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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Herb Garden Stand DIY Project

The sneaky prepper trick to hoard massive amounts of food super cheap

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Gingersnap Crafts shares this fabulous vertical planter that would be great for growing herbs, flowers, lettuce and strawberries/

This is a step by step picture tutorial of how you can create this simple project with beginning skill level.

This can be used in a small space like an apartment balcony (homesteading anywhere!) or a spacious yard…. think multiple ones.

Click here to view how you can make this project: (You Can!)http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2013/05/diy-herb-garden-tutorial-digin-ad.html

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LATE SPRING-EARLY SUMMER WALLEYE

imagesCASP58SMOne of the biggest keys to finding late spring/early summer walleye on major lake is the presence of perch & we have lots of perch; especially smaller young-of-the-year ones. Walleye will key strongly on this perch forage throughout most of the season. Newly emerging weeds are amongst the strongest locations to find schools of small 3 to 4 inch perch. Find new weed beds on top of bars or in bays or even along flats and you’re bound to find both perch and walleye.

You’re bound to find the best weed growth initially along northern sections of any given body of water simply because they get more sunlight. Bays and cuts, protected from wind and wave action, which allows the water temps inside these spots to crank up far above that of the main lake, are apt to be the first spots to hold good weed growth and perch concentrations. In fact, the combination of warmer water and weeds is a sure winner in the early season.

Eventually, adjacent points outside warm bays with shallow tops will be the next hotspot, and seem to peak about the time that bays peter out. Mid lake spots with a shallow top and the right bottom content should be next in line to produce fresh new weed growth and attract a school of bite-sized perch. Sometimes, these mid lake spots will produce all summer long. And finally, southern locations that support weeds will sprout growth much later on.

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The best way to find these weeds initially is to simply idle along a potential spot with a keen eye on your depth finder, as well as a periodic look over the side of the boat. If you spot short weed growth on your depth finder, or better yet, see weeds by peering into the water, throw out a marker buoy for a reference point. Then, let the area settle down for a few minutes while you set up to fish it. Of course, polarized sunglasses will further aid you in visual detection of the best weed clumps.

The best way to check weeds for walleyes initially is with a jig. use a simple jig baited with a plastic grub, but sometimes you might have to bait that jig with a minnow or leech in order to trigger finicky fish. Keep the jig light weight so it lands on top the weeds and doesn’t plummet into them. A 1/8 ounce version is most commonly used, although some like a 1/16 ouncer even better in real shallow weeds of 6 feet of water or less. Also, unless the walleye are running larger, above 20 inches, the smaller two inch grub tail is a better producer than the more commonly used three inch version.

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Once you find and catch a walleye or two, the next approach is to pinpoint their precise location, and still fish the spot with slip bobber rigs. The advantage of slip bobber fishing at this point is it tends to disturb the area a lot less; resulting in a more prolonged bite – more fish caught before they spook. In other words, you’re apt to spook the fish after jigging a spot for a while since you’re going to tear up weeds. Also, the jig presentation is a more horizontal style that moves a bait in and out of the walleye’s lair quicker. That works on the hot fish, but not the spooky, less aggressive ones.

Once you notice a drop off in your action, stop jigging the spot, and “break out the bobs”; the slip bobs that is. Set your offering to hover inches above the weed tops, or alongside weed walls. Bait it up with a leech (or minnow) and pitch it into a likely spot. Check various spots along that weed patch until you score. Also, try experimenting with a variety of depth settings on your “slip bob” rigs until you find the magic depth number. Duplicate that, and you should be able to take a lot more fish from that weed patch before they quit all together.

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CAMPING IDEAS – Useful Shortcuts

HOMEMADE PAPER TOWEL HOLDER

Paper Towel rolls always seem to blow away, fall on the ground unravel … milk crate w/ rod … keep towels clean w/in reach.

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HOMEMADE OIL LAMP:
– grease drippings
– coke can
– wick!

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Pretty cool!

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GRILLED NORTHERN PIKE

Grilled Pike

Grilling adds a wonderful flavor to pike, as well as to fresh vegetables. And there’s nothing like a trip to the backyard barbecue to escape the heat of the kitchen. No pike? White-fleshed fish such as walleye also works well with this recipe.

  • Serves: 4
  • Course: Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer: Pale ale
  • Wine: All whites, Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 6 to 8-ounce boneless, skinless pike fillets

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle tomatoes, onion and garlic with 2 tbsp oil. Grill until vegetables begin to char (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from grill and allow to cool.
  2. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse briefly. Add ½ cup oil and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are combined, but resulting sauce still has some texture.
  3. Drizzle remaining oil on pike and grill over medium-high heat until fish is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle sauce, either heated or at room temperature, over fish. Serve with grilled zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms or potato wedges, and crunchy coleslaw.

ENJOY!

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Northern Pike, recipes, walleye

 

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Understanding Pike Spawning Behavior

pike (2)Depending on when and where you’re fishing, understanding the spawning behavior of northern pike can be crucial to your angling success, especially as it relates to fish location.

When ready to spawn, pike head for the sheltered areas along some shorelines or in the back of bays. They prefer sandy or silted areas over gravel or rocks, and preferably, vegetation should be present. Pike also like to spawn in the dead stems of rushes and reeds at the back of protected bays.

When the spawning period begins, the males are the first to arrive at the breeding grounds. They may stay there for up to a month; however, the average stay is about 14 days. When the females arrive, their average stay is about 10 days. There is evidence that pike return to the same breeding grounds.

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Once a female becomes ripe, the shorter male will swim by her side, eye to eye, insuring that the milt he excretes will mix well with the eggs deposited by the female. While mating, the male will repeatedly bump the female by flicking his abdomen against her sides, prompting her to release her eggs. The whole spawning operation can be completed anywhere from one and a half to five or more hours.

Pike Act Fast
Spawning dates can vary from year to year and from location to location. Much depends on the length of the winter and ice-out time. Spawning is stimulated by a rise in water temperature and by increased periods of light.

The number of eggs laid by a single pike can vary; it depends upon the size of the female. A small pike may lay anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 eggs; a pike of 15 or more pounds may lay anywhere from 180,000 to 225,000. The time it takes to hatch the eggs can also vary, depending upon water temperature. Eggs laid in water at 43 degrees will take up to 26 days to hatch. Eggs laid in 50-degree water will hatch in 12 days.

Hatching percentage can range anywhere from 99 percent to nothing. A drop in water level, severe cold weather, and predators can all take a heavy toll on eggs and hatchlings.

Hatchlings Grow Quicklyfrypike_swimuplg
Newly hatched fry don’t resemble their parents. They have no fins and their mouths must develop into the familiar duck-like bill. Northern pike fry start out no more than nine millimeters long. During this time, the fry attach themselves to weeds and grasses, and get their nourishment from an attached yolk sack.

Most pike move to the main lake area during their first 25 days of life. (This is before they have reached an inch in length!) Once out in the main lake they hide in dense vegetation to feed and find cover from predators.

Pike eat heartily and grow amazingly fast. Studies have shown they grow at the rate of .7 inch every 10 days. When they reach 1+1/2 inches in length, scales begin to appear; at 3 inches, their scales are fully developed.

Increased growth coincides with the increased size of the food source. Growth rates vary according to the latitude. In the northern-most part of their range, pike may take seven years to reach 20 inches; 12 years to reach 30. Northern live to over 25 years in the far North.

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SUMMER EVENINGS – Mosquito Control

Here is a great idea that many can get a head start on before it’s needed.  Build a Mosquito Control container so you can sit and unwind in the evenings without dousing in DEET.

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Cabins, CAMPING, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Northern Pike Handling, Filleting & Take the ‘Y’ Bones Out

When it comes to caring for Pike that you plan to use at home, the first and probably most important step in assuring a quality meal is to keep the fish fresh prior to cleaning.   Compared to other popular game fish, the flesh of Northern Pike is among the most likely to deteriorate if care is not taken to keep the fish fresh right up to the cleaning table.   When you plan to save some for the table, one great approach is to wait until later in your fishing trip before you start saving fish to take home.

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After filleting it’s best to freeze your filets properly for transportation back home from the lodge.  All your hard work out on the lake could be confiscated by a game warden for the following reasons:

  • frozen in one big blob is considered ‘unidentifiable’
  • failure to keep one square inch patch of skin on the filet
  • packaged improperly (the correct procedure is one fish per package, layed out flat – side by side)

Keeping fish frozen during your stay allows for easy transportation all the way home.  Frozen fish takes the place of ice, however, midway you may want to check the cooler to inspect your filets and add ice accordingly as this could  make a difference at the dinner table.

Another key factor in preparing gourmet meals using Northern Pike is to avoid saving Pike in the freezer for long periods of time.  Pike flesh contains a particular Amino Acid that breaks down fairly quickly when fish are stored in the freezer too long. So even if you’ve taken great care to keep the fish fresh up to this point, you could be disappointed when you pull out a package of fish that you’ve been saving for that special occasion.  Because Pike are not well suited for long-term storage, at the simple rule of thumb is Pike are to be eaten within a couple of weeks of catching them.. 

Removing the “Y” bones from Pike fillets is part of the mystery that has kept lots of otherwise willing anglers away from using these fish in recipes and removing these small bones is really easy! Even the smallest Pike can be easily de-boned by anyone who can fillet a Walleye or most any other fish. In fact, even the term “Y” bone is a misnomer because this so called “Y” bone really isn’t much different than the strip of bones that you’d remove from a Walleye or any other fish caught in our waters. It just happens to be sandwiched into the grain of the fillet where it is protected from “frying out”. 

This is one of those times when it would be easier to do the job than it is to describe how to do it, but look at the picture of the finished fillets and you’ll get a good idea of how to follow these instructions.

npBegin by filleting the fish and removing the rib bones as you would a Walleye or most other freshwater fish. Once you have taken the fillet, study it for a minute. Take a look at the centerline that divides the fillet horizontally and notice the row of light bones visible halfway between this centerline and the top (fishes back) of the fillet. You will be making one cut on each side of this row of bones. You’ll also see that the flesh has a “grain” much like the grain of a nice oak board. The “Y” bones run with this grain and you can use this grain as a directional guide when making your cuts.

COMPLETE DIAGRAM BELOW:

Cut 1:
Start by making a cut just above this row of bones that you can see (and feel). This first cut will be shallow (about ¼ inch) and it is perpendicular to the fillet. This simple, straight cut is used mostly as an access cut to get your knife into position for the next step. Using the tip of your fillet knife, you’ll be able to feel the edge of your knife contact the bones at the inside corner of this “L”  where the bones turn toward the top of the fillet. When you feel the knife contacting those bones, take care not to cut through them.

Cut 2:
Turn the edge of your knife toward the top of the fillet at about a 45-degree angle and follow this edge. You’ll be able to see the bones as you gently slip your knife-edge along this edge. Stop the cut before you reach the top edge of the fillet.

Cut 3:
This is the finishing touch. Start this cut below the row of bones on the side nearest the centerline and simply follow the same angle that you used to make cut 2. As the edge of your knife moves toward the top of the fillet, you’ll begin to feel this strip of bones peeling away from the rest of the fillet. Trim along these edges as needed to remove the strip and voila, you’re finished.

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So There you have it, all you need is a little faith in yourself, a fairly good fillet knife and a little practice. You will soon learn that there is really no trick at all and before long your family and friends will be standing in line at dinner time waiting to sample your newest Pike recipe.

ENJOY YOUR NEXT FEED OF PIKE!

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Fishing, Northern Pike, pike

 

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