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Saturday, January 14, 2017

My 2016 Fox Squirrel Season

Hello Guys,   I Fox Squirrel Hunted 3 or 4 times this Season.   The First was with my Dog Pete.
Now, Pete and I had a blast and we saw 2 that day but they both went into holes and eluded us. 
They are a lot smarter than most people think, maybe they get a bad wrap from the tame ones on golf courses but these ones we hunt are ELUSIVE.

The next time I went was November the 28th.   This time I took a friend of a friend who had never seen a Fox Squirrel and wanted to kill one and mark it off his bucket list. Lee is his name and it was a wonderful day hunting with a very nice hunter. We met up at 11:00 am and made the 1hr drive south to my  Fox Squirrel hot spot.  You could immediately tell that Lee was an expert hunter  and the pressure was on for me to put Lee on one.  

My plan was to go to good spots and sit at each one for ~30 minutes and if no action to move and repeat. On the first move I spotted a big Black saddleback one ahead of us but he gave us the slip.
This move and repeat process continued until 3pm  when I told Lee That we were in my # 2 spot and we should sit here till dark.  Lee sat up against one big pine and I another approximately 70 yards from him.  There wasn't much happening until 5 pm when I heard something running between Lee and I . I looked that way and a big Silver one climbed a small oak. I  Rushed the tree and Lee was getting there as well. The squirrel then jumped to a big pine and both lee and I had him spotted.  I told Lee that the honor was his and His trusty Winchester 37 in 410 put the hammer on that squirrel.    An awesome ending to a great afternoon in the woods.

Here is the picture of Lee's Fox Squirrel -

Lee then presented me with a Turkey Wingbone call that he made himself from a turkey he killed !!
Wow! what a special present.  Thanks Lee, I hope we can do this again next year.

Fast Forward to 12/12/2016 and I was after one for me.   Somehow I was daydreaming or just not paying attention and I missed my turn to where I hunt.    I went over a little hill and I see what I think is a dead Fox Squirrel on the side of US 1. I have to turn around anyway and as I pull up to it I can see that it is a Fox Squirrel.
 Crap,  I sometimes shoot them but it is a shame when one gets run over.   What a nice example of a Saddleback color phase.  I put the squirrel just off the road in the woods so it could return to the earth.

Now, I was headed in the right direction.   I arrived at my spot and since my time was limited today I chose to make the sit till dark in the same place that Lee and I hunted  a few weeks ago.  I sat down and was about to nod off and in 5 minutes and I hear something in the tree 5 yards in front of me.  I look up and there is this big beautiful Black one coming down the tree not 5 yards from me.   The squirrel gets to the bottom and knows I am something but doesn't know what.   Anyway, I got a video of it which I added the going in and out of the woods.  I ain't  the best movie maker  but watch that sucker check me out from the bottom of the tree.

Here is the video ----


 and a picture,  shot with a 20 gauge Savage S x S using # 6 shot at 25 yards

Though I only got to Fox Squirrel Hunt 3 or 4 times it was a fun season and one I will remember.
Thanks, Mack

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Lunch Break Crappie

3 Lunch break trips and 1 evening Trip

Date:  December 16, 2016
Where :   Central NC Lake
Rod:   Berkley 12' Crappie Pro
Reel:  Daiwa StrikeForce 1000-B
Lure:  Black/Red/Chartreuse Crappie Jig
Depth:  Fish caught 7' deep in 10 ' water
Time:  1200-1300 
Air Temp:  COLD  32degrees 
Water Temp:  41 Degrees

I had heard the crappie were biting but recently my time has been limited.   Cameron from work was going to fish this lake for a few hours so I decided to join him during my lunch hour.  Lots of small ones were biting with a few decent ones mixed in.   All were caught by tight lining tubes or jigs 7' down in 10' of water.  Almost all of the crappie were Black Crappie with just a couple being White Crappie.  We also caught a couple of White Catfish.  Now I actually enjoy catching the catfish as they get your heart pumping when you initially think you have just hooked a 3 lb Crappie!!!  I probably caught 12~ fish and Cameron double that as he was there longer than me.  This was a fun lunch break. I think I will have to do this again next week .

Surprise Golden Shiner 

 Trip to same place December 20th   for  another Lunchbreak-

Decided to go again during my lunch.   A couple of things I changed up today is 1. that I brought another rod. This second rod would have a shad spoon on the bottom with 2 droppers above it with hooks baited with small pieces of garlic worms.  Google "Garlic Worms".  This rod would be an Uncle Bucks 9' rod with a 1000 size Shimano reel.    Now I caught a few on the Tube jig(and the biggest Crappie today) but the majority of fish came on the baited hooks dropped down 7-10 ft deep in 12 ft deep water.  I caught 2 fish on the spoon and a few more on the tube jig but most came on the Garlic Worms.   Water temp today was 43 degrees.

Today's catch was 1 White Cat,  2 yellow perch, 1 gizzard shad caught in the mouth!, 15~ crappie, and 10~ bream.  I only caught 1 decent crappie today but it was a fun hour with constant fish.

Small Yellow Perch

 White Catfish

Bream - here you can see the Shad Spoon on bottom and 1 of the droppers that the fish was caught on.

A Black Crappie


This was a fun lunch break today.  I am going to hit this spot again tomorrow or the next day. Heck! maybe I will fish it both days.

Fast Forward a few days

Hit it again the other day during lunch and this evening 12/25 and both times caught Crappie , Bream, Yellow Perch and White Cats.

This is a nice looking specimen but 95 percent on Yellow Perch in the Piedmont of North Carolina are small. They are either stunted or just dont grow well in central NC.  To consistently get really Nice Yellow Perch in  North Carolina you need to go down east to some of the Blackwater creeks where they grow considerably larger.. 

And this is what happens when word gets out where you are fishing and they are biting!! They were 8 other fishermen here at one time.

My wife with a nice Black Crappie

Thanks, Mack

Monday, November 7, 2016

Carp from my Old Stomping Grounds.

I grew up on the banks of the Haw  River just north of Burlington, NC.  The Haw is where I learned to fish and where I caught my first carp. 9lbs? if I remember correctly( I will get that picture and have it scanned and post it one day).   Just north of my parents house is a tributary of the Haw that has a millpond on it.   I sometimes would split my time fishing the Haw around my parents house and then sometimes I would hop on my bike and go after some nice bass and White Bass that this old millpond has.
It was a big adventure back when I was 14 and biking those 2 miles to the millpond. 2 miles back then was like a 100 today.    I never did purposely fish for carp in that old millpond but I did catch some by accident while pursuing other species.  One memory I have of that pond is a couple of older gentlemen who fished that  millpond religiously for carp. They used packbait and I remember seeing that and thinking how could a carp eat that??   I do remember that I saw them catch some huge carp some probably 30 lbs plus.
So fast forward to this year(Oct 28, 2016) and I decided to go there and  purposely fish for carp.  I only had 2 hours so I was not sure I could catch one.  I used my normal rig and pack bait of oatmeal, cream corn and vanilla with 3 or 4 kernels of corn on the hook.   I caught a small bullhead about an hour in and at about an hour and a half in one reel starts screaming!  Fish on!  .    After a brief battle I pulled in a
4lb carp give or take.  Not a big carp but I was very proud of this one as it was my first at this childhood spot on purpose.    A very  good day.

The rods and reels.   Shimano 3500 Baitrunner w/15 lb test on an  8' Ugly Stik , and a Daiwa 2600SS w/12lb test  on a Pinnacle Rod.
The Bait.....there is a 1 oz weight under there

The result......

Like I said, not a  huge carp but a very special one.   Now I just need to pull one of those 30 lbers out.


"Carp fishing North Carolina"

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bull Reds From the Surf

I had decided after catching 5 big ones on a yak Friday that on Tuesday(Oct 25, 2016) I would head back down there and try to get one out of the surf.
I Left the big city at 11 and was on the beach at 2:30.
My plan was to to throw 2 rods out with mullet(frozen) and try to catch some fresh bait. Except for a big blue crab I had no hits until I caught a bluefish at aprox 445 . I then proceeded to cut it into chunks. The head went on my 7000 blue yonder on a 12 Pinnacle rod and the next section went on a Shimano 6500 baitrunner on a 12' Powerstick plus.
Both of these outfits can throw 9 oz of lead easy. I had 6 oz on the spinning outfit and 9 oz on the Blue yonder. I cast both of these out right to where some pelicans had just dived . Almost Immediately the spinning outfits tip started heading down and then the baitrunner was giving line. I picked it up and started reeling which takes the baitrunner off and goes to drag. I could tell it was a big un and the battle began. 5 mins into the fight the Blue Yonder starts going


I  had to back up to the Blue Yonder to engage the reel and then pick it up with one hand setting the hook. I then put it back down in the holder and loosened the drag. I fought the first one for at least 5 more minutes , lipped it, had someone take a few quick photos and then I had to hold it in the water for at least another 5 before I felt confident it could swim off. Swim off it did. All the while I was keeping an eye on the blue yonder as I didn't want to lose that fish and surely didn't want to lose a 500 dollar outfit. When I picked it up it may have had 30 yards of line left before it hit the bottom of the spool. Another 10 minute battle and the second was beached , photoed and released. An awesome day.
2 Big reds on at the same time and both landed.  Today was my lucky day.  The first went 45 inches and the second I didn't measure but it was only an inch or 2 shorter.     See below for pictures.

Pete my dog was my companion today and he truly loves to fish. I think he enjoyed the trip today more than I did.

Pete on the Ride down

 Pete relaxin on the Beach

6500 Shimano Baitrunner(80's model) spooled with 15 lb Big Game with 40 lb shock leader(Red Cajun)  The rod was a 12' Power Stik. I have had this outfit since the mid to late 80's and it works just as well as the new outfits.

Abu Garcia 7000 Blue Yonder spooled with 16 lb Momoi Line with a 40 lb shock leader.  The rod on this outfit is a 12' Pinnacle .

The Rig consisted of a Pyramid sinker(6- 9 oz) attached to a sinker slide, swivel , leader, and then either a J or circle 9/0 Gamakatsu Hooks.

                                                                     A bait thief

A Northern Puffer  .......

The first one

The second one

An awesome ending to an Awesome day.

" Red Drum North Carolina"
"Red  Drum"

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hot Red Drum Bite

Date - October 21st 2016
Location -  North Carolina Coast
Rods/Reels -  Shimano 6500 BaitRunner on 7' Ugly Stik Tiger Rod
Bait- Frozen Mullet
Rig - Carolina Rig , 2oz weight 8 inch leader 9/0 Circle Hook and 9/0 J hooks Both Gamakatsu's

 I got word of a very Hot bite on Big  Red Drum just off the beach.  Since I had no yak I called one of my good yak friends Joey ( TurtleStew ) and told him if he supplied the yak I would drive or pay for gas and food.  He jumped at the chance as both he and I have been trying to catch a Big Red for several years with no luck.

I met Joey at his house at 4 am and off to the beach we went.  We arrived at out destination at aprox 7 am and got everything unloaded and ready to go.  Several other yakers show up and we waited at the surf for the fog to lift.   The fog lifted at aprox 8:30 and out beyond the breakers we went.  Joey in a Hobie Pro Angler and me in his 12' Redfish.

If you look closely you can see a rainbow in the fog

 The plan was to snag Menhaden with jerk rigs but no schools could be found. Luckily I had brought some frozen mullet.   I put a piece on the hook and cast it out.  Almost immediately I was hooked up!  Then it came loose. I reeled in some slack line and there was little curl at the end of my line. I had tied a bad knot!!!

Back out and it didn't take long again.  My first Big Red!!

Then  Joey Hooked up!!

We both had said that we would be happy with 1 a piece and we ended up with 8  !!!!!! .   Joey caught 3 and I caught 5.  My biggest just being Citation size at 40 inches and Joeys biggest was a Toad at 42  inches.

Here are some more pictures...

My Biggest....

The Bait

The Rig,  I didn't have a 2 oz weight but 2 - 1 ounce weights worked. Not pretty but they worked.

I didn't have a rod holder on this yak so this is how I drifted down the beach, I had the Baitrunner on and when a fish hit I reeled and the spooled engaged and I was hooked up.

One Interesting thing on this trip is that reel is loaded with cheap line. I almost never buy cheap line but last fall at Jeanette's Pier I had my big Drum rod cast off the end of the pier and this outfit cast off the side.  Either a big shark or a Big Ray hit and I was almost spooled until I broke it off. I had no extra line so I went to  the Pier shop and the only line they sell is cheap 2.99 a spool Shur Strike line.  This line did really well and the only break-off I had looked to be my fault.

A great day on the Big water with a Good friend and big fish.  A big thanks to Joey for supplying the Yak. 

OH, and now that I  have caught a North Carolina Citation Red Drum I can now wear this shirt. Check out "Wuz Worth It" on the net.

Thanks for Looking, Mack