First berried female lobster of the summer. Look at all those eggs. Note the V notch in her flipper. Lobstermen are required by law to V notch female lobsters with eggs. 2nd flipper in from the right with the lobster in an upright position. Notched or egg laden female lobsters cannot be possessed. They get the release of life to do what they do best. Make baby lobsters.
This notch was not new though. I have been notching and releasing female lobsters in my trapping area this and past summers. My gift back to the resource. This female lobster shared the parlor with another barren V notched female lobster.
Sportsmen and women are the true conservationist.
No work, today was a mental health day. I always feel better when I’m on the Bay.
Three day check produced about twenty pounds. Usually I let the pots rest for a week but the bugs are crawling and I want every bait bag full.
The Jonah Crabs are out of control. They are pecking my bait bags dry in a day.
Took a friend of mine who hasn’t been OTW on Great Bay in over twenty five years. Sent him home with a meal.
Although he said the bugs were a very nice gesture he told me his time on the boat was priceless.
Somehow I already knew.
Today is family, friends and landowner appreciation day. I don’t sell the bugs for money, I trade them. I saved most of last week’s catch (personal consumption got in the way). Along with today’s haul there were enough lobsters to make my rounds.
This year was very special. On my way to pick up the lobsters in my keeper car I saw my oyster farmer friend tending his flat. Moored my boat against his platform and lobsters were traded for oysters. I let him know his oysters were going to a couple who live on the shores of Great Bay. These two lovely people mentored me as my passion for this waterway grew. Both are getting up there in age. Tonging up oysters or digging a peck of clams is a little beyond their current stamina. But that never lessens the appetite. My visit was short and brief but nevertheless increased our friendship. Thank you for all the upland bird hunting books. I love you Dick and Jane!
A real joy I cherish is when I show up, most times unexpected, at this time of year, is the faces of those that are about to receive. Smiles from ear to ear. The way life should be. These simple gifts keep the doors open to hunting and fishing privileges on private land.
The dark skies to the west warned of an impending thunderstorm. Thought I had it beat until I pulled down our street and the heavens opened up. Got soaked from the truck to the back door it was raining that hard.
But I wasn’t done. There were still a few scattered clawed ones in the cooler so it was back outside for a second drenching to retrieve the booty.
After the storm passed so did the lobsters pass, right into the boiler. The weather forecast for tomorrow is for a bright sunny low humidity day. I see lobster rolls and a Great Bay boat ride in store.
Thank you Lord for thou art is blessed.
A good friend of mine was given some rope that he has offered to me. He was suppose to drop it off last night but got called away.
His email said he was meeting a plane at 6:20 PM loaded with home bound American Troops.
So I went fishing. As I made my way across open Bay to the north I noticed a large plane coming into the Pease International Airport. I remembered Armand’s email and yup right on schedule here they came.
Thank you Armand for your commitment to our troops.
And to our troops ‘Thank you for your service’.
Turf and Surf
Parked the Ford at the trailhead at 0645. Took the new trail just built last fall. By 0830 I was on the ledge overlooking Billy Goat Pond. Lots of water. Beaver’s must be active. Looking forward to a late October / early December grouse hunt here.
Low tide at 1730. OTW at 1700. Still missing one trap. Grrrr.
Bugs are starting to crawl. Way over a pound per trap.
Boil at Coalman’s house tomorrow. Be there.
June 10, 2017
Checked the bridge before heading out to drown more traps and the herring were thick.
Fresh bait is good. Free bait is best.
First check produced a few bugs. Wicked hard shell.
Gonnah need a hammah!
Gotta be all of three pounds.
I call him Sledge because I’m going to need a sledge hammer to get the meat out.
About a pound per trap yesterday. The bugs are starting to crawl.
Shawn came with me today. 20 traps, 3 keepers. Not so good. Wicked red crabs this year. I think they are eating my fish bait before it can make a scent trail. I’m using commercial cow hide bait for the reason that when the fish bait is gone the cow bait still fishes 24/7. But it lacks the calling power.
Father’s Day with Shawn at our camp on the east side of a sleepy western Maine mountain. We did landscaping and enjoyed a lobster lunch in memory of my dad.
Since the crabs have been devouring my herring I wanted to do a mid week check. 20 traps, 11 keepers now in the car. Will check this weekend and then have a family boil.
I can get used to that.
Eel traps were empty. No bait. I need horseshoe crabs bad. Have a couple dozen eels in the five gallon bucket converted to a keeper car hanging off the dock. Time to start the Bass portion of summer.
Spent a gorgeous sunny afternoon OTW with my better half checking lobster pots today. A negative 1.4′ tide delayed our start. There are a few places in the river even at a normal low tide that are very shallow.
In the woods with Shawn at 0430 yesterday morning. Turkeys start gobbling 360 degrees. At least six. The bulk of them on private property across the street. Turkeys shut down after 6AM. Decide we are going to hike into the back side of the property across the street. Requires at least an hour walk on nice trails.
We get there about 0800, call, nothing. Keep calling, nothing. That is turkey hunting. Continue on our journey to the powerlines. The only thing we see are two joggers and a mountain biker. All pleasant, interested in our hunt. Nothing at the powerlines so we walk back, call again where the turkeys were ripping at 0500, nothing. Skeeters were thick. Made the walk back unpleasant.
Two coffees and bagels to go at Aroma Joes and we were back at our starting point about 10AM.
We had heard one on our side of the road first thing in the morning from our hide. He would gobble but not come. Shawn heard hens. So we went back to the property line and after a couple series of calls, gobble gobble. We got set up and the next gobble was closer. Sounded like two. A couple clucks and the next gobbles were right on top of Shawn. I could not see the turkeys.
At first he didn’t want to shoot. He said they laid down in front of him and he swears fell asleep. Having hunted since opening weekend with lots of early morning wake ups and long miles he waited until the closer one lifted its head up and his 2017 turkey season was over.
This had to be my quickest NH gobbler season ever. Went over last night and converted an oak tree in the field overgrown with multi flora rose and buckthorn into my hide.
This is the same tree we took Nate’s youth season gobbler picture in front of. The rose was a challenge. This morning my arms say I lost the fight.
I didn’t call him in. I called his girlfriend in. When she yelped on the ground I sent back some challenge talk on my slate. That wound her tight. She was at the decoy in no time scolding it with fighting purrs and whines. She went into half strut and walked circles around Henrietta. She was saying some bad stuff.
He stayed just out of the sweet spot while she tended to her challenger. Took a few minutes but with each step he came closer. When I lifted the gun to shoot he saw the movement and stood up straight and tall.
The red dot found its mark at 0515.
Official check station 23 pounds 10″ beard 3/4 inch spurs.
This was an Easy Button Gobbler. We all deserve that once in a while. I’ll take it.