Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Birthday Gobbler!

This morning I guided Vinny for his annual birthday turkey hunt that his brother Donald set up for him. I met the guys bright and early and we got to the ranch and set up well before daylight. As legal shooting time came we could hear birds and the hit the ground and went quiet. I knew where the birds were and we closed the distance a few times and set up on them but they had hen's and didn't want to cooperate. We gave up on those birds and went to find some others. As we traveled through the ranch I would stop and call hoping to get a response, on a couple different occasions we got a gobble but as soon as we set up and tried to call again the birds would go silent. At each set we sat patiently for what I deemed long enough and then moved on. On our third attempt we had 2 birds gobble and they sounded HOT so we set up and waited before giving them another call. At the sound of the call the gobblers we nuts and before long I could see them headed down the hill towards us. They would come down the hill to within 100 yards or so and then head back up. I would wait awhile and call again and they would do the same thing!! After the third time I got pissed and decided to make a move(as some of you may know, patience isn't exactly my strong point!). The plan was for Donald to stay put and Vinny and I would make our way up the ravine towards the birds. We closed the first 50 yards fairly quickly but as we got closer I slowed down and we would go 5-10 yards wait 10 minutes and then give quiet clucks and purrs, trying to sound like a couple hens headed up the hill. Each time I called they would answer and we played this game for quite awhile until we finally reached the top of the draw. This time we waited several minutes and I told Vinny to be ready as I thought they would come running at us! As soon as I purred both birds gobbled not 10 yards from us but they stayed but and wouldn't move! I knew right where they were so we crawled up a little higher and I told Vinny to stand up as soon as I started calling. I hit mouth call and we both stood up and watched as one of the toms gobbled not 10 feet from us. All we could see was his big red head and beard when Vinny put the hammer down!! It wasn't exactly how I had imagined it happening, but that seems to be the story of my life when it comes to turkey hunting!!! Either way the results were the same and Vinny headed home with his birthday TOM!!!   

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sacramento River Stripers

Today I had Les, Bob, and Cade on the boat. We launched out of Tisdale and headed all the way up to the rope swing and then worked our way back to the ramp. It was a fish here and a fish there the whole way down the river. All of our fish were taken on live minnows today, and we had a mix of shakers and keepers!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Back on the water!

Back on the water and out of the hills! We got a late start this morning due to a licensing problem and as I sat at the 76 station in Sutter watching boat after boat go by headed towards Tisdale, I decided that when the guys got back we would head to Ward's and skip the traffic jam. We launched and headed up stream and began working the banks with the rubber worm. It didn't take long to realize that they were not wanting the worm so we switched over to minnows. We began working our way down stream and picked up several shakers but no keepers!! We worked at it until noon but it was slim pickings! Guess Ill head back down stream and get back into the fleet of boats!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Turkey Troubles!!

After the great hunt from last week I was eager to get back after the turkey's. Today Aaron and I headed up to the ranch with hopes of getting him a bird. We left the cabin and headed up the hill and found a likely spot to set up. As the sky started to lighten the birds started gobbling and it sounded as if we were in the right location! Once the birds left the roost and hit the ground they were very vocal and sounded s if they were headed our way. I gave a few calls and the birds answered back immediately, so my hopes were high! After a half hour or so we spotted a few birds making their way up the adjacent hill side, several hundred yards away.  Every time I would call the birds would answer and we could watch them as they would swell up and then strut, spit, and drum. It was one hell of a show, as there must have been 6-8 different tom's on that hill side. One of the toms broke off and was headed our way doing the dance when out of no where a couple other toms charged him and scared him back up the hill. I tried to gently coax him back down our direction but he just wouldn't do it! As I was about to loose hope I made one more aggressive set of calls and heard a couple birds a long ways away. I then sat quiet for roughly 10 minutes and hit the call again, and got an immediate answer from 2 birds and they were headed our way quickly! Aaron was set up and ready as we waited another 10 minutes or so and I let out another couple clucks. This time the gobbles erupted and it sounded like they were within 50 yards!! Within seconds we watched a 2 toms came barreling towards us through the brush, the lead bird headed straight in while to other one held up at the brush line. The lead bird came into 20 yards or so but wasn't going to get any closer to my strutter decoy. I gently purred and tried to coax him in closer but he wouldn't do it! I could tell he was getting nervous and as he turned to leave Aaron fired!! To my disbelief and his as well we watched as the birds ran off, it was a clean miss!! We will never know what happened but it just wasn't meant to be. We tried several other locations to try and raise some interest and had several gobbles but no takers!!  It was a great day in the hills and the show that we got to watch this morning was nothing short of amazing!!     

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Solid Striper Action!

For the last couple days I have had Reg, John, Irv,and Jay on the boat and I have had a blast! The fishing has been pretty good but let me tell you the comedy has been better!! These guys are a fun group of guys and this was their first trip with us and I sure as hell hope they come back!! We caught a mix of shakers and keepers the last few days and had alot of fun doing it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gobbler's Down!!

This morning I guided Dan and Gary for turkey's. We got to the ranch well before daylight and as we were putting on our gear all hell busted loose up the valley from us. Within minutes we could hear several tom's gobbling and made a mad dash to get set up and entice a couple of them in. As the birds hit the ground they got pretty quiet and we waited patiently until I could take it no more! The birds were answering our calls but they would get closer and then back off, almost like they were walking in a big square, it was weird!! We decided to pick up and we headed up the hill to try and spot the birds to see what they were actually doing. When we reached a good vantage point we spotted a couple hens at a dead run headed up the opposite hill side and shortly there after a line of gobblers! We now knew why they wouldn't come into our calls and I had a good idea of where they were headed so we set out to try and get in front of them. We arrived at where I thought the birds would show and we didn't have to wait long as a line of gobblers came strutting in!! Within seconds of having a good visual on the entire string of birds the guys picked out the 2 biggest and rolled them up almost simultaneously!! It was awesome, 2 nice tom's down! Both of the birds were of good size and one had a 9.5 inch beard and the other 8.5. It was a great hunt and it's always nice when a plan comes together!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Stripers

Today I had the Rowley's on the water. We hit the water early in hopes of finding a good worm bite before the boats showed up, but it was pretty dismal. We managed one fish on the worm and had a few short strikes before I gave in and put on minnows. We started drifting our way down stream and picked up a fish here and there along the way. When it was all said and done we called it quits around noon with 4 keepers in the box and let a few shakers go as well. There are plenty of fish around but all of the boat traffic and the warm water is killing the bite!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Steady Striper Action!

Headed out to Tisdale again this morning and started right where I left off yesterday! It didn't take long to get hooked up and the first 2 fish that we boated were hens in the 15-20 pound range! They were both released to fight another day and we went to work on some keepers for the box. We worked the same rock wall over and over again catching a fish or two each pass! It wasn't long before we had a box full and headed in. Again the bite wasn't fast and furious but we boated around 20 fish today, plenty of fish to keep my attention!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Better Striper Action!

After what I had seen yesterday it was apparent that the bulk of the fish were down lower in the river so I headed for Tisdale. We launched the boat and started working our way along the rocks casting the black worm with hopes that they would cooperate today! It didn't take long to find some takers and we started slipping fish into the boat! The worm bite was different than it usually is as there were a lot of short strikes and we were only hooking about every third or fourth bite! We kept at it and scratched together nice limits of fish on the worm and released a couple females to go make babies! The water is warm already at 63 degrees and a few of the fish we caught today were already spawned out! I personally have never seen then spawn this early in the year but when the water temp rises the spawn! Hopefully this is only the first batch of fish and there will be more to come! We had a great time today and Larry and Gregg had a blast!


Monday, April 7, 2014

The Stripers are Here!

We launched at Ward's this morning and started working our way down in search of the fish! As I made stop after stop it was apparent that there were no big schools of fish, but a fish here and a fish there all the way down. I fished all the way towards pierces dock this morning and landed several keepers and a few shakers making limits for the boat. It was not fast and furious by any means but we ended up with our fish. The rubber worm bite was dead, but the minnows seemed to do the trick! Some how I erased the one picture that I took so no photo's today!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Turkey Time

I finally got a chance to take my son, Cade out turkey hunting this morning. He has been wanting to hunt them since it opened and I finally had some time to try and make it happen! We arose at 3:30 AM and got ready and hit the road! We headed over to a ranch that I have permission to hunt and set out to try and get it done. We picked a likely spot and got set up well before daylight so that we would not spook the birds that I was sure were nearby. As dawn started to crack the birds went crazy!! It was awesome to hear all of the gobbles, and there must have been 10-15 different birds nearby but sounded as if they had roosted on the neighboring property across the creek. As shooting time neared Cade and I sat patiently waiting for fly down. Prior to legal shooting light some JACKASS decided to sneak onto the property and shoot a couple birds out of the roost!! WTF is wrong with people??? Not only trespassing but shooting birds out of the roost as well, I was pissed and had to take the time to explain to Cade what had just happened. He was bummed but with the amount of gobbling I had heard earlier I knew we still had a chance. We sat patiently and the birds went quiet and we called every once in awhile to see if we could drum up some interest, but no luck. I decided to make a move to the other part of the ranch and as we walked around the corner I spotted two jakes in the tall orchard grass but they had spotted us as well and started moving off in the other direction. We tried to get ahead of them but they had us busted so we called it a morning! Today was a great learning experience for Cade on what not to do!! Even though we got hosed by the poachers it was still a lot of fun spending time with Cade chasing turkey's.