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Archive for June, 2012

Muskie Fishing

I had feelings of guilt while heading out for a muskellunge fishing adventure. My Uncle Harold Yount passed away Sunday night after a bout with lung cancer and other issues. My friend, Frank “MUSKIE” Maus and I had planned this day out. Initially after his passing I cancelled, but after the dates of funeral services became known, I decided to contact Frank and go ahead and fish.

The morning was very pleasant and cool. As the morning progressed a breeze became the norm and the temperatures edged upward into the low eighty degree range. At 9:00 A.M. local church bells rang out marking the time. It is about that time we began casting lures into the waters of the Allegheny River near Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Preparing for release!

Muskie!

Frank had snagged a fish while retrieving his lure. He theorized it may have been a bass or shad. I saw the shine as the fish turned. I had casted approximately 10-12 casts when I felt the weight and struggle begin. I had caught a beaut of a muskie! The fight was on!

After a few minutes of exciting fishing I had the fish tiring enough to work it towards the boat’s side.Both, Frank and I believe in playing the fish quickly to release as fast as possible. This helps insure safety and a much better chance of successfully releasing the muskie to a long life.

Frank has a floating measuring device he had made and he placed it measure alongside of the fish. I looked and the tail edged alongside of the 44 inch mark, give or take a bit. I held the fish by the tail and Frank removed the barbed hooks from the tiger’s mouth. The muskie has many sharp and dangerous teeth. These teeth point backwards towards the fish’s belly. Don’t get them in your flesh for the pain is difficult.

I held the muskie’s tail for moment or two making sure the fish appeared to be good to go and shortly she was off. I was elated as you might have guessed. Frankie was, probably more giddy than I for we both laughed for a while afterwards. The remainder of our fishing adventure produced no more muskies.                                  

Later on, I spotted a deer along the west side of the river and saw something else in the water about 100 yards from the shore. I gave it little thought thinking goose.A moment or two later, I told Frank what is that in the water. I reached for my binoculars and was very much surprised to see a buck rapidly heading for the eastern shore! WOW!

I couldn’t thank Frankie enough for the day. We had our usual laughs and conversation and some great memories.

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Yesterday, I had went to a local state game lands for a walk and carp fishing. I caught an 18 incher. Later, as I walked about I found the remains of a black bear!

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I was planning with a couple of hours of carp fishing anyway, so when my sister Ruthie Wolfe and I were talking I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk and take some photos as I fished. As promised, we were only there for a couple of hours. We wanted to beat the heat.

Ruthie holding one of my catches.

We went to a local state game lands. To fish in the pond one needs to walk about one mile. The game lands road has an issue that I didn’t think of. Poison Ivy! I do not give the three-leaf plant any thought, but my sister is highly allergic to it. Years ago she had blisters as big as silver dollars. She had a rough ordeal. We did are best to avoid the more vegetated road sites and we managed to stay clear of the plant. However, she had to be careful at a few sites.     

The pond was muddy due to the carp activity in the waters. Amazingly, the inflow stream was barely allowing for clean water entry. I guess we have been more dry than I realized.

The back of a carp.

I began to stalk for carp. Ripples could be seen near the edge of the pond. Often the fish would be tight along the pond’s edge among the high grasses. Occasionally, one could actually see the backs of carp in the shallow water.

I managed to catch only two carp. However, I missed several. They were not taking the bait very readily. Normally, I fish here earlier in the morning.The carp is a proven fighter pulling hard once hooked. The fish is very capable of breaking fishing line whenever they make one of the power surges they are famous for.

The Legend!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Crooked Creek Fishing

Crooked Creek

A slight fog was still covering the hollows as I approached the back waters of Crooked Creek. The morning sun was rapidly burning off the remainder of any of the fog. I heard a few “honks”of Canada geese just ahead of me. the dense vegetation was not allowing the birds to see me until I was almost to them.

Another view of Crooked Creek

The moment I became visible the two adults and their three half-grown goslings became nervous and the eased down stream away from my presence. Strangely, a fourth bird with them was a female common merganser. She went air-borne! I would see her several times as the morning progressed.

Papa Goose

The fishing began slow, but improved as the sun heated the hollow. As the sun rose I could see bass, bluegills and later one sizable carp. One largemouth bass appeared to be around 14 inches in length. The fish refused to bite, but smaller ones liked the worms. Throughout the morning I caught bluegills and smallmouth bass and one horny-headed chub.

Merganser

Water snake

The northern water snakes were out too. I saw, at least , seven or eight snakes. One overhanging tree yielded several falling from the branches into the water. I spotted two on a limb at one time. I couldn’t resist the urge and I caught one snake and tossed the reptile into the water.

The snake I caught!

Before I knew it much time had elapsed and I decided I better head off home for Suzie, my diabetic Springer Spaniel, would be holding her legs together tightly trying to fend off her need to go outside for a nature call.

Crooked Creek is a beautiful waterway.The history of our area would have seen many Lenni-lenape hunters and warriors, along with early setters using those waters for their traveling needs.

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Expensive Day

I dropped the car near the old Linde -Aire plant (south of Applewold, Pennsylvania) off this morning to have it inspected. Also, I needed a squeal located. I packed my camera and headed down the tracks across the river from Manorville, Pennsylvania. I allocated two hours to allow for the car to be checked over. However, I discovered , while going through my insurance papers that my insurance would be up very soon. I didn’t receive the usual forms  showing what I needed to pay to comply.  I had forgotten about this since the paperwork hadn’t been received by me.

Daisy

Male wood duck

The walk was enjoyable with cooler temperatures with lots of nature to observe. The mechanic called my cell to inform me my 2008 Dodge Caliber with only 26,000 miles was in bad joint. The “Bad Luck”car was adding up more grief for me. The warranty is up and the problems I have had  are terrible when one considers the low mileage. While setting on the rails of the railroad tracks I called the insurance company and was told for me to simply drop by and pay the cost and they would take over and supply all my needs in regards to the insurance.

Wood Duck family

Needless to say with insurance and car repairs I dropped very close to a grand. However, I still managed to find enjoyment with my hike. I saw wood ducks…a beautiful male woodie and a hen woodie with  quite a brood. I saw lots of squirrels. I saw gray and fox squirrels. I noticed these mammals enjoy setting on the rails too. They allow me to walk rather close at times. I saw lots of bird life, especially the rose-breasted grosbeak…always a favorite of mine. I saw two deer (possibly three) and had two red fox sightings. The fox, at one time, exited the vegetation ten feet to my left and was so surprised it resembled a cartoon character running in place trying get traction. So, one might consider my hike rather expensive!

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