Saturday, July 30, 2011

Country Roads, Take Me Home..

Last Fish of the Trip.
As you are reading this, if all goes well, I should be on my way back to West Virginia and my Foggy Mountain. It's always hard to leave at the end of vacation, but it makes it a little easier to know that I have a place down here anytime I want. It has been a great two weeks and has helped develop my new hobby and love for Surf Fishing! The last few days of surf fishing went well....

The last few mornings have began to blur together,  but each morning has been a great experience. With the help of JM of Something's Fishy, I have managed to find a love for a new form of fishing, Surf Fishing. It was an interesting adventure in the salt water! The last four days I've only managed to catch two more sand sharks, but I did load up on quite a few more whiting, with a few that rivaled my personal best (sadly, I didn't get to measure them). The most interesting morning was the morning that I couldn't catch anything but Channel Catfish, when the first one hit I wasn't even close to knowing what was on the end of my line. The bite didn't feel like anything I had reeled in before, but as soon I saw those whiskers I knew what I had caught. With my last bit of shrimp and last cast today, I ended up landing my largest catfish of the trip. I couldn't help but laugh as I returned my that catfish into the ocean, because all I could think was I could be home catching catfish but I had to come all the way to a sandy shore in Florida to do it. I wouldn't have it any other way though!

My last morning fishing and releasing the last fish I caught that day.
Although, I am sad to leave behind the salty shore, John Denver said it best when he said, "Country roads, take me home.. To the place I belong.. West Virginia, Mountain Mama.. Take me home, country roads.."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Post: SoCal Salty on ICAST

Hi guys. My name is Joe, and I write a blog called SoCal Salty about my fishing adventures in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California. Justin asked me to fill in a bit over here on FMM while he was on vacation. It's funny because he's been messaging me about how much he's enjoying fishing in the salt, so I hope he comes back here and continues to give you Trail Cam Tuesdays and the rest of his great stuff ;-)

I posted on my blog recently about my first trip to ICAST, the huge fishing tackle show in Las Vegas. It's where all the manufacturers trot out their new gear for the retail tackle shops to see and stock in their stores in the coming year. I was lucky enough to be granted media access, so I thought I'd share with you some of the interesting finds.

VMC Spinshot Hooks
VMC Spinshot Hooks

These hooks are designed for drop shot rigs. The hooks are suspended in the middle of a swivel with eyes above and below the hook. The idea is that you tie the top end to your main line, and then tie some leader to the eye below the hook to your weight. The typical line twist issues prevalent in a drop shot scenario go away. These hooks won best of show in the Terminal Tackle category and I can't wait to try them out.

They only make these up to 1/0, so I asked VMC when they were going to start making them bigger to suit the fishing we do out here. 1/0 is just barely big enough and I'm going to try them for sand bass fishing, but you should definitely give them a look for fishing those bass holding deeper in your home lake. (

Logic Lures Wiggly Jiggly Heads
The Logic Lures Lineup

I thought these jig heads looked really promising. Essentially, the idea is that instead of a static head fused onto a hook scenario, these are built so that there is a joint between the lead head and the business end of the lure. One benefit of using them that I observed was that when attaching plastics they swam the body too, and not just the tail.

The problem for me is that they only make them up to a 1/4 oz. Someone buy these and let us all know if they help you get more hook ups. (

Bait Saver Hooks
Bait Saver Hooks

Finally, one I can use today. These are normal hooks that have a thin gauge wire on either side of the hook and and a little brass collar on the shank. You attach your bait then cinch down the collar. The wire clamps down on the bait so that your bait is more secure on the hook. I love the funky baits that freshwater guys tell me they use...wonder bread, chicken livers etc. These hooks should be great to help you keep those baits on a hook longer. I plan to use them for flylining anchovies which are fond of flying off my hook midcast. Check out this video to see what I'm talking about:
I hope you found this information useful. Tight lines!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - July 26, 2011

No, I haven't forgot Trail Cam Tuesday. I am severely delayed though, what can I say, I have salt on the brain. I'll do a double post to catch up once I check my cameras, but to tide everyone over I am going to introduce the official Flickr account of Foggy Mountain Meanderings. Some of these pictures have been featured in blog posts, others have been on Twitter or Facebook, but many haven't been seen before. To get a behind the scenes look at Foggy Mountain Meanderings, check out the FMM Flickr account here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Water: July 22 - 25, 2011

This is a whole new version of an "On the Water" report, normally it is  a post about me running up and down the river banks. That's not what's happening this time, this time I am thigh deep in salt water. I have been a little busy fishing the last few day as well as laying on the beach and just relaxing, since I am on vacation, haha. But I will get everyone caught up with a quick overview of each day I went fishing as well as a few pictures.

July 22, 2011
This day went great and horrible all at the same time, it was the first time I set foot in the water attempting to be a surf fisher. It went well I hooked up with two whiting, but the managed to get off roughly, five to ten feet from me. This was due in part to the fact that I was using store bought rigs, and not the homemade ones JM had instructed me to use when he was giving me advice early last week. This instilled the confidence I need to know I could catch fish, and the need to start tying my own rigs. Since I started using my own rigs, I haven't lost a fish.

July 23, 2011
My First Surf Fish
Armed with my own rigs I gave it another try the next evening after a day on the beach. I wasn't expecting much as the other fisherman around where not catching much, but I was hopeful.  Apparently all I needed was a little hope and dumb luck, I managed to land my first fish only a few casts in that evening. It wasn't a beast, it wasn't even the hardest fighting fish, but it was my first. It was a seven to eight inch Whiting (See picture left). I was ecstatic, yes even for a little fish like that, but what I was about to catch next would put a smile on my face you couldn't wipe off. As the second wave of people came to the beach they slowly started pushing me away from where I was fishing. I decided walk down the beach to avoid the swimmers and surfs and it paid off. I cast in and was starting to wonder how a larger fish would feel if it hit, luckily I didn't have to wait long, I felt something tug on the line, it wasn't much of a fight, but it was a 15 inch Sand Shark (my largest thus far). It was only a baby, but for a redneck from West Virginia it was amazing to catch even a baby shark.

July 24, 2011
First Catch of the Day
After catching my first fish and shark while surf fishing, I was hooked (no pun intended). Cassie and I decided to get up and early and head to the beach for some early morning fishing. It paid for itself, just with the sunrise and calm of getting to sit on the beach with no one around you. I did manage to catch three Whiting and another Sand Shark, nothing very sizable, but it was fun to be catching fish in the ocean with some amount of regularity.

July 25, 2011
Another morning, another beautiful sunrise and another round of three whiting and a sand shark.

First Cast and First Catch all in one.
Another sand shark
My Largest Whiting to date, 13".

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tips for the Beginning Surf Fisher

JM and his sister trying to
see what they caught.
One of my main fishing Goals for 2011 was to try a new form of fishing. I made it a priority while on vacation to try something new. Luckily, I have an expert in the art of surf fishing at my disposal in JM of Something's Fishy and Surf Fishing for Beginners. He was gracious enough to do a guest post on general tips to get started Surf Fishing. This is set up as a Question and Answer session, I took the liberty of asking all those dumb questions I was always afraid to ask. 

Foggy: Do I need to get a specialty rod and reel for surf fishing?

JM: I recommend that first time surf fishermen start out small by fishing with a bass rod from a pier. This allows you to get a taste of the way saltwater anglers catch fish without breaking the bank. With this setup it's possible to catch several different species on bait and also with lures. Once you've decided that you just can't live without some dedicated saltwater gear , there are several factors that you'll need to consider.

Foggy: I'm use to using simple rigs and lures for trout and bass fishing, what do I need to look for or get for salt water?

The Sputnik Sinker
JM: You can buy two hook bottom rigs and snelled hooks or you can tie your own. I always do better with the ones I tie than the people around me do with the wire ones.Some basic stuff to remember hooks should be as small as possible for smaller fish ( size one is a good all purpose size) up to a 4/0 or 6/0 for casting fish heads for small sharks and big fish. As for sinkers, you'll want as small as possible - usually 2-3 ounces ,but sometimes up to 6-8 or even 10. If your rig isn't holding add an ounce or two , or switch to a sputnik sinker.There will be a DIY post on tying you own rigs early next week, with the help of Surf Fishing for Beginners.

Foggy: What should I be using for bait, live/dead, artificial or other?

JM: If you are using live bait the only thing I would recommend buying from a bait shop is blood worms , fiddler crabs or fresh peeler crabs, I wouldn't buy the frozen stuff. If you are using shrimp I'd suggest getting some fresh shrimp from a market or grocery store and generally I won't use shrimp to fish with unless I'd eat it. As for artificial bait and lures would be a bite leader and a Got-Cha or spoon to start with. Another option would be a red jig head with a chartreusse body. Most of the local shops that aren't tourist traps will point you in the right direction when it comes to artificials , just be sure to look into regs before you go.

Foggy: Now that I have my general bearing and what I need to use to start fishing, is there any last minute advice?

JM:  Try to find some beach "structure", like a point or an area where there is a slough or a spot where the inner sand bar is in close to the beach , so you can cast behind it. In my experience , the surf is shallow down that way so any difference you can find will hold fish at some point. Rips are also good to fish and you don't have to be a long caster to take advantage of a rip. Ask a lifeguard to point one out if you have a chance or you'll notice there won't be any waves breaking in the rip. They'll break to the right and left of it , but not in the rip itself because that's how the water goes back out to sea. You can also look for areas where there are sand flea pieces or crab pieces washed up on the beach , this usually indicates feeding fish. Good Luck and Tight Lines!

I would like to thank JM for this guest spot and for all the help he has provided thus far. Don't forget to check out Surf Fishing for Beginners and you can always find JM's newest material at Something's Fishy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why is Foggy Salty?

Cheeseburger in Paradise...
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm on vacation. I first thought I would take a two week hiatus from Foggy Mountain, the physical location and the blog, but I was only able to leave one behind. I've been slacking a little as of late, so I figured this would be a great time to get caught up, but over the next week and a half everything (excluding TCT) will have a salty twist to it.

With the help of JM of Something's Fishy & Surf Fishing for Beginners and Joe of SoCal Salty, everyone will get a few guest posts, a few laughs at me attempting to surf fish, and of course a lot of pictures.

My family

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - July , 2011

Just because Foggy went Salty doesn't mean you won't get you weekly dose of TCT. This weeks is one of the most interesting pictures I have gotten recently. There are many reasons I keep my Glock strapped to my side while in the woods, but this time of the year there are a few more than normal.. Bears are a big reason this time of year, the newborn cubs are out running around learning their new surroundings. This could make for a dangerous encounter if anyone was to get between Moma and her cubs. The other activity that take place at this time of year, is the female bear without cubs come into estrous and then mating ensues, this is something I would not prefer to get in between either. After the last round of pictures, we believe we actually caught this act or attempted act on film, judge for yourself.

Look how discolored and the lack of hair the male bear has on his back from 
scratching his back on trees to marking his territory. 
Bears mating?
Below is a little bonus, I have marked with arrows the cub that is 
running up and down the tree while Moma is watching.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Foggy goes Salty...

Foggy Mountain is going Salty for a few weeks...

Stay tuned for more details...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - July 12, 2011

As the testing if my new camera rolls on, I am going to take a short break from current pictures and revisit a few from last season. The deer that I am going to re-introduce to everyone is "Little Brow" from the post "Number 1 on the Hit List." This was the tale of how a deer we had been chasing for two years was finally harvested, not by any of the guys we hunt with, but a friend of a landowner on another property. This TCT isn't to commiserate over that or speak of how I'm looking forward to this year because I know there's going to be even bigger and more deer on Foggy Mountain this year. No, I'm here to talk to everyone about shrinkage, not the George Costanza, "I was in the pool, I was in the pool!!!" kind of shrinkage and not even ground shrinkage.

I'm here to remind everyone that even though we are all getting great early season trail cam pictures of this magnificent heavy main beam deer, that it's only a matter of a month or two before the shrink begins. Some might not say that it effects it that much, but even five to ten inches can make a difference in estimating a buck in velevt in comparison to one that had shed their velvet.

Enter "Little Brow", not only was this the first time we saw this buck (since December of the previous year), but he was back and bigger than ever.For all those that haven't saw that bruiser on your camera yet, just wait he might just be a little camera shy as "LB" was. This is a very nice deer for the area and a great trophy for anyone, but for avid bow hunters, this was a shot at a Pope & Young (P&Y) deer. If once this buck shed his velvet he lost much of his girth on his antlers, this could put in qualifying for P&Y in jeopardy. So be careful with those early season estimations.

Here's "Little Brow", I know this isn't the best picture to judge his total inches, bit you can see he didn't lose that much girth after he shed his velvet, I was lucky. Now if I would have just been lucky enough to have had him walk under my stand, but that's just hunting. If you haven't got your trail cameras out in the woods yet, get out there and do it!! What are you waiting on? You are missing some of the best footage you'll get all year!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Woods & Water: A lunker bass … on trout PowerBait?

PowerBait, really!? After reading this article in Woods & Waters I believe I need to get that old jar of Orange PowerBait out my trout vest and stick it in my Bass Box. When I think about PowerBait I think back to when I was a child first learning to fish, not that it is taboo by today's standard, but it is looked at as an easy way of fishing. The majority of the time, this method doesn't allow the fish to be release easily or without damage as they normally swallow the hooks and possible damage their gils. I am not bashing PowerBait or saying not to use it.  Most people I know use it and yes I have some and used it occasionally, but mainly fly fishing, use of jigs or spinners, or even live bait are more my speed these days, but this might all be changing after the lunker that was landed during a bad day of trout fishing with a gob of PowerBait.

A lunker bass … on trout PowerBait?

July 3, 2011 by John McCoy

Experts would say Hilda Baker didn’t have the right gear to fish for bass. Maybe so, but no one can argue with her results.

Earlier this month, while staying at her family’s Pocahontas County camp, Baker went fishing for trout at Seneca State Forest and ended up landing one of the biggest largemouth bass ever caught in West Virginia.

Weighed on official scales more than 12 hours after it was caught, the lunker largemouth checked in at 9.55 pounds and measured 24 inches in length. Since dead fish tend to quickly lose body mass, it’s reasonable to believe the bass weighed close to 10 pounds when Baker caught it.

What’s most remarkable about the fish is that it came from a 4-acre public pond not known to yield many bass of any size, let alone a whopper.

Baker, who lives in West Hamlin, certainly wasn’t thinking about bass on June 7, when she and her husband loaded up their ultralight spinning rods and made the short drive from their Huntersville camp to Seneca State Forest. Hatchery crews had stocked Seneca Lake a couple of weeks before, and plenty of trout remained to be caught. To continue reading, click here...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - July 5, 2011

This past week was the last week I had my new toy in video mode. It was quiet an interesting experience to get to watch everything from chipmunks fight to turkeys feeding, but my best surprise was a young buck that I got a few videos of, this is one of the three bucks that I had hoped to get one camera. The other two have been either seen or captured on someone else's trail camera, so I know they're around, just not hanging out around my stand yet. This past weekend, Will of The Will to Hunt had mentioned on The Will to Hunt's Facebook page that he hadn't had much luck with his trail cameras this weekend, I had mentioned to him that I had a little luck. Here ya go Will, you can be the judge of it.

Not the best picture but between the other pictures and videos,
this is a young 6-point on the verge of an 8-point.
Here is a short video of this same buck feeding just a few feet from the current location of my tree stand.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick Takes: SEEMZ - T.H.E.E. KRUSH Complete Odor Elimination System

Along with any good outdoorsman, you should be preparing for the season year around, this is no different for myself. As the end of archery season came to a close I washed up all my hunting gear one last time and packed it away for a long spring and summer. This provoked a thought that I have used the majority of the major big box stores scent elimination companies in one capacity or another. Their products did fine and have produced well for me, but still left me wanting a little better quality. I went on a mission to find a new line of scent control products to use for this fall.

In the beginning of February I began to look for a new scent elimination products and companies to try out. Shortly there after I stumbled upon Seemz Technology, they tagged themselves as the New Generation of Oder Elimination. Seemz Technology was founded in 2008 and since has striven to produce not only a new scent elimination system but more so a complete odor elimination system. Promptly after reading more about Seemz Technology, I contacted them to see if they would be interested in working with Foggy Mountain Meanderings for a Product Review this upcoming deer season. A few e-mails later and about a month and a half of anticipation, my complete odor elimination system was waiting at my doorstep.

Quick Takes

  • Variety: As with most scent elimination lines there are different cover scents. This is no different with Total Human Element Eliminator (T.H.E.E.) KRUSH, it is offered in Original and Earth scent. With the the test group I received the Earth Scent. I feel that this scent will work best for the type of hunting environment that I am in. 
  • Scent:  Being Earth scented, it is important that it actually smells as advertised, like dirt to be exact. After a quick overview of the products, I wanted to see if the spray did smell like earth/dirt as other companies have managed to produce. Yet again, Seemz impressed me as they have accurately matched that earthy odor. A little side note on this one, at this point and time Cassie, my girlfriend, walked in asked what I was doing and wanted to see what I had received. After explaining what is was, where it came from, and how I was going to use it, she wanted to help out, so I asked her to smell if and tell me what it smelled like (without informing her if was Earth Scent), her first words after the smell test was, "It smells just like dirt!" So no matter who you ask at this point it passes the scent test, the next test may be a little harder, as a deer's sense of smell is a much better than humans. 
  • Product Line / Variety: Seemz Technology has covered almost all your odor eliminating needs when they sent out the complete odor elimination system. It included: 32oz Scent Elimination Spray, 12oz Scent Elimination Spray, 64oz Scent Elimination Refill Bottle, 32oz Laundry Detergent, and 12oz Hair & Body Soap, they even threw in a Seemz Bumper sticker. The two main component that I believe would complete this total system are deodorant / antiperspirant and dryer sheets to accompany the laundry detergent ( in their defense what is missing is stuff they don't even produce at this time). Other than those two things, this kit is very well put together and makes me even more excited for hunting season. 
I am excited about the next phases of this review. I recently sprayed down my trail camera  with T.H.E.E KRUSH to help eliminate my scent. Hopefully, this will keep those pesky bears away from my new toy. The major test, and most exciting, will be using the product line this fall during archery and rifle season. Thanks again for allowing me to do this review.

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