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OUR LATEST POSTS

8

Here in Southern California, we just got through our fishing-show season. The Fred Hall Show in Long Beach kicked things off at the beginning of March. A couple of weeks later, the Del Mar version of Fred Hall came along. The Pacific Coast Sportfishing Festival ended the show season on the first weekend of April. During the shows, it seems like all my friends posed with Capt. Paul Hebert of the popular NatGeo show, Wicked Tuna.

A woman in New Zealand just put all those New England tuna captains on notice, though. Donna Pascoe hooked and landed a giant bluefin tuna, taping out at almost nine feet long and more than 900 lbs. Check out the amazing pictures and video and find out what she did with her amazing catch in this article.

Paul_wickedtunaIt could be worth up to $2 million, make 2,875 sandwiches, and has been hailed a ‘Picasso of the sea’… but Donna Pascoe wants to stuff her record-breaking tuna catch and hang it on her wall.

The game fisherwoman battled for more than four hours the 411.6kg (64 stone) Pacific bluefin before finally reeling in the high-speed leviathan – thought to be the largest ever caught with a rod and line.

She hooked the fish - which is twice the size of a tuna sold at a Japanese auction last year for $1.09million - using a 60lb line near the Three Kings Islands off Cape Reinga of New Zealand.

Photos: Daily Mail (top); NatGeo Channel (above)

20

Catfish are a weird fish. They live in muddy lakes and rivers patrolling the bottom, using their whisker-like barbels to find their prey. It seems like they’ll eat just about anything. You’ve probably seen those noodling shows where they’ll bite an arm or a leg of a “hand fisherman.” Or what about the technique where anglers rig a bag of chicken livers to a two-liter bottle and then retrieve the bottles with hooked catfish later? There’s a reservoir by my house where the preferred bait is a piece of hot dog!

None of these baits are as an unusual, though, as what some French scientists recently observed some catfish eating.

wade_wels-catfishMost catfish are vegetarians, feeding on plants, decaying food and fish eggs on the bottom of the river. However, in Tarn river, the catfish are now hunting pigeons. Researchers spent five months watching the catfish hunt pigeons, and during that time, witness catfish hunt pigeons more than 50 times. A quarter of those times, the catfish hunting pigeons managed to capture the bird.

The European catfish is considered an invasive species in the Tarn river, as it was introduced there in 1983. Researchers said it’s possible that the catfish have turned to hunting pigeons because they decimated the food population in the area.

Photos: Public Library of Science (top); Animal Planet (above)

By Jason Herbert

The old tom came in silent, and neither of us made a sound until I coaxed one obligatory gobble out of him. That was the last sound that bird ever made. I didn’t want the season to pass without hearing at least one sweet call of spring.

Turkeys can be hunted like deer. In fact, all game animals have the same basic needs: food, water, and shelter. And of course, the hunter’s “ace in the hole,” the animal’s desire to breed. I like to pattern my turkeys, and simply get between point A and point B at the appropriate time to kill one as he walks by. If that doesn’t work, then I’m decoying, and calling and running all over trying to punch my tag.

Scouting

When scouting, I first look for a roosting area. In my neck of the woods, birds tend to roost high in steady old oaks or seek shelter from the weather in mature pines. Turkeys also like to roost off hills, allowing them to get safely high in a tree with little effort. The terrain I hunt is relatively flat, so anytime a bird has a chance to roost off of a hill, he usually takes advantage of it. The best way to confirm the location of a roost area is to sit and listen from a distance, in the wee early morning hours or at dusk. During both of these times, toms will usually gobble. If time won’t allow for an observation, suspicion of a roosting area can be confirmed by locating piles of droppings, feathers, and scratch marks in the leaves. I’ve noticed that the birds tend to fly down into the wind, and certainly away from the sun. Generally, the turkeys will leave the roost and then head off to who knows where, leaving a trail of scratch marks behind. The scratches will indicate the direction where the birds traveled, with the pile of leaves being pushed behind them as they walk away.

DSC_0793Preparation

Like a child on Christmas Eve, the night before the turkey opener is a close second to the evening before archery deer season begins. I have so much fun preparing for the season that it has become an early spring ritual for me. I’m really excited this year to use my Thunder Chicken vest from ScentBlocker. This is by far the sweetest turkey hunting vest I’ve seen yet. Designed in part by The Bone Collector himself, Michael Waddell, this vest has everything a serious turkey hunter could ever need. I really appreciate its plentiful pockets placed logically through the vest, its Realtree Xtra revolutionary camo pattern, the orange safety flap on the back, and most of all, the quiet, magnetic comfortable pad that folds down from the back.

Along with my vest and some good rubber boots, I wear my fall hunting gear in the spring as well. Even though we don’t need to worry about human odor when we turkey hunt, I appreciate how comfortable and dry my RainBlocker clothing is. With the newest camo patterns like Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity, those old toms will never know what hit them!

I start each preseason ritual by taking everything out of my vest and re-assessing its value. A turkey hunter can never have too many calls, but there are a few things each year that don’t get invited back in the vest for the following spring. I also recycle old water bottles, thrown away all the junk I’ve collected, chalk up my box calls, sand my pot-n-peg calls, and get rid of my old diaphragm calls. I’ll of course invest in a few new diaphragm calls, and throw in some fresh granola bars and a couple of water bottles as well.

Even though my turkey gun is tried and true, I re-sight in each spring. Not only for the confidence and practice, but because I feel it’s important to retrain the muscle memory of slowly raising a gun and squeezing the trigger.

DSC_0949Hunting

Once I’ve located a roost area and have a rough idea of where the birds will head next, I try to find a decent place along the way to setup. I like to get against a big tree, in a thick pile of brush, or in some cases, set a popup blind. When bowhunting turkeys, a popup or permanent blind is almost essential. A turkey will almost always pick up on a bowhunter trying to draw on him, unless his movements are concealed in some sort of blind. The setup needs to be easy to access, without a lot of noise, and the hunter needs to be in it really early. I don’t call much at this point, or use decoys. I simply rely on my scouting to put birds in front of me. If my intel didn’t pay off, then it’s time for plan B.

After a few hours I’ll either have a dead bird in my truck or have moved to another location. I like to move to a strut zone. A strut zone is where a lonely tom will usually be found mid-morning, showing off in the bright sun, looking for a hen. Strut zones are typically open fields, river bottoms, ridge tops, or anywhere the bird can be seen, and see, from a distance. A strut zone is a good place to use a decoy, making sure to face it toward the hunter. When bow hunting a strut zone, remember to get a blind in place ahead of time, just in case. If the strut zone didn’t produce a tom, the day’s not over. I then go to plan C.

I spend the rest of the day moving from farm to farm hitting every strut zone I’m aware of until I’ve killed a bird. If I don’t kill one, I at least have a good idea where to start the next morning. If hunting different properties isn’t an option, take a break and head back out with different calls. Try a new location such as a water hole or dust bowl, and be patient. The turkeys are out there someplace! Eventually they’ll come back. It is important, when considering an all-day turkey-hunting marathon, to be sure to check the state hunting regulations, because not all states allow for afternoon or evening turkey hunting.

With a little preseason scouting and homework, the odds — for anyone from rookies to veterans — of killing that wise old spring longbeard will increase. And if you are a rookie, let us be the first to welcome you to your newest addiction! Learn a few basic calls (such as a cluck, yelp, cutt, or purr), get a good shooting gun, a few decent decoys, and some nice camouflage, and hit the woods! Have fun, be safe, and be sure to take good pictures to share with us!

28

Reintroducing grizzly bears into the wild can be a dangerous gig.

The man in the above photo from 1987 knows all about that.

According to Field & Stream, Montana State Game Warden Louis Kis was attempting to relocate an adult grizzly bear that was captured for killing a cow on an Indian reservation in Kalispell, Montana. Before it was released, the bear was tranquilized, tagged and fitted with a radio collar and driven out to Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness in the back of a pickup truck. Photographer Richard P. Smith accompanied Kis and his fellow rangers on the relocation mission.

The bear quickly turned on Kis after he opened its cage. Smith had just loaded a fresh roll of film and captured the incident on his camera from 50 yards away. The following pictures show one of the most dangerous bear attacks we’ve ever seen captured on camera.

Kis initially had difficulty lifting up the door to the bear’s cage.

When the bear got out of the cage, Kis yelled to the driver to go forward.

The bear bit Kis in the leg during the altercation.

You can fill in the blank for what Kis was thinking or saying at this moment in time.

Kis was wearing a camera, which the bear latched onto when he fell to the ground.

Kis was able to escape. He drew his pistol and dispatched the bear.

The bear bit Kis’s leg, which he also fractured in the fall from the truck.

31

Bushnell has introduced a new portable, easy-to-use personal GPS device for anglers. GPS devices are nearly standard equipment for hunters and hikers, but it’s easy to get lost on the water, especially if an unexpected fog rolls in. The simple and affordable FishTrack provides anglers of all skill levels with a palm-sized tool to help them spend less time searching for fish and more time reeling them in.

 

2527[1]Built on the BackTrack platform, FishTrack allows anglers to store up to 25 distinct waypoints and provides simple distance and direction back to marked locations while the integrated digital compass provides universal latitude and longitude coordinates. In addition, FishTrack offers a host of valuable information including time, temperature, solunar information, weather conditions, and barometric pressure. This quick and informative video highlights the many features in this tiny device.

Photos: Bar Jack Fishing (top); Bushnell (above)

36

Project Healing Waters is a non-profit organization that was created to benefit veterans by providing emotional and physical rehabilitation to disabled veterans through the sport of fly fishing. It began in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a means of helping returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program has spread now to almost every state in the union. It serves both veterans new to fly fishing as well as veterans who may have fly fished in the past but need to adapt to doing it given their disability.

Recently, veterans in Tennessee learned about the program via volunteer and Vietnam vet Bill Coyne.

PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne

PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne

Project Healing Waters volunteer Bill Coyne was guest speaker for the March meeting of Shelbyville/Bedford County Vietnam Era Veterans. The non-profit organization he represents provides physical and emotional rehabilitation to disabled veterans and active military members through fly fishing.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) was established in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. There are currently 160 programs (chapters) in 48 states.

Coyne serves as regional director over all of the Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky chapters. He began as a volunteer with the project in Ft. Campbell approximately two years ago when he was a member of a Nashville fly fishing club.

Photos: Project Healing Waters (top); Shelbyville Times-Gazette (above)