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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Golden Rod

Yes, the summer season for the year 2020 is heading down the road to the autumn season.  Recently, this past week, I went for a walk to a state game lands pond approximately a mile back in. I obtain the benefits of walking plus fishing during one excursion. I have placed posts from fishing this pond in the past. I enjoy catching Carp on light tackle or even a flyrod.

One observation being very prominent this past week were the end-of-season wildflowers. Yes, with the golden fields of the Goldenrods the frosts can’t be far away, in fact, as I type this on  September 18, frost watches and warnings are being forecasted for counties north of SR 422. This land area includes northern Armstrong County where I reside. Oh well it is the last half of September.

Turtlehead Wildflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Aster

 

Spotted Jewelweed

 

Bullhead Catfish

Dew-laden Mullein leaves

This excursion yielded two flocks of turkeys, one deer, a flock of Canada Geese and a very brief glimpse of a Black Bear at about thirty yards. The fishing wasn’t too bad either for I landed some Bullhead Catfish. I lost a few Carp due to the four pond test line on my light tackle rod and reel.

Buffalo Creek

 

 

Yellow Jewelweed 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday of this past week found my walking shoes along Buffalo Creek looking for whatever I could find to observe. I found a Red-spotted Newt. (Removed a Box Turtle from the road, too.)

 

 

 

 

 

Red-spotted Newt

 

Cocklebur

 

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The Wake!

My old friend from many years, Frank “Muskie” Maus and I were on the river early this morning. A heavy fog was  everywhere for some time. The air was calm, but the temperatures were to rise hot later.

We began the fishing excursion with surface lures anticipating a great day with hooked Muskies.  Sometime around 7:30- 8:00 A.M. I cast out far into the river. The retrieve began and a wake was directly behind that surface lure. A Muskellunge was in pursuit and immediately behind the lure. I continued the retrieve believing the big fish was about to take the lure and the fight would be on. I continued to turn the reel handle and soon I could see the fish. Within seconds I had the lure alongside the boat and the Muskie was immediately behind the lure. Would this fish take the lure?

 Within four or five feet from me I saw the mouth open wide. The white of the inner mouth was highly visible.  I thought to myself, get ready and hang on!

The Muskie, just as quick, closed his mouth and turned back and disappeared into the depths of the Allegheny River. I was not saddened by the failure of the fish to take the lure, but extremely thrilled to have witnessed this event. Would I have preferred to have the Muskie hit the lure? Of course I would, but I was excited and immediately called the fishing day a success.

Mallard

 

 

Interesting enough, we fished into mid-afternoon and did not have any additional strikes. That , my friend, Is Muskie fishing in a nutshell.  One never know how a day will turn out. Frank has been very successful this year with the golden colored fish. Frank is a “Muskie Professional”, in my book.

Other species of wildlife viewed were mallard Ducks, Wood Ducks, Great-Blue Heron and Belted Kingfishers.

 

 

 

 

Wood Ducks

 

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Along The Allegheny River

Freshwater Drum

I have been fishing off and on, several times to a local pond where I caught Bullhead Catfish and Carp. I enjoy the site, fir the walk to arrive is about one mile and I never see anyone. Today, however, I ventured early south of Kittanning to fish along the great Allegheny River. Action was god for a time, as I caught three Smallmouth Bass rather quickly. Also, I caught something and the weight either broke the line or cut the line with sharp teeth. Regardless, the certainty of a catch lasted a millisecond.

Cardinal Flower

I had another very hard hit and assumed I had caught a nice catfish, by the way it rolled upon retrieve. But, I soon saw the peculiar shape of a Freshwater Drum. Locally, they are often called Sheepshead. The action soon stopped and I failed to get anymore hits, so I walked along the shore to take some photos.

 

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Longnose Gar

I set my minnow trap around 4: 20 A.M. in preparation for a fishing excursion along the Allegheny River.  I was at the river by six in the morning to catch the “big un.”

The fishing was actually good this morning. The weather was beautiful although we had I witnessed several times where some rain fell. None of these events were long enough or hard enough to make anything wet. the usual swift current was workable for a change. I only lost one hook where I usually snag  often. I had watch my broken fishing pole sink into this water here recently.

  I caught varied species of fish. They species included: White Catfish; Flathead Catfish; Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. All of these species put up a nice fight and I truly enjoyed their participation.  However, I caught two fish of another specie…the Longnose Gar.

The gar is not an easy fish to catch due to an extremely bony long “nose” full of sharp teeth.  Simply put; getting a hook to becoming set is difficult. The best wat way to catch gar is to allow them

The narrow-long mouth area with sharp teeth

to run with the bait until they get it into proper position to set the hook. The problems are: most of the time you get a hard bite and do not know it is a gar so the fishermen reacts normally thinking a bass or similar fish is the one biting.  the fisherman heaves back to set the hook only to feel no weight of a catch. And if the fishermen actually knows the fish is a gar, at what time does one believe the fish has the minnow in place for a catch. Not easy!

Most of my fishing adventures over my years never once realized any gars. They were native to my area, but had been gone for many decades. The cleaning up if the Allegheny River allowed this specie to, once again, flourish locally. the Paddlefish has been reintroduced and is doing well, too. That specie gets big.

The Longnose Gar will reach 24, or so, inches in length and up to four pounds. However, they put up a good fight. As stated, I managed to catch two.

Interestingly, I believe a school of this specie must have been in the area, for I missed some fish bites. These bites were hard with a heavy pull and a strongly, bent rod. At some pint after catching two, I began to think some of these misses may be other gars.  I even tried dropping the bail and allowing the fish to take off before settling down a bit. The fish would take off again and I would heave and fail to catch.

I saw a Musky fish-tailing the water.   I saw some Wood Ducks and Mallards, Great Blue Heron and some Ring-billed Gulls, too.

Flathead Catfish

One bird I saw and watched for a time was a Common Loon. This loon was an immature, non-breeding loon.  I was fortunate to have the camera on this bird as it raised up and flapped the wings.

Common Loon

 

 

 

Purple Loosestrife

 

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Carp Chasing

CARP

I enjoyed some fine time in the cool of the day while chasing Carp. I enjoy catching these fish on light tackle and I always find a few days afield pursuing them. As I walked the distance to get to this fishing site I heard a gobbler sound off. later I would see him and a few others.

This morning proved to an interesting one, indeed. The Crap, apparently, are in the midst of their breeding season. Crap were right against the shoreline. One might see, as many, as five Carp   together as they splashed around. I crept up within feet from some using the vegetation as cover. I dangled the bait at the surface or I allowed it to settled right in front of them and the bait was ignored.

Oxeye daisy

Soon, I realized they had other things on their minds, so I cast out farther from the shoreline. That worked! I began catching carp and some Bullhead catfish, as well. Fishing was good enough that I ran out of bait quickly.

I’ll be back again. Last week while fishing the Allegheny River where I caught Smallmouth Bass and a twenty Inch Channel catfish until my rod broke. I don’t know what I had caught. I could feel the actions, atlas, the half of the fishing pole is somewhere in the waters of the Allegheny! I snagged on an old log or something. I had hoped the fish would work out of the snag, but the pole and line had another plan and that was to BREAK!

 

 

 

 

 

First Monarch Butterfly of the year.

 

Turkey Vulture

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Morning On The Allegheny River

A place to fish.

Yesterday  in the late afternoon I placed my minnow trap in the creek in my back yard. Half an hour later I had more minnows than I needed for the morning’s fishing. I collected about a dozen and returned the remaining minnows for another time.

This morning I edged along the vegetated shoreline to go to a place I have had luck in other fishing excursions.   I am careful while maneuvering the smooth river stones after all I am getting old and feeble.

Smallmouth Bass

Eventually I spotted a wooden pier-like object along the shoreline. The pier had  steel bottom as if it had been made to be pulled along behind a tractor or pickup. This would be an excellent place to fish from. From this site I caught some nice bass from around fifteen to seventeen inches. I caught a catfish around twenty-two inches in length. Nice action while fishing with light tackle.

 

 

 

 

 

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Some Carp Fishing

Carp

Last week I spent a morning walking back to an area to fish for some carp on light tackle. I had a great time. I caught some and a Bullhead Catfish.

Happiness is a taut fishing line.

 

An Aster

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What A Fight!

Softshell Turtle

I left very early this morning to fish the Allegheny River before the sun became to hot. The thick fog lasted until about none o’clock. During this time the fishing was quite comfortable. I caught three Smallmouth Bass during my two hour fishing excursion. However, I caught something else this morning. I caught and landed a Spiny Softshell Turtle, often called a Leatherback. The carapace is unlike most turtles because their “shell” is soft and rubbery, hence their name.

The fishing pole bent way down when I pulled back to set the hook. Then the fight!  I wasn’t sure what I caught and expected a big catfish by the weight I was feeling and the fighting. Twice I could see the “fish” near the surface. I thought I was getting a glimpse of a fin or tail. Eventually, I brought the critter close enough to identify and , indeed, it was a turtle.

The temps were rapidly climbing and I pulled up the equipment and headed towards the jeep.

On a sad note, the area I was fishing will now be closed to fishing. I talked to a gentleman and he told me the property will not allow fishing anymore due to ATV traffic and trash and garbage thrown about. Partiers and, even sadder to say, fishermen continually throw their garbage out. He told me they even removed a burned up mattress.  The man was very apologetic to me and I told him I understood, for such activities are common all over.

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Fishing and Hiking

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Longnose Gar

Since Laurie and I have returned from our Colorado trip I have been doing some hiking and fishing.  I have been having much success with fishing. I have caught many Smallmouth Bass; several nice catfish, a Walleye, Carp and a longnose Gar.  I had a Muskellunge follow my hook to shore before grabbing it. I didn’t have the fish on for long for the sharp teeth cut the line.

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Carp

I have been fishing along the Allegheny River and a local pond. The pond is a little over an acre I suppose and yields Carp and catfish. I enjoy the fight of a muscle-bound carp so I tend to either use light tackle or a flyrod to catch these beauties. The plus to fishing this pond is a hike of about a mile to arrive on site. There is always something to see while walking.

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Smallmouth Bass

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Catfish

 

 

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The view overlooking Paige Run and Red Run

After a rather rough night for sleep I had the tent packed and was on the road prior to sunrise. The eastern sky was illuminated and a nice day was to be reality.

Red Run

I stopped along the Quehanna Highway and walked back through the woods to, hopefully, hear some gobbling. I didn’t hear any turkey talk at all. I didn’t allow a lot of time to listen, for a had an agenda to follow. I wanted to be overlooking some deep hollows early to take advantage of the morning sun casting deep shadows. This should give up a few nice photo opportunities.

One of many deer sightings.

I walked along a trail to a huge rock where I could see a great distances. The sun was doing what I had hoped and I took a number of photos.

I followed this trail down over a steep and rocky hill until I could see, and hear, Paige Run. (Paige Run meets up with Red Run.) What a beautiful stream with fast waters cascading over many rocks. Rhododendrons added a much needed color contrast with the deep and lush greens. I climbed the hollow and eventually crossed the stream to head up the other side. I reached the top and noticed the sounds of the fast water were almost absent. Suddenly I heard it…a gobble way off! I listened until I knew the direction and you guessed it… the bird was across the big hollow I had just come out of. Off I went in reverse to see if I could locate this turkey.

 I heard the turkey once more as I entered the ridgeline from where the gobbling had occurred. I listened for a time and decided I should get to fishing. The first morning of trout season was already well on the way. I was to fish Red Run for native Brook Trout. There was one catch. (No pun intended.) I would not be fishing if the stream was crowded. I pulled over along the road to NO VEHICLES.  I was elated. The time was 9:30 in the morning.

 

Native Brook Trout

Action was fast. I began catching, and loosing, and missing Brook Trout immediately. I spent over two and a half  hours along the waters. I released all the trout. Native Brook trout never achieve and size in such streams, but that was fine with me for I was alone. Only two vehicles traveled the road during that time.

Wykoff Run

I was going to fish Jack Dent Run as I headed towards home only to find a lot of pressure on that stream. Apparently, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission had stocked these waters. I decided to travel slow on state forest roads to see what I could see and move on into Parker Dam to fish.

I arrived at Parker Dam and continued on. The people were everywhere fishing. I did some sketching for the upcoming painting before moving on towards home earlier than previously planned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons why my legs hurt!

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