Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ice fishing???

With temperatures in the mid-60's last weekend, I honestly thought spring had sprung. But as this week progressed, the weather transgressed into something like December. Snow, sleet, and ice along with a cold front found way down east to officially slap the executive order signed by our governor which brought open water fishing one week earlier. On any account, Matt Diesel and I made plans to hit Tunk Lake which lay exactly halfway between our abodes. This lake is rumored to hold the next state record togue and holds a decent amount of landlocked salmon. Tucked in the mountains between Ellsworth and Cherryfield, Tunk is one of the deepest lakes in the state of Maine.

Here is the state lake survey map and information on Tunk Lake

It was cold, damn cold this morning and even without wind, the chill quietly struck any exposed skin and the better part of the lake had skimmed over with ice as to say that no angler dare trespass these waters. So being the criminals we are, we launched Matt's Lund (he lost the coin flip and my boat remained home this time) and tried to follow the trail left by one lone boater who apparently was a little more eager and a whole lot more insane. After some early morning trolling and one salmon, we chose to fight an ice sheet that packed into the north end of the lake which also holds the landing.

The video below says it all, I apologize for the lack of quality. For some reason, the same movie I loaded onto my facebook page in HQ didn't pull off the same luster here. In addition, my wife made me weaken the noise from the ice breaking. So with those warnings, enjoy the show. Can't wait until next time!!!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Freshwater Fishing Opens Early!!!

Typically the open water fishing season opens April 1, but our gracious (insert sarcasm) governor has opened up the season as of right now.

Click here for the link: Bangor Daily News

Now, I've got to bust my hump to get the Duckforce in order. The vessel of duck demise is in dry dock and I'm smelling an attack on some landlocked salmon!!!

Have a great one...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Launching the new site...

One of the biggest issues that my friends and family had about my blog was the stupid "the" in but when I first was creating my blog, I messed up and couldn't get this address.

So after a couple of years, my guess is that the account expired and I was able to get this site. I suppose I'll get to dropping off the blogspot, but for now I'll rip and tear with it.

I would like to thank the readership that has followed me here and to those newcomers who already joined before the big shift, I look forward to the time sharing my experiences in the outdoor genre.

Spring fishing is almost upon us and I'm eager to pursue the landlocked salmon, maybe a couple of bass as well.

Thanks for swinging by,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

It's time...

For the 3.2 people that read my blog, you can find me at Downeast Duck Hunter.

So for now there will be no more posts here and I'll try to get going on some new stuff.

So see you in my parallel universe...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Working on some streamers...

This past weekend, I was digging around and came up with my father-in-law's old fly tying kit. The mother-in-law suggested I give it a try and it didn't take long for this to seem fairly easy and complicated at the same time.

My plans are to focus on streamer flies such as the black ghost, gray ghost, and other common works utilized in the Maine region. On taps is some ordering of materials based on the recipes for tying, and a couple of books. I would like to mention that there is an abundance on quality sites on youtube for the aspiring individual. It's pretty fun and if anyone wants to bounce ideas of off me then don't hesitate to post or email to the above listed address.

Below are a couple of flies, one done by me and the other constructed by my oldest daughter with minimal help from her dad.

My first stab...

My beauty's colorful work of art...

Here's a good link to the gray ghost... Click Here

It looks like the next fishing season is going to be quite favorable with ice fishing as long as there is ice and open water fishing once the ice is gone, I'll check the details out further and post on the new changes for 2010.

Take care,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, March 6, 2010

ATV plastic restoration...

Phase I is now complete...





This has been a long time coming and I should have never let my ATV go like this, but time got past me as I got married, had a couple of kids, and gathered a few more jobs in my busy world. Some things like my 2003 Yamaha Big Bear 400 4X4 found minimal usage (500 miles in six years) and I never replaced the cover once it went bad. Nevertheless, I decided this winter that I would either repair the damage done by the sun and weather or buy a new fender kit for my quad...

After an abundance of research and no luck, I decided that maybe a heat gun could potentially restore the plastic to a more original form. I chose to hit up to see if anyone had done this and found several videos of people using heat guns to bring out the finish on plastic ground effects. There was one that seemed plausible. Click here to see the video.

So I've started the process and see some success, but I want to mention that this will not be perfect but rather an improvement. Also, once the heat gun has been used for several minutes I've applied a buffing agent used for fiberglass boats. It has evened out the spots where the heat gun overlaps, but the compound beforehand did not yield better results...

I look forward to the complete restoration of this proven quad with only 700 miles. I've documented my progress below...

Take care

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Big Bear Restoration Part I

In 2003, I opted to buy a Yamaha Big Bear 400 4X4 with my then fiancee's support. Her exact words were "things are going to change in the next few years and this might be your best chance". She was right, I had picked up an old Yamaha Timberwolf 250 2X4 from a student a couple of years before that and pretty much found myself continually repairing it. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun little ride and almost invincible in terms of performance. I had put larger rims and tires on it and if I put my weight onto the back end, it was a tank that could go anywhere and cinch to muscle out of the occasional pickle. My choice to retire the old machine came when I was preparing to drag race a couple of buddies who sported in no particular order a 660 Grizzly, 450 Rancher, and a Foreman. Since I had the lightest bike and the left lane, I pulled out to a quick lead only to watch the rear left tire physically roll alongside me as I put weight to the right. Immediately thereafter, I came to a sudden halt as my cohorts rolled past in awe of the impressive showing. We managed to pin the wheel (hub and all) back onto the rear end and I continued for another 50 miles of riding while stopping every so often to check for problems. After I returned home to share my story with my now wife, it was then she suggested I look into getting a more reliable machine.

My criteria for buying a new four wheeler focused on three categories, 1) the deal, 2) power and utility, and 3) four wheel drive. After that I could care less about how nice it looked or how fast it could go, I needed a machine that I could use for my self-employment with some serious hauling power.

I had used Don's (my future father-in-law) 1991 Big Bear on several occasion and liked how it handled. Honestly, it was immensely rugged for a 350 and it could move boats. W

I found my Big Bear in western Maine for $4300 and traveled five hours to

Friday, March 5, 2010

Future write ups...

The Big Bear is due for a face lift...

On taps for the future of the Downeast Duck Hunter include:

In celebration of the Maine Outdoorsman's new Yamaha Grizzly ATV, I will showcase a fender restoration on my 2003 Yamaha Big Bear. It only has 700 miles on it, but the sun and elements were a tad harder on it than I have been. Should make for a neat story, especially since I found squat for tricks to bring out the faded plastic. But yours truly has skills!!!

There is a make up DuckPower fishing trip in the works for mid-May which will include the Duckforce fleet which includes my 18 foot Lund with a new 50 hp Mercury. It has only seen duck hunting action and I'm currently retrofitting it for some lake trout and landlocked salmon trolling. I've coordinated the schedule so there will be no issues, if there is then I'll be less a couple of friends!!!

And there will be a special feature coming up in the next week or so... my wife will be thrilled!!!

Until then, stay west cause I'm downeast... ha ha ha

Northern Maine in 2003 on my second moose permit...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Duckpower hits the ice... day one continued...

A touch of flashback to better transition the unbiased viewpoint in comparison to the prevarication of my friend to the end...

It seemed all to easy, the hot spot we were about to strike in order to score the almighty state record was just a bare jaunt through the bushes along a path. Apparently, we weren't traveling the road less traveled. Actually, I noticed a car pool lane, passing lane, and several off ramps. I noticed the continual upbeat manner of my unregistered Maine guide whose only true success in leading me in good direction was one small jake turkey.

As described in my previous post, it didn't take long to drill the holes and set the traps. I must once again reflect upon Mr. Outdoorsman's two footed balancing act on a flat horizontal surface in a frictionless environment. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I still consider myself regretful that I didn't take the time to videotape Steve's steps of caution and near catastrophe.

For quite some time, the only thing caught was a bare tickle from the efforts of Bud Light. Mr. Outdoorsman kept stating that comradery and the outdoors was all one needs to have a great time, but he in his all inspiring soliloquy managed to forget that I had just driven three hours in an attempt to salvage my vacation as a direct result of poor planning. So as he continued his ideational blathering, I kept thinking “where is that damn fish if one exists here?" My god, it honesty looked like someone had held an ice fishing convention and the only two that weren't invited were dynamic duo who currently sat on the ice.

So after all the chaos and contempt, Steve scored a legit flag shortly after one of my surrounding traps (yes, I had three traps surrounding his one lone long bomb). The spool was turning, then an abrupt pause would occur. To be honest, this is how chain pickerel typically handle a bait and I knew exactly what Steve was planning. Upon each run, Steve would smirk knowing that his opportunity to strike first neared completion. His description to fuel my anguish was, "let him eat that bait to his ass, then I'll hook that potty mouth". Not completely understanding his fishing quote of lore, I nodded in agreement as I attempted to videotape the catch on my cellphone.

Then the hook was set and the Hammer began to draw in the next state record. He moaned and groaned while complaining of how terribly powerful this behemoth was. I could''t doubt his experience, after all three years ago he hauled a 17 pound northern of off North Pond which lays claim to the current state record. After a few seconds of drawing line, a northern emerged from the shallow depths and pushed out of the ten inch hole in the ice. In an attempt to explain his drawn out battle to the end, Steve mumbled something to the extent of "that was a great fight for a smaller pike"... I didn't care, the only thing on my mind was that the man who had just driven hours to go ice fishing was officially down one. After a few pictures of the giddy wonder, we returned for a couple more of those red #7 weapons of mass destruction.

I needed to increase the intensity of the lazy man's sport of ice fishing, those traps had to be checked more frequently so that I could increase my odds of hooking a pike before sundown. Yes, I would be on my way...

Upon the arrival to my third trap, I caught the glimpse of something larger than the shiner attached to the hook. Steve was on the cell phone with his brother describing his good fortunes over my current failures and was readily on his way as I announced “Fish On!!!”

With the camera set for the all mighty and important action photo, I began to embark on my own personal struggle to haul in the northern pike of a lifetime. As I set the hook, I felt almost no resistance whatsoever to the point I thought the fish was gone. That should have been how it went, but nevertheless I continued to bring in the short run line and pulled the monster amphibian out of the hole.

Yes, I scored the almighty mud puppy (Necturus maculosus) which automatically puts the ice fisherman into the underclass category.

Downhearted and depressed, I posed for a few photos for Steve's enjoyment and emphatically marched to one of Steve's traps to toss my trophy into the shallow abyss. Needless to say, to have driven 3 hours to catch such a wondrous element of nature didn't float my boat of personal utility.

A last flag just beyond the point where Steve caught the northern pike went up and this would be my last opportunity as the sun began it's retreat below the tree line. The spool turned several times and upon a light check to see if anything was on, I realize that the attempt was futile. Within several minutes battling the chill of impending darkness and gaining wind, we had packed up and found our way back to the truck. Our next stop would be Steve's abode to spend the evening with the family. Deer tips and bear steak would be on the menu. With Bud Light, Nuke 'Em hotdogs, venison, and bear in my belly, Mr. Outdoorsman's toilet better be under warranty.

Is that a mudpuppy on my head?

The Downeast Duck Hunter
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