August Buggin’ and Bassin’

08-05-17
August already. You can tell by the water temps and the bug count. Half a pound a trap.
Last week a sea monster grabbed one of my traps. Wouldn’t let go. This week The buoy is gone. It was high tide so maybe it was under. Will check at low tide next week.
Lots of seals at Fox Point

 

08-12-17
I’ve got the Summer Time Lobster Blues. 18 traps, 5 keepers. One was a good size female, no notch. She has a notch now and is swimming free.
Caught this Comb Jelly (type of jellyfish) at Fox Point. The zipper pattern is their tentacles.

 

5996ea574a54c_CombJelly08-12-17web.jpg.6d5d053ce555726a6b354c7ad713e8a5.jpg

 

 

The sea monster trap is gone. Buoy and all. That sucker was hungry. Second trap lost this summer.

08-17-17
The weather and tide cooperated tonight. First time fishing this month. It was good to smell the air change from inland to coastal when I got to Fox Point. Life’s little pleasures.

 

 

Drowned two eels, caught two stripers. Both 25″. Both released. Gotta be 28″ to keep. Even then I would have let them go. The fall bite is starting. These fish have a long ways to go to get back to there winter hangout in the Chesapeake Bay. Loading up on grub is their sole purpose.

 

5996ea799df41_Pole08-17-17_web.jpg.d817bc0c6c9b5b1423c588d4a5fc4521.jpg

 

Saw a BIG seal at Sunk Ledge.

 

The tidal island at Adam’s Point was submerged when I started the Yamaha for the ride home across open bay. That means I can take the shortcut across the flats. In the fading light of day I saw the water boiling in front of the boat. In three and a half feet of water a school of micro bass were jumping out of the water like carp in the Midwest. Took a short video but my engine noise put them down.

 

Sunset on Great Bay looking at Newmarket/Durham, NH.

 

Life is good.

 

5996e9c5eab79_Sunset08-17-17web.jpg.6aaf2ee4a90bba4e40707326b11926f4.jpg

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Berried Female Lobster

07-29-17
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.

 

597de2412bddb_Berriedfemale07-29-17web.jpg.d1e69a2f33d5607e14b0ca65a28a47f5.jpg

 

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.

 

597de2482bfc6_Closeupberriedfemale07-29-17web.jpg.21a295cdf181132b659c7d594277bcee.jpg

 

Sportsmen and women are the true conservationist.

 

597de24ea7a5b_FoxPointkeeper07-29-17web.jpg.8406b74e74589a1451fd703c16960cd6.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bay Striper

07-26-17

Good evening on Great Bay.
Surface water temps at Adam’s Point 68 degrees, half tide out. The stripers came out to play at dusk.

 

5979d083660c5_Striper07-26-17web.jpg.0e95c04839384dc72669bf55a7ca4989.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Home Grown

No not the green leafy substance. Orange and brown with four legs.

 

07-18-17
While chopping the best field of hay on the property and as the uncut grass rows got slimmer and slimmer this doe stepped out of the woods when I got to the end of the row.

 

597093ac3377a_BackCornerdeer07-18-17web.png.554d71fadcd6e0aba35b1fe96462e1a7.png

By the time I made the turn she was all the way up to the uncut grass.

 

597093bf251e6_Endofrowdoe07-18-17web.png.896d07397ab6dbb58103b631cbc31e84.png

 

Her behavior was unusual which led me to believe she had a fawn hidden in the grass. I tried to drive up and get her picture but she spooked, ran a short distance and stopped.

 

597093ca7bbdd_SpookedDoe07-18-17web.png.104c502f8140e0816e849c725290987f.png

 

I gave her the field back and warned her I would return tomorrow to finish mowing. As I retreated she came right back up to the uncut grass.

As I was about to leave I looked in the field behind the barn and two bucks stepped out. Long shot for a cell phone camera but if you look close you can see the antlers on the deer on the left.

 

597093d3832c2_Twobucks07-18-17web.png.5c2732c54e910b3ca9535815295f5812.png

 

I took a walk in the woods where we reclaimed some apple trees in March. The crowns are fruit rich.
Jewel Weed or ‘Snap Dragons’ we call it as kids is the ground cover in the woods. Deer are browsing the leaves and the hollow, moisture laden, stocks. The red oak trees look to have abundant acorns forming.

 

Our habitat work is coming full circle. Thank you, Tim, for allowing us to farm for wildlife.

 

07-19-17
Saw the two bucks come out of the woods where we made an opening and took down the old fence this spring.
As I made the turn in the lower end of the northern field I looked up thirty yards on the hill and there were three deer standing there looking me over. The boldest was the spike buck. The two does stayed to the rear. Got a shaky video of them as I drove past.

 

The fields are done. That makes six whitetails to add to the inventory and the cameras still need to be put out.

 

Grass, apple and oak fed venison. My kind of home grown.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mental Health

07-11-17
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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lobster Appreciation Day

07-08-17
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!

59622cc68ef47_JulyBounty07-08-17web.jpg.24cef72a4f25d843532091889fa46289.jpg

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.

59622cd3ee407_Boil07-08-17web.jpg.627789b7efebc26bc150f8508e98d512.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pease Greeters

Pease Greeters

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.

http://www.peasegreeters.org/about.htm

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.

595fb11a0a873_PeaseGreeterplaneweb.jpg.830dba7b926495985760a2dfb7121885.jpg

Thank you Armand for your commitment to our troops.

And to our troops  ‘Thank you for your service’.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turf and Surf

07-04-17

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.

 

595cfd8aa5ff3_BillyGoatPondweb07-04-17.jpg.0ef25aa5761bfce060cd2e6b0edfdf5c.jpg

 

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.

 

595d050d1157b_07-04-17LobstersWEB.jpg.3ddda4608ff71627415266b5598b9e8f.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bug’s and Bass 2

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.

593d529ec2f1d_June10limitweb.jpg.f9ba0e4cc51922e672013b2af5aa43c5.jpg

First check produced a few bugs. Wicked hard shell.

Gonnah need a hammah!

 

593d52aa15007_HammahLobsterweb.jpg.02fa347649402d8aaaa08f7d2bf07ff1.jpg

Meet Sledge

Gotta be all of three pounds.

5942c1458d575_Sledgeweb.jpg.5b2095fb299ee7115288766cae68e9b4.jpg

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.

06-17-17

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.

 

06-18-17

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.

 

06-20-17

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.

06-25-17
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.

If you remember a couple years ago in one of my best spots I met two ladies on their moored boat who complained my buoy was too close to their boat. Even at times rubbing up against it. Instead of being a dickhead lobsterman and seeing the bugs from the just pulled trap I gave them a few lobsters.

As we pulled up to the trap today those fine looking ladies were on their boat. I pulled the trap and Karen banded three keeper lobsters. From there we pulled up to their boat, I introduced my wife and we gave them the bounty. Turns out there were five blondes on the water, my wife, the two ladies and their two yellow dogs.

Very pleasing afternoon on these aging eyes.

My son’s father-in-law rented a slip in Upper Little Bay this summer. That is at the end of my line. I knew he was going striper fishing today so when we pulled the last trap I called him. They were just tying up. Told him we had some lobsters for him. He was excited because they were having a cookout when he got home.

Got a text from him later in the day saying the whole family thanked us.

Lobsters have special way of creating smiles. (except for hungry little girls)

59512d2ab907c_Lobsterfest06-25-17web.jpg.ffd0506fc6df0a519e2d99548fe5fdb8.jpg

 

06-26-17

Outgoing tide, no wind, plenty of eels in the car hanging off the dock. Time to fish.

 

Got half way through the Bay and turned around to review the sky. CRAP! Two T-storms coming. One to my south, one to my north. Both heading east on a collision course with the fishing grounds. Gave it a little thought, erred on the side of caution and turned around.

 

Back at the dock I took this picture of the southern storm. Seeing its position I thought it might be raining at home. Just as the Ford was pulling into the driveway the heavens opened up.

 

I think both storms missed the Bay. My co-worker who lives to the north told me the rain got there at 20:30. Still haven’t wet a line this summer. But it is time!

 

59525614db347_Thunderstorm06-26-17web.jpg.ca8c28fa8a702a69b82ac0b19aaec354.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleepy Jakes

05-21-17

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.
15 pounds.

592304a3f32f5_Shawnsjake05-21-1715poundsweb.jpg.7e5bbc41a31da2ed4b059deb17bb8b28.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment