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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

River Time

dsc_0013  My friend, Frank Maus, and I had planned on a muskie fishing excursion. We were saddened to hear of our friend, Greg Kunkle with his passing. This passing was discussed during our fishing day. We talked of all the changes with PennDOT since we had retired nine years ago. (We would learn that evening of another passing of a friend. His name was Ike Hooks. I would learn of Laurie’s cousin passing that same day as well. So, I attended three services this week.)                               dsc_0020

Early in the morning on October 5th a very thick fog engulfed the river. Setting in a boat surface casting lures into the water surrounded with white fog can cause an eerie adventure. However, the fog was short-lived. The day would prove to be a beautiful early fall day. The temperatures were comfortable under blue skies.

dsc_0019 We casted a few hours before turning to trolling. Frank told me of a recent sighting of a Fox Squirrel swimming the river. (I received  a message this morning of Frank saving a very tired Chipmunk swimming across the river.)

We trolled until about 2:30 without any strikes or follows. Frank said the fishing is great, but the catching not so much! dsc_0001

We saw several Great Blue herons;Mallards; a large flock of Canada Geese; Red-Tailed Hawks and a Bald eagle. I saw seven deer while traveling in the morning.

Early morning glow

Early morning glow

 

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More Carp Fishing

dsc_0014   I enjoy fishing. Most people know that fact. A couple of times in recent weeks I ventured to a pond where Carp have become the most prevalent fish. Carp are not native to Pennsylvania. In fact they are not native to the United states at all. They usually cause much habitat damage to any ponds destroying egg-laying sites of native species.

My fly rod and reel!

My fly rod and reel!

However, since they have been established in almost every water locally one might as well enjoy fishing for them at times. I sure do!

My last two ventures to this pond has found me enjoying the fight by using a fly rod. Carp averaging fifteen to eighteen inches of muscle on such a fishing pole produce an action paced fight.

I have fished in the river several times during the last few weeks. I have done well with Smallmouth Bass this year.

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Deptford pink

Deptford pink

I woke up knowing I was in need of a walk. However, I wanted to fish, too.  What to do? WOW!  I decided to go for a walk, and fish for some carp. Wasn’t that a simple decision?   This occurred on July 17th.

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

The area I was to walk is a local Pennsylvania Game Commission Game Lands, one I often hike on due to

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

the close vicinity of my home.

 

Downy Skullcap

Downy Skullcap

I walked along a game lands road looking for anything of interest. I am always able to enjoy observing various things of the natural world. Those things may be wildlife; insects; wildflowers…who knows what I may find on a jaunt.            DSC_0011

The morning temperatures were tolerable, but I knew as the sun rose higher in the east those temperatures would rise higher. The deer flies walking in were not very bad. One managed to insert into my elbow region. I felt the hot, needle-like pain, and instinctively came down on the insect. I crushed the b\culprit between my fingers. I audibly stated: You may have bite me, but I got you!  I will heal, but you will not!  Awww sweet revenge!

DSC_0009    I came to a pond that was stagnant because of the lack of rain. Brown vegetation was visible on the surface. I could see a few carp sucking at the surface. Others were pushing their snouts into the mud. I tried catching a few of these carp, and they would completely ignore my enhancing baits. Later, I moved to the other side of the pond. My line showed sign of a bite. However, the string didn’t take off in a traditional carp-like bite. After some time the line became taught and a carp was on and the fight began.

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

The carp felt big on light tackle. The fish was eighteen inches of pure muscle. I released the European native back into the pond for another day. That carp was my only catch. they were being selective feeders today.

 

Bull Thistle

Bull Thistle

The temperatures were climbing as I began the trek back towards the jeep. The deer flies were more prevalent, too. The flew around like Messerschmitt Jet planes from the German air force. I managed to relieve some of them of their pesky lives.

I found a lot of various wildflowers to observe and photograph as I exited the woods.

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Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

I didn’t have a lot of worms, and I was too early to purchase any minnows to fish. I decided to fish this morning. The temperatures are to reach around 90 degrees later. The decision was a good one.                                                DSC_0007

The river near Lock # 7 near Kittanning, Pennsylvania was a little higher than normal. I ended up being forced to step into the Allegheny River to wade at times due to lush vegetation on the river’s bank. The water was warm.

 

Citizen's Bridge at Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Citizen’s Bridge at Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

DSC_0012 The first cast into the swift water ended up with a snagged , and lost, line. The second cast brought forth a 14 inch catfish.  I continued to fish having a couple of light bites, but no strong tug to force me into action.

Garden Yellow Loosestrife

Garden Yellow Loosestrife

Later, while glassing some mallards, I heard the sound of a falling fishing pole. The catfish yanked hard enough that the rod bounced down. A second, or two, later and I may have lost my gear, but I caught the 18 inch channel catfish.

Lock # 7 on the Allegheny River

Lock # 7 on the Allegheny River

I saw other ducks, gulls, and the loon again. The loon upon seeing me at over fifty yards swam to about twelve feet of my position. The bird was curious, I guess!

DSC_0017 After the third time of snagging the bottom plug of the river, I decided to head along the river, and take some wildflower photos.

The Purple Loosestrife was very common, however, it is an invasive foreign specie. Another flower was the Garden Yellow Loosestrife. This, too, is a non-native wildflower. I saw one cardinal flower just beginning to bloom. Their scarlet colors are of the deepest red imaginable.

DSC_0011

 

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DSC_0005 I am burnt to a crisp as the old saying goes. Not really, but I did increase my tan quite a bit. I spent much of the day on the Allegheny River with my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus. I always enjoy the time together as we chase around that elusive fish, the Muskellunge!

Da Man!  Frank Maus.

Da Man! Frank Maus.

Frankie had two follows, and one strike the previous day, so I had hoped the fish would be in the mood to be caught this day.

We began by casting surface lures  attempting to entice one of those big fish to attack in power.  We traveled to several points along the waterway fishing with this technique. Frank had one swirl behind the lure. I began hoping for additional action.

DSC_0011 Later, the trolling took the scene further attempting to have a fish become hungry and attack the lures in a vengeful manner. Unfortunately, we could not locate any muskies this day other than the swirl behind the lure. I jinxed the man!

DSC_0012

However, we saw a lot of wildlife during the excursion. We saw deer including two fawns at the river’s edge. A long line of Canada Geese were viewed in a single file. We saw a lot of waterfowl. One hen mallard had several baby ducklings following her movements up river. On a recent fishing trip I saw, probably, this same hen with at least eight babies. Wonder what specie devoured the other ducklings?        DSC_0023

 

Fox Squirrel running after Frank's lure hit the water near it.

Fox Squirrel running after Frank’s lure hit the water near it.

We saw a couple of softshell turtles sunning themselves on rocks. We saw a Bald Eagle!

Much of the morning was foggy or involved with cloud cover. However, after noon the sun came out with lots of heat. A stated, my tan lines darkened!

 

Lure action!

Lure action!

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DSC_0003 We were greeted with a dense fog as we started out into the beautiful Allegheny River. My friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus, and I had no idea what this day of muskie fishing might bring. Would we be hauling a ton of the golden, big fish, or would be involved with a luckless day? Only hours of casting, and trolling for many hours would produce the answer.

Boats in the fog

Boats in the fog

DSC_0005 We spent time surface casting before changing over to some trolling lures. The fog lifted rapidly once the atmospheric conditions were met. Still we fished on! The sky became deep blue with big fluffy clouds. A nice breeze followed the course of the river making for a comfortable day. Still we fished on!                                                                                            DSC_0004

The minutes crept into hours, and we eventually turned the trolling lures into underwater lures. We finished out the day using such lures. I snagged onto something, and became worried I would lose the lure. However, after some effort the lure released from the underwater structure.

Another fog pic!

Another fog pic!

One highlight for me was to watch a mature Bald eagle fly over our position on the water. I am always thrilled to see these majestic birds!

Frank has caught around 370 muskies during his career as a muskie fisherman. I am impressed!  As he we tell you, the efforts of many hours fishing for them produced the success. The muskellunge has been called the, “Fish Of A Thousand Casts.”

One of those thousand casts!

One of those thousand casts!

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DSC_0006  I decided about mid-morning that a fishing excursion to Crooked Creek was in order. A few moments later I was loading up the waders; rod; camera; fishing vest, and such and was on my way!

The waters of this creek was great. The previous day’s rain colored the water slightly. The humidity level was low this day, and the sky was blue as turquoise. A pleasant breeze ebbed along the hollow.                                                                               DSC_0007

Every time I fish this water source, I visualize Delaware Indians in their canoes using the route for transport. Early settlers would use this water, as well. This time of the year, however, much of the water is wouldn’t be easily traveled due to the water level.DSC_0008Fishing was very good this day. I caught catfish ranging from fifteen inches to about twenty-five inches. I had a bigger one on and I watched the fish swim away once the hook bent from the fight , and weight of the trophy.

I caught some smallmouth bass as well. their sizes ranged from about ten inches to possibly sixteen inches. The biggest one put up quite an acrobatic show!

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

The other specie of fish I caught was a bluegill. I missed some fish, and lost some fish.

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