What a pleasant surprise when Mark from Buckshot Taxidermy messaged me on Facebook saying “Hey Ken your Snakehead will be done by the end of this week” – Holy cow….was I ever excited! So I went up this past Saturday to pick it up and I was absolutely thrilled with the results! This is that nice Snakehead that I nailed that day while fishing with my buddy Carmen, deep down in the swamps of south Jersey as you might recall. Here`s the link of that day with Carmen;
It looks absolutely stunning! If you`re looking for high quality taxidermy for your next mount, I highly recommend Buckshot Taxidermy. Mark is a stand-up guy and very straight forward and I like that a lot.
And now every time I look at at that wall and see that beautiful Northern Snakehead, it takes me right back to that day in the swamps with Carmen.
Buckshot Taxidermy –
Address: 215County Road 519 Wantage New Jersey 07461
Probably quite a few of you out there know about smoking cattails,…..then again, maybe one or two of you might not. So I thought I`d share this fun, “good-to-know” outdoors tidbit with all of you.
Night fishing in the Summertime means hot, muggy-buggy nights and being devoured by mosquitoes, as you sit along the banks of your favorite river. Now as I sit here writing this, I can`t really recall where I first learned about cattails as a kid growing up. Might`ve been Boy Scouts…….not really sure. But I do remember riding my bike down to the Mill Race in Califon and then tromping out in that mucky-swampy area to cut down my cattails. Then I`d take them home and lay them on top of Rusty`s dog house to dry out for a week or so. Next time Dad would take me eel fishing in Black River and I would be bringing along my cattail “bug repellent” –
While I was out last week with my `Yak, at the end of the day, I whacked down some cattails or “punks” as they are also know as.
Once I got home, I took them up to the attic as the ungodly heat up there would dry them out in just a few days.
And here`s a quick little clip showing how well they smoke once lit;
Howdy! If you get a chance, when you`re at a Quick Chek, Krauszer`s or maybe 7-Eleven store, pick up a copy of this month`s June edition of The Fisherman magazine. I believe you will find the story by yours truly, quite compelling and rather challenging on page 28.
I`d like to give a big thank you to Jim Hutchinson NJ/DE Managing Editor for considering and publishing my Pike story. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jim in person in April at the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Writer`s Workshop. Just a heckuva nice guy.
Here are a few pictures of the flies, Pike and of course, Piper our Pomeranian. If you do not live in Jersey and can`t pick up the magazine, you can go on-line to read it digitally at the link below;
The odds weren`t looking too favorable tonight, as the Parkway was jammed up, the days are getting much shorter and a strong wind was whipping in the cool Fall air. At the rate I was traveling, with the sun setting on the horizon, I figured maybe I`d have forty-five minutes at best to have a go at those NJ Stripers tonight.
But I had my `Yak and I was determined to wrangle up a NJ Striper or two before darkness set in. Boy was I ever wrong.
The wind was really kicking up as the sun was setting and I thought, “Ahhhhhhhh just a couple more casts and I`ll call it a night” – But it`s never, ever just a couple more casts with me!! ha! ha!~
As darkness set in, I was still making “just a couple more casts” – I paddled back close to where I had launched and figured I’d have one more go at it, drifting in the strong breeze in the darkness. Now I`m not saying it was the smartest thing to be sitting out there tonight in the strong wind, in total darkness without any sort of light, but hell I didn`t really mind it at all. “After all, the Indians must`ve done it like this“, I thought to myself.
BAM! Striper on! As I set the hook the drag screamed as the fish dove for deeper water. In a matter of minutes, I had landed my supper, paddled back to shore and called it a night.
As I`m writing this, my NJ Striper is sitting on ice all filleted this morning and I`m looking forward to Sharon making one of her amazing dinners out of the best tasting fresh fish that you will ever dine on!
Till next time…..
After I got done fishing, and loaded up my `Yak and gear in the Murano, I stopped at a WaWa to get some ice…….A bunch of young punks, maybe six or seven teens, 14 to 17 years old or so were inside. So I swaggered in to grab my ice and one goes to me, “Hey man……where`s your knife?” as they all started laughing at the young ball-buster`s smart-ass question. Since it was the night before Halloween. I decided to have a little fun with the young smart-ass. I walked over towards the group, with the brim of my hat over my eyes and then when I got right in front of all of them, I looked up with a sort of wild-eyed. crazed look and said, “Now…..what did you ask me Son?”………as I glared at the group like I was nuts!!!! ha! ha!
The kid goes….”Uhhhhhh…..uhhhhhhhhh nothin` Sir”…………. I turned my head away then snapped back and went “Boo!” and man, everyone of those kids jumped a mile!!!! I think the kid in front of me shit his pants!!! Then I said. “Happy Halloween boys!”………….grabbed my ice and walked out.
A NJ Musky Kayak fishing adventure was my agenda for this Saturday morning. As I loaded up my kayak and gear on Friday night in my truck, I was pretty psyched because I had just received my new Double Cowgirl Lures the day before and was really anxious to have a go at some Muskies on Saturday at daybreak.
I spooled up a couple reels with 65lb Power PRO, attached a reel to my 9ft medium-heavy action pole and hung a new 100lb fluorocarbon leader on the end of the Power PRO. Now I was all set. I like the 9ft pole as I
can get really good distance casting this in the `Yak. Definitely a “Shoulder-Burner” doing the “Figure 8s” but I like the way it feels.
Got to the lake and was fishing by 6:40am. It was a beautiful, serene Autumn morning. The air was cool and crisp as the steam fog rose eerily from the lake. A very calm, picture-perfect morning to have a go at some Muskies.
I took my phone out of the waterproof case to see what time it was as I only planned to fish till 11am at the latest. It was already 9:30.
I put the phone away and on the very next cast……. BAM! Musky on! And at first I really thought it was a smaller Musky by the way it was fighting/pulling the rod. Boy was I ever wrong! I clicked on the Go PRO and as the Musky dove a little I thought I`d loosen up the drag a little to have a little fun. As I was loosening the drag, the Musky bent the pole in half as he dove under my `Yak and literally exploded out of the water on the other side of me!
Definitely awesome Musky action as he danced on the water on the opposite side on my `Yak!
Sometimes the moon and stars just don`t always align and things don`t always go as planned. Without any further ado, here`s the clip I shot from today`s adventure. I think you`ll enjoy this.
Ahhhhhhh…….These hot Summer nights make me reminisce of a time long ago. A time when life was a lot more simple. See after a good hard rain, Dad and I would get flashlights and walk around the neighbor`s lawns on Raritan Drive, searching for nightcrawlers in the wet grass. Can you even imagine what would happen nowadays if people saw someone walking in the dark, on their lawn, constantly bending down picking up something? We all know where this would go! ha! ha!
What we were doing was gettin` our bait to do one of my favorite Summer pastimes…….Eel Fishin`!
So the other night, I had a hankerin` to chase some eels on the river….. only one problem. The moon.
Yep….. it was almost a full moon at that. You won`t catch many or even any when the moon is out. But I decided to have a go at it with Sharon, figuring we might wrangle up a straggler or two.
We weren`t fishin` very long and I wrangled up this really nice eel! Had to jump in the river to get my pole as this fella ran it off the rocks and started takin` it out to deeper water!
So we only fished till 10:30 as the bite completely shut down as that big `ol moon peeked over the tree tops. I put the eels on ice for the night and made my way back down the river at daybreak to clean `em.
How could we have an adventure without a Go PRO Video? We can`t right?! ha! ha!
Turn up your speakers and enjoy this short clip I shot that night;
Well the night kinda panned out as I thought it might, with the moon and all. We only caught those two eels, but they certainly were very nice ones as you can see and Sharon, “Dingo” and I had a fun night on the river!
NJ Ice Fishing on Spruce Run Reservoir is another awesome Wintertime activity that I enjoy doing with my very good Friend, Curt Ryder.
I gave Curt a ring on the phone on my way home last Friday night to see if he was up for trying his hand at a little ice fishing the next morning. He said, Sure…let`s do it!” – So we planned to meet up at the Reservoir at 7am the next morning. However, the day didn`t start out too good, as I got a phone call from Curt at 6:30am saying he had just hit a deer with his truck. He said, It`s just the bumper cover,….. only cosmetic” – I said, “Well do ya wanna forget about it today? Curt said, “Hell no……let`s go fishin`!” With that I got the bait and headed over to Spruce Run.
Loaded up the tip-ups, jigging poles, ice-auger & bait in Curt`s Ice Fishing Sled and set out on the ice at Spruce Run Reservoir.
The Reservoir is probably about twenty feet low water level-wise, so we had to hike a good ways in order to get out into twenty four feet of water. We were after
these monster slab crappies that we saw a few guys catch out here last Winter.
Curt and I discuss our hard water ice fishing strategy as we hike out across Spruce Run Reservoir. Me, “I got a feelin`
it`s gonna be a really good day
out here Curt” – Curt, “You always say it`s gonna be a good day no matter when we go fishin`!”
I drilled out our first set of holes as Curt followed with setting up the tip-ups. You`re allowed five tip-ups per man, but if you each jig, then you are only allowed to se four tip-ups each plus a jigging rod. Curt figured that the crappie would likely be in the deeper water as we didn`t connect with any last weekend in the ten to fifteen foot depth that we fished the tip-ups at. Also we saw a guy catch two Pike the previous weekend in this area that we were setting up in.
We fished till around 12:30 and only had three flags tipped so far for the day….. and we were both getting hungry. I decided to take a break and go get us lunch at a local general store. After getting lunch and heading back out on the ice towards Curt, I could see him talking with two other guys. These two Hispanic guys from Bethlehem Pa. had nervously wandered out to see what exactly Curt was doing as they had never seen anyone ice fishing before. I wasn`t sure if they had ever seen or been on ice for that matter!
These two guys really made our day…….they were an absolute riot! I don`t think they knew what to make of me at first, with my `coonskin hat as they just stared at it as I approached them as they stood next to Curt. They went crazy when they saw a few of my YouTube Videos as you can see in the pictures.
By late afternoon, the only fish we had caught were a bunch of little perch that were anywhere from five to eight inches. It just wasn`t panning out to be a good day fishing on the ice.
Curt and I had been ribbin` each other as we usually do, most of the day. He claimed he has a “Secret Formula” that he was spraying on his jig and I was braggin` about my “Game Changer” that I was using on my set up. Now my “Game Changer” as I call it has Anise Oil in it and I do believe this makes a difference when ice fishing. I think the strong smell of licorice is very appealing to fish under the hard water.
We both started to jump from hole to hole hoping to catch those slab-size crappies or a nice bass.
As I went to my next hole of choice, I loaded up my Swedish-Pimple and Butter-worm with a good dose
of the “Game Changer, then started to jig.
Then all of the sudden ice pole crazily bent as a decent fish jumped on my jig! WOW! It really felt good!
Curt could see I had something nice on and rushed over. As the fish got closer, I could see it flash under the ice and said to Curt, “It`s a nice bass!” – As it came to the top of the water I saw the all too familiar whiskers…… a Catfish! As I pulled the catty through the ice, the line snapped as the fished laid half-way on the ice. I swatted the nice fish with my hand and sliced my finger on the catty`s barb as flipped up on the ice. We weren`t exactly sure what kind of catfish it was, then Curt said, “It looks like a yellow-catfish” – As we looked it up on my phone, it was indeed just that. I have never caught a catfish in February Ice Fishing and the even odder part to me was that the catty hit a jig…….yes…….with the “Game Changer” doused on it. It made sense. As Catfish are attracted to smell/odor, the anise oil was the calling.
**Enjoy the Video of our Ice Fishing on Spruce Run Adventure below;
NJ Winter Deer Hunting is something that I have always enjoyed doing and today should be good I thought to myself as I strategically put on my layers of hunting clothing this afternoon. I then grabbed my faithful old 1960 Browning Light Twelve Gauge Shotgun, a box of Triple-O Buckshot and my GoPRO Camera, jumped in my truck & headed out and about on this rather cold last day of January 2015.
Not sure why I like to be out in the cold air, but I certainly do. Today was a “balmy” 23 degrees this afternoon with a wind-chill that made it feel like 6 degrees in the brisk artic-like air.
Perhaps I was so excited to be using my new GoPRO Camera that Sharon got me for Christmas, that I was even a little more oblivious to the chilly air than usual.
I got to my stand at 2:30 and planned on staying till dark, as the days are a bit longer now, I would be able
to have shooting light till at least 5:30-5:40pm.
I sat my GoPRO Camera up and turned it on at around 3pm and left it on record the entire time I was in my stand this afternoon.
I didn`t have any deer activity until around 5:15pm………. Then things got interesting. A young “Button-Buck” appeared from my left and meandered about below me nibbling at the corn and rooting around in the tulip bulbs
The GOPRO captured the rest of today`s adventure very nicely! Turn up your speakers & enjoy the show!
I`m 51 years old & I still get as excited about the first day of NJ Small Game Hunting Season as much as when I was nine years old & Dad let me actually hunt with him carrying my trusty single-shot .410 shotgun on that Opening Day long ago.
(Yes yes……. I know…….. legally you can`t be a licensed hunter in NJ until you are ten years old……… All I can say is that things were very different back then. Hell I`d been walking alongside my Dad rabbit hunting since I was six years old. Nowadays you wouldn`t think about
letting a kid hunt without having a NJ Hunting License………yea……. like I said folks, it was just a different time way back when)
So on Saturday I met my best friend Curt Ryder & his dog “Jake” at our usual meeting place,… the Quick Check on 46.When Curt pulled into the Quick Check, I grabbed my gun & hunting gear & as I jumped in his truck he joked sayin`, “Geez………. What the hell is goin` on here???
Ken Beam is actually on time! For that matter he`s even early!“…… ha! ha!
Our Hunting destination was about a little over an hour away.
We planned on hunting the Walpack Cemetary as we usually do very well there on Opening Day of Small Game Hunting. The weather was perfect. It was a nice, cool, sunny Autumn morning to hunt.Curt had this new GPS-tracking collar on Jake & it was really pretty exciting because it actually tells you how far away he is & and when he`s on “point”! As you walk towards the dog, it shows your getting closer on the GPS screen.
By 11am we each had our limit of two Pheasants. It was definitely a great morning to start the NJ Small Game Hunting Season of 2014!