This year I swore that I wasn`t going to go Grouse hunting way up north, as my hip has been giving me some on & off trouble. And the swampy areas can certainly make for a very challenging hike when you`re out and about hunting up there.
Now my best friend Curt usually heads up just about every week, if he can and always fills me in with his weekend “hunting reports” on his way back to Jersey on Sunday eve.
At this point in the season, he`d been up to Tug Hill only twice as work has kept him busy weekends. Well two weekends ago he called me on his drive back home to give me his report and tells me how he must`ve had forty “flushes” that weekend but only shot two grouse.
Now that really got me interested(ok ok….. maybe salivating!), I said to Curt, “Hell….. maybe ya could`ve cracked a few more, if ya had another, maybe a even faster “gun” up there with ya“
Curt said, “Who….you?” I said, “Ahhhhhh yeah what the hell, let`s go up next weekend!” as I figured someday we might not be able to do this. Me with a bad hip, bad knee and three back surgeries and the fact that Curt is a diabetic and starting to have issues with cramping in his legs, was enough justification for me to say the hell with it, we`re going up.
So I packed my gear and gun on Friday night as we would be leaving at Curt`s by 3:30am on Saturday for our four and a half hour drive north. Sharon put together our meal bags so Curt and I had plenty of grub to eat for two days of hard hunting.
On our way up, we stopped at “Fat Nancy`s” on the up by Pulaski so I could get my out-of-state hunting license. While at the register, the Lady kept staring at my Hat and finally said, “That`s the most interesting Hat I have ever seen“…….. I grinned and said, “Thanks……. it`s my lucky fishin` & huntin` Hat and hopefully it won`t let me down this weekend”
Getting into Tug Hill, we stopped at the first spot of the morning and Curt`s bird dog “Jake” was raring to go as we threw on our hunting jackets.
We joked as we started walking down the old logging road as to who would crack the first grouse of the day!
Which wouldn`t take too long……..as Curt was quickly on board with the first Grouse of the day!
It was very,very windy on Saturday and we still did relatively well ending up with two Grouse and three Woodcock at the end of the day.
Got up Sunday morning and Curt suggested we go grab a hot breakfast down at Lloyd`s Diner which sounded good to me. Well why we were there, I noticed this bottle of ketchup on our table……..
Curt was like, “Hey Ken….you like hot foods, put some of this on your scrambled eggs!“
Ha! Ha! I said, “I believe I`ll pass…… Don`t need any Fire in the Hole out there huntin` this mornin`!“
Now the weather was a bit different this day as we had to contend with a steady light rain and windy conditions almost the entire day. But we still wrangled up a few birds!
And you must know by now that I usually have my Go PRO! So without any further ado, here`s the Video that I shot of the weekend`s adventure up north.
Always a good time up north with Curt and Jake. And isn`t that what good Friends are all about?
It was a hot, muggy Summertime morning as I made my way out to Merrill Creek Reservoir. The forecast was off and on showers with heavy thunderstorms predicted late in the afternoon. Typical Summertime weather in New Jersey.
So I figured I`d try something a little different that morning, as I hadn`t used this one in quite awhile…..
Well now not exactly that kind of Wonder Bread!
But you`ll see why the lure is named that.
As I made my way out through the thick fog that morning, I came upon quite the sight!
Two Bald Eagle “dining” on a dead deer along the water`s edge! My Go PRO`s case had a little moisture
in it and it made the pictures too foggy. But what an amazing sight as I paddled up very close to them.
On only my second cast of the morning, this nice Bass
jumped on the “Bread”!
A nice `Hawg to start off the morning indeed!
As a I worked my way around the dead, submerged trees, it wasn`t long…..BAM! Fish on! Swore it was another `Hawg Bass, as he demostrated his acrobatic-abilities, breaking water and getting air-bound about
thirty yards away from the `Yak.
Boy was I wrong……… it was a nice size Chain Pickerel!
Like that Largemouth earlier, he too enjoyed the “Bread” that I was serving!
I managed to wrangle up another really nice “Chain-side” about an hour later, as I kept “serving” the “Bread”.
Turn up those speakers and enjoy the Video of the day`s adventure:
So in a nutshell,……………..
always remember to bring your “Bread” when you`re out and about!
Despite the strong windy conditions today, I launched my `Yak in the Passaic to see if I could chase a few Northern Pike around. I launched it at 2:30 and at 4pm looked at my watch & thought, “What the hell was I thinkin` about?” A cold-front had come through the night before and the high temperature was 58 degrees today. Surely this would shut the fishing down in my book. As I worked my way down-river I was coming upon a dead sycamore tree laying half-way across the river. My first cast was picture-perfect, landing inches from the submerged tree trunk. BAM! The water boiled as a Monster Pike grabbed my spinnerbait!
“WOW!…..This is a good fish!” I said out loud as the river monster towed my `Yak sideways across the river!
I fought this big Pike for nearly ten minutes, playin` him out.
Then he showed himself in the sunlight near my `Yak! As I grabbed my folding little kayak net, I knew I was in trouble! I could never get his thick head, let alone his huge body in that puny net!
My only plan was to attempt to scoop him with that little net & flip him in my `Yak!
As I got him closer, I slid the net under him & as I lifted him out of the water, he thrashed his head violently, shaking the spinnerbait loose & gliding back down into the deep murky water of the Passaic River…….
I smiled as I looked down at that little net and said, “Why didn`t I have my “real” net today???!”
So I regrouped & started paddling back down river. “Perhaps all of the Pike were not turned off by the cold-front” I thought as I paddled.
The on my fifth cast since losing the river monster, I thought I was snagged in some weeds……… Wait!
That`s a fish running! Fish on! As I set the hook!
Even though I hadn`t seen nor caught one of these in years, I knew immediately what I had landed……
A really nice 24″ Chain Pickerel!
Well now this certainly was unexpected & definitely added to this Adventure!
*Also check out the video I shot of the three deer swimming across the Passaic as I sat in my `Yak. Pretty darn cool eh???