Sunday, April 28, 2013


This morning I guided Greg Hubbel Jr. on a turkey hunt. We had no more than gotten out of the truck this morning and could hear tom's gobbling all over. It sounded like there was 6 or 8 different birds so we headed in that direction. At our first set up I called and the tom's gobbled but I could hear hens in between us and the tom's, so we stayed put for awhile and then moved on.  At the next stop we had gobblers all around us but again, the hens had their attention. We could see a tom no more than 80 yards from us strutting his stuff but there was no way he was leaving his girl, so we snuck out of there and tried to find the others. As we moved along we spotted a group of 3 tom's up on the hillside and they did not have any hens. We crept into position and I gave a soft call that they immediately answered back to. Each time I called they would gobble but they just would not come towards us, as they did not want to cross the ravine between us and them. In true killer fashion I put together a quick plan. I was going to have Greg sneak down into the ravine and then up the other side while I sat and called to the birds to try and focus there attention my direction while he put the sneak on. I have done this in the past and had it work a few times so we gave it a shot. When all of the birds were facing away Greg slid down the embankment into the bottom and I kept calling to try to keep the birds from moving off in the other direction. As soon as Greg started to make his way up towards them I continued to call and the birds puffed up and strutted in circles, so far so good! I could see Greg was nearing the top of the ravine so I began calling aggressively to try and drown out the noise he was making. The birds stayed put and as Greg peeked over the top I saw his gun go up and then watched as a gobbler was knocked off his feet. The shot was true and the stalk panned out. The tom had a 7 inch beard and 1 inch spurs. Although it didn't happen the way it is supposed to it's always nice when a plan comes together! Either way the results were the same and Greg ended up with a beautiful bird!!


Friday, April 26, 2013


Today I guided Andy and Al for stripers. We launched at Teesdale and started fishing below the ramp with the worm. On my fourth or fifth cast I had a bite and it was fish on! The guys informed me that they did not want my charity fish, so I battled the beast and before long had a 20 pound hen to the boat. After a quick photo session she was released to go make her babies. That was a good start to the morning and as we continued to work the rock walls we picked up a couple more nice males for the box. The boats were starting to show up so we headed up stream to see what was around Lupes Bend. We switched over to minnows and started working our way back down stream. We didn't get far when Andy hooked a fish, but it came off right at the boat. We continued working our way down and as we neared a likely spot we got a double, both of which were nice keeper sized fish. We continued working our way down stream and picked up a fish here and there. All of the fish that we caught today were good clean fish in the 4-10 pound range. We called it quits at 11:00 with a box full of nice schoolie sized stripers for the table.


Monday, April 22, 2013


Today I guided Bob and Les for stripers. With the water dropping I decided it was time to head down South, so we trailered the boat down and launched at Knight's Landing. We launched around 6:00 and headed up stream for 5-6 miles. As we rounded the corner there was a tree laying in the water with a huge break behind it and it looked too good to pass up so I slid over to it and tied off. As soon as the boat was sitting right I put on a live minnow and slipped it over the side. Les had not had his line in the water for more than a few minutes when he had a pull down but it didn't stick. When you are fishing live minnows form anchor you have to let the fish pull down the minnow and then lean the rod tip down until you get steady pressure and then set the hook. Les was having a hard time getting the hang of it as he missed 6 fish in the first 5 minutes. Bob on the other hand couldn't get bit but he finally did and soon had the first fish in the boat. Les caught on and then it was a battle who was going to get the next fish! We stayed in this spot for a couple of hours with steady action the whole time and then it died off, so we moved on. At each and every stop we would catch a couple fish and then it would die and we would move on. We fished several different locations today and caught fish at all of them. We ended the day around 1:00 having boated a box full of nice fish and a few shakers. It was a great day on the water despite the howling North wind.


Saturday, April 20, 2013


This morning I hit the hills with Robert to try and bag a turkey. When we got to the ranch we were greeted by the North wind again! I have spent many spring days in the field chasing turkeys and I have never had much luck on windy days. As soon as it started to crack light I blew the locator calls and nothing responded, which is very unusual for the part of the ranch we were on. On a typical morning you hear 5-10 different tom's in the surrounding trees. Since the birds wouldn't talk we moved to another section of the ranch where I had been seeing turkeys and let out a call, again no response. We kept at it moving from place to place and calling but with the same results. As we moved further down the valley I let out a call and a tom answered, game on! We quickly got set up and waited about 10 minutes and gave another soft call. Again the tom answered and when he thundered off he couldn't have been more than 50 yards from us but still inside the trees. We sat patiently waiting as I figured any second he would appear in front of our decoy, but he never did. I let out a few more calls but the tom had gone silent! The only thing that I could figure is that he either had hens with him or ran across some while heading in our direction. We then picked up and tried several more set ups in other areas but all was silent. It was now noon and Robert and I decided to call it a day as the wind was taking a toll on us and the birds apparently did not like it either.


Friday, April 19, 2013


Today I guided Dick and Bill for stripers. In an attempt to get away from all of the boat traffic, I decided to launch at Ward's landing and work my way down. Going into the day I knew we would not have as many fish in that section of river but also knew that the boats would be minimal. We started worming just below Lovey's and continued working our way down stream. We had a few bites on the way down but it wasn't until we reached the bottom of the red sea that we boated a keeper. From there on it was a fish here and a fish there but we eventually had a box full of nice fish for dinner. In total we landed 8 keepers, a few shakers, and lost a few at the boat. While the fishing wasn't red hot it sure was nice to not get seas sick from all of the boats going by!


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Today I guided a group of guys from Utah and Idaho for stripers. We hit the water at first light and started throwing the worm at all of the banks that I had caught fish on earlier in the week. The wind was howling and the passes down the walls were quick but we couldn't get bit. As it got light I could see what was causing the poor bite, the water had dropped 3-4 feet in the last couple of days. Anyone who fishes much for stripers knows that when the water drops like that the bite typically turns off and the fish head down stream. We continued working our way down stream and started getting a little bit of action, the further we got down stream. As it got later in the morning the barrage of boats showed up and we were getting rocked and rolled all over the river by the wakes. We stuck at it and continued to pick up a fish here and there until we finished up around 11:00. Today was a tough day on the water but we stuck with it and got it done. In a hurry to get away from all of the boats and out of the wind, I forgot the most importat part of the day, the picture. Sorry guys!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Today I guided Tim, Dan, Lacy, and Melissa on a pig hunt. We arrived at the ranch this morning and were greeted by the lovely North wind! The wind was howling and I knew we would have our work cut out for us today. We left the cabin and headed straight for the lower brush country, as I figured we may be able to get out of the wind down there. We made our way along one of the finger ridges, stopping from time to time to glass the valley below. As we continued on I spotted a lone boar working over one of the grass flats. We quickly formulated a plan and the stalk was on. We closed the distance as quickly as possible and as we worked our way down hill we hit a wall of brush and could go no further. I ranged the pig at 212 yards and Melissa was comfortable with the distance so I got her set up on the sticks and ready for the shot. As the pig stepped up out of a small ravine he revealed his true size, and he was big. He looked to be in the 300 pound range and an old battle scarred warrior. He was feeding and would not turn broadside so Melissa waited for her shot and as he finally gave her the shot she squeezed the trigger. At the shot he bit at his side and walked off into the brush, but he never squealed and I never heard the familiar slap of the bullet. We all agreed that the shot looked good but we needed to drive down there to take a look. As we were walking back to the ranger we rounded the corner and found blood all over the road. It appeared as if the big boar had made his way up hill to the road and crossed it before heading down into the next canyon. We found where he had went back into the brush so I put together a plan. I took Tim, Dan, and Lacy across the canyon and got them set up in case the boar was still moving and Melissa stayed on the trail in case he decided to double back. An hour had passed since the time of the shot and by the amount of blood that I was seeing, I assumed he would be down hill and piled up in the next brush patch. I took to the trail and the blood was thick. I was in disbelief as I continued to get further and further down the rail, there was so much blood that he should have been bled out by now. As I continued on I started finding less blood but was able to follow the tracks were the boars was sliding down the hill. Ever so often I would stop and locate blood so that I stayed on the right trail. I continued to purse the beast and as I neared the bottom of the canyon I lost the trail. I backed up and found the trail again but was having to crawl around on my hands and knees just to keep on the trail through the brush. I stayed on the track for a total of 5 hours but eventually lost the track and could go no further, sick to my stomach over losing such a trophy boar I had to give up. I caught back up with the rest of the group and told them the bad news. By now it was 1:00 so we decided to make one more loop around the ranch and see if we could catch some pigs at water. We managed to spot a couple more pigs at the water holes but they were both sows with piglets so they got a pass and we called it a day. It doesn't happen to often but if you hunt sooner or later you will eventually loose a animal. We did all that we could do to recover the beast but it just wasn't meant to be. All though I do not like it at all, it's just part of the game.


Monday, April 15, 2013


This morning I guided Dennis and Richard for stripers. We launched at 5:30 and grabbed the worming rods, making our first pass just below the boat ramp. Within a cast or two Richard had a nice 10 pounder on and in the box! We continued to work our way down river hitting all of the same walls as yesterday and at each wall we picked up several fish. We beat up the water until 11:00 and caught fish at every stop. We ended up bring home limits of nice fish in the 5-10 pound range and let several others go back to grow up. It appears as if the fish from upstream are headed South due to the decrease in water flows and the fleet of boats are right there with them. Down were I saw no one yesterday was loaded with boats today! So much for being able to hide, and have some water to your self.


Sunday, April 14, 2013


This morning I did not have any client's so my buddy Raith and I headed out to do a little recon work. I was so baffled by the amount of boats on the water between Teesdale and Ward's that I had to head south and see if I could find fish that were not being beat to death by the boats. We arrived at the Teesdale boat ramp at 5:30 and the parking lot was already half full. We got the boat in the water and I put the hammer down, headed South. We went a few miles until we got away from the boats and started working the banks with the rubber worm. The first wall that we worked was holding fish and we boated 10 the first pass. We continued to keep working down river and at each stop we found more of the same, plenty of fish and no boats. By 7:00 we had landed over 30 fish, keeping 4 for the box up to 12 pounds! It was a nice morning on the water and we had the boat on the trailer and headed home by 7:30. Hopefully all of the boats will stay up above and I can continue to sneak down stream and get into the fish.


Saturday, April 13, 2013


This morning I guided Shane Keyser on a pig hunt. We hit the hills at first light and began searching for our target. We started working the hills up high this morning and were not having any luck so we headed down into the lower brush country and continued our pursuit. We found the same results down in the lower brush, nothing was out moving. The lovely North wind was howling, keeping all of the animals in the brush. About 9:00 we decided to head back up top to see if we could catch some pigs making their way to water. As we came up the first hill and rounded the corner I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, pigs! We put together a quick plan and made a stalk towards the reservoir so we could get a better look at the pigs. As soon as we got to a good vantage point Shane picked out a good meat boar and layed the hammer down. The shot was true and he ended up with a 80 pounder for the butcher. Despite the howling wind we got it done and Shane was a happy camper!


Friday, April 12, 2013


Today I guided Brian and Mike for stripers. We hit the water at 5:30 AM and started making our way down river. At the first couple of stops we caught a few shakers so we kept heading South. As soon as we got to the Long Bar we found what we were looking for, lot's of nice fish! We were throwing rubber worms and the fish were after them. Fish after fish came over the side of the boat for the first hour and then the barrage of boats showed up and killed the bite. We headed further down river to try and get away from the boats but that proved to be an impossible task! There were boats every where, and as we navigated through them we picked up a fish here and there all the way down to Winship pumps. We called it a day at noon and headed in with a nice box full of fish for the guys to take home. It was a great day on the water despite all of the boat traffic!


Thursday, April 11, 2013


Today I guided Greg Scoles on a turkey hunt. We arrived at the ranch around 5:30 and as soon as we stepped out of the truck some coyotes started howling and then the turkeys went nuts! This continued as we got our gear together and as the sky started to lighten I could see a gobbler standing in the roost tree not 300 yards from us. We headed in his direction and got set up and gave a few calls. The gobbler immediately answered back and it looked as if he may come right to us when he left the roost. As it got lighter the gobbler was getting restless so I knew fly down was close. He pitched out of the tree and went straight away from us, he must of sensed something wasn't quite right. He was still gobbling to beat hell so we snuck out and tried to get around him. As soon as we set up and called he gobbled and it sounded as if he was headed our way. Slowly but surely he came closer and kept calling but all of the sudden he hit the breaks and would not come any closer. I kept trying to coax him in but he stood his ground and eventually had enough and moved off in the other direction. While all of this was going on there were turkeys gobbling all over, so we picked one that sounded the most excited and headed his way. We closed the distance quietly and got the decoy set up in a small meadow. After catching our breath and getting hidden under a big oak I let out a call and got an immediate answer. I gave it a few minutes and called again, he answered right back. We kept this going for a few minutes and soon we spotted the gobbler headed our way. Each time I would call he would puff up and gobble. It was quite a show as we watched him close the distance from a couple of hundred yards down to a mere 20 yards. We kept messing with him, as we were having too much fun watching him drum and strut for his new lady! I could sense that Greg had about all of the watching he could take, so I gave him the go ahead and he put the smack down.  He was a beautiful bird, packing a 9" beard and 1" spurs. This was Greg's first turkey and I have a feeling it won't be his last!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Today it was back to the river. I met client's John and Maureen at the gas station at 5:30 and we were on our way. We launched at Ward's Landing and headed up stream to see if the fish were still where I caught them the other day. We started fishing right where I left off Saturday but the fish were not there so we began working our way back down stream. On our way down we fished all of the likely spots, but just could not get bit! We continued searching and finally ran into some fish that wanted to bite. Maureen was the first to strike and soon we were slipping a 6 pounder into the net! John wasn't far behind with a 5 pounder. We continued working that stretch and caught a couple more shakers and some small keepers that we turned loose. We continued working our way down stream and found another school of fish that wanted to play, and we went to work on them. Pass after pass we caught fish , most of them being keeper sized males with a few shakers mixed in. On the fourth or fifth drift Maureen's rod doubled over and started screaming line off of it. At first it looked like a snag but then the rod started to pump and the line headed for the middle of the river. The fish battled for a minute or so and we chased after it trying to not get spooled, but eventually the hook just pulled out. By the looks of it I would say it was a big oversized sturgeon that was foul hooked. It would have been nice to catch a glimpse of the beast but we just could not get it done. All in all it was a great day on the water. We ended up with a box full of 5-6 pound males for the table and let several others go. Looks like the fishing should be good from here on out!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Today I guided Brett Nystrom on a turkey hunt. We meet up in the morning and headed for the hills to see what we could do. At first light the wind started to blow and the birds were dead silent. We tried a set up in a small valley with no success, however, we did see a lone hen walking the creek so we knew there were birds around. We made a few more stops in the same general area with the same results, so we decided to jump in the ranger and head down the valley a ways. At our next stop we got the decoy setup and started calling. Within a couple of minutes we heard a faint gobble off in the distance and a short while after, another gobble, but this time it was closer. We sat tight and called ever so often and we could tell the gobbler was on his way! This went on for about 20 minutes when all of the sudden, out of no where, he came out of the trees, full speed ahead for the decoy! The gobbler put on quite a show as he strutted, spit, and drummed for his new girl! Unfortunately for him Brett had other plans. Brett was ready and as the gobbler got within a couple feet of the decoy Brett put the hammer down and it was all over but the laughing and high fives!
But wait there's more! We got done early with the turkey hunt and Brett just happened to have a rifle and a pig tag in the truck, so we switched out guns and headed out on a new adventure! We started working the ranch checking all of the ponds with hopes of catching a pig getting a drink, but all we could find were ponds with muddy water and it looked like we had just missed them! We continued to push on and as we made our way back towards the truck Brett spotted something up on a finger ridge. We stopped and I put the glasses up, confirming what he saw was indeed a couple pigs! I ranged the pigs at 189 yards and Brett got set up and ready for the shot. When he was ready he touched it off, however, the bullet missed high and all hell broke loose! All of the sudden the couple of pigs turned into 15 and they were running straight at us. Brett got ready to shoot again but I told him to wait as they were coming closer to us.The first  pig to come out into the open was a huge boar in the 300+ pound range. Brett took aim and let a few rounds fly but none hit the mark, apparently the pig fever had set in! As the big boar trotted off we both stood on the hill side cussing in disbelief, but that did not last long as there were other pigs still on the hill side. Brett reloaded and off we went to try and get another shot. As we rounded the corner the pigs were standing on the hillside at 200 yards. We waited for a small boar to clear the rest of the pack and then Brett made him pay! This shot was perfect dropping the pig in it's tracks. The pig was on a steep hillside and as he flopped, he began to roll and ended up at the bottom of the hill, almost on the road. As we approached the pig it was a nice sized meat boar around 175 pounds. It was a great ending to the day and both Brett and I had a blast!


Sunday, April 7, 2013


This morning I guided Terry and Jon on a pig hunt. We met in the morning got the paperwork done, jumped into the ranger, and headed out. We started out in the lower brush country and as we rounded the corner we came up on a 250 pound boar that had absolutely no idea what was about to happen. Jon hopped out of the ranger, settled his cross hairs and let his .280 sing! The first shot missed and as the boar quartered away from us so did the second! Before he could get back on the boar he hit the brush and was not to be seen again. We loaded back up in the ranger and went back on the hunt. As we started our search again we moved into a different are on the ranch and soon we spotted another group. This time Terry jumped out, got a rest, and put the smack down on a 125 pound sow. The rest of the herd scattered and we couldn't find another shot for Jon. By this time it was getting late so we went back down to the barn for a quick photo shoot and then got the pig skinned and headed for the walk in. It was a great day on the ranch and it looks as if the pigs are starting to come back after the fire!



Saturday, April 6, 2013


After seeing all of the Sturgeon roll yesterday I had to get back on the water and give it another try. I only had a few hours this morning before the kids baseball games so I grabbed my grandpa and Cade and we hit the water. The water was on the rise and had alot of trash coming down, so we anchored up and waited for a bite. We did not have to wait long before grandpa's rod went down and it was Sturg on! Gramps did a great job fitting the fish and after a 20 minute battle I slipped the 50 incher into the net! Unfortunately we had to get to the baseball games so as much as I hated to we pulled the anchor and headed in! There are alot of sturgeon right now and more stripers coming up every day. I would imagine the bite will bust wide open any day now! 


Friday, April 5, 2013


This morning I headed to the Sacramento River on a scouting mission. We launched at Ward's Landing and began working our way up river from hole to hole. We were throwing rubber worms in the shallows and trolling in the deep spots, but all we could catch were big river pike. The water was on the rise so I threw anchor and switched over to bait, as it sometimes works the best when the fish are moving. We had only been baited up for 15 minutes when my rod went down and it was fish on! I handed my rod to my son Cade and he battled a 10 pound hen to the boat. After some quick pictures she was released and we got the lines back in the water. Not long after the fish really started biting and we were getting bit on each fresh bait. The fish seemed to be biting very light but ever so often one would grab ahold and we would get a hook in them. As we sat and fished I was seeing a ton of sturgeon roll and had several line rubs and knew it was just a matter of time before we would get our chance at one. Eventually my rod doubled over and as soon as I set the hook I knew we had a sturg! The fish did not fight all that hard until it saw the boat and then all hell broke loose! We fought it for 15 minutes before scooping it up in the net! We ended the day catching 6 nice stripers of which 2 were females that we released, and a nice 48" sturgeon for the box. It was a great day on the water and the boys had a blast!