Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Prayers to my family in East Tennesee

     After thanksgiving in Baltimore with my family we headed to Asheville for the weekend with the in laws. The smoke from wildfires lay thick over West Asheville this weekend and we were only a couple of miles from one of the fires. Prayers were said at dinner for some rain and we thought that relief was well on its way. The wife and I scrapped our plans to stay last night in Gatlinburg and enjoy Cades Cove one of our favorite places.

Waking up this morning and checking the news I was shocked to see how bad it got last night. Our family there is ok for now. I hope they get the rain they need.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kayaks,Stripers,Blue Crabs and The freaking Blue Angels

Busy as usual but that is how I like it, just wish there was more time in a day. Here is a picture dump of my last week or so its been a mix of back breaking work and a bunch of fun.
White Rocks on the Patapsco

Got the kayak wet for the first time since patching the crack I got in carolina. I paddled out from my house to meet some Snaggedliners at Ft Smallwood for the October meet and greet. The weather was gray and rainy which is usually my better fishing days. I did catch a bunch of fish, let just be glad size didn't matter.

view from the deck

a good example of my catches for the day, what they lacked in size they made up in numbers

Moon closing out my day on the river.

With work scheduled day and night from Sunday on I would have to wait until the next Saturday to get back to the water. With Baltimore's Fleet Week celebration in town I did get a little entertainment on Wednesday and Thursday. The Blue Angels were scheduled to perform on the weekend and their practice took place right over the city. It never gets old hearing the pure fury of the jets soaring over head and growing up near the Navel Academy I have had the pleasure many times. Its is always an awesome experience.
Blue Angels practicing over Baltimore View from Hotel Indigo roof

On Saturday the 15th my yakin buddies and I had one last crabbing trip planned for the year. A cold snap had us wondering if we made the right choice. Unlike the fish, the crabs cooperated in size and numbers.

Yachts coming through the draw bridge to go be seen at Fleet Week

first run

almost there

ready for steamer just add corn

We didn't know we get to see part of the air show from the house. We got to watch jets headed up the river, the Blue angels cross over the neighborhood and some Geico air writing. It was an awesome day nothing says Livin The Dream like crabs, beer and good company.

Blue Angels over Riviera Beach. I think they were following me.

Moon rising over a great day crabbing on the creek
Sunday I had painting scheduled at the college but once the Planes started flying I got distracted and decided to walk down to the wharf and take in the show. My better half went to Ft McHenry with my neighbor. She definitely got the best seats as I had to watch the action from across the harbor. She took plenty of pictures and rubbed it in with some great video.
The view west from Fells Point

Jets over the Urban Garden

Wife's veiw at Ft McHenry

Tall Ships At the inner harbor not my picture

Better halfs view 

Again not my pic but I can wish

My repair on the kayak didn't hold so I will have to revisit that project this weekend after I get out of the woods. Mr white tail is a calling and my freezer is empty. So until next time......

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Off the pier

     This was a hell week for me, threw my back out first thing Monday morning picking up a plastic bag at work then had to limp through the rest of the week. This getting old shit sucks I used to be crooked for 2 days when my back went out and now it takes every bit of 5. So most of my plans for the week were changed in  favor of resting my bones. By yesterday I was feeling better took the pooch for a nice long walk in the rain and put my camping gear back in storage. I had a painting job to finish today and I guess my back wasn't ready yet. By the time I drove home I could barely get my ass out the car. I was gonna take the yak out for a paddle but instead watched the O's clinch a playoff birth. The fishing call was too strong though,so I limped my ass down to the pier at dusk and laid into some small stripers, which with the adult beverage I'm having right now has made everything cheery.
Caught a bunch of these little guys and a mess of perch

Menhaden in the shallows 
     I have lived around the Chesapeake all my life and spent the last 3 years on Stoney Creek and I will say that tonight was the most bait fish I have seen at once in my life. The whole creek was popping as far as the eye could see. I hope this is a sign of better times for the bay for as the menhaden thrive so will everything else.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Water to Woods

    From fishing post to hunting. Fall is my favorite time of year but as usual there just isn't enough time in a day. I kicked off my bow hunting season with a trip close to home. On the 17th of September I awoke to a warm muggy morning that felt more like fishing weather than hunting. I was itching to get in the woods so the hunt was on. Plan was to hunt my favorite ridge in Patapsco Valley State park. I did not get much scouting in prior but my nephew had and armed with his intel and my experience in the area my hopes were high that luck would be in my favor. Luck would have other plans and I guess the full moon and warm temps had the deer moving early and they crossed under my stand under moonlight and out of harms way. I had to forgo the evening hunt for family plans but it was good to get a taste of the woods.
    The next weekend would be the annual pilgrimage to the western part of the state that my hunting buddy's and I have been taking for the last 20 years. Since I was absent on this trip the last few year I was really excited to get back up with the boys for a long relaxing weekend in the hills. Our camp would be set in Garret State Forest in far western Maryland. The plan, get out of work on Thursday load the truck and head west. My nephew Ryan and great nephew Dylan picked me up and  we met up with one of the crew and convoyed to camp arriving about 10 pm. The rest of the group had arrived earlier in the day and had most of camp set up we just needed to get our tents up and gear unloaded. When we arrived camp was empty which was unusual for it being so late we would soon find out why . One of the crew had shot a doe and it ran in circles leaving a hard to track blood trail which got them turned around which led to a longer walk from the woods then they would have liked ( can you say compass boys and girls):). After yours truly went to locate them in the woods and we got the deer back to camp and hung up, some of us might have partook into to many adult beverages, but I'm not naming names. Needless to say I was a bit late getting in the woods on Friday and the deer were not as late passing my blind as I was watching them from atop the ridge. I at least new my spot was producing and I would have a good chance on the evening hunt. I took the youngin with me for the evening hunt which turned into a long sit watching chipmunks frolic in the leaves one turkey in a hurry and no deer until dusk. The wait it turns out was worth it I had to wake the little guy so he could watch the nice big ole buck come sauntering right up the trail towards our position. Here is where I would like to tell the story of my awesome shot and show the triumpant pictures of my trophy. But as I like to say pictures or it didn't happen and it didn't. The buck stopped at about 60 yards out bobbing his head as he noticed a big camo block where there wasn't one the day before and he was not about to test his luck. As he backed out unmolested and circled our position just out of range I realized I was shaking like a leaf in the wind. I hope I never lose that excitement and I hope that my young hunting partner gets to experience it.
    Camp was great and I would see multiple deer from my tree stand the following day however luck was again not on my side as either the deer were to small or out of my bow range. In all there would be multiple misses in camp, 2 deer taken, and whole hell of a lot of great food eaten. Good talk with old friends and cold beer. We were definitly livin the dream
Dylan with our camp duck Woody. Woody's egg was found in the mud under a wood duck box and hatch with a broody chicken at my buddies farm.

Snaggy Mountain camp shelter

Veiw from the ground blind

Lake house at Herrington Manor state park where we used the shower house 

Getting yummy venison on the cart

BillyBob cooking up some venison meat balls and fixins
Frog leg appetizer

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MyOBX Fishing Report

If you read the prior post you would know that I spent a week down the Outer Banks, more specifically Nags Head. Now I guess you can go there lay next to the pool or by the ocean and drink eat and be merry. However any angler worth his salt would just not be satisfied with being that close to amazing fishing and not get a line wet. And after arriving on the 3rd of September and suffering next to the pool for a few days of the blow. The weather finally cleared enough to launch my plastic yacht and see what was catching.

I was up on Tuesday well before sunrise, shaking off the previous evening libations and ready to kick start the morning. A short drive put me behind Oregon Inlet fishing center where I dropped the yak and headed  north into a stiff breeze. Plan on day one was to catch some flounder for dinner then poke around for reds and sea trout. The flounder Came early and often but not with much size. Truth be known I probably missed more than I caught, flounder fishing is a lot more subtle than the stripers I chase back home so I was getting excited at every nibble and snatching the lure away before my flat friends were ready to commit. I chased a keeper all day but the recently stirred and shaken water was only giving shorts.
The great thing about OBX is the variety. Along with flounder I caught weakfish, blues, small sea trout, lizard fish, and a few other species I did not recognize. I had intended to fish until dark but I noticed my kayak wasn't feeling right about evening so I pulled in some shallow water hoped out and open my front hatch. It was full, I don't even know how the kayak stayed so stable. This was about the time I made a bad decision with my phone. I used an old gulp pail and my sponge and emptied the water from the haul. I figured I would fish back to the launch and would be fine The deepest water I had come across was 6 foot deep so walking back was a option and I didn't want to miss fishing time for a pesky leak.
Dont know what this guy is
I had snapped some awesome pictures of the storm on the way down and of fish I had caught to this point along with my full haul. Knowing my kayak could become unstable if full and I could turtle. I stuck my iphone in a dry bag and put it in the kayak, Wrong decision long story short bag leaked phone took a 3 hour swim and so yeah, you can guess the rest. Now a true fisherman would swear that the picture of the big one was on the phone but I won't go there this time got to stick to my "Pictures or it didn't happen" speil.
first small flatty

Bonner Bridge Oregon Inlet

More Dinks

Head boat heading in
small weak fish

Off Shore fleet Oregon Inlet

construction cranes for new bridge Oregon Inlet
I decided not to take the yak out on Wednesday instead opting to toss lures into an angry surf and try and figure out my leak. The surf turned up small blues but not much else though I could see the commercial fleet just off shore tearing into spanish macks. It was tempting to launch the yak through the surf and try my hand but with a mystery leak and no paddle company. I used my rarely used better judgement.
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With no obvious hole I launch back out of Oregon Inlet on Thursday this time in search of redfish and seatrout specifically. Water was still stained and with my lack of knowledge in either fishery I knew it would be a long shot, but hey its fishing. I was met with my first skunk of the week after about 6 hours of paddling and only a picture of the scenery for my trouble. That and a kayak full of water and a now obvious crack at the scupper in the seat. The crack was right at the flex zone where my boat was strapped to the car on my trip down and I guess loading and unloading finally made it visible. This would end the float trips for the week with one day left as I had nothing to repair it with and was frankly to sore from paddling a fully loaded yak around. I spent the rest of vaction soaking up the hot tub and self medicating with awesome local brew.

The outer banks is one of my favorite places in the world. Something about living on a sandbar just lets you see how fleeting life is and make you want to get the most out of it. Keep Living The Dream