Easy Shotgun Cleaning with Hoppe’s Boresnake

I was kicking around the cabin with Outdoor Life blogger Brian Lynn on a recent hunting trip to Mar Don Resort and Brian was chatting and cleaning his shotgun at the same time. He had just met up with us after hunting honkers in Tri-Cities, Washington and his gun was a mess from the light, powdery soil they have in that neck of the woods.

After wiping down the outside of the gun he unraveled a long contraption called a Boresnake to clean the bore. I fully expected the usual brush/swab treatment on the bore but this new dealio immediately caught my attention.

Brian pulled what looked like a rope with a brush on it thru the bore and whammy-bammo it was instantly clean as a whistle. It was the quickest I had ever seen anyone ever clean a shotgun bore and actually get it clean.  What a slick gizmo!

All you have to do is douse it with a little lubricating oil and pull it thru the bore with the attached tether. It should clean the bore entirely on the first pass, but if you need to hit it again it takes just a second to run it back thru again.

Hoppe’s Boresnake is available for just about any rifle caliber, most pistol calibers, and most shotguns. With Christmas coming this is another great Christmas gift idea for the hunter in your life. Hint, hint!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

Wings and Legs Jerk-a-Spread Decoy System

I had the opportunity to hunt ducks with Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts in Mount Vernon, Washington yesterday and he used a jerk string called the Wings and Legs Jerk a Spreader decoy system to make our spread look a little more lifelike.

We had bluebird conditions yesterday and the birds would circle a few times before heading back into the ozone layer again to carry on their way. They had been shot up pretty good the last few weeks and I’ll be darned if they were gonna dive into a spread of motionless duck decoys.

That’s when Travis broke out the Wings and Legs jerk string to apply some major motion to his spread of 120 plus dekes.

This system is comprised of a 60 foot jerk string with three snap swivels attached, a 4 foot stake with a bungee cord, and three separate spreaders that will hold 4 decoys apiece. The whole system is pre-assembled and outside of hooking it all together all that’s needed is to snap the decoys into the large snaps attached to the spreader bars and you’re ready to jerk your dekes to life.

When it was my turn to pull on the jerk string I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to impart motion to all twelve of the dekes at the same time. All I had to do was pull it back a foot and let go and all the decoys would swim.

Here’s some video that we shot yesterday of the Wings and Legs jerk string system in action. Pretty slick ‘eh!

I think this system will be a huge advantage for late season waterfowler’s who deploy small spreads to lure in decoy-wary waterfowl. Birds that are used to seeing huge spreads in the early season might just fall for a small but very lifelike flock of decoys.

The spreaders fold up nicely and the whole system can be easily carried into a field or small pond with a dozen decoys making it a super lethal setup for the field or small pond hunter.

The only drawback we had with the system was snapping the dekes into the large snaps. They didn’t close easily and Travis had to enlarge the holes in the keels to get the snaps thru. Placing some wire zip-ties in the keel holes would make this connection a lot quicker in the field.

The really nice thing about this setup is that it retails for less than $40. I might just treat myself to one for Christmas and heck, I’ll probably get one for the wife too. Isn’t she lucky to be married to such a caring husband?

You can find them online at Mack’s Prairie Wings and various other online retailers. Buy yourself a Wings and Legs Jerk-a-Spread system and treat yourself to a few more late season limits!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

Puget Sound Squidding Solid
Tim Bush from Outdoor Emporium (206-642-6550) in Seattle is reporting excellent squid jigging at Pier 86 in downtown Seattle and also at Quartermaster Harbor over on Vashon Island. He said the squid numbers have been excellent so far this winter and they’ve been quite a bit bigger than normal too. He recommends using one of the glow-in-the-dark or battery operated jigs made by Colman. They’ve got plenty of them in stock at Outdoor Emporium just south of Safeco Field!

Crabbing Picking up near Everett
John Martinis at John’s Sporting Goods (425-259-3056) in Everett is reporting a little better crabbing in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2. After a slow start to the winter crab season the numbers have built up considerably and crabbers have been pulling some limits near the Shipwreck and off Hat Island. Martinis says the best depth seems to be 60 and 80 feet of water. He says when there’s a window of nice weather the west side of Possession Bar has been lights out for winter blackmouth.

Steelhead Showing in Marblemount
John Koenig of John’s Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport is reporting as many as 5 hatchery steelhead being caught per day on the Cascade River this past week. He said it was enough to make him switch over from silver gear to steelhead gear on his jet boat yesterday. They hooked one steelhead on the main river before losing it, but they did pick up a couple of nice silvers. He’ll be targeting steelhead on the Skagit from here out and expects to start seeing some more fish showing in the main river any day now.

Snoqualmie Slow for Steelhead
Gabe Miller at Sportco (252-922-2222) in Fife reported slow steelhead fishing at Tokul Creek on the Snoqualmie River this past week. He said he fished it yesterday morning with very good river conditions and saw only one steelhead caught for quite a few anglers. The Snoqualmie got a healthy plant of 156,000 winter steelhead smolts in 2011, which should make for some great steelhead fishing the next couple of months.

Another November Razor Dig
Twin Harbors beach will open November 26th for six straight days and then Long Beach will open for digging on Thursday November 29th, followed by Copalis and Mocrock beaches on Friday November 30th. All four beaches will close at midnight on December 1st. These are all evening digs.

Doorbuster Sale at Outdoor Emporium and Sportco this Weekend
Outdoor Emporium and Sportco have lined up some smokin’ deals for the Black Friday shopping weekend. Outdoorsman can pick up Hodgman zipperfront breathable waders for $35, a Lowrance 5X Pro fishfinder for $138, Coleman Buddy propane heaters for $70, and Danielson crab traps for just $11 and there’s plenty more deals. The big doorbuster sale lasts all weekend at Sportco in Fife and Outdoor Emporium in Seattle.

Deer Attacks Men and then Steals Their Smokes
KETK News in Whitehouse, Texas – Joseph Rose and Cole Kellis were leaving their home on Friday morning when they noticed a deer in their front yard. Rose said the deer appeared friendly but when they approached the buck it started to attack the two men. After the deer poked Rose in the ribs with his antlers he jumped in his truck to get away, but the deer kept coming. The deer jumped into the cab of the truck and stole his pack of smokes off the center console. The deer began eating the smokes and when Rose tried to get them back he came after him again. It took 5 police officers to restrain the deer before it was transported away by a game warden. One comment on the KETK website suggested that the the deer had just mated and probably just wanted to have a smoke afterwards.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

Pending World Record Silver Salmon
Angler Thomas Olivo from Bozeman, Montana might have just broken the All-Tackle world record for coho salmon with a whopping 34 pounder. Ironically, the huge silver was taken on New York’s aptly –named Salmon River near Pulaski. Thomas was flyfishing with a black streamer back on September 19th when he hooked the fish. It took him 20 minutes to land the big silver before it was safely released to swim another day. The record is currently pending while the IGFA works with biologists to determine if the fish was a pure coho or a coho-Chinook hybrid. If approved Olivo’s silver salmon will be the new All-Tackle world record and the new 16 pound line class record.

South Sound Kicking Out Blackmouth
Tom Pollock from Sportco (253-922-2222) in Fife confirmed reports of good blackmouth fishing at Point Defiance this past week. He said that despite an abundance of shakers anglers are still using smaller presentations like Coho Killers and Ace Hi Flies to catch blackmouth at the point. He said the most productive trolling area has been from Owens Beach down to the Slag Pile. Pollock also mentioned that some blackmouth were being caught at Green Point on Fox Island, which is also a great spot for crabbing.

Steelhead Showing at Blue Creek
Phil Stephens of Mystical Legends Guide Service (206-940-0052) is reporting that there’s a few winter steelhead showing up near Blue Creek on the Cowlitz River just in time for Thanksgiving. He said the river is flowing high right now and anglers should concentrate on fishing close to the bank for a shot at some early winter chrome. Stephens though the best chance of catching an early winter steelhead would be just downstream of the outlet pipe from the hatchery. The Cowlitz River got a smolt plant of 684,000 winter steelhead back in 2011, which should produce some excellent steelhead fishing from Thanksgiving all the way thru the month of April.

Razor Clam Dig This Weekend
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks Beaches are all open for razor clam digging tonight. The low tide is at 9:09 p.m. and digging usually starts about two hours before the low tide. Razor clammers are advised to place a light beacon in their vehicles before they had down to the beach to make it easier to find them afterwards. And don’t forget to bring a bright headlamp or lantern to spot the clams in the dark.

Alaskan Grizzly Bear Attack
An encounter with a grizzly bear is something that every outdoorsman’s fears the most. That fear became reality for two trappers near the Kenai River this past Tuesday when they ran into a large sow grizzly bear. The bear viciously attacked the first trapper she encountered and when his friend went to help him she knocked him to the ground before going back to work on her first victim. One of the trappers, whose name is yet to be released, was flown in critical condition to a hospital in Anchorage. The victims were not carrying a gun or bear spray. Despite being attacked by the grizzly bear they urged authorities to not go out and try to trap the bear as it was obvious they invaded its space.

Hostess to Shut Down, Anglers in Shock!
Hostess announced yesterday that it was going to close its doors for good. The maker of Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Cream Pies, and Hostess Cupcakes said in a press release yesterday that bankruptcy and a labor dispute are making it impossible to carry on. Hostess product’s has known been as the “Breakfast of Fisherman” for over seven decades and many anglers were in shock when they heard the news yesterday.  Nick Kester of All Star Charters, who’s started his day off with a Hostess cherry pie and old fashioned doughnuts for the last two decades was dejected and solemn when he was contacted by the Outdoor Line news staff. Kester said he would probably skip breakfast altogether if he couldn’t have his old fashioned doughnuts. Some anglers were paying up to $100 for Twinkies on Ebay yesterday afternoon and someone had posted a “Buy” for $500, but no one had bid on that Twinkie yet.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Sunglasses You Can Hide Behind

If you’re looking for a Chistmas gift for the sportsman in your life or just want some super cool shades look no further than Costa’s new lineup of polarized sunglasses in AP Realtree camo.

Costa’s camo series is available in their popular Fantail, Blackfin, Double Haul, and Zane frames and of course you can also get them with uber-schwanky 580P glass lenses for the ultimate in color enhancement and glare reduction.

Costa’s 580P glass allows maximum depth perception and light transmission in the early morning and late afternoon when animals and fish are most active and these lenses provide maximum glare reduction.

I know this firsthand because I wear them nearly every day on the ocean in Alaska and when I’m river fishing in Washington where it seems like we have “low light” conditions more often than not. Even on those rainy, drizzly days we’re famous for here in the Pacific Northwest it’s surprising how much glare is cast off the water.

Now I’m all fired up to try the new Costa Realtree camo shades in the duck blind and in the fern-choked blacktail woods of Washington. If they can give me even the slightest edge detecting an elusive blacktail buck in the early morning darkness I’m all over it.

If you haven’t done it already click on over to Costa AP Realtree Camo and snoop around. You can bet these sweet shades will be on my Christmas list!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

“Possessing” the Bar…

By now, if you haven’t heard his name, seen him on Hawg Quest, listened to his interviews on “The Outdoor Line” or read about his derby-dominating exploits in the paper, you’re probably still in “media blackout” from the election…While no one can blame you for dodging the noise, I can assure you that it’s now safe to come out, unless you’re a salmon in the vicinity of Derek Floyd.

Derek has been quietly and efficiently perfecting his trade over the last two decades in southeast Alaska, specifically Sitka Sound, long recognized as a salt water salmon stronghold. The Floyd family runs Reel Class Charters which is truly a top-notch operation in a world-class location. Now, Derek is bringing his expertise in guiding salmon anglers to the Puget Sound in the form of Angler’s Choice Charters.

So, when my long-time friend offered a look at his new Washington charter vessel, a roomy 23′ Parker…I bet you can guess what my answer was!

Ever since the north Puget Sound (aka Marine Area 9) opened for winter chinook or “blackmouth” season on November 1st, only the weather has held anglers back from filling their fish boxes! The center of all this salmonid madness is Possession Bar, at the southern tip of Whidbey Island. While the summer selective chinook season was certainly one for the books, Possession Bar was definitely NOT one of the hot spots. Despite holding huge schools of herring for the majority of the summer, migrating adult chinook only showed up sporadically, leaving a large biomass of bait for the feeding winter chinook. Needless to say, the November first opener went off with a “bang”! So, how did we fare on our recent outing? Read on bretheren!

Derek Floyd in his native habitat, the stern steering station of his charter boat in close proximity to some high-quality marine electronics.

I mention the marine electronics due to the fact that you simply cannot overstate the importance of getting a clear picture of the water you’re working. You may have heard baseball coaches touting their ace fast-baller, stating something to the effect of “they can’t hit what they can’t see”. There is a direct parallel with substandard sounders and, it goes something like this: “You can catch it a whole lot better if you can see it”. In other words, the color video sounders available today are vastly superior to units that debuted even three years ago. It’s come to the point that some of the best money you can spend on your fishing effectiveness may well be in the form of an electronics upgrade. I have a simple test in the form of a single question to determine if you are in need of a new fishfinder: When did you get your sounder? If the answer is “Idunno”… You know what to do…

Here’s a screen shot (pardon the blur, we were running at the time) of the program Derek Floyd uses as a hyper-accurate chartplotter. It’s called “Catch” by Nobeltec and it’s ungodly expensive. This is a shot of the canyon just south of the Everett Harbor. Lowrance Electronics has a less exotic but similar 3D function built into the HDS series. Lowrance Insight Genesis actually allows you to increase the accuracy of your chartplotter by recording your own sounder’s echoes.

We reached our destination on the west side of Possession Bar and wasted little time deploying Derek’s gear of choice. Hot Spot flashers 48″ in front of 3″ Silver Horde Kingfisher spoons. Finned 15 pound downrigger balls sporting Cannon’s Offshore Releases on 4-foot drops provided the depth control and we targeted depths from 100-140 feet. Schools of herring lit up the sounder as soon as we arrived and we were quickly into fish!

Joining us on our outing to Possession Bar was none other than the Reverend Captain Jay Field. Here, Derek clears the riggers as Jay expertly works the rod.

This hatchery chinook seemed to have a capital “H” carved into it’s back! It’s our first indication that harbor seals are also seeking a salmon dinner…

Our next clue that we were in the proximity of prowling pinnipeds? Check out the bite radius on the blackmouth in the upper right! We had to spin the reel handles fast to win that battle!

Back at Bayside Marine’s dock, Jay field grimaces when Derek tells him;
“You know, Tom actually caught that big one you’re holding and he was texting at the time…”

All in all, it was a great day in the rare November sunshine with a couple great guys and the fish actually cooperated!

If you’re looking to hone your salmon savvy, my recommendation would be to book a trip with Derek Floyd. Hopefully, you’ll find yourself taking this very same picture of Derek expertly trimming your filets and joking about a great day on the water!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

Northwest Outdoor Report

Clam Dig Next Weekend
WDFW just announced another razor clam dig next week. Twin Harbors beach will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, and on Thursday Long Beach will open up and over the weekend Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks beaches will all be open for razor clamming. Clamming generally starts two hours before the low tide in the evening.

Black Friday Trout Fishing Special
If you’d rather go fishing than shopping the day after Thanksgiving then WDFW has the deal for you. They’ll be planting Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County, Kress Lake in Cowlitz County, Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County, and Rowland Lake in Klickitat County with 2,000 rainbows apiece. Chris Donley from WDFW called the Black Friday fishery an experiment that could lead to similar events in other parts of the state.

Southwest Washington Elk Opener Toughest in Years
Mike Jenkins from Upfront Outfitters (360-560-7620) said that fog descended on his camps in Southwest Washington just in time for the elk opener. He said the fog spotting elk nearly impossible and that the success rate for the entire area hit an all time low. The upside is that the last part of the season could be very good for elk hunters, since there’s a bunch of bulls still out there and hunter numbers are generally low the latter part of the season. Jenkins thinks the drop in temperature this week could make hunting very good!

Silvers Piling into the Humptulips
Scott Sypher from Canyon Man’s Guide Service (206-518-4982) is reporting wide open coho fishing out on the Humptulips the last few days. He limited out his customers quickly Thursday morning throwing #4 and #5 hoochie spinners into the lumber. Sypher says that gold and copper spinners seemed to be the best color. The Humptulips has a 3 fish daily limit for silvers this fall, only one of which can be a wild coho.

Ranker Digging into Wolf Pack Removal
Senator Kevin Ranker from Friday Harbor, who chairs a committee that oversees WDFW, says he’s going to hold a hearing about the department’s decision to remove the Wedge wolf pack in Northeast Washington last month. The wedge wolf pack had killed two cattle and injured 15 others on the Diamond M ranch north of Colville before the department made the decision to remove the pack. He thinks officials and the rancher could have done more to deter the wolves from attacking cattle. While he won’t be asking for resignations or reprimands, he will be using the hearing to more clearly clarify the states position on wolf removal and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Pikeminnow Angler earns 77,000
Portland angler Nikolay Zaremskiy earned $77, 238 last year catching pikeminnows from the Columbia River. The state has a bounty on the pikeminnow in the Columbia, which has a voracious appetite for salmon and steelhead smolts. It’s the second year in a row that Zaremskiy has earned over $70,000 dollars catching pikeminnows. Last year he earned over $71,000 dollars. Eric Winther, who manages the program, called him the Michael Jordan of pikeminnow fishing. The bounty program starts in early May and runs thru September and last year it dished out over one million in rewards.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Floatfishing Tip: Fly Line Floatant for Better Mending

This is an old school floatfishing tip that I’m surprised more people don’t know about. If you do any amount of floatfishing for salmon or steelhead then you know how much of a pain in the arse it can be to mend the last thirty to fourty feet of line. And the further away your float gets…the more difficult it is.

The simple trick of adding fly line floatant or dry fly dressing like Gink to your braid or mono mainline can make it a lot easier to mend your line.

I’ve used a bunch of different brands for this task, but I happen to be using Gink at the moment because a Gehrke family member left a bunch of this stuff at our house last summer. Good stuff…and thank you very much for the charitable donation!

It couldn’t be much easier to apply this stuff. You’ll want to apply a liberal amount of fly line floatant to a cloth patch. Don’t be stingy…slather it on there!

Here I’m using an old cut up t-shirt…the perfect patch.

Pull a bunch of line off the reel onto the floor or onto the river bar, grab the line between your fingers with the floatant soaked patch, and start cranking. I’ll usually apply floatant to 50 to 75 feet of line. Oila! You’re done…at least for now.

This stuff wears off after a while, so you’ll want to pack some fly floatant and a small patch in your vest or tackle box so you can apply it every so often. If I’m bank fishing for salmon or steelhead I always have some with me.

It works pretty darned good and it’s just one more little thing you can do to put yourself in the 10% club!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 2012 Bayside Marine Salmon Derby

The 2013 Northwest Salmon Derby Series was given a yet another solid start by a surprisingly successful Bayside Marine Salmon Derby. On Saturday, November 3rd, the 21st edition of the Bayside event was greeted by Small Craft Advisory winds but the 250 competitors were not about to be discouraged by a little choppy water!

The winter chinook or “blackmouth” season opened on November 1st, giving anglers a chance to do a bit of pre-derby scouting. It didn’t take the recreational fleet long to find solid fishing on Possession Bar. Unfortunately, Possession is located on the southern tip of  Whidbey Island and is one of the most exposed points in Puget Sound. So, when the 15 to 25 knot winds arrived with the first hours of the Bayside Marine Derby Saturday morning, anglers were faced with  a strategic decision: brave the wind & waves of Marine Area 9’s Possession Bar and be rewarded with good numbers of fish or, work the calmer inside waters of Marine Area 8 where the last three derby winning chinook were taken.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series is the information or “fishing intel” available at the end of each event and the 2012 Bayside Marine Derby would be no exception!

Despite the rough weather, anglers experienced very good blackmouth fishing and by Sunday afternoon a record 88 chinook were entered in the derby!

The award ceremony was highlighted by a salmon barbeque and by the looks of the crowd, everybody was having a great time!

No stranger to the award podium, Scott Bumstad’s 14.4 pounder entitled him to claim the first place check awarded by Bayside Marine owners Dan Hatch on the left and Jeff Lalone on the right.

Also no stranger to the podium, Derek Floyd, captain of Team AnglersChoice.com was awarded the angling team check for their two day tournament record 83.5 pounds total boat weight of blackmouth!

As a stop on the 2013 NW Salmon Derby Series, participants in the 2012 Bayside Marine Derby have a ticket in the raffle for the derby series grand prize 22 foot boat, motor, electronics and trailer package.

 

Next stop on the tournament trail is the Resurrection Derby in Friday Harbor. The event takes place December 7-8 2012 and is limited to 100 angling teams. See you in Friday Harbor!