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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bass Fishing

There was a time when I fished at least 365 days a year! Yep when I liven in Port St. Lucie Florida I fished everyday because I lived right on the water down there, but did little to no real hunting just fishing.  I would stop on my way to college and throw a rubber worm at every orange grove irrigation ditch between my house and the campus. Or fish the Rim ditch with my good friend Andy Baird, an old guy who I befriended and he taught me so much about bass fishing and bee keeping that I took it for granted. But when I moved back to the Eastern Shore I kinda drifted away from bass fishing and took up raising kids and working 60 hours a week! But my friend who is a crazy bass fisherman was telling me that now the fish are scarfing up crayfish like no other and  sitting on their nest. Now I used to have a ol possum belly tackle box full of gadgets to catch bass with and a couple hundred dollars of rod and reel to drag it all thru the water with, but used the same rubber worm or J-9 broken back Rapela 99% of the time. Same now, I like to fish salt water and have all the stuff to do it with boats, motors, rods and reels, and three soft side tackle boxes to hold all the hardware. But what do I turn to when I want to catch fish? Live eels, peeler crab, or bloodworms never silver spoons or top water plugs. the same three rigs I always use. So if you are heading out to catch a bass fish or two look for something in crawdad color, or maybe just use the ol purple worm. Sometimes simpler is better.


I know that for some time now I have had my waders in a knot over how much it cost me to go fishing, before I ever get on the water. Well today I go to the Delaware fishing site to check out things first thing is a change in the Delaware flounder seasons, pity the poor guy who does not check the fishing regulations before heading out on the water DAILY. It is getting to the point where it is just to much hassle for me to justify the expense and hassle that goes along with enjoying the Land of Pleasant living and all it offers. Let's take a look at going out with the wife and 2.2 kids for an afternoon of crabbing and fishing, dinner on the boat. Before I can even think about the boat I have to check and make $ure all the $tickers are current, Now you need a fishing license on your boat unless you buy license for everyone a cool $45.00. But now don't go out to Hollands Island and set the chairs up and fish the evening bite, everyone has to stay on the boat if they want to fish, only you can get out of the boat to fish. Of course there is a fine to go with all that hassle after the DNR stops by and issues you the fine for the flounder that they decided this morning was now off limits but your fishing regulation book says you can catch the flounder till  whenever. Delaware just made some changes today so be careful. Maybe we will launch the boat and go over to Assateague to do a little clamming, hope you brought a ten $pot to pay the launch fee. How much is the tag on that boat trailer anyway, and the boat registration sticker need to be updated. Got to have the gas for the boat and get some bait while your there, lets see four slim jims, four sodas, some Little Debbie's and Baloney and cheese sandwiches. So you can see where just getting out can be a budget buster if you are just looking for a little down time with your family. I remember when my father would load us up in the boat, mom would fry a couple of chickens and make some potato salad, we would stop off and get a dozen soft crabs for $4.00 a dozen from Mr Dewey's crab house there on Deal island, and we would catch a cooler full of rock and hardheads and come on home. I guess in todays dollars and yesterdays money the cost of getting out is the same, but now we have some serious fees tacked on to getting your family out on the water. Now you would think that would be a good thing for the OC head boats, but not so; the Sea Bass fishery might as well be closed and the Flounder fishery could close at any minute they decide to. Okay enough of my ranting about fishing, let's go chase turkeys!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Turkey sign

Well Sat. scout out went well I located two roosting sites and found a couple of natural hides that I was able to bush up some and make them a little more suitable for the eagle eyed turkey. Now when it comes to reading sign I think that I hold my own fairly well. I found Tom turkey droppings and a couple of feathers under a tall pine tree telling me that the birds are roosting on that particular point. I also found some scratchings letting me know where they are heading toward a stand of hardwoods. Now you all know that turkeys have some of the most awesome eyesight but did you know that they also MAY see in four colors and see UV like deer. I think that is pretty interesting when it comes to camo selection. So if the turkey can see like no other you know that when he is coming in you cannot even think about moving. His eyes may be on the side of his head but he can see movement like a neon sign. I don't even like to breath sometimes, and have the gun set for the shot way before the bird comes in.
If there is one thing that I learned early in my hunting career is not to call out to turkeys when scouting. A Tom may only fall for that wing bone call three times before he gets educated to the sound of a call and just will not respond so when scouting I never put, cut or purr, when scouting. I may find the roosting tree and just after dark or late twilight I will make a ruckus thru the area, scattering the birds, and then return in the morning waiting for them to regroup and gather for the morning walk and strutt. Bottom line is I cannot get out until Sat morning, so I am excited as a two peckered Billy Goat, until then all I can do is wait.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Big Morning

Okay we are going to go turkey scouting this morning. It is 2:30 in the morning, My alarm was set for 4 but I am awake and chomping at the bit, so here I am. Youth day is today and reg season on Monday for the rest of us old guys. I am seeing a lot of birds, just will i see them this morning? No calls no decoys no fooling birds just hard core camo and spotting scopes. Hopefully bre fox will make an appearance with the tar baby!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Youth Day Saturday

Okay Sat is youth day and if you have followed this blog you know how much I hate "Dads" youth day. You know the one where the 8 year old makes the 300 yd shot with a 7 mag and takes a 12 point monster, with a little help from dad. Turkey youth day is like that sometimes also but not always and when a kid bags a bird legit it is a great feeling knowing you had a hand in it. Personally I enjoy calling and watching as much as shooting. I take the neighbor boy occasionally and he is becoming a good and ethical hunter. Unfortunately he is being overcome by fumes and I don't give him much chance of hunting with me now. Perfume and gasoline are two fumes I cannot compete with  of course! Regular season begins on Monday which means many will not get out to the woods till Sat. Hopefully the bird you have been working and scouting will still be there for you when you get out to the woods. If you can find a kid and get him or her out this Sat and let them feel the excitement of having a full strut turkey almost in their laps!

Taxed Enough Already?

Okay April 15th is fast approaching and if you haven't dumped out that box of receipts yet well then you still have a few minuets to get it all together! Since the income tax became the law of the land the MAN has always taken his pound of flesh from your paycheck. Now I am not complaining here so don't get me wrong I pay my taxes so that the road in front of my house is well maintained and  that the sheriff keeps the law in the community, and so that ol Osama Bin Noddin doesn't keep me locked in my own home.  I like the airport being open, and the snow removed, all services I pay for in the form of taxes to the government. Now I look at it like an allowance for the kids, I would give them their allowance and they would spend it sometimes unwisely all at once on something that did not last. And then occasionally they would save up for something big that took some restraint on their BB's and movies, but was worth it when they finally got it. Today it seems that the allowance is not enough, so we have a new tax on fishing that is well free this year but next year it will cost you $15.00 in addition to your license. All you have to do is call in your info and pay your money, or the new kayak canoe launch fee for sliding you boat in the water. I don't care what you call it a tax is still a tax thanks Andy Harris for your support here. Boat registration, fishing license, trailer tags, and launch ramp fees all a tax in my opnion.
Now when you buy a hunting license, you pay for archery, cross bow, waterfowl,, migratory bird, fur bearer the list goes on and on. What happened to buying a hunting license, and a duck stamp, ready for the season?  Well on the 15th the TEA Party will be having rallies to let the government know that they have been Taxed Enough Already, and weather you follow the TEA party or not you have to admit that it is becoming more and more expensive to get outside amongst em.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Deer plots

Some people don't like food plots some love em, some have feeders on timers. But if you put one in this year it should be up and jumping now. Clover and turnip, chicory, rye grass, turnip are all deer favorites, as is alfalfa, and red clover. A food plot of a half acre will keep 10  or 12 deer in your area so long as they have water, and other forage. If you plant the stand side plot then you are not interested in keeping them there, but in getting them to come by and browse maybe walk around some. Either way the deer put on much needed fat from a hard winter during the spring and summer, munching on browse and green shoots coming up so they don't care so much for your food plot right now. I mean they are stopping by and having a munch licking on the mineral block & hanging out, but the bean fields are in full growth. Lots of stuff growing wild so the plot is not seeing a lot of action right now. Fast forward to winter late bow season post rut with 5 inches of new snow, those turnips and chicory roots are looking good right now to them and they are pawing the earth black to get at em, turkeys are coming by and getting the green tops scratching and digging, and you are waiting for an opportunity to score a late season doe for the freezer. So like em or hate em food plots are  here to stay and the industry is helping us to keep them going so deer have forage for the hard winter. By the same token a deer that may have died over the winter makes it and survival of the fittest no longer is in the mix. Like a friend of mine loved to say be careful what you ask for!

Hey Chicken little!

Okay the garden is tilled and the horse manure and lime tilled under, strawberries are showing strong, and I have my beets and spinach in the ground. So far so good, what does all that mean to you and I? Turkey season my friends Turkey season! That is right in just a few short days we will be having the youth day, and immediately following the reg season for ol long beard himself. Now I don't know about you guys but I am an old school type guy so a box call I made from a pallet of wood from the Philippines, with a black walnut sound board, and a wing bone call made for me by the Web Foot himself is all I am carrying as far as calls go. My full choke 870 in 2 3/4 with a number 2 goose load (black cloud) is my weapon of choice, yea that is my duck/goose slaying weapon and has been for 20 years, bought her used from Dave's sport shop. Sitting on a square of rubber roof material in full ghilie I will wait patiently for the long beard to come to my decoy go into full strut and get himself all ugly in the face. Then I will administer to him a jelly head, full on at about 30 yds. I will tag him, draw and take my bird, home and take the required pictures. Very simple nothing extremely exotic or additional to buy.
So why does the main stream outdoor marketing beast tell me I need The latest 3 1/2 inc shell with a tungsten core, and a box call costing hundreds of dollars, whole magazines devoted to just one season of hunting. I love capitalism! Better yet I love seeing all this stuff and dreaming of owning the latest and greatest decoy or the new shotgun made with the latest technology and constructed of the space age materials for stocks and scopes. Okay I like to hunt within my budget, I like to make my own gear whenever possible, and I am selective of my harvest.  I buy very little of the latest and greatest gear, except for clothes then I like  to stay warm , dry and in camo. But recently I have been selective and bought a new gun after doing some horse trading and topped it with some really nice optics, first gun and scope combo I have ever bought, but I like to shoot. I guess as I get older I like nice things if I can afford them and now that the ranch is paid off I can do that, besides the kids will love it one day I am sure!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

First Flounder for the "Web Foot Gangsta"

The Web Foot gangsta send in this photo of his first flounder of the season, 28 inches and 7 lbs. a Virgina citation. Web Foot fishes out of a small Carolina skiff and haunts the bay bridge tunnels with it. Good job web foot keep us posted on more doormat flounder.

Friday, April 2, 2010

All done

Here is the finished product of my labors and I tell you it is tasty, give it a try you'll like it!

Using the brick oven

I built this brick oven from ideals I got off of the net and some ideals I got off the television. I mix some flouer, salt, sugar, yeast and some warm water, then go out and fire up my brick oven. after it is all said and done, I have some tasty bread. Making bread is easy and baking it is fun to do with the right tools in my oven. 
I start a fire in the oven using wood I split and cut a year before or picked up from the trees in my yard and burn them in the oven, I use fire wood or wood I pick up and drag home. When the oven is hot I push the coals to the back and use a wet mop to mop the ash up off of the brick floor of the oven, this also adds some steam, to the oven, making a nice chewy crust. Even if you don't have a brick oven you can make excellent bread right in your oven. give it a try it is funn and the types are endless.