With New Jerseys Deer Hunting Season winding down, I wanted to make sure we(well.. I) had enough delicious venison to enjoy for the better part of the year. So I asked my Girlfriend Sharon, if she thought we had room in the freezer for another one. I kind of figured the answer would be “no” but to my surprise she said, “Yes….. you ought to get another one” – Perfect timing I thought, as I was off of work for the next few days and could watch the weather and strategically plan my hunt for one of the better days. Friday was a wash out with steady to heavy rain and wind and neither Saturday nor Sunday looked very promising because of the winds whipping upwards to 25 miles per hour. So that left Monday…….. the last day that I was off and they called for rain for the majority of the day as well. I have always dealt with the wet weather over the years and for that matter, I have always been quite successful hunting in the rain.
Now remember that old compound Bow that I showed you all a couple months back? My very 1st Compound bow that I bought from the Gander Mountain Catalog when I was 19 years old way back in 1982. Here`s the Video to refresh your memory a bit; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SvwR8YZ1VU
I did indeed take my very 1st deer with this Bow when I was 19 years old.
As well as quite a few others over the years…….
And that`s exactly what I planned to hunt with in 2020….That 38 year old relic of a Compound Bow.
Monday rolled around and my alarm went off at 5:15am. I immediately grabbed my phone to check my weather app….. Well that sucks I said aloud, as it was showing rain up until 9am. As I pondered what to do, I finally decided to sleep in for another hour as there wasn`t any sense sitting in my tree-stand getting a wet ass in the dark.
But I overslept a bit! Yep….. the last day that I had a shot of doing this, I overslept. Boy was I ever pissed off! With that I hustled out the door, jumped in the 4-Runner and sped towards Califon. At that point, there was no way I`d be in the tree much before 7:00am.
The rain came down steadily as I parked my vehicle. Perhaps the wet weather would play in my favor I thought as I cautiously scurried through the woods to my tree. The wet leaves definitely helped keeping my foot noise to a minimum. I climbed the ladder stand and got all comfortable and quickly nocked an arrow. I looked at my phone the time was 7:12am.
What happened next was simply unbelievable.
I glanced to my left and was absolutely startled by a doe walking by roughly thirty yards from my stand! I couldnt believe it…… I was literally not in the stand more than five minutes! My startled movement spooked her as well as she started lightly stomping and snorting. At this point, I figured I was busted and froze against the tree. Then as she suspiciously walked behind a tree, I quickly drew my Bow while sitting……. and placed my single pin right behind her front shoulder as she warily stepped out in the open. The “bent” thirty eight year old aluminum 2117 Game-Getter Arrow topped with a three-blade Satellite Arrow found its mark. The deer folded where she stood. I pulled out my phone and it was now 7:22 on the nose! Ten minutes in the stand and the season was over.
I sat there for a few minutes and smiled, as I couldn`t believe what had just happened.
For me personally, its always about the overall experience or challenge of the hunt. So this was truly thrilling on a few different levels. For one, I have not hunted with a Bow in over seven years. Secondly, I wasn`t sure if I would ever feel that overly confident since suffering a massive heart-attack to climb up in a tree again and hunt with a Bow(Thanks to my good friend Dennis Peterson for helping me put up my stand a couple months ago) And thirdly, to be able to take a deer with the very same Bow that I used when I started Bow Hunting with when I was nineteen, was simply awesome! Yes it was indeed a very special ten-minute hunt last Friday.
See you next season!
Thanks for reading my latest Adventure,
Had a hankerin` to chase some kind fish this past Friday, but had a wrench or two thrown in my plans you might say. For starters, things had iced back up at a couple of my fave haunts. So the locking up at these waterways, kind of “locked-me-out” of any plans to dip the Yak in anywhere. Although one possibility was Round Valley Reservoir. I checked my phone and there was problem with that idea as well……………. The wind!
I decided to have a go on foot and stay local. My destination; Point Mountain. I figured at least the valley would somewhat keep me out of the gusty winds that they were forecasting. I thought to myself, “Hell….. this would only be my 2nd time trying for trout in a year. So why not?” –
I started off by throwing a gold phoebe for about an hour to no avail, then switched to a silver Mepps spinner. And again, nothing at all. After fishing for a solid two hours, I hadn`t as much as even had a “follow” of any type and it was becoming rather disheartened with my Winter Trout excursion. I started rummaging through my “bag-of-tricks” trying to find something different to try……….
“Ahhhhhh!” I thought as I examined this cheap little pack of diving Trout lures that I had just purchased at Walmart an hour before I came to the river for $5.86 –
The first one that I tied was the little green one in the middle ……… and on the second cast WHAM!!! Fish on! Felt like a pretty nice trout as I worked her cross current towards my net. As I scooped my net into the icy waters of the Musconetcong, I landed my 2nd fish of 2020!
Nice fat Rainbow that went about 16-17 inches.
As the daylight started fading, I wanted to work another pool on my way back to the 4Runner. Staying back about twenty yards, I observed a trout actually rising on the edge of the pool, as it dined on some sort of midge or caddis fly. With that I strategically cast my cheap little river-runner lure upstream, then carefully brought it slowly cross-current into the pocket of the feeding trout. WHAM!…… he missed it! I quickly retrieved the lure and repeated the exact same routine seven times……..with no luck. Then I mixed it up and sped up the next retrieve, so the lure would dive a tad deeper. BAM!!!! Trout on!! Splashing as she broke the cold February water with her tail! As I netted her, another feeding trout started to rise in the same pool! Quickly I worked the little lure sporadically across the pockets of the pool and in a matter of minutes, I landed my third Rainbow trout of the day. Snapped a picture and put the beautiful `Bow back in the river to fight another day as I did with the other two as well.
A fine February day indeed on the Musconetcong. Hell I`m happy with whatever I have the pleasure of catching in the dead of Winter!
`Till next time……….
January is hardly considered to be a kayak fishing month. Usually all of the waterways are locked up and we`re using our augers to set up tip-ups as we drill through the “hard water” wrangle up various Winter-time fish.
But 2020 is starting out quite different indeed.
It seems every few weeks we have been having a little warm-up to ruin any possible chance of having safe ice to fish on….at least so far. So last Tuesday the forecast was calling for a “balmy” 38 degrees for the high of the day. Thought to myself, “Hell….. might as well toss the Yak in the pond and have a go at something”
And to be quite frank, it is January folks, so believe me, I`m not too particular as to what I catch! lol Just about any fishy will do just fine!
I loaded up the 4Runner with a different destination in mind…….. White Lake up near Blairstown. Never fished it and only stopped there once to briefly eye it up.
The problem was that it was getting later in the day and I wouldn`t get there much before 3pm. I would still have a good hour and a half of fish-able light. At 3:10 the kayak hit the water and I began my quest for my 1st fish of 2020.
Let me show you one of my rod and reel set-ups that I have been using lately as it is pretty interesting how it came about. My good Friend Dennis Peterson does a lot of fluke fishing and actually caught this awesome Abu-Garcia Bait-caster paired with this medium-weight Bass Pro Graphite Rod while fluke fishing just last Summer. He cleaned it all up and asked me if I was interested in it. Upon seeing it, he didn`t have to ask twice! As I held it in my hands I was thinking what an awesome Muskie/Pike set-up.
So I had this set-up in my SUV along with my two other bass set-ups and decided to put it in the Yak. You see last month, the beginning of December, I actually was trying to wrangle up a Muskie and I inadvertently ended up with a pretty decent Largemouth Bass that afternoon using this set-up and using a seven inch Muskie Believer Lure. This is the Bass that I caught in the picture below, back on that extremely cold day on December 5th with the Believer lure.
I have become extremely intrigued with the Believer lure ever since my good friend and fishing companion, Pat Gallagher introduced me to them a year ago while we were chasing Muskies one afternoon. Since then I have acquired a very nice array of these awesome lures. Now back to the story….
Time and daylight was of the essence obviously as daylight was slowly fading away. I paddled into a few cut-out coves tossing the Believer lure. Was it purely a fluke that I nailed that beautiful bass on that freezing day last month on the over-sized seven inch lure? I began to wonder.
After about an hour or so, I was just about ready to switch rigs, but decided to switch the Believer for another color. A rather wild looking one with a dark back with a “orange-ish” hue.
And I decided to try a different retrieval as well. A much slower, twitch-twitch, reel – twitch method in a about a three foot depth. As there seemed to be a bit more cover weed-wise as well. The time was now about 4:20pm and the day was fading quickly.
On the third cast, as I very slowly twitched it back towards to Yak, suddenly there was a very heavy pull!! Not a violent whack as you would expect in the Spring or Summer, but rather this very heavy pull. The huge Greenback literally felt like he inhaled the large, seven inch Believer lure! As I reeled back to set to hook, the big Bucket-mouth rolled in the icy cold January water and calmly came to the net. I had just landed my 1st fish of 2020 and what a fish indeed!
What a Winter Hawg Bass! Apparently an Eagle had him recently as you can see by the fairly fresh scar on his side. Below is the exact Believer lure that I used to catch this big bass.
Quite the way to start off the New Year! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and catch a lot of fish.
`Till next time…….
See all of my Adventures here.