October Is Here
October Is Here
This past weekend I made a fishing trip to one of my favorite places, the Edisto River. My brother-in-lawand I had been planning this trip all week with many calls trying to decide where we wanted to put in. We decided that we would float downstream between two of the public landings on the North Edisto. After dropping off his truck at the downstream landing, and seeing how good the water looked, I couldn’t wait to start fishing. Once in the water, I began casting one of my favorite top water plugs the Bagley Bang O Lure with the spin tail, gold with the black back and the orange belly. Lewis was in front of me about a half a bend downstream when he caught his first fish. I asked what he caught him on. His reply: Bagley Bang O Lure bass color. After he caught his 6th fish, one of which was about 6lbs. and I hadn’t gotten my first bite, I pulled up next to his kayak to get one of his extras. I fished this plug for an hour, as well as a spinner, tube bait, curl tail worm, KVD Ocho and #4 Mepp’s, still no fish. He was still putting fish in his boat. This was bad. That’s when I decided to switch back to my #1 confidence bait. Two casts later I had a fish, then another. In about 10 minutes I had 6 fish in the boat. Why is that? It was basically the same lure just a different color. He was catching fish with it so why wasn’t I? Probably coincidence, maybe luck, not sure. I do know that is the reason that the Bagley Bang-O-Lure has become my go-to lure. There have beenseveral occasions when that lure has caught fish when nothing else would. Just like on other occasions, the Mepp’s or the KVD Ocho gave me the same results. Different day, different results.
So what makes a confidence bait?
When you catch fish with a lure, it has proven itself. You are more likely to fish it again and the more you fish with it the better you are at presenting it to the fish in a way that will cause them to strike. It’s a mind thing!
Some lures are just better than others, especially between species of fish, and bodies of water. That gold color in the Edisto is just hard to beat, always has been. I used to fish the Bomber A plug that was colored almost the same. The only reason I switched was because of the spin tail. It gives the Bagley just a little more action, and it proved itself.
So here are my 3 confidence baits.
1. Bagley Bang-O-Lure Black Back Orange Belly w/ spin tail.
Another great resource for fishing lures is www.landbigfish.com
www.landbigfish.com (great resource for buying fishing lures)
This past weekend I was invited on a dove shoot by one of my brother-in-laws and I was able to harvest 12 birds. We were hunting in a very large agriculture field that had been planted in peanuts. This field was over 100 acres that had a Reinke irrigation system, so I opted to set up right at the end. Sitting by one set of the tires gave me great cover. Another advantage was just like a power line the birds seem to fly close to them and even light on top of it. With such a good spot I was hoping to have a good day. As I got settled onto my stool, I had a couple of what should have been easy shots come flying in. I said easy but that isn’t how it happened. As the first 3 birds flew off while I sent several loads of Fiocchi #8s in their direction, I told myself to slow down and adjust my lead. I looked down at Scout and she had a look of agreement. Then it started coming together. Next bird boom…and Scout was on her way to pick up her first bird of the day.
After about 2 hours of hunting, I had 11 birds and felt pretty good with how my shooting was going. I sent a text to my nephew that was just across the field from me and asked how he was doing. He wasn’t getting many shots and only had 2 birds so I told him to come take my spot. I watched as he immediately started gathering his stool and shells and headed my way. I laughed and was glad to see he wasn’t reluctant to take me up on my offer. I didn’t really shoot much the rest of the afternoon other than one bird out of a group that we both shot. I just let Scout pick up his birds and kept a look out for incoming doves. It was an absolutely fun afternoon. Holden and I had a good time laughing, joking and hunting.
Once the hunt was over it was time to clean the birds and get them ready for the freezer. I made a video that I will include on how to remove the breast. It is very easy!
After you have removed the breast from the body you want to be sure to wash them with clean water eliminating any of the left over entrails, blood, and feathers. This will leave you with very delectable pieces of breast meat that are also known as the filet mignon of the sky. The next step is to bag them up. I prefer to use a foodsaver vacuum and Heavy Duty bags. Be sure to use the roll it allows you to make your bags any size. If you haven’t ever used one you need to make the investment. It creates an airtight seal that almost eliminates freezer burn.
FoodSaver Heavy Duty Rolls I like to use the rolls because you can cut the bags to fit.
This summer turned out to be great fishing from my kayak. Lewis (brother-in- law) and I made multiple trips to several locations most of them were successful. With one trip to the Broad River I was able to catch my very first small mouth bass. What a strong fish! Most of the trips I took were on the Edisto. With the Edisto River as low as it was this summer, having a Kayak was one of the limited ways to fish. Also after a winter ice storm that fell multiple trees across the mainstream on some stretches of the north and south branches, it added to the necessity of having a boat like a Kayak. Without a kayak, these sections of the river would be inaccessible. You will also notice in one of the pictures below one of the wasp nests that we came upon. Thankfully I was only stung one time all summer after running into a smaller nest that I didn’t see.
Here are some links to some of my favorite lures.
With squirrel season starting today or already started in a lot of states, I thought I would share a great program for getting free fishing lures. If you are a fisherman and a squirrel hunter you should know about this program from Mepps. They have been using squirrel tails to create hand-tied dressed hooks for their world-famous, fish-catching lures for over a half century. They have tried many other types of hair and synthetics, but nothing has worked like the squirrel tail. These are great lures and I always have one tied onto one of my rods on every fishing trip I make. This is definitely one of my go-to lures. My favorite Mepps is the Dressed Aglia #4- 1/3oz. Silver Blade w/ White Tail this spinner will catch just about anything. Fish cannot resist it! It has very sharp hooks (see this post) and it is tough as nails. Don’t think for one minute that the squirrel tail won’t hold up because that is far from the truth. These spinners will last for years. Just about the only thing that has ever damaged this spinner is a big old Mud fish and that is mostly from using pliers to get the lure out of its mouth. To see all the details check out the flyer here: Squirrel Tail Flyer
Just about everyone knows that if you try and eat one of these woodland treats before it’s ripe they will turn your mouth inside out, but Whitetail deer and every other critter in the woods knows that mature persimmons are the candy store of the outdoors. When they are ripe they can contain from 20% to 40% sugar, but they also contain iron, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C. So how do you know when they are ripe? Unlike most fruits, they must look like they are overripe before they lose their astringent nature and turn sweet. When the skin has wrinkled and the fruit is extremely soft, be sure to pick one up and experience the smooth and sapid difference to the puckering persimmon that you may have experienced in the past.
1. The middle of September brings the fall of persimmons. These trees can sometimes be forgotten during deer season, but that would be a mistake. During the 2nd week of the month is when these little deer magnets start to lose their grip and gain their sweetness. When they start hitting the ground, you need to make sure you have eyes on one of these trees. The fruit doesn’t last long with everything in the woods eating them as fast as they hit the ground. If you are lucky and have a good year and a lot of fruit they could last as late as November.
2. They are very hardy and cold tolerant and will still produce fruit after the blossom have been hit by a freeze.
3. They live a long time and are most productive between 25 and 50 years old.
4. Persimmon trees do not require a lot of care, but when you find them be sure to clean away any competing vegetation. This will accelerate growth and increase fruit production. Why you ask? They need full sun, and they are dioecious, which means there are male and female trees and the females have to be pollinated by the males to produce fruit.
In my recent scouting I was able to find 3 different trees. Two of which are producing fruit. With doe tags in my pocket, I am hoping that one of these trees will make for a successful harvest.
Helpful Links and my resources:
Last week just ahead of a thunderstorm Lewis and I went on a late afternoon fishing trip to the Edisto River. It was an AWESOME 2.5 hours before the storm put an end to it. With a couple of GoPro’s we were able to get the trip recorded and after some editing Lewis posted it on YouTube.com. I hope you enjoy it.
Recently, I received an email from a high school friend regarding one of my blog posts and was curious about what I did with the fish I caught. Her concern was about the mercury levels that have accumulated in the fish of the Edisto river. Now I was aware of the consumption advisories that DNR reports, but I have to admit that I didn’t have it memorized or have a good understanding of what it meant. So I decided to get more familiar with exactly what the risks are. I downloaded the 2014 Fish Consumption Advisories to get the information first hand. The state is broken into 5 sections with each section listing the advisories for each body of water in that section. Since there are a lot of different advisories for each body of water be sure to check the document for the waters that you fish.
1. South Carolina is not alone. All states have issued fish consumption advisories. To look at advisories for other states, go to http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/fishadvisories/general.cfm#tabs-4.
2. Risk Groups
* Children under 14
* Women who are nursing
* Women who are pregnant
* Women who plan to become pregnant
3. What are the main contaminants in South Carolina
* Radioisotopes (found in the Savannah River in very small amounts)
4. Statewide Advice for At-Risk Women and Children
* Eat only one meal of freshwater fish each week from a waterbody without an advisory.
* Do NOT eat any fish from waterbodies with an advisory (www.scdhec.gov/fish).
* Do NOT eat any king mackerel, shark, swordfish, tilefish, or cobia.
If you have never seen the forks of the Edisto River I recommend it. Kill Kare landing off of Hudson Rd. in the Canaan Community will give you access to the North stream. Then float down river and just past a water wheel you will come to the South stream. If you have not had the opportunity, you owe it to yourself to make a float trip to see it.