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Archive for the ‘Muskie Fishing’ Category

Muskie Stocking

Joe Houck placing muskies into his boat.

Joe Houck placing muskies into his boat.

I knew of the scheduled muskellunge stocking for this day. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission stock truck was to be at Rosston, Pennsylvania at 12:30. I arrived on site about ten after twelve and much stocking had already taken place.

Joel Morrow helping fish commission to empty truck of remaining muskies.

Joel Morrow helping fish commission to empty truck of remaining muskies.

Crooked Creek and the Allegheny River at Rosston

Crooked Creek and the Allegheny River at Rosston

My friend, Frank Maus was already “out to sea” with his boatload of the muskie fingerlings when I arrived on site. Other muskie fishermen such as Joel Morrow and  Joe Houck were loading up to go out into the waters of the Allegheny River to scatter their future catches. These men and others were on hand to stock the fish throughout  various areas of the river. They are members of Muskie.Inc. The organization adds financial aid to help the fish commission with the raising and stocking of the young muskies. This is joint effort. Their web site is: www.muskieinc.org                                                                                               DSC_0011

The estimate of survival is somewhere around 10%. Predation is high on all fish. Other musies will eat these fish whenever the opportunity exists. A total of around 1400 fish were stocked this day at several locations.

DSC_0022     In a few years we will be catching these beauts!

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Some Muskie Fishing!

DSC_0051   My friend, Frank “The Muskie” Maus and I spent some quality time on the great Allegheny River  in our quest for the muskellunge! Frank has had a dry streak and he was hoping his “good luck charm” would change the fishing.

The morning was a beautiful fall-like one with cool temperatures. Beautiful wisps of fog could be viewed lifting from the still waters of the river. We saw a small flock of turkeys and a deer while traveling to the fishing event.  Would these sightings be a positive omen.? Time would tell!                                                                                                                                     DSC_0049

The method of fishing this day would be continuing casting lures hoping some hungry ‘ski would chase and gobble up. We casted and drifted for a long time catching up on the many stories of spring gobbler hunting and fishing and other friends and past working partners.

DSC_0055    At one site, Frankie had a swirl of a fish coming close to his lure and, later, I felt a bump and saw the flash of some unhooked fish!

later while retrieving my lure I felt the tug and in short saw a muskie. Unfortunately, the muskie threw the hooks and swam away to fight another day. (We were fishing near Dan’s favorite place!) We, laughingly, kept saying that we didn’t want to catch any skies anyway for then one would have to remove them.                    DSC_0056

Well, that would be it for any fish action. In a way, the good luck charm worked for we had three potential times when fish could have been caught. So, I will take credit for that!

Frank battening down the hatches!!!

Frank battening down the hatches!!!

Other critters of the day were a great blue heron, buzzards, geese, and an osprey.

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Purple Coneflower

  I’ve been busy! The last weekend in June I played guitar with, at least, 6 bands at campgrounds. Of course, over the 4th of July week I was at several cook out meals. One was with my family and the other was at Greensburg, Pennsylvania at Laurie’s brother and his betrothed home. We attended  the home of Kristen and Mark Crosby on July 4th for multiple reasons. Mark had made the trek to becoming a Free Methodist pastor. We, and others had stopped by for a cook out type congratulatory visit. The invite, also, meant chairs set up watching the fire works during the Heritage Days event in Ford City, Pennsylvania.

We did some western-style square dancing  Friday evening (July 6) during one of the hottest days of summer. (Didn’t say we were smart! and I didn’t say I did well either!)

One evening I went for a nice bike ride. I went to Rosston and went around the marina and returned home.The several hour ride was invigorating.

Another project for me is placing tracks in a digital recordings for a future CD. I have placed , thus far, up to six and seven tracks on some of the 13 songs. This is a lot of work and is time-consuming. This morning we worked at placing some vocals on three of the songs.

Button Bush

Muskie Maus

On Tuesday, I spent the day on the Allegheny River casting and trolling for muskies at the invite of my friend, Frank (MUSKIE) Maus. He has caught 305 of these great fish in his fishing career. That is quite an accomplishment. The man is obsessed with muskies! We failed to have any strikes this day. I watched a gar trail my lure and with the next cast felt a nudge on the lure which was, probably, the same gar. We saw lots of mallards and some mergansers and a few gulls.  

Wednesday, found me doing a  couple of miles of walking and later gathering some large rocks for landscaping. (I am getting to old for such weights!)

A bear walked somewhere below my home on Tuesday. I sure would have liked to have seen it! This week I have seen a few deer and, today I did see about 7 turkeys cross the road below my old homestead.

Wednesday evening I located the final resting place of Col. William Sirwell. He was the commander of the 78 Pennsylvania Regiment from our area. He is buried at the St. Mary’s cemetary near Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Col. Wm. Sirwell grave marker.

Saturday, I am scheduled to play lead guitar with a band called Just Passin’ Through. This band lost their lead guitar player about four years ago and I have been asked to play at Grey’s Home for their annual picnic the last three years.  This band doesn’t play music much together due to travel, etc. This is one time they manage to get together. They play older style country music.

Sunday evening, I was asked to play lead guitar with a gospel band called the Gospel Messengers. This will be a televised event. They lost their lead instrument last year and, as of date, haven’t found a full-time replacement.

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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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      Fishing for muskies is rather new for me. My first venture with the muskie challenge occurred a couple of years ago when, my friend, Frank Maus invited me on his boat for a fishing excursion. Frankie is an expert on muskies. He would, probably, tell you otherwise, but to me he is very knowledgable about the specie.. 

    I met him early at his home where I saw a turkey walk into a field. As we began our trip to the Allegheny River the rain started. The moisture continued even for a time while we surfaced fish. It never rained hard enough to think about quitting.      

Citizen's Bridge at Kittanning

We casted surface plugs for two hours and I was fortunate to see a swirl one time. Additional casts produced nothing.

We began trolling around 11:00 and continued trolling until about 3:30. We were blessed with a beautiful day after the rain subsided. A front was coming through pushing out the heavy clouds into a clear sky loaded with fluffy cumulus clouds.  We commented more than once as to how great the day turned out.                                                                                  

A diver from the bridge.

We reminisced about the old days at work and some of the incidents we had witnessed. We laughed a lot at many of these incidents and those involved.

   The catch!  The afternoon finally produced a strike and Frank landed a muskie. The fish was somewhere around 30-32 inches. Frank plays the fish fast and tries to remove the hook and release the fish as quickly as possible. This helps insure a better survival rate to such a spectacular fish.

Cormorant

  Other wildlife we saw was a deer along the shores; lots of geese; some mallards; a kingfisher; some herons; gulls and an immature cormorant.

Thanks Frank for an enjoyable day on the waters! 

                                                                    

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I am behind with yesterday’s muskie fishing event. I decided to place both onto one blog.

Frank Maus alias "Muskie"

Rosston Island

   We entered the waters early with a fog and comfortable temperatures.  These conditions didn’t last long. the fog quickly burned off and the day reached into the upper 80’s by the time we quit fishing. Several hours of surface casting yielded no luck. More time trolling proved to be the same.  However, we had an enjoyable time in the boat continually laughing about the days of our lives while at work… and the people we had been involved with.

We quit around 1:00 in the afternoon as the heat began to scorch us.

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Acorns

While visiting with Kip, I gave him back one of the box call cases. A friend from West Virginia wanted a case with the eight custom box calls from Kip. However, he wanted me to paint a  turkey to the box.  Kip will have additional information lasered onto the box for this man. Kip is planning a bear hunt later this month to West Virginia and plans to hand deliver the case. 

You may visit Kip’s web-site. He will be adding more to this site in the future. The site is: http://www.ferociouscalls.com/

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A view along the Allegheny.

My good friend, Frank Maus and I spent some quality time fishing for that elusive muskie on the Allegheny River. Frankie is an exclusive muskie fisherman. His determination is routinely proven by his knowledge and skill with that specie known as the muskellunge. He catches  plenty of them. I have read in the past that some say catching this fish is the equivalent of 1000 casts per fish. That thought may be accurate!    

We began the fishing excursion by using surface plugs at a couple of spots. We fished this way for about one and a half hours before we starting trolling. The day, although later warm, was beautiful with blue skies and low humidity.    

Quiet waters.

We kept talking and discussing the old jobs we retired from and the laughs we used to experience there. Suddenly, the sound of line rapidly exiting a reel was heard. I remember saying , “Which pole?”  There is always a small amount of time that occurs when this happens until your mind hones in on reality.   

Frank immediately sped up the boat to help set the hook.  He grabbed the rod and the water exploded behind the boat and we both realized that a nice fish was on the end of the line. Frank landed the fish and I held the pole as he attempted to get an accurate measurement.  

The muskie!

The muskie was at least 46 inches. Have you ever tried to measure a fish of that size while it is yet  in the water and moving? Frank always works at playing the fish for a short time, getting a photo; measuring and releasing it quickly. A sign of a true conservation-minded individual.  

Frank releasing his muskie.

Top of the line predator...notice the eyes and teeth.

    In earlier times, the Allegheny River was considered to be part of the Ohio River and was called such. The French during the French & Indian War era (1754 -1758 ) called the Ohio River here, “La belle Riviere.” This meant, “The Beautiful River” in English. And a beautiful River it is!

The plug is about 7 inches long.. to compare.

By the way… I didn’t catch anything.

"La belle riviere"

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