Friday, November 25, 2011

Rig 'Em Right Jerk Rig-Field Test take 1

I just wanted to go hunting and relax,now look at me

Unfortunately there will have to be more than one field test for this "rig".The reason,the first test didn't go so well.It was opening day for waterfowl in Virginia.The boat was loaded,the jerk rig had been deployed on land to better understand the "easy" set up.The weather was calm and cool,around 34 degrees with zero wind.A perfect day to try out the new jerk rig I purchased earlier this year.I needed movement and this was the exact reason I called upon the Rig 'Em Right Jerk Rig.I should have hung up the phone during that "call".

Duck hunting is fun!

So to keep this brief let me tell you that I took zero pictures.Seriously,what good are pictures when it is pitch black out and you are holding a mass of tangled line that is hung up under the boat on a rivet?Oh and your buddy is in stitches that your fancy new rig isn't working out like the directions said it would.It looked better on the shelf I think is what he kept saying to me.So it went down like this.I placed the anchor of the jerk rig out,my buddy slowly let out line.We came to the first gang rig clip and I placed the decoy on and overboard he went.We repeated this process two more times until all hell broke loose.We came to the forth gang rig clip and noticed that is was awkwardly bent out of shape.This is a kind way of saying it was all jacked up on Mountain Dew!This clip was so screwed up that it wouldn't close after I applied the tugboat dude method of hossing it in.This takes place when brute strength isn't enough and I bring anger into the situation.The end result is usually complete annihilation of whatever the Hoss is applied to.So almost as soon as I had it semi fixed enough to use for the day,the line became tangled under the boat.See I had to stop paying line out in order to apply the Hoss method and some extra line went over the side and got tangled up.Tangled up like a cracked out kitten in Grandmas yarn drawer.So that was it,with the sun coming up we took it back in the boat and I cursed it.I blamed it on everything,except myself of course.If you are keeping track that was strike two for the Rig 'em Right Jerk Rig.The first was the frayed bungee line right out of the box.This second slip up I attribute to the faulty gang rig clip,which I have now fixed.I am willing to get it another try and I will.Unfortunately this won't happen for about a month.I just got back to work,I mean I do have to pay bills.Coincidentally talking about about name brand products doesn't pay very well,who knew.I hope everyone is enjoying the overly warm weather on the East Coast and I hope it gets much colder in the next month.Thanks for tuning in!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Louisiana A True Sportsmans Paradise

Hard to beat the scenery,Terrebonne,Louisiana

It is what they say and more.My trip to Louisiana went by way to fast to take it all in.I will try hard to describe some of the outdoor adventure knowing that I will most assuredly temporarily forget some of it.My buddy picked me up from the airport with boat in tow and we headed to duck camp.Duck/deer camps are something I have little personal experience with and I had know idea what I was getting into.A few hours later we pulled up nest to a canal with a barge ties to the dock with a house built on it.Yes that is how they roll!Full power,electric,AC not what I expected.I was told that this was a cheap camp and this was just where we would be spending the first night.We quickly unpacked and then reloaded into the boat for a trip around the bayou within my friends hunting and fishing lease.We fished for about an hour and filled up a cooler with keeper size speckled trout,amazing.My buddy even caught a 12 pound tarpon,15 miles from the gulf in the middle of a bayou canal.He gave me the tour of the bayou,we saw alligators,moorhens,gallinules and DUCKS.The amount of ducks flying every direction just simply blew my mind.That night we ate the worlds biggest steak and called it an early night.I wanted to be ready for the main reason I went down there,duck hunting.

Jody,with a bayou tarpon

The morning came early and filled with anticipation.The boat ride was over 2 miles of winding,shallow bayou canals.I was amazed at how easily my friend navigated them.I guess that's part of growing up down there,it just comes with the territory.We set up in a nice boat hide after the decoys were placed out in no specific order.Lexi the wonder dog and grand retriever champion took her place on the dog stand.The weather on morning one was warm even by Louisiana standard at around 65 degrees with no wind and tons of marsh bugs.However within minutes it became evident that we were in fact on the X.Gadwalls,teal,mallards all flew over head and most seemed to want to commit suicide.We were dive bombed from every angle and were able to pick our shots.Most shots by me ended up being warning shots,my new nickname,steel slinger.I did manage to connect on a few key shots throughout the 1 hour of shooting before our limits were reached.I managed a double on greenwing teal.I had never even killed a single teal before that so it was a huge deal to me.My friend was not impressed by the situation however.I also took my first through fourth Gadwall that morning.As we picked up the decoys the birds kept coming and I just couldn't keep looking at the sky wondering why can't duck hunting in Virginia be like this?I don't have an answer for that but I did have another day to spend in the swamps and that was all I wanted to think about.

Two person limit of ducks by 730 AM

That afternoon while filling another cooler full of fish I spotted a helicopter low over the marsh.Now remember we are literally in the middle of nowhere.My buddy told me it was his good friend.I laughed,the helicopter came closer.The helicopter stopped over head and the fella started waving,odd.My buddy made some hand signals and the helicopter left.I asked what that was about and he said ok man we are going to a different camp tonight.So deeper into the bayou we went and we came upon what I can only call a beach house in the mud.Seriously a 2500 square foot house in the middle of the mud,two miles from any hard shoreline.The helicopter sat on a helipad in the "back yard".I couldn't believe it,what is this,some sort of awesome hunters heaven.We were greeted as we pulled up to the dock and I was quickly shown around.It was his friend and we were not only welcomed but apparently late at Camp Necessity.Yes that was the name,stickers,wood engraving said so.I asked whats with the name,it's because it is a necessity that you be there.I was shown to a 45000 dollar duck boat.Yeah a bit over kill but don't hate!Twin mud motors and a premium sound system are a necessity I guess.We ate great,we slept good and we woke up early for my last day of duck hunting in Louisiana.

Twin mud motors?Why not!

We headed to the same blind,with the same set up,same weather.This would be unheard of in Virginia.We don't have enough ducks to blow up a spot and come right back to it the next morning,the ducks simply wouldn't be there.In Louisiana though it is quite the opposite.We shot all Gadwalls the second day and were done by 8am.My shooting became worse somehow and I was constantly chastised for throwing steel and ducks and "littering" the marsh with pellets.I did however make a few decent shots and thanks to one of the nations best retrievers we made it back to the swamp mansion before breakfast was done cooking.The helicopter fella and his friend were done before us,again I heard of how my Virginia shooting skills were lacking.I tried to explain,I really did.In Virginia we have birds but very rarely do they come in 20-30 at a time like they do down there.It is extremely difficult to pick one out of a group and stay with it.I get way to worked up and hence I throw steel pellets into the marsh and not into birds.So that was it,we headed back into town for a hot shower and we crashed.We crashed hard,like at 6pm we were asleep.I woke the next morning and unwillingly got on a plane back to Virginia.My first true bucket list trip was in the books.I spend a good amount of time outdoors.That being said those 72 hours will always be stuck in my head as some of the best time spent taking it all in.I do have an open invite so what do you think,am I going back?Winning,duh!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New to Me Waterfowl Product Review

A new waterfowl season means new products.Not necessarily new products to the industry but new in my bag of tricks.This year I have picked up a few,hopefully,key products that will help make me a better watefowler.On the list I have the Rig 'Em Right jerk rig,Winchesters new waterfowl ammo,"Blindside",Ace Decoy anchors and the Edge Quiver Magnet H2O.The main Waterfowl season doesn't open until next Saturday but that doesn't mean these products can't be inspected before being field tested.So let's start with the Rig 'Em Right Jerk Rig.

Let me start this out with a general disclaimer.I bought these products with my hard earned money,unsolicited except by advertising.If these products stink I will most definitely let you know.Now on with the show!The Rig 'Em right Jerk Rig boasts to be a "so compact it fits in a coat pocket and sets up in minutes".Jerk rigs in general are never really bulky but can be a pain to set up.

As you can see,it comes with a nifty carry pouch,gang rig clips,a hefty anchor and all the shackles needed to make this work.I was impressed at the design of the anchor,it folds up and the weight seems to be significant enough to withstand a decent amount of pull.On the directions it states a nice big warning about the bungee connecting the anchor to the jerk rig."Caution,to reduce weight and bulk,the jerk rig is not equipped with a ridged line to pull the anchor up from the bottom".It goes on to advise you dislodge the anchor with your foot before pulling up from the bottom.Hmmmmm that may be difficult because they give you five feet of bungee to anchor.So if you are in five feet of water good luck dislodging the anchor with your foot without taking a swim to do so.Staying on the bungee,check this out.

Ahh yes that is the bungee in question.Yes that is a nice fray right in the middle of it.So I'm guessing I will either be losing this anchor when the bungee breaks or I will replace the bungee with a more hefty size.This would require me to buy some bungee,that's not cool with me.So moving on past the bungee in question.The rest of the jerk line along with the gang clips,shackles and eyebolts to secure it to a blind all seem to be well above par.So I just don't understand why they would cheap out one of the key important parts of the entire set up."Reduce weight and bulk" oh come on!So next Saturday I will be in the swamp with the Rig 'Em Right Jerk Rig and I will put it through the ringer.The Rig has a MSRP of 29.99 which is pretty standard in the way of price.I will be out of the blogger office so to speak for a few days.I'm off to Louisiana to try my waterfowling luck down there.More product reviews to come in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Look out Louisiana

The Louisiana Sportsman Logo

It's hard to believe that eight years ago I was living in the ghetto living paycheck to paycheck.Now I'm worried about planning a true leisure trip that is at the top pf my bucket list,Louisiana duck hunting.Last year more ducks were bagged in the state of Louisiana than in the entire Atlantic Flyway,no serious,that's a fact.Hard to believe but science doesn't lie my friends.Like most 30 plus outdoorsmen I have a ridiculous "bucket list".Being grounded I understand some of my dream trips will more then likely never happen but without a dream life is a nightmare,don't steal my qoutes.Earlier this Summer one of my brothers and I set out on an epic road trip to southwest Virginia and into Northeast West Virginia.We went trout fishing,hiking and mudding,the mudding wasn't planned.After that trip I ended up with a renewed confidence that I could in fact go to a "foreign" place and make it out.Not just make it out,but get to know the locals and fit in just fine.We live in the best country in the world,personal opinion,and I want to see it all.The museums are nice,shopping you can have but the outdoors I want to see so it's off to Louisiana for my next big outdoor step.

Cajun people are a special kind of folk

In my line of work I meet people from all over.I'm serious, I have worked with people from Holland to Honduras.I have worked months dredging river mud from the Mississippi River.I have carried soy meal from Kenner Bend Louisiana to Guatemala.That being said I have never stopped to enjoy the state of Louisiana.We just don't get a chance to take a break and go ashore much.Earlier this year i started working for a new company in the Northeast,specifically NYC.So take that into consideration and you can see how a southern Virginia boy might stick out like a sore thumb on a tugboat in NYC.I met a true cajun coon ass and we hit it off.Mostly because I understood him and he understood me.Getting along with somebody is different than meeting a fellow waterfowler.This guy used to be a guide in Louisiana,score!It was his idea that I come down and he would help me mark this off my list.So I'm going!I'm not sure exactly where,he has an 1800 acre lease.Yeah I know 1800 acres of marsh and pot holes,I can't imagine.So with my airline ticket purchased I'm patiently waiting for the next ten days to pass.I'm hoping to see some alligators,catch some redfish and shoot some ducks.No matter what happens this is my next big outdoors step and I'm excited.On another note congratulations to my Dad who has finally retired.He worked his ass off to provide for me,my brothers and my mom and now he can relax.I can't wait to go trout fishing with you again pops!