Hunting & Fishing articles about waters in MD, PA, DC, DE and VA plus bonus features–this country and others. Ken Penrod-your host.
2 months ago
The area of residence of Washoe people let them obtain food from three different ways: fishing, gathering, and hunting. Since each way required having special skills and knowledge people were usually trained in one field to reduce the possibility of failing the tasks they were responsible for. Therefore, the Washoe tribe's life was dependent on the actual environment possibilities. Also, scarcity of sources would not let the tribe perform every way at once, therefore the Washoe lifestyle was divided into three periods: "the fishing year", "the gathering year" and "the hunting year".
"Fishing year" – which came after the period of starvation, started in early spring as the snow in the mountains started to melt. At that time, some tribe members (mainly young men, boys, and sometimes unmarried women) left the winter camps and moved toward the Lake Tahoe to start the fishing season. By doing this they could save the leftovers from food reserves for people that had stayed in winter camps. They used caves and natural shelters as protection from the cold along with loin clothes and blankets made from rabbit skin to keep themselves warm. They fished for whitefish which some of them they consumed and some they carried back to winter camps so their folks could eat and gather strength for the return trip to the lake, which happened when it got warmer. It was the family's decision when to leave the winter camps and go to Lake Tahoe and it depended on the condition and age of family members (family with infants or older people tend to leave the camps later than fitter members of the tribe. The whole Washoe tribe should have been returned to the Lake Tahoe shores by the beginning of June. Almost every tribe member was involved in fishing when the season came. The Washoe used the lake resources to the fullest and caught as many fish they could. They had learned how to preserve the fish drying it on the sun and made the food reserves for the future.
"Gathering year" – could have been performed all year, but different ways of acquiring were used and the different type and amounts of food were provided. During winter the Washoe ate mostly the food they had gathered before the winter season started because very little vegetables could be found. As the spring came, more and more food became available. However, the food was limited over the place it was found and it could only feed a certain number of people, so tribe split up in smaller groups and went to look for food in different ways. The gathering was usually performed by women while men practiced fishing at the lake or hunting.
"Hunting year" – started when the first animals appeared at the beginning of the spring. It was only men's activity, so boys were trained from the youngest age. The Washoe tribe hunt for bigger animals like deer, bears or antelope as well as smaller ones: rabbits, birds, squirrels. The different techniques and times of hunting were adjusted for different types of animals.
Fall was the richest in food season of the year as all ways of obtaining the food could have been performed. The winter period was the time of starvation as the stocks of food run out quickly and almost no food could have been obtained over the coldest months of the year. However, Washoe people learned how to survive the hardest time of the year by learning how to use the resources the land had given them. They knew they needed to keep the balance as each way of obtaining food was equally crucial for these people to survive. ... Read MoreHide
Followup to my Runaway article:
a client/friend fished with Morris today 3/5 and look what they did! They have tomorrow too. ... Read MoreHide
March 2 near Stick Marsh with Morris Campbell. Seven dozen shiners by 2:30. See article below, ... Read MoreHide
A follow up to my Florida article below. Just a FEW of the bass that Morris is getting his clients on since I left and one is 13-5!!! ... Read MoreHide
Run Away Some Day
By Captain Ken Penrod
Deer season ended the last day of January and we were not attending the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, so my calendar was relatively unmarked until mid-March when I begin my guide-season on the Susquehanna River and Potomac. So when Dr. Dave suggested an Okeechobee fishing trip, it took me 30-seconds to agree. No fuss from Maggie because she knows that I just can’t stand doing nothing.
Mag booked me on Southwest Airlines out of BWI and a car from Dollar (use someone else) but look at their position concerning NRA because some of the car rental companies are run by liberal buffoons.
I booked a room at Roland Martin’s Marina in Clewiston, FL. Doc’s timetable was for three days of fishing but I needed more so I called my buddy, Mike Yorio, in Melbourne and called in a “beg” for three days at Stick Marsh also. Eight days in Florida made me smile.
The Martin Marina complex is quite impressive, but my buddy Roland Martin has nothing to do with it other than the name-usage. Roland’s former wife, Mary Ann, is the CEO, CFO and Chief-of-everything there and she runs it like a well-oiled machine.
The room was very nice, the Tike Bar a good place to eat and the guides are top-notch. It took me about 2 hours to drive there from West Palm Beach and I enjoyed the ride in a Dodge Ram 250 that had no GPS or step-up—so I was exercised. I left home with 45 degrees and arrived there with 80-degrees. Nice.
Clewiston is at the south end of the lake and I had been there several times. I stopped and purchased a nice-size jug of Crown Royal, boat snacks and some comfort accessories. Doc would arrive later so I did due-diligence recon.
The tackle store is well stocked but does not sell fishing license—which I found to be odd. Back to Walmart and they couldn’t get through to DNR which didn’t surprise me. My “dander” got up and I asked for another clerk that could “comprehend” and that worked. I still had no idea who our guide was to be and what he would want us to bring aboard.
I hung around the office awaiting Doc and bumped into Chet Douthit whom I had known for many years. Chet was a professional NFL football player for the Miami Dolphins before injuries led him to a tournament angler profession for many years and, later, guiding bass anglers and there is no better. I had much respect for him. He told me that our guide would be Captain Mike Baylon. Martin’s contracts with many guides.
Dr. Dave and I had diner at the Tike Bar, a fish-dish as I recall and retired to our rooms. I still get excited for every day I fish or hunt so sleep was scarce.
We were early to meet Mike at 6:15 AM and waited on a bench by the office. I heard him before I saw him as he said “Chet tells me that I have the Guru of the Potomac today—so let’s get started (about 7-AM.)
Mike’s boat is an older Ranger but neat, clean and ready for our shiner-day. It was a cool 15-mile run through wonderful habitat to a small “spot” that we would spend all three days at. Mike is awesome, and KP Approved, and we caught 130 largemouth bass in three days—all on 5-7 inch shiners, in shallow water (3-4 feet) against a vegetable edge (Kissimmee grass and reeds) under Styrofoam bobbers, 4/0 Kahle hooks and 20 pound test mono rigged kind-of drop-shot style with a one ounce sinker at the bottom and the hook about 12-inches above the weight. The bobber-to bait length should be similar to the depth you are fishing but usually about three feet.
There is a definite technique to this “bite-but-wait” game—contrary to artificial lure presentation—because you must let the fish eat—and it’s all about “bobber-watching.” Doc kicked my butt all three days on numbers and size. He had three over 5 and one over 6. We were blessed with good weather, steady barometer and moderate winds.
Evening bar-talk indicated that we did better than most on numbers and even the guides admit that “lunkers” are scarce. In addition to Chet, I ran into Steve Daniels, another former tournament anglers and now, full time guide on the Okeechobee—but not a Martin guide. I was a Press Observer for Steve on one of the James River Bassmaster Classics. A Press Observer is supposed to stay out of the way, keep their mouth shut and keep the Pro jacked-up. Steve said in the AM that he wasn’t a factor this final day so he planned on staying out of the way of the top anglers. I was still seated in the passenger seat when Steve pitched a worm into a brush pile. I saw the line move and the “guide” in me screamed “Set the Hook.” He knew it, I blew it, but we laughed many times about that moment and relived it in the Tike Bar.
Mary Ann Martin, Roland—and I, were together at the Bassmaster Classic Party in Baltimore where Roland dressed-up as a “flasher” and Mary Ann as a witch-child abuser—so I reminded her of that during our brief meeting in the office and she laughed for 5-minutes. I can’t give you any more detail.
My critique: I love that water, that habitat, that part of Florida, the town and facilities. I have spent quality time here before and all are KP Approved. The Roland Martin Marina will be the place I go to when I return and Captain Mike Balon is 5-star. Sometimes the breakfast nook is not available and you may want to get your lunch sandwich at Subway. Okeechobee is a National Jewel BUT that “sugar-facility” is killing it—and money talks. We were there “pre-spawn” but I don’t believe that. Okee is also known for crappie species and we did get some mud-fish-and catfish. KP3, Rick Nitkiewitz and I spent 7 days there a few years ago.
My flight cost about $390; vehicle rental 8 days $350; room at Martin’s was $484 for 4 nights. Guides are $400 per day PLUS shiners that cost about $25 dozen and expect to use 6-7 dozen per day.
The guide furnished rods and reels but you bring your own drinks and foods. The sun is cruel so wear your Simms long-sleeve shirts, buffs and sun-gloves. I use a “50” sunscreen. If you plan on taking your boat, the shiner rod should be 7-8 feet long, medium heavy such as Ardents and line is either 20-pound test mono or 65 pound test braid. I’d like the 300 series Ardent C-Force reel.
Fishing this water without quality sun glasses is like playing shortstop without a glove. None better than Costa. Don’t forget your camera. Mike’s Lowrance saved one of our days as morning fog set-in but we navigated the “Trail” to our spot and saved hours.
Marina telephone: 863-983-3151. You book your guide at this number also. You may request a particular one. Capt Mike at 561-308-2083.
Doc and I slept in Friday (2/14) but met for breakfast at the “Grill” at Martin’s, then went separate ways: Doc to Lake Toho where he would spend three days with his college buddy, Larry, and I turned east and north to Melbourne where I would mooch off of long-time client and friend, Mike Yorio and his English bulldog, Bailey.
Doctor Dave said his Toho results were similar to Okeechobee.
I had fished Stick Marsh several times in the past with a great guide named George Welcome, and also with Mike Yorio and Rick Nitkiewitz. Stick Marsh along with Farm 13, Garcia and Keanville are actually “shallow farm-land impoundments” on the upper St. Johns River, constructed to “filter” farm-land runoff (see my previous explanation in a different article in LOU Magazine.
It was two hours from Clewiston to Melbourne and Doc had taught me to link Car Play with Google Map—so I had navigation aid. Mag and the Doc always say that “you don’t have any road skills but never get lost on water and woods,” and I say “not true.” Hell, I’m always lost.
Mike lives in a nice community with a super-dog I came to love. He has a small aluminum boat and a great desire. Our object was Stick Marsh but wind-muddy conditions and cautioned by his buddies changed our destination to a similar impoundment called Garcia. Well, the first day was ok but the second a disaster as Mike spun a prop—and a great angler, Britt Meyers, took two hours of his time to tow us back to the launch. Britt was fishing with his son, and enjoys a great reputation in the professional tournament game. He would-not-take-a-dime.
Meanwhile, former Virginia resident and LOU guide Time Wilson had sent me texts “hinting” that I was on the “:wrong” filter-lake, and he sent photos of big, fat, bass that he and Mike Hall had caught. I called Morris Campbell. He had Monday open. I grabbed it.
We met at a little county store (KCS) that makes the best egg and lunch sandwiches. Now, this area is rural America folks, where hard working women and men in spurs stop-by for pre-dawn vitals driving trucks and proudly flaunting “Deplorable” bumper stickers—and I guarantee you—there isn’t a vagina-hat in the county.
Morris Campbell arrived and we followed him—over a washboard, dirt road that could shake every bolt loose on an old trailer, to Kenanville. That’s the name—has no fame-yet. The parking lot was full but still found space.
Morris had a new boat and it was obvious. He is a slim guy with perhaps an attitude, but this guy knows this water and those bass and I can wait to go back. Thanks Tim.
Someone said-“that’s Tim Horton launching ahead of us. Do you want his autograph?” I mumbled something like “he’s a good guy but I want fish.”
These flooded farms are quite similar, extremely wonderful, with so many veggies and birds of all sorts with alligators grunting in the reeds .I just love wetlands.
Not too far by boat, Morris pulled into a small cove, squared-his boat away on one side of the vegetables, dropped his Power Poles. He belly-hooked a 9” shiner and cast it to the edge of a floating hyacinth island, handed me the rod and said: “she has it—set the hook sideways and crank like crazy.” That bass was 7-7. Now, I’ve instructed many-a-client on casting and technique, especially with plastic tubes and smallmouth—and I caught fish on that demo several times—but never, never, 7-7.
Mike and I had about 30 bass, 4 over 8-pounds. My five best was 38.8 lbs and my largest was 9-15. We checked her twice.
I really don’t like talking about this kind of place, but I forgive myself because I always, always give specifics—never hiding my spots or the lures we use—and hell, I have made a living doing that.
My Critique: Hands-down the best largemouth trip I was ever involved with and that includes several trips to El Salto. There is a distinct difference in presentation techniques for fishing rooted-grass edges as opposed to floating matt that allow big bass to hover under a canopy. We want the shiner to swim under the matt, thus the “belly-hook” but not into rooted plants where our shiners are lip-hooked..
My PB largemouth bass comes from the Potomac River, a “Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame” record for “Catch and Release,” 12-pound test”, that lasted 2 years, T.at bass was 26,5 inches long and 18.75” girth—estimated at 12-pounds-or there about.
Now—until this trip, my clients and I had a 5-fish record (Bill Nearhoff) record for tidal Potomac of 31 pounds, 3 oz.
On this date my PB 5-bass was 38 pounds, 8 ounces but our best (Mike & I) was 41 #ish
Mike Yorio is a super guy and I can’t thank him enough--and thanks Tim Wilson for the compass reading.
Morris Campbell is an Ace. $400 per day plus shiners (about $200) 941-276-4478 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Run away once in a while. ... Read MoreHide
I recently spent three days fishing flooded farm lands known to bass anglers as Stick Marsh, Garcia and Kenanville. Description of this habitat is consuming, so look for my article, here, soon. Anyway, the various impoundments (sic) became bass factories. I spent 8 days in Florida recently.
Upper St. Johns River
Florida’s longest river begins its 310-mile northerly journey to the Atlantic Ocean from a drainage basin west of Vero Beach in Indian River County. The 2,000-square-mile basin — the headwaters of the St. Johns River — is perhaps the most distinctive portion of river. Known as the Upper St. Johns River Basin, the area features a mosaic of marsh, sawgrass and cypress domes, and is visually similar to the Florida Everglades.
The basin extends from the headwaters of the St. Johns River in Indian River and Brevard counties to the confluence of the St. Johns and Econlockhatchee rivers in Seminole County, and originally contained more than 400,000 acres of floodplain marsh.
In the early 1900s, the upper basin was diked and drained for agricultural purposes. By the early 1970s, 62 percent of the marsh was gone. Canals were constructed to divert floodwaters from the basin east to the Indian River Lagoon. The alterations diminished water quality in the lagoon and degraded the upper basin’s remaining marshes.
In 1977, the St. Johns River Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) embarked on an ambitious, long-term flood control project that would revitalize the upper basin. The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project reclaimed drained marshlands by creating reservoirs and replumbing existing canals. The goals were numerous: to improve water quality, reduce freshwater discharges to the Indian River Lagoon, provide for water supply, and restore or enhance wetland habitat.
In May 2016, the district and USACE celebrated the completion of the upper basin project, one of the largest and most ambitious flood control and wetland restoration projects in the world. The project has now moved into long-term maintenance.
The upper basin project is a semi-structural system of four water management areas, four marsh conservation areas and two marsh restoration areas covering approximately 166,500 acres in Indian River and Brevard counties.
Throughout the project area, water control structures and new construction have been kept to a minimum. Dikes have been fortified and agricultural drainage routes have been re-directed to improve water quality and enhance the marsh system. The result is a flood protection strategy that relies on a more natural approach. Under maximum storm conditions, the project is designed to hold 500,000 acre-feet of water — enough water to cover the 200,000-acre project with an average of 2.5 feet of water. More information is available in the Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan (SWIM) for the basin.
The upper basin project has given new life to the river’s headwaters. The design of the project is on the cutting edge of environmental restoration technology and demonstrates a new level of compatibility between flood control and environmental protection.
Watch a flight over the upper St. Johns River
Map of the Upper St. Johns River Basin
Upper St. Johns River Basin map
Upper basin SWIM plan
Upper basin, history
History of the Upper St. Johns River Basin and the upper basin project
The Upper St. Johns River Basin once contained more than 400,000 acres of fertile marsh. Agricultural interests saw the value of the rich peat soils beneath the water and drained thousands of acres of the river’s headwaters to create farmlands.
Devastating hurricanes in the 1920s and 1940s demonstrated the need for improved flood protection for the region. In response to flooding problems, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began planning a flood control project in the basin in the 1950s. The original upper basin project involved a series of flood storage reservoirs west of the St. Johns River, in Osceola and Orange counties. The project also included a network of canals to divert excess floodwaters from the upper St. Johns to the Indian River Lagoon. The largest of these canals is known as Canal 54 (C-54).
Portions of this flood control project, including C-54, were constructed by 1973. C-54 was originally designed to divert up to 6,000 cubic feet per second of water from the St. Johns River to the Indian River. Environmental studies found that this diversion of freshwater would significantly reduce the population of shellfish in the Indian River, harming the commercial shell fishing industry. In addition, the large volume of freshwater diversion would cause big swings in the salinity of the lagoon, impacting fish and wildlife resources. The loss of freshwater in the St. Johns River was found to adversely impact wildlife and threatened the use of the river for public water supply. Construction of the federal flood control project was halted in 1973 by President Richard Nixon.
The St. Johns River Water Management District took over the project in 1977 and worked with USACE to design and build what is today’s Upper St. Johns River Basin Project. The project mimics nature by storing water in restored marshes rather than move it eastward through the C-54 to the lagoon.
The completed project includes four water management areas, four marsh conservation areas and two marsh restoration areas covering approximately 166,500 acres in Indian River and Brevard counties.
Water management areas
The water management areas are large manmade water bodies that capture runoff from citrus groves and livestock pastures. This runoff water is reused for farm irrigation and freeze protection. Perhaps the best known water management area is the St. Johns Water Management Area, known by anglers as the Stick Marsh/Farm 13. The others are the Blue Cypress, Fellsmere and Sawgrass Lake water management areas.
Marsh conservation areas
The conservation areas are the historic, unaltered marshes that follow the river valley, including some former agricultural lands restored to marsh. Blue Cypress Marsh Conservation Area resembles the original marshes of the upper basin. Marsh conservation areas improve the river’s hydrology and downstream flows. The other marsh conservation areas are Three Forks Marsh, Fort Drum Marsh and St. Johns Marsh conservation areas.
Marsh restoration areas
The restoration areas are also former agricultural lands restored to marsh, providing water storage. Six Mile Creek and Broadmoor restoration areas were within the river’s floodplain that the district purchased, restored and hydraulically reconnected to the river. Restoration activities on these properties have included removal of berms, culverts, pumps, external levees and filling of ditches. These areas were not part of the original federal project. ... Read MoreHide
Update 2/27: heard from Captain Mike Balon on Okeechobee-and he is still wackin’ good bass. He thanked me for some referral bookings.
Update 2/28: heard from Captain Morris Campbell on Kenanville Reservoir. His clients had 40 yesterday with four over 8 pounds and a 10-4. He also thanked me for some referrals.