Thursday, March 26, 2015

Filling Freezers!

Took a break from the sturgeon fishing and headed out to fill another freezer! We got to the ranch in the dark and set out in search of some pork! We looked high and low without much luck until we spotted this guy and 5 of his friends tearing up one of the flats down in the valley. They were a long ways off but in a good spot for a stalk so off we went. We covered most of the distance on the ATV and then closed in on foot. As we crested the last rise there they were, a mere 25 yards away!! The wind was perfect and they had no clue what was about happen. One shot from Scott's trusty rifle and he was standing over a perfect sized pig for eating!! It was a nice change of pace and by all the rooting on the ranch looks like we have several herds of pigs working it over.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Back on the water, looking for sturgeon!

We headed out again last night sturgeon fishing, I absolutely love it and can't get enough. The thought of never knowing how big the catch will be keeps me going back! We launched around 4:00 and were fishing by 5:00. Our friends Brian and Karlie came up with us so we anchored side by side with enough bait in the water, we were sure to catch something. Around 6:00 the inside rod went down but before I could grab it the fish was gone! We rebaited and by 6:30 it was fish on!! The fish put up a great fight and we were soon slipping a nice 48 inch keeper into the net!

     We landed that one and got back to fishing! We had a few more bites and some line rubs and we patiently waited. Around 1:00 AM the reel started screaming and Brian set the hook! At the hook set the rod stayed down and the line peeled off the reel. It was evident we had a big one and if we were going to land it we would have to float with it. I threw in the buoy and we started drifting with the fish. Every time we gained and inch the fish would take a mile. 40 minutes later the big fish came to the surface and we were able to get a measurement, 84 inches! The fish put up a hell of a fight and we took all of the time necessary to get the big hen revived and with smiles and burning arms watched her swim away to fight another day!  I just can't get enough and look forward to the next trip!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In search of pork!

We did not offer many pig hunts last season due to low animal numbers but decided to offer a few this season. Based on the sign we are seeing on the ranch there is a pretty good population of them up there. I met Mike in Arbuckle and we headed for the hills to see what we could find. We got up on a high ridge and were making our way along it glassing down into the valley. On the fourth stop I looked down and spotted a lone boar feeding on the edge of a brush patch. The boar looked to be 300+ pounds and we tried to put a stalk on him but could only get as close as 300 yards due to terrain and Mike was not comfortable with the shot. I was trying to find another way to close the distance when the boar slipped into the brush, never to be seen again. We jumped on the ranger and went in search of more. As we were driving along I looked into the bottom of the ravine and spotted a small group of pigs feeding on the brush line. We bailed out and got set up on the sticks but Mike was blinded by the sun in the scope. I quickly took off my hat and shaded the scope the best I could and it worked. Mike got the biggest pig of the group in his sights and touched one off! The shot was perfect and the pig dropped in it's tracks, a perfect head shot at 175 yards! The pig was in the bottom of the canyon so we hiked down and mike helped me get it up on my shoulders after a quick gut job and up the hill I went. The pig was a nice sized sow around 235 pounds!  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chasing dinosaurs!

I met up with Joe and Diego in Colusa and after getting bait we headed for the launch. We were on the water by 4:30 and fishing by 5:00! I had just baited all the rods and got them in the holders when the outside rod went down! I set the hook and it was fish on, we cleared all the other lines out of the way and I glanced down at my phone, it was 5:05! The fish was pulling drag and looked like it wasn't going to turn so I threw in the bouy and we floated with the fish. Joe would take line in and as soon as the fish was close it would take off again. This went on for 40 minutes before I finally saw the fish blow bubbles as it made it's way to the surface! As the fish came up it was evident that it was way too big, it taped out at 90 inches from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. We tried to get a good picture of it but just couldn't get a good one so we un-hooked her and spent about 10 minutes reviving her before she swam off! Joe's arms were throbbing and the guys were all smiles!

We got back over to the buoy and got anchored back up and fresh bait in the water. Around 7:30 the rod started to noodle and I grabbed it and set the hook, a swing and a miss! We re-baited and the waiting game ensued. As it goit dark I lit the lantern and the ammount of bugs out was simply amazing. I had to move the lantern to the very back of the boat to keep from swallowing a bug with every breath, it was crazy! By morning we had one hell of a pile of dead ones around the lantern.

   As we continued to wait for another bite we must have dozed off but woke right up when we heard the sound of the clicker! I jumped up and grabbed the rod and passed it to Joe as he came to life! The fish was pulling and jumping trying to shake the hook but he ended up in the net! The fish taped out at 54 inches and Joe was happy to be taking it home! It was another great night on the water and I can't wait to get back out there!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Back on the water!

I met my clients Bruce and Matt at the Tisdale boat ramp and we headed downstream, if it's not broke don't fix it is my motto for sturgeon fishing and as long as there are plenty of fish down stream that's where I'll go. We got down to the hole and floated down thru it looking for fish and it didn't take long to find some! As we floated down I marked 4 on the graph and before we could anchor had seen 3 roll. We got anchored up and within minutes had a good bite and fish on, however, it wasn't a sturgeon, just a little shaker striper. We re baited and the waiting game ensued. Finally at 7:30 the inside rod went down and Bruce set the hook, fish on and this time it was a sturgeon! Bruce fought the fish for 15 minutes before we slipped the nice 43 inch keeper into the net! We got the rods back into the water and were waiting patiently when the inside rod buried again. This time I grabbed the rod and set the hook and handed it to Matt. We got the other lines cleared and Matt went to work on the fish, it was ripping line off the rod as fast as he could get it back on. The fight lasted about 5 minutes before the fish made a hard run towards the bank and jumped right at the shoreline, spitting the hook, fish off! It was an oversized fish by the looks of it but still would have liked to get a closer look. We fished the rest of the night and had a few more bites but nothing to swing on. Another great night on the water and the guys got to take home a great eating fish.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Elk habitat work has been started!

The D7 has been equipped with a new brush rake and we are off and running! A big part of the elk grant that we were awarded is to remove abunch of the thick underbrush that is overtaking our ranch to create travel cooridors and grassy meadows for the elk. The brush in most places is 6-8 feet tall and very dense, making it nearly impossible for any type of large animal to traverse. We are hoping that by opening up the brush the elk will make there way onto the ranch and call it home! From looking at the tracking data from collered elk we can see that the elk are very close to the property but just havent accessed our ranch yet. Between what the wildfire opened up and the brush removal we have planned our hopes are high that the elk will find there way onto the ranch.