.
Drilling a hole so I can try to bolt these two barrels together
Drilling those holes was a quick job, but now the problem was how the heck was I gonna bolt two barrels together when the bolt hole was three feet down in the barrel?  Since I didn't have a little kid handy that I could try to convince to crawl in there ("I swear, it's the coolest thing ever to crawl through barrels, just don't tell your mom"), it looked like I was going to have to crawl in there myself.
Getting ready to crawl/pull/drag myself into the barrel to bolt it all together after I drill a couple more holes
After blocking the barrels so I wouldn't roll down a hill or something, and making sure there wasn't anyone around that would see my feet sticking out of these barrels and would get the idea to kick the blocks out of the way and roll me down a hill, I crawled and pulled my way into the barrels to finish drilling the holes and bolting it all together.   It turns out I spent more time thinking on the subject than actually doing it (that seems to happen more than it should), and after I'd crawled/drug myself out and breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't managed to roll down a hill while stuck inside a barrel, it was time to drill a bunch of holes in the sides with a hole saw.
All bolted together with a bunch of  holes drilled in the sides
I was thinking that the bass and their fry might need some shade, so I drilled three rows of holes on the sides (inside the barn this time so I didn't go barrel-blind from the glare off of the white barrel), left the top solid for shade, and the bottom solid so it wouldn't sink down into the mud as quick.

After I build a couple more fish barrel habitats, I'll have a fish barrel habitat sinking fest on the farm ponds, then I can start taking credit for each and every fish caught out of the ponds from now to doomsday.

My fishing mantra from now on is going to be, "Don't forget, if it wasn't for all those barrel habitats I put in the ponds back in '14, there wouldn't be any fish in these ponds today."


  1. Reading about this brought back memories of reading the Darwin Awards that float around here on the internet. They always involve people dying in weird situations such as making fish habitat barrels. Fortunately, you won't make the next issue.

    As for bolting them together, I think I would have drilled holes near where I intended to bolt them large enough for my meaty hands to stick through on each side of the joint. I would be working blind but that would be a lot better than getting stuck, rolling down a hill, into a pond and eventually becoming fish food before they used my remains as their habitat!

    1. I dunno, cutting some holes to stick your hands into a barrel could quickly turn into a giant Chinese finger trap sorta situation.

      I'd rather roll down a hill in a barrel, crawl out all dizzy-like, and then stagger around for a while until the dizziness went away than get my hands stuck in some holes in a couple of barrels and then have to walk around with two barrels as bracelets until I could find someone to cut them off.

      And, don't forget to be pretty specific about what needs cut off as in, "STOP CUTTING!!, I meant the barrels not my hands!!"