DoorGunner

Well today's weather sucked.

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Rain wind and cold all day so no pics from the lakes. No fishing from the lakes or sod banks and my only trip out the door was to the post office. Wanted to make each day better than the last while stuck at her house but today fell far short. So have a plan for tomorrow.

 

Way back in the early eighties when I first moved to the shore I commercially trapped and sold live minnows. I don't think any degree from any school could have taught me half as much about salt marsh wildlife as those three years working the tidal creeks. Was like going to school and having fun at the same time. Tomorrow I want to do a little freshwater fishing and I need live minnows. Usually I just trap them at my dock and bring them up her but I ran through those minnows this past weekend. The lake I'm fishing has some good size pickerel, crappie and yellow perch and the only problem is they only seem to want very small minnows. I think I found my spot.

 

working the tidal creeks produces incredible numbers of minnows but most are on the medium to large size especially this time of year before the spring spawn. Back when I did it for pay all of my customers wanted the medium to large minnows so there wan't any problem except for one customer from up in the city. Owner is a friend of mine and he would cater to the trout fisherman and needed very small minnows and lots like ten gallons and that basically two five gallon buckets of minnows with no water and thats a lot of minnows. One day way back I was beating myself up trying to separate the few very small minnows out of my pots from the large minnows. No way I was ever going to come up with a gallon let alone ten. Then by stupid luck I found them.

 

I enjoyed walking the meadow to find the birds nest or anything else that lived out there. Kept me busy while the pots were soaking. The very small minnows stayed ahead of the school as the tide would come in out of pure survival mode since most would be wiped out by the larger family member. By chance it hit water and when I turned I found I had tossed the pot into one of the many shallow divots that dot the salt marsh all over south jersey. Most of these divots are from a few feet to a few hundred feet around and a few feet deep. Reminded me of one of the many divots I left on golf courses over the years only much larger. Well I finished minnowing for the day and headed back to my boat. Checked my gear and found I was short one pot and then I remembered where it was. Walked back and pulled it in and it was stuffed with more minnows than I have ever seen in one pot. 

 

These divots are perfect nursery centers for these small minnows. Not deep enough for predator fish and too deep for wading birds to pick them off. Every high tide the meadow floods out just enough to let new water in and also let some of the minnows that have grown large enough to move out with the big boys. Went out the next day and just hit three of those divots close to each other and had my ten gallons in about an hour. It was truly incredible. 

 

On Sunday while doing a little exploring I found one of these divots right against the side of the road. I have one minnow pot with me and only thing missing is some bait. There is one small can of cat food in her garage so tomorrow morning I will head on down the road and see if what I learned so many years back still holds true. If so then sometime tomorrow I will be out playing with the pickerel, perch and crappie.  

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51 mins ago, DoorGunner said:

Rain wind and cold all day so no pics from the lakes. No fishing from the lakes or sod banks and my only trip out the door was to the post office. Wanted to make each day better than the last while stuck at her house but today fell far short. So have a plan for tomorrow.

 

Way back in the early eighties when I first moved to the shore I commercially trapped and sold live minnows. I don't think any degree from any school could have taught me half as much about salt marsh wildlife as those three years working the tidal creeks. Was like going to school and having fun at the same time. Tomorrow I want to do a little freshwater fishing and I need live minnows. Usually I just trap them at my dock and bring them up her but I ran through those minnows this past weekend. The lake I'm fishing has some good size pickerel, crappie and yellow perch and the only problem is they only seem to want very small minnows. I think I found my spot.

 

working the tidal creeks produces incredible numbers of minnows but most are on the medium to large size especially this time of year before the spring spawn. Back when I did it for pay all of my customers wanted the medium to large minnows so there wan't any problem except for one customer from up in the city. Owner is a friend of mine and he would cater to the trout fisherman and needed very small minnows and lots like ten gallons and that basically two five gallon buckets of minnows with no water and thats a lot of minnows. One day way back I was beating myself up trying to separate the few very small minnows out of my pots from the large minnows. No way I was ever going to come up with a gallon let alone ten. Then by stupid luck I found them.

 

I enjoyed walking the meadow to find the birds nest or anything else that lived out there. Kept me busy while the pots were soaking. The very small minnows stayed ahead of the school as the tide would come in out of pure survival mode since most would be wiped out by the larger family member. By chance it hit water and when I turned I found I had tossed the pot into one of the many shallow divots that dot the salt marsh all over south jersey. Most of these divots are from a few feet to a few hundred feet around and a few feet deep. Reminded me of one of the many divots I left on golf courses over the years only much larger. Well I finished minnowing for the day and headed back to my boat. Checked my gear and found I was short one pot and then I remembered where it was. Walked back and pulled it in and it was stuffed with more minnows than I have ever seen in one pot. 

 

These divots are perfect nursery centers for these small minnows. Not deep enough for predator fish and too deep for wading birds to pick them off. Every high tide the meadow floods out just enough to let new water in and also let some of the minnows that have grown large enough to move out with the big boys. Went out the next day and just hit three of those divots close to each other and had my ten gallons in about an hour. It was truly incredible. 

 

On Sunday while doing a little exploring I found one of these divots right against the side of the road. I have one minnow pot with me and only thing missing is some bait. There is one small can of cat food in her garage so tomorrow morning I will head on down the road and see if what I learned so many years back still holds true. If so then sometime tomorrow I will be out playing with the pickerel, perch and crappie.  

 

 

Lived in AC while going to Stockton State in the late 70's and for summer work would catch and sell minnows in the back bay with a friend. We had a cedar Garvey with an ancient , constantly pissed off Johnson and a fishpen at the dock. We'd fish for bait and food in the inlet . It was nothing to limit out on 2 lb fluke and weaks and we'd use the BF for bait. Set the traps and then crab from the Garvey, collect, set, crab until like 4. Then we'd sell the killies for 12-15 a gallon times like 20/25 gal to B&T's & put the rest in the pen for a rainy day . A third went to the boat and the rest we split. Fished, chased women got up at noon and repeated 7 days a week. No simpler times could be had. 

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One thing I did learn was respect for the BC crab. I would toss a gutted BF and watch them all crawl out of the woodwork. There were sometimes like 40 crabs at once destroying the BF and if you stuck your head over the side and under the water you could hear them clacking and snapping away. Was nothing to see them rip each others eye stalks and legs off in the fray. Thereafter I really relished eating them because I knew if I was on the bottom they'd eat the hell out of me..

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6 hours ago, Brother Brian said:

Lived in AC while going to Stockton State in the late 70's 

You didn't go to Yale like Bellringer? :huh:

 

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2 hours ago, Belmo said:

You didn't go to Yale like Bellringer? :huh:

 

Bellringer went to Princeton you dullard. :dismay:

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Woke up and had a cup of hot tea on the front porch and greeted by a beautiful sunrise.

IMG_3481.JPG.a7be3998220a239047a6afbdef37c009.JPG

 

Headed over to one of those divot ponds where I set my one minnow pot.

IMG_3493.JPG.dea1c0a6fa3f58fdbfe18b047c239230.JPG

 

Headed back to her house just as she was up and moving about and made two tomato, cheese and spinach omelettes. then back to check the pots. Sun was gone but the minnows weren't. Still have the can of cat food in for bait.

IMG_3490.JPG.18f1a6c6640df21b4b8d4565fdb29ee5.JPG

 

I guessed right and caught more minnows than needed. Kept some for today and released the rest then reset the pot so I can hit it anytime I want.

 

Released.

IMG_3491.JPG.73a32b56bca261eea776a963ed372529.JPG

 

Kept.

IMG_3492.JPG.d15b247692848b5a7dd9f7d76fbe5cdb.JPG

 

Headed back to her house and got in a race with a couple of Tom's that were chasing a hen down the road. Man do I love nature.

IMG_3485.JPG.0007a8d62801c8ce95bb492fc4aa1397.JPG 

 

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1 hour ago, DoorGunner said:

Woke up and had a cup of hot tea on the front porch and greeted by a beautiful sunrise.

IMG_3481.JPG.a7be3998220a239047a6afbdef37c009.JPG

 

Headed over to one of those divot ponds where I set my one minnow pot.

IMG_3493.JPG.dea1c0a6fa3f58fdbfe18b047c239230.JPG

 

Headed back to her house just as she was up and moving about and made two tomato, cheese and spinach omelettes. then back to check the pots. Sun was gone but the minnows weren't. Still have the can of cat food in for bait.

IMG_3490.JPG.18f1a6c6640df21b4b8d4565fdb29ee5.JPG

 

I guessed right and caught more minnows than needed. Kept some for today and released the rest then reset the pot so I can hit it anytime I want.

 

Released.

IMG_3491.JPG.73a32b56bca261eea776a963ed372529.JPG

 

Kept.

IMG_3492.JPG.d15b247692848b5a7dd9f7d76fbe5cdb.JPG

 

Headed back to her house and got in a race with a couple of Tom's that were chasing a hen down the road. Man do I love nature.

IMG_3485.JPG.0007a8d62801c8ce95bb492fc4aa1397.JPG 

 

 

 

 

 

See what a little complaining can accomplish !?!?!?

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2 hours ago, Terry Mac said:

Bellringer went to Princeton you dullard. :dismay:

 

14 mins ago, Brother Brian said:

 

 

Thank you .....

Hey, **** you guys! :mad:

 

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3 mins ago, Belmo said:

 

Hey, **** you guys! :mad:

 

 

 

- "Hello McGill Alumni committee please. Yes, AGAIN. IDK ,, he disappears and reappears . Degenerate gambler for sure and now cursing, THAT'S right, cursing on a public internet forum. I agree, it's not very Canadian .OK then, I can assume you will take care of it. Good day. ". 

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