Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ice fishing end game...

Matty and Malice

In an act of hope and dire circumstance, I called my bait dealer inquiring about the availability of any bait as Washington County found spring these past few weeks that brought seasonal temperatures and more rain than I would have wanted.  Fortunately, he had some left and suggested that if I had any more plans for this season to get what I needed for there would be no more bait after this weekend.

Late afternoon flag, no dice...
This effort was put into play by my buddy Matt Diesel who had invited me to his camp on Upper Lead Mountain Pond for a slow day of fishing accommodated by food, drink, cribbage, and some storytelling.  My contribution to this jaunt of adventure was to bring my ATV, bait, and whatever I thought critical for the procurement of a good time.


One hard view to take...

We settled into camp early in the morning and quickly got the traps into the ice.  Over a foot of ice subsided the cautionary tactics and the Yamaha Big Bear allowed for a variety of long range set ups.  Unfortunately there would be no fish for our efforts, only a good day with a good buddy.




As the day wore on we shared a barrage of lies and half truths, and then opted to get the new shack off the ice.  When all was said and done, our evening slowly broke down with fire grilled steaks, pan fried onions & mushrooms, and canned green beans.  With around 12 hours of fishing to our credit, we lounged around and then quickly called it an evening.  Morning would arrive in a few hours and a cold snap with the advent of the Supermoon seemed to ward off any interest in an early strike on the lake.  For that, I threw in the towel for the 2011 season...

My two final ice fishing jaunts ended with goose eggs but just to be on the ice well into the month of March offered two more days of enjoyment and relaxation.  I'm not going to wish the summer away, but the anticipation of the upcoming hunting and ice fishing season is already building.

Take care,
Downeast Duck Hunter



Monday, March 28, 2011

Comings and goings...

During the down time of March when the ice is relenting and not much else is going on; my wife and I chose to make the voyage south to Freeport, Maine in order to browse around one of the pristine outdoor outfitter meccas on the planet, L.L. Bean...

The Big Bean Boot at the L.L. Bean flagship store

So after some searching for some time for some items to help address my future guiding efforts, I opted to try Federal Cartridge's Black Cloud and Hevi Shot Duck shotgun cartridges.  With the ProPlan through my guide's association, I'm feeling that these may be effective and finanically similar alternatives to shooting high velocity steel.  As of right now, I implement Kent Fasteel high velocity rounds pumping 2 or 3 shot over 1600 fps.  The reasoning behind this brand is to get the lighter steel up to speed in order to maximize the hitting potential of the shot.  So at this point, we'll see how the purchased ammunition pans out against the current product...

As spring fishing nears, I need to convert the Duckforce back into a trolling machine and ready my fishing gear.  In addition, I've got to give the trailer some attention ranging from inspecting the axle and replacing some corroded u-bolts. That will be a post in the near future...

In order to get back to this, the boat blind must come off and fishing gear must go on...


I do hope to get back in the woods this spring in pursuit of a gobbler, if I can effectively circumnavigate my beauties' birthday parties and dodge any other surprises.  May is a difficult month for the Duckman...


The blog is growing as I'm up over 1000 visits per month, not bad for someone who isn't really sticking his neck out there.  One benefit is that I've been added to the Outdoor Blogging Section of the Bangor Daily News.  That one move has doubled my visits...

Until the next post, take care...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Got Deer???

Video by Kevin Bourgoin

You have to check out this video, I'm impressed that only a couple of deer were there...  Seriously, check this out...  click below...

Just a few deer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Maine Outdoorsman has moved...

For reasons that aren't my place to report, I need to inform all of those who frequent our blogs that The Maine Outdoorsman has returned to where all of Rabid's literary wonder began.  Please spread the word as he needs to rebuild his readership. 

Please share this link if you are so inclined to help him get back to his larger list of followers which WAS six times larger than mine.  Thanks and take care.  DEDH

www.themaineoutdoorsman.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Versatile Blogger...


One of the growing aspects of the blogging community has become the writing prompts that include awards that spread faster than the seasonal flu...


Today, I had one thrown my way by a fellow blogger code name, Swamp Thing.  He is a thorough and informative writer, which includes his efforts towards habitat restoration, gardening, hunting, fishing, and parenting.  In most avenues, I can completely relate to his prose and certainly am appreciative of our dialogue over the past several years.  For his compliment more than the prestigious Versatile Blogger Award, I will accept this challenge on the basis that I'm short of writing material for this week...

The criteria for this award is that I offer seven key aspects of awesomeness or items of interest to which I may either impress or repulse.  Then I must recommend at least five other quality links that make the grade in my opinion.  On the previous directive emphasis, let's roll...

About the Downeast Duck Hunter (not one duck achievement listed)
1) Knew after meeting his wife for the first time that his single days were over
2) Got into blogging after attaining a master's degree, couldn't let the literary wonder stop
3) Started center on a state championship basketball team
4) Is the history department at the high school he attended, can and will teach any social science course and owns one fast lobsterboat
5) Would rather have a tooth pulled than take another Registered Maine Guide Exam, they don't give those away
6) A member of the Biggest Bucks in Maine Club with a 200 pound 10 point whitetail taken in 1993
7) Still owns the first new vehicle he ever purchased, the 1998 GMC Sierra has 132,000 miles on it and still rolling with determination

After some serious consideration of other blogs that would seem worthy of a Versatility Award, I have chosen to quarantine this accolade and use this opportunity to thank those bloggers that have been part of the DEDH crew.  Hammering on the keys is a little bit more worthwhile since I've met these people.  In no particular order, here are the members of Team Duckman and if you aren't on this list, try harder:

Tugboatdude
The Maine Outdoorsman by my buddy Steve Vose, fellow Maine Guide
Women's Hunting Journal by Terry Scoville in Oregon
Ducks, Dogs, & Downriggers by the Gang in Washington
River Mud

Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings by Trey Luckie in Southern Georgia
I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods by Kari in Wisconsin
Maine-Matters

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jimmer!!!

Get ready it's Jimmertime, I'm not going to say that BYU is going to the finals but I love watching this kid play.  Just goes to show that hanging around for another year can be good for America and your career.

Jimmer Fredette of BYU
Wofford the No. 14 seed in the Southeast Region will play No. 3 Brigham Young at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.  I hope he goes off for at least 50 points...

I don't watch football, hate Nascar, and have little time for most other sports.  However, March Madness is in my eyes the greatest sporting event of the year...

JIMMER FOR THREE!!! Click here for more information on college basketball's big deal.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trey Luckie: The finale...

After my second post, I realized that several questions were missing.  Now Trey had returned my questionnaire in about three hours, but I was sure he wouldn't have left any stone unturned so I went back to my file and there on page three of his thesis were the left behind items.  I'm going to spin them simply because they are what I consider a fitting end to a fitting interview.

Give me 5 facts about Trey Luckie that are worth sharing.

I sing. In fact I am President of my church choir.  Hard to believe, but I actually get asked to sing in weddings, funerals, and such.

At one time in my life I hunted Rattlesnakes for fun!

I am only 5’6” tall and weigh about 165 lbs, but I can hit a golf ball 300 + yards.

I served as President of the local chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation for 5 years.

Thanks to the Duckman, or Mr. President, I am an honorary member of Duck Power Inc. even though I have never fired a shot in the presence of the company’s other members.  This is an honor I hold dear to my heart since I wouldn’t know a sea duck if it landed in my office.

In one sentence, who is Trey Luckie?

Trey Luckie is a God fearing, family loving, outdoor enthusiasts who enjoys life to the fullest by trying to live each day with a purpose and a plan that will allow him to be the best possible husband, father, son and friend to all those who are in his life.

Many thanks to the author of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings and as of right now, I'm doing my best to figure out how to get down to Georgia next April.  The time works, the money works, all that stands between me and snake wrangling is some convincing...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blogger Interview: Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings (Part II)


Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings
Earlier this week, I posted the first installment of a two part interview with Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings.  Sometimes I feel, that my blog becomes more about the product rather than the process and I wanted my readership to get an opportunity to understand why we write.  Trey was more than accommodating to the idea, however I'm very excited to share some literature concerning Trey's activities... Enjoy!!!

Your best bragging moment that you want everybody to know please...

Only one???  I have been blessed in that I am one of those people who are pretty good at whatever I try and do.  If I put my mind to it that I am going to do something, then I will work hard until I accomplish my goal and I want to be the best that I can be at whatever that goal is.  I do not like finishing second!  For example, I love to work in my yard and take a lot of pride in the fact that I keep a very neat yard.  My hometown gives out a little award from the local garden clubs called “Beauty Spot of the Month”.  I wanted that prize!  Not only did I win it once, but I won it TWICE!  The first was at my bachelor pad and the second was at our present home.  All it took was a little hard work and a drive that will never let me be satisfied finishing second.

That same inner drive is what got me to my best bragging moment.  After a 4 year baseball career in high school, the game of golf was a natural transition.  I love the competitive nature of the game.  Not only were you facing other players, but you were facing the golf course as well.  I turned myself into a pretty good golfer carrying a handicap of 2 at one time.  I won my share of tournaments over the years playing on different teams, but there was one tournament that I wanted more than any other.  I wanted to win our home club’s Club Championship.  I had played in the tournament for several years and actually finished 2nd one year.  The guy who won it beat me by 12 strokes.  He was unreal that year.  As I came into the 2005 tournament, I felt like I was playing fairly well, but I was definitely not the man to beat.  I figured I could make a good showing and place fairly high but I really did not have any great expectations.  I finished the first day shooting a 73 and only one shot out of the lead.  I had played very well and felt very good about my chances.  The next day saw me play some solid golf, but I found myself down by two with two holes to play.  It was a two man race at this point and my competition decided to double bogey the 17th.  I made a very nice par putt and we were tied going into the 18th.  The 18th was a par three with the hole being placed on the side of a bad hill in the middle of the green.  Your approach could not be short or you would have to make an impossible putt just to keep the ball close to the hole.  I left it short.  My playing partner hit the perfect shot past the hole about 20 feet.  I admit that I was only thinking about getting the ball close to the hole in an effort to make par.  I was hoping that the other guy would miss and we could go into extra holes.  I’m a terrible putter but I actually felt pretty good as I lined my shot up to make my attempt at birdie.  I struck the ball and it started up the hill and began curving hard left on the slope.  As it slowed to barely a trickle, the ball dropped into the hole from the back door.  Birdie!!  My competition would have to make to force sudden death.  He missed!  I was FCC Club Champion for 2005.  I followed it up the next year by winning my second in a row.  It was me that won by 12 strokes in 2006.  I am proud that I accomplished a goal and I am proud that I put in the work to make it happen.

Want to play a little and get up a side bet? Editors note:  I put golf one notch above my least favorite sports football and Nascar...


What does it take for you to catch one of those monster large mouths?  I expect you to disclose your bait offering, time of year, structure, and photos.

A lot of luck!  Bass fishing is a very funny thing.  I have fished for most of my life and most of that fishing was in pursuit of a lunker bass.  Everyone wants to catch the big one.  Here in South Georgia “The Big One” is probably anything over 8 lbs.  I did not catch my first 8 lb bass until a few years ago.  Then they came in bunches.  I have caught several 8 pounders and one that weighed 9.5.  The 9.5 came in the middle of August on a swim bait.  I’m guessing that if I had hung her in the early spring she would have tipped the scales at around 11 or 12.

I’m a pond fisherman.  I enjoy fishing on a 10 acre farm pond in the late summer evening when the temps have fallen below our normal 95 degrees.  I’m not a patient fisherman in that I do not like to fish slowly.  I’m more of a chunk and reel type of fisherman.  If I had to choose one bait to take with me it, would be a spinner bait.  The spinner bait has been very good to me and I know that two of my 8 lb fish have come off of a willow blade spinner bait.  I honestly do not remember what color, but it was more than likely white.  I also like fishing with a bubblegum colored trick worm.  I haven’t caught too many big fish with this set up, but you do get a lot of strikes.  I also like the new swim baits that are out there on the market and a Lunker Lure is never left at home either.  Got to get my top water fix!

Most of the ponds in which I fish are farm ponds that are used to irrigate crops.  Therefore most of them are clean and have little structure.  I fish the weed beds or occasional stump pile but have a lot of luck catching big fish along the pond dam in areas where water may be flowing in or out of the pond or where the water may be a little deeper.  I also like to fish small lakes that have cypress trees and root beds.  There is nothing quite like bringing a wall hanger out from under a big cypress. 

As you know a good Bass fisherman does not disclose all of his secrets so that is all I have to say about that!!

     Editors note:  In Maine, try to get information out of a trout fisherman... you'd have a better chance making out with a nun...




Where in the United States would you like to go and what types of pursuits would you enjoy trying?
                                                                  

I could write a book about all of the hunting trips that I would like to take so I will just break it down into simple terms.  
South Dakota- Pheasants!  I want a super flush!!
Texas- White Tails and wild quail
Kansas- Monster White Tails
Alaska- Giant Moose
Louisiana- Duck Hunting with the Duck Commander crew
Maine- I want to shoot some sea ducks and catch a lobster or two.  I will not however dig for blood worms!  You can keep the ice fishing too.  Looks to dang cold for this warm weather boy!
 
Tell me about what would be on our agenda if I were to say, "Luckie, I'm coming down this year.  When do I come and what's the plan?"

I would offer you two choices.  Either late November/early December or the beginning of April and here’s why.
Late November is my favorite time of the year in South Georgia.  Thanksgiving means that several hunting seasons are open at the same time.  Deer season is in full swing.  Duck season begins.  Quail season opens and dove season rolls back in.  If you were to make the trip I could offer you an early morning duck hunt with an afternoon dove shoot to follow.  The next morning could be spent in a deer stand and the afternoon could be spent chasing quail and making South Georgia snow.  All combinations are possible and I can promise you that the fellowship that you will find here amongst us good ole boys is the best in the land.  We eat well, laugh loud and hunt hard!

The April trip would involve Turkey Hunting and Bass fishing.  We would chase Mr. Tom all morning and then head to the fishing hole after lunch.  The turkeys are booming in full gobble and the Bass and White Perch are going full bore.  The afternoon temps are in the 70’s and the sun is always shinning!

I promise I will not take you Rattlesnake hunting on either trip!




Who is cooler, the Downeast Duck Hunter or the Rabid Outdoorsman?  What makes us different or alike?

 
I have put a lot of thought into this one.  I have to say that Rabid is one cool customer who has a great writing style and manages a very nice blog (he has more followers than both of us combined).  He is an experienced Maine Guide and did receive that qualification before you did (even if he did sneak in under the old criteria).  He hunts AND kills small predators (so far all you have done is hunt them).  He is a good father to his kid (you both are really).  He gives you the devil with such ease and elegance (one of the main reasons I read his blog) and then there is of course the beard (that thing is epic).  Rabid’s beard is a thing of beauty and may just be
considered a Maine landmark one day.  All that being said it is a very tuff call, but I have to give you the nod on the coolness factor because you do take time to check out my blog quite frequently and support my little writing habit.  Editor's note:  this did not pan out as I expected, I will be removing Trey from my blog next week.  Did anyone else detect a man crush??? Not the answer I was expecting on MY blog...

In all seriousness I admire both of you guys for what you do outdoors.  You can tell that you guys enjoy what you do and have a love for the outdoors and each other.  Friendships like that are hard to come by and you should feel honored to call each other friend and brother!  Editors note:  quick cover up to deflect attention from the charter member of the Rabid Outdoorsman Fan Club... Looks like team Duckman has a defector!!!


Editor's note:  I thank Trey for taking the time for this and for suggesting that we make this happen.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to exchange questions with Terry Scoville of Women's Hunting Journal and enjoyed the experience.  I'd like to say that my answers to Trey's questions had the zeal and enthusiasm displayed here, but nevertheless I took an effort to tackle his query.  Thanks for reading.  Check out Trey's blog here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blogger Interview: Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings

Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings


As I was in the midst of pursuing my license to be a Registered Maine Guide, a newbie popped up on my blog with a continued sense of optimistic encouragement.  From my top rated post concerning the change in the Maine Guide Exam came these words that started our dialogue:


     Trey said...  Hang in there and keep up your 
     good attitude! It will all work out in the end!
The Downeast Duck Hunter said... Trey, good words and you sort of sound like my father who is the best man I know!!! 
 
Little did I know this would be the start of a solid friendship that has resulted in a hectic array of blog comments, e-mails, instant messaging, texts, and several photos of our successes in the field.  Plans have been discussed for connecting hunts, and I'm fortunate to have been able to have met a fellow ambassador of the outdoors but more importantly a man of strong integrity.  I look forward to the future and that first mature drake eider that he scores with the Browning Maxus he never stops talking about.  

It's fitting at this point to offer my readership an opportunity to learn more about the man who writes Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings.  I hope you enjoy.  The first installment deals with his connection to blogging while the second one will get into the outdoors mayhem.
 
Let's go back to when you decided to start up a blog.  What were your expectations and aspirations, and how have you changed from the very first post?

A couple of years ago my church found itself looking for a new pastor.  One of the candidates was a man by the name of Michael Ruffin.  I learned that Mike wrote a blog entitled “On the Jericho Road”, and decided to check it out in an effort to become more familiar with him and get my mind around what type of pastor and leader that he would be.  I was hooked from that point.  I had never read or followed a blog before but I found myself with the urge to start up a blog of my own.  With Mike’s help and encouragement I figured I would give it a shot.  I have always enjoyed writing and have often written accounts of my hunting adventures for my friends so that we could relive the good times that we shared.  A blog seemed like the most logical way for me to share things about my life with my friends as well as have an opportunity to maybe meet a few new friends along the way.


My blog has remained pretty much the same as it was in the beginning.  I write about the things that I love including family, friends, my projects and the outdoors.  The only thing that has really changed is that I worked my way into the outdoor blogging community.  I started following other outdoor blogs and even convinced the OBN to add me to their blog roll list.  I picked up some followers and they started to leave a few comments.  That encouraged me to keep writing!  I write the blog for my own personal benefit, but I do admit that I like knowing that someone actually enjoys what I have to say sometimes.


 
Luckie with his son and a fine pair of Largemouth Bass
 
What might be the most beneficial aspect of your enrollment as a blogger, and what keeps you participating?

I think it is very important that you write your blog for your own personal enjoyment and benefit.  I hope that my children will read some of the things that I have written about them 10 years from now and remember that their Dad was a pretty cool dude.  Or I hope that my friends can use this online journal to remember some of the trips and memories that we made as we get older.  I hope that I will be able to look back and remember some of those times as well.  I never want to get to the point where I feel like I am writing this blog just to entertain others.  This blog is for me! 


With that in mind, I will confess that I enjoy the people that I have met along the way and I am glad that I have followers that share in my adventures with me.  Memories and life experiences are meant to be shared and I have been blessed to have followers that leave words of encouragement or simply say that they have similar memories from their childhood.  I love it when someone says that I have sparked old memories or that I have made them think about trying something different.  I have always been a people person and enjoy meeting and making new friends.  Blogging is just one way that I have been able to have conversations with folks all over this hunting nation of ours.  I have been amazed at the great people that make up our blogging community!


So I guess the answer to your question can be answered in two parts- 1) I blog because I enjoy writing for myself and 2) I blog because of the people I have been fortunate enough to meet.


 
What differentiates a good blog from other efforts in your eyes, what are you looking for when you navigate the variety of blogs throughout the internet?

I want to be able to connect with the person’s blog that I am reading.  I want it to feel like the author is sharing a part of themselves with the reader.  I want the post to be insightful or informative.  I want it to feel like they are enjoying their blogging experience, not just throwing post out there because they feel like they need to.  I tend not to follow blogs that have a daily post.  I would rather follow a blog that post once a month as long as the material is well written and worthwhile.  Now I am all for the occasional “funny” post or “off topic” post as long as the blog doesn’t lose the integrity that got me to start following in the first place.  A blog should be fun and a way for you to express yourself, but there is too much stuff out there like Twitter and Face Book that allows someone to post their daily happenings on a minute by minute basis.  I might be too harsh, but I like a blog that gives me a little something more than what I could get off of a Face Book post.
 
Authors note:  Trey's commitment to life, faith in God, and true passion towards family has proven to showcase there are fine people in this world who continue to strive for a better society.  He offers a true genuine approach to his writing and I consider myself fortunate to have been able have fostered one exceptional friendship.  I look forward to our continued dialogue and certain endeavors as I've offered him a quality experience in on the duck boat and in the Maine woods.  In return he has promised to keep me away from any poisonous snakes in Georgia country.  I look forward to those opportunities and please stay tuned for my next installment in several days. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another picture of Rabid...

I have been pressured by friends and personalities to publish some of my better pictures of the Rabid Outdoorsman.  So here goes, have a good day...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The West Grand Experience... Game Changer

Trophy Landlocked Salmon
Our second evening didn't haven't the same energy as the first simply for the code- late night, early morning, long day, and the efforts engaged throughout.  Another exhausting issue on our minds centered on an upcoming storm that promised to throw between 8 and 14 inches on us the next day.  Even though the first flakes weren't expected until after 10 a.m., hitting the prize lake seemed unlikely especially since Matt Diesel intended to leave midday.  The option for the upcoming storm, head south from base camp and access Big Lake from the landing.  This option did not compare to the lore of West Grand, but it did offer a chance at salmon, bass, pickerel, and maybe a white perch.  Plus we could motor the four wheelers to the lake directly from base camp as the house was a short jaunt to the landing.  With the plan cemented, the visitors recessed to bed much to the dismay of the residents who continued into the night.

My all terrain vehicle had no issues once it received the direct heat from my single burner propane stove; rear drum brakes and freezing temperatures apparently aren't meant for coexistence.  Once rolled off the truck, we made short time to the landing and right towards a lonely point.  I wasted no time in drilling my holes, setting the gear, and orchestrating a pot of coffee.  The brothers grim made several references to my placement, I suppose they thought I hadn't listened to Bret however I had taken the time to ensure my location was proper.  Now I waited for either showtime or a shameful display of nothingness.

Rabid kept playing with a tip up that yielded a small salmon and Bret found a salmon amongst the few pickerel he caught.

video

Matt Diesel who was on code red about the storm gathered his gear quickly once my wife informed me on the cell phone that the snow had struck.  Within minutes, he had disappeared as quickly as the snowflakes came.  Then the squall started.

"I think it's snowing and it sort of hurts"

Eventually, maybe in about three inches worth of snow time, I garnered a decent salmon just over 16 inches.  Although considerably smaller than the score yesterday, I was still thrilled to produce.

My day two score, a smaller runner but still a salmon

About two more inches of snow later, an 18 inch pickerel almost spooled out 100 yards of line.  The snow running almost parallel to the ice really wasn't making for good visibility, but didn't damper the good time against the elements.  Preparation, layering, and positive expectations made up for the storm.

Old Reliable loaded up for the remainder of the storm
By 3 p.m. however, the snow now at least 7 inches in accumulation forced us to quickly pick up and motor back to base camp, the abode a la mayor.  I figured that our fishing ventures were over for the basic logic that freezing temperature were returning on top of the expected foot of snow.  Without haste, my hardware found the back of the pick up and I wondered why Rabid elected to leave his gear awry.

Maybe he thought we still had a chance, but I now believe his logic had been skewed by his battle against the elements via fluid with carbonation.  Frigging with the rigging no longer was on his to do list today, I smiled knowing his morning would bite him in the ass.

Figurative pose from the one I call Duck Hammer


Wind, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hail could prevent us from combating the elements


View from the comfort of base camp

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The West Grand Experience (Part II)

View to the west just after getting set in

You know you have good friends when you can here them snickering over coffee taking bets whether or not I'd step in the dog poop by the closet after getting up for breakfast.  The brothers once again awesome in their individuality joined forces for evil purposes rather than unite for the good.   After I averted the trap, the breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and coffee made up for the dastardly actions of the pair.  We soon started getting dressed for the quick jaunt to the landing, from there we would unloaded the snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, and other amenities that would transfer in tow.

It was at this point my good friend, Murphy (you know that bastard), decided to hinder my good day.  My Yamaha Big Bear had the rear drum brake frozen solid and it would not break free.  After maybe twenty minutes of fast Mr. Buddy heating action, we simply re-rigged the dogsled to fit onto Bret's Artic Cat Bearcat and took off for Pineo Cove.  I suppose it would be fitting to add at this point that all of my provisions, particularly the edible type, were still in storage in my ATV seat.  Therefore, I knew I would have to quietly mooch my way throughout the day.  I hoped no one would notice.

Once to our destination, we immediately commenced the hole drilling action.  Somehow, I managed to drill my holes first then get sucked into helping Matt Diesel drill his and then watch as Matt took my ice skimmer as somehow he lost his on the way.  This critical move into jockeying position surprisingly left me waiting as I watched everybody get the gear into action.  To make matters worse, flags were going up and I was left jigging into a slush filled hole hoping for something great but expecting absolutely no luck.  I quietly cursed the absence of my four wheeler for I'd be part of the action mobilizing everything from the comfort of my dogsled.  Here and now, I was just a spectator watching people ice fishing.

The Mayor
Finally, I was able to get my gear in as I believe three salmon had already been caught at that point.  The mayor, Uncle Kim, found his way over with me and joined me in one of my camp chairs.  We shot the bull some, enjoyed the morning, and watched everyone else have all the action.  It was at this point where I mentioned to the mayor that this one spot, "looked awful lonely" and needed a tip up.  So I drilled another ten inch hole in the ice, walked out to one of the long bombs dedicated to lake trout and returned back to our base camp.  This hole about fifty feet from shore made my most northerly tip up of the line all running parallel to the shoreline.  Only one stood alone about 50 yards further out.

Finally as if meant to be, I acquired my first flag on the very hole that I gambled on.  The spool was spinning fierce and the boys were gaining excitement as the retrieval began.  Once I coerced the salmon into the drilled hole it shot straight out of the water and onto the ice.

A beautiful 18 inch salmon that put me onto the lunker prize position must have exceeded two pounds and pushed towards three.  It was just a fine specimen and at that point, the day would prove easy going.  Sometimes, the sporting field makes for unfortunate circumstances and with the early disaster of a frozen brake, I was hoping that I'd be in the mix for some fishing action.  That all was fixed by one nice salmon, the pressure was off.

Not long after that, I scored another flag about seventy-five feet from the earlier action.  But opportunity did not knock as I had neglected to loosen the spool for salmon.  The tip up had been a gift from my daughter, pink in color and had not seen any action this year.  The spool moved some, we let out line, but my second catch of the day eluded.

We found ways to occupy ourselves with the brilliant sunny day.  The day was mild and possible for fishing without heavy jackets.  Matt Diesel and I spent some time jigging for lake trout around his long bomb tip up that set off several times.  Then we readied my newest present, an Otter Magnum sled, for a rousing haul around the cove.  After a good solid throttling on the ice, we pulled back into the camp for a fire and hot dogs.

The mid-day fishing was slow but we persevered with the beautiful day.  We knew our next morning would not promise the opportunity that stood at the present moment.  After a quick pick up, we shot south back to the landing and hit the store before closing.

Rabid taking a break from the tip up flurry


Matt Diesel trying out the newly acquired snowmobile





Somehow Rabid always makes sure he's in the photo


The DEDH, Maine Outdoorsman, Matt Diesel, and Bret
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