May 9, 2008
Lake Oneida outside Syracuse, New York has been the hot spot for largemouth bass over the last few weeks. James Daher at Mickey’s Bait and Tackle (fishingcny.com) told us, “The BASS guys were just here and they had a great time and the FLW tournament is on its way.” Tom suggests that tournament competitors use topwater lures on the shallow weed beds and tube jigs on the drop-offs and weed-holes. “Bass fishing is phenomenal,” he said. In addition to largemouth, James told us that Oneida is overpopulated with smallmouth. The fish are falling for spinnerbaits fished around any structure. “They’re big smallmouth,” James said, “I call them warriors.” Outside the bass hoopla, perch fishing is the big star on the lake. The fish are starting to school up along the deeper sections of Lake Oneida around Frenchman’s and Dunham Island. James suggests anchoring in 11 to 18 feet of water and using a fathead minnow on a bottom rig to load the box with fat perch. James said that walleye fishing has been good for guys drifting with worm harnesses and Dixie spinners. He suggests focusing on the deeper parts of the lake from 18 to 30 feet of water especially in the channel between buoys 125 to 183. For anglers who can tear their attention away from the lake, James said that the trout streams in southern Onondaga County are on fire. He said that browns and rainbows are responding to small worms on a size 8 hook a few inches below a small split shot. “Fly fishing is all ways lucrative,” he says, “insects are abundant in Onondaga county.”
Chattahoochee River, Georgia—“We got muddy rivers,” reports Paul Puckett at The Fishhawk (thefishhawk.com) in Atlanta, Georgia. The remnants of hurricane Fay had inundated the area with rain, but once the water clears, Paul expects the upper Chattahoochee to produce good numbers of fat trout for guys throwing small midge dries and lightning bug nymphs. Paul suggests fishing above Morgan Falls Lake. “Thirty minutes outside of town and you’re catching trout,” Paul instructs anglers to park at Abbott’s Bridge, Jones Bridge, or Settles Bridge and walk the river. “A 5 wt rod with floating line should get the job done,” he said. Although the fish will feed through the day, he says that the best bite is from 9 AM to noon and again from 4 PM until dark. He expects the mountain streams to pick up steam in the next month. He suggests fishing from Ellijay to Smokey Mountain Park in the Toccoa River. “The same strategies will work,” he says, “but I would throw more streamers to catch bigger browns and rainbows.”
Dallas, Texas—From Fish’n World (fishnworld.com) in Dallas, Texas, Royce Martin reported that sand bass and hybrid bass are schooled up and feeding in Ray Roberts Lake, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Texoma. “Drive the boat around the lake looking for birds or just head for the other boats that are congregated over the fish,” he said. Once on the scene he suggests using T&T Slabs and Humdingers. “Just throw it out and let the lure fall through the school,” he says. While the striped bass bite is hot, Royce says that largemouth bass fishing has cooled off with the hot weather. He says to look for the fish in deep water with Carolina rigs and rubber worms or a deep diving crank bait like a Norman DD 22. “Fish the road beds and humps in 20 to 30 feet of water,” he said. He suggests cruising around the structure while watching the fish finder for signs of bass. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon, Royce says that the bass can be pulled out of the hydrilla with topwater plugs..
Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota—From Joe’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rob Buche told us that fishing has been pretty slow. He said that the best bet for local anglers is fishing for smallmouths in Mille Lacs Lake. Rob suggests using a slip bobber and leach around rock piles for the smallies. Even walleye and muskie fishing has slowed down, he said. As can be expected, fishing for northern pike remains good with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. “You throw out almost anywhere and you’ll catch northerns,” he says. Rob expects muskie fishing to pick up in September. “All the fish will be putting on the feedbag,” he says. Rob says that Mill-Lacs is one of the best lakes in the nation for muskies. He tells anglers to troll the north end of the lake with large crankbaits or to throw Cow Girls or double spinner blade topwater plugs to the weeds and lake edges. He also suggests anglers look to Lake Minnetonka for muskie; one of his customers brought in a photo of a 56 incher that he pulled out of the lake the other night. “Walleye fishing should also pick up in the next month,” he says, recommending anglers fish the Rainy River. “That’s a great place to catch 10 to 12 pound walleye,” he says. The best method for walleye is to vertically jig a shiner, fat head, or rainbow minnow on a ½-ounce to ¼-ounce jighead. “The biggest fish will be closer to the Lake of the Wood’s side of the river,” Joe hinted.
Denver, Colorado—Something smells fishy in Denver this week and it isn’t just the politicians and journalists at the Democratic National Convention. The smell was coming from all the trout fishermen heading back from Clear Creek. Lori Nicholson at Anglers All (anglersall.com) suggests that Dems looking to escape the mayhem should head to Clear Creek only a few minutes outside of town. “There’s lots of parking along Highway 6 between Golden Colorado to Georgetown,” she said, “and plenty of trout.” Lori suggests fishing a hopper dropper with a yellow stimulator and a red copper John or a small dry fly. “You might still see a few cadis in the evening,” she says, prompting anglers to tie on a royal Wulf in size 16. While Lori points the pundits and pols to the easy-to-fish sections of Clear Creek, she suggests die-hard anglers head to the Roaring Fork River above Glenwood Springs. “There is limited public access,” she says, “but that’s what makes the river awesome.” Before heading out, stop by the shop to learn the best parts of the river to fish. Lori says that the river is full of heavy shouldered good fighting rainbows. The fish will take nymphs or hoppers worked close to the edges of the river. She said that the Colorado River close to Parshall has also been hot. Again, a grass hopper and a bead head barr’s emerger, are the ticket for these fish. On a cloudy day, Lori recommends a blue winged olive in size 18. “There is tons of public access,” she says, “so you won’t be the only person there.” The Arkansas River has been running high and producing good numbers of nice-sized trout. “You can fish hoppers, beetles, terrestrials,” Loris says, “try a PMXs in size 16 or a yellow Joe’s hoppers along the banks.” She says that anglers can fish any of the public access areas but her favorite public area is called Hayden Meadows. [ Read Full Post ]
Recently, we received an email on the BBZ from Scott Williamson, which contained some photos of a giant Iowa monster that should really get your heart pumping. The buck’s massive rack is coated in thick velvet and it looks like this bruiser is top-heavy. We all know that field judging a buck can be tricky, especially in the heat of the moment when your adrenalin can make a 140-class rack look more like a 160. It can also be tough to estimate the size of a rack when the buck is sneaking through wooded cover or is standing at a weird angle. As a hunter, I’ve always been amazed how much bigger a buck looks when he is walking away from the stand. I have passed on several nice bucks during the early-season that had me second guessing my decision as they slowly walked away.
However, one of the toughest racks to judge and score in the field would have to be a buck in full velvet. With that being said, take a few minutes to study these two trail-cam pictures and let me know what you think this Iowa hog would score. Without question, if this big boy walked by my stand you better believe an arrow would be headed his way. Thanks for the pictures Scott and good luck connecting with this giant when season kicks into full swing. In my book, this buck is a shooter regardless of what he will score.—Travis Faulkner [ Read Full Post ]
I like to shoot my rifles with clean—very clean—barrels. But I know that that rifle won’t be doing its best until it has been shot a bit. The precise number of shots varies from rifle to rifle and that’s a topic for another day.
But here’s a good demonstration of how the first shot from a cold, clean barrel will hit to a different point of aim. As you can see, after the first shot with both Sakos and with the Weatherby the groups tightened up significantly and hit to the same point of impact.
The most notable shift after the first shot was with the Sako A7, which put its first shot a good two inches below the subsequent 0.8725-inch group. But in all cases, following the first shot the rifles gave me nice sub-MOA three shots groups after that first fouler went down range.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
This is from the AP. Best line: 'Our county is so
tough on drugs that even the wildlife are getting in on the action.''
PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) -- One Utah community is cheering a special bear -- but don't call him Smokey.
Investigators say a large black bear raided a clandestine marijuana growing operation so often that it chased the grower away.
bear is definitely law-enforcement minded,'' said Garfield County
Sheriff Danny Perkins. ''If I can find this bear I'm going to deputize
Deputies found food containers ripped apart and strewn
everywhere, cans with bear teeth marks, claw marks and bear prints
across the Garfield County camp on Tuesday.
Perkins said the operation on Boulder Mountain included 4,000 ''starter'' sacks of pot and 888 young plants.
particular bear apparently was not going to give up and basically
chased these marijuana farmers away,'' Perkins said. ''Our county is so
tough on drugs that even the wildlife are getting in on the action.''
Gotta love it.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
Webster’s defines the word platform as “a formal declaration of policy for a group; such as a political party.”
With the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver and the Republican event currently underway in St. Paul, Minn., both parties have completed and made public their official manifestos tailored toward providing their philosophy and direction for next four years.
For those sportsmen who remain ambivalent about the upcoming presidential and congressional election, it may be enlightening to read the entire official position on firearms and gun control from the two major political parties. Both are presented here exactly as they appear in the recently released party platforms, so you may read and digest them in their fully intended context.
The Democratic National Committee party platform:
“We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements--like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.”
The Republican National Committee party platform:
“We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities. We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.”
There you have it.
Which offers the most clarity and which is the most nuanced to you? [ Read Full Post ]
Stud. Toad. Gagger. This is the stuff elk hunting dreams are made of. If you haven’t already, go check out the story behind Clark Guy’s amazing bull that he shot a few days ago on a governor’s tag in Arizona.
Being the gun nut that I am, I was interested to know what he used to kill this gorgeous bull. Here’s what Guy said:
Rifle: Remington 700 Classic with synthetic stock
Caliber: 300 Winchester Magnum
Bullet: 180-grain Nosler Partition hand loaded to 3,100 fps
Scope: Zeiss 3.5-10
A classic elk rig for sure and an incredible hunt.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
Love historic guns? Have an extra few thousand dollars kicking around? You’ll have a primo opportunity to indulge the former and relieve yourself of the later starting September 6 when the Rock Island Auction Company kicks off its firearms auction.
Among the gems up for sale is the very first “One of One Thousand” Winchester Model 1876 produced. It is expected to go for at least $250,000. A fancy gold-plated, factory engraved Henry lever-action should command a similar price tag.
I'm not sure it completely qualifies someone for the vice presidency of the United States, but Fred Thompson just noted, while singing the praises of Sarah Palin, that she is certainly the only person on either ticket who knows how to "properly field dress a moose."
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
Looking for a quick recap of where the candidates for president and vice president stand on the topic of gun rights?
This page here gives a synopsis (including links to Outdoor Life’s exclusive interview with John McCain) on the issues.
—John Snow [ Read Full Post ]
During the dog days of summer, dog owners (and especially hunting dog trainers) need to be especially mindful of the potential of heat stroke in their canine companions. Even well conditioned hunting dogs can fall victim to the heat, but owners should pay particularly close attention to out-of-shape or overweight dogs.
Simply, if not respected, heat stroke can be a killer. Other than panting, our hunting partners can do little to protect themselves from the heat when birds are flighted and guns fired. They know only one operational mode, and that’s FULL speed.
The Newshound was reminded of the stark reality of heat stroke in dogs a couple of years ago when a particularly tragic situation occurred during an unseasonably warm pheasant opener in South Dakota. Veterinarians across the region reported treating hundreds of dogs that succumbed to heat stroke in varying degrees. Some suffered seizures and died, while many others experienced irreparable organ and internal damage that prevented them from full recovery.
A dog’s normal body temperature is around 101 degrees F. They begin to show signs of heat stress (a precursor to heat stroke) in the 104- to 105-degree range. When a dog’s temperature reaches around 109 degrees, shock and seizures occur.
Dr. Bryan Ramsey, a Texas vet, hunter and owner of English pointers, told Tyler Morning Telegraph outdoor writer Steve Knight last week that he personally doesn’t start running his dogs until late September, but he understands some will begin conditioning earlier and others will be using dogs during this month’s dove-hunting seasons.
“If you see them overheating, they can melt down in a hurry. Get water on them in a hurry,” Ramsey said.
Other heat stroke prevention tips:
- If a dog exhibits signs of heat stroke--heavy panting, hyperventilation, increased salivation, weakness, confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea--submerge its entire body in cool water. In addition, packing ice around the neck will help reduce body heat.
- A heatstroke victim should be kept in a shaded and cool place and never placed into a hot or unprotected dog box.
- If a dog shows any sign of convulsions or exhaustion, such as retching or heavy panting, a vet should be consulted at once.
- As an alternative to field training, try to train dogs in water on especially hot days, but remember that overheating can occur even in warm, shallow water.
- Simply staying out of the field on hot summer days is the best advice, but when working a dog in the heat, always keep an ice chest full of ice. [ Read Full Post ]
“’Boy,’ the old man said, ‘I will tell you a very wise thing. If a man is really intelligent, there’s practically nothing a good dog can’t teach him. But a dumb man can’t learn anything from a smart dog, while a dumb dog can occasionally learn something from a smart man. Remember that.’”
The Old Man and the Boy, 1953 [ Read Full Post ]
All in all, I have to say that this has been a lot better than it could have been. Feel badly for my brother, however, who is looking at 3 days of chainsawing just to get out and I can't get there to help or I would have been already.
Some bad news: I just got a report that the levee broke at Point Celeste causing water to pour into Port Sulphur. Not good as this will certainly delay us getting back to Venice, but more seriously flooding Port Sulphur. I've heard that both Venice and Cypress Cover marinas are fine--so that's good news.
Took the kids catfishing today so that they would have some fun.—Devlin Roussell [ Read Full Post ]
The Granite State’s 92-day archery-only season for both deer and turkeys (annually held Sept. 15-Dec. 15) gets a bowhunter’s attention. That’s right. If you New Englanders can’t work that into your schedule, quit your job, grab your bow of choice, and hunt full-time. (I'll be out on opening day myself.)
Seriously, just two seasons ago, 34% of the state’s buck kill were 3 1/2 years old or older.
As an example, the archery Top 10 deer weighed between 237 and 212 pounds, with seven of New Hampshire’s 10 counties contributing to that impressive list. Typical antler racks over 180 inches make the books.
Mild winters have contributed to increased deer numbers, which are highest in central and southern locations. Some 33,000 wild turkeys roam the state.
I know you Westerners might be thinking that Connecticut is all gobbled up with well-manicured sprawl, but in truth the forested areas of the state often see lower hunter pressure on the 35,000 wild turkeys that roam there, and bowhunts for deer coincide with such opportunities.
State land archery hunts for whitetails run from Sept. 15-Nov. 18, 2008, and reopen Dec. 24 to Dec. 31. Bowhunting-only locations offer Sept. 15-Dec. 31, 2008 hunts. And so-called “Private Lands (Zones 1-10)” hunts also run from Sept. 15-Nov. 18, then resume Dec. 10 through Dec. 31.
Fall turkey bowhunt dates vary for state and private land, but encompass the broad Sept. 15 through Jan. 31, 2009 period.—Steve Hickoff [ Read Full Post ]
I know it’s still hot and miserable across most parts of the country, but things are a lot more tolerable when you know opening day is just around the corner. For the last couple of months, I’ve been super busy shooting my bow, hanging trail cameras and glassing fields during the late evening hours. Hopefully, this weekend I will be able to cut some more shooting lanes and hang the last of my treestands. Pre-season preparation can be a lot like work and sometimes the heat along with biting mosquitoes can really get you down. However, I’ve been fired-up and ready to rock since the end of turkey season and I can’t wait to hit the woods wide open on opening day.
This is especially true after receiving an email from Jimmy Rhodus that contained trail cam pictures of two velvet studs. Rhodus tagged an unbelievable early-season buck last year and it looks like he may be able to punch a hole in another giant this fall. Staring at these photos (camera dates are not programmed correctly) for a few minutes will probably give you all the motivation you need to kick your season off right. Isn’t it funny how a massive racked buck can be all it takes to make a grown man feel like a little kid the night before Christmas? I don’t know if I can wait too much longer to climb in the stand and opening day can’t get here fast enough. Thanks Jimmy for sharing these awesome pictures and keep us posted on your progress with these two monsters.—Travis Faulkner [ Read Full Post ]
My wife and kids and I are in great shape up here in Mississippi. The hospitality has been great. My brother and his family stayed in Baton Rouge and he is taking a beating. The storm passed right over them. They had some pretty good damage but no trees went through their house.
I spoke to a friend who that reported that Lower Plaquemines fared well. Middle Plaquemines has reported flooding from the back levee. Was going to give in Myrtle Grove. That is bad news but it could be a lot worse.
All in all, I am so sad for all of our friends who were so effected by this disaster. I feel bad about feeling relieved about being spared. God bless all of those people that are going through this, I have been theren I know what you are going through. To all of our brothers in the fishing industry, please let us know how we can help. What is mine is yours.—Devlin Roussell [ Read Full Post ]