This fishing trip took place last Monday, Oct. 25. The temperature rose to 72 that afternoon. There were threatening rain clouds on the horizon. The two anglers were on Scioto Brush Creek, a stream that I misidentified in the muskie column two weeks ago as Ohio Brush Creek.
They nosed their kayaks into shore and cast artificial lures toward the far bank. Whoosh-bang! Whoosh-bang, and whoosh-bang!
In a short while John Vinson Euton, a retired N&W railroader, casting a small Rapala, caught and released seven smallmouth. His buddy, Charlie Jones, a retired minister and transplant from Alabama, scored on four, also smallmouth.
Then came the strike every angler hopes to experience. This fish was so powerful that it pulled John Vinson’s kayak away from shore and around in a circle.
“I thought for sure I’d hooked a muskie,” he said.
John Vinson’s kayak wound up back close-by Charlie’s. The fish finally crashed open the surface and leaped. It wasn’t no muskie.
Fishing from a kayak works OK, but it’s confining. You must keep everything you’ll need within reach. John Vinson couldn’t turn enough to bring the fish in. He asked Charlie to dip it for him.
“Can’t reach my dipnet,” Charlie said.
But he could reach his tacklebox. He pulled out a pair of plyers designed to clamp onto a fish’s lower jaw.
And that’s how they got the fish in.
It was a largemouth estimated to weigh between three and four pounds.
The bass was released to fight again.
As they wound up their lines, some big raindrops were starting to splatter them.
“We got in our vehicles without getting too wet,” John Vinson said. “But going home it rained so hard that I could hardly see to drive.”
Back home, he hung his kayak up in the garage.
“With winter coming, that’s probably it for me this year,” he said.
FALL TURKEY HUNTING
There are some hunters out there who would rather bring the Thanksgiving turkey home from the woods rather than from the freezer at the supermarket.
Kentucky’s fall hunting season on the wild turkey is open for archery now. It runs through January 17.
For crossbow hunters, the second part of the season opens Nov. 13 and runs through the end of December.
The shotgun season, in both Kentucky and Ohio, ended this past Friday, Oct. 29.
Kentucky, however, has a second gun season (breech-loading or muzzleloaders are legal) that opens Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 10.
Kentucky offers a generous bag limit of four turkeys per season, but only one can be taken on any given day. No more than one bird may have a beard length of three inches or longer.
The wild turkey in the fall seems to be a far different animal – er, fowl – than he was in the spring. They join in flocks as the weather turns colder. The old boss gobbler will keep both hens and the young males in their place as the flock establishes the pecking order.
They also switch their diet. Acorns and wild grapes are what they’re looking for throughout the day.
Look for turkey signs such as tracks, scratches in leaf litter, droppings, feathers, and dusting areas.
Find a spot where white oak or red oak trees have dropped their acorns on the leafy forest floor. Nearby, put up one of those little pop-up blinds. Sit inside and watch.
Patience and persistence are key to a successful fall hunt. Eventually – hopefully – a flock will wander within range of the bow or crossbow. You have established yourself as a bushwhacker.
If your aim is true, you will move out and pick up the bird, come back the next day for a second one, then skin them both and get them oven ready.
You can entertain the hungry folks around the table with details about how you outfoxed the wary wild turkey.
Much better than having to say, “I looked down in the Kroger freezer and low and behold here was this 20-pounder staring back at me…”
When the frost is on the pumpkin
and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of
the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the
cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he
tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a feelin’
at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a
night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and
goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the pumpkin and the
fodder’s in the shock.
—-James Whitcomb Riley (1853-1916)
Reach G. SAM PIATT at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 932-3619